star citizen

Official Site: Star Citizen
Studio: Cloud Imperium Games Corporation/Roberts Space Industries
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Sci-fi Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Make My MMO: The Repopulation's new owner, Shards Online's alpha (January 14, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Above & Beyond announced that Hero Engine company Idea Fabrik has acquired all rights to its indie sci-fi sandbox MMORPG The Repopulation and will be relaunching the game -- in the Hero Engine -- with a new content patch sometime in Q1 2017. The game had originally raised $230,000 in Kickstarter funds in 2012 and 2014 and made it to early access in 2014, only to become entangled in a financial drama with Idea Fabrik over a year ago, which kept the game offline for a year while A&B built Fragmented with the goal of porting Repop to Unreal. The port will no longer be happening, but A&B is still working on Fragmented's console version. Definitely check out our whole article on what's up -- we've got an exclusive interview with A&B there as well.

Meanwhile,

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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Here's how Star Citizen's alien languages are being constructed from nothing

"Don't waste your time learning Klingon, it ain't no use," Luna sang way back in 1996, but clearly, they had never met Britton Watkins, a man who's made a career out of learning, creating, and teaching made-up alien languages and is now working on Star Citizen.

In fact, that's what this week's Around the Verse is all about. The series is back, kicking off its first episode of the year with a special edition featuring veteran Hollywood conlang linguist Britton Watkins, who's putting his fluency in Na'vi and Klingon to work creating the written and spoken languages of the Xi'An and Vanduul (the latter of which is portrayed by Andy Serkis above) in the Star Citizen universe.

"You’re doing motion capture with live actors, so they need to be able to pronounce everything, so the phonologies of these languages are pronounceable by human beings, 100%, and they will be pronounceable by talented game players and other people who want to learn to make those sounds," Watkins explains.

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Star Citizen players capture the game's beauty in new dev video

Thanks to the new camera controls that came in Alpha Update 2.6.0, Star Citizen players have been capturing all sorts of striking vistas from the upcoming space sim. The dev team took the best of these, including still photos and combat action, and put it together in a highlight video that claims "100% in-game footage, 100% captured by players."

If you haven't been following Star Citizen that closely or have written it off because of drama, you might be persuaded to take a closer look after seeing this video. Sights of ships, characters, and interstellar phenomena (including a lightning storm in an asteroid belt) all speak to the title's attention to detail.

You can soak your eyeballs in the majesty of the cosmos after the break.

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Make My MMO: Refunds for Hero's Song (January 7, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, refunds continue for Hero's Song, which was canceled the day after Christmas with the promise to reimburse all those who backed the game through Indiegogo or on Steam early access. A new Indiegogo announcement from John Smedley yesterday says that Pixelmage has finished processing all pending requests -- manually -- and will soon begin mailing checks. "On the PayPal front we're awaiting having our PayPal account authorized to do this," he writes, suggesting that will be resolved early next week.

Meanwhile, take note, future MMO devs: If our readers are any indication, Kickstarter is probably not going to be your ticket to cash in 2017.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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The most popular MMORPG conversations of 2016

Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2016, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we're going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2016 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre. The other list was stuff you clicked on, but this? This is the stuff you cared enough about to comment on -- and boy did you ever.

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MMO Year in Review: Turbine gave the ring to the eagles (December 2016)

This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.

Ah, December: The month of endless annual awards... and end-year studio catastrophes. This round, all eyes were on venerable MMO studio Turbine as it announced it had spun out a new indie studio to take over Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, as published by none other than Daybreak. Lost in the shuffle? The Asheron's Call franchise, which will sunset in January 2017.

Meanwhile, gamers paid tribute to Carrie Fisher, Hero's Song went belly up, Star Citizen launched Star Marine, Elder Scrolls Online teased housing, and Nostalrius relaunched.

And we rolled out our annual MMORPG awards, plus our blooper awards, weirdest stories, and other meta roundups.

Read on for the whole list!

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Star Citizen talks about the process of creating lore

"We wanted to take some time to day and talk about the process, how lore is actually made for a video game, since that's not a part of a video game's story that's often told."

And thus begins a remarkable, nay, monumental episode of Star Citizen's Loremaker's Guide to the Galaxy. OK, maybe it's not going to rock your world, but it is kind of interesting to hear about the years -- dating back to 2012 -- of lore creation for this upcoming space sim.

If you can't wait to sink your teeth into the backstory and world setting of Star Citizen and Squadron 42, you'll want to check out this week's episode!

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Betawatch: Hero's Song abruptly stops the music (December 30, 2017)

This kill-happy year of 2016 has claimed a lot of lives, and the last week has also killed another game. Hero's Song has been unceremoniously cancelled, with the studio shutting down and a call for all backers to collect refunds for any money invested. This may not have been unexpected news when it failed to succeed at either of its crowdfunding pushes, but it's still sad news.

Meanwhile, whilst the rest of the world was quietly recuperating, some other interesting tidbits of beta news did come out this week:

And that wraps up our betas for the year. Of course, there's still a list down below, and you can let us know if something switched test phases without us noticing... but for now, we're just going to wait until 2017. You know, in two days. Here's hoping for good news.

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Massively OP's Best of 2016 Awards: Most Anticipated MMORPG for 2017 and Beyond

Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Most Anticipated MMORPG for 2017 and Beyond, which was awarded to Star Citizen last year in an incredibly close vote. This year's was close too, but dang, a lot of the games are the same because they still aren't out.

Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Most Anticipated MMORPG for 2017 and Beyond is...

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Here's why Star Citizen is using Lumberyard - and why CIG waited to tell us

Just before the holiday weekend, Cloud Imperium announced that both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are using Lumberyard, Amazon’s robust game engine, and in fact have done so for "more than a year." Lumberyard's only been public knowledge for about 10 months and change, and Star Citizen's devs haven't mentioned it at all, which got players buzzing about transparency along the way, to say nothing of the folks puzzling over the CryEngine base Star Citizen was originally said to be using.

Yesterday, Chris Roberts addressed both issues. First, he says, "Lumberyard and StarEngine are both forks from exactly the SAME build of CryEngine."

"We stopped taking new builds from Crytek towards the end of 2015. So did Amazon. Because of this the core of the engine that we use is the same one that Amazon use and the switch was painless (I think it took us a day or so of two engineers on the engine team). What runs Star Citizen and Squadron 42 is our heavily modified version of the engine which we have dubbed StarEngine, just now our foundation is Lumberyard not CryEngine. None of our work was thrown away or modified. We switched the like for like parts of the engine from CryEngine to Lumberyard. All of our bespoke work from 64 bit precision, new rendering and planet tech, Item / Entity 2.0, Local Physics Grids, Zone System, Object Containers and so on were unaffected and remain unique to Star Citizen."

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Make My MMO: Shards Online's January alpha, Star Citizen's Star Marine (December 24, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online announced it'll kick off its alpha early in the new year, on January 13th. "Based on the feedback we've received from our current playerbase, there are a few things that need to happen before we can consider ourselves ready for Steam," says Citadel's Derek Brinkmann -- and those include a bigger world map, tamed mounts, the archery skill, modding, and dev tools.

And last night, Star Citizen dropped 2.6 Star Marine for backers, along with the surprise announcement that it's been using Amazon Lumberyard for over a year now.

Meanwhile,

  • Former City of Heroes community member Je Saist has set up a GoFundMe to help him pay off medical bills accruing as a result of his early onset glaucoma diagnosis.
  • John Smedley told Redditors that "money is tight" for Hero's Song.
  • Project Gorgon pulled in over $17,000 from its Indiegogo campaign.
  • Grim Dawn rolled out its 1.0.0.7 patch, which includes a massive outdoor "Aetherial roguelike" dungeon.
  • Elite: Dangerous raised £46,813 during its recent charity livestream.
  • Descent: Underground announced its Avalanche update and GOG launch.
  • Wild Terra updated with its Christmas event this very weekend.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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The Game Archaeologist: Wing Commander Online and Privateer Online

In late 2012, former Wing Commander developer-slash-movie director Chris Roberts emerged from a decade of obscurity to ask for help to fund his vision of a massive, engaging space sim for a modern audience. Fans opened up their wallets and started pouring unprecedented amounts of money into the project, which Roberts called Star Citizen.

I don't have to explain to you the subsequent rise of this $138M+ budget title, the vast expansion of its scope, the debate over its viability, and the fanatical following that fans have for this "under construction" sim. Even if it can't be Wing Commander in name, gamers reasoned as they plunked down their money, it could be the Wing Commander MMO in spirit.

Interestingly enough, there was another, older effort made to bring the well-known franchise to the MMO table back in the late '90s. A pair of projects, Wing Commander Online and Privateer Online, promised the thrills of the hit space saga with the expanse of the online gaming world. What happened and why aren't we playing one of these games today? Find out on this exciting episode of The Game Archaeologist!

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Star Citizen launches 2.6 Star Marine, announces Amazon Lumberyard partnership

It's always nice to be able to report good news about Star Citizen, as one of our readers noted when sending us this tip, and we agree, so here goes, just in time for Christmas: Cloud Imperium has tonight announced both that alpha 2.6 is live for all backers and that it's utilizing Amazon's Lumberyard engine.

First, 2.6 and Star Marine, only a wee bit off the original December 16th target date, is fully playable:

"Alpha 2.6 includes the first iteration of Star Marine, our dedicated FPS module, as well as significant updates to the rest of the Star Citizen experience. Star Marine offers two game modes that will give you a taste of first person combat in the ’verse while a new Pirate Swarm game mode has been added to Arena Commander and a grand total of eight new ships are available in the PU. The patch also includes a major spaceflight balance pass, a brand new menu system, as well as dozens of bug fixes, quality of life improvements and other changes."

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