Having raised in excess of $55 million dollars via crowdfunding, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of people very interested in Star Citizen. However, with its full release still a long way off, developer Cloud Imperium Games has been doing an admirable job of maintaining backers’ interest and keeping the funding momentum going with a steady stream of trailers and playable alphas.
The team debuted a new trailer showing off the ‘Drake Cutlass’ ship as part of the CitizenCon live stream that took place over the weekend, and now that same trailer has been uploaded to YouTube for all to see — and in 3D, no less. Given that the game itself will support the Oculus Rift, (and currently supports the DK1 developer kit) it’s very apt that the trailer should be similarly cutting-edge for viewers with the right kit.
The clip takes the form of an in-universe advertisement for the ship in question, following a skilled pilot as they fend off an attempted ambush by a lurking Vanduul. With a light-hearted tone not a million miles away from this summer’s box-office smash Guardians of the Galaxy, this trailer demonstrates that Cloud Imperium is well aware of how to make a genre once thought of as niche appeal to the masses.
It’s a pleasant surprise to see how Star Citizen (and other space sims including Elite: Dangerous) has taken off in the way that is has; the game has a great deal to offer to several distinct audiences and pushes the envelope in attempting to deliver gameplay mechanics that no other game has offered before. Of course, its status as a big-budget (read: the biggest budget) space sim will appeal to long-neglected fans of that genre, but there’s also the fact that it’s a bona fide technological showcase and the variety of other styles of gameplay that it boasts to garner attention beyond that player base.
There’s also the fact that backers have already had chance to get some hands-on time with the game itself. Last year, players were given access to their in-game hangar to take a look at the ships that they would be piloting, and back in May that was joined by the ‘Arena Commander’ module, giving backers their first taste of dogfighting. More recently, Star Citizen has a playable race mode and just showcased planetary flight and landing as well (that debuted at CitizenCon as well).
A game with the grand scope of Star Citizen was always going to take some time to develop. However, unlike some crowdfunded games, backers have been supplied with regular updates on its progress as well as a bevy of content to tide them over to its release. If the finished product is as good as it seems it might be, Star Citizen won’t only go down as the most successful crowdfunding campaign of all time financially — it’ll also be the gold standard of how such a project should be run from start to finish.
Star Citizen is pegged for a full release in 2015.