Star Citizen – SERIOUSLY
continuing my ‘intriguing’ web series of pulling old draft posts from the grave and completing them whether they are relevant or not (this one is! (I think)). This one I started in January – naught 6 months old!
39M in funding? (43.5 at the time of this draft necro..) That’s crazy. Nuts, even. I don’t spend a lot of time on Kickstarter and I have supported a total of two projects. One, Camelot Unchained, has less to do with the faith in Jacobs to be in charge (again) but more for nostalgia’s sake. DAOC was my game for many years. I honestly have some faith, but not a ton.
The second was supporting Tesh. I try to be a supportive community member and this one also had the added bonus of getting something cool for being supportive. To be truthful though, I probably wouldn’t have supported the tinker dice on the dice alone. That isn’t to put the project down one bit! I’m just saying for me, Tesh was the driving factor to support. If I loved cool dice that may have been the factor. Regardless – Star Citizen is a clear voice of the people on a game a lot of people have asked for for a long time.
I loved the Wing Commander series and also Privateer. While not related, I also very much enjoyed the X-Wing fighter series. So I definitely have a space ace kind of vibe going on here. This naturally had me do a lot of research on the upcoming title and I am intrigued – DEFINITELY intrigued. But, like many kickstarters the stretch goals are starting to lose me. I have so much distrust in big name designers making their comeback.
sorry – couldn’t resist!
The constant fundraising is as well. I know you can never have enough money when developing games but just looking at their main web page with the contests, video shoots, etc. etc. it seems as though they are becoming a professional money-raising organization as much as a game design one. More game making, less fundraising, ok? The good news is that their stretch goals stop at 45,000,000 and we’ll see if they add more after that. The bad *feeling* to me is how much of the money they have already raised has been used to raise more money versus making the game? I’m not saying that isn’t smart, but perhaps they should run a new Kickstarter for the PR side of the game. (note:joking/sarcasm – I know promotion (often shameless) is a huge part of gaming. I also know that it is a necessary evil to help push the box sales. I think the mandate is already clear here though.)
Chances are that answer is zero money “wasted” on promotion, and since it is a self-published title that they are working on from a legendary game designer (Chris Roberts) this money is critical for the whole process. I have been pretty tough on Brad McQuaid in the past and every other former rockstar designer (Jacobs, Garriott) who tried to make triumphant returns on their name alone have failed pretty good. This is Mr. Roberts’ kick at the can and with the freedom he has from the rounds of fundraising he won’t have a publisher/external pressure/zombies to blame if he fails.
Of course, and with the other famous designers, I want him to succeed. I was an early Tabula Rasa tester and thought it had a chance to be a niche success – but Rockstar Game Designers don’t do niche! I beta tested Vanguard but saw the chinks early although I held hope. Bhagpuss still heralds the game as one of his faves. I made a now silly prediction that Warhammer Online would get and hold 1,000,000 subscribers based on the beta experience. I still think it would have hit that if they preserved what made the beta experience awesome, but that turned out to be impossible. The irony of that prior linked article about the 1,000,000 subs is talking about Copernicus and how perhaps Curt Shilling could be uninfluenced by the market and actually build a game for gamers. Yet another example of a Rockstar Style CEO/Designer and a huge flop.
I need to stop predicting while I am ahead. Wait, I’ve never been ahead on my predictions. I just need to stop.
Chris Roberts is the face of the space gaming and exploration and while he has been gone from gaming for quite some time (for the most part) before Star Citizen, he is the last standing hero designer with a shot at a repeat. I am going to watch in quiet anticipation from the sidelines on this one.
Help us Obi-Chris-Wan-Roberts, you’re our only hope.