Cloud Imperium Games Corporation won’t be holding their own booth at E3 2014 next week but they don’t need to in order to catch the attention of the video game industry and gamers. They will have a presence however, with playable bits of their massive space sim title Star Citizen at the Alienware gaming PC setup during the annual trade show, or more specifically, playable versions of the just-released Arena Commander dogfighting module. And you can count on us to check it out on the floor.
The first playable slice of Star Citizen released during early development last year, and it was dubbed the hangar module. It was a way for players to check out some of the ships coming to the game that backers had purchased early to help fund Star Citizen and make it a game that doesn’t need a publisher or outside investors. The crowdfunding campaign for Star Citizen has broken countless records and currently sits are more than twice that of any other crowdfunded project ever.
The game, which initially planned for a $20 million budget, just crossed the $45 million milestone so money is no longer an issue. It’s just a matter of time for the devs, and for fans, it’s a question of whether Chris Roberts and his studios working on Star Citizen can deliver on their core game promises and mounting pile of stretch goals which continue to get unlocked easily.
With the $45 million mark hit, thanks in part to the excitement surrounding last week’s long-awaited release of the second module where players can actually try out flying their ships and entering combat against drones – in whats called Arena Commander (watch us play it here)- backers have unlocked a player-voted mystery item called the Hadesian Artifact which will factor into the lore of the main game.
- Hadesian Artifact — The mystery of what happened in Hades has been one of the great archeological puzzles ever since the system was discovered in the early 26th Century. The evidence suggests that the Hadesians nearly erased their entire civilization in devastating civil war that left a planet cracked in half, but so many questions remained. Who were these Hadesians? How did the war get started? Over the centuries, even the public became enamored by the mystery of this system. This curiosity was inflamed when scientists recently discovered a lone Hadesian artifact on the black market of all places. Trinket manufacturers quickly tried to capitalize on the resurgence of interest by building exact copies of the artifact for sale to the public, even replicating the unidentified symbols along the base…
Next up, at $46 million, is another player-voted stretch goal called the “Engine Tuning Kit.”
- Engine Tuning Kit — Wilkes & Federman MaxTune Kit has become one of the best-selling starter kits for the discerning home enthusiast. Featured in Whitley’s latest Steal of the Year issue, this kit comes with everything the fledgling engineer needs to take a deeper look into the mechanics of their engine. With a Tap Analyzer, you will be able to view your engine’s current output and energy draw numbers in an easy and comprehensible way. Use the thirty-eight piece omnitool to access your engine to start tweaking. Wilkes & Federman is not responsible for damage incurred after tuning your engine. Please consult with manufacturer’s warranty before performing work.
As a community-funded game, it’s wonderful to see players having a say in not only the stretch goals listed above, but in the social and marketing aspects of the game’s development. The video up top is another car commercial-inspired trailer for one of Star Citizen’s ships. This one is the MISC Freelancer and the trailer plays as if it’s Dodge or Ford pickup TV ad. They released some for other ships, including this great one for the 300 Series of vessels.
Adding to that, for the last few months, Chris Roberts (Wing Commander) and the team at Cloud Imperium have hosted a competition where teams of fans have competed to design “The Next Great Starship” with the winner earning $30,000 and getting their ship added to the game. This is the Redeemer:
You can watch the final live show of the Redeemer being selected and The Four Horsemen team behind it winning the competition in the video below.
[Update: Here’s a quick video looking at the top two ships added to the hangar for just that weekend]
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.