Over the past two years, crowd-funding has become an aspect of the gaming landscape that is impossible to overlook. As arguably its biggest success story, Star Citizen is not only one of the most ambitious projects in recent years, but it seems to have tapped an endless well of funding. Having surpassed $37 million just over one month ago, the game has managed to now put $39 million in the bank and shows no signs of slowing.
As is the case with each subsequent stretch goal for the project, hitting $39 million brings the inclusion of new content upon Star Citizen‘s release. This time around, the content on deck is the inclusion of the UDS-2943-01-22 System. Described as “the penultimate user-chosen star system,” very little is being said about this destination other than the fact that it will be located “on the fringes of known space.” Not to mention another curious – and potentially game-changing – stretch goal.
Up until this point, the stretch goals have focused on content that will be part of the game’s launch, like mining ships and more options for capital ships, but at $41 million, creator Chris Roberts is looking to the stars and the endless possibilities of procedural generation. With the additional funding, Roberts’ plan is to look forward to future iterations of Star Citizen and put together a procedural generation R&D team. Through this team’s research, he hopes to develop technology that will allow him to further elevate the ideal image he has for the game.
“Advanced procedural generation will be necessary for creating entire planets worth of exploration and development content. A special strike team of procedural generation-oriented developers will be assembled to make this technology a reality.”
Roberts seems to view Star Citizen as more than just a mere game, and while the release of a core product is an essential part of the process, he has already begun planning for future evolutions in the industry. Rather than focusing on the product that will mark Star Citizen‘s launch, Roberts seems more interested in crafting a platform that will be able to sustain itself through hardware and technology advancements (reminiscent of the evolution gamers have seen EVE Online exhbit since its humble beginnings in 2003).
While this is an impressive sentiment, it is unquestionably worrisome. Looking towards the future is important for products that wish to sustain their popularity, but doing so too early can be disastrous. As the game has already been hit by a delay, and there core game is still under production, some might argue that Roberts should first invest his time in getting the game closer to a launchable product before investing in possibilities that aren’t currently feasible.
Regardless, the news is no less interesting and should Star Citizen reach the point that Chris Roberts hopes it will, research into procedural generation could easily push it into the bounds of a truly endless game, achieving much of what No Man’s Sky intends to. Now that he has partnered with the developers behind Kingdom Come, these goals could become a reality in the coming years.
Do you think it’s wise for Chris Roberts to be investing in procedural generation research at such an early stage? Is it possible at this point for Star Citizen to ever live up to the hype it has managed to generate for itself?
Star Citizen is aiming for a PC release 2015, and is currently working towards its $40 million stretch goal.
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Source: Roberts Space Industries