Supporters of Star Citizen have repeatedly proven that the market for space sims still exists by shelling out millions of dollars to back the upcoming Oculus Rift compatible crowd-funded game. Chris Roberts and the team at Cloud Imperium Games have provided frequent updates and previews of the game (like the Enemy Starfighter trailer) throughout its record-breaking, fan-supported development, but the eager community is always anxiously awaiting the next piece of gameplay footage. Thanks to a backers-only pre-PAX event, dogfighting enthusiasts now have 15 minutes of brand new gameplay footage to drool over.
The Dogfighting Module demo was presented in front of a packed crowd of Star Citizen backers and as you can hear in the background, they were pretty pumped about it. From walking around the hanger to G-force induced blackouts, starfighter pilots-to-be cheered on the game’s presentation at every turn. It also didn’t hurt that creator Chris Roberts was on stage running the demo himself…
Roberts kicked off the preview by showing off some of the squeal-worthy animations, like the way pilots flip their helmet in the air as they settle into the cockpit. Before he even pulled out of the hangar, it becomes clear just how stunning the game’s visuals are. The cockpit itself is full of well-crafted textures and lighting and as the hangar shudders begin to lift up and reveal outer-space, the sights continue to amaze.
After blowing his ship to pieces by crashing into debris (and blaming it on the drinks he had before the panel), Roberts showcases how navigation, g-force effects, and combat work in the Dogfighting Module. The module is officially called Arena Commander and is a function simulation inside your hangar that includes five unique game modes. Arena Commander goes a step above and beyond typical alpha tests by providing leaderboards, ranked matches, and private matches. The complete Dogfighting Module contains as much content as many complete games, so it looks like backers who qualified to participate will certainly be getting their money’s worth.
Whether you’re a fan of the space sim genre or not, it’s hard not to get excited about the attention to detail that the developers are putting into this world. Roberts shows off some of the nice little touches as he toggles between views and demonstrates the different impacts of motion and force on pilots and how those changes in environment are conveyed to the player.
The Dogfighting Module will continue to expand and grow as development continues on the game and Roberts plans to use it as a way to keep the community engaged, as well as a means of collecting valuable feedback from players. At launch, matches will support 10-12 pilots, but the goal is to scale that up to 50-60 as the bugs are eliminated and improvements are made. According to Roberts, if there are no further delays backers should get their hands on this portion of the game by the end of April or the beginning of May.
As the Star Citizen craze continues to grow, the game’s fundraising campaign also continues to drawn in additional backers. Months have passed since the upcoming space sim earned the title of most successful crowd-funded project ever and the campaign has gone on to rake in millions more than the initial goal. The latest Letter from the Chairman reveals that would-be pilots have recently reached yet another million dollar milestone.
Star Citizen funds have soared passed the $42 million milestone and unlocked another tier of stretch rewards. Of the four new perks unlocked, the most exciting is probably the Gladius fighter. The additional ship will be developed in CryEngine as a light short-range patrol fighter. The simple design will make the fighter cheap to produce, and easier for new players to repair and outfit.
Backers can visit the Letter from the Chairman to cast their vote for what the next seemingly inevitable milestone will unlock. If the past has been any indication, it seems pretty likely that the project will raise another million within a few weeks.
Is the new dogfighting gameplay footage enough to convince you to back the Star Citizen project if you haven’t yet? Let us know in the comments.
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Source: Inc Gamers