Well over a year before its announced release date of November 2014, Star Citizen, the grand-scale space sim from the mind behind Wing Commander, has almost succeeded in recouping its entire budget via crowd-funding.
Earlier this summer, Cloud Imperium Games Corporation was able to proudly announced that Star Citizen had earned the label of becoming the most successful crowd-funded project ever, just weeks later crossing the $14 million mark of an expected $20 million budget. As months go by and more stretch goals are achievied, additional features – including playables ones – are in the works with the first about to release for eager star pilots.
At the time of this writing, Star Citizen sits with over $16 million raised from crowd-funding and with that mark hit, players who’ve supported the game so far get a little bonus, with the game itself growing by an additional mode too:
- Arena mode: The next generation of Wing Commander’s TrainSim allows pilots to test out their combat skills against friends or strangers in a simulation. Gain valuable combat experience without the downside of losing your ship in the game universe! Place bets on competitions across the galaxy.
- Every pledger who backs before $16 million will receive a laser pistol. Keep your ship safe from boarders with a pistol by your side.
The $17 million stretch mark – which inevitably will be hit in the coming months – adds another (large) playable ship class, meaning even more players potentially walking around on and sharing the same vessel.
- Every pledger who backs before $17 million will receive a ship upgrade package containing an engine modifier.
- Star Citizen will feature an additional flyable ship class, the battlecruiser.
For now, backers can look forward to reaping the benefits from their support as early as this week. At Gamescom the Hangar Module where players can walk around and view their ship was first shown and on August 29th (this Thursday) it’ll be available for backers to download.
…The Hangar Module you will load next week is by no means a finished product. It is the earliest build of anything I have ever shared with the public. In fact, it’s at an even earlier stage than I would feel comfortable giving to any publisher I’ve worked with in the past and long before I would be sharing builds with QA in a traditional game development schedule! But Star Citizen is all about trying new approaches in game development.
Since this is an early build, the Hangar Module represents simple method to bring the community in and let prospective players give feedback. Users will initially be able to walk around the hangar and into the ships they’ve purchased thus far. And since it’s not meant to be any form of beta or marketing tool, there will be a place on the forums for bug reporting and feedback. Future updates will add customization elements, an in-game store, and social features that involve friends being able to check out your hangar as well.
In addition to the Hangar Module, there will be a Dogfighting Module planned for release by the end of the year where players will be able to test our their ships in space and enter combat with other players a full year before the core game even releases. Both will feature Oculus Rift support and other modules are in the works as well.
Keep in mind, the Hangar Module is only available to players who’ve pledge for a package that includes game access. At launch, only the basic variants of the Aurora, 300i, Hornet, Freelancer, and Constellation will be available although updates will include all ships and collected items.
Star Citizen will launch in full November 2014.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.