Letter from the Chairman
It looks like the Origin M50 is rocketing off the showroom floor and we’ve reached the $ 49 million crowd funding level! The $ 49 million reward is the last of our set of user-voted ‘flair goals.’ Congrats to all current backers of Star Citizen – you have earned a Xi’An Space Plant!
That’s all thanks to you, Star Citizen’s backers. We’ve had a lot of questions about why we still need to continue crowd funding. The answer is that that money is letting Star Citizen tackle longer term features and content sooner than we normally would. To sustain this level of development, we need to keep bringing in additional funds. Star Citizen is still much less than the other published backed AAA games that have similar levels of ambition (some would even say a little less 🙂 ) like GTA V, Watch Dogs or Destiny.
We know that Star Citizen is an incredibly ambitious project, after all its basically several high fidelity AAA games all rolled into one; a MMO Space Sim, a First Person Shooter, a rich Single Player story and a fully-fledged Trading and Economy game. I’m pretty sure this level of ambition is why the majority of you backed. If I had pitched Star Citizen to a typical publisher, told them I wanted all these features and wanted to make it just for a PC I would have been laughed out of the room. (Of course, you all showed publishers that a AAA space sim for the PC is no laughing matter!)
Our plan is to scale the team based on the crowd funding, with the goal to be able to double down on development wherever it’s possible to do so. If we need more artists to produce additional ships, we’d like to be able to hire them. Or if we need more engineers to get a head start on some longer term technical issue before it blocks other parts of development, we want that option! It’s the new players hearing about Star Citizen and Arena Commander for the first time and jumping in as well as sales like the M50 that enable us to continue to chase our shared dream of the BDSSE to the highest fidelity. So thank you for your support.
Here’s the $ 49 million goal:
- Xi’An Space Plant – Similar to a bonsai tree, the Centennial Bloom is a very famous Xi’An plant indigenous to EealusIII that blossoms for one night every one hundred years. They sell the plants in sealed terrariums to traders. Ever since their introduction to the UEE, Humanity has been fascinated by these beautiful plants and the wait for them to bloom.
Please remember that the stretch goals are rewards for reaching levels and don’t indicate a specific million dollars spent. Star Citizen is a massive game, and every dollar goes to making it possible. Stretch goals are intended to reward and include the community that is making the game possible, not to indicate to the world that we are “feature creeping” too much into the game.
For the $ 51 million stretch goal, I’d like to try something a little different in the hopes that it might be another way to involve you, our backers, in Star Citizen’s development process. For the first time, we’re going to try giving you a say in Star Citizen’s production schedule!
As you may have seen, Star Citizen’s platform team launched our new online store today! We sat down to develop the new store with an eye towards making it more friendly to new backers; people who didn’t know the difference between a game package and an addon ship. In the process, we also revamped how we display ship information to everyone. That meant adding hundreds of images and other resources like the holo-viewers for existing backers!
Next, we will sit down with Turbulent to decide the next big push. We have plenty of things on the to-do list, including the Galactapedia, web scoreboards for Arena Commander, the interactive galaxy map and Organizations Drop 2. These are all things that are going to happen… what we’re going to ask you to do is to determine the priority. Which of these major projects should our web designers and artists focus their resources on next?
- Orgs Drop 2 – Divisions, jobs and the 3D Organizations browser.
- Orgs Drop 3 – Private forums for each Star Citizen Organization.
- Galactapedia – Your guide to the Star Citizen universe which ties directly into Star Citizen’s persistent universe.
- Web Scoreboards – Want to see your Arena Commander history on the website, or find out how you stack up against other Citizens?
- Known Universe Map – An interactive map of Star Citizen’s known universe which will expand along with the game.
The work the platform team does is the most community-facing; from rebuilding the pledge store to creating the XMPP chat, their work impacts you before anything else! That’s why this is the first time Star Citizen’s backers will get to directly influence our production schedule and resource allocation. We’d also like to hear your thoughts below: what do you think would improve the web side of the game? You never know: you may just have an idea worth including the next time around!
— Chris Roberts