Cloud Imperium Games

The E3 2014 press conference PC gamers deserve

Evan Lahti at

E3 remains the place for big developers and publishers to reveal and showcase their games. We love PAX, Gamescom, and GDC, but E3 is where Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, EA, et al. come out swinging with millions of marketing dollars to try and outdo one another in spectacle in a series of Monday press conferences.

The PC, lacking a sole, corporate representative or elected monarch, doesn’t have its own press conference at E3. Our platform has a great presence on the E3 floor, which we’ll be covering tirelessly this week, but we can’t help but wonder each year: if PC gaming a press conference, what would it be like? As we’ve done in 2013 and 2012, here’s our vision.

Star Citizen's Arena Commander module now available for backers

Phil Savage at

It's been a long time coming, but after multiple delays, Star Citizen's dogfighting module—titled Arena Commander v0.8—has been released to backers. Expected last week (and at many other points over the last few months), the module was held back these few extra days due to critical bugs. With the repairs now finished, players have been told they're okay for launch.

Star Citizen's dogfighting module delayed due to critical bugs

Phil Savage at

The Kickstarter-funded space games are in an interesting place at the moment. On the one hand, there's Elite: Dangerous, which is fast approaching its beta. On the other, heavier, bulkier hand, there's Star Citizen. As a crowdfunding campaign, it's unstoppable—nearing $45 million. As a game, it's yet to leave the hanger. That was set to change with the release of a dogfighting module, due to be sent out to backers today. Project director Chris Roberts has instead announced that the current build is too unstable for release and has been delayed. Again.

Star Citizen tops $40 million in funding, opens up two new star systems

Patrick Carlson at

Star Citizen—the in-progress space sim and dream generator—has surpassed $40 million in funding, according to the latest update from game lead Chris Roberts. While the new monies are set to boost the scale of its universe with the addition of two new star systems, the new update also reveals the level of fresh support Star Citizen has achieved in terms of its community population. Roberts writes that more than 10,000 people have joined its community since the end of February.

Star Citizen's dogfighting module delayed to allow for fine tuning, better server backend

Phil Savage at

We last checked in with Star Citizen three weeks ago, and so presumably the unstoppable crowdfunding juggernaut has made some serious money since then. Well, yes - multiple millions, in fact - but for once that's not what this news is about. The ambitious space-'em-ups roadmap had planned for the release of a dogfighting module at the end of this month, giving backers a taste of the game's combat. In an address to the community, Chris Roberts has now revealed that the launch is being delayed by a couple of months.

Star Citizen is building a faction system, initial launch planned for early January

Patrick Carlson at

Star Citizen is getting organized. And not in the sense that it's getting really good at raising incredible amounts of game development cash. No, we knew that already. Dubbed "Organizations," the upcoming space sim has announced a new faction/clan system that's being prepped to go live sometime next month, according to an update from developer Cloud Imperium Games.

Star Citizen raises $30 million, increases funding for Squadron 42 single-player campaign

Phil Savage at

The danger with writing about Star Citizen's financial achievements is that, currently, it's approaching a full time job. No sooner than you've thought of a pithy opening to lead the news that they've raised yet another million dollars, you find that they've raised yet another yet another million. The total is fast approaching the $31 million mark, but rather than wait the five minutes for that to happen, I want to go back and look at the $29 million milestone. It unlocked enhanced funding for the game's single-player campaign - Squadron 42 - which the developers are touting as a spiritual successor to Wing Commander.

Star Citizen trailer introduces Anvil Aerospace, $24 million stretch goal achieved

Phil Savage at

As I activated the long-range news scanner this morning, I saw the unmistakeable blip of some Star Citizen news. "Ah," I thought, "another million dollars already?" The gaps between intervals were becoming less frequent. Grimly I set out, determined to wrangle the stray news fragment, but during my approach, I realised something was wrong. This wasn't about the space game's expanding finances. It was something else entirely: a new trailer, showcasing one of the in-game ship manufacturers. Less than an hour later, I accidentally stumbled across another Star Citizen news scrap. The game had passed its $24 million funding milestone.

Star Citizen has raised $21 million, unlocking the 'salvage' career path

Phil Savage at

As I climbed into the news cockpit this morning, I noticed the familiar flashing of the deep red alert siren. If anything, the warnings were becoming more frequent: a foreboding sign of the future. This time it had been silent for just nine days. Still, that's the life we chose; we knew the risks when we signed up for this job. We knew that periodically - nay, regularly - Star Citizen would make yet another million dollars.

Star Citizen hints at its larger universe in latest trailer

Patrick Carlson at

Star Citizen's latest video is pure space sim. Assembled for a recent presentation of developments in AMD graphics technology, the footage does more than show off all the polish that's being applied to the ambitious project. The video also works as a subtle vehicle for the highly-anticipated game's story.

Star Citizen still a perpetual money machine, will add first person ground combat at $20 million

Phil Savage at

Back when the global financial markets went on their extended package holiday, roughly 90% of the adverts on TV were hysterical men shouting about how you should be giving them all the gold you've hoarded away in your secret underground gold bins. I bet those people feel like idiots now, because, as Star Citizen is proving, the real money isn't in stockpiles of shiny metal, but in fictional recreations of space. Not only has the crowdfunded sim raised over $18 million, but now its developers have announced that if they raise $20 million - which they will - the final game will include first person ground combat.

Star Citizen raises $17 million, launches cosmetic store for hangar module

Phil Savage at

Sandbox space sim Star Citizen is raising money at such a steady rate that we'll soon be able to use its funding total as a replacement for calendars. Christmas will now be scheduled for $24.7 million, the new year for $24.9, and Half-Life 3's release date is projected somewhere in the billions. Today's date, for those who need to adjust to the new system, is $17 million. This, despite the fact that the only part of the game in players' hands is a hangar module, which acts as a museum for their purchased ships.

Millions of crowdfunded dollars aside, that museum now has an microtransaction store tied to it. Voyager Direct offers players in-game items for UEC - the game's currency, which is currently only available as a real-money purchase. It has prompted controversy among the game's community, with criticism over the pricing of items. For instance: a buggy that players can drive around the hangar costs 20,000 UEC - the equivalent of $20.

Star Citizen trailer details economy and mission generation

Phil Savage at

It's not quite as immediately sexy as their previous in-engine trailer, but this video for the economic plans of Cloud Imperium's Star Citizen still dazzles with its descriptions of a vast and emergent system. Here, studio founder Chris Roberts takes us through examples of naturally occurring trade missions - and how their success or failure can tie directly into the galactic price of goods.

Star Citizen video shows off its detailed ship innards

Phil Savage at

Cloud Imperium Games recently hosted a 24-hour livestream for their ambitious space trading sim Star Citizen. If you want to watch the whole thing, you can totally do that. Not got that sort of spare time? Here's 0.63% of it: a 9 minute exploration through one of the game's ships, showing the detail and precision used to create its exterior and interior parts, as well as the animations that will bring it to life.

Star Citizen raises $9 million through crowdfunding

Phil Savage at

The year is 2053; the world is on the brink of financial and social collapse. It started innocuously enough. Star Citizen - Chris Roberts' multiplayer space sim - took to Kickstarter, making a healthy $2,000,000 from backer pledges. But the money kept pouring in through the game's website at Roberts Space Industries. By the end of April 2013, Star Citizen had raised a staggering total of $9,062,402.

Chris Roberts: Star Citizen's death system creates "a sense of living history"

Omri Petitte at

Star Citizen's huge ambitions haven't faded since the upcoming space sim warped past the $6 million mark during its twin crowdfunding campaigns. In a lengthy blog post, project head Chris Roberts shares his ideas for creating a "sense of living history" through a permadeath mechanic that underscores a character's legacy.