This is probably the least suitable time for me to talk about games, mainly because my finals are merely a month away, but I’ll proceed anyway. It’ll probably be a bore to hear me moan and groan about the exams, so what better than to have a change in the mood?
In short, I want to share with you guys a new discovery I made while randomly surfing the web. It is regarding a game called “Star Citizen”. To be honest, I cannot for the life of me remember how I managed to come across this indie game, but if I’m not mistaken, I got the news from /r/gaming. Gotta thank reddit for getting me into this mess.
What is interesting to note about this game, is that it is currently in pre-Alpha stage, and its development is purely supported by crowd-funding. As of today, there are no publishers involved in the production of the game, only the developers and us, the consumers.
I instantly got interested in this game because hell, it’s a Space Simulator. I’ve been looking for something new and fresh to play ever since EVE Online dominated the space warfare genre, and amazingly it is still dominating regardless of its monthly subscription model. So you can’t imagine how excited I was when I went through Star Citizen’s Kickstarter page here.
One thing I noted what the stupidly vast amount of information to take in regarding this game at first. Something along the lines of producing a next-gen Space Sim, and…wait a minute…space SIM? Not an MMO? And then there’s something about a single-player campaign called Squadron 42 and the multi-player persistent universe called Star Citizen. Player-driven economy, sandbox progression, ship insurances, organisations…the damn list goes on!
The plethora of information that I was reading made things seemed too good to be true. Everything that producer Chris Roberts aimed to achieve and deliver to players sounded like the perfect Space Sim any fan could ask for. I’ve had my experiences with Firefall, and learnt the hard way that sometimes developers don’t really mean what they said. And the devs in Firefall actually said this!
Hey, we didn’t promise anything from the beginning, circumstances change, objectives change, etc. etc. Well, screw you and your game. I regretted spending money in Firefall. To anyone reading this, I would advise you to stay away for now at least, until the game develops into something resembling what us closed beta testers were promised from the very beginning. Or to put it in other words, wait until the damn game is fully released before thinking of dedicating your time playing it. You wouldn’t know what features the devs would simply scrap away next.
Naturally, these would’ve made me very cautious and apprehensive regarding promises made so early in the game’s development process. I went to the game’s official website, the forums and also the Youtube channel and started scrounging any information I can get with regards to the game’s potential.
A few facts I have noted: firstly, the game has been in development since the end of 2012, with an aim to deliver the game in 2 years. Normally I would add 6 months to a year’s duration to that statement, because that’s how it normally is. This puts the game’s targeted release somewhere in 2015. Sounds good to me.
Crowd-funding is the main method currently supporting the development, with no publishers involved and minimal investors. To date, it has accumulated $41 million just from fans. Forty-one.freaking.million.dollars. If this doesn’t sky-rocket the expectations for this game, I don’t know what will. SC has received a lot of publicity, and is certainly under high pressure to deliver a ‘next-gen space sim’.
With regards to Kickstarter projects, the biggest worry is usually concerning the people behind the project just running away with the money. I too was skeptical about this, as $41 million is not a small amount. However, I discovered that Chris Roberts had developed several other space sims before this, namely Wing Commander, Freelancer and others, before deciding to take a long hiatus from PC game production. This is due to the gaming focus in the recent years being geared towards the newer consoles. Roberts aim is to make a huge comeback with the support of loyal PC fans to prove to the gaming industry that the PC will always remain the superior platform for gaming.
After much speculation, I believed that his objectives are genuine and that the progress of the game’s development since 2012 have been substantive, transparent, and honestly quite promising. Triple A titles like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 equally took some time to produce, and with the humongous scale that Star Citizen aims to achieve, I’d say its current progress is justified.
Before I knew it, I had ‘pledged’ myself a ship and have fallen amongst the community of followers, eagerly awaiting for news and updates. Nothing major about the game is set to be released any time soon, except for the new upcoming Module in the coming weeks. I was more than happy to support the creation of a game which I had been searching for a long time. If the game ends up being the game of the 21st century, then I’d have no regrets. Even if it fails to deliver everything it has promised, I have no doubts that it would still remain an awesome game. Besides, nothing major would ensue until after my exams in June, making the timing absolutely perfect.
I definitely would recommend any of you to check it out, and if you have at least $40 to spare, get yourself the cheapest ship inclusive with the Alpha/Beta test, along with other perks, and join in the wait for what could possibly be the most ground-breaking game in the coming years. Have a look at their official website which I had linked to above, and spend some time reading the forums and watching their frequent updates on Youtube if you’re interested to know more. You won’t regret it.