Star Citizen Smashes $20m, Adding First-Person Combat

By Nathan Grayson on October 1st, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Imagine this, only on planets and with guns and in first-person and not actually like this at all.

Quantum Hyper Nebular Solar Roman Numeraled News FLASH: Star Citizen has made money. This probably comes as a complete and utter SHOCK to all of you, especially those who contributed everything they owned and also a half-eaten sandwich they FOUND with barely any mold on it to Chris Roberts’ cause. And so, SOMEHOW, the interstellar cash train keeps on chugging along, this time to the tune of another couple million. The result? Star Citizen has now officially soared past its $20 million goalpost, meaning that first-person planetary combat is joining the spacefaring everything-er’s ever-ballooning feature list. Details below.

Here’s how first-person combat will work, per a blog post from Roberts himself:

“First person combat on select lawless planets. Don’t just battle on space stations and platforms… take the fight to the ground! What this means is that we’re expanding the FPS mechanic we’ve already created for the ship boarding system to apply to more areas of the game. Join an ongoing battle on a contested world, launch an attack on a pirate base, come to the rescue of distant colonists and fend off Vanduul raiders… the possibilities are endless.”

Endless! Maybe there will be candy planets. Or planets where dogs walk people, and people vomit on rugs even when they’re not drinking.

But why stop at $20 million? After some debate, Roberts and co are planning to keep their contribution counter updated, and they’ve set a new goal in light of that. At $22 million, Star Citizen will gain facial capture tech that’ll apparently greatly enhance the game’s characters. Also, players will be able to have their diamond-sharp cheekbones and perfect Spanish noses imported into the game by Roberts Space Industries folks at events.

There’s just one problem here: feature creep is a thing, and this sure sounds a whole lot like it. Roberts directly responded to that fear by noting that these stretch goals are carefully considered, and leverage either a) technology that’s already in the game or b) tech that ”will make the game better and allow us to be more nimble and economically efficient in continually creating content for the ongoing universe that we are aiming to support.” Also, he noted that all of these features won’t necessarily be in the game at launch, so it’s not like the core features (ships, flying, exploration, etc) are getting haphazardly hammered together because super cool hangar fish tanks have suddenly become priority number one.

Granted, all of Roberts’ promises should still be taken with an extra large grain of salt for now. It can now safely be said that Star Citizen is one of the most ambitious games ever, and fitting all these infinitesimally tiny, constantly shifting puzzle pieces together will take some incredibly skilled hands. I wish the dev team the absolute best, but – even if Roberts hadn’t spent many years on the sidelines, away from game development’s many new evolutions and wrinkles – I’d still have my doubts. So, fingers crossed, but my hopes are still firmly anchored.

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83 Comments »

  1. Arglebargle says:

    Incredible! The credulous provide more moolah for Chris Roberts! The man’s greatest skill is his talent for self promotion. Sorta fits with the Hollywood producer thaing. Space action fans should be crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

    -Obligatory snarky comment.

  2. bstard says:

    “I wish the dev team the absolute best, but I’d still have my doubts.”
    Seconded. I’d love to see a game like SC come true though. Wish the dev cut this into chunks they are able to handle, and add more once there’s a 1.0 core.

    • frightlever says:

      Gotta assume that’s what they’re planning, otherwise these are less stretch goals and more like “pay us to delay the game another six months” in $2million chunks.

      Honestly, I’m not THAT interested in this because so much of the interesting stuff looks to be MP only, but if he pulls it off it’ll be epic.

    • distantlurker says:

      Space combat, ground combat, boarding PvP (and other elements I forget about) are all separate ‘engines’ (for want of a better word, I think RSI use the term ‘modules’).

      Which, like the hangar ‘module’, can all be released ie alpha’d for testing, independently.

      Additionally, many of these modules are the sole responsibility of other studios who have been contracted to build them. So teams around the world can focus on just one element at a time.

      It’s all rather clever. The largest caveat being, it’ll be 2015 before there’s a full game release.

    • Sathure says:

      That’s how they’re doing it. Everything is in “Modules”.

      First it’s the Hangar Module. Next is the dog fighting module which will contain the actual ship flight and combat. After that it’s the Social module which will handle in game stores and planetary interaction. After that it’s the boarding module which will be the FPS aspects, ship boarding and such. Then it’s the single player campaign alpha, and then finally the Persistent online Alpha.

  3. d32 says:

    And yet, micro-transactions are still going to be included?

    • frightlever says:

      They’d be leaving money on the table if they don’t. People are obviously very keen to give them money.

    • Cathulhu says:

      Well, since they don’t plan to have a monthly fee to play, they need to make money otherwise to finance the servers and further development.
      Keep in mind that everything in the game will be able to bought with ingame money. They even stated that the weapons available in the microtransactions store are very basic weapons you can purchase everywhere and that the better stuff must be found in-game. Mostly they will make money with cosmetic stuff.

      • Emeraude says:

        That, or in the spirit of the way this game is being financed, they could allow for players to hosts server themselves ? (maybe they do too, and in that case, I’m impressed – I haven’t been following on the development of that game as much as I’d like sadly).

        Edit: They do. Nice.

      • Pythonic says:

        I just would like to point out that server upkeep costs companies basically nothing. There was a financial report from Ubisoft I believe where they showed the costs of things, server costs were not even included on the main list , it was grouped together with several other things that totaled 0.1% of costs kinda like an afterthought.

        • Llewyn says:

          Two possible responses:
          1) Which of Ubisoft’s MMOs was that for?
          2) We know Ubisoft spend nothing on their server infrastructure; it’s why people can’t log in to their games whenever they’re doing any ‘maintenance’

          • Pythonic says:

            To be honest I do not remember, I came across it last year but if I can find it I will link it.

        • airmikee99 says:

          Since those reports are made for investors, do you think an investor wants to see lots and lots of server costs that bring in no income?

          Not defending Ubisoft, I uninstalled every game of theirs from my computer once I found out that 97% of a PC gamers pirate Ubisoft games, but using a biased financial report to form an opinion isn’t going to produce an accurate opinion.

        • Apocalypse says:

          Ubisoft ubisoft even runs a mmo?

  4. Gap Gen says:

    Pah, in the distant future we will have no more need of this primitive “ground” stuff. All combat will take place in Mind Domes orbiting neutron stars. And first people will have been long extinct as the hive minds jockey for control of the stellar output of the Orion spur.

  5. Glow says:

    Can someone remind me? is this game single player/multiplayer or is it one of these massively online things that I have no interest in playing. I really hope its the former. Wing Commander and Freespace were phenomenally enjoyable games as of course were X-Wing/Tie Fighter/X-wing Alliance. The best thing was I didn’t need anyone else around to enjoy them!

    • Sheng-ji says:

      It’s a massively online thing, but, I believe you will be able to basically download it and run a server just for yourself or your friends.

      • Arglebargle says:

        The ‘run a server for your friends’ is the single best aspect of the design in my opinion. More online games should take this approach. I think it could make MMOs a much nicer place.

      • Cinek says:

        Nope. It’s both. Single-player game and multiplayer game. You have a choice how to play it. It’s not an MMO like the MMOs on a market.

      • Emeraude says:

        Damn, should have read all comments before answering any – great feature. Thanks for the confirmation on that.

    • Ruairi says:

      There is a Single player part being a Wing commander like Story campaign (with optional drop in co-op) And a privateer section which has the choice of single player, Online instanced play, and private servers.

      • Hanban says:

        Have there been any comments on how ship purchasing will work? So far as I understand if I want to pilot one of the multi-man ships I will have to either fork out insane amounts of real money or I suppose grind forever.

        But let’s say I have a private server with a few friends and we just like to fly around in space playing Star Trek bridge. Will we be able to do that without investing EVEamounts of time into the game?

        • Ruairi says:

          Private servers are completely moddible, Whole point of them is that you are not connected to the “core servers” so you can tweak and edit the game how you like. Heck this has already started with the Hanger Module with people giving ships custom skins, changing the hanger design and even some people have already started making totally new ships.

          Best compassion Roberts mentioned was Freelancer, Set up you own server do with it as you will. Have all the ships free, remove missiles, add new stations Etc.

          Only time you are saving for bigger ships if you are on the “Core servers” and they have some cool stuff that will only on those, such as the Galacticpeda, which records Who killed One off NPCs, Found new solar systems and jumppoints (also allowing people to name said systems) and where in Live events.

          • Hanban says:

            Right! That does sound excellent!

            I will probably play the core servers as well. But sometimes it’s nice to have a sandbox to just mess about in with friends. Good to know that’s an option!

        • Apocalypse says:

          Grind “forever” in this context means farming for about 60 hours for a 4-man Constellation. That Constellation can get insurance afterward for a small fee and should be safe this way more or less forever. Top of the line fitting at the other hand … you may up farming another 60 hours and the insurance for this may end up a more expensive.

          Still in the context a 4-man ship 60 hours of money farming is ridiculous low, if you switch this up to those 4 people needed for fly the ship optimal its down to 15 hours per player. Makes even such ships standard for about everyone who wants one, at least with standard equipment. With high-end equipment you may end a bit more careful, but those basic fittings seems to be cheap disposable ships for everyone.

    • Cathulhu says:

      It is both. There is the Singleplayer campaign Squadron 42 which you will be able to play offline or co-op with friends. There is also the online component, a persistent universe sandbox where you can do what you want.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I think it’s worth stating that the Single Player Wing Commanderesque campaign is supposedly very much it’s own thing and a major part of the game, rather than a tacked on addition to a MP game. It essentially a separate game called Squadron 42.

      It’s probably worth holding off until the results are in though if you have doubts and no interest in the Privateer game (which can also be played solo by the by but would not have access to the “live” content like in game news updates etc.)

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      I backed pretty much just for the Squadron 42 component, the rest is just side dressing.

    • SuicideKing says:

      I really hope the dogfights are like FreeSpace 2, the weapon feel and ship control in that game is out of this world (and in space).

    • Apocalypse says:

      It is both.

      It has a full-scale single-player campaign which includes coop, similar to Starlancer / Wing Commander. That part of the game is called Squad 42 and does feature your character in the military.

      And it has a massive multiplayer sandbox similar to privateer/freelancer featuring your characters life outside of his military career.
      The sandbox will offer a single-shard persistent universe, but can be run as well on your own mod-able servers, similar to all those little freelancer servers that run even today.

      In this regard the game embraces the strengths of PC gaming with offering multiple choices for its players, all based on the core game elements and game engine.

  6. sharks.don't.sleep says:

    Because the project wasn’t ambitious enough?
    There are plenty of excellent FPS already out and more to come, I wish they would focus just on making an awesome space game..

    • Cathulhu says:

      Well, by using the CryEngine they already have all the groundwork needed for FPS gameplay, also FPS was planned from the beginning for boarding. With the new funding goal they extended that feature to FPS outside of ships/stations.

    • Blackcompany says:

      @Sharks:

      This. Imagine the how much better the space game would be, with a $20 million budget. Only…it does not have a $20 million budget. It has part of a $20 million, less marketing. The other part – less marketing, which I’m beginning to think is costing them something – is now going to an FPS. How much money will you need to make, essentially, TWO good games?

      This is the very reason why I actually despise stretch goals, and stretch goals themselves are the reason why I no longer support kickstarter projects. You know what I want you to do with any extra money you make? Just make. The. Best. Game. Possible. Period. That’s it; no feature creep.

    • SuicideKing says:

      I’ve wanted a game like this forever.

  7. -SD- says:

    I read this news post and immediately went to Wikipedia to check on “Feature creep”.

    Yup, seems familiar…

  8. MrSean490 says:

    Can I board a ship and be all like pew pew pew with my gun, take control of the ship and fly it into a star?

    • Cathulhu says:

      Yes, but it won’t be easy. You must disable the target ship first, board the ship, overwhelm the crew and repair the ship that it can fly again. After that you will have the option to do with the ship what you want, including flying into a sun.

  9. Ergates_Antius says:

    $20,000,000? Man, there’s going to be a lot of unhappy people if this sucks!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Pretty sure there’s going to be a lot of unhappy people whatever the weather.There’s 265,215 different backers, each with their own ideas on what they are hoping to see.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        That’s true to a degree. But I think it’s fair to say that peoples expectations of a KS that raises $20M (and promises the moon) are going to be somewhat higher than a little indie KS that raises $50K.

  10. WatchGeek says:

    Let us hope this doesn’t turn into a modern day version of Battlecruiser 3000 AD. I recall the grand proclamations of Derek Smart, Ph.D.

  11. jezcentral says:

    Blimey, at this rate there will be no-one left tp buy the game when it comes out, and they will have spent all their money on developing it.

    Surely there must come a point when devs are allowed to think of OTT pre-order totals as profit?

    Of course, I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will buy this once it comes out, but the point interests me enough to raise it.

  12. derbefrier says:

    Its not feature creep is the featurers were already planned. Talk about lazy journalism. I guess its easier to be cynalcal than educated.

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      You tell us.

    • Tim says:

      I’m wondering now if they’re being deliberately wrong about the topic. Last post was full of comments explaining that FPS has been in as a part of boarding actions since they were promised at $3.5m. Somehow they’ve failed to notice or care about the This is just more maps, and not even new maps, they’re just enabling killing each other on some planets which they were already planning on making.

      • Thurgret says:

        It does seem that way, a little bit. Or perhaps Nathan just isn’t reading things all that closely? I don’t know. I’m not terribly bothered, though I would like if the article was corrected to note that first person combat is being expanded, rather than added — as far as I can tell, all that planetary combat entails is maps specifically for shooting on, instead of merely shooting people aboard spaceships.

  13. Stevostin says:

    Well so far they’re constantly delivering. I don’t worry over features being there, it’s rather a matter of quality. After all, you can make 7 days fps, and even get people to like them with hobbyist and no assets. So why not a decent ground FPS here ? But if they do that they have to allow for planet landing. I note they don’t even consider a stretch goal for that. So they have limits!

  14. Mr.Snowy says:

    As a professional software project manager, Roberts is one terrifying individual. This title is not suffering from feature creep, it has morphed into full-blown feature-gallop! Every time Roberts says “And we will add…” his plans are going out of the window and needing to be redeveloped.

    Adding in FPS combat for example, with some mechanism for randomised battles based upon….something – well that is pretty much a whole game in itself. A whole game, just tacked on. “Yeah we can do that too…”

    Terrifying!

    • HisDivineOrder says:

      I think he’ll just wind up not doing the feature.

      I think the thing he’s not taking into account is that he’s used to having an idea for a feature and then dropping said feature when the idea doesn’t pan out. He doesn’t get (yet) that when he promises a feature for a certain amount of money being hit and then he decides it didn’t pan out, people are going to be screaming.

      Not like, “You scream at AmEx” screaming, either. It’s more like “frothing at the mouth, screaming in an insane asylum while they try to use meds on you that you’re now immune to” screaming. And that crazy man won’t be alone because there will be many more like him.

  15. Freud says:

    Most games don’t handle feature creep of this magnitude particularly well.

  16. Matt_Radecki says:

    This game makes all others look retarded

  17. Necron99 says:

    At what point do they just rename this to, “Star Kingdom of Amalur; Citizen Reckoning”?

    • RProxyOnly says:

      Why the comparison to Amalur?.. I don’t see the connection.

      ” All the features won’t necessarily be avaialable at launch”….This is why I’m really going off Kickstarters and the like, I don’t like games being implimented incrementally.

  18. Kentauroi says:

    I hope this turns out well, I really do. I payed $30 for a copy of the game, so even if it does end up being a disappointment it’s not that big a loss, but I have friends that pledged around $125-$250 for their ships, and I don’t want to witness the backlash if this turns into a letdown.

    • jash says:

      I remember a friend who used to work at a Wizard of the Coast store, telling stories of people who would take out a mortgage and then drop 10K on magic cards. With some of the numbers I am hearing of this projects biggest backers, I have to wonder if we are seeing the same sort of phenomena.

      $30 is probably smart. I am not smart, I am $250 in. But I think a bit of a backlash is inevitable. Some people hear there is FPS ground combat, and they expect COD like multiplayer. Like, what? Expectations are not being managed. Obsessives are putting WAY too much money in. I fear the fallout as well.

  19. The Random One says:

    Once they get more $20 millions they’ll be able to drop that boring space crap and focus on the CoD killer they’d been planning to make from day one.

  20. Jezebeau says:

    How many more millions before they bring Molyneux on board?

  21. Loque says:

    Damn, $20MIL and the official website still works like sh*t… Will they ever fix it and make it more smooth?

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