The first stage in the development of StarCraft Universe has been reached.
The Kickstarter project funding Upheaval Arts' StarCraft Universe mod has concluded, earning $84,918 from 1,753 backers, surpassing the original $80,000 goal. That means the team has enough funds to release the public multiplayer test, complete Act 1 of the original storyline, and complete the final/third act. All money received above the $80K limit will be applied to the team's next goal: creating the Zerg character class with $100,000.
According to the StarCraft Universe development schedule, the team is looking to ultimately generate a clean $1 million. The development actually consists of seven stages, the first of which has now been passed. The third stage will begin when the team receives $135K in funding so that they can develop a female player model for all classes, and a PvP zone focused on vehicular combat. The fourth stage will be reached once the team receives $175K in funding, allowing them to create the second act.
The fifth stage will begin at $200K in funding, and will focus on flashback zones. The team will produce one of these every additional $25K, totaling eleven zones. The StarCraft Universe player base will even get to vote on what events are remade. Eventually once funding reaches $500K, the team will then begin updating player character models and animations, and add localized translation in Korean, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian and French.
Finally, once the team hits the $1 million funding mark, Upheaval Arts will build the entire Koprulu sector to explore, and one zone dedicated to each notable planet in StarCraft lore.
"StarCraft Universe tells a story set in an alternate reality, where the ending of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has a grim conclusion for Kerrigan," reads the mod's description. "Without the Queen of Blades to stop the hybrid’s assault, the Protoss are overwhelmed and defeated. In this reality, what would the survivors of these shattered worlds do? StarCraft Universe tells this story."
StarCraft Universe is not a stand-alone game, but it also doesn't require potential fans to purchase Blizzard's StarCraft II game. Instead, players can download and install the free StarCraft II: Starter Edition version, click on the Arcade button in the client, and install the mod after a quick "Universe" search. The team currently has a single-player beta version of the Prologue up and running although some of the elements are still in alpha.
"Primarily, the [Kickstarter] money will be spent on the lead developers so we can produce the mod full-time just like a job," the team states. "Split among us, we are taking a VERY small amount of money for basic living expenses over the next year of production. Remember that 80,000 quickly becomes 72,000 after Kickstarter and Amazon take their share, and then there's a 26% income tax on top of that. We also have to pay our voice actors, pay for software, hardware, our musical composer, and the list goes on."