When I read that Chris Roberts, the guy who created Privateer and Wing Commander, was back in the land of the living and creating another space sim style game…Well, to put it mildly I pissed myself.
You see, I grew up on Privateer and Wing Commander and the spiritual predecessor to those games, “Elite”. I was playing space sims when they were just 4 colored vector graphics and MIDI sounds on machines that were less powerful than a modern calculator.
And I loved them.
Today, at GDC online Chris announced a new entry into the genre, specifically a new space combat sim called Star Citizen which, as we have found out, has been in development for 12 months at Roberts’ Cloud Imperium™ Games studio, located in Los Angeles.
We don’t know a whole lot about it yet but we do know that it will feature stunning visuals in a virtual world that is immersive and detailed, a sophisticated storyline that is wide in scope and visceral, heart-pounding space combat; Something which is a hallmark of Chris Roberts’ games.
Sorry, you’ll have to bear with me. I’m typing this with wet pants.
Read some quotes from Roberts while I go clean up.
“In recent years, game designers have stopped innovating and pushing the boundaries of what you can do in this genre,” says Roberts. “I plan on bringing that kind of development mentality back into PC gaming and space sims in particular.
“There is a lot of noise out there regarding social and mobile games right now, and I think PC gamers are feeling a little left out of the mix. But the PC is still incredibly capable of presenting an experience that doesn’t take a back seat to any other platform out there, including consoles. With my game, I want PC gamers to stand up, be counted and get excited again about all the great experiences their computer can deliver.”
So, we know that this release will be PC only, because Roberts wants to put PC gaming back on the map, which is awesome. We also know that it’s going to kick all kinds of ass because, let’s face it, Chris. Fucking. Roberts. Seriously.
Roberts also announced that he has started a program which will bring fans much closer to the development process of the game, via a crowd funding site he has created at www.robertsspaceindustries.com, which will be used to help raise the necessary funds for completing development of the project.
“Our purpose today,” said Roberts, “is to allow our fans to join us in this process early. It will likely be another two years before the full product is ready for release, but early backers will be able to play a version of the game a year from now.”
“We are taking this approach to fund-raising for several reasons,” said Roberts. “For one, this route takes the traditional game publisher out of the mix and enables us to take the millions of dollars normally used by publishers for a triple-A title and plow them right back into developing the game. Secondly, using our own crowd funding mechanism allows us to reach out to our international fans, who have been devoted followers of my games in the past. Thirdly, going direct gets us much closer to our fans and allows us to focus more on the community side, create more updates for our fans and directly interact with them as we are making the game.”
Star Citizen, which is still in the early development stages (though you can’t tell that from the trailer we have below), will not require a subscription, but will not be free-to-play either. Roberts says the game will be available for a one-time purchase and while players will be able to play in the Star Citizen universe for free, there will also be virtual items available for purchase with in-game credits so players can customize their ships and other items.
Yeah…so excited. I gotta call these people and get a preview copy. NOW.
Check the trailer, then hit up www.robertsspaceindustries.com for more info.