August 19th 2014
This past weekend has been incredible for Star Citizen. The response from the community and press to our event at Gamescom in Cologne has been incredible. Having thousands of new backers sign up and hitting two stretch goals shows the community are as excited as we are by what we showed! I’m re-energized after getting to meet with so many of you at the backer event in Cologne. Hanging out with backers signing posters and chatting about Star Citizen’s future until 3 AM was an experience I wouldn’t miss!
The goal behind our Gamescom lineup was to show the world how Star Citizen is going to grow beyond dogfighting. From introducing Constellation variants with non-combat roles to demoing co-op crewed ship play to teasing our plans for integrating AAA-quality FPS combat right alongside our space combat… Star Citizen is going to be more than any space sim that has come before. You can check out the complete Gamescom event in the video link above.
The Constellation holds a special place in my heart. As many of you know, it’s the ship I’m most interested in flying myself because I believe it represents a kind of gameplay we haven’t seen before in space sims. Taking on the galaxy with a crew of compatriots is a fantasy we’ve all had, and it’s something I wasn’t ever able to replicate on Wing Commander. That’s the reason the team pushed so hard to finish the ‘multi-crew ships’ demo you saw on Friday… I want the community to be able to see some of the more varied gameplay I’ve had in my head all these months.
The Constellation was also the first ship we revealed to the Star Citizen community (the Hornet, Scythe and Bengal were already made when we announced the game.) It was designed by one of the top concept artists in the movie business, and it has long represented Star Citizen’s potential. Check out our original brochure from the early days of the campaign; we’ve come a long way! Upgrading its look and creating appropriate variants was a labor of love for the team.
At $50 million, we hit the “alien languages” stretch goal, which means we’re going to earmark funding to hire professional linguists to create unique languages for our three biggest alien races. Here’s the writeup:
David Ladyman will be leading this effort, and you can expect to hear progress reports from him as it comes together.
I’d also like to pay a small tribute to our “$50 Million Man,” Wulf Knight. Wulf is no stranger to those following Star Citizen’s development. He’s been a constant friend to the development team and to the community, and I’m honored to reveal that his purchase of a Constellation ‘Super Pack’ was what pushed us to this incredible level. As a small reward for his service and his symbolic status I’d like to personally award him the Vanduul Scythe that his ship collection is missing!
But we didn’t just pass $50 million this weekend… we passed $51 million! The $51 million goal was chosen via backer poll, the first time you have been asked to help determine our production priorities. Citizens overwhelmingly let us know that they want the web team to focus on creating an interactive Star Citizen ‘known space’ map as their next major project… so that’s going to happen!
Look for more details in the coming days, but we intend to make this the start of our interactive Galactapedia and to tie it in to the Hangar switchover I spoke about at Gamescom; it just may be time for our long time backers to choose where in the galaxy they’re going to start the game!
Now, I’d like to reveal the next two stretch goals! The first, for $52 million, is a small reward for everyone who has helped get us to this point: a jetpack! Technically, a Manned Maneuvering Unit which will allow you to engage in zero-G combat as soon as we launch that portion of the module. We’ll add this to the accounts of everyone who has backed us to this point, making sure you’re armed and ready when the FPS module drops later this year.
At $53 million, we would like to look ahead to Star Citizen’s launch. One thing we’re doing today is drilling down how a lot of our post-launch systems will work: deciding how we discourage bad behavior within the confines of the Star Citizen universe, while at the same time letting players have as much fun and freedom as possible. What we’d like to experiment with on launch is the “Independent Arbitrator’s Guild,” a staffed position for taking care of certain player disputes without leaving our world. The stretch goal will earmark money to maintain this as a position at Cloud Imperium! Here’s the in-universe background:
I would like to end by talking about one more change: we’re planning to revamp the RSI front page to make the experience friendlier to new players. While at Gamescom, I had a chance to talk to plenty of people who had heard of Star Citizen but hadn’t backed. It wasn’t because they didn’t like what they’d seen of the project or that they weren’t interested in this kind of game… they simply did not understand how to get started.
We’ve been taking for granted the fact that our existing backers understand the project so well. Many of you have been with us for eighteen months and understand the nature of the lore we put out, or our process for involving the community in pre-alpha modules… but to gamers just discovering the project, it’s overwhelming!
As part of this initiative, the crowdfunding counter will no longer live on the front page. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one is Star Citizen’ isn’t just about making millions of dollars. While continued funding is necessary to build Star Citizen at the current level of AAA fidelity and no compromises, the first experience for new people should be about the game and universe, not about how much money we’ve raised. Backers do a whole lot more than just buy new ships. You are our eyes and ears; you sell the project to other gamers better than any ad campaign ever could, your design ideas expand our scope and your bug reports help us make a smoother game. Every time you dogfight in Arena Commander, you’re helping make Star Citizen better!
In the coming weeks, we intend to replace the counter on the front page with new kinds of goals. Expect to see additional types of stretch goals for number of players active, number of Vanduul extinguished, number of bugs reported and more! The crowd funding information will live on in a dedicated subpage with increased fidelity for those of you that love numbers and following our record breaking progress.
We’ll be working on those details with production and platform over the next few weeks… but I think it will create a better base for the community that will make you better feel like you’re contributing to the project in ways beyond pledging money.
As always, thank you for your incredible support. As I was reminded time and time again at Gamescom, this community is beyond anything seen in gaming before. You are allowing this new kind of development not only to proceed, but to flourish.
— Chris Roberts