Space Face: Star Citizen Passes $22m, Gets Car Commercial

By Nathan Grayson on October 15th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Like many people, space ships also often dream of being Super Man when they grow up.

By the time Star Citizen finally launches, I fully expect that Roberts Space Industries will have crossed its last, $100,000,000,000,000 stretch goal: drop the facade, become a real intergalactic government, and colonize space. Crowdfunding has been absurdly kind to Chris Roberts’ massively ambitious endeavor, and the black hole that gobbles up all money doesn’t seem destined to smack its lips and say, “Oh, that’s quite enough for me, thanks” any time soon. In the span of just two weeks, it’s slurped up another $2 million, pushing it well past the $22 million mark. That means neat facial capture tech for in-game characters, new stretch goals, and an outer space car commercial thing for some reason.

OK, that’s actually a damn snazzy ad. While Roberts’ sojourn into the world of film left some doubting his modern game design chops, you can’t deny his eye for cinematic flare and, er, luxury sedan commercials. The ship in question, the 2944 Aurora, is apparently ”the perfect beginner’s ship” and can be purchased for a pledge of between $25 and $45. That is a lot of money for an in-game space car – let alone one that sounds pretty low-tier. Here’s hoping it can be obtained via other, less costly means once Star Citizen begins residing on our hard drives.

Speaking of pledges, Roberts and co have announced yet another stretch goal. At $24 million, the universe’s star-spattered metropolises will be linked by an expanded public transportation system.

“Need to get from one place to another but don’t have a starship? We’re building a galactic transportation system. You can travel via transport from system to system in Star Citizen and even ship items (like a ship you need move to another hangar). With this stretch goal, we’ll expand this system: star liners, long range transports, charter ships and flyable shuttles!”

So basically, some spit ‘n’ shine on a preexisting feature. Nothing too outrageous. Nothing like, say, an entire convention dedicated to a game that’s barely more than a twinkle in its creators’ eyes right now – and may well not be out by the time people flock to a packed hall to celebrate and produce heinous body odors at it. CitizenCon 2014 is apparently in the planning phases, so that’s… something.

I really, really, really hope Star Citizen ends up warranting all this pre-release (or even alpha) hoopla. I want it to be the thing of wonder and boundless, imagination-tickling beauty we all pictured when it was first announced, but I can’t help but worry that picking battles on so many different fronts could lead to an empire that’s creaky and overextended. Then again, maybe I’m worried over nothing. Perhaps Roberts has a giant, meticulously orchestrated master plan, and every pawn, rook, and queentron 2965 (now available for a $33.59 pledge) is perfectly in place. I suppose we’ll see. Eventually.

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118 Comments »

  1. AngoraFish says:

    Despite this being completely not my kind of thing in any way, I’m struggling to resist the urge to throw money at Star Citizen simply because everyone else is throwing money at it.

    • Premium User Badge

      bills6693 says:

      One of us. One of us.

      But seriously. I think if you do it, you just have to make sure you limit yourself. Tell yourself you are going to get this ship, this decal, whatever. Then pledge for it, and don’t go back.

      I think the reason its made so much money is probably because not just a large number of people backed it, but more importantly it has a far, far higher average pledge than other crowdfunded projects. They keep getting people to back for better and better ships, until over the course of several months, people have dropped $100, $200, $300 on it to get an array of awesome ships as new concepts for them get revealed.

      I, for one, backed at the basic level. If I even have the hardware to play it on release, I will simply earn and work my way to a better ship, just like you have to in basically every other space game.

      • Hawat says:

        I don’t understand why so many people pledge for the high end ship.
        I mean one of the fun part of the game if not the main part is to actually make your way toward the top by doing missions, trade,pirating to get enough money for the best ship equipment etc.. starting from a cheap little ship.
        If you start from the best ship you will lose much of that fun. Its a bit like starting an mmo with a max level character with best gear already equipped. I can bet most people would get bored really fast in that mmo situation.

        • Apocalypse says:

          It is the adds. The crowed founding. The cool concept arts, the ability to actually enjoy those ships in the hangar module and soon as well in the dog fight alpha, etc

          All these pieces fit together to a perfect marketing campaign. If you buy that $250 bomber you know that this money will be spend for the game. The developers know that this money can be used to build the game, which in essence means pay for the office, pay for their families and pay for their homes, etc

          The development process itself can be open this way, and each new asset the game, each new module will increase interest in the game, people automatically will spend more money on the game when they fellow the development process, because Cloud Imperium Games offers them the opportunity to do so. Most people who spend a lot of cash on those ships are aware of the fact that those ships can be acquired without much trouble in the game later on. Most of them are as well aware of the simple fact that ships come only with standard components and that you want to upgrade nearly every part of your ship later in the game anyway. They still spent money on the game, because the ships are sold like cars. They appeal to emotion. They are not selling you some pixels, they are selling you the feeling to own a space ship, even when it is just a virtual one. Expendable income is mostly spend this way, and Star Citizen is using this in a very smart way to found their project.

          In this whole context the car ads make perfectly sense because they simply work perfect.

          I now WANT so buy an Auroa, even when I have ships that are much above the tier of the auroa. Simply because I think its a cool ship, and I want one of those.

        • Talon2000uk says:

          Ok slight miss comprehension here. Its not like starting an MMO with a lvl 60 character. No mater what ship you by you get very basic equipment.

          Each ship has a roll, there are no levels of ships. You journey will be in equipping your ship with better and better equipment. That is the game progression. Not the ship itself. Yes you might want a different fighter or multi-player ship later but buying one know doesn’t mean you will “Own on launch day”.

          Chris has said that the game will take a rock paper scissors approach to ships, if they get the balance right.

      • Alien426 says:

        I was going through that, too. I had a discount from a magazine and after registering an account, I started browsing the ships: “This one’s cool… you get a nicer hangar if you choose this… more cargo capacity…more guns…”
        In the end, I told myself that the starting ship won’t matter in Squadron 42 anyways (am I right?) and I also only want the finished game. So I just got the basic model.

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          bills6693 says:

          Yeah, squadron 42 looks far cooler than what, as has been said, the grind I imagine star citizen will turn out to be.

          • Apocalypse says:

            You imagine grind, because you know MMORPGs. That is your frame of mind to think about MMORPGs.

            With the stated 60 hours of game time for big ships like the constellation it is hard to imagine that the game will involve much grind at all. Mind you, that constellation is a 4 person ship, and a sensible way would be to buy this together with friends which makes the constellation a pocket expense.

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            bills6693 says:

            60 hours seems like a ton of time though. I don’t want to spend 60 hours working from the previous ship up to the next ship. I want to be able to upgrade my ship every 5-10 hours of work, maximum. I want to feel like I’m making more progress than just a gradually climbing credit count.

          • airmikee99 says:

            Chris Roberts said there will be no required grind for the game. Other people have speculated that means grinding will be possible for those that want to do it, but it definitely means if you don’t want to grind, you won’t have to.

          • Apocalypse says:

            Again that constellation is a freaking four man ship. its not a simple upgrade. I would like to comment sarcastic that soon someone will complain that capital ships are not easily acquired by solo players, but I am to late. Someone already complained about the estimation of 130 hours of gametime for a freaking 10 player capital ship with its own fighter hangar.

            /facepalm

            Show players something expensive and they will grind for it. Seems logical, right? About as logical as all those solo player titans that farm non-stop solo until someone finds them and hot drops 200 players on them. Gotta love cretins.

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        Cinek says:

        300$? I can’t even remember when was the last time I got stuff worth only 300$ on my SC account.

        Sadly – it seems that SC moves away from being multiplayer game and goes towards an MMO grind (eg. Idris corvette that you can loose in the game is over 130 hours of gameplay according to some optimistic calculations (most likely it will be much longer than that) ). That’s basically the only thing that stops me from pledging anything more.
        If it goes like that and they really turn this amazing game into an MMO grind than most likely I’ll ask for a refund based on EU law.

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          bills6693 says:

          I meant total value, not the amount dropped on one purchase.

          And yes. Its certainly looking that way. I want something with good pacing – probably about 50% slower than freelancer was – and interesting missions and an interesting universe to explore. But its shaping up to be a grindy MMO. I don’t even want to play with other people that much, just fly around the universe doing my thing. Especially with ‘ship is lost, its lost for good’, I can easily see a group of people deciding it’d be really funny to troll people by blowing up everyone’s ships. All over the galaxy.

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            Cinek says:

            Yea, I mean total value too :)
            What annoys me most is that initially they advertised it as a skill-based multiplayer game, now it turns into hundreds-of-hours grind MMO.
            Yes, perhaps Aurora with outstanding pilot and loads of luck will be able to win with much more expensive ships thanks to it’s agility, but still bigger ship with more guns means higher survivability, more guns, more cargo hauled, bigger targets destroyed, higher income, etc. etc. – so in the end you can’t stick with entry-level ship and you have to grind for highest-end ships to stay even remotely competitive with the other of players – and making a grind for even smallest of capital ships greater than 100 hours they basically turn the game into one enormous grindy MMO. I never played any other Steve Roberts game for over 100 hours, not even a Freelancer (and yes – I got pretty much everything out there, including one of the best ships in game).
            And things like making a factory impossible to own and operate by a lone wolf turn game only into a worse one, not better. That’s the classical flaw of most MMOs begin – people being FORCED into guilds, because otherwise they just can’t do s***.

          • Aaarrrggghhh says:

            @Cinek:
            “but still bigger ship with more guns means higher survivability, more guns, more cargo hauled, bigger targets destroyed, higher income, etc. etc. –”
            Keep in mind that a larger ship also means: a crew you have to pay. Higher insurance cost. Higher fuel costs. Ammunitions will be more expensive too (because bigger guns). Also more guns means more ammunition fired which further increases the costs. So higher tier ships might yield you more money, but they will also cost you more money. And if you loose it you will not get it back instantly. So you always need some smaller ship as a fall-back.

        • 2late2die says:

          What makes you think it’s going to be a “grindy MMO”? The value of the ships? ‘Coz that’s not an indicator at all. Fact is, we have very little info about the gameplay other than big-picture ideas, so branding this a grinding MMO at this stage is absurd. I think it’s a completely legitimate choice to only pledge at the basic level but you don’t have to excuse that by being so down on the game w/o any reason.

        • Apocalypse says:

          This is a game about dog fights. The Idris is a capital ship for a crew of 10 players. 130 hours of your so bad grind translate into 13 hours of playtime per player. And this is assuming that you will the ship its own, which is not really advised. The purpose of the ship is to support fighters and smaller ships, or be part of a bigger fleet, not to be operated alone.
          In either case you have even more players involved in financing those type of ships.

          What do you want instead? Instant respawn of capital ships and consequent, risk and reward free gameplay experience? If you care about your capital than simply keep it a little longer than 13 hours and the crew can pay for a new one just fine.

          If you want to instant action without consequences the game will offer a simulator within the simulation as well or you could just use a private server and instantly spawn whatever you want to use. No one will stop you from doing this, the game will support his, and many squadrons will use this as training tool as well.

          What is this obsession with calling very thing grindy because it involves some form of investment? Next thing is people will complain about the grind in counter strike, because you have to safe 2 rounds to buy an awp and sometimes lose it at the beginning of a round ;-)

      • Maxheadroom says:

        ditto everyone above. I pledged at the basic level too and could actually see myself dropping another $10 or $15 on a cooler ship or some other goodies but some of these ships are 100s of dollars (or Pounds as we call them here on earth) Yet people really are throwing that kind of money at it

        I mean, there’s an ‘everything’ pledge pack with all the ships that costs $15,000!

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          particlese says:

          I know it’s completely at your own discretion to choose how much (or even whether) to financially support the project (that is what you’re doing at this point, after all), so I’ve been shrugging off all the “omg money vaccuum” comments so far. That $15000 is a bit sickening, if true, though. (The closest thing I see is the 5-kilodollar “space marshal” level, which would still earn the pledger several hours of hairy eyeballs from me.)

        • 2late2die says:

          What you’re misunderstanding is that when you buy a ship you’re also pledging for the game. So when somebody buys one of those $200 dollar ships they’re not just getting a cool ship they’re also saying that they believe in Chris Roberts and Star Citizen in general and want to help make it a reality. I agree pledging hundreds of dollars is a bit odd but if they think it’s worth it who am I to judge.

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            particlese says:

            I’m not sure whether I’m more in support of spending $130 on a Master Chief helmet for your cat (see Halo 3 legendary edition) or helping make a hopefully-sweet game happen for the same amount… Probably the latter, if one’s not strapped for cash, but you have to admit that would make for a pretty awesome cat.

        • Apocalypse says:

          https://robertsspaceindustries.com/store/116-the-completionist

          That $15000 package is sold out and included 2 days with chris roberts and several other stuff, like a private club in the game and other stuff. it is still insane, but so is jewellery for $100,000.

          Its more like a gimmick for rich fans, found the game and get some real exclusive stuff without any practical impact on the game.

    • mouton says:

      That’s just your brain trying to fuck you up using herd instincts, as usual.

      Resist. Retaliate with drugs if necessary.

  2. GernauMorat says:

    While I wish this all success, I’ll believe it when I see it frankly.

    • Koojav says:

      ^ Pretty much what he said. I’ll believe it when I see it delivered in any playable state.

      • Reapy says:

        Thirded. World going goo goo over marketing and spaceship models. There is no game here that I’ve seen, yet people already have words about the gameplay and strategy. Pretty crazy to be honest, but to each their own. I personally hope I am wrong that it will be underwhelming.

  3. Chris says:

    Hyped games tend to disappoint.

    Chris Roberts may turn into the Peter Molyneux of space games.

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      bills6693 says:

      I know. Didn’t they play game dev story? If you hype your game, even if it is quite good, it always ends up disappointing in the end :P

    • SomeDuder says:

      Yea, this is really turning into the mother of hyped games. I’m having a hard time understanding why people keep giving the developers money. It’s a space sim, we’ve had them before. Only this one has prettier marketing material.

      Sex sells, as does graphical quality, apparently.

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        bills6693 says:

        I think they’ve found something really clever. You don’t buy the game, you buy a ship. If you pledge just to get into the game (and thus get the most basic ship), great, its only $30 or something. But then you’ve got this basic ship, and other people have better ships. You want a better ship, and you can just drop another $40 and you’ll have this awesome, far cooler ship. Plus a decal for it for just $5. And your friends want to play, why not just drop another $50 to get a corvette you can all fight in together. Etc etc.

        Basically, people keep giving more money to get the coolest ships. With the hangar (so you can walk around, look inside them etc), its just made it even more appealing to get these awesome ships, especially when you see other people’s awesome ships in pictures/videos and all you have is the pitiful starter ship in comparison.

        I’ve only gone for the basic ship myself – I’ll just work my way up like every other space game makes you – but this stuff seems to have its appeal for those with disposable income – and those people are the ones that played in the hey-day of space sims by chris roberts, his perfect target audience – and this is why its funding has been sooo successful.

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          Wisq says:

          What gets me is, people are paying to get these ships, but really, that’s only for the persistent online universe, right? And is it a case of “here’s a ship only you can have”, or “here’s a ship everyone can have but you get it sooner”?

          I mean, the singleplayer / private-server version might look up your username and give you some ship to start, but there’s nothing preventing an enterprising hacker from giving you any ship you want — especially if you really were meant to never be able to access those paid-for exclusive ships, rather than just having to earn in-game cash for them.

          My understanding was that a large part of the appeal was that we would have our own offline/hostable game rather than just a new EVE Online (now with fewer spreadsheets). But it seems like the latter is what everyone is buying into, instead.

          Frankly, I pledged based on the former, and I see no reason to increase that. This is just one of several upcoming space sim titles I’m looking forward to (the more immediate being X:Rebirth), and while I’m glad they’re doing well, I can’t help but think all the buzz is a little excessive at this point.

      • Stardreamer says:

        I can’t get past the thought that it’s not even what I’d call a Space-Sim – it’s a space combat game. Dudes shooting other dudes…in space!

        Also, the Wing Commander games were my least favourite expressions of that narrow genre. Freespace was far superior. As were the X-Wing/Tie Fighter games. Freelancer was good, but not world-shattering.

        I can’t see the attraction, let alone why it’s still raking in money.

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          Cinek says:

          I would say that Freelancer was average to poor. If you compare it with Freespace it feels like a joke.

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            bills6693 says:

            I enjoyed the heck out of freelancer. Might even fire it up again now… if only democracy 3 hadn’t just come out :P

            Building a game on freelancer’s basics, but with all these cool new expanded features and a better crafted universe (I’d love to see it more on the X-games scale, i.e. you are the size of a spaceship, planets are realistic sizes, but you’d have trade lanes of some sort to get you around a lot). That would be ideal.

            However all these cool features the game is adding seem to be thrown into this game which is turning out more like an MMO than a space sim type game, or even a space combat game.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Oooh FreeSpace 2 was the pinnacle. I’m not going to get SC until i’m sure of the dogfights…if they don’t compare to FS2…not sure i’ll drop money on it.

          • Apocalypse says:

            That is fine, I foresee another great increase in pledges in december when the dog fighting alpha starts. ;-)
            Not only from new backers, but from old ones that want to try new ships in that alpha as well, its incredible clever marketing.

          • SuicideKing says:

            Ah yes, the dogfight module. That should be interesting!

          • Apocalypse says:

            I have to correct myself. There will not be much sales when the dog fight alpha starts, at least I hope so.
            At the current rate of sales there will be no alpha/beta slots left anymore.

            9,345 slots are left, meaning they will be all gone around november, faster if people realize that cig is running out of beta slots.

    • Walsh says:

      Dude, Chris Roberts was the Peter Molyneux before Peter Molyneux became Peter Molyneux. He constantly overpromised and under delivered back in the day. For example, look up the development history of Strike Commander.

      All this media reminds me of the previews for APB, they kept showing how awesome their character customization system was but never showed any gameplay. The game came out and the gameplay was pedestrian. This seems like the same deal.

      • Arglebargle says:

        Roberts somehow gets credit for games that he was only peripherily related to, as well. The guy’s greatest skill is self promotion.

    • mouton says:

      Hype is cancer even if the game is genuinely good.

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    Gap Gen says:

    I started writing a comment about the ship design and asteroid field being unrealistic, before I realised that I should stop being a grumpy grump and enjoy the pretties.

    • FCA says:

      I don’t care about realism that much, but I just found the design to be… ugly? I don’t know what it is, maybe a little sleeker, less: let’s throw some unrelated blocks with unrelated colors together?

      Especially with the voiceover. Really, the Aurora LX looks the opposite from classy. It looks tacky and put together in a bike shed with spare parts from various sources.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        The Aurora seems to be the starter ship, so think of it sort of like a Space Pinto I suppose.

      • P.Funk says:

        Its like a mini van. Mini vans aren’t sexy, but they gotta try and sell them to you somehow.

        How many average consumer cars are actually good looking, like really evocative? Most look like shit, as does this. However there is a certain charm to the utilitarian nature of it. Its like military gear. Something about it is appealing, meanwhile utilitarian civilian stuff is bland, but in anything military, like space combat, it has its charm.

        Or you could just go buy one of the ships that looks like a space dildo. That works too.

    • mouton says:

      Haven’t seen a realistic asteroid field in pop culture at all. Oh wait, I did – it’s called “single asteroid with fuck-all near it for zouzands of megamiles” – because that’s how actual asteroid belts are spaced.

  5. Inertiaman says:

    Mechwarrior Online is the last thing I crowdfund for a loooong time. Five million quid and two years later PGI still haven’t managed to turn out anything as stable or entertaining as the free MWLL mod they lawyered to death en route. There doesn’t seem to be a sniff of a discount on these star cit pledges against the likely in game ship pricing so I’ll hold out until it actually exists outside of Adobe Premier.

    Also Chris Roberts pronounces his t’s like d’s. The Twad.

    • mouton says:

      I recently backed Sunless Sea because Coleridge.

      Poetry fuck yeah.

  6. Anguy says:

    Could anyone enlighten me as to where this additional money is coming from all the time?
    Does it come solely from his robertsspaceindustries.com site where you could pledge money while the kickstarter campaign was running, or is it to some degree money from different bigger investors? If the former is true I find it amazing how many people are still interested in giving him cash even though there’s not as much publicity and awareness aymore while smaller titles on kickstarter fail to meet their 400k goal.

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      Gap Gen says:

      Roberts managed to build satellites in France and Australia before the end of the month, I think.

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      stahlwerk says:

      Easy: RSI is a $22M Bitcoin op.

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      bills6693 says:

      It is the former. I believe it was a combination of crowdfunding & investors, but with the deal being that if the crowdfunding broke $20mil or $22mil or something like that, the investors would no longer be part of it. Now it is 100% crowdfunded.

      Yes, I wish people would look at good kickstarters more than throwing another $40 at another ship in this game.

      • Blaaaaaaag says:

        There are no big investors, it’s all crowd funded. The initial plan was to raise enough to prove to investors that the game had an audience, but it quickly became clear that that wouldn’t be necessary.

      • Anguy says:

        Thank you guys for clearing that up! Still pretty amazing how much money comes from selling new ships and the occasional new guy that pledges for the first time…

    • Arglebargle says:

      Roberts’ business strategy was quite good. He’s got the PR chops of a Hollywood Producer hack, and his timing was great. He’s targetted an ignored, and frankly, gullible group of space game fans. He’s got years of free money.

  7. Baltech says:

    I actually wish people would just stop giving them money so they can get down to the businiess of actually really producing something. 3D Realms should take note, Roberts actually managed get people to pay him for feature creep.

    I still am very sceptical. The last time Roberts hat many moneys, he produced the Wing Commander movie.

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      stahlwerk says:

      But, the first time he had moneys he produced all the wing commander and privateer games, 5 of which were actually kind of amazing (at the time).

      • Baltech says:

        Yes, but how many moneys did he have back then? It certainly wasn’t all of them, like it seems to happen now.

        Btw, Privateer 2 was a far better movie than that abomination with Lillard and Prince Jr.

  8. tomimt says:

    This and Shroud of the Avatar are the two most interesting looking big projects I didn’t back myself because I really want to see how they will play out first with all their ambitions. I know both games try to cater to both, single and MMO audiences, but I really need to see how exactly before I’d take the plunge.

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      Cinek says:

      SotA? Seriously? I mean – I backed it, track the development, but it constantly goes down the hill from initial kickstarter campagin. Graphics look rather horrific, and gameplay seem to be uninspiring (though “chatting” with NPCs does look very interesting).
      IMHO they’d do 10 times better by throwing out Unity engine and getting good 2D game out instead of junk in 3D.

      • tomimt says:

        Personally I think SotA looks okay graphically. Not the highest end, but not horrible like that Realms of Arkania remake. Gameplay could go either way really, but I’m not that on the loop on how its design is going, so I am looking for its release with an interest. It could end up being a steaming pile of crap or it just might turn out to be a decent RPG.

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          Cinek says:

          IMHO you can count games with worse graphics announced in 2013 on a fingers.
          Remember that it gets released in… next year if memory serves me well? And it’s already horribly outdated. With these graphics that game should be released ~8 years ago.

          Some people might think it’s unimportant, but if this game is suppose to live for longer than a year and create stable, living and growing community – it is very important.

  9. Lobotomist says:

    I was one of the first to put some money into development of this game. But this constant stretch goal inflation is starting to worry me.

    I mean we are getting talk about on ground, planet FPS. Can anything be more far removed from the actual game that was advertized?

    And so far we got nothing but talk about features that do mater , like living multilayer space. Instead we are fed eye candy and ship models.

    Its fine and all, but gameplay is what interests me.

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      Cinek says:

      IMHO it will end up in very simple way:
      Initial game will be pure space combat in multple star systems + enormous grind for equipment.

      Every other stretch goal will be added over span of next 10 years. Slowly. One a year, or so. Because – you see – they never promised all of these additional features will be in the initial game release.

    • ThTa says:

      In my experience, most of the people claiming “stretch goal inflation” or “feature creep” have no idea what the original scope of the game was (or what the stretch goals actually mean).

      Most of the recent stretch goals (and do note that these are million dollar stretch goals) have been incredibly minor, they can mostly be summarized as “we’ll add another spaceship”, “we’ll add some more missions of this kind” (e.g. No they didn’t just add FPS combat at $20m, that was already part of the game, they just added a few more levels for you to FPShoot in) and “we’ll add something community-oriented”. (Mostly video series.)
      None of these things are worth anywhere near a million dollars, they’re literally just more of the same; they’re things that already work with their tools and pipeline, thus would scale quite easily.

      The only three recent examples of adding actual features are that new face scanning tech, and them promising player-owned space stations and this new public transportation system. The first two don’t worry me too much (they’re just implementing an existing technology, and the owned space station thing has been done many times before, even as mods in Freelancer), only the latter seems excessive in scale to me.

      Ultimately, they’ve already said that a lot of these later stretch goals won’t be immediately available. As such, I can imagine there’ll be at least some broken promises, but they don’t bother me too much, as long as they’ll get the base game out.

      The one thing that really bothers me is how utterly ridiculous their real world currency-to-virtual goods exchange rate has become (note the $16 basic guns thing Cinek mentions down below), I can only hope that they’ll keep their promises as to this only being targeted at the exceedingly wealthy (which Star Citizen seems to feature plenty of) while keeping the base game fun. And if that’s not the case, I hope they at least keep their word on supporting private servers; so that even if they mess up, mods can set things right.

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        particlese says:

        Most recently that I recall seeing was “remember that Star Citizen will include options for running your own server” on 2013-02-05:
        https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/12879-Death-Of-A-Spaceman

        That route to deborking the game (with hopes that it doesn’t come to that) or just tinkering was one of my primary reasons for supporting it. With related statements on Kickstarter (see the main faq for “modding”) and their apparent enthusiasm for modding the Hangar module, though, I suspect we’re safe.

    • 2late2die says:

      Funny, I actually rather have planet side FPS combat rather than living space. I mean I’m out there for action an adventure not to lounge around with some fancy trophies beside me.

  10. SirMonkeyWrench says:

    I love in universe advertisements for things being used as marketing, to me it really shows that some effort is going into fleshing out the world.

  11. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    “Klaus & Werner CF-117 Badger”

    Not the most menacing combination of names there.

    • phelix says:

      Hubert &Stanley Ltd TA-12 Mk1 “Mushroom”

      Now THAT I would run away from.

    • Premium User Badge

      Makariel says:

      How about the
      Windelweich & Stein-Friedrich KCZ-23 Mk.IV “Purple Hedgehog”?

    • kraken says:

      Burleigh and Stronginthearm doubleaction triple-cantilever crossbow with a polished walnut stock and engraved silver facings.

    • Apocalypse says:

      Heckler & Koch 7.62×51mm NATO battle rifle does not sound menacing at all either. Weapon names are not supposed to sound menacing. You don´t usually sell weapons to gangsters. ;-)

    • ayprof says:

      An official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!

  12. honuk says:

    so is this a game, or a virtual space-car dealership?

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      Game where you pay for everything with real money. Yes. (at least – for now)

      Oh, and you want to hear something fun? One basic laser in their store sells for 16$ (VD right now got only most basic weapons). 16 bucks for a single gun. And some ships can take like several of them.

      SC will get millions from selling this stuff alone to the people stupid enough to pay 16$ for a basic weapon that can be destroyed in game.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Am I mistaken in thinking though that people buying this stuff are not just buying the item or ship – they are getting “insurance” so that if they lose it, they can just go pick up another?

        • Premium User Badge

          Cinek says:

          For ships – yes. For 16$ weapon – no.
          You will be able to buy equipment insurance in game, but you need to pay for it with in-game money, and it might not work everywhere (eg. if you die in Vanduul territory your equipment won’t be covered by insurance)

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Is it just me that sees ‘insurance’ as a subscription fee. Yes you can play it for free but the grind levels to get and insure stuff would be so many hours people will pay for insurance.

            I think it’s quite clever, as for the game, I haven’t backed it because I think it will fall short of expectations.

          • Apocalypse says:

            Its just you. You excepting mmo style grind, so you see it everywhere. People grind the swamp in witcher 1. There is absolute no reason to do so. They still do it, just because they think they are supposed to do that.

      • 2late2die says:

        To be fair $16 is the most expensive one, they start at $4, but I agree, they are overpriced.

    • Premium User Badge

      Makariel says:

      I was wondering the same. Somehow I get this overwhelming sense that all the development money goes into making cool looking adverts in order to raise more money for even cooler looking adverts.

  13. SuicideKing says:

    100 Terradollars right there.

  14. 12inchPlasticToy says:

    I pledged mostly because this game seems to be Freelancer with elements of FTL (boarding ships!!) and other FPS elements. The fact that you are incarnating a pilot instead of a ship was a strong selling point for me, being able to walk around your own ship (for the bigger ones) and visit your mates’ one, that switch from the immense (space) to the close and narrow (FPS in ships or planets).

    It is a bit worrying because it seems quite new, and the scope of it is so large — were it to produce something satisfying (looking at you, SWTOR, with your promises of space ridiculed into a railshooting minigame) — that it does not seem believable. Think EVE online and Dust 514 as a single game.
    And the ever increasing hype around it is scary in itself, as if the more probable it seems to be able to fulfill its destiny as a fantastic game (through steady funding), the closer it gets to meet its doom and end up in the “could-have-been” disappointment bin.

    Can’t deny either that I’ve been sucked in by the PR speeches (“the vision of one man”, “we have the technology”…) but I’m an optimist / cynic, sceptical about the end result but pledging as a vote of hope.

  15. derbefrier says:

    As some who forked over the money for the constellation package I am disturbed by this sites lack of faith. Seriously though this isn’t some amatuer we are dealing with, he is an industry veteren who has made some of the best games this genre has to offer. At the very least we will get a fun game that’s probably not all we hoped but still a good fun game in its own right and at best it will be everything we hoped and more. The way I see it as long as you don’t forget that in the end this just a video game with a video games limitations its a pretty safe bet.

    • Skyrant says:

      I have heard these exact words before . . . There is no guarantee that these veterans will produce a game that lives up to today’s standards. A lot of nostalgia and false hope is put into these veteran Kickstarter’s and there have been plenty that fell short because frankly, they are VETERANS for a reason and the industry has changed a lot since their last success.

      I have pledged the basic for this one but i am not expecting anything other than a neat space shooter that is nothing out of the ordinary.

    • mouton says:

      At the very least you will get nothing. That’s how kickstarter works, you burn money on an altar and the gods of gaming might provide you a game. Or not.

      A little skepticism is preferable to over-enthusiasm, yes.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Having talked to ten former Origin Systems employees about Roberts, I wouldn’t be so enthused. It’s possible he might end up with a good game. Being an asshole egomaniac does not preclude this. But insider discussions don’t inevitably lead me to this conclusion. And if his game is as good as his Hollywood movie production tenure…..

      Too bad there isn’t a independant gaming site that could actually dig deeper into this, interview some people, etc.

      People like success stories, and are willing to overlook all sorts of things along the way. Especially when you can ‘be a member!’.

  16. Max Ursa says:

    The various pricing is for what the package entails. You can buy the aurora in game anyway using ingame currency, just you pay for a new one everytime. With the $25 pledge you get free lifetime insurance (currently) so never buy another one again. You can pay a further $10 to upgrade to either the LX or LN, again forever. Now think of the RSI Aurora as the Ford Focus, you can get the luxury Ghia (LX) and the souped up ST (LN).

    To handle the Squadron 42 singleplayer campaign, Cloud Imperium Games are opening a new studio here in the UK named CIG Manchester. This new studio is to be headed by Erin Roberts (Chris’s brother) working with many of the team who produced Starlancer.

    • ThTa says:

      Lifetime insurance actually isn’t available to new backers (only to people who backed prior to a certain date), new backers just get a few months of “free” insurance.

      Also note that the $25 ship doesn’t actually give you access to the game (it is merely an “add-on” for existing pledges), that starts at $30 for new backers. ($35 for old backers, who get lifetime insurance for it.)

      • Apocalypse says:

        You can still trade your non-LTI package with an old packer for a LTI-Package, this works till november the 26th.
        Lots of old backers are helping new backers with this.

        And old backers still pay $30 for the most basic package that gets you the game and an aurora with LTI. But this package lacks alpha and beta access.

        Veteran backers have no alpha and beta access included in this package, so most will still use the $35 package from original backers, but the original $30 kickstarter package includes even beta Access.

        This is the part that is not very well handles by cig, as there are so many different pricings for different people ;-)

    • Werthead says:

      Really? Awesome. I really liked STARLANCER, much, much more than FREELANCER to be honest. I’m still disappointed we never saw the planned second and third games.

      • Apocalypse says:

        Yes, really, I think Erin Roberts is very, very good news for the Project, from all Wing Commander games, his Starlancer is the best one ;-)

  17. Fox89 says:

    The main reason I am optimistic about Star Citizen’s success is that Roberts and his team aren’t simply getting capital up front, they’re already monetising the game in a sustainable way. I have a $10 per month subscription for example that gives me a few bonus materials into the making of the game and so on and so forth. I’m assuming these things will continue beyond release, and we know there will be optional monetisation in game as well (which hopefully won’t wreck the balance, but time will tell).

    The point is there is already a large install base, there’s already a large amount of investment up front, and they can count on a fair amount of money coming in post-launch. So even if they don’t get all the stretch goals in by release, they should still be able to patch and expand the game without too much worry.

    The only way I could see that not being the case is if Chris Roberts produced a terrible space-sim… and I just don’t think that’s likely to happen. Especially with a wide community alpha/beta process that will help eliminate problems.

  18. pmuschi says:

    I had to comment on the non-atmospheric flight and how disappointed I am to see a ship swoop and bank. Are they not going for true newtonian flight?

    • Sidewinder says:

      Why would they?

    • ThTa says:

      They are, sorta, but the more atmospheric-like flight is attributed to the fact that the ships feature maneuvering thrusters all over.

      It’s explained here.

    • Max Ursa says:

      They are going for newtonian physics. What youre not accounting for is inertia and the effects it would have on the human body. There are no ‘inertial dampners’ in Star Citizen to compensate for hard-G turns, the ship would probably survive but it’s the squishy people inside that would bear the brunt (especially civilians with no G-suit). So because of this, the flight control computer of the ship will restrict general maneuvers to gentler trajectories. Apparently you will have the option to disengage this function in battle or while racing.
      Also bear in mind that the vid is an in lore commercial, wait for the Hornet vid to see combat flight in action.

  19. 2late2die says:

    I find it interesting that people see “smart business practices” as greed. Guys, this is a fully crowd funded game – they have zero investors. Typically the only games made like this are indie titles – there are no AAA titles without investors. Having no investors means they have to figure out a way not to just get people to pay a one time fee for the game, but to continue to pay to cover server maintenance and further development.

    So what they did is start that part of it early, they’re essentially guaranteeing that once the game comes out they don’t find themselves out of money (because they spent all of it on development) and sitting there on their hands unable to support the game or run the servers. They won’t have a publisher or an investor in the wing to provide an injection of money if things don’t go according to plan, and they never do. So yes, they found a good incentive for people keep paying them money after the initial pledge – that’s smart. They have a proper long term plan – it’s not about just building a game; it’s about building a sustainable business.

  20. Wonderboy2402 says:

    The crazy thing is that they are already at 22.7 million. They are blowing through stretch goals about two times a week! The 24 million Mark probably by the end the week if not sooner. It deafly seems like the pace of funding has gone up exponentially since kick starter. I got in about midway to 15 million and I’m glad I did. I just did the mercenary package… Still a bit crazy to be dropping hundreds of dollars on ships with the state of the game. I have ridden train before and I know how it can work on you.

  21. Lev Astov says:

    Man, that public transport system would actually be kinda nice… I wish Eve Online had that at least once a week.

    • Apocalypse says:

      Agree, this would be indeed a nice feature for eve. We should be able to pack our jump clones as contracts to get them from one place to another.

  22. Volcanu says:

    Between this, the latest installment of the ‘X’ franchise, that new version of Elite they’re trying to get backing for and EVE, it feels like the ‘space-sim’ area is starting to look like it might be pretty well served again.

    I love these types of games but given the hefty time investment they all require, I’ll struggle to really get into one of them (at most) sadly.

    What I’d really like is a current generation space comabt sim. The dream would be a new version of the X-wing/TIE fighter games- with all that modern graphics loveliness, tightly focussed missions hung together in an overarching campaign, all with the now-lost-to-the-aeons gameplay mechanic of juggling power between shields, engines and lasers.

    To be honest I’d settle for a remake of X-Wing VS TIE Fighter. That was immersive, atmospheric and deeply satisfying – and was easier to dip in and out of.

    Any RPS-ers know of anything like this* in the pipeline ?

    * Decent, space combat sim not strictly a Star Wars spacee combat sim. I am well aware that dream is dead.

    • UpsilonCrux says:

      Yeah, the pipeline is full of Squadron 42. An offline, single player space combat sim with all that modern graphics loveliness, tightly focussed missions hung together in an overarching campaign, all with the now-lost-to-the-aeons gameplay mechanic of juggling power between shields, engines and lasers.

      SC is going for complete crowd funding. As such, the numbers we see are far and above other crowdfunded projects out there. That is because many of these projects will use crowd funding to secure further investment from elsewhere. More often that not, this private investment will be the lion’s share of the money being used for the project. Not for SC. The up-side? Absolutely zero “suits” will have any input or influence over the game. The down-side? Slobbering neckbearders believe that *they* have a say in the game’s direction, and we fall into the “design-by-committee” trap, which is something RSi will have to be careful about, but I have seen reassuring words to the effect of “I don’t care what you say, I’m making thnis game how I want” from Roberts.

      Every single time there is a story on here about Star Citizen, it is snarky and sour-faced.
      I have said it before, and I will say it again; We all here are PC gamers, we all know how the PC has been neglected in the past decade as a result of consoles, which have held back PC gaming to no end.
      So here we have an ambitious project to utilise the PC to its full potential and deliver a game which can only exist on the PC, and what happens? Snark overdrive.

      The ships do not cost whatever they are on the site, they are different levels of crowdfunding available. All the ships are available ingame, and, for fuck sake, offline.

      Yes there are idiots. Yes those idiots will throw money at stuff. Yes RSI is going to capitalise on these idiots. Why the hell wouldn’t they? But the idiots weren’t created by RSI so don’t fault them because of the behaviour of others.

      I made a modest pledge to help back the game back when the project started, and I will not be spending another penny on it. I have faith that the game will be good. I do not know what the online PU will be like, but I would presume that if it is ruined, it will be ruined by players. The same way players have ruined most online games. Because people are cnuts.

      If the game turns out to be absolute muck, well, what are ye gonna do? Firstly, I imagine all you snark merchants haven’t backed the project, so, in essence, STFU.Personally, it won’t be the first time I’ve wasted money on a shit game, and most likely not the last time either. But to dismiss someone who is trying to rectify the situation we as PC gamers have been giving out about for years is damn childish, especially at this stage.

      If this goes tits-up, believe me I will be amongst the first to feast upon the bloody corpse of Chris Roberts, but until then, and uncharacteristically, I might add, I will put my trust in RSI. If nothing else, the SC campaign has certainly raised the profile of the space sim again. Can we at least agree on that, and agree that it is a good thing?

    • Weed says:

      Eterium is a space fighter sim I backed on KS. Demo available too. Looks to be coming along nicely.

    • Apocalypse says:

      Your comment is awaiting moderation?

  23. Premium User Badge

    strangeloup says:

    It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why, but I was super excited for this when the kickstarter launched, though I think I only backed it at the basic “get the game” level. Yet the more and more updates they put out, the more and more money they make for it, the less and less I care about it.

    It’s got to the stage where I don’t even bother reading the emails that say they’ve exceeded the GDP of a medium sized country and are adding whatever new feature. I’ll just play it when (and if) it eventually comes out.

  24. xfrog says:

    My most anticipated game has been Elite forever! But now we are getting Star Citizen too, which is great.
    I have pledged for both of those games with a small amount of money. It is actually a pre-order since I will get the finished products when they will be released.
    Especially with Star Citizen, I am having fun already, watching the process and the videos and trying out the Hangar and waiting for the dogfight module and everything! I feel like I got my money’s worth back already!
    (Especially after the Rome II rip-off, sniff)
    The funds raised are getting higher with an amazing pace and so is the average money spent per pledger. It is now resting on 80$p/p which shows that too many people are throwing extra money after their first pledge. I think that has to do with the fun factor I described, that you do not mind spending a little bit of extra afterwards since they made the process as a game itself.