June 29th 2013
One of the most anticipated ships in the Star Citizen universe is the Aegis Dynamics Idris-class corvette. The largest ship available for purchase during the campaign, only 100 Idrises were made available, to preserve game balance! The Idris is a small capital ship capable of storing smaller fighters and being run by a team of players working together. Today we’re proud to reveal the very first images of the Idris, designed by Hollywood artist Ryan Church, as well as the ship’s specifications!
As part of the livestream, we are making an additional 150 Idris corvettes available for sale starting now. This second set of corvettes is not the fully-equipped military assault model available during the earlier event, but a stripped down peacekeeper version aimed at having less of an impact on the initial game balance.
Surplus sale! The United Empire of Earth’s Exploratory Services is retiring patrol-model 150 Idris-P corvettes which have seen hard service on the frontier. These ships will be available for public sale, with funds received going towards the ongoing SynthWorld project. Please note that all corvettes are the lighter model lacking the spinal mount turret emplacement. Buyers will be responsible for towing and equipping any craft purchased.
Builder: Aegis Dynamics
Crew (max): 10
Mass (empty): 138,000 kg
Length: 140 meters
The Idris-class corvette is the premiere entry-level capital ship for both the civilian market and the UEE military. Idris’ are used by long-range explorers who plan to be as many as two dozen jumps from a refueling station and as armored merchantmen by concerns needing to move goods through pirate territory. The high pricetag keeps the Idris out of range of anyone usually operating Freelancers or Starfarers, and actually makes them something of a target for higher caliber pirates, who presume that anyone who owns one has something worth protecting.
Anything but the stock Idris is ultimately a tough nut to crack for attackers, though: extremely customizable and dotted with turrets, they also ship with numerous empty missile hardpoints and room for an expansive fixed-forward armament. Make sure you can afford to properly outfit an Idris once you’ve purchased it … if you can, you will wind up with one of the best-equipped ships available on the open market.
The UEE operates Idris-class ships extensively, in two variants. Because of the ship’s command systems, the crews are drawn from the ranks of the elite UEE fighter pilot core. Though it may not be as glamourous as a Hornet or a Gladiator, the Idris is a powerhouse of a ship.
A mark two “peacekeeper” variant was developed for the UEE patrol services. The Idris-P strips the standard ship’s ship-to-ship gun and spinal mount in favor of additional cargo capacity and superior speed. Aftermarket kits, initially produced for the UEE government seeking an improved patrol/protection plan, are available to militarize the Peacekeeper versions.
The Idris has room to dock two single-seat fighters: Aurora, 300i or Hornet-level.
Upgrade Capacity: 20
Cargo Capacity: 100 tonnes (Idris-P, 120 ton)
Thrusters: 8 x TR4, 8 x TR3
6 x Class 5: Behring M3C ASA Turrets
1 x Class 6: Behring M5C STS Turret
1 x Class 6: A&R Plowshare Anti-Ship Missile Launcher (ASML)
1 x Class 8: Klaus & Werner Zestroyer Spinal Mount Rail Gun
Hardpoints (Idris Peacekeeper)-
7 x Class 5: Behring M3C ASA Turrets
1 x Class 6: Behring M5C STS Turret
The Idris was great fun to build and ‘engineer.’ The requirements Chris laid down were a long list of often mutually exclusive design points, but I find that having to package a lot of tough elements in an aesthetically cool design can really make for a neat ship. That is to say that a design ‘earns’ a coolness by being functional and thought out down to the spars and ribs, rather than just being a styling exercise. Chris knew the number of engines, rough weight class, armament fit, function and mission capability and I just worked from there. I always start extremely roughly and send Chris 8-12 rough ideas, each of which has their pluses and minuses.
With this ship there was more time than usual spent at this early stage to get the right look — something that worked functionally, but also a design that looked a bit older, a bit more pugnacious and a bit more functional than some of the other ships. I love this approach; you can have your sleek, refined F-22 but then next to it you can have your F-15 or even F-4, with all of their comparatively brutish shapes and forms, tons of antennas and pylons sticking off — yet they both look cool in their own ways.
Since this ship can land atmospherically and is pretty large, it was a special challenge to incorporate a plausible VTOL-to-orbit-and-beyond capability. I decided to arrange the pivoting engines in such a way that they functioned in VTOL, atmospheric, and exoatmospheric modes — it’s a similar concept to that used on the Avatar Valkyrie, but on a much larger scale and with better engine failure redundancy. Arranging the engines all around the center of gravity and providing functioning landing gear and a bridge with good visibility and weapons with good field of fire coverage were all challenges. For the Idris I also had to give special consideration to the interior packaging — enough room for the cargo and small ship operations, but also enough room for the crew to have some room to spread out and even some private spaces to eat, entertain or just get away from your crewmates for a bit.
Chris was pretty specific about wanting something that would subtly evoke naval ships but didn’t look too submarineish — something that had a very distinctive silhouette and looked more functional and utilitarian than the aesthetic of, say, the Constellation. It’s less about angular panels and it has more radii, a different surface development.
The Idris is built by Aegis rather than RSI. Did this impact your design?
Definitely, and this ties in directly with your previous question because we are really trying to make the manufacturers distinct. In the same way you can tell a Lockheed product from a Northrop product, or a current-day American aircraft carrier from a Russian aircraft carrier. We want to go much further than that; it makes the world seem larger and it’s more fun to do.
With all the designs I do I think about the exterior shape first, but almost immediately put rough blocks in the model that represent rough guesses I have about where the internal elements are. I start with the engines and specific payload requirements and then find a good place for the bridge and weaponry, and the last thing to go in are the personal spaces like kitchen and bathrooms. These often get shifted around in the back and forth process with Chris, but it is best to settle on them early if possible. From the research I’ve found this is the way it’s done when building real ships and aircraft, so I try to emulate that approach for greatest realism.
I also try and work hull thicknesses and doors into the equation early, as I realize the importance of figuring that out. I try to keep the forward and rear facing hull structure the thickest. The beam positions can be a little lighter, as they would have less of a chance of sustaining ongoing fire and would more likely take a fleeting shot. One idea Chris had which was fun to play out is that he wanted to stay away from a lot of elevators in this ship and force the use of a lot of stairs to help sell the fact that the design is a bit older and less techy. Therefore the final design has a lot of doors and some retracting stairs, which then forces thought into airlocking those hull punctures. It was a very fun ship to work on. While building it I would kind of dolly and zoom around, pick angles that look cool and ask myself what would functionally be there and what could I put there to make this a fun place to spend time.
Hmm, yes, I just started working on the next design and I guess the hint I would give is more of an indication of where my head is right now — realizing that the aesthetic for the new ship will be different than that of any of the other ships I’ve done so far.