Star Citizen Creator: Kickstarter Model Is Here To Stay

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Star Citizen Creator: Kickstarter Model Is Here To Stay

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Chris Roberts' Star Citizen Kickstarter has raised over $8 million, and fans continue to jump in, despite the game being over a year away from release.

"I can make the same game for a fifth of the revenue [of a AAA title], a fifth of the sales, and I can be more profitable, and I can exist on lower unit sales," says Chris Roberts, speaking to gamesindustry.biz about the huge merits that Kickstarter offers developers. His own Star Citizen project has raised over $8 million in in its Kickstarter campaign, and shows no sign of stopping, with fans continuing to contribute despite the game's release being over a year away. Roberts also spoke about the future of Star Citizen, and possible plans to bring the current PC-exclusive to Sony's PS4.

Roberts is incredibly impressed with the Kickstarter model, claiming that almost 96% of every dollar pledged goes directly to the developers, compared to the old model, which sat at around 20 cents of every dollar. "I definitely think crowdfunding is going to be part of gaming going forward. I really like what it's doing," says Roberts, explaining that while the big budget blockbusters aren't going to go away, Kickstarter will bring more power to the middle ground of "niche" developers. He says that in the past, projects like his own would be scoffed at by the big-name publishers for "only" moving around a million units.

"I think that [Kickstater is] good for gamers, because crowdfunding and digital distribution are enabling more nichey stuff to be viable. It's also allowing gamers to have their voice heard, and have their influence earlier in the process. You don't really have your input into how Call of Duty's being made."

Roberts also talked about the impact being a crowdfunded project has on the actual development team. "Unlike with a publisher, you can't pull the wool over their eyes because it's the real people who are going to be playing it," he said. Roberts is pleased with the affect that this open nature has on his team, telling us that he has "noticed the energy and the motivation on my team, because we're building in a very open format and we're sharing."

Star Citizen is currently set to be a PC-exclusive space-sim, but Roberts is not completely closed to the idea of it coming to consoles. "The good news is that [the PS4 is] essentially a PC, so that means PC owners will get much better ports of console games. I'm not a PC elitist by any means; if I could be on the PS4, and they were open, and I could do the updating and all the sort of stuff we're trying to do on Star Citizen, then I would definitely consider putting it on PS4." The bad news? Roberts highly doubts that the PS4 will sell for less than $400.

Roberts previously predicted that consoles would lose their price and power advantage to PCs in the upcoming console generation. You can pledge to Star Citizen development on its official website.

Source & Image: Gamesindustry.biz

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If this is true, perhaps Kickstarter could push us into a new golden age of gaming.

An industry where people can play what they want to play rather than what the industry says they want to play.

I really like what indie and stuff like this is doing fo rthe industry. At this rate, perhaps this is what will "crash" the "AAA" market. A lot of enthusiasts putting down money for the variety of games they want to see more of. Cutting out the middle-man that says games need to be the next Call of Duty.

I think that Kickstarter is showing to be true what many in the industry don't see. And that is that gamers want variety. And that all sorts of gamers are still around.

I have only one comment for Chris: Please don't screw this up. Regardless of how big the game will be, I hope this obvious interest in a game like this will make other people consider it again.

As for Kickstarter. Yeah...it's neat. But people have a tendency to over-glorify it. There are problems with it (in terms of what kinds of games can be done etc). But on a whole, it enables diversity and that's a great thing.

Steven Bogos:

Star Citizen is currently set to be a PC-exclusive space-themed RTS

No; It's a flight sim MMO, with possible FPS and RPG elements. You know flight sims right? Like Wing Commander and Freelancer, Chris Roberts' other games?

Your source article doesn't make a single mention of Star Citizen being akin to an RTS. The only instance of "RTS" in that article is an offhand mention of that type of game not selling like the blockbusters the publishers want.

Mr.Tea:

Steven Bogos:

Star Citizen is currently set to be a PC-exclusive space-themed RTS

No; It's a flight sim MMO, with possible FPS and RPG elements. You know flight sims right? Like Wing Commander and Freelancer, Chris Roberts' other games?

Your source article doesn't make a single mention of Star Citizen being akin to an RTS. The only instance of "RTS" in that article is an offhand mention of that type of game not selling like the blockbusters the publishers want.

my bad bro

Steven Bogos:

my bad bro

I wasn't quite sure if what I wrote would make a difference so I went a bit rant-y while pointing it out. Thanks for actually changing it!

Kickstarter is a wonderful oportunity for amazing games, I'm so glad it showed up! It's impressive how many projects have gotten off the ground so far, and so many varied ones that one wouldn't dream to see come out of an ordinary developer. Personally I have supported Star Citizen and Planetary Annihilation so far, both of which are very interesting concepts in genres that we don't really get much of at all. Perhaps my favorite thing in all of this is that we get some proper, PC focused games that are not afraid of using the buttons available on our keyboards and the processing power available in our machines. And of course, no evil DRM and over-priced DLC!

The thing with Kickstarter is that we haven't yet seen if it's a functional model for game development. Let's be honest here, the only kickstarted games that have seen the light of day have been smaller titles like FTL. It will be another year or more before the first wave of "big" kickstarted games starts to arrive. Things like Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, Star Citizen, Double Fine adventure, Numenera, and so on and so forth. That will be the "do or die" moment for the kickstarter model and I equally look forward to and dread that time, because if they fail to deliver on quality products, it will scare people away from KS and big publishers will use it as proof that developers need to be "properly supervised".

On the other hand, if those game come through and deliver what was promised, it will likely cement KS as a valid business model, increase the size of mid-tier development which can accommodate more niche titles and genres and perhaps even bleed the AAA industry enough to force them to restructure for the benefit of the consumers.

EstrogenicMuscle:
I really like what indie and stuff like this is doing fo rthe industry. At this rate, perhaps this is what will "crash" the "AAA" market. A lot of enthusiasts putting down money for the variety of games they want to see more of. Cutting out the middle-man that says games need to be the next Call of Duty.

There is also the possibility that the major publishers will start using Kickstarter as a sort of Sword of Damocles over their various franchises.

They already abuse the hell out of pre-orders, Kickstarter gives them a potential pre-pre-order. Whilst I don't think '20million on Kickstarter or no Call of Duty 2014' is at all likely I can completely see publishers using it to sound out continuations or reboots of other franchises. That would put us back at square one, except with Kickstarter taking a percentage and then the publisher taking it's eighty odd percent and then the developer gets it's funding.

I'd like to think they would use it to sound out entirely new and risky projects, but the big pubs have become so risk averse they're far more likely to use it to leverage existing products, rather than anything that might not hit the target and make them look bad.

Jandau:
The thing with Kickstarter is that we haven't yet seen if it's a functional model for game development.

Kickstarter is not a model for game developement, it's a model for funding studios.

We already know that Kickstarter is capable of giving millions of dollars to developers, and that's all that Kickstarter needs to do. There is no significant reason to suspect that Kickstrater will have an effect on how the developers actually produce their games.

Whether or not the games will be good, is up to the developers, as it has always been, and where the money is coming from has very little to do with it.

If the fist line of the games will all happen to be spectacularly good, that might somehow increase trust in the funding model, and if they all happen to be bad that might slow it down, but it won't "make or break" the model.

If Joss Whedon would come to Kickstarter with a new Firefly series in 2015, his fans wouldn't just cry "But Rob Thomas's Veronica Mars movie already ended up having a bland ending, so we won't trust Whedon with making a movie either!". They would understand that the two have different skills, and hold different promises.

Likewise, if the original Bioware core team would go to Kickstarter with the promise of a new RPG, maybe some people would bring up how Obsidian's Project Eternity already ended up being too rushed and buggy, but enough would think that this was clearly Obsidian's own fault, and not their funding model's, so they still trust the Bioware guys.

Mr.Tea:

I wasn't quite sure if what I wrote would make a difference so I went a bit rant-y while pointing it out. Thanks for actually changing it!

I try to read all the comments posted on my articles if possible!

fix-the-spade:
I'd like to think they would use it to sound out entirely new and risky projects, but the big pubs have become so risk averse they're far more likely to use it to leverage existing products, rather than anything that might not hit the target and make them look bad.

They're already doing that sort of thing anyway.

I see Kickstater as, more than anything, a bane of most big publishers. I think that few of them are going to be able to use Kickstarter to success. What I do see is things like Kickstarter being a huge backbone to indie folks, and smaller publishers and developers to get funding. Something that will be able to further shake up the EA and Activision type folks and give the further competition.

If major publishers try to use and abuse Kickstarter, it will backfire on them significantly and further push their industry into a crash. While good indie projects will continue to pop up and get funding. While Kickstater may be abused and probably is already being abused, I think it shows a start of a long term industry shift where customers want more control and more variety. Instead of being spoonfed.

No matter how many big publishers and developers try to abuse the crowdfunding system, they won't win out against folks who want to branch out on their own and make something. Things like Kickstarter have created an environment where many development studios feel like leaving major publishers who refuse their project to make their game through crowdfunding anyway. Big publishers cannot stop what Kickstarter/Online-Crowdfunding has started.

To summarize it, I think any major publisher trying to abuse the system will just have it blow up in their faces, and will not stop unusual projects both big and small from getting funding. A few people will get burned out on Kickstarter from it. But most people are going to realize the different between EA holding a "niche" genre and game ransom and something like another "Double Fine" Kickstarter.

Entitled:

Jandau:
The thing with Kickstarter is that we haven't yet seen if it's a functional model for game development.

Kickstarter is not a model for game developement, it's a model for funding studios.

We already know that Kickstarter is capable of giving millions of dollars to developers, and that's all that Kickstarter needs to do. There is no significant reason to suspect that Kickstrater will have an effect on how the developers actually produce their games.

Whether or not the games will be good, is up to the developers, as it has always been, and where the money is coming from has very little to do with it.

If the fist line of the games will all happen to be spectacularly good, that might somehow increase trust in the funding model, and if they all happen to be bad that might slow it down, but it won't "make or break" the model.

If Joss Whedon would come to Kickstarter with a new Firefly series in 2015, his fans wouldn't just cry "But Rob Thomas's Veronica Mars movie already ended up having a bland ending, so we won't trust Whedon with making a movie either!". They would understand that the two have different skills, and hold different promises.

Likewise, if the original Bioware core team would go to Kickstarter with the promise of a new RPG, maybe some people would bring up how Obsidian's Project Eternity already ended up being too rushed and buggy, but enough would think that this was clearly Obsidian's own fault, and not their funding model's, so they still trust the Bioware guys.

Well, we're just going to have to disagree then.

If the first major wave of KS games turns out to suck, I believe this will sour the general public to the notion of KSing games in general. Not everyone will give up on it, but a lot of people might, or at least enough to cut down the number of viable projects and/or the overall funding for projects that do manage to meet their goal.

The reasoning you present regarding a potential Bioware KS game after a hypothetical Obsidian fiasco isn't something I agree with. Yes, some people will know that it was Obsid's fault, but quite a few will be distrustful to the model of putting money down half-blind and on trust, no matter who it might be.

And if KS is truly to make a difference beyond a few games, it needs to prove to be a viable model for funding that provides customers with products that they are happy with. Otherwise, it'll be reduced to a source of funding for the occasional passion project by one big name or another who could have gotten it funded through traditional means anyway, instead of the original vision of it helping startups who can't get proper funding otherwise.

This first wave of major titles will be make-or-break, not to KS in general, but to the potential change KS (and its model in general) could bring to the gaming industry.

Well, regardless of what happens with Kickstarter I still agree with the man on consoles losing their price advantage over PCs: They already have lost their price / performance advantage over PCs. I've been having a hard time justifying buying games for even the PS Vita and 3ds when I can buy games from steam or Green Man Gaming of similar quality for a fraction of the cost.

EstrogenicMuscle:
If this is true, perhaps Kickstarter could push us into a new golden age of gaming.

An industry where people can play what they want to play rather than what the industry says they want to play.

I really like what indie and stuff like this is doing fo rthe industry. At this rate, perhaps this is what will "crash" the "AAA" market. A lot of enthusiasts putting down money for the variety of games they want to see more of. Cutting out the middle-man that says games need to be the next Call of Duty.

I think that Kickstarter is showing to be true what many in the industry don't see. And that is that gamers want variety. And that all sorts of gamers are still around.

The flip-side is the potential to further hold what gamers want for ransom.

More Nichy stuff?
image
The Tripple-A resolution to find gaming linear and misogynist has MADE gaming linear and misogynist

Jandau:
The thing with Kickstarter is that we haven't yet seen if it's a functional model for game development. Let's be honest here, the only kickstarted games that have seen the light of day have been smaller titles like FTL. It will be another year or more before the first wave of "big" kickstarted games starts to arrive. Things like Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, Star Citizen, Double Fine adventure, Numenera, and so on and so forth.

A few of the big ones are releasing this year in just a few months, Wasteland 2, Planetary Annihilation, Double Fine, so we will only have to wait toward the end of the year to see if things pan out.

DVS BSTrD:
More Nichy stuff?
image
The Tripple-A resolution to find gaming linear and misogynist has MADE gaming linear and misogynist

There is some kind of amazingly meta reference being made here that I only wish I understood.

I'm going to go become a hermit until I can figure it out.

It, and all the secrets of the universe. By the time I come back I will be able to predict with %100 accuracy the behavior of electrons.

EstrogenicMuscle:

I really like what indie and stuff like this is doing fo rthe industry. At this rate, perhaps this is what will "crash" the "AAA" market. A lot of enthusiasts putting down money for the variety of games they want to see more of. Cutting out the middle-man that says games need to be the next Call of Duty.

Or even better it will show publishers they are quickly becoming obsolete with the power of the internet. If a dev can produce a game and keep a large percentage of the profits then pay a percentage to insert there game to online stores such as steam or PSN and be successful, why would any studio want to sign up to EA or the like?

Jandau:

If the first major wave of KS games turns out to suck, I believe this will sour the general public to the notion of KSing games in general. Not everyone will give up on it, but a lot of people might, or at least enough to cut down the number of viable projects and/or the overall funding for projects that do manage to meet their goal.

The reasoning you present regarding a potential Bioware KS game after a hypothetical Obsidian fiasco isn't something I agree with. Yes, some people will know that it was Obsid's fault, but quite a few will be distrustful to the model of putting money down half-blind and on trust, no matter who it might be.

And if KS is truly to make a difference beyond a few games, it needs to prove to be a viable model for funding that provides customers with products that they are happy with. Otherwise, it'll be reduced to a source of funding for the occasional passion project by one big name or another who could have gotten it funded through traditional means anyway, instead of the original vision of it helping startups who can't get proper funding otherwise.

This first wave of major titles will be make-or-break, not to KS in general, but to the potential change KS (and its model in general) could bring to the gaming industry.

Whats the odds they are all going to suck? Some might not be very good, but i doubt all will suck. The fact that the devs are making the games they want to make and not what they are being told to make indicates a certain passion being put in to these games. Lets just hope bad management doesn't leave us with various DNF's.

EEEK double post

What's interesting is it's happening during a time when the publishers are down sizing, releasing a lot of experienced game designers into the world in need of jobs.

It's not perfect or fool proof, but it's not all that different from pre-ordering. Better in fact, it lets you know your exact budget early, you don't have to proejct and borrow against hoped future earnings.

Mr.Tea:

Steven Bogos:

Star Citizen is currently set to be a PC-exclusive space-themed RTS

No; It's a flight sim MMO, with possible FPS and RPG elements. You know flight sims right? Like Wing Commander and Freelancer, Chris Roberts' other games?

Your source article doesn't make a single mention of Star Citizen being akin to an RTS. The only instance of "RTS" in that article is an offhand mention of that type of game not selling like the blockbusters the publishers want.

Well fuck. I was sold on the idea (at the time of pledging) that it would be like Freelancer (single player wise, not interested in multiplayer). I had feared that the open-world elements would be the MMO focus and now those fears have finally come true. Kinda regretting dropping money on it now :(

DSK-:

Mr.Tea:

Steven Bogos:

Star Citizen is currently set to be a PC-exclusive space-themed RTS

No; It's a flight sim MMO, with possible FPS and RPG elements. You know flight sims right? Like Wing Commander and Freelancer, Chris Roberts' other games?

Your source article doesn't make a single mention of Star Citizen being akin to an RTS. The only instance of "RTS" in that article is an offhand mention of that type of game not selling like the blockbusters the publishers want.

Well fuck. I was sold on the idea (at the time of pledging) that it would be like Freelancer (single player wise, not interested in multiplayer). I had feared that the open-world elements would be the MMO focus and now those fears have finally come true. Kinda regretting dropping money on it now :(

It's also single player; don't worry.

Ftaghn To You Too:

DSK-:

Mr.Tea:

No; It's a flight sim MMO, with possible FPS and RPG elements. You know flight sims right? Like Wing Commander and Freelancer, Chris Roberts' other games?

Your source article doesn't make a single mention of Star Citizen being akin to an RTS. The only instance of "RTS" in that article is an offhand mention of that type of game not selling like the blockbusters the publishers want.

Well fuck. I was sold on the idea (at the time of pledging) that it would be like Freelancer (single player wise, not interested in multiplayer). I had feared that the open-world elements would be the MMO focus and now those fears have finally come true. Kinda regretting dropping money on it now :(

It's also single player; don't worry.

I thought SQ42 was purely the singleplayer portion? Or am I blowing things out of proportion here?

I'm so confused now, lol :`(

DSK-:

Ftaghn To You Too:

DSK-:

Well fuck. I was sold on the idea (at the time of pledging) that it would be like Freelancer (single player wise, not interested in multiplayer). I had feared that the open-world elements would be the MMO focus and now those fears have finally come true. Kinda regretting dropping money on it now :(

It's also single player; don't worry.

I thought SQ42 was purely the singleplayer portion? Or am I blowing things out of proportion here?

I'm so confused now, lol :`(

From what I understand, you can play alone, on a server with a small number of people, or on one big server that serves as an MMO.

Jandau:

Well, we're just going to have to disagree then.

If the first major wave of KS games turns out to suck, I believe this will sour the general public to the notion of KSing games in general.

The reasoning you present regarding a potential Bioware KS game after a hypothetical Obsidian fiasco isn't something I agree with. Yes, some people will know that it was Obsid's fault, but quite a few will be distrustful to the model of putting money down half-blind and on trust, no matter who it might be.

I agree that far. What I'm saying is, that Kickstarter isn't catering to the general public, to begin with. It's catering to cores of each of the individual fandoms.

The "general public" already is pretty critical of KS, but it still works because it only needs to rely on a few ten thousand fans in each case. There is not so much a unified "Kickstarter fandom", that keeps backing everything, but separate Total Annihilation fans, Dreamfall fans, Elite fans, Populus fans, Torment fans, etc, who wanted their own thing, and trust their own idols.

Big successes could help to spread the word to them, but they still primarily trust their idols with their money, not the website.

Jandau:

And if KS is truly to make a difference beyond a few games, it needs to prove to be a viable model for funding that provides customers with products that they are happy with. Otherwise, it'll be reduced to a source of funding for the occasional passion project by one big name or another who could have gotten it funded through traditional means anyway, instead of the original vision of it helping startups who can't get proper funding otherwise.

I think the most important value of Kickstarter, is exactly that it can effectively change the focus of the whole games industry from "mainstream appeal" and "accessibility" to passion projects, and niches, that WOULDN'T really get made, at least not that many.

To create a sort of "elitocracy", where projects get disproportionally rewarded for gathering arond an enthusiastic core fandom, instead of just making an inoffensive game with some sort of vague brand recognition that is good enough to picked from the shelves by millions.

The Kickstarter model doesn't need to convince 10 million Call of Duty buyers at the same time to kickstart a new CoD, it can just pull away 10 thousand to back something that they are personally more passionate about, and another 10 thousand for what they are more passionate about, and so on until there is no one left but the 10 thousand who genuinely think that CoD is the best possible thing in the world.

So it's not really Kickstarter itsef, as a model, that needs to sound appealing on a large scale, but the individual artists that are trying to make their own 10 thousand squee with expectations.

I'm a big fan and backer of Star Citizen for a number of reasons, including the fact that Roberts and crew are actually showing evidence of delivering on their promises and that they want to make a game that lacks compromise (personally, I hope they never even consider bringing it to locked down, highly controlled consoles regardless of the hardware they possess) and likely create something that has never been done before. The idea of a major space combat MMO that is modder friendly, plus actually allows pilot-avatar operations (like boarding another ship, melee and ranged combat etc...) is amazing enough, not to mention everything else they're building into the game.

Overall I like the Kickstarter/crowdfund approach. I am worried about major publishers' greed changing the dynamic as others have cited, but I also have another major concern....

First, one reason that Alpha-Funding(Minecraft et al)/Crowdfunding/Kickstarter has worked for games thus far is because it offers a great value. For the best success stories, those who back during alpha/crowdfunding end up getting a fantastic value for their money; game keys for $15 instead of $45-60 etc... extra bonuses, and the like. This, combined with creating goals for development that players really want (ie Linux support, for instance) is what makes it alluring. I don't want to see these elements watered down and the value decrease as time goes on or features become homogenized. Thus, it is the responsibility of backers to "back smartly" and ensure that only those who are acting respectful are deserving of our money.

Next, as much as I like how players who are willing to contribute a little more tend to get some neat options, I'm a little worried about how say... Camelot Unchained and Shroud of the Avatar (and to some extent, Star Citizen...though I'll go into why I'm not so worried about them in the future) are offering huge in-game bonuses that require huge investment, in excess of hundreds or even thousands of dollars! Camelot and Shroud both are offering player housing with unique in-game content that requires backing at between $500 and $10,000 USD! Look at the grid of items available for Camelot Unchained (and their "Founders Points store" on top of that) and I'm more than a bit worried that a huge swathe of in-game content will not only be exclusive to backers, it will only be backers who are willing and able to contribute many hundreds or thousands of dollars will be given the best items in game - If you don't have $750, you're not going to have a Knightly Lighthouse with a Squire in Shroud etc. Now these may be "cosmetic", but its a significant game dynamic if you have one of the public-viewable plots of land. I am hoping that similar rewards will all be able to be achieved in-game via gameplay, but I think it is important that interested players and backers at more reasonable tiers contact the developers and say "We're worried about how many items are not only exclusive to backers, but exclusive to backers at inordinate expense". I have no problem with these tiers existing, but I'd much rather see their rewards be studio tours and exclusive real-world invitations to events with the development team, coupled with the kind of "putting your name in the credits, your company's name on a load screen, a statue of your avatar somewhere" in-game rewards, rather than making use of huge amounts of in-game content.

For a little while I was very worried about Star Citizen falling into the same trap I list above, but them making a handful of relatively subtle but important decisions allayed that fear. First of all, they promised that all the in-game content that were available for backers, would be available in-game as well. The only difference would be what kind of "insurance" said ship had. That is to say, those who backed would be given a ship with a lifetime, year long, or six month etc... insurance policy, meaning it would be instantly replaced ingame at no (in-world currency) cost to the player. Those ships would still be available in-game, but if they were destroyed players would need to have taken out their own insurance policy to ensure they had the money to buy a new one of the same model. Secondly, they made the "best" backer ship package available at only $225 - which is a lot of money, sure, but the $500 - $10,000 packages had other bonuses (mostly physical, out of game exclusive stuff like ship models, trip to Cloud Imperium Games etc.) as well as the very same ship available in the $225 package. Now, there was limited time during the backing when players could pay between $300 to $1000 to add to their pledges for lifetime insurance versions of additional ships that were not part of any package (ie Vanduul Fighter, to the massive Idris Corvette), but this was a limited event to bump up the backing investment and Roberts' expressed that all these ships would be available in-game as well, without permanent insurance. Finally, they made the decision to allow users who originally backed during a given period of time, the ability to buy add-ons and upgrades to their pledges at the original price. That is to say, if I backed for a basic $30 package back at the start and wanted to upgrade to the $120, which would include a Freelancer vessel, I could do so today and that Freelancer would come with Lifetime ship insurance.

In Star Citizen I know I'll be able to one day pilot the same ship that some people payed $300 or $1000 to acquire, save mine won't have lifetime insurance. I'm not so sure I'll ever be able to wear the High Baron's Crown and sit in my huge Houseboat Fortress in Shroud of the Avatar (or other elements in Camelot Unchained, which seems to be needlessly complex in terms of backing rewards in many cases where each tier is not necessarily inclusive of all the ones below it etc...), with all the accumulated goodies thereof, without paying thousands - and that is worrisome

Ftaghn To You Too:
From what I understand, you can play alone, on a server with a small number of people, or on one big server that serves as an MMO.

Yeah, more or less. There'll be the big official persistent server(s) and they've said they'll also release the server-side progs for people to run their own private servers (for mods and closed social circles).

As for misanthropes wanting to solo the game entirely... with 2 machines, one for client (playing) and one to act as server, it should be piss easy. Soloing on a single machine acting as client and server? Depends on the resource specs of the progs needed for both and the beefiness of said misanthropes' rigs. That one will stay up in the air until the specs see daylight.

As more & more industry veterans bail out of the sinking AAA ship, I expect to see the crowdfunding model become much more efficient. We're still not sure if this is going to work, but it has a number of factors working in its favor:

AAA Publishers have their heads buried in the sand

The exodus of developers from the traditional model will cause a brain-drain, further fueling interesting in alternatives

A lot of people still don't get that Kickstarter isn't a pre-order, so they'll likely keep blindly throwing money at things

People like the things they like & want those things to exist (AKA: the point of funding a kickstarter); Publishers come up with assumptions on what the consumer wants, based on... stuff, & a direct line to the content creators is just easier & cheaper

DSK-:

Well fuck. I was sold on the idea (at the time of pledging) that it would be like Freelancer (single player wise, not interested in multiplayer). I had feared that the open-world elements would be the MMO focus and now those fears have finally come true. Kinda regretting dropping money on it now :(

Whoa there, you really shouldn't take my description of the game as that much gospel; How much single-player mining and trading you can do is still up in the air at this point!

We just know that
1) It's a flight sim (Obviously)
2) There is a persistent MMO "Universe" and hub worlds for meeting and trading and perhaps more
3) There is supposed to be a boarding mechanic, especially for the larger ships, hence the possible FPS element.
4) You're supposed to be able to "make a living" without being a fighter pilot. Exploration, trading, mining, smuggling, etc. There's even a ship called the "Freelancer"

Also the site FAQ says this about the MMO part:

Is Star Citizen an MMO?

No! Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series. The game will include the option for private servers, like Freelancer, and will offer plenty of opportunities for players who are interested in modding the content. Unlike many games, none of these aspects is an afterthought: they all combine to form the core of the Star Citizen experience.

It's perhaps overly optimistic, but that's their intent.

Mr.Tea:

DSK-:

Well fuck. I was sold on the idea (at the time of pledging) that it would be like Freelancer (single player wise, not interested in multiplayer). I had feared that the open-world elements would be the MMO focus and now those fears have finally come true. Kinda regretting dropping money on it now :(

Whoa there, you really shouldn't take my description of the game as that much gospel; How much single-player mining and trading you can do is still up in the air at this point!

We just know that
1) It's a flight sim (Obviously)
2) There is a persistent MMO "Universe" and hub worlds for meeting and trading and perhaps more
3) There is supposed to be a boarding mechanic, especially for the larger ships, hence the possible FPS element.
4) You're supposed to be able to "make a living" without being a fighter pilot. Exploration, trading, mining, smuggling, etc. There's even a ship called the "Freelancer"

Also the site FAQ says this about the MMO part:

Is Star Citizen an MMO?

No! Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series. The game will include the option for private servers, like Freelancer, and will offer plenty of opportunities for players who are interested in modding the content. Unlike many games, none of these aspects is an afterthought: they all combine to form the core of the Star Citizen experience.

It's perhaps overly optimistic, but that's their intent.

Yeah, thanks for the re-clarification ;)

The reason I'm so unsure is that even when visiting the SC forums there is still confusion as to what is online and offline, persistent and non-persistent.

But again, thanks :)

The thing I'm wondering about kickstart models:
The crowd funds something they're interested in, in large numbers. 8 mil is nothing to sneeze at. This means that the backers who put up the 8 mil get a copy of the game (that usually seems to clock in on the lowest donation level).

However, the audience MOST INTERESTED in the niche donated.

How many units above and beyond backers do they expect to sell?
We're too early in the world of kickstarter to know for sure.

When Wasteland 2 drops, we'll get a really good indication about beyond-backer performance.
(I fully intend to buy WL2 after seeing their first alpha footage, it looks hot)

I will be fully interested in purchasing star citizen as well, and I'd love to play in your non-ridiculous private servers. Keep me in mind smart, fun, engaging people.

thiosk:
The thing I'm wondering about kickstart models:
The crowd funds something they're interested in, in large numbers. 8 mil is nothing to sneeze at. This means that the backers who put up the 8 mil get a copy of the game (that usually seems to clock in on the lowest donation level).

However, the audience MOST INTERESTED in the niche donated.

How many units above and beyond backers do they expect to sell?
We're too early in the world of kickstarter to know for sure.

When Wasteland 2 drops, we'll get a really good indication about beyond-backer performance.
(I fully intend to buy WL2 after seeing their first alpha footage, it looks hot)

They won't need many sales to make a profit, as most of the costs have already been paid by the Kickstarter funding.

So instead of most sales money being sucked up by development and marketing costs, most of it is just pure profit for them.

Instead of 2 million sales required to break even it'll be 2000, or even just a single sale.

Yea I was wondering that too. You can't really make a profit if 60+ Percent of the people who the game is for already paid for their copy of the game via kickstarting the game. Unless you are trying to sell it to everyone then there isn't really much of a window for profit with Kickstarter is there?

Cecilo:
Yea I was wondering that too. You can't really make a profit if 60+ Percent of the people who the game is for already paid for their copy of the game via kickstarting the game. Unless you are trying to sell it to everyone then there isn't really much of a window for profit with Kickstarter is there?

Because those same %60 also paid for most of the development costs and the remaining %40 is almost pure profit?

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