September 6th 2013
Thanks to your incredible support, we have reached $18 million less than a week after hitting $17 million!
These numbers are amazing, and the credit goes entirely to the community that has come together to make Star Citizen happen. The best news in all of this is that the Hangar Module has inspired thousands of new fans to join the effort. The bigger our community, the better the game experience will be and greater chance we will have of making Star Citizen a game that continues for many years.
When we first proposed Squadron 42 and Star Citizen, the goal was to bring back space sims and prove that PC games never died. We thought that was an important goal worthy of our effort and your support. We never dreamed that you would take that even farther and become our partners in changing how games are developed. As always, thank you.
For hitting $18 million, you unlock the “exclusive star system for backers.” There’s been some confusion about what exactly this means. To clarify, what it means is that backers that got us to the $18 million goal will have the ability to start their journey in a system that is unavailable to others as a starting point. The only home base hangars there will belong to those that supported us early in the process! It would be immersion-breaking if backers couldn’t eventually share the jump coordinates of the system with other users… but no one else will have the option of starting a character there.
Reaching this point also means that it’s time to reveal our penultimate planned stretch goal, the $20 million level. While goals will continue after $21 million, they will take a new form representative of what additional funding can add to the game!
I would also like to take a moment to follow up on the Voyager Direct poll from Saturday. As you know, we put the solution in the hands of the community. It was a surprise that the largest group (43%) were happy with the way the store had been set up.
That said, as I mentioned on Saturday, I personally felt that perhaps some of the store items were overpriced relative to other ones and with 29% of backers that answered the poll (statistically the poll had enough respondents to be representative of the full Star Citizen population) thought that prices for certain items were too high I feel that’s a large enough block of our community to not ignore. Starting immediately, the prices for the decorative items like the posters and buggy will be reduced. If you paid the original price for these items, you will receive the difference in the form of additional UEC credited to your account in the near future (it will take a little time to develop the correct script, but we will have your accounts credited soon.)
We are making the following price changes as a result of your feedback:
(Note that we have not included the workbench; that’s because it will be a useful gameplay element in the future. It will be needed for pilots seeking to overclock their own ship components!)
We created the decorative items as an easy way for you to support the game and as a result their prices do not impact the overall economy. I believe that is one of the largest points of confusion about the store: in the Star Citizen world it seems unlikely that a poster would cost the same amount as a laser cannon. The prices for ship upgrades will not change, as they represent the final price we imagine they will be in the game: a laser cannon you buy today will be one you have access to in Star Citizen when it launches. Much of our system, including the daily purchase limit and the overall balance limit is intended to prevent users from stockpiling money before the game goes live and have an undue impact on the economy.
Also you should know that the current “dollar” price of a ship does not reflect its actual in-game value in UEC, so comparing the value of a gun against the UEC equivalent of an Aurora is not an accurate comparison. We intended backers to get a benefit for backing early rather than waiting for a finished game and one way was by obtaining ships that ultimately will be more expensive once the game is “live”. A $25 Aurora may cost 75,000 UEC in the finished universe!
As the game world takes shape, we will balance your starting credits – which is one of the reasons we are not allowing you to spend them on Voyager Direct items at this present time. If we find that you don’t have enough to begin the game (you should be able to start off buying a full load of cargo and several missions worth of fuel and landing fees and the higher packages should allow you to buy a couple of basic weapons in addition) then we will increase the amount included.
This balancing act is an ongoing process and I’m sure there will be adjustments along the way BUT we’re committed to delivering a game that doesn’t require grinding, is fun and balanced while allowing us to generate enough ongoing revenue to support the servers and continued content without requiring a subscription.
As we already are planning on implementing the ability to have “test” items and credits for the Dogfighting Module we’ve decided it is not worth re-prioritizing work by our web and game teams to bring this feature in earlier. As much as we appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm to help out not enough people requested this option to make it something we felt we needed to do right now… but when the time comes, we’re going to need help balancing how it performs in combat!
Finally, let me again stress that any purchases you make beyond your starter package are optional.
We deployed the Voyager Direct store before there was a way to earn credits in the game for two reasons; one, to allow people an additional way to support the game without having to buy ships (which are much more significant investments!). The second reason was to allow us to deploy a lot of game items as they are created allowing them the possibility to be used in the various modules that will need them – Hangar, Dogfighting, Planetside. We wanted these to be priced in game credits to underline the fact that everything available through Voyager Direct is ultimately a game item that will be purchasable with game credits that can be earned via gameplay when Star Citizen launches.
I hope this makes everything clear.
If you’re logging into your hangar tonight, expect a new patch! This week’s patch focuses on many of the bugs you’ve helped us identify on the forums, although the live team is also starting to work on some exciting new features to help keep the hangar interesting! Here are the release notes:
Finally, we would like to share a very early work in progress video that we think is pretty cool. This footage of the Terra spaceport being built by the team at Void Alpha is the first indication of the kind of things you’ll find when you leave your hangar. The level isn’t finished and the lighting isn’t set up yet, but it’s very exciting to see our concept art becoming a living, breathing in-game world!
Thank you all for the incredible support. The community manages to surprise and amaze me every single day. Working with you all in the open has been the best experience in my game development career, far superior and more satisfying than working behind closed doors for a publisher has ever been.