If you’ve only recently become aware of and interested in Star Citizen (SC), there’s a lot of catching up to do. To date, Star Citizen has raised 40 million dollars for its game development through crowd funding. Led by Chris Roberts, best known for creating the popular Wing Commander series, they managed an extremely successful KickStarter campaign back in November 2012. Chris and company, Roberts Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games, have continued to gain monetary support by offering pre-purchase options AND subscriptions, directly on their website.
If you’re a fan of science fiction and MMOs, you already know our gaming choices are slim pickins. If that combination happens to be a preference for outer space, well uh - yeah, not many choices abound. For that reason alone, I’m not surprised by the attention SC has garnered. EVE Online, the reigning champion in this genre, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Community Momentum and Advocacy
In my eyes, what RSI has done well is actively engage their potential player base by providing many touch points and avenues of communication. Their multi-pronged approach is a thrumming engine pumping out an unprecedented amount of content for fans and would-be fans to consume. We all know gamers can be a ravenous bunch and Roberts and his marketing team seem to understand that fact quite well.
Between the forum posts, developer posts, Wingman’s Hanger YouTube series, The Next Great Starship competition and YouTube series, high gloss car like commercials for released ships, serialized fiction, monthly Jump Point publication, Fan Fiction Writers’ Guide series, 10 from the Chairman Q&A session with Chris Roberts himself, etc., it’s a staggering amount of information for the gaming community to feed on and also provides necessary updates and transparency for backers. The constant flow of information is helping to fuel community momentum and support.
OMG where do I start?
Depending on your level of interest, there are resources external to Star Citizen you can use to catch this bullet train. In particular, there are podcasts whose sole purpose is to distill the content down to its most salient points.
- The Hull Truth by Wes Bell, the founder of The Romantics, does a quick update of all the news coming out of SC each week. Wes focuses on the known facts and technical details about the game and its progress.
- Tales of Citizens also discusses game mechanics and news but is more of an op-ed podcast. They also do Boot Camp versions to provide background and context for listeners to gain better understanding of the topics covered in the full length podcast.
- There's an audio version of the seralized fiction if you’re more interested in the back story and lore but don’t have time to read it.
These podcasts will help you get caught up on a majority of what’s happening in the Star Citizen universe from a casual interest point of view. If you’re more hardcore, I’d suggest working your way through the content in the COMM-LINK tab of the RSI website. If you have the chops and the time, double pike into the deep end by reading the BIG Star Citizen Admirer's Manual. This fan made compliation weighs in at a whopping 100+ pages which is a bit much for me. I prefer to take selective bites directly from RSI.
Where I stand
I decided to back Star Citizen. I’m still blaming Sister Julie from the No Prisoners, No Mercy podcast for offering me the Kool-Aid. I pre-purchased two ships for myself and gifted two others. I ordered the upcoming novella which I’m excited to read based on the quality of the serialized fiction. I’ve purchased game related fiction in the past and haven’t disappointed so far – EVE Online and World of Warcraft.
So far I like what I see and am intrigued enough to continue this journey. Only time will tell if backing this play will pay off and meet my expectations.