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Roberts Space Industries ®






December 22nd 2013

Letter from the Chairman: $35 Million

Letter from the Chairman: $35 Million

Greetings Citizens,

Wow! When I started this journey I would have never guessed that we would have come so far in such a short time. $35M in funds raised to build Star Citizen before the end of 2013 is truly a monumental achievement! You’re not just re-writing the rules of how games are made and funded but you’re showing the power that a committed community has to achieve a vision that so many people said was no longer relevant. You’ve broken every record there is in crowd funding – and not just for games – for any type of project!

What is also a great sign for the long term longevity of Star Citizen and its community is that a large amount of this last stretch goal, like the previous ones has come from new Citizens – 6,617 to be precise! A continually growing community is a testimony to the enthusiasm of the existing community in sharing their excitement and also a resounding indictment of the people that still say space sims are a fringe genre.

With your enthusiasm and generosity you’re allowing the team and I to go beyond the bare minimum we knew we needed to deliver to make Star Citizen an engrossing experience. As Star Citizen is an open universe and there are so many possibilities the additional funds allow us to increase the amount of content available at the start, have more talented developers working on the various facets in parallel, which will allow us to have a richer gameplay experience from the beginning and allow us to invest in some research and development projects to keep Star Citizen ahead of the curve. Unlike a typical publisher we don’t look at this initial funding as bigger profits – we look at as allowing us to deliver more of the dream sooner and ensure the online infrastructure and support is as full featured as possible, even during the pre-release period.

I would also like to thank each and every one for your support in my decision to delay the Dogfighting Module. I know it was disappointing for many people, and it wasn’t a decision that I took lightly but after much deliberation I decided it was best for the long term health of the project. The various modules are a great way of engaging all of you and providing useful feedback to the team. But for me their strongest benefit is providing smaller, shorter terms goals for the team to achieve, while working towards is a pretty daunting feature set for the full game. It forces us to finish a feature with enough polish that hundreds of thousands of people can experience it. The Hangar module, while fairly limited is an example of this – despite still missing many features that will be present in the final game it is far more polished than anything would normally be at this stage of the development if it was just an internal or publisher milestone. Even our commercials are constructed this way. They are goals that force us to get the ship and animations finished and polished for the commercial and usable in the hangar. We chose situations and assets for the commercials that match up to what we know we need for the game, in the same way we are using the modules as a way of making incremental progress to delivering a game of the scope of Star Citizen. This is why I’m against polishing something that won’t contribute to the final game. We could have shared a simple single player dogfight module with some scripted missions – and had something much more polished than we showed on Friday (at a cost of all the multi-player progress we’ve made) but that’s not something that would be anything other than one off work to keep everyone amused while we work on getting the actual functionality that we need.

In my heart I didn’t want to rush out something that would be a stop gap. Testing the head to head aspect is the one I’m most focused on. I’ve made a lot of single player games – I know that we can knock that out of the park but I really want to make sure that the multiplayer combat is fun, compelling and that we solve the various challenges in having the controls and flight model work smoothly online. That was what the Dogfight Module was always intended to be at its core and so at the end of the day I felt I would be letting myself down, as well as everyone in the community if I didn’t deliver a module that lived up to the goals I wanted to achieve. Even though I want the community’s feedback that’s only useful when I’m mostly happy with how something plays and looks and I’m not there yet on the multiplayer dogfighting.

So from the bottom of my heart thank you for your support. I’m pretty sure that when you get your hands on the dogfighting module you’ll be happy and glad we made this decision.
At $35 million, you unlock the final fan-voted ship design. The Drake Herald was one of my favorite potential choices, as it represents the diversity in possible professions that will make Star Citizen such a compelling universe for players of all stripes. I’m glad the design (and the ‘information runner’ role it represents) has made it onto our schedule due to your support! Here are the specifics:

  • Drake Herald – Knowledge is power, and one of the most valuable commodities is pure information: the 1s and 0s behind everything from UEC ledgers to Citizenship ratings. Whether it’s colonists struggling to stay in contact with the UEE’s central worlds or criminals trading in illicit data, there will always be a need to securely move data. The Drake Herald, small, armored ship, is designed to fit that need and safely get that information from Point A to Point B. Featuring a powerful central engine (for high speed transit and generating the power needed for effective data encryption/containment), advanced encryption software and an armored computer core, the Herald is unique among personal spacecraft in that it is designed to be easily ‘cleaned’ when in danger of capture. The Herald includes an array of heavy duty internal options for data protection, including redundant power subsystems and EMP shielding, and a high-powered broadcast array for data transmission.

The results of the last system poll have determined the winner of the $37 million stretch goal: the stellar graveyard.

  • Tanga System – At the heart of an unusual rectangular planetary nebula (see reference), lies Tanga System. The inner planets engulfed 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.

Be sure to vote for the $38 million system unlock in the poll below. Remember that all additional funding goes directly to supporting Star Citizen’s production in dozens of ways, the additional ships and systems are just a small representation of what is being done to improve the game!

Finally, don’t forget about the Foundry 42 / Squadron 42 contest announced on Friday; There’s some really great prizes and it’s our way of giving a little back to all you for being such a great community. You can sign up here!

Thank you for your continued support. Happy holidays to all of you and I’m looking forward to showing you more of what we’re working on in the New Year!

What location would you like to see in Star Citizen?

What location would you like to see in Star Citizen?

Total Votes: 26387

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From the Chairman

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