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Star Citizen Takes the Crowdfunding Crown, Raising More Than $4M

timothy posted about a year ago | from the just-like-to-thank-all-the-little-donors dept.

Businesses 123

Zocalo writes "Star Citizen, Chris Roberts' attempt to reboot the Space Sim genre, hit a major funding milestone earlier today, exceeding the previous record of $4,163,208 secured by the game Project Eternity and more than doubling the initial funding target set by the producer of the Wing Commander series. With Stretch Goals now being passed every few hours bringing new features to the planned game, and David Braben announcing a new installment of the classic Elite using a similar funding model at Kickstarter could this be a wake-up call for the big game publishers to take another look at the genre? There are still two days left for Star Citizen funding as well, so if you feel like taking part, you can chip in either at the main RSI site or on Kickstarter."

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123 comments

Is there really need for "rebooting" (0)

SpaceSimFan (2776149) | about a year ago | (#42012857)

With Eve Online and X3 available, is there real need for rebooting the space sim genre? I would understand the concern if there really was no games available, but there are and they're both pretty great. On top of that I wouldn't want to touch single player space sim anymore. Eve is just that good.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42012891)

You sound more like Eve and X3 fan than Space Sim fan to me.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42012917)

I wouldn't consider EVE great. As always opinions vary.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42012923)

Not everybody is satisfied with the direction or mechanics of Eve or X3.

Or even just the setting.

Yes we need a reboot because... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42012983)

Eve:
1) requires 15 a month (sucks).
2) requires you to engage in pvp or hit a harsh progression cap (drives away the pve market)
3) has a player base full of crooks!

X3:

1) not massive.
2) interface is egregiously klunky, complicated, and unintuitive.

So, yes, we need a reboot. However, space sims are really hard to do well. Space is pretty empty so there isn't nearly as much to do out there as there is to do on the surface of a planet. Especially when combat mechanics are concerned. Space combat usually falls into two categories, neither one of which is as fun and engaging as most ground combat systems. The two categories are:

1) arrow chasing. Most of the time you are flying, you are chasing the arrows on your HUD. Then, you have a split second when the enemy is in front of you, so you can shoot at them, and then you are right back to arrow chasing. You can't really appreciate the graphics if you are staring at that arrow most of the time, and it gets silly fast.

2) resource allocating. You let the AI do the fighting for you while you mostly just pick the targets and reallocate power. Fun from a tactical perspective, but not from an adrenaline perspective.

You can mix the two...usually that just makes it confusing. I am not saying it can't be done right, I am just saying the bar is really, really high. After watching bioware sink 100 million into a game that flopped largely because of unengaging combat and a boring endgame, I would be quite wary of investing in this.

But if he pulls it off, you will see me online. pew pew!

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013185)

> However, space sims are really hard to do well.

Wing Commander. Privateer. X-wing. Tie Fighter.

The head on this project was even behind two of those.

Space sims probably fell out of favor because people stopped buying joysticks.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (2)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#42013469)

Combat in Freelancer was probably the best I've ever played.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year ago | (#42014481)

I loved Freelancer. If there's ever anything like it for Linux, I would be all over it.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#42015989)

If there's ever anything like it for Linux, I would be all over it.

Parsec has revived [openparsec.com]. No idea how far along its come (it was dead for 9 years and the current feature list touts IPX networking) and no idea how close to freelancer it'll get, but maybe it'll get there.

I did the Wing Commander -> Privateer -> Freelancer sequence too. I'll throw in a few bucks for this too.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

NetCow (117556) | about a year ago | (#42016023)

Works perfectly fine under Wine, and there's a very active multiplayer community, too - significantly expanding upon the original game. Take a look at Discovery Freelancer [discoveryfl.com].

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013991)

What was cutting edge and popular back in the 80's won't fly in today's gaming market. A simple graphical update, maybe with better physics, on those systems will still seem anachronistic and gamers won't flock to it.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (3, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#42014065)

Pretty sure you're wrong about that. So are 62,000 other people who spent an average of nearly $70 each to help crowd-fund the game. And thats with all the doubt around whether he will be able to pull it off (I still have my doubts, and nevertheless am thinking of raising my pledge... because even the possibility he could deliver 1/2 of what he promises is worth it to me).

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (2)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about a year ago | (#42014219)

I found Tachyon: The Fringe quite amusing as well.

Although that was mostly despite of the gameplay, not because of it. Weird storylines(preventing a space pirate from taking off with the stolen Sistine Chapel on a barge), good voiceacting, etc.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

lbbros (900904) | about a year ago | (#42015583)

Don't forget Freespace 2 and the massive mod community that's backing it nowadays.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013261)

Putting combat at the center of the game is the problem. We need economics (unpredictable markets, not gold sinks), politics (real complexity), religion, personal rivalries, grand stories (told by the players), crafting (unpredictable items; based on human abilities not player stats), exploration (map making and sharing; shifting resources or pathways), etc.... We need new games, not shinier explosions.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about a year ago | (#42013385)

Thumbs up, but out of mod points. A universe.. not an arena. To be fair, EVE tried, and it got the combat, mining, hauling, etc right. The combat needs addressed somewhat, and the RPG elements simply don't exist since they can't (now, too late) be enforced.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013669)

The biggest problem of EVE is the fact that PVE combat is totally different from PVP. PVE encounter throw heaps and heaps of enemy ships at you, so tanking or evading becomes extremely important, while PVP is often much more about maximizing damage combined with all kinds of electronic warfare and other tricks.

Basically this means any PVE ship sucks in PVP, which means jumping from one to the other means outfitting multiple ships for different purposes, with all the logistics that entails. Also, PVP pretty much requires membership in a corp (alliance if you want nullsec) unless you want to spend eternity prowling low-sec for careless miners and mission runners.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#42013763)

PvP in Eve is paper-scissor-stone; that and a blob getting the jump on individuals or much smaller blobs. I've never enjoyed that side of the game.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about a year ago | (#42014195)

I'm a 6 year eve veteran, combat focused (mining, trading, etc = boring). I quit about 6 months ago. I'm pretty familiar with the deficiencies in EVE PVP vs PVE, and I agree in spirit; making the rats behave like players is a really tall order though. They did do somewhat better when they introduced sleepers, and again in incursions. I never was a "mission whore" and so as soon as I moved into lowsec, which was within a week or two of starting, I just fit for PVP and only for PVP -- even when ratting or running missions.

The real problem with PVP in eve is that it's no longer dynamic or imaginative on a large scale. There's nothing fun about gate or station camping, for either side. The best fights are in wormholes these days, so I look there for potential solutions, not so much in the causes, but how to bring the same effects into normal space from w-space.

The only thing that could really bring me back to eve with a great deal of interest would be an overhaul of all of normal space to be more wormholey, and then some more on top of that. Ideally I'd like to see two things done. 1. Local done away with entirely, or at least, immediate local. 2. Removal of jump gates entirely, allowing any ship to jump to any other within range -- short range and no fuel required, and no cyno required either. Just pop you out somewhere randomly out around the edge.

This would be a huge shakeup of the existing system and lots of tears would be shed, but it's the only way out IMHO. No more gate camps; not in low, null, or empire. Nullsec alliances would shrink (area wise) as they would have to defend all their space, not just arbitrary bottlenecks. Transiting through lowsec would be safer for haulers, though no safer for miners or people ratting or running plexs.

I don't think it will ever actually happen in eve though, so I have no plans to return and un-mothball my personal fleet at present.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about a year ago | (#42014203)

That's not really much different to any other MMO which has both PvP and PvE; you generally have your PvP gear and your PvE gear and switch depending on what you're doing.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year ago | (#42013507)

Exactly what I think has got so many people to back Star Citizen, although I'm sure having Chris Robert's name attached helped more than a little. Apart from the religion aspect (which might be for the best, given how touchy people can be about it) all of the items you listed are part of the game Chris' has outlined on the SC site. And yes, that includes the shiny explosions; some of the early in-game footage already looks amazing, and it's not even made it to alpha yet.

The real news here though is that there is demonstrably a massive interest in reviving the Space Sim genre, something that the conventional AAA title publishers and their backers have neglected for years in favour of sport sims, FPSs and Facebook plugins. While I doubt that Star Citizen and David Braben's new Elite game are going to have the financial successes of current AAA titles in those other genres, it might encourage one or more of them to maybe take note and produce some big-budget space sims of their own, which is the ultimate goal of Chris' project. Even if a few of the game really suck (likely), at least there will be some more choice out there that the same-old games that we keep seeing churned out on an annual basis at the moment, and that can't be bad, can it?

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42016011)

you sound like the president...we don't need more lies.

Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013575)

Mix X-Wing Alliance, that Ubisoft Sub Commander Game (Can't remember what it's called), the procedural generation of Spore, Borderlands, elite, etc. and the PVP of eve, WoW and I'll die a happy man.

EvE? Really? (3, Interesting)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about a year ago | (#42012991)

As someone who's been playing eve since 2006 and only quit a few months ago, I'm hopeful that SC can properly tackle some of the issues that have been slowly eating away at the... eveiverse? I don't know the "right" solutions to the problems, and absolutely love the sandbox, but there are serious issues, especially WRT new players and corps. As Douglas Adams put it, space is BIG, yet due to the mechanics of gates and the politics of nullsec and lolsec, it feels very cramped.

If SC (or even eve) could just fix that issue, somehow, I'd be back in a heartbeat. I know it's technically extremely difficult, but here's what I'm saying in simple terms: Direct flight from any star system to any other, without jump gates. No more gate camps. No more clusters of dozens of empty systems locked up behind some alliance "firewall." No more "front lines."

Just some thoughts from a retired eve player who really wants to like the game today as much as he did for so many years.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year ago | (#42013005)

With Eve Online and X3 available, is there real need for rebooting the space sim genre? I would understand the concern if there really was no games available, but there are and they're both pretty great. On top of that I wouldn't want to touch single player space sim anymore. Eve is just that good.

Well, X3 is showing it's age -- which is why they're rebooting it.

I don't mean gameplay or even artistically -- the game's engine cannot support enough ram to handle the full simulation anymore. When you play the latest X3 games you are literally in a race against time before the game's engine craps out. This is even moreso with the not-quite-official-but-encouraged Xtended updates.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (3, Informative)

vell0cet (1055494) | about a year ago | (#42013059)

EVE is not really a space sim. To me, space sim means real time flying and dog fighting... specifically things like having to lead your target.

I've always found that the X series wasn't very accessible. The controls seem really complicated (instead of complex yet simple).

But the biggest thing I miss from the old space sim days is the story. In Wing Commander, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, etc. you really felt like you were a pilot who's accomplishments on missions really made a difference in the larger picture. Something sorely missing from either of the titles that you mentioned.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year ago | (#42013117)

In EVE you fight for control of space. If you don't fight you WILL get your alliance kicked out of nullsec. How is that not making a difference?

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#42013651)

Fighting for control of space is the tip. The real power is in the economics - the spread-sheet side of the game, controlling moons and so on. After from a few top meta-gamers who don't seem to have real life jobs, it's very hard to make a difference in the Eve universe. I speak as someone who just made level 5 on his capital industrial skill :).

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about a year ago | (#42014243)

I think a lot of them do have real life jobs, it's just their real life jobs are basically doing what they're doing in EVE; that's why they're so good at it.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42015937)

EVE is not really a space sim. To me, space sim means real time flying and dog fighting... specifically things like having to lead your target.

I've always found that the X series wasn't very accessible. The controls seem really complicated (instead of complex yet simple).

But the biggest thing I miss from the old space sim days is the story. In Wing Commander, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, etc. you really felt like you were a pilot who's accomplishments on missions really made a difference in the larger picture. Something sorely missing from either of the titles that you mentioned.

Wing Commander, new and updated in Freespace 2 engine: http://wcsaga.hard-light.net/ [hard-light.net]

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013075)

Are you retarded? Eve is not a space sim.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013285)

Spreadsheets in spaaaaaaaace!

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (2, Informative)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#42013151)

"With Eve Online and X3 available, is there real need for rebooting the space sim genre? "

They both suck compared to freespace 1 + 2, xwing and the old wing commander series. Eve has no action oriented gameplay it's fully automated and slow as molasses. X3 is just too simmy and poorly made compared to freespace. Fans want something like this, see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhAR8rWPluQ [youtube.com]

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year ago | (#42013193)

To be fair the games you named are space combat sims and eve/x3 are economic sims with combat to support that. What you really want is a new space combat sim where you get sent on missions until the game ends.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (2)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#42013241)

And that is what star citizen is fundamentally about, although there will be some other elements. Space combat is at the fore-front, not an after thought.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#42013173)

Yup, there is. Eve Online is nice if you want to immerse yourselv in the latest shitstorm. But I have no inclanation whatsoever to play that.

I'm much more excited by the prospect of a new Elite. Perhaps with(optional) explosions-in-space level of realism? Dogfighting could be very frustrating in Elite. An X -Wing level of complexity with an Elite openness and scale would be my wet dream.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

Zhadnost (2776135) | about a year ago | (#42013883)

The new elite is being developed by David, this is being developed by a team. (I am supporting both projects, and fwiw, I think David is going to come up with something fantastic with considerably less money).

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#42013459)

I really didn't like X3. I mean in many respects it was TERRIBLE. I've been an Eve player since Beta 6, but I find that game more of a second job.

I'm hoping now SC has made it, people will turn their attention to Elite: Dangerous [kickstarter.com]. Braben posted a video recently talking about procedural generation [youtube.com] showing some wonderful volumetric clouds :).

Anyway, it's here if you're interested [kickstarter.com]. I love space sims and I hope both projects are concluded successfully. Competition is good!

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42014407)

The Wing Commander series, Privateer and Freelancer were all awesome games. Freelancer is 10 years old yet still has active servers around (admittedly not many) Eve Online is slow to start and $15 a month. Dunno about X3 though.

Re:Is there really need for "rebooting" (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | about a year ago | (#42014761)

Eve isn't a 'space sim', it's a 3rd person stats-focussed numbers game like any of the other dozens of 3rd person 'RPG' engines out there that happens to have a spacey theme

Wakeup Call (5, Insightful)

klingens (147173) | about a year ago | (#42012915)

No it's not a wake up call. Only if one of these games is successful like the "500 million US Dollar on the first day" latest Call of Duty sequel http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57551285/call-of-duty-black-ops-2-earns-$500-million-in-24-hours/ [cbsnews.com]

If one of these games, or better several, are huge hits, then the publishers will howl. Not before.

Re:Wakeup Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013067)

Then this is just stirrings of a hunger before the wake up call. A call that only has a chance if you support it.

Join us in pledging towards that wake up call. $35 will gain you a copy of the game once released, a perma insured ship and access to the alphas and betas.

I've pledged a lot more than the minimum. Enough that I just may be crazy but that is my choice.

Re:Wakeup Call (2)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#42013107)

There are not many sales figures like that. Actually I would say, there is none. Since this is a new record.

Much more interesting would be to find out who buys that stuff and why? You run around with a gun and shoot and thats all that's to it. The popularity of semi-realistic manshooters, soap operas, X-Factor, reality TV shows and teenie bopper music has always eluded me. But they always have a huge audience.

Re:Wakeup Call (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42015613)

That's not the average outcome but the average *budget* is about $23m

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/97413-Study-Claims-Average-Game-Budget-Is-23-Million [escapistmagazine.com]

Even Star Citizen acknowledges that their budget will be about 4-5x more than they raise on Kickstarter. So you're looking at $12-$25m to make your game. And you have to start wondering "Have all of our customers already pledged?" It's certainly great to have 10-20% of your budget up front to attract investors but investors have to wary too that the game is going to bomb and they're going to lose the other 80% of their investment in the game.

Also the budget for a AAA title is about $75m. And if they can make $500m off of $75m budget that's a lot better than making $4m off of a $12m budget.

The other thing that concerns me is that every single one of the named 'blockbuster' Kickstarter projects are by well established designers who want to re-make some nostalgia for customers.

"Hey did you love wing commander? Do you want another one? Great!"

For all of the complaints that the big publishers are just doing re-makes and clones--they are the ones who are taking the big risks on actually funding a new generation of game designers. Portal was the result of Valve funding a small team not kickstarter. When the next Portal is funded by kickstarter then we'll have something to really talk about. I just can't help but think if nothing changes in 20 years we'll have Cliff Bleszinski on Kickstarter "Hey guys remember chainsawing people in Gears of War?! For only $10m I'm going to make another third person cover based shooter!"

Now of course I'm a kickstarter funder for many of these projects (I'm as nostalgic as the next guy). But I don't see it having any notable impact. After all, the publishers passed up these projects for a reason. As happy as I am to play a new Wing Commander, I don't expect them to be kicking themselves when it barely breaks even in 3 years.

I'm more than happy to risk my money for something I want. But there is no way for Activision to ask me for $50 and maybe or maybe not release a game that may or may not be good. There's a good chance a lot of these games are going to suck and bomb. A chance I'm willing to take with some daring individuals. Otherwise I'm waiting for the demo.

Re:Wakeup Call (-1, Troll)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#42013165)

"If one of these games, or better several, are huge hits, then the publishers will howl. Not before."

Todays games hit high sales volumes on them being MOVIES not games, the call of duty/mass effect crowd are their for the hollywood and not the gameplay, this is why they are dumbed down and stripped down to high heaven. Space sims are completely different, they are not for a mass audience of dumb shits. The reason why first person shooter and games like mass effect are so popular is because they cater to the least intelligent among human kind.

Re:Wakeup Call (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#42013405)

Indeed, Not only is the game not even published yet... $4million is a pretty low budget for a modern PC game. It'll be interesting to see if they can pull it off all, let alone with all the "stretch goals", but it's hardly a wake up call.

Re:Wakeup Call (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year ago | (#42013859)

The total budget for SC isn't $4.25m plus whatever extra they take in the next few days from the crowd funding alone. Chris has some "proper" VC-style backers as well who will be providing the bulk of the funding on top of the crowd funding effort, so the idea behind the crowdfunding was to judge the potential size of the market for the game and likely return on investment for the main backers. The specifics are not public, but the inference was clearly that they would be contributing additional funds in proportion to the crowdfunding revenue and number of backers; that could be on a 1:1 basis, a 2:1 basis or whatever - only RSI knows. Chris certainly isn't a n00b at this, so I'm sure he's aware how much money it is really likely to cost to implement the features promised for each milestone of the crowdfunding and the backers will be providing the necessary additional funds.

Re:Wakeup Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013801)

LOL. At this point they could shit in a box and call it 'call of doody' and people would still buy 500 million worth.

There's a critical mass of morons out there now able to keep any stupid shit going.

doesnt mean it's good

Re:Wakeup Call (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42015949)

No it's not a wake up call. Only if one of these games is successful like the "500 million US Dollar on the first day" latest Call of Duty sequel http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57551285/call-of-duty-black-ops-2-earns-$500-million-in-24-hours/ [cbsnews.com]

If one of these games, or better several, are huge hits, then the publishers will howl. Not before.

That only happens because of hype and a large player base of your previous games. Plus lots of advertising.

Excellent ! (1)

Valtor (34080) | about a year ago | (#42012925)

I'm a backer and I really believe this game is going to turn out grandiose. :)

Re:Excellent ! (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about a year ago | (#42013355)

Likewise, I feel if anyone is able to pull this off it'll be him. He has a track record. I can't wait for the alpha, and the fact that they'll be supporting flight sim hardware has a few of my friends excited as well.

the big guys should keep doing what they're doing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42012953)

hopefully it will lead to bankruptcy for all of them

A letter and a word... (3, Insightful)

vell0cet (1055494) | about a year ago | (#42013045)

X - Wing

Re:A letter and a word... (2)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#42013155)

Don't use this particular sequence of characters!
I remember one particular mission where I had to fly an A-Wing and protect a couple of freighters. There were missiles I had to take out. It was next to impossible and took me two evenings to somehow muddle through. It got changed in the re-releases but the original floppy version had some absolutely spirit destroying missions.

The OPL2 soundtrack still haunts me.

Re:A letter and a word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013581)

In a way the problem was not that the mission was difficult, its that the campaign didn't have branching, so you were forced to do the same mission again and again. Contrast this with what Robert says in the crowdfunding game: you could pretty much wade through the whole Wing Commander game without winning and just get a different end, but people saved their games to play all mission to success because it felt more satisfying.

Still, allowing a few missions to go wrong is better IMHO than an easy/hard/brutal switch like in Starcraft 2/Diablo games, where it's just the same but more and stronger enemies. At least it allows not hardcore players to enjoy more their games.

Re:A letter and a word... (1)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | about a year ago | (#42014443)

All space sim fans know of this horror. The escort mission. WC2 cost me a keyboard for it...

Re:A letter and a word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42014597)

Oh man, I'd forgotten about that mission until you said that. It all comes back. This and the goddamn babelfish in the ear.

A piece of clothing and a noun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013293)

Tie Fighter

Who? (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about a year ago | (#42013079)

and David Brabham announcing a new installment of the classic Elite

David Braben, not Brabham - Brabham's the car guy.

I wonder... (3, Interesting)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about a year ago | (#42013099)

Why there are so many 'crowdfunding' stories here on /.
Exactly why is it so interesting how a company raises money? It was interesting the first couple of times, but now? Meh... not so much.
By the way, its about time for a bitcoin / RaspberryPi story ;-)

Re:I wonder... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#42013393)

Why there are so many 'crowdfunding' stories here on /.
Exactly why is it so interesting how a company raises money? It was interesting the first couple of times, but now? Meh... not so much.
By the way, its about time for a bitcoin / RaspberryPi story ;-)

Or an RP project crowdfunded by bitcoins.

Re:I wonder... (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about a year ago | (#42013397)

I understand your view point, the focus isn't so much about how a company raises money but the goal. The lead is the one who created a massive geeky franchise, one which included Mark Hamill. It's not like the story is promoting crowd funding for this project (note the deadline). You can also filter out the game stuff, since most of them are filed under that and you can be back to stuff like rights on line and year of the linux desktop variety stories.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#42013745)

It's interesting to note that David Braben's Elite was rejected by publishers, because they wanted games where you had 3 lives and a hi-score. It's very hard to get big publishers to do anything ground-breaking. The bean counters don't like risk, and there's always risk associated with doing something new. This is where crowd funding is most useful, because it bypasses the publishers!

Re:I wonder... (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year ago | (#42013965)

To be honest, I tend to agree - and I submitted this story. :) That's why I included the rider about this new record maybe creating enough interest in the Flight/Space Sim genre to attract some attention from the rest of the industry and get a few more titles into production. It might be co-incidence, but I'm sure the early successes of the Star Citizen campaign might have prompted the Elite: Dangerous annoucement to be made a little earlier than might have been planned. I admit, I'm really stoked about the potential for SC and hope it turns out as at least as amazing as Chris is promising, but for me the real story here is the potential for a revival of the flight sim genre instead of the same old stuff from FPSs and WoW/Farmville style grinders.

As for the Crowdfunding stories though - I think it's past time they got their own topic that people could select to ignore in their preferences.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42014371)

It's the libertarian streak of Slashdot, people here are very fond of "alternative" ways that don't rely on corporations or the government. Like for example crowdfunding which is a massive move of risk over to the "customer", which is what people consider themselves when the reward for donating $X is one copy of product Y. And then I'm not thinking about the outright frauds but more the projects that just don't go according to plan, either because the plan is terrible to begin with, you don't have the people, you don't have the skills, the technology doesn't work out and overall the work and challenges involved are much greater than originally thought and what seemed like a good idea on practice just isn't that great in reality. Everybody who's actually worked with this knows that the both the cost estimates, schedule and deliverables are ballpark estimates.

Personally, I think I'll still wait until there's an actual game/movie/book/whatever you can have in hand and read reviews about. Life's too short for me to actually do QA on crowdsourcing projects and I imagine it is for most other people too, they just throw some money at it and hope it was a good idea based on some superficial ideas and concept art. Except as they say, ideas are a dime a dozen. It's the execution ability that matters and that design needs to be matched with well working code and kept sufficient in check to bring it to market. I know way too many people who'd get too busy improving the product to ever ship 1.0, not sticking to a scope and finishing it is probably the most common failure mode I see. Then the money runs out and you ship a buggy and incomplete version "1.5" instead.

Re:I wonder... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42014757)

It is interesting when projects that can't get funding through more traditional channels manage to do so through crowdfunding. I live in hope that one day good TV shows won't be at the mercy of shitty TV networks, and interesting games that aren't just clones of existing ones will get made.

Re:I wonder... (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42016551)

Slashdot's traditionally been antagonistic towards publishers in general - RIAA, MPAA, BSA, even some game developers (EA). Kickstarter is a direct-to-creator funding method that cuts out the publisher. If it becomes a mainstream method of funding, it could spell the beginning of the end for traditional publishers. Because the money's all given up-front, copyright isn't as important for Kickstarted projects as it is for projects whose sole income stream is post-development.

Leisure Suit Larry (4, Funny)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about a year ago | (#42013113)

If I had my druthers, I'd go for LLL remake by Al Lowe...

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/leisuresuitlarry/make-leisure-suit-larry-come-again?ref=live [kickstarter.com]

Re:Leisure Suit Larry (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about a year ago | (#42013409)

Another interesting thing about this kickstarter is that if it succeeds they plan on remaking all of the games. At present they're only licensed to do the first.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42013647)

Larry got his funding, why not contribute to another classic Sierra team trying to put out a new game? Lori and Corey Cole, the couple behind Quest for Glory, have a kickstarter ending in THREE DAYS. They have $311K out of $400. That's nearly 80% of the way there. This can happen if you pitch in.

Please contribute to the Quest for Glory reboot: Hero-U [kickstarter.com].

Traditional publishers don't give a shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013245)

Traditional publishers don't give a shit. It's not that these games can't make money. It's that traditional publishers are usually publicly owned and they dont' care about just keeping the lights on. They care about making HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS on a game. Making a game for $4m and selling $8m worth of copies is trivial shit that they just don't care about.

procedural content generation (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year ago | (#42013309)

Star citizen has no procedural content generation. How are they going to fill a whole galaxy without that? I don't see how could possibly a hand-crafted galaxy even remotely compare with procedurally generated one like in Elite.

Also in Elite gas giant planets (like jupiter) will really have atmosphere where you could fly and harvest fuel (and possibly get crushed due to pressure).

For these reasons I put my funding on Elite [kickstarter.com] :)

Re:procedural content generation (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#42013417)

Star citizen has no procedural content generation. How are they going to fill a whole galaxy without that?

BYOPlanet.

Re:procedural content generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013621)

You want to spray people to death or something? http://www.byoplanet.com

Re:procedural content generation (2)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year ago | (#42013627)

Not for system generation, no. It's not been stated how they plan to implement things like planet textures, nebula structures, commodity prices and so on, so that may well turn out to be procedural in the final game. Atmospheres that can be flown through have not been ruled out of Star Citizen yet, but since refuelling stations seem to be tied to gas giants, it's a very real possibility that Star Citizen might have some analogue to Elite's fuel scoop. For star system generation though, I think it's more of a concious design decision rather than a requirement.

David Braben has gone for a large, procedurally generated, universe that is likely to have thousands of star systems and tens of thousands of worlds and installations. Chris Roberts has gone for a smaller number (50-80, depending on final funding) of hand crafted star systems that might contain a total of several hundred worlds and installations with the intention to add more content (at no extra cost to the player, I might add) over the following months. Both approaches are equally valid in my book; it would be very hard for Elite's procedural approach to have the kind of in-jokes that Star Citizen's hand crafting approach makes trivial, such as having one of the bread basket systems called "Kellogg" (yes, really!), so think of it as a quality vs. quantity kind of thing. Regardless of how good (or bad) the two games turn out, I think the universe in Star Citizen will probably feel more immersive and authentic than the one in Elite: Dangerous, and that can only be a good thing for the game's longevity.

For those reasons I put funding into BOTH games. :)

Re:procedural content generation (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#42013689)

Both approaches are equally valid in my book; it would be very hard for Elite's procedural approach to have the kind of in-jokes that Star Citizen's hand crafting approach makes trivial, such as having one of the bread basket systems called "Kellogg" (yes, really!), so think of it as a quality vs. quantity kind of thing.

Adding a few hand-coded worlds to a procedurally generated game is trivial, if you want to do it.

Linux support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013347)

Don't see Linux support in the goals, altough they talked about it earlier. :(

Re:Linux support (1)

Zhadnost (2776135) | about a year ago | (#42013829)

The only mention was in a poll asking what future stretch people want, sadly linux support didn't get near the top. Star Citizen is being built on Cry Engine 3, since there isn't an OpenGL version of Cryengine yet, it's unlikely to get a linux release any time soon.

Elite 4 finally! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013631)

Sorry, but who cares about Star Citizen if Elite is mentioned in the same article. The only space sim that have captured my imagination is Frontier ("Elite 2") because that game actually simulated a REAL galaxy. Every other space sim out there fakes the whole thing by having a skybox with a texture on it, a planets are only 3D spheres with once again only a texture applied to it. In Frontier the planets were "real" and you could seamlessly fly down thru the atmosphere and land on them. In Star Citizen they are going to have a total of 50 starsystems, well so what? In Frontier you had a whole galaxy of 100 billion star systems! This was 20 years ago! Just think what's possible to achive with todays computing performance! David Braben TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!!!!!

All I can say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013667)

...It's about time!

How about Maia? (1)

simoroth (2766069) | about a year ago | (#42013791)

I'm making a hard science fiction space colony simulator. I'm not a big celebrity, but I do have a lot more to show than half the "big names" that keep turning up to cash in.. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1438429768/maia [kickstarter.com]

Re:How about Maia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42013995)

TRUE! Forget throwing money at projects where the creators already have a vault of cash, support quality indie projects that NEED cash to surface, eg: Maia (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1438429768/maia) and..................... Spud's Quest (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/409406442/spuds-quest)

Re:How about Maia? (1)

Cruciform (42896) | about a year ago | (#42014123)

That looks wicked!
I won't have spare funds to throw at the Kickstarter before it ends, but I'll definitely put in a pre-order when they go live on the site :)

PS. Is Bomb #20 a 'Dark Star' reference?

Re:How about Maia? (1)

mrvan (973822) | about a year ago | (#42014497)

Just pledged!

This is my first ever kickstarter pledge, so don't disappoint me :-)

Am currently playing a lot of DF so I like the idea of a scifi themed DF-inspired game (with actual graphics).

Good luck creating the game!

Re:How about Maia? (1)

simoroth (2766069) | about a year ago | (#42015321)

Thanks! Yeah I created the game because I was frustrated by DF being the only game with the sort of depth I wanted, but was too lazy to start relearning it after 3 years.

A wakup call to get lost (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42013819)

Gamers care too much about their favorite obsession to let the likes of EA, Sony and Microsoft pull the strings with their fat grubby corporate hands any more.

Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but, yeah but (1)

Zhadnost (2776135) | about a year ago | (#42013861)

You can get to fly a really big ship which has it's own fighter in its hold that someone else can fly and gun emplacements that others can use (or NPCs). I want it now ...

Independence War and Jumpgate (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | about a year ago | (#42014293)

I hope Chris incorporates some of the elements of Jumpgate and Iwar. I have tried to like X3 but I just can't get into it.

Crowdfunding crown? How? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42014503)

Um... Look at this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console

Over $8M, and just on Kickstarter... How the fuck is Star citizen taking the crown? It certainly didn't raise the most on Kickstarter. I'm guessing the Original Poster just wants to make sure the kickstart reaches it's stretch goals and trying to get more advertising for the game.

another one some dude is doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42014829)

http://www.dailymotion.com/Heliosphere1

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