Star Citizen Has All Your Money, Alpha Test Expands

By Graham Smith on October 28th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

I hope it's better than the Wing Commander movie.

How much of your money would you give to a crowdfunding project that aims to go to actual space, because it seems a lot of you like it out there an awful lot. Star Citizen, the crowdfunded game from Wing Commander Chris Roberts, just hit $25 million in gathered funds. For those keeping track, that means it’s made $1 million extra in just the past week.

Roberts’ isn’t done yet, and took the opportunity to reveal the next stretch goal for the game.

Writing in his Letter from the Chairman, Roberts’ says that the new funds will allow them to expand their alpha test plans by adding 50,000 new slots for players to fill. That should ultimately lead to a better tested, more stable game, and more opportunities for the likes of us to get our hands on the cockpit controls earlier.

If you’ve still pennies down the back of your couch, here’s what happens when they reach $27 million:

Banu Merchantman Unlocked – Banu traders are renowed for their merchant prowess, traveling the spacelanes and trading with everyone from humans to the Vanduul! Their sturdy, dedicated trading ships are prized beyond all other transports, sometimes passing from generation to generation of Banu. At $23 million we dedicated additional resources to making Xi’An spacecraft a unique experience. At $27 million, we will expand that same thinking to the Banu! Starting with the merchant ship, the design team will expand Banu technology to offer players a completely different way of experiencing their universe.

I don’t really know what that means, “a completely different way of experiencing their universe,” but I like the word spacelanes.

Obviously Star Citizen comes from a developer with some pedigree, a compelling concept, and a link to a fondly remembered game, but it’s also got all the hallmarks of a compelling crowdfunding project. Roberts’ and his team have done a great job in making the game’s development feel rapid and inevitable, through constant dev updates, new videos, and a clear roadmap for the future. All of this stuff builds confidence that things are happening behind the scenes, and gives the sense that your money is going towards something visible. Other projects need to start learning these lessons, and there’d be a lot less bad feeling about some recent Steam Early Access games if they’d begin the tradition of doing the same.

Check out the last trailer or, if you can’t wait for this game to be done, check out Craig’s hands-on impressions of the similarly space-bound X: Rebirth, which is out November 15th.

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162 Comments »

  1. battles_atlas says:

    Probably stop giving him money now yeah?

    • Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

      How come?

      • wz says:

        Because it turns out it’s a mod for Cry Engine. Features like shadows, lighting model, radiosity, FPS environments or gameplay capability, don’t represent the talent in the project..while the art design does. Like graphics? crowdfund Crytek, as they are quite rightly showing off star citizen as the first item in their showcase page.:).

        When Star Citizen uses the term ‘ín-engine’ and shows some almost original 3ds max/maya models they are being unethical. Like a car company seeking investment and showing an off the shelf car with different interior furnishings and bumper design, without disclosing that.
        When the first high poly screenshots were released I’m not sure anyone outside Star Citizen even knew they were Cry Engine. Star Citizen also went on about unprecedented scale earlier, but that wasn’t true either (Evochron series) and their rejecting console money out of professed love for the PC might well be meaningless because of the situation with consoles and MMOs.

        • Erinduck says:

          Cry Engine is a game engine, you jackass. It’s made to facilitate game development, which includes asset creation, expanding on the engine to make it better suit the game’s needs, audio design, game balancing, and any number of things. Making a game isn’t just some nerds in a basement hammering out engine code instead of licensing an already functional engine.

          • livvylrq273 says:

            my co-worker’s aunt makes $75 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $18068 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you could try this out -=-=-=-http://goo.gl/1UjtCv

        • Lucarian says:

          Please search for “Star Citizen Hangar” in youtube and then come back here and edit your post about “being unethical in showing off 3dmax/maya modells” kkthxbye

          • Apocalypse says:

            I think that guy is just used to console games with their low poly games and so he assumes that those models will not make it in the game ;-)

            Funny thing is, they do, that is what you get when your machine can handle it, and if not? Well to bad for you, won´t bother me. Back to how PC gaming as meant to be, aiming for the max.

          • Lucarian says:

            @Apocalypse:
            Exactly. Finally a reason to upgrade my graphics card. Also: Oculus Rift. It’s going to be good times!
            Edit: Hangar is already O.K. framereate wise, and boy, those details!

        • SuicideKing says:

          You don’t know how game engine licensing works, do you now?

        • Russianranger says:

          You must be one daft toddler. Why don’t you hurry back to the playpen and let the adults here comprehend the obvious.

        • -Spooky- says:

          @wz

          What the heck you are talkin´about? *lol* Cry ENGINE .. not CRY sthis.

        • Chalky says:

          Are you being intentionally dense wz? What the fuck is a “mod” for a game engine? I think they call those things games. Wowa.

          And what’s this? They’re showing models that were designed in 3d studio and maya? Holy shit. I’m sure you’re just about to tell us how models in real games are made from play-dough and finger paints, right?

          You must be trolling, you’ve some how managed to be outraged that a video game is using a 3d engine and has game models designed using modelling tools. What ever are we going to do.

          You can literally see the engine in action right now if you’re a backer. It looks beautiful, just like the videos.

          You’re a pretty dumb fellow if you think anything you just typed makes sense.

        • Premium User Badge Steed says:

          A Crytek mod, in the same way all those games using Unreal Engire, or the Source Engine are just mods? You must make your own engine or your game is invalid!

          Lay down the crack pipe Jimmy, you’re melted.

        • wz says:

          I think you people need to read again.
          To be very clear, main points were:
          1. Star Citizen did not prominently disclose they were using a third party engine. This was while they were showing off screen shots to secure funding from the general public. The general public as a result are unable to discriminate between the work done by the Star Citizen team, hence the talent in the team, and the work done by Crytek over many years by Crytek’s talented devs and massive budget.

          This matters because it’s not just marketing hype like X-rebirth trailers for a game, but because it’s a company seeking funding based on talent shown in a sample of material and which has competed/is competing with many other kickstarter projects.

          If a car company seeking investment and showed an off the shelf car with different interior furnishings and bumper design, without disclosing that fact, would an investor who picked them over a competing company that was designing the entire car not have cause for being annoyed? That’s non-disclosure of material information. Not really sure how to make it more clearer, sorry:).

          2. Star Citizen made claims about unprecedented scale in their early propaganda that were untrue and disrespectful of the efforts of the Evochron dev who says his work on such an indie project came at the cost of stress related health problems. Given the public are not game devs, they trust the devs to sufficiently know and be truthful about claims they make. It’s unethical to run slipshod over other devs in the industry by making claims like this (without determining the facts or deliberately).

          3. Claims made about being on the PC out of love are rendered moot by MMOs are consoles not getting along.

          So, would you buy a used car from Star Citizen?

          • Erinduck says:

            1. What engine people are using is rarely disclosed because it doesn’t fucking matter and isn’t the selling point of a game.

            2. You have no evidence that this is untrue and you have no evidence that there is worker exploitation at work here.

            3. MMOs and consoles have nothing to do with that statement at all.

          • wz says:

            1. They aren’t selling a realised game. They are asking to to evaluate the talent and guess how good per investment dollar the game turns out.

            2. Evochron series has seamless planetary flight, the closest citizen can do is the “That’s no moon, it’s a spacestation!” quote from their early kickstarter. So the claim is blatently untrue. Evochron is a one man project that has greater scale now than Star Citizen will.

            3. Console companies (Sony/Microsoft) put massive quality control hoops to get each update across. MMOs depend on frequent updates. This is the reason for the lack of MMOs on consoles AIUI.

          • airmikee99 says:

            1. “Built on top of Crytek’s award winning CryEngine3 technology, Star Citizen’s engine is built to scale for the PC’s of today and tomorrow.” Right on the Kickstarter page. How much more prominent do you need? 72 point font in bold with underlines?

            2. This claim makes absolutely no sense.

            3. This claim doesn’t follow proper English syntax.

            Any other nonsensical complaints we can help you clear up today?

          • Premium User Badge FriendlyFire says:

            The more you explain yourself the more you show your complete lack of understanding of how game development works. It’s amusing really.

          • wz says:

            @Airmkee:
            1. How much more prominent do you need?

            They disclosed it a while ago and Craig mentioned it on RPS, it certainly wasn’t well known in earlier times, especially during their kickstarter.

            2. “This claim makes absolutely no sense”
            Specify. Evochron has a scale that depicts actual moons, planets, stars etc. you can land/crash/walk on. Star citizen will just have large space stations and all large scale astronomical objects will just be background eye candy, or instanced FPS levels at best. Their claim of unprecedented scale is incorrect right now even before Star Citizen is finished.

            3.
            If you can’t understand it I can’t help you. If a MMO dev says they are PC out of love (i.e. rejecting all possibility of console money purely out of devotion to the PC) I’d not believe them instantly – it’s almost a moot point because of the difficulties of MMOs on consoles.

            @friendlyfire
            The more you explain yourself the more you show your complete lack of understanding of how game development works.

            I understand game dev well enough. I also understand the ethics of disclosure during pitches to investors. These investors need to decide whether to spend their gaming budget or which competing pitches to prioritise (e.g. Elite:dangerous, upcoming Infinity: quest for earth kickstarter, upcoming Northstar kickstarter…).

            I also undertand the ethics of making claims like unprecedented scale when you are a professional game dev – especially considering how difficult life is for most indie devs.

            I don’t have any issue with using middleware/engines – in fact it saves a lot of effort reduplicating features.

          • airmikee99 says:

            1. IT IS ON THE KICKSTARTER PAGE, RIGHT NOW. You’re whining about it not being announced during the Kickstarter campaign, but it was announced during the Kickstarter.

            2. OH NO! A game developer slightly exaggerated about the game. That means they’re dishonest scum, right?

            3. Seriously? You’re actually going to complain that most consoles can not handle the power and input needed for an MMO, and you’re going to hold it against a specific MMO developer?

            lol If you’re just trolling, bravo, wonderful job. If you’re being serious.. wow, you make me sad for our species.

          • P.Funk says:

            Nobody cares who did the work if the product behaves as advertised. If Star Citizen can look as good as the devs have made it in part thanks to the optimization of CryTek’s engine coders then why should I stop giving them more money?

            Your other points only serve to betray your desire to be as negative about RSI as you can apparently because those points, #2 and #3, are pretty unsubstantiated. I could refute them easily but you’re not REALLY interested I suspect.

            Now, I’m not trying to be a cheerleader for Chris Roberts either. Your arguments against Star Citizen are simply flat out incorrect.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            @wz I would like to address a couple of your points if I may. Hopefully provide a different spin on it?

            On the use of the cryEngine:
            When I backed Star Citizen on kickstarter, right at the beginning of the campaign, it was already made clear that they were using the cryEngine. In fact, that was one of their selling points – citing that several features (such as first person controls) alread had built in functionality they were going to be exceptionally easy to integrate.

            The game engine certainly takes a lot of the busy work out of making a game but that does not imply an inability on the dev team’s behalf. Even with an engine, there’s still a lot of work needed to actually make a game, it’s not just a case of plugging in the assets.

            On the unrivalled scale:
            With regards to scale, I think perhaps you have taken that point very literally, where they were speaking figuratively. The scale of gameplay they are discussing is certainly unparalleled in any other space sim that I can recall. If all goes according to their plan, not only will we have a detailed space sim but also a detailed campaign, story line and sand box environment, hand crafted content, top notch production values, modelled economy, a multitude of player roles and the content to match, lavish fully modelled ships with accurate subsystems, explorable and usable ship interiors and also space station & planetside environments.

            That was just the initial pitch too, further funding has continued to expand many of those aspects.

            That is not to knock Evochron which is a fine game and certainly does have the advantage of being able to fly down to planets and is an incredible effort all round.

            On the topic of an MMO:
            I do think it’s reasonable to believe that the multiplayer design philosophy may have come after the decision to make the game for PCs.

            Heck, maybe you’re right and the team always wanted an MMO and are cynically trading on nostalgia but i don’t think that makes much practical difference. Although I think there is enough passion on view from everyone involved to favourably judge their intentions.

            Anyway, people are coming down pretty hard on you here which doesn’t seem entirely fair so I am sorry to see that. Hopefully for everyone (especially those mad fools ploughing $k’s into crowdfunding it) CIG will be able to prove you wrong.

          • Shuck says:

            @wz: I don’t understand this obsession with the game engine. A game engine is NOT a game. Being upset that they’re not making their own engine is like being upset a car manufacturer isn’t making their own screws. What game engine is being used really only matters to the developers who have to work with it. The only thing gained by making their own engine from scratch would be a big fat delay (and backers would care about that).
            As for their choice of platform being the PC – well they chose to make an MMO, didn’t they? They could have chosen to make a console-friendly simple multiplayer shooter. They didn’t.

          • Geebs says:

            To answer your concerns in a slightly less frothing manner:

            1) They said it was a cryEngine project from the start – about the second thing posted on RPS about Star Citizen mentioned this.
            2) shadows, radiosity etc. are not interesting problems in graphics development any more – to implement a modern shadowing solution good enough for a space game takes a couple of hundred lines of code at most even if you’re coding directly in C++
            3) they’re using a commercial engine to save time for making the actual game that backers are paying for

          • liquidsoap89 says:

            They said they were using the Cryengine from the very first day the game was announced.

          • vahnn says:

            EvoChron may have a bigger universe with truly seamless planetary/station landings, etc, but the multiplayer for that game, at least when I was playing it, supported only 12-16 players. EvoChron is an amazing game, incredibly fun, with some excellent ideas. The physics in that game and entering an atmosphere is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. But don’t say it beats Star Citizen flat-out.

            Star Citizen will will support many times those numbers, and with a level of graphical fidelity and detail which blows EvoChron’s out of the water. Not to mention that players will be discovering and naming new systems, allowing the world to grow in a way that truly impacts the game.

            I am genuinely unsure of what you’re complaining about in regards to their use of the Cry Engine. I pledged my sizable donation before they reached 750,000, and it was quite clear at that time that the game was using Cry Engine. I know how models and assets are created and implemented in a game engine–I was not duped into believing that they created the incredible images and video from scratch with their own engine and code. Stop comparing video game engine licensing and game development to car sales. You sound like a moron, and your circular arguing is making your foolishness quite clear.

          • rgb_astronaut says:

            Fanbois cannot get their heads around that SC is not going to be a space sim. It will be a dogfighting in space (albeit with somewhat realistic physics) with optional MMO elements.

            Elite:D is a true space sim. Just read this http://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7892 and come back with something well designed in SC.

        • wz says:

          @amirkee
          I said it wasn’t known, I don’t any mention of Star Citizen being a Cry Engine or games sites reporting it as a Cry Engine game the way other kickstarter games are called Unity games. Maybe it’s a massive omission of games reporting rather than the game dev. I stand corrected,

          2. There’s a reason why such claims are made in marketing – they work because the public believe they are exactly true and they work at the expense of the competition.

          Those that stand to be negatively affected range from Evochron now, to upcoming kickstarter projects like Infinity (where the main engine dev can’t find enough money to quit his day job), even to the proposed Elite expansion with seamless planets, or Northstar which has instanced but procedural planets but couldn’t find a publisher and will be looking to kickstart.

          I said: “Star Citizen made claims about unprecedented scale in their early propaganda that were untrue and disrespectful of the efforts of the Evochron dev who says his work on such an indie project came at the cost of stress related health problems”

          I thought I made it abundantly clear here and I’m surprised you weren’t able to follow it, or were you just looking for easy opportunities to troll? Your tone seems to indicate it.

          3. I was saying that professing love for the PC when console update restrictions make development unviable is a disingenuous. (Whether or not you are using engines like Cry Engine which are crossplatform capable)

          @sangineAngel
          I was surprised when I saw Star Citizen was on Cry Engine as I was sure they were a developing their own and assessed them as such.
          Combined with their earlier disingenuous hype, I was peeved at the thought they’d pulled the wool over my eyes:). That’s all. It turns out it they did disclose, at least well enough that games sites could have reported it prominently earlier and helped people separate Crytek’s work from Star Citizen’s.

          I agree that Star Citizen have a lot of passion, and will no doubt make good game.

          • airmikee99 says:

            1. Yes, it was known. It’s been billed as being built on Cry Engine since the very start. If you didn’t notice that, it is your own fault. The fact that many people have informed you it was there from the beginning, and you refuse to acknowledge that fact is very telling, and it’s a problem with your reading comprehension kills, not the game developers communication skills.

            2. “public believe they are exactly true” Anyone that believes marketing hype to be EXACTLY TRUE is an idiot. It’s marketing hype, and even the courts have said it’s perfectly fine to exaggerate. Take a look at the guy who sued Pepsi because he couldn’t get a Harrier Jet for 7 million Pepsi Points, even though it was advertised on a television commercial. It’s hyperbole for effect, nothing more, and again, if you believe it to be exactly true, that is your problem.

            The developers of Evochron aren’t suffering because of the claims made by the developers of The Mandate, they’ve never said it, so while we’re on the topic of being disingenuous, maybe you should stop speaking for others. People that are in the market for The Mandate probably have already tried Evochron, I have.

            3. And again, that makes absolutely no sense. They’re making a PC game, consoles have nothing to do with it. The majority of games are made for one platform, only a few get made for multiple platforms. If you’re holding that fact against this one developer, your credibility (not that you had much to begin with) just disappeared.

          • dreamscape says:

            The funding for the Elite: Dangerous expansions including seamless planetary landings is already secured.

  2. bills6693 says:

    I don’t understand how this keeps generating more money. I mean, surely everyone who was going to buy into the game, has done by now. I guess there would be a new wave at the hanger, and a new wave will come with the combat alpha. But its surprising how much money its making in the gaps between. And it can’t all be down to existing backers throwing even more money for more ships, so it must be new backers somehow.

    Or they have opened an investment banking & venture capital division with all that money, and used all the crowdfunded money to buy google or apple or something crazy. Now this new money isn’t crowdfunded, its reaping in the profits from their investments :P

    • Lucarian says:

      I’ve been watching the Alpha slots number for a while and not too much has changed there. So I guess the money comes mainly from original backers wanting to get Life Time Insurance on the ships they like. I think the per backer money is among the highest among the crowdfunding projects.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Buying “lifetime insurance” with real money in a virtual economy/game for a competitive experience. Nnnnghh, crick, splurt.

        Sorry, brain just fell out.

        • Lucarian says:

          You’re clearly new to the Star Citizen thing, are you?
          - Real money is used to fund the game. It won’t be in the released game itself! It’s their way of crowdfunding the game after the kickstarter campaign.
          - They always stated that you won’t be able to perma-suicide-bomb or whatever with your ship because you have LTI. Everyone will have access to insurance in the game, and everyone will have to wait for his replacement after the ship got destroyed and everyone will be able to die in his ship, LTI or not.
          - The only thing you get out of your LTI is a somewhat lesser upkeep for your ship. And my guess is it, in the end it won’t be to much of a difference. Maybe a mission/trade run/whatever less of earning the money for it.

    • MattM says:

      People on the internet love to say “Everyone who might be interested in this has already bought it” but they are frequently wrong. Remember when minecraft was really popular and was showing up constantly in the gaming blogs? The majority of copies of the game were sold after all that died down.

    • Apocalypse says:

      Alpha slots are down to 1,654 slots, so I guess no, its going down rapidly, about 8,000 alpha sales alone, discounting any new backers they decided to just buy the finished game and do not bother with alpha/beta.

      Those extra 50,000 are needed if they want to keep selling early access copies, because they would have run out of alpha slots, before that dog fight alpha even starts.

      • Lucarian says:

        Wow your’re right, so the last week indeed brought a lot of new backers. I still think the amount of money per backer is very high ;-)

        • Lekker says:

          $87,85 to be precise :).

          • Lucarian says:

            Exactly. What I don’t know is what other kickstarter-(game-)projects have for that value, but considering that the actuall game will be in the 40-59$/€ range, it’s quite high, isn’t it? :-)

      • 2late2die says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t buying a whole new package, as opposed to an add-on ship, i.e. so you get another character slot, counts towards those alpha slots? I imagine a lot of folks might have decided to purchase the new Hornets as a package to get that sidearm.

        • Maxheadroom says:

          No alpha slots are ‘per account’ as opposed to ‘per pledge’. So you can have 3 ship ‘pledge packs / character slots’ and still only use 1 alpha slot

          • Popcornicus says:

            This is incorrect. Certain ship packages, like the Weekend Warrior (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/store/291-weekend-warrior) for the F7C-M Super Hornet, come with alpha access, and buying one of these packages takes up an alpha slot. So far, all packages with alpha access have also contained beta access and a full copy of the game. There are many individual backers who have multiple alpha slots from buying these packages, either to give to friends, for resale (CIG isn’t policing resale of ingame items, although soliciting is banned on their official forums), or to take advantage of a hinted game mechanic whereby players can use extra copies of the game to produce AI crewmates on their ships. I have no idea if that last bit is going to make it into the game.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            @Popcornicus:

            No, he’s not wrong. The countdown is per account, not per package sold with Alpha Access – they’ve said as much multiple times on Wingman’s Hangar. If I I hypothetically had a dozen alpha packages on my account, I would still only count for ONE Alpha slot as I’m just a single pledge account who happens to have multiple packages. My dozen packages do not count as a dozen alpha slots taken up.

    • Fox89 says:

      In addition to new backers they also have schmucks like me paying a monthly subscription for various bonus “behind the scenes” content that I never actually have the time to look at. :-/

      • dahools says:

        what do you get for your money exactly , a copy of jump point and what else?

        • Lucarian says:

          I guess the warm feeling of funding the best spacesim ever ;-)
          Maybe they get a shoutout in the games credits?

        • kaffis says:

          There are also about a dozen pretty sizeable image galleries including concept art, annotated WIP shots at various stages, and extra glamor shots of completed models for various topics. More of the kind of media we’ve been seeing in Jump Point, but on topics that don’t have full Jump Point articles.

    • P.Funk says:

      I have a friend who has admitted to dropping $300 on this game. He is hardly affluent. I can only imagine how much individuals with significantly greater disposable income and more gravely dysfunctional social lives might be investing.

      • kaffis says:

        It’s okay. We’re happy to make sure this game can be awesome for you to enjoy, even though you apparently get a rise out of demeaning and mocking us.

        • P.Funk says:

          Hardly demeaning, but if you can’t handle a bit of humour then by all means, be butt hurt.

          • karthink says:

            Nope, the humour, if it’s there, doesn’t come through. It just sounds demeaning and belittling.

            (Note: I have not pledged any money to Star Citizen.)

          • P.Funk says:

            Since when did every gamer on the internet get butt hurt at the joke of their personal obsession being the product of a dysfunctional social life.

            Oh no, I forgot, PC Gaming has become PC too. Sorry. I shall show more respect for your belief in RSI’s product.

            *bows*

            Jack asses.

  3. Shockeh says:

    I like how these Kickstarter ‘Unlock at £x’ type things tread this fine line between ‘If we get enough money, we’ll also be able to do y!’ and ‘We’re going to hold feature z for ransom!’ crippleware type thinking. Especially when with $25 million, you kind of start to wonder whether they’re doing it anyway, but could we have a little bit more money, please? We don’t have quite enough to fill our Scrooge McDuck money pool.

    It’s all a bit Stockholm Syndrome, sometimes. :)

    • tehsid says:

      Chris has already said that a lot of the goals are things that are already development, or are planned anyway. The extra cash is to get teams working on it right away.

      Now that’s what he says. If its true is another thing, though I think it is given how many contractors and offices they currently have.

      • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

        “The extra cash is to get teams working on it right away.” – source?

        • Blaaaaaaag says:

          From the very “letter from the chairman” that Graham is quoting in this article:

          “The content we talk about in these stretch goals isn’t “feature creep”; it’s elements we’ve been building and planning that will be all that more impressive with additional resources. In essence, you’re putting things we’ve already discussed for the future into development now. The extra funding means we’re secure in assigning resources to go ahead and begin developing that richer content we had initially planned to fund through the game’s success upon release.”

          • P.Funk says:

            The Internet will no doubt come to characterize this as our Second Munich.

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s Stockholm syndrome to assume that features cost money? The danger of kickstarter (or really any software development) is devs promising too much and underestimating the cost of features. Plenty of devs promise more crossplatform support than they probably should. Shadowrun Returns burned through more money than its funding and is now on the hook for an expansion / more features / linux (which initial sales should fund). They delivered a pretty good game, but didn’t have enough money to implement a proper save feature with everything else they added on.

      • Apocalypse says:

        Do you have a source for your claim about shadowrun? I mean all source I know claim that they used safespots as part of their design to make decisions more meaningful in the game. The berlin DLC is another matter, where you argument may have a ground.

        Besides that Chris Roberts has a good deal more experience with management has he always was mainly producer of his games and movies. So budget management was always part of his responsibilities. Not saying that he can not fail either, Strike Commander is a good example for not staying within is budget.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I’ll admit that Linux support is a better example, which they promised but are now struggling on. But really this is a problem endemic to software development and sudden changes in scope can stress the project. However, since he was always relying on private investors, and now crowd-funding has taken much of their place, scope may be less of an issue here as he has more flexibility (and interest payments from fat millions; it’s not sitting in a checking account).

      • Shuck says:

        Yeah, exactly. Game features cost money and over-promising is actually a real issue, unlike “holding features hostage.” $27 million may be a large sum, but it isn’t a lot of game development money – that just means it’s (just barely) a AAA budget. It’s hardly cash swimming pools – in fact, it sounds like they’re cutting whatever costs they can, and pushing their budget pretty hard.

  4. mikmanner says:

    With every extra million the weight of unattainable expectation grows stronger, maybe I dunno. I was hugely excited for this game at the start but I feel like I don’t really know what the game is, or what it feels like, it’s still just pretty graphics and incredible promises.

    Also the pricing structure they currently have for the ships is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t trust it.

    • Lucarian says:

      But you can already walk around in your Hangar and enjoy the pretty graphics, only a few months after the end of the kickstarter campaign. How awesome is that?

      And buying ships is only to crowdfund the game some more, its completely optional. Every ship and module can be bought in the released game with ingame currency. The only advantage you get from buying ships now is: Alpha and Beta access, Insurance for your ships (LTI for original backers), and less time spent ingame for acquiring ships.
      If you still dont trust them for delivering an awesome game, just wait for the released game :-)

      • mikmanner says:

        Yeah I guess, I shudder to think how many game hours it’ll take to get a $250 ship though haha – I’m being a negative nelly, I just think it’s weird to invite people to spend so much money when the game is so early in development.

      • dahools says:

        Its over a year old now, the funding started way before kickstarter. The hanger module is nice and all and i will download and try the other bits when they are released, I just think they have lost sight of what they originally set out to do a little, either that or they didn’t describe their goal well enough early on.

        When I backed, I thought I was buying into a space simulator, mainly with a single player story with missions with a persistent universe that you could see and and fly about with others in, emphasis placed on the pretty gfx and relatively accurate physics and controls, something a bit different and better than has been before.

        When I read all the info about chris roberts and his team what he had worked on film/production/game wise i thought this has potential to be something well designed and made but as others have said it has evolved massively from what was set out originally. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it has alot!

        I spent $70 on the game, to me alot of cash for something not yet released and I wont be spending any more despite wanting to buy the nice shiny ships as the get released. I can see why some see it as being held to ransom especially with lower willpower, or people that went in deep to collect everything early in supporting the game and new stuff constantly keeps getting released to make them have to keep up.

        Showing video’s like the latest hornet one doesn’t help anyone but their pockets really. The video is beautifully made and shows what the game may be like when playing with others but how bad the the people who have forked out 30-80 dollars on the two ships that got blow to bits in seconds feel about that, its ok there’s always the option to pay more for the tougher ship. I feel this has got too good a marketing system behind it now and they are milking it dry which is fair enough but means no more cash from me.

        On the point of feature creep it is a bit I think, I have seen worse but adding alot of the extra fps stuff that wasn’t originally announced and some of the other bits I do see as feature creep. I like some of the ideas, such as taking face capture tech on the road with them and putting fans/backers into the game, and the mocap studio and goals that make original features better, exta studio/production office, larger server base and that or making current ships have more functionality but some are downright feature creep whether they deny it or not.

        To the point made that alot of it is new backers its not is it if you go in their site you can see the amount raised to the number of backers it works out at just short of $90 the average backer has paid so the majority are old who voluntarily or have felt obliged to throw more cash at it.

        I hope this game is great but I can’t help to believe it has gone pay to win, even the devs are in on milking the LTI cash cow. http://themittani.com/features/star-citizens-grey-market the only way this is going to be fair to all is if the majority of these ships are very easy to obtain i.e an evening’s input to gain enough in game cash to buy a 300i or something ,AND IF IT IS, there are going to be a whole lot of VERY angry people who have spent hundreds and in some case thousands of dollars on buying assets for this game. Despit Chris roberts repeating your money is only for development not to gain an advantage in the game!

        • Reapy says:

          I didn’t back it, but was very interested from the original campaign. From the way it is marketed and the costs of everything, I’m pretty sure I will maybe try it out for a touch and not have much interest. It sounds like it is aiming to be a pretty intense pay/grind to win style game…not quite sure it is going to be a world I want to play around in, though I am pretty sure it’ll be something interesting none the less, just not really what I first thought it would be.

          • dahools says:

            i’m in a similar boat now i think i will enjoy the SP aspect but at the moment until they say otherwise the graph line for the pay/grind to win is looking so steep its not worth entertaining at the moment. It could and will all change yet tho, so we will see what unravels.

  5. Malfeas says:

    I know what got me and my friends excited, and what I believe to be the main reason for this latest surge, is the announcement for the 26M mark, which was expanding upon gameplay aboard the really big ships.
    But I have to add that I’m kind of worried of how big this is getting, too. I hope they keep quite a bit of that money to cover costs after release.

  6. Premium User Badge Mungrul says:

    I didn’t back this originally, but recently thought about doing so because of all the positive hype it seems to be generating.

    Then I went to their site and tried to find out about the game only to discover it’s morphing into some weird MMO / Micropayment focused game as far as I could work out.

    I was actively put off of buying the game by them having slapped real-world prices on in-game ships before the game’s even released.
    There’s even subscriptions available! I mean, is this actually playable single player, or is it an MMO?
    Wait, I miss out on stuff if I don’t subscribe? What?

    This funding model is muddled, confusing and opaque and it has actively dissuaded me from contributing, as I’d feel I was missing out on stuff if I just paid the basic backer fee.
    And after reading the bumf on their site, I still don’t know if this is a normal game or an MMO, as while it mentions “Drop-in multiplayer”, it also says “Say goodbye to the class-based MMO leveling systems.”

    This mixed messaging actively turned me off of the game.

    Shroud of the Avatar gets a lot of bad press due to its opaque funding methods, but as far as I can tell, Space Citizen is pulling the same trick.

    • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

      I don’t know, but as far as I can tell – they long forgot that this game was suppose to have an open, playable single-player universe besides multiplayer persistent universe.

      It simply morphs very quickly into the pure micropayment-based MMO for rich boys (come on, 16$ for an entry-level gun that can be destroyed in the game and doesn’t come with life time insurance?!).

      • kael13 says:

        I think it’s becoming a case of milk the idiots who will pay that kind’ve money and let the regular folks play the normal game. I backed this back when it was first announced, got myself a 300i and upgraded to the 325a variant and haven’t spent a penny since. That being said, I can easily see it becoming the case that large EVE-style fleets with lots of expensive ships will simply grief others at no cost to themselves. I’m really interested in seeing how this pans out. The game is cool, the excitement surrounding it is entertaining, but I think some of the playerbase’s ‘gotta have them all’ mentality can only end in tears.

        What I often forget is that there will be a separate single player game to this.

        • thefinn says:

          Yeah I saw the “lifetime insurance” stuff in the beginning and just went… what ?!

          I mean I know how eve works and how death consequences work, that’s just completely anti-what the game is supposed to be about.

          We’ll see though.. I’m keeping an open mind and a closed wallet on this one.

          • Apocalypse says:

            SC is not meant to offer eve style consequences. EVE-style consequences lead to a risk averse environment. It may take you in eve literally hours just to get into one real fight, and even some of the biggest fights in eve don´t leave much consequences into the wallets of big alliances as even those are fought very conservative mostly without putting the huge assets into to much risk. Sure, sometimes mistakes happen that are so big that alliances lose significant amount of ships, but mostly the loser of a battle retreats early enough to come back another day.

            SC is meant to offer you a more rewarding path for taking risk while not punishing you to hard if those risk proof to be, well to risky and make your ships go boom. This alone should lead to more combat happening, which is good. At the same time SC seems to aim more on longer-term progression with your ships and equipment, while at the same time offers much higher insurance that you keep what you achieved as long as you are willing to pay the operational costs for that ships and equipment. This is the total opposite to eve, where ships and equipment are cheap and operational costs are mostly paying for destroyed ships and not paying for fuel, ammunition and repairs.

          • Lucarian says:

            There are so many wrong facts and low informed accusations in this comment thread, its hard not to facepalm.

            LTI is a way of saying “thank you” to original backers. Everyone in the game will be able to afford insurance for their ship, and losing it in a fight will cost everyone the same amount of time to get the ship back. Also: all modules and customisation will need to be replaced, even by the LTI-backer. They will simply have a little lower upkeep for that ship with LTI.

            You can and will die in this game, even if your ship has a LTI, so it’s cleary not pay2win!

            Read up on the facts, guys and gals.

      • Malfeas says:

        Obviously I can only tell you what’s currently available at their site and an FAQ at the wiki, but the short of it is:

        When you buy Star Citizen you also get Squadron 42.
        Squadron 42 is the singleplayer game.

        Star citizen is the quasi persistent universe.
        It does not require a subscription.

        The subscriptions are just a way to support them with monthly payments, and they’re not for when it launches, they’re already paying. This may also be one of the sources of the game’s constantly increasing funding.

        • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

          After completing SQ42 you can run game in open universe pretty much like X3 games on your local PC. At least – that’s how it was like initially, the further we move in development the more private games are being pushed aside and PU turns into micropayment-based MMO.

          As for SQ42 – that’s pretty much forgotten for a long long while. It will be pretty much a last thing they’ll get on, after players are playing MMO-part for way over a year. And there wouldn’t be much wrong with that if not the fact that they’re doing everything to marginalize single-player experience and push everything for multiplayer. You heard the news? Cap Ships will be pretty much unplayable if you are a single player – NPCs won’t help you, owning any factories or anything bigger than freighter was suppose to be pointless unless you have an entire guild, lone player will have to spend over 130 hours to earn for most basic capital ship – Idris. And in local servers you won’t be able to discover anything new – so you can forget about playing an explorer anywhere outside MMO (and explorer was most popular role picked by people in various polls).

          • derbefrier says:

            Dude shut up you are just pulling this shit out of your ass. Quit making shit up to try and prove a point. Everything you just said is a lie and your being an idiot.

          • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

            lol. Fanboy feels hurt?

          • Apocalypse says:

            The 130 hours number is just a guess, and anyway, while you are correct that caps are not meant for solo players, you get this picture already with the 10-player crew of the Idris. Having a cap ship for solo play that will not be very effective unless you get 9 friends into it. So yeah, cap ships are not a focus of solo play, except for blowing them up in the single player campaigns with fighters and bombers.

          • Werthead says:

            Nope. SQUADRON 42 is now being developed by Erin Roberts and the Foundry 42 team. They’re focusing on the SP side of the game whilst Chris Roberts and the rest of the team work on the MMO/sandbox stuff.

            Considering I enjoyed STARLANCER (Erin Roberts’s SP-focused, traditional space combat counterpart to Chris Roberts’s FREELANCER) a lot more than FREELANCER, I consider this a good thing.

            https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/13328-Wingmans-Hangar-Episode-42

          • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

            Wow, that’s a progress. They actually do something about SQ42. I’m impressed.

            Apocalypse – it’s not a guess, it’s a calculation made from official posts. Search through forums, you will find the post about it (and about 50 people defending CGI on how awesome it is to earn a single, destroyable ship in over a 100 hours).
            “Having a cap ship for solo play that will not be very effective” – I know at least few people who would argue with you that it’s not possible at all, and you are a fool thinking that lone players should be able to do anything with cap ships at all, as these are guild-only units (at least – that’s what I have been told last time on SC forums when I replayed something very similar to you in one questions on QA forum).

          • SuicideKing says:

            But you could easily have a capital ship with the rest of the crew (apart from you) as NPCs to man the turrets, etc.

          • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

            SuicideKing – that’s uncertain. Most people argue that it won’t be possible at all, as the amount of NPCs you can have at a time will be very limited (to prevent one player flying as a leader for squadron of 9+ fighters). There’s very little facts given on that from CIG itself though, but generic consensus on a forum is that you will not be able to fully man cap ship with NPCs.

          • derbefrier says:

            So you don’t deny your making shit up but just call me a fan boy. Here is a tip jackass. Me being a fanboy or not has nothing to do with you making shit up and presenting your own poorly concieved preconseptions as fact so just stop it.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            You’ve reached an impressive number of conclusions based entirely on the wittering of a bunch of people who *also* don’t know what they’re talking about.

      • ileben says:

        If you pay any attention, you will notice that the store is split into two sections called “Pledge” and “Voyager Direct”. The items in the Pledge section are priced in real-world dollars, the idea here (quite obvious from the title of the section) is to pledge extra money towards the development of the game. These same items will be available later on in the game but might be harder to obtain and you certainly will not start the game with them. As an early backer of the project you get the benefit of starting the game with these items. On the other hand, the Voyager Direct” part of the store contains items that are priced only in in-game currency and will be obtainable in the same way in-game once it’s released. I don’t see any part of this being unfair.

        • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

          If you’d pay attention you’d notice that 1k VD points == 1$.
          VD currently offers only basic weapons, a common gear that will be available on (almost) all of the planets – read the post clarifying VD.
          Most expensive of these right now costs 16k VD. Ergo: It costs 16$.

          None of these items will be “harder to obtain” in the game. I can’t imagine how a basic gun could be harder to obtain than 16$. And it’s also false that items in VD can be obtained only through in-game money. You can buy them easily with real money right now. Heck: I know people who did that (guess they have more money than brain).

          • Apocalypse says:

            If your making $100/hour I guess buying a $16 laser may indeed be faster to buy than getting ingame, even if its not a big thing to buy it ingame.

          • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

            Hehehe, pretty much :)

          • ileben says:

            The items that I was referring to as being “harder to obtain later in the game” are the items from the Pledge section such as certain ship models (e.g. the Super Hornet). I don’t imagine you will be able to buy ships just like that directly from the store once the game actually launches (and I haven’t found any post saying that it would stay like this).

            As for buying the other items with real money, I still don’t see why you find this so offending. They will be obtainable in game just as well, so the system doesn’t look like pay to win”. If people are dumb enough to pay for worthless basic things with real money that’s their own problem.

          • dahools says:

            @ apocolypse if you’re making the equivalent of $100 an hour in game and everyone is doing it then that’s fine and it makes all these prices fine because to pay to win you will be having to throw some mega bucks at the game to have an advantage over anyone else.
            However if everyone ends up making the equivalent of say $10 a night after 4-5 hrs of playing then that’s when it falls apart as people with big wallets turn up to play with shinier more powerful toys.
            I hope its the first but as I said above there will be ALOT of grumpy people wondering how they have spent a $1000 upfront for no advantage what so ever in the game. Even tho CR said money is purely for funding not to gain an Advantage.

          • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

            Yes, you will be able to buy ships directly in stores. Though not all of the ships will be available everywhere (look: Freelancer). But you still will be able to buy ships with real money (whatever directly – as in “pledge” section right now) or indirectly (as in “Voyager Direct” section right now, and further on as VD gets integrated in the game itself) – only difference will be that they won’t have Lifetime Insurance – at least, that’s what they promised during initial campaign (and we know they’re more than capable of either breaking these or “bypassing” (see: Idris-P – lol) ).

            I still don’t see why you find this so offending.” – basic weapon that can be destroyed in game just like that costs 16$. You really don’t find this insulting to the players?!

            so the system doesn’t look like pay to win” – prices don’t affect anything in terms of whatever the game is pay 2 win or if it’s not. First of all: SC can’t really become P2W as there is no “win” in this game – there is no such thing as end-game content nor “victory”. And secondly – there is no gear exclusive to players who pay real money.

            But – you really think that if this gun would cost 1$ the game would be P2W but if it costs 16$ – it’s not? Keep in mind we’re talking here about one of most basic guns in the game – average, and advanced guns are not available in VD yet and we have no clue what prices these might reach.
            That’s one of the most silly explanations for the current state of things I’ve seen since long, long while.

          • ileben says:

            And secondly – there is no gear exclusive to players who pay real money
            That by itself means that the game is not pay-to-win. P2W is defined exactly by the fact that there’s gear which is not accessible by any other means than real money. As long as that’s not the case, the game is not P2W.

            And yes, I don’t find $16 price for a useless item insulting, I just wont buy it. It would be insulting if it wasn’t possible to get it by any other means. You said it yourself, you can get it in the game with in-game currency anyway, so go ahead, earn your bucks in-game and buy the item in-game and keep your pride. I will do the same. I don’t care if there are dumb people around paying real money for it. Who knows, maybe they earn great money in real life but don’t have much time to play, so at least they can catch up to others that way.

      • foda500 says:

        I’m fairly sure that Squadron 42 is supposed to be more like Wing Commander.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The concept reminds me a little of Hellgate London.

    • Zenicetus says:

      That sums up how I feel about it too, and it’s why I haven’t paid anything toward it yet. I’m only interested in a good singleplayer game, and I can’t tell if that’s still buried somewhere underneath all the MMO fluff and pricing tiers.

      I mean, does a space game really *need* this kind of budget to be good? What did Independence War 2, Freespace 2, or Privateer cost to produce? It just makes me want to wait until the game is released and I read some reviews, because I don’t know what it’s turning into.

      • P.Funk says:

        I think the basic thing is that the single player game is totally paid for and in development. Everything else is just stuff that goes into the MMO aspect. So, if you don’t care about the MMO stuff and just want to play single player then you basically aren’t interested in any of the pledge goals are you.

        MMOs are not single player games. They require endless streams of cash to ensure constant content creation. It cost EA apparently $120M to make SWTOR (not that I’m saying thats a good game or that they spent their money well) and thats before release and once they didn’t get their subs high enough they changed to F2P in a panic.

        A lot of the pledged money is probably used to ensure long term viability of the constant development of Star Citizen post release. I don’t think its meant to fully cover content creation prior to release only. I imagine its about ensuring there’ll be enough left in the kitty for months or longer after release to see what happens with ongoing income with post release sales and such.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Okay, so the singleplayer game is paid for, and in development. That’s good, but it still raises questions. If I pay $50 (or whatever) for the singleplayer game, do I get access to all the flashy ships and weapons that are in the MMO tiers and paid upgrades? If not, why not? I mean the single pilot ships, obviously, not the capital ships which may require MMO crews.

          If the singleplayer game starts to look too much like a gateway drug — just a a lure for some pay-to-win MMO, or if singleplayers are forced to grind for ships to keep things in sync with the MMO, then I think it will turn off a bunch of potential customers (like me). Maybe it won’t be like that, but it’s hard to tell right now, the way things are going.

          • Apocalypse says:

            A solid Starlancer / Wing Commander style SP campaign and mission disk is already well spend $60 anyway.
            And private persistent server support and mods give players the ability to fly anyway whatever they want on their private servers.

            Which leaves the big persistent universe and so far we have no real indications to suspect pay2win here, seems more like the League of Legends model, everything available in reasonable amounts of time spend.

            Again 60 hours game time is the estimation for a constellation, a 4-player ship, if you assume another 60 hours for the perfect fitting thats 30 hours farming per player. Sure, just buying it for $62.50 seems like a reasonable shortcut as well, but not game breaking either. Again, insurance is available in-game as well, so once you have the ship you have only to deal with maintaining it.

            Things can go very wrong, very easy if the balance here is not right. But at least the dev statements suggest that they are very aware of that and don´t aim for a grindy game with pay2win shortcuts.

          • kaffis says:

            If you’re only interested in Single Player stuff, then buy a $40 package and be done with it. The higher pledge incentives are meaningless to you, so don’t pay for them unless you want to support the project.

            Why are they meaningless to you? Why don’t you get all the nifty extras in the single player? Because it’s a story-based military campaign, so you’re issued standard equipment, and given access to new stuff as supply allows and your merit justifies. To do otherwise is blatantly pay to win — offering different, grossly shortcutted (or content-trivializing) game experiences for people who pay more. Not to mention, it would wreck the immersion and story progression.

            The other reason you don’t hear much about the single player campaign is that they’re a lot more cagey about the progress on it. The reason’s very simple, and quelled all of my fears about it when they brought it up about a month ago: They don’t release a lot of news about the single player campaign’s progress because they’re in planning stages for story and mission progression, and the last thing they want to do with their awesome story (that they’re trying to design in plenty of replay value on) is to start throwing out spoilers left and right.

            Now, with all that defense said, I will bring up a point I think we can find common ground on: I would love to see a single player stretch goal or two. Make $28 million add another deep mission branching path, or a new character-driven alternate version of some existing missions.

          • Zenicetus says:

            @Kaffa — I can see the rationalization for limited ships and weapons as a military storyline, but take a step back, and see how unappealing it is for the singleplayer game, if we can’t fly the same ships as in the MMO.

            Every time we see a new trailer, we won’t know if it’s a ship we can fly in singleplayer? That’s a crazy way to market a game. Unless they just don’t really care about the singleplayer experience, which is the feeling a lot of us are getting.

            Contrast it with something like Rise of Flight, which has both singleplayer with a limited open campaign, and multiplayer. Both sides get access to the same planes and weapon upgrades. I’ve probably spent $150 or more on RoF in the last couple of years, in addition to the base game price (which wasn’t originally a free starter pack, like it is now). And I only fly singleplayer, because I just don’t have the flexible time schedule for MP or MMO’s these days.

            If the singleplayer side of this new game is just a scripted series of missions with a limited set of ships to fly, then they might as well make the singleplayer game free. Because all it is, is bait for the MMO business model.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            If it’s just the singleplayer aspect you’re after then what you probably want to know about most would be the status of private servers. The idea, as I understood it, seems to be that squadron 42 acts as a kind of optional launch point into a sandbox universe that is *optionally* multiplayer. While I, and quite possibly they, don’t fully understand how this is supposed to work one of the things they’ve brought forth repeatedly is that anyone can run their own universe with any settings and any number of other players.

            The website is kind of a mess. I have trouble with navigating it sometimes too. Maybe I’ve at least given you something to look for in any future expeditions into its maw, though.

          • kaffis says:

            @Zenecitus: While the selection will be more limited, and will probably often be dictated by mission parameters, I wouldn’t worry overmuch. We know you’ll spend plenty of time in a Hornet — the full milspec one that you don’t get access to as a civilian in the Persistent Universe. The good money is that Gladiators and Retaliators will feature in some missions, probably as playable ships. We also know that Avengers will be used, probably near the beginning of the campaign, and that M50′s and possibly 350r’s will be used as interceptors and stealth roles. And I’ll be shocked if you don’t get the chance to perform some capital ship roles on ships that the majority of the Persistent Universe playerbase will never even see, like destroyers and Bengal-class carriers. That’s a pretty impressive variety, especially as you don’t need to pledge for them or buy them in-game to use them in the single player campaign.

            That’s JUST working off the obvious military tie-ins from ship descriptions and in-game fiction (in the case of the 350r). There’s all kinds of latitude for the storytelling to create some less-than-officially planned missions (if the pulpy adventures of Cal Mason are any indication of the kinds of things Dave Haddock and Erin Roberts’ crew have in store for us) and/or missions that call for impersonating civilians using civilian craft.

            Furthermore, if you do any modding, or run other peoples’ mods, or just a straight-up vanilla self-run server environment as provided, access to any ship designed will be pretty darned trivial. Probably a few console commands away.

  7. lowprices says:

    Like the tags, Mr. Smith. Very crafty. I agree more Bee and Puppycat would be a good thing.

  8. Premium User Badge Cinek says:

    Quick question – is it just me, or did you guys understand it the same way – that without his stretch goal there will be an entire race that doesn’t have any starships what so ever?

    WTF?! How can you create a race in space sim that doesn’t have space ships?! And even if it does have – it’s just one ship? Seriously? o_O

    • Malfeas says:

      You can only play humans at release. Alien starships are an exotic thing you can get, but they’re not an option considered normal. They’re making an effort (or at least they did with the first alien ship) to make alien ships feel very different from human ships, which I think is great if done well.

      • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

        FYI: Release was suppose to be single and multiplayer. See: Kickstarter campaign.

        • Lemming says:

          Not sure what you’re implying, but ‘multiplayer’ doesn’t mean ‘other races’. Everyone is human in the vanilla form of the game.

          • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

            I think you misunderstood me – I wasn’t refering to players being aliens nor saying that alien ships should be playable.
            Just that the aliens should have their own ships, various ships, and this announcement sounds like “if you won’t give us $27M Banu won’t have any ships in the game” o_O.

          • kaffis says:

            @Cinek above: “this announcement sounds like “if you won’t give us $27M Banu won’t have any ships in the game””

            No, this announcement is saying “without this stretch goal, Banu ships will not be player-pilotable. They’ll be external-only models, which are much more affordable than designing and implementing a very alien sense of aesthetics, ergonomics, UI, and in-universe control inputs, not to mention the man-hours put into modelling the interior of X new ships.”

    • MattM says:

      I think it means that without the additional funding the faction would be more generic and have ships that are basically the same as those of other factions, but that with the funding the ships will receive more design work to give them unique mechanics.

      • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

        The same ships as others? But… that doesn’t make any sense in terms of lore released. None of the other factions really used UEE ships.
        Besides – even so. It’s still 1 merchant ship in this stretch goal (I guess other ships will come with additional millions of dollars pushed into the game by fans?)

        • Talon2000uk says:

          You still sound a little confused. I’ll try to explain.

          When SC launches. The only race you can roll is a human. However if we reach the stretch goal the developers will create a flyable Banu ship for humans to buy and fly. The game will of cause have lots of other Banu ships. But they will be NPC controlled and not flyable by the player.

          Other playable races will probably be added to the game after launch via expansions. I hope this makes things more clear.

          • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

            Talon2000uk – I think you totally misunderstood what I said. I never refereed to players playing as other races.

    • Apocalypse says:

      The alien ships will be ships for players via the pledge goals, and they behave completely different to human vessels in their design.

      Without that, players will simply not get those ships and their flight models end up more generic. They still get their unique art design. Think Zerg Vs Terrans vs Toss here, completely different gameplay.

      • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

        Sounds reasonable. (though I don’t really know why developing a different behaviour for fighters would cost 1 000 000$. ;) but yea – money goes for different stuff too).

        • P.Funk says:

          Basically it costs man hours to do anything thats measurably different from something that’s already been coded/designed.

          Without those paid man hours to write new flight models or design features and systems that behave differently you have no way to actually do the coding and scripting necessary to make that happen.

          It takes a remarkable amount of code to make varied things happen. Nevermind the time it takes to debug it and make it run smoothly.

          Now, rewrite the above to describe doing something similar with gameplay design, art and modelling work, and overall project management integration, and you see why it costs money to do anything.

          TL:DR, Time is money, even if you waste your time doing easy shit (which coding isn’t).

    • Lucarian says:

      don’t know if trolling or not, but will reply anyway.

      Chris Roberts stated that creating a flyable Starship for SC costs 50.000$ upwards.
      Now if you have to create an alienesque look and feel and steering/flying method, my guess is you can multiply that number.
      Now the point where you don’t seem to get it: The stretchgoal is exactly about that, being able to fly (and modify etc..) an Alien spaceship which is centered around cargo hauling (in contrast to the Xi’An Fighter ship).
      The Alien races will of course have more ships flying around, but crafting a hull for an npc ship and crafting a fully functional and flyable ship are two very different things.
      It’s not only about the Alien ships, you will see much more ships flying around in the verse than there are for players to buy and fly.

      • rgb_astronaut says:

        So everything on top of $50k goes to pay for interstellar phone call? As if it’s harder to come up with an alien ship design and interior and human. As if we don’t have decades of sci-fi art.

  9. trooperwally says:

    I haven’t yet funded this because it isn’t really my cup of tea but I’m now quite tempted to just so that I can tell the grand kids that I lost 20 quid back in the great Kickstarter swindle of 2013.

    I’ll be delighted and impressed if this all comes off but for now my sceptical meter is about to explode and I’ve had to call Richard Dawkins out to consult on whether it’s possible to increase the range of scepticism it can display. It’s a stretch goal you see! Does anyone want to fund Richard’s consultancy cost?

    • Thrippy says:

      I’m curious to know how many of the 286,000+ backers have ever played a Chris Roberts game. They can’t all be over 40.

      I played them all including the Digital Anvil titles. I enjoyed them immensely. Incredible immersion, lavish production values Most offered me double to triple replayability than a single play through. I believe I played Prophecy/Secret Ops most of all due to the substantial fan mods.

      But strictly in terms of dogfighting sims, in scalable difficulty and abiding challenge, I got more out of Red Baron and Red Baron 3D. I’m more excited about that Kickstarter. I apologize to Ginger Lynn Allen.

      You don’t need skepticism to anticipate that anyone who invested $275 will understandably have expectations impossible to satisfy from an alpha build. I’m eager to play Squadron 42 and possibly go from there. I’ll likely play the thing for years same as any dedicated player. Yet I won’t spend a penny until the games goes gold. I don’t want to share the same universe with that mass of alpha players. The inevitable complaints will be unprecedented, just from the numbers alone. Unless, somehow, you think this particular game is immune from all of the pitfalls of game development. I get the enthusiasm of “Shut up and take my money!” as a meme of the moment (and $5 backer option) but the sentiment ignores the realities of game development where money so often can’t solve everything.

  10. Themadcow says:

    …and, Elite Dangerous team, this is why going to market with a polished Kickstarter and ongoing marketing campaign is more effective than going to market entirely dependant on nostalgia factor from older gamers.

    (not that £2m is bad, just some way from $25m considering the similar stature of the franchises)

    • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

      Elite and Star Citizen are very different games even though they’re in same genre. Sure, elite offers bigger galaxy, but other than that? A scope of Elite is only a fraction of what Star Citizen will be. Elite is more of a “pure” space sim, Star Citizen meanwhile is more of a Space Sim – RP mix (where you can play boarding actions, run on planets, etc. etc. – you are an actual character that you create initially in the game, not just “an owner of the ship”).

      • dreamscape says:

        I would suggest, you check out this FAQ

        http://elite-dangerous.wikia.com/wiki/Elite:_Dangerous_FAQ

        The scope of Elite: Dangerous is much bigger than Star Citizen’s and it isn’t just a pure space simulator, there will be RP elements, boarding, walking around living cities and forests with wildlife and freeform atmospheric flight, all with full 1:1 scale star systems and planets, not just limited locations with cut-scene landings like in Star Citizen.

        • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

          As far as I read the FAQ right – they plan it as an expansion packs. Initial game will be only from a perspective of a pilot.

          Yes, you will be able to explore and board ships and walk in space stations and on planets with cities, forests and big game hunting wildlife in an expansions.

          Though to be honest – I don’t care much about elite anyway. Procedural generation isn’t really “my thing”.

    • Pecisk says:

      Frontier Developments never said that 1.25M or 2M pounds are enough – they said that it will give them chance to *kickstart* development and to show potential investors that there’s interest in game. A lot of crowdfunded games have done that, usually with success. Therefore now they have investor money, and they have sold minority shares (David is still in control of company), wich together calculates about 6 times more than pledged sum. It’s not that all money goes only for initial release, as they have seamless landing expansion in works too, and it will delivered within year.
      You can read of FD capabilities about delivering such project in ED FAQ http://elite-dangerous.wikia.com/wiki/Elite:_Dangerous_FAQ#Does_the_.22Elite:_Dangerous.22_developer_Frontier_Developments_has_enough_expertise_to_pull_off_such_an_ambitious_project.3F

      • Shuck says:

        Ugh, that’s dangerous. Not only does it seem to violate the Kickstarter terms of service, but it can go very wrong. If you can’t raise that outside money (a very, very real possibility; see: CLANG), you’re left with a fraction of the game backers may have expected (again, see: CLANG).

        • Apocalypse says:

          Indeed, it is dangerous, yet it was the same plan with Star Citizen before Mr. Roberts realized that he can get the whole sum via pledges and his marketing talent. And he seem to enjoy the process of showing off with his game even greatly.

        • Pecisk says:

          First of all, they got money for *expansions* – base game, which includes fully scaled Milky Way with rotating and orbiting planets and stars, space flight, space station, etc. everything excepting was financed by their own money and crowdfunded money. Expansions wasn’t subject of KS, so no violation of any rules (if there even any).
          Also FD is trustworthy developer, which has been in green and without any debts for last 5 years. David said that additional money is aquired by fully supporting FD development plan on ED and is worked around licensing COBRA engine to other dev houses for cross platform developing.

  11. Brothabear says:

    Chris Roberts makes (Charles Ponz)i look like an amateur

  12. Deano2099 says:

    “All of this stuff builds confidence that things are happening behind the scenes, and gives the sense that your money is going towards something visible. Other projects need to start learning these lessons”

    Err… most Kickstarters I’ve funded are providing pretty comprehensive updates to backers. Which ones have you seen that aren’t?

    Or do you just mean that they’re not providing these updates to journos or the general public? This is the thinking that led to the whole fuss about Double Fine and using early access to raise a bit more cash. Lots of people (especially people writing for gaming sites) were upset and angry on the behalf of backers, but the backers had received tons of updates and hours of video footage explaining exactly what was going on.

    The only reason Star Citizen is making its updates public is that it wants more money. Most other projects are beavering away, updating backers, and doing just fine thanks.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Well, I have backed a few high profile project – Numenera, Project Eternity, Limit Theory, Sui Genaris (does that one count?) and SC does blow them all out of the water for feedback. I think they ARE a shining example but then they have also reaped and continue to reap every money ever so can afford to. And, as you say, it definitely is helping to promote further funding.

      Having said that, PE and Limit Theory in particular are both doing a grand job of keeping me posted and are just beavering away. No complaints from me at all on that score.

  13. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I don’t get the buzz about this game at all, it’s a paymium mmo from a guy who hasn’t made a game in 20 years and whose games were not even that good at the time.

    • kobadow says:

      Wing Commander was pretty poor compared to Tie Fighter et al.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        Not in my opinion! But I did love the old X-Wing games too.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Giving credit where it’s due… Wing Commander had a branching mission tree, and the ability to continue through the story if you failed a mission here and there. IIRC, that was a first for this type of game (including related air combat sims), and seldom repeated by anyone else.

        The actual combat, on the other hand, was pretty bad… which everyone glossed over at the time because it was the first decent cockpit-level space game with an RPG shell for the campaign. There was no real enemy pilot AI beyond tail-chasing, and the missions were only challenging because the game kept throwing waves of fighters at you. If Chris Roberts has something to prove (and I think he does), it’s that he can produce a singleplayer game with decent enemy AI and singleplayer mission design, and that the whole push towards Star Citizen as an MMO isn’t just a way to bypass that whole issue.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Yeah it’s just like a Paymium MMO. All those MMOs that offer a dedicated singleplayer campaign, let players host their own multiplayer servers (including modding the game for those player-run servers) and make sure all the out-of-game purchases made with real money (apart from the basic ship packages that you can’t get anymore when the game launches) are ludicrously expensive compared to getting them in game.

      Yup it’s just like them.

    • P.Funk says:

      I don’t think you get the buzz because you don’t understand how the game is going to actually work.

  14. SkittleDiddler says:

    Man, if this game ultimately sucks, the blowback is going to be spectacular.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Pity it’s not Warhammer, but in space, and with real models. As from that blowback, I could pick up loads or pretty space ships in car boot sales.

      ;)

  15. LVX156 says:

    The more I read about Star Citizen, the happier I am that I didn’t back it. I thought it was going to be a space sim, but the focus now seems to be on some kind of MMO with FPS elements.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Nothing has changed. It’s still Freelancer with a Starlancer style campaign launched before the Freelancer part comes out. It was always those two things. The only thing that’s new is that the Boarding Mechanics are supposed to be fairly in-depth – but that’s childs play when you’re using Cryengine. It comes with most basic FPS mechanics baked in.

      Don’t forget that Freelancer was an optional MMO. They’re just running officially hosted servers too in addition to the player run ones.

  16. GamesInquirer says:

    I just got a ship with lifetime insurance through a friend who bought in early. I have high hopes for this game but someone should seriously investigate the monetizing model. Ask the hard questions and get answers that aren’t PR spin bullshit. I get the feeling that any other game being up front about subscription fees or micro-transactions would be instantly panned for either attempting an outdated model that only World of Warcraft gets away with or trying to milk players and give the advantage to the whales. It seems that Star Citizen will slyly utilize both subscription fees via the insurances and micro–transactions via everything else as you’ll be able to purchase in game credits that you will use for everything and can obviously outright buy ships with money, yet it is universally praised and defended even though the details of it all have NOT been explained thoroughly. I personally don’t want the return of the genre to the mainstream to be a game designed for whales (not only because I’m not one but also because it makes for worse design and gameplay: is the game designed to have a fun progression curve for the player without milking him dry and if so then am I paying to remove fun from the game by skipping said progression since I bought stuff others will have to earn? responses can’t be contradictory like that) and for that reason I’m really glad Elite, Enemy Starfighter, X: Rebirth and a few others are looking really promising on that front. It doesn’t matter I have a ship for life either, it’s not like a starting fighter (an avenger) will serve me for forever, however much I can upgrade it via credits I’ll probably have to repeatedly do no-fun things for since they’ll obviously wish to give an incentive to outright buy.

    • dahools says:

      just out of interest what did you get? did you pay the early backer cheaper price or did your friend charge you the current price?

      • GamesInquirer says:

        I chose an avenger for $75 (it’s now the most expensive video game I have bought in ages – Wasteland 2 is a close second for a $65 physical copy in an old school PC game box with a cloth map etc mailed to me, while most others I buy cost half or way less – and I don’t intend to put another dime in, if it asks that to offer the fun it promises then I will not play), the price he too had to pay (in dollars because it came out slightly cheaper than in euros) himself to then gift it to me, for a pack with the LTI ship, the business hangar, the single and multi player portions of the game, 2000 in game credits, etc, whatever it all is. I almost just went for the basic aurora pack. I like the Cutlass the most but it’s way too expensive for a video game. Here’s a video of the avenger then.

        It’s apparently the basic starter ship in the campaign mode, hopefully it’s ok.

        • dahools says:

          Thats alright then i don’t think the avenger is one of them (as its a new-ish ship) but some people get the early packages cheaper than what they are advertised for and flog em on at the new price. I’ve spent the same and was looking at the pack you have, I have the pathfinder one, its similar with a 315P and a cheaper hanger instead, there just wasn’t enough info on the Avenger ship to make me change over.

  17. racccoon says:

    This is like one of those dreams that just keep recurring over and over again, the problem with the dream is you wake up and within ten minutes all is forgotten but some fuzzy bits.
    The greatest thing about Star Citizen is this dream is going on and on and on, I believe there has to be a stopping point for funding… maybe the day before release. :) I also think that the funds are the best thing to happen to such a great mind like Chris Roberts he’s taking Sci Fi gaming to absolute limit, with that limit he has enveloped all his other competition and walloped them into a sauce bottle, he’s about a pinch away from screwing the top down and tossing the bottle in the river where it belongs. Great job Chris! You shown the way, You deserve this! You are the ONE!

  18. bstard says:

    So far in my experience to amount of hype is inversely proportional to the quality of the end product.

  19. Onemoar says:

    wz is just mad because his buddy isn’t getting shit for funding and is blaming star citizen for it
    huge conflict of interest here

  20. Metalhead9806 says:

    I’m both excited and worried.
    Excited because so far the game looks cool, worried because i don’t think my rig can handle this game.
    I’m already getting a tad antsy about the Witcher 3 but this looks to completely blow the doors off anything we’ve seen before.

  21. BrainFlush says:

    I am in for an arm and leg in this game and I thought the amount spent on MWO was absurd, SC makes what I spent in MWO look like spare change. Ok not really but my point is that both those games drew me in and captivated me. I support both with my time and money.

    I am glad SC is making a million minimum a month now. For almost 8 months it was dead. Now it is just expanding like the big bang. Every time variants are released the money ticker explodes. Smartest strategy ever. I have been in since Oct of last year and am glad to have taken a chance on this project.

  22. buzzmong says:

    $25 million? What’s that in Peggles?