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Chris Roberts' Star Citizen Hangar Module Goes Live

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments
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The crowdfunded, record breaking title called Star Citizen yields some tangible results for backers with a ship, some in-game credits, and game access on their account.

Today marks the first step in a public showing of Chris Robert's record breaking and upcoming title, Star Citizen. The extremely successful crowdfunded title has yielded its first interactive fruit for those who have pledged enough to have a ship, some in-game credits, and access to the full game. At this time, that means you need to pledge for at least the Digital Scout Package available in the Robert's Space Industries (RSI) store for $30.

The Hangar Module, scheduled for release on August 29th 2013, will allow pledgers to finally jump into a very early pre-alpha version of the game engine to explore the ships that they have been so eagerly awaiting. With the exception of a couple of ships, pledgers will be able to jump into the hangar and see every ship that they have purchased through the RSI store. The Star Citizen team has promised that the ships currently missing from the hanger will be added in at a later date. The hangar will be used to store all of a player's collected ships and items in future versions of the game.

The current hardware requirements to try out the hanger are outlined as follows:

Windows 7 or 8 64-bit Dual Core CPU Intel: Core2 Duo 2.4 GHz AMD: Phenom X2 8 GB of RAM Nvidia Geforce 460GTX AMD Radeon HD5850 DirectX 11. Keep in mind that these are estimated system requirements and may change for the final release of the game.

The system requirements are currently a bit high, however, the Star Citizen team has stated that since this is a pre-alpha version of the game, there is still a lot of optimization left to be done. Additionally, there's no guarantee that if you meet the hardware requirements you will be able to run the game. There will be bugs, and there will be performance issues with the Hangar. The RSI team wishes for players to report these issues in a special forum on their website called the "Hangar Module: Bugs & Issues."

For more information on the Hangar Module release, please check out the official announcement and FAQ on the Robert's Space Industries website.

Edit: The Hanger Module has been released to the public! Click the link below to see if you qualify for access, and to download the Hangar Module yourself!

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    nicodemus_mm , August 29, 2013 5:36 PM
    GrandMaster: If you took the time to do ANY research your questions would be answered... except maybe the last one.
    Why crowdfunding? Why not? You don't have to buy in and, given what you've demonstrated, hopefully won't. Crowdfunding gives the developer control of the money without the demands that investors and publishers make that change the intended direction of development.
    Why not pitch it to developers? CIG is a developer. If you meant publishers: The last time Chris Roberts got involved with a large publisher they dissolved his company and killed the IP. Many of us supporting the game did so specifically to send a message to large publishers that "we're tired of their crap and we'll handle it from here." Same for War for the Overworld.
    As they say: "If you want something done right, do it yourself." In this case it may change the gaming industry to the advantage of the consumer.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    nicodemus_mm , August 29, 2013 5:36 PM
    GrandMaster: If you took the time to do ANY research your questions would be answered... except maybe the last one.
    Why crowdfunding? Why not? You don't have to buy in and, given what you've demonstrated, hopefully won't. Crowdfunding gives the developer control of the money without the demands that investors and publishers make that change the intended direction of development.
    Why not pitch it to developers? CIG is a developer. If you meant publishers: The last time Chris Roberts got involved with a large publisher they dissolved his company and killed the IP. Many of us supporting the game did so specifically to send a message to large publishers that "we're tired of their crap and we'll handle it from here." Same for War for the Overworld.
    As they say: "If you want something done right, do it yourself." In this case it may change the gaming industry to the advantage of the consumer.
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    chronium , August 29, 2013 6:32 PM
    Minecraft did do crowdfunding by selling the alpha version of the game at a discount. Notch was just lucky that the game blew up on it's own with needing to do his own advertising.
  • 3 Hide
    Robert Lavoie , August 29, 2013 6:32 PM
    Nicodemus I could not agree more. Grandmaster needs to do some research. Publishers destroy games, all they worry about is making profit, not on putting out quality games that are fun to play.

    I for one was quite happy to give RSI a few dollars. Like always this is a bit of chance. But I feel that there's a better chance my money is better spent on this type of game then say a game from EA. I am sure there will be times that crowd funding will be a waste of money. But when a game does turn out good it will all be worth it.

    Good luck to you Chris Roberts, I really do hope you come through and help take a new direction. Since I feel most games today get released half finished with extremely poor service in order to rake us for every penny possible.
  • 2 Hide
    SirTrollsALot , August 29, 2013 6:58 PM
    I bet Grandmastersexsay works for EA "Electronic Asshats" :p  Cant wait to get home and download the module... Just waiting for my Rift dev kit to come in the next month, also a kickstarter ass kicker!!! DIE YOU PUBLISHING SCUM!!!
  • 1 Hide
    SirTrollsALot , August 29, 2013 7:43 PM
    I bet Grandmastersexsay works for EA "Electronic Asshats" :p  Cant wait to get home and download the module... Just waiting for my Rift dev kit to come in the next month, also a kickstarter ass kicker!!! DIE YOU PUBLISHING SCUM!!!
  • 6 Hide
    Afrospinach , August 29, 2013 10:46 PM
    Grandmaster, you may notice that a lot of crowd funded titles are often niche titles so that is exactly the point. They might not be enough to entice a big publisher but they are not commercially non viable. Do you think EA would invest in something like plants vs zombies before seeing it become successful? I most certainly do not credit that entity with that sort of vision. They are certainly not the grand arbiters of what is and is not a viable venture, nor is any other publisher, I would even go further and say they are out of touch.

    I am not sure what you are prattling on about with ROI and whatnot, crowd funding is most certainly all about supporting a product you want to see to market, because that is all you get at the end, no stake in the company, no money, just a product. It is not an investment, unless possibly saving a couple of bucks on a game is what you call investing.

    Selling a product before you can deliver it is nothing new either, it happens every day on a massive scale. They are called....futures, and everyone else seems quite comfortable with the concept, except for americans with onions.

    I have said this here before on a kickstarter article - I don't believe crowd funding is going to be some new magical device by which we are going to see hit after hit, success after success etc. It probably will not have a success rate better than any other method of development, nor do I think it will churn out higher quality games at every turn.
  • 3 Hide
    bustapr , August 29, 2013 10:55 PM
    your missing the point of crowd funding. they are marketing and selling directly to the customers. they get customer approval by receiving donations. they dont need to go through publisher approval, they own the IP, they dont have to pay money to anyone, and they can make the game they want without having some suits down their necks pushing for a different direction in the game. like nicodemus already mentioned, the last time Roberts got involved with a publisher, they screwed him over. no fear of that happening again now.

    besides, this game also happens to be ambitious(which it seems to be living up to). big name publishers prefer to stay a long sticks distance from any "ambitious" projects. this game would have never been picked up. crowd funding is better than publishers in almost every way except for maybe marketing.

  • 2 Hide
    Afrospinach , August 29, 2013 11:15 PM
    bust: The irony here is who is in a better position to shoulder the risk from a new IP? EA et al or an independent that mortgaged his house so he can make a game. They are more concerned with gobbling up proven IPs and hemming in their tacky microtransaction models which exactly why I credit them with a complete lack of vision, which seems like a business plan straight from the accounting dept. rather than a company at all interested in making a good game. Missing the forest for the tree IMHO.

    If you want to see something new and interesting, my bet is it will come from crowd funding.
  • 2 Hide
    softplacetoland , August 30, 2013 1:47 AM
    I always liked Chris Robert's games. Just one thing confuses me. Reason why I dislike big publisher's policies today is economic model, based on microtraansactions. Cow which is milked. I believe in this project but this part is which makes me dazzled.

    "With the exception of a couple of ships, pledgers will be able to jump into the hanger and see every ship that they have purchased through the RSI store. The Star Citizen team has promised that the ships currently missing from the hanger will be added in at a later date. The hanger will be used to store all of a player's collected ships and items in future versions of the game."

    Am I wrong or this is some kind of, if not micro, then x-size transactions? Are these sort of "transactions" exist even when game gets published? It smells too much like players will have to pay if they want everything that developer kept in mind to implement. Too much smelling as big publishers policy. I know we get game as Chris Roberts imagined but I'd like to get it in all its full capacity or it will be just game we wanted but in installements.

    I repeat the question in another variation: will I have to keep buying things to enjoy game as it was meant to be or, even worse, to finish the game tasting all the parts?
  • -2 Hide
    softplacetoland , August 30, 2013 1:53 AM
    I always liked Chris Robert's games. Just one thing confuses me. Reason why I dislike big publisher's policies today is economic model, based on microtraansactions. Cow which is milked. I believe in this project but this part is which makes me dazzled.

    "With the exception of a couple of ships, pledgers will be able to jump into the hanger and see every ship that they have purchased through the RSI store. The Star Citizen team has promised that the ships currently missing from the hanger will be added in at a later date. The hanger will be used to store all of a player's collected ships and items in future versions of the game."

    Am I wrong or this is some kind of, if not micro, then x-size transactions? Are these sort of "transactions" exist even when game gets published? It smells too much like players will have to pay if they want everything that developer kept in mind to implement. Too much smelling as big publishers policy. I know we get game as Chris Roberts imagined but I'd like to get it in all its full capacity or it will be just game we wanted but in installements.

    I repeat the question in another variation: will I have to keep buying things to enjoy game as it was meant to be or, even worse, to finish the game tasting all the parts?
  • 3 Hide
    softplacetoland , August 30, 2013 1:54 AM
    Sorry for posting twice. It's not so much my fault as it is of this broken posting system.
  • 2 Hide
    Gundam288 , August 30, 2013 5:41 AM
    softplacetoland, this is more of a backer reward more than anything.

    Every ship that you can buy will be able to be obtained in-game, you can only see what ships you pledged for in your own hangar currently at this time.

    What Toms fails to state is that currently only the org 5 pledge ships are somewhat complete and able to be explored in the hangar if you pledged for the ship in question. More ships will be added to the hangar when they are completed.


    Currently, only the Aurora, 300i, Hornet, Freelancer, Constellation, and Cutlass (currently just a place holder) are completed and able to looked at in the hangar.

    The Cutlass just has a mini-trophy like ship place holder as it is still not done yet, and keep in mind this is pre-alpha (more like indie dev if you ask me) and all of the ships still have work that needs to be done on them. As for transactions, they will only have one type of in-game currency and you can buy limited ammounts of it for real cash with a daily and total limit, while credits (the currency used in Star Citizen) earned in-game through normal gameplay have no limit. Currently the limit is set to 25,000 per day and no more than a total of 150,000 being stockpiled. Hope that clears some of that up for you.
  • -4 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , August 30, 2013 5:58 AM
    Quote:
    bust: The irony here is who is in a better position to shoulder the risk from a new IP? EA et al or an independent that mortgaged his house so he can make a game. They are more concerned with gobbling up proven IPs and hemming in their tacky microtransaction models which exactly why I credit them with a complete lack of vision, which seems like a business plan straight from the accounting dept. rather than a company at all interested in making a good game. Missing the forest for the tree IMHO.

    If you want to see something new and interesting, my bet is it will come from crowd funding.



    You are missing the point.

    Who is in the better position to make a sound investment decision? Who is in a better position to do an accurate risk assessment?

    When you can't get funding from the people whose job it is to invest in your commodity, there is something wrong. Trying to get funding from an uninformed, uneducated public is unethical at best.
  • 0 Hide
    Joshua Carter , August 30, 2013 9:59 AM
    Quote:

    You are missing the point.

    Who is in the better position to make a sound investment decision? Who is in a better position to do an accurate risk assessment?

    When you can't get funding from the people whose job it is to invest in your commodity, there is something wrong. Trying to get funding from an uninformed, uneducated public is unethical at best.


    Grandmaster, you seem to be an educated individual. It surprises me that you don't grasp the allure and benefits of the crowd funding model.

    It takes the decision making out of the hands of the Publishers, who are more concerned with profit than an actual quality product. In many cases their focus on profit requires that a quality product be produced, but not always. It forces an exceptionally high barrier to entry for indie developers who have ideas and can design a game that would sell if given the chance. Instead, the crowd funding model gives people who are interested in seeing a product come to light to contribute and help the product come to light.

    Is it or will it be profitable? Who knows.. The difference is that in either case, the developer has enough money to make the game, and even more than that, has the support of fans and backers from the start.
    Everybody who backed this particular project with a contribution of $30 or more gets a copy of Star Citizen: Squadron 42, the optional single player portion of the game, as well as Alpha access and they get a ship for use in the multiplayer edition of Star Citizen.

    The bottom line is that in the end, crowdfunding is a viable way to source funds for projects that people want to see happen. It's less about profit and the return on investment (though it obviously matters!) and more about delivering a product that people will enjoy when publishers who are in a better position to take a chance and bring new IP's to the table are unwilling to deviate from the cash cows.

    You are of course, entitled to your opinion about crowd funding. If you believe that it is bad, that is your choice, don't make a contribution and let products that you're interested in potentially fall to the wayside. However, saying that crowdfunding is inherently wrong or unethical just isn't true. The public is far more informed and educated than I believe you give them credit for. An average person, assuming they function as a rational agent, will research and solidify their interest and make a sound, defensible decision as to whether they'll contribute to a project or not.

    People are capable of risk assessment and can decide for themselves if the potential benefits of their contribution outweigh the potential consequences. The level of risk for contributors is minuscule in comparison to the risk posed to a Publisher in backing a project. That decreased risk alone is a lot of what makes crowdfunding so viable and alluring.
  • 0 Hide
    bluestar2k11 , August 30, 2013 10:14 AM
    A 2.4ghz dual core cpu with 8gb of ram and a 3 generation old mid-range gpu is high system requirements these days? Or is it just because it doesn't support XP anymore?

    *Confused*
  • 0 Hide
    Slackadacka , August 30, 2013 2:24 PM
    Quote:


    You are missing the point.

    Who is in the better position to make a sound investment decision? Who is in a better position to do an accurate risk assessment?

    When you can't get funding from the people whose job it is to invest in your commodity, there is something wrong. Trying to get funding from an uninformed, uneducated public is unethical at best.



    "Who is in a better position to do an accurate risk assessment?"

    That is a great question, and the industry has told us that the only games worth developing are "safe" games, and that's why every major title is a sequel of a sequel, and if it's not a sequel it will essentially be a clone, maybe with a twist if we're lucky. Any type of originality carries far too much risk for the cost of a AAA title. This is what EA and Activision have shown the world.

    To imply that Chris Roberts can't get funding from the people whose job it is to invest in the commodity he is planning to deliver is missing the entire point. It has already been stated that he started his crowdfunding with the intent to prove interest to backers. He already had deals in place that would be triggered with X amount of kickstarter funding. The funding exploded and he decided that:
    1) Thanks to the blatantly relevant market research, there was no longer a need for private investors.
    2) Letting investors back his project would only risk making his commodity WORSE, because his decisions would then be held hostage to their ROI expectations.

    It would be different if Chris Roberts was some random guy that nobody had heard of. But the track record is there, the history is there, people are familiar with his work and so there is a basis for the expectations. There are certainly no guarantees, it could certainly all fail, but there is also way more flexibility and opportunity to get things done right. "Right", in this case, is what the developer has in mind, not what the investors have in mind. This is why the major players are being cut out of the action, and it is why they are most likely not thrilled by his current success in fundraising. That is the point, and it appears you are the one missing it.
  • 0 Hide
    kevin davies , August 31, 2013 4:19 AM
    @Gundam288: Thanks for the information that not all the announced ships are available. We had a feeling that might of been the case, however this article was written before the module itself was released. We hadn't had a chance to actually see what was available yet.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Davies
    Editor, Tom's Hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    nicodemus_mm , August 31, 2013 6:03 PM
    GMSS: Talk about missing the point. You're the perfect example.

    That research I mentioned earlier? Had you made ANY attempt even your ineptitude (GrandMaster, my ass) would have lead you to the part where investors were on hand to support Star Citizen. The crowd funding past $2 mil was effectively to cut said investors out, thereby giving more control to the development studio and not investment groups.

    Sound investment decision? Accurate risk assessment? Crowd funding is not, nor has it ever been, about a return on investment.

    It's all cool, though. You can sit back and let others decide what products are good and what will be on the market. Be a good little consumer...