First off, I have NO IDEA how I only found out about this game now! I've backed Kickstarter games Wasteland 2, CLANG, Torment: Tides of Numenera, HEX MMO, Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, Koe, and others, but never so much heard of Star Citizen until this video was posted at E3. Internet, you are a strange and mysterious place!
As I watched the video, I was instantly blown away and started a mad dash opening new tabs on my browser to learn as much about this space sim as I could. Ultimately, what I found out was: "Star Citizen brings the visceral action of piloting interstellar craft through combat and exploration to a new generation of gamers at a level of fidelity never before seen. At its core, Star Citizen is a destination, not a one-off story. It's a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. Pick up jobs as a smuggler, pirate, merchant, bounty hunter, or enlist as a pilot, protecting the borders from outside threats. Chris Roberts has always wanted to create one cohesive universe that encompasses everything that made Wing Commander and Privateer / Freelancer special. A huge sandbox with a complex and deep lore allowing players to explore or play in whatever capacity they wish. That universe is Star Citizen." Suffice to say, I was ecstatic.
During its initial funding stage in 2012, Cloud Imperium games raised raised $4.2 million for Star Citizen, however, they have reached $48 million to date, with no end in sight! How have they raised such a massive amount of money for a game that has not even been finished, you ask? Well, The answer is multi-faceted, however, points to the collective Sci-Fi zeitgeist and its current unmet need for a realistic, community based, space sim. It seems as though there was the perfect harmony of vacuum, community, and experience, and Star Citizen was the outcome.
The experience was brought by Chris Roberts: renowned video game designer, programmer, film producer and film director, best known for creating the popular Wing Commander series while employed at Origin Systems. In 2011, Chris Roberts founded Cloud Imperium Games Corporation, together with his business partner and long-time international media attorney Ortwin Freyermuth and launched a crowdfunding campaign from their newly founded "Roberts Space Industries" website with the stated goal of raising between two and four million dollars to produce a space sim game for the PC in a sandbox vein.
Built on the Cryengine 3 game engine, they promised to integrate a traditional "branching storyline" game to be called Squadron 42 with a persistent online universe game to be called Star Citizen. in October of 2012, at the request of fans, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to run in conjunction with the Roberts Space Industries website. By November 19, 2012 when the combined campaigns concluded, they had earned $6,238,563, approximately 4.1 million from the RSI campaign, and approximately 2.1 from the Kickstarter campaign. This surpassed all stretch goals set for the campaign, and broke video game industry crowdfunding records, both in funds received and in number of backers.
Built upon a foundation of transparency and community interaction and feedback, Chris Roberts announced in 2013 that Star Citizen would be created in modules to be released when playable, thereby allowing fans to be able to play as soon as possible. The first, the Hangar Module, was released on August 29th 2013, and allows player to interact with certain ships planned for the game. The Dog-Fighting Module, however, was JUST released on June 3rd under the name Arena Commander and allows playing and testing of the game's dogfighting mechanic. Since I downloaded it, I have been flying around the Arena Commander dogfighting module non-stop during my writing breaks, and loving every minute of it. Despite this, I am most excited about the Persistent Universe.
I could go on and on talking about it how awesome this game is, and how the "Persistent Universe" of Star Citizen could revolutionize MMO's and the world of video games, however, instead of waxing philosophic at you, I will leave it to Chris to give you a very detailed sneak peak of the actual game, below. He also has a wonderful series of questions and answers called Ten for the Chairman that I highly suggest checking out, too!
For those of you who love Sci-Fi and space sims as much as I do, hurry over to Roberts Space Industries and reserve your ship now! I'll see you out there, Space Cowboys!