The biggest budget space sim ever, and the the most successful crowdfunding project, Star Citizen hit two important milestones over the last week. First, the community got some love with the addition of player-made clans and factions – dubbed ‘Organizations’ in the universe of Star Citizen. Every organization is given a unique ID code so multiple organizations can have the same name – for all the “Rogue Squadron” wannabes out there. Admins or leaders of an organization can customize their organization pages and each includes a live chat for its members. Get ready for some EVE Online style factions to form, beginning to lay down the lore of the universe before the persistent world of the game even launches.
Just as the Organizations system opened up, the Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign hit another major milestone: $37 million. For those not keeping track, the initial budget was for $20 million and with the game still over a year away, it’s going to more than double that by the time of the public launch of the full game.
As such, loads of interesting stretch goals have been met, unlocking bonuses for initial backers and allowing the devs to create more ships and features. The last pile of stretch goals however, and the next several have all been lackluster in comparison – with each additional million dollars raised simply unlocking another system in space for players to travel to and explore.
Still, the more fleshed out the universe, the better – so long as there are unique and worthwhile things to do and accomplish in these new areas. Here are examples of what the $37 million tier unlocked and what’s next:
- Tanga System — At the heart of an unusual rectangular planetary nebula, lies Tanga System. The inner planets were engulfed as the star entered the red giant phase. The expanded habitable zone unfroze a small world on the former outer ring and for several hundred million years made it habitable. Life began to emerge and was just reaching a primitive state when the star collapsed into a white dwarf, throwing the planet back into a deep freeze, then blasting the atmosphere away with the resulting planetary nebula. That’s how the system was found: Only two worlds (speculation that there could have been three to four more) but both are dead planets with no atmosphere.
And up next, at $38 million:
- UDS-2943-01-22 System — Breaking news: UEE astrophysicists based at the famed Klavs observatory station have utilized advanced telescopy and other remote sensing technologies to identify a truly unusual star system on the fringes of known space. The object, once thought to be a single massive star, is actually a trinary star consisting of two white dwarfs and an active pulsar orbiting one another. Because of the complex gravitic factors at work, it is now believed that a jump point leading to the system likely exists in or near explored human space. Beyond the bizarre stellar makeup, the composition of the system is all but unknown. Could planets exist in this carefully balanced web? What else might have been drawn there? One thing is certain: the first Citizen to travel to UDS-2943-01-22 will have one hell of a view!
Of course, the big thing players are waiting for is the release of the dogfighting module which was recently delayed to sometime in early 2014 as Chris Roberts and the team focus on developing the main game and launching a module based on that, rather than splintering off developing and building something that takes resources away from the core game.
Star Citizen will launch in November 2014 for backers, and for the public in 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.