In the past three weeks, we’ve seen the reaction to the MMO demo, the FPS demo and the Arena Commander 0.9.2 patch… and to say we’re thrilled is an understatement. The team is ecstatic that their efforts are being appreciated, and I think I speak for everyone on the team when we say it really feels like Star Citizen is starting to go from a series of modules to a single, coherent vision.
Over the weekend, following the FPS reveal, we hit $60 million in crowd funding. That’s an incredible number, and I’m very happy to report that we have everything from old backers picking up Heralds and Redeemers to new backers impressed with our early presentation of first person shooter mechanics joining up to make Star Citizen happen!
Before we move on to stretch goals, I’d like to share some additional images of the Drake Herald that have just came in from our concept artist, Jim Martin. The first shows the internals, modeled out as a 3D concept. The others show a different configuration for the data transmitters that I think better gets across its capabilities. Let me know which you prefer in the comments. A strange looking ship in any event, the Herald is going to introduce some very interesting data-running gameplay elements to Star Citizen’s persistent universe.
At $60 million, you unlocked the previously-voted deep space fighter:
- Aegis Bulldog-class Twin-Engine Deep Space Fighter – Strike hard from a distance! The Bulldog, a recent design from Aegis, has quickly become Earth’s premier deep space fighter. Deep space fighters are typically used to pursue engagements in outlying areas when support from a carrier is not available. Bulldogs are usually flown by ground- and station-based naval forces, and are widely used by militia squadrons. Specifically designed to operate from planetary bases and engage targets up to a star system’s distance, the fighter trades some maneuverability for an extended supply of fuel and munitions as well as basic survival accommodations for a pilot and radar operator. The Bulldog’s RIO operates a turret, the ship’s missile loadout (optionally) and its highly advanced sensor suite. This distinct scanning array gives the ‘Dog a particular advantage when fighting in and around an obstacle such as an asteroid field or nebula! Finally, the Bulldog is known to be an extraordinarily sturdy spacecraft, with multiple backup systems not commonly found in single-seat ships; stories of Bulldogs limping back to base with a single engine and half their fuselage exposed to vacuum have become common as the battle against the Vanduul has heated up.
I know that there has been some drama about the winner of the last ship poll, with the results shifting just after the stretch goal was reached. I saw an excellent suggestion on the forums, which was to allow both ships as stretch goals and then to bring back all of the ‘eliminated’ options for one final poll for a veritable wave four ship Ragnarok. We’re going to work an extra ship into the long-term schedule and do just that. (And for the record, in the future: we record the winner as the selection that had the most vote when we reach the stretch goal… in this case, it would be the boarding craft.) At $61 million, you’ll unlock the boarding ship…
- Esperia Prowler – Named after the UPE military designation, the Prowler is a modernized version of the infamous Tevarin boarding craft from the First Tevarin War. With the recent discovery of the lost Tevarin planet in Kabal System, Esperia’s engineers were given unmitigated access to examine the preserved ships found in several of the caches, before meticulously recreating the design choices. The Prowler’s effectiveness as a rapid personnel deployment vehicle was mainly due to its silence. The boarding was constructed using a variety of techniques to minimize its signatures and get close to unsuspecting vessels before quickly deploying their boarders via EVA. With the updated Prowler model, you will find the perfect fusion of two culture: the elegance and effectiveness of the Tevarin war machine combined with the reliability of modern UEE technology. (While lacking some of the upgrades of the modern version, vintage Tevarin-built Prowlers restored for modern spaceflight are prized by owners lucky enough to locate them.)
And at $62 million, the passenger liner!
- Genesis-class Starliner – The Genesis is yet another landmark in Crusader Industries’ proud history of transport designs. This ship utilizes award-winning manufacturing techniques and the highest quality parts to create one thing; a next-generation passenger ship at a price that won’t break your budget. Crusader Industries’ proprietary NeoG engine technology offers some of the most efficient flight for a ship of its size. The Genesis line has been cited in Whitley’s as “one of the most reliable and safe public transport ships on the market.” Genesis Starliners are available in a number of stock configurations, focusing on everything from passenger capacity to freight to overall comfort. The UEE military operates multiple Genesis conversions for support roles, including SWACS and starflight test operations.
You’ll notice that both of these ships are from “new” manufacturers; that’s because the Star Citizen universe is expanding! My feeling was that specialized ships, like Star Citizen’s equivalent of an airliner, should have some additional backstory to make sense in our world. So, enjoy two new ships AND two niche companies to build them.
Next: As I promised above, we’ve returned all of the eliminated options for the final poll, and you can cast your vote below. There’s more than one here that I’d like to see… it’s going to be a contest!
As always, thank you for your support. You are what’s making Star Citizen happen. I know it seems like we’ve shown a lot in the past few weeks, but I can promise you right here that there’s more to come! We won’t end 2014 without a few more surprises.
— Chris Roberts