Star Citizen: Forever Changing The Way Video Games Will Be Played

Chris Roberts and Cloud Imperium Games are looking to satisfy the space explorer hidden inside all of us.

Posted By | On 03rd, Jan. 2014 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @JakeDem0


Man has always had a love affair with space. Even before modern Astronomy and the understanding of our own planet, let alone our solar system or galaxy; man has dreamt of venturing out into the stars. Video games have been obsessed with this idea since practically their conception. Gamers have wanted to go out and colonize space to fulfill that sci fi dream that plenty of people have had since they were children.

Chris Roberts has spent a large portion of his professional life dedicated to this idea, the commitment to bringing the colonization and exploration of space to the convenience of our home desktops. He released a game in 2003 called Freelancer, a game that basically revolves around traversing the galaxy, buy, selling and trading goods to make a profit. You would have to contend with opposing factions, and groups that were looking for profit off your hard work, like space pirates for instances.

star citizen

"The game has already managed to get a lot of it’s contributors invested and I don’t mean just monetarily speaking. The forums are already full of people speculating on ship design, maneuverability and of course, what fighter may be the best."

After this game’s release, Mr. Roberts took a bit of a hiatus from game development, but in 2012 he came out of nowhere and decided to kick start a game idea he’d been thinking about. The premise did not vary too much from the original idea of Freelancer, yet with much more technology, new coding methods and a massive advancement in software and hardware Chris Roberts had almost a whole new medium to build the game he’s always dreamed about. This is how Star Citizen was born.

Star Citizen is being developed by Cloud Imperium Games, but if you’re to go to the Star Citizen home page, you’ll see the site plastered with RSI logos. The website isn’t actually called Star Citizen at all, but RobertsSpaceIndustries.com. Here is where some of the magic is currently being developed and one of the things that makes this game so interesting to follow. Cloud Imperium and the development team have spent a lot of time to make this website look like the face of a legitimate company whose speciality is, of course the design and manufacturing of high-tech interstellar space craft.

The website is full of automotive-like “commercials,” and things like customer testimonials as well as even in-depth threats of legal action made by RSI’s competition due to aggressive forms of advertising by the fictitious manufacturer . Cloud Imperium and Chris Roberts are trying very hard to create a deep and connected universe for the game they are working on.

star citizen

"By this point, the game has been given over 35 million dollars. All of this has been given to the developers in support of this game, and is by far and away the most successfully funded, crowd sourced game that’s ever been developed."

In  a lot of ways, people who are following the game or are active contributors to the site as well as the donors are already being exposed to this universe’s politics, products and of course the civilization more than a year before the game was even being scheduled for early access, let alone release. Contributors have the ability to look at ships and the specifications before they can even fly them, which brings us to our next point.

The game has already managed to get a lot of it’s contributors invested and I don’t mean just monetarily speaking. The forums are already full of people speculating on ship design, maneuverability and of course, what fighter may be the best. We’re already seeing the game’s population developing allegiances to ship manufacturers, weapons types and even other players who are planning on playing together with one another. Not only is this a great way to drum up support for your game title, it’s an even better way to keep players interested, especially since right now, the best case scenario we’re seeing from Cloud Imperium is that this game will be open for beta tested, at best in the end of 2014 and a release scheduled for sometime in 2015.

That’s a lot of time to wait and a lot of time for people to lose interest in the game, yet with a date that has anything playable so far in the future, the RSI website continues to show increased support for this title through public donation. By this point, the game has been given over 35 million dollars. All of this has been given to the developers in support of this game, and is by far and away the most successfully funded, crowd sourced game that’s ever been developed.

star citizen

"In a market that some times seems like it is suffocating under it’s own reboots, sequels and “re-imaginings,” to many gamers it’s worth the risk in contributing money, or time to this project simply because it’s offering something new and different in a package that is almost too beautiful to be true."

When you take the time to look at what is being promised upon launch, there is no real wonder why people are so willing to just throw money at this project. The contributors are helping to make this game a success before it even launches, a game that is really by no means a safe “bet,” not for a publishing company anyway and may have been ignored otherwise, is getting substantial amounts of fanfare.

This game is going to be PC exclusive, so this knocks out the console players who may have at least been interested. While the PC gaming market has a lot of dedicated and die hard fans, it is one of the smaller gaming markets, despite the growth that it’s experienced in the last few years, it still lags behind the console market by a fairly large margin. There aren’t many publishers who are going to be willing to take such a big risk on a game, for the cost it would take to develop it, the target release date and sheer scope of the project makes Star Citizen one of the most risky titles that is being developed right now.

Even with all the gamers out there that want to play a game like this, the risks of totally screwing it up and bombing the project  are very real, and most likely higher than any one publisher may ever want to really take. It’s because of this risk, this vision and the scope of the whole idea that makes Star Citizen perfect for crowd sourced support. It’s worth it to give  the gamers something new and exciting to look forward to. In a market that some times seems like it is suffocating under it’s own reboots, sequels and “re-imaginings,” to many gamers it’s worth the risk in contributing money, or time to this project simply because it’s offering something new and different in a package that is almost too beautiful to be true.

star citizen

"Star Citizen is such an attractive option for gamers because of it’s flexibility, not just because the game’s graphics, physics and world design is the software equivalent of Mila Kunis dressed up for a lovely red carpet affair."

Yet, the entire package does appear to be true. Star Citizen is such an attractive option for gamers because of it’s flexibility, not just because the game’s graphics, physics and world design is the software equivalent of Mila Kunis dressed up for a lovely red carpet affair. Star Citizen will have three game modes, real game modes; not like different variations of similar game types, like Domination, Death Match, or Capture the flag. No, nothing like that at all. Star Citizen has a single player mode, basically this is the story mode for the game, think of it as a very long introduction, much more in-depth than a tutorial, but ultimately only scratches the surface of the game. This mode is simply called Squadron 42, presumably because you’re a pilot who will be flying in this squad.

What this game is, at it’s core though is a multiplayer game. This experience is very flexible. For starters, Star Citizen is an MMO, but it doesn’t have to be an MMO, if you following me? The game allows you to connect to the same, large-scale persistent world, or the “official” RSI-game servers where everyone can play. This will essentially be the same world for everyone who decides to play here, regardless of where you are in the world. The incredibly attractive option that many PC gamers are excited for will be the ability run their own game server, either on their own desktop, or presumably in a rented server space that will be hosted and in a server farm that is up and running 24 hours a day.

This server space well let you manage your universe and be able to modify certain values, essentially run the game how you and your friends see fit. For a PC gamer, this is pretty much one of the most attractive options for any game, which has been seen through the history of PC gaming. Developers have and continue to garner flack from the public when the option to run and manage their own dedicated servers for themselves and their friends are removed and understandably so.

star citizen

"Star Citizen will be offering nail biting space combat, coupled with space exploration and even the ability to move around on planets, and cities you land in."

The PC market, more than any facet of the gaming market is used to doing things their own way, from the OS’s they run, to the hardware they decide to put into the rigs. Why should playing online with your friends be any different? Chris Roberts and the rest of the team at Cloud Imperium understand this and that’s why they are building this game specifically to please the high expectations for sci fi and PC gaming fans around the world.

Star Citizen is one of the most in-depth and technologically impressive titles that is in development right now. There are a few other games that seem to be trying to create a similar experience, but not in the scope that Cloud Imperium is. Games like Starbound, which is currently in development by Chucklefish and available for early access has players exploring the galaxy in either single, or multiplayer modes in a beautifully crafted 2D environment. Another game, No Man’s Sky is very similar to the idea of Star Citizen, but with more emphasis on the individual planets and life that seems to exist on them, this game however does not offer a multiplayer option, not in a classic sense anyway.

Star Citizen will be offering nail biting space combat, coupled with space exploration and even the ability to move around on planets, and cities you land in. You will be able to trade, fight and steal what you need to survive, or make your life more comfortable and arguably the most important thing about all of this is you will be able to do it with friends, or complete strangers for that matter. Players will be able to fly deep into the solar system to explore an asteroid field and call in their buddy who has a mining ship to come in and gather resources, or explore derelict space vessels.

star citizen

"Star Citizen’s success is a wet dream for people looking to crowd fund their game. The capital as well as the talent is there to make sure that this game is going to be completed and hopefully become a runaway success."

RSI won’t be stopping there though, they’ve already promised extended support of the game, so even when it’s finished it’s not going to be finished, not immediately anyway. Players can expect more ships, weapons and configurations as the game furthers its development cycle. In fact, with more people seemingly giving Cloud Imperium money on a weekly basis, there is more content being scheduled for development. The more support that is garnered for the game the better the game will become. While this funding system can be a double-edged sword for many developers, it looks like things have worked out perfectly for Cloud Imperium and Star Citizen.

Most gamers are into science fiction and the future of space exploration and even if you’re not, Star Citizen may be the game above all others to pay attention to in the coming 2014-15 development season and for more than one reason. Cloud Imperium and Chris Roberts are doing their damnedest to push the envelop of gaming, in both scope, design and sheer content. They’ve already made a great bid for it too, with the ability for players to visit their ships and look around to see what they’ll be piloting in the cold void of space, soon hopefully.

It is also a project to keep tabs on because they have  become wildly successful in the crowd sourced arena of development. Star Citizen’s success is a wet dream for people looking to crowd fund their game. The capital as well as the talent is there to make sure that this game is going to be completed and hopefully become a runaway success. Chris Roberts and Cloud Imperium Games certainly have set a lofty goal for Star Citizen, but with the money and the dedication needed for a project of this magnitude already available to them, this game is on schedule to change the entire way the world’s favorite entertainment medium will be played forever.


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  • mamucas

    I’m just happy because this game might not be the best ever but it sure will be bringing variety to the space game trend, I mean come on, trading, exploring, pirating, bounty hunting, dogfighting, invasion of a capitol ship or just plain cruising enjoying the space scenery, do I need say more?.

    Think about it, is amazing all you get with $40 bucks, two games basically(Squadron 42 and Star Citizen), a space ship Aurora, Alpha and Beta access plus all the different things you can do in game I mention earlier and most important NO MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION FEE TO PLAY. =)

    I have spent more than $40 bucks on pledges but only because I wanted to help the project and wanted nicer space ships but be advised this is not necessary, you can acquire any space ship in game for free, they’ll be available for purchase with in game virtual money.

    What I’m trying to say is, if you haven’t pledge for Star Citizen because of what misinformed people say or personal concerns, think about this, do you rather pay $60 bucks for the same crap over and over again in all those franchised games like CoD and GTA or would you rather just throw $40 bucks at a new game that in reality gives you two games and will give you a refreshing experience with all the different roles you can play in it, the possibilities are endless. Think about it.

    Just my two cents. =)

    Here’s a link to Star Citizen if you want to see the different pledges available to you:

    https://robertsspaceindustries.com/

    • Andron Auro Marin

      Yes I would buy GTA over this game and you know why? GTA V – offers a great single player and an entertaining multiplayer.That’s what all games must have.SC will offer just a great multiplayer.Two games in one ?Dude this is clearly a MMO game with a little focus on Single player. So is it worth to buy a $40 MMO game?? No it’s not.Although I agree that this whole multiplayer thing seems amazing, a game must have a decent single player too. If this game will offer a great single player then I’ll be the greatest supporter that this game has ever had but I know it won’t.I don’t know,maybe it’s still too early to make assumptions. Anyway this is just my opinion…..

    • sneakjoint

      Will all due respect, I ask you to do a little more research. The single player aspect is not some tacked on feature. It has full dedicated team in Manchester, England (of about 20 people now, but looking to expand to 50-60 this year) that will ONLY be working on the single player aspect and nothing else. They are taking both multi-player as well as the single player very seriously. In fact, several stretch goals were dedicated to the single player to ensure it is of high quality. Currently the plan is to have 50 missions upon release, and that’s just for a start. Here’s a link to all of their stretch goals:

      https://robertsspaceindustries.com/funding-goals

      All you have to do is use ctrl+f and search for Squadron 42 and it’ll show all the features they have dedicated just for the single player.

      I know that not everyone is as knowledgeable about this game, but I ask that you do at least the basic research before you post negative feedback that is completely false. It will unecessarily deter people who would have otherwise supported this game.

    • Umair Khan

      They have a whole different studio in Manchester working on Single Player and it won’t be just after thought SP like BF4 . It will have 50+ missions and it is created like Next Gen Wing Commander . That alone is worthy of 60 dollars price . It will also be prequel to Star Citizen so it is very important for them to blow people away from the game’s very first moments . Choices you make in Single Player also affect the outcome of story and your relationship with different people . Play Wing Commander 4 , you’ll get the idea .

    • grimzodzeitgeist

      Squadron 42 is the single player game. You are incorrect. Expansions are already being discussed.

    • Dragon75

      People here forgot to mention that you can also host your own server with the whole Persistent Universe.

      This gives players the following options.

      1. You can play alone against only the AI, thus avoiding the online persistent universe(PU) altogether.
      Thats all the single player you want there in addition to the Squadron 42 campaign.

      2. You can choose to open up the server to friends only or to the public as well, allowing to your own PU with your own rules-

      3. You can mod the game any way you want.
      The game comes with FULL modding support, and even has modding tools supplied with the game.

      So next time you have something bad to say, at least make sure you have done some research and educated yourself about what you are talking about in advance, otherwise you will just make a complete fool of yourself.

    • Psionicinversion

      You can host your own server yes but it will be a cut down version of it because itll take a lot of processing power to run the whole thing even if its just for yourself… think of it as Star Citizen Lite. The single player will affect your standings if the game i think and may allow you to earn money and stuff also if you get enough faction with say the UEE you may be able to purchase military grade equipment rather than the dumbed down commercial stuff so its exciting

    • US_War_Veteran

      I don’t think you fully understand what Star Citizen is about, I have played every single GTA tittle and I do like it, the stories are interesting, but GTA sometimes feels sandboxed, way too much, to the point that I feel like a taxi driver, go here do this, now go there there do that, or having to wait in a dark corner for some mission guy to appear, that’s a no go for me, I like open world of games like Skyrim for example where I don’t have to follow a script and your choices affect the story line; If you ever player Privateer (also made by Mr. Roberts) that’s what this is will be like, except light years head in technology and content for what I can see based on the many articles and developer videos I have seen, and open world where you do what you please, and your choices change how the game develops, except in a much broader scale since you’re playing with thousands of other people and their choices matter too, pretty much like real life, and that is what sets this game apart from the rest of the cookie cutter games out there.

      So the million dollar question, would I buy GTA over this game, NOPE, I would buy this game hands down. You should read up on Star Citizen and what the developers have envisioned for it and all of the content and customization options before you put it down, there is nothing worse than an ignorant critic.

    • Upsidian

      I keep having reocuring dreams about playing this game. With oculus rift. Only it is so good i can see my hands and walk around and it feels real. Is that weird?

    • US_War_Veteran

      Very weird, LOL, I suggest you watch reruns of I Love Lucy back to back for a week to get your mind off of SC. LOL.

  • Matthew11

    It’s the perfect storm of a game designer who has a long history of very sucessful space games and a market that is starving for something new in this genre. I’ve pledged more than I would for any other game but them again if I think back to the Wing Commander series, Starlancer or Freelancer, no game since has taken as much of my attention or time. I didn’t just put money into what I hope will be a great game, but in the hope that a great developer will continue to produce more in the genre that he was once king of for so long.

  • Grammar Polizei

    Its is used to show possession.

  • Nojan

    I assure you this will be one of the best games of the decade… if anyone disagrees just wait until mid 2015 and see the game yourself! this is space simulator you can be whoever you want( pirate, smuggler , human trafficker , assassin , freelancer , mercenary , soldier , merchant , cargo hauler , miner and much more!) do what ever you want , and go wherever you want but in 2944!! almost like time machine!!!!

  • nuh-uh

    No mention of his other successful space series in the article? Wing commander 1-4, Privateer 1&2, etc were all hugely successful before Freelancer even showed up prior to Mr. Roberts “retirement”.

    -Longscope

  • Tubz

    finally a well written article that’s not just about the latest pledge amount.
    well done you sir

  • sneakjoint

    Jake, thank you so much for posting an article that does not talk about just the numbers that this game has achieved, or calls it a fanciful unicorn of a game that will not deliver on its promises. You have captured what this game actually means to people who have pledged or supported the game so far. Hopefully, people who have been skeptical thus far will be convinced and support this game. Thanks 😀

  • Umair Khan

    I can’t wait for this game . Very good article .

  • Steven Ryan

    Great job on the article. This game is going to be the bomb! BOOM, BANG, BONG, DA BOMB! And yes I have already pledged along time ago!

  • Archang3ll

    This IS absolutely the BEST article on Star Citizen by a 3rd party NOT invested in C.I.G. personally that I have ever read. Great article.

  • Zachary Reed

    It’s Chris Roberts, the guy who made Wing Commander. It will not fail. If the aliens are anything cat-like, I will finally be home.

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