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With $7 million at their disposal, the Robert Space Industries development team will go all out to make the best possible game they can make with your money. It's not just a promise, it's a realization brought to life thanks to the team not having to answer publishers, shareholders and suit-wearing executives who don't know diddly squat about video games.
GameIndustry.biz managed to interview the superstar Kickstarter pioneer who raised enough money to make what many consider to be an “AAA” or “triple A” game. This relates to blockbuster quality moments, high-end visuals and the latest in gameplay immersion.
In all honesty, “AAA” for today's terms mostly relates to presentation, because I could name quite a few indie games out there right now on a grilled-cheese sandwich budget that looks better than what we get on consoles, but well, it's the term that relates to Hollywood blockbusterism, so that's what we stick with.
Anyway, Chris Roberts tells a tale about how he was originally going to go about doing Star Citizen, and it's an interesting story about working his way up by building capital through traditional AAA games on consoles. Basically, he was planning on selling his soul out like Crytek and BioWare to a bigwig publisher to raise enough money and awareness to eventually get Star Citizen made. But thankfully, he found Kickstarter instead.
What's more is that Roberts and crew have the right mindset about the gaming community revolving around the progress and development of Star Citizen, saying...
“My disappointment around some of the other Kickstarters is that the [community] stuff isn't particularly great," he says. "Double Fine is doing a nice thing with its documentary, but with other Kickstarters you occasionally get an update - every two or three months. There's a lot of noise and action at the beginning and then it all goes quiet. But the community is what makes or breaks the game, and they're also a really great resource for testing ideas. They're a focus group, and they're game testers.”
This is the exact same methodology that Slightly Mad Studios has been using to develop and produce Project CARS, which was wholly funded by independent means, no publisher. The community has been working closely with Slightly Mad Studios in the development of the game and it's already being hailed as one of the greatest looking games ever made and easily the best looking game of 2013 and it isn't even finished.
What's more is that in the case of Project CARS, the community has worked as the PR middleman...giving the rest of the gaming world a look at what the game is like and how it plays. The community releases trailers, screenshots, Let's Play videos and gameplay walkthroughs, so you know exactly what the game will be like, where the improvements need to be made and how development is progressing. Roberts and crew will take a similar approach with Star Citizen and that's brilliant!
I'm definitely excited for the bigger budget crowd-funding games because they understand gaming culture, and the ties between gamers and developers has never been closer. We get great inside looks at the progressive stages of development while also having our anticipations and excitement fed with community generated screenshots and media.
Roberts also believes that gamers won't be disappointed when Star Citizen releases in 2014, saying...
"I'm confident now that we'll be able to compete with any AAA game out there,”.... “I can't do what I did with Freelancer, or what id did with Rage, and take five years to release it. At that point, the moment in time will be gone. But in two years, it will be pretty great.”
You can check out the rest of the interview over at GameIndustry.biz