March 16th 2016
As you know, I like to use this space to highlight crowd funding efforts that I feel are deserving of your attention. Today, I’d like to point you to a project called Star Traders, currently in the midst of its Kickstarter campaign. Another space game? Yes. And like a lot of the games I love, it’s set in a distant future filled with starships, intergalactic trading and epic heroes. Unlike other projects I’ve written about, though, Star Trades doesn’t’ need an overclocked CPU or the hottest graphics card… because it’s a board game!
Star Traders follows the grand tradition of games like Risk and Solarquest by aiming straight at the heart of good game design: it’s simple to play but frustratingly difficult to master. The game is designed to function at a number of different levels, with the end result being a range of game types that will appeal to every skill level. With the most basic rule set, Star Trader can be enjoyed in an hour by all ages, while using the most complex options can make for the kind of legendary all-night game sessions that define the hobby.
Many of you already know the Star Citizen connection: the game’s creators, David Ladyman and Ryan Archer, have done master-class work in helping create our ‘Verse these past three years. David has been responsible for putting together our brochures, manuals and magazine, and Ryan is the artist behind many of our blueprint images and a lot of what appears in Jump Point (his UEE squadron patches are a particular favorite of mine.) I’ve also had the privilege of working with David on almost every title I did at Origin and on the Wing Commander film (he put together a technical manual published alongside the movie.) You can read more about David and his extensive history making games here.
I mention that connection because I believe it’s a key element of crowd funding: supporting good people. I can tell you from many years of experience that David (and Ryan) will go above and beyond to make their dream a reality, and that they’re true artists: interested in creating something new that others will enjoy. They’ve also scattered some Star Citizen Easter eggs in the game itself… and even asked Sandi and I to appear as characters. Good people, good game design and a desire to make something great. What better combination could there be? I’m eager to get my own copy and I encourage you to check out their video below, visit their project page and consider pledging if you enjoy great board games!
— Chris Roberts
P.S. – Don’t worry, David and Ryan aren’t going anywhere! Their work on Star Citizen happens on a contract basis, and so they’ll continue delivering Jump Point and all the art you’ve come to know. We don’t have any stake in Star Traders, but I know that it’s always best to let creative people pursue their dreams!