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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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.
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.
Could Hollywood make better more original movies? Sure. Could they make a profit doing so? No, or they would. It is as simple as that. Crowd funding is about a return on your investment after all. It is not about making a game you like available, without charging you the exorbitant fee required to make such an unpopular game profitable.
Crowd funding ventures are usually scams or failures.
That is not crowd funding. That is selling a tangible product, not the promise of one.
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.
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.
If you want to see something new and interesting, my bet is it will come from crowd funding.