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
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Betawatch: April 10th, 2015

Would you like to talk about Black Desert? Stuff’s happening with the game. You can learn how to hunt whales, white or otherwise, and you can learn about the game’s next class. Or you can read a fandom rant about the issues that have cropped up with the game during its testing phases, although as always you might want to take that rant with a grain of salt or two. It’s a good habit to get into.

Elsewhere in the MMO space, meanwhile:

You want more? Ah, all right, jump on past the break and check out our full list as always.

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Here’s a look inside Star Citizen’s newest dev studio

Cloud Imperium recently opened a new studio to work on Star Citizen. It’s located in Frankfurt, and it’s called Foundry 42 Germany. Chris Roberts introduces today’s behind-the-scenes video that examines the new studio, which he says is exciting because “the core part of the team in Germany are some of the people who built CryEngine in the first place.”

Most of the small dev team is featured in the video, including senior physics programmer Christopher Raine, who talks a bit about his plans to work on fluids and smoke simulations that “will make the player feel even more immersed in the Star Citizen universe as we’re building it.”

You can see the full clip after the break.

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Cloud Imperium clarifies Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 status

Are you a bit confused about the Squadron 42 component of Star Citizen? So are quite a few other backers, if a mini-brouhaha on the official forums is any indication. Questions about the single-player campaign’s length and accessibility were recently raised following Chris Roberts‘ comments in his most recent 10 for the Chairman video release.

Community manager Ben Lesnick then took to the forums to clarify what’s going on with Star Citizen’s single-player campaign. “Squadron 42 is not any smaller than it was the day we set out to make it. Content isn’t being cut or subdivided or parceled out for extra revenue or anything like that,” Lesnick wrote. “If we mentioned 20 hours in one interview and 50 in another it’s because someone was having two different thoughts about the same amount of content… it’s in no way indicating that we’ve removed anything from the initial pitch, because we absolutely haven’t.”

[Source: Forums; thanks Cardboard!]


Not So Massively: Descent’s Kickstarter woes; Heroes of the Storm’s $450K tourney blunder

Descent: Underground has passed the 50% mark on its Kickstarter campaign and promised to add singleplayer to the title but has only four days left to secure over $200,000 US. Path of Exile pulled a hilarious April Fools’ Day prank on players and revealed details of its upcoming Act 4 update, including the highly requested loot filter feature. League of Legends ran the 2015 URFitational tournament as part of its April Fools’ Day celebrations and unbanned reformed professional player Nicolaj Jensen.

Blizzard revealed details of Diablo III‘s upcoming third game season, including season-exclusive legendary items and achievements. Nosgoth got a huge update with a new map called The Crucible and a system for punishing people who quit games early. SMITE released its Written in Stone patch along with iconic new hero Medusa, the Gorgon. Star Citizen passed $78 million in crowdfunding this week and released its monthly progress report for March. And Heroes of the Storm‘s $450,000 college scholarship tournament got off to a shaky start as some teams didn’t bother showing up for their matches and others were unable to report their match results.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of all the above stories and more news from the wider world of online games.

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Star Citizen saw a lot of progress in March

Star Citizen’s latest monthly report was published this weekend. It covers most of the progress made in March, 2015, which was substantial according to the preamble. In between convention appearances, Cloud Imperium released version 1.1 to backers, it “made significant updates to the server side of Star Citizen thanks to thousands of new players joining us,” and it “made amazing progress on the FPS module, Squadron 42, the persistent universe, and more.”

As usual, the report features a whole lot of textual updates from CIG studios around the world, as well as a few relevant video embeds.

[Source: March report; thanks James and Cardboard!]


Make My MMO: April 4, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we said goodbye (apparently) to Greed Monger. We also said hello to Pathfinder’s early access head start and, of course, we heard from Crowfall, Star Citizen, and the rest of the usual suspects.

While Greed Monger isn’t officially dead in terms of an announcement from its developers, things don’t look good now that it’s lacking a lead programmer. Read the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news after the cut.

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Star Citizen whale talks purchases vs. donations

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years and have no clue about the crowdfunded beast that is Star Citizen, a new article at Wired will bring you up to speed.

Not in a hurry, mind you, since it’s a lengthy piece featuring everything from an interview with a dude who’s spent over $22,000 backing the game to tidbits including the fact that Cloud Imperium asked Denis Leary to provide the voiceover work for its latest in-fiction spaceship commercial. The company ultimately declined due to Leary’s $100,000 fee.

What about the whale, though, one Wulf Knight of Madison, Wisconsin? Does he have any regrets about his pledges given the fact that Star Citizen has yet to ship? “Some people think, ‘I put a hundred bucks into this game and you owe me this and this and this,'” Knight says. “No. Your $100 entitles you to just as much as my 22 grand does, which is zero. You gave them money to make this game. You’re not buying anything; it’s a donation.”

[Source: Wired]


Leaderboard: Have you talked someone out of buying a game you like?

So here’s something that doesn’t happen very often: I talked a friend out of buying Star Citizen’s Vanguard LTI concept. In the past I’ve spoken enthusiastically about Cloud Imperium’s space sim sandbox and I’m still looking forward to it, of course. But in this particular case I advised my buddy to either spend $250 bucks on a ship he could tool around with immediately or just save the cash and see how (or if) the release-day virtual world appeals to him.

What about you, Leaderboard readers? Have you ever talked someone out of supporting a game you like? Vote after the cut and don’t forget to tell us which game in the comments!

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Not So Massively: Dota 2 tickets sell out, Rust brings out the racists, and Grey Goo has population problems

Tickets for the Dota 2 world championship, The International, sold out in a record 10 minutes and are now being resold by scalpers for up to $400 each. Bungie defended its lack of matchmaking tools by highlighting the benefits of self-organised communities in Destiny. Blizzard released a new video and interactive map detailing Heroes of the Storm‘s new Tomb of the Spider Queen game mode. World of Tanks scheduled a $300,000 competitive tournament in Poland next month, and Star Citizen passed the $77 million US crowdfunding mark.

An update to popular online survival game Rust gave each player a random and uneditable skin colour this week, prompting an increase in racist remarks within the community. Recently released online RTS Grey Goo looked back on its first month of release, with the game now suffering from rapidly declining player populations. Sins of a Dark Age added match replays and additional music in its latest update, and League of Legends deployed patch 5.6 with a series of small buffs for over 20 champions. And as thousands of players are completing the challenges in Path of Exile‘s Torment and Bloodlines race events, developers have rounded up a few videos of hardcore players getting stomped into the ground.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of the stories above and links to a few other stories from the wider world of online gaming.

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Star Citizen opens up concept purchases for the Aegis Vanguard

Have you managed to make enemies in Star Citizen? Even though the full game is not actually available, do you have people who might threaten your well-being out there in space? Or do you just want to be proactive and make sure that those people will never be able to threaten your well-being wherever they may be? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions or just like attack ships, then you might be interested in the Aegis Vanguard.

The Aegis Vanguard is the official deep space fighter craft of the United Empire of Earth, capable of being fitted to serve as a bomber, long-range scout, patrol ship, or even a straight-up fighter killer. It’s also available for purchase until April 6th for $250, with the usual benefit of in-game decorations and lifetime insurance on the ship in the finished game. This ship is a concept purchase, though, so players will not yet be able to use the ship in the modules of the game currently available. Decide for yourself whether the ship’s stats justify its hefty real-world price tag.

[Source: Official site]


One Shots: Wedded bliss

Have you ever gotten married? In game, I mean. Well, if you haven’t screenshotted it, it didn’t happen. Fortunately this Final Fantasy XIV couple saw fit to capture the moment of wedded bliss between a bear-man and a child-woman.

“With Final Fantasy XIV now offering weddings, here’s a shot of my wife and me celebrating our in-game nuptials,” reader Phubarrh said. “We particularly love the range of expressions and emotes offered by the game.”

From soaring heights to creepy revelations, we’ve got a great selection of MMO player screenshots for you in One Shots this week!

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Make My MMO: March 28, 2015

This week’s crowdfunding news was all about Crowfall. Seriously, we must’ve written about Crowfall like 76 times or something. In the end, the most relevant piece of Crowfall news is that the Kickstarter is over and it was a big success.

Oh, and we also checked in with Pathfinder, which put version six of its early access client out to backers on Thursday. The rest of our MMO crowdfunding news roundup is past the break.

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Star Citizen’s sound designer weighs in on sound in space

In space, no one can hear you scream. Or yell, or fart, or blow up another ship. Sound doesn’t travel well in a vacuum, opting instead to not travel at all. This provides a bit of a dilemma for the Star Citizen developers, since having sound in space is dramatic and satisfying, but it’s also complete bunk in terms of actual science.

Sound designer Luke Hatton weighed in on this on the official forums, explaining that players will hear sounds from space, but they will be synthesized sounds from the computer of the ship, which will cut off when your ship takes enough damage. So you still get your dramatic sounds of ship destruction, but mostly because your onboard computer knows you want to hear it.

[Source: Forums, Thanks to Cardboard for the tip!]


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