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.