Have you ever wished you could captain your own starship—sit in the cockpit and fly from a station to a planet and maybe meet some friends in a local bar? Maybe you’d like to be a space pirate, living on the edge, or an explorer going to some unknown corners of space.
Ever since I was young I loved space and spaceships. I grew up on shows like Star Trek and cartoons such as Robotech. Soon we’ll all be able to live out these fantasies in an upcoming game called Star Citizen. Star Citizen is currently the largest crowd-funded game in existence. To date it has raised over $102,000,000 from backers—average gamers that believe in the game—and I’m one of them.
Today a lot of gaming companies believe that the PC is a dead platform for gaming. Many companies have moved to developing games for smartphones and consoles. So when the creators of Star Citizen said that they wanted to make a PC game that pushes the envelope, PC gamers took notice and they took notice in a big way. The backers of Star Citizen are showing the big companies that we are here and we love PC gaming. Where else can you get state-of-the-art graphics and peripherals?
Star Citizen is a PC space simulator game unlike any other to date. It will be essentially two games in one. There will be a mostly single-player story called Squadron 42 and an online open-world universe. The story will be fully voiced and acted out by top-name actors such as Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, and John Rhys Davies, to name a few. It will be a story with choices and consequences, space battles and battleships with a “living” crew.
The open universe side takes place some time after the story. Here you are free to do just about anything you want in a nearly fully fleshed out sector of space containing 100s of star systems. You’ll be able to explore space stations, fly around and land on planets, go down to a city and shop or hang around the bar, trade, mine, explore, fight, and much more.
Each spaceship is built out like any real machine. It has physical systems for power, life-support etc. You can modify the ship to fit any need you want. You can be a pirate, trader, explorer, miner, news reporter, salvager, racer… the list goes on and on.
I’m hardly doing the game justice with my simple descriptions. Some things you just have to see to believe. I’ve been a backer and following this game since 2013. Since then I’ve seen the game and community grow and grow. This game is making history.
When you back the game you pledge for a ship that you will receive in the game and access to the in-development modules of the game as they build them. It’s an incentive to get more money into the game and to get your favorite ship with some other perks. When I initially backed the game in 2013 I was cautious, so I got a small package with a single-seater ship. Since then my faith in the game has grown, as well as my excitement. When they released their alpha 2.0, the first time you could see many elements of the game come together, I wanted to invest in the game even more.
And I did…
I now am a proud owner of a Constellation Andromeda starship. It is a beautiful ship, one of the most iconic in the game. It is a large multi-purpose ship. It is also a multi-crew ship. One of the special features of Star Citizen is that you can fly a ship that is controlled by a crew. The Constellation has two turrets, a living area, a sizable cargo bay, and even a detachable fighter ship.
The ship is very detailed. No corner is without some paneling, wire or little LED light. Throughout you will see placeholders for the different components that allow the ship to function. Eventually these will be something you can open to access or replace with other, better, components. The front of the ship has three seats. The central one is for the pilot/captain. From there he can control most of the ships systems by himself. On either side are other seats that have their own consoles. From those one can control the shields or power at a finer level.
Behind those seats are the two turrets. Something right out of Star Wars, you can call a chair for the top or bottom turret and fire away at enemy ships. Behind that is a bulkhead with sliding doors that leads to the living cabin. Here you have an all-in-one bathroom, lockers, a bench and table, and some sleeping bunks that also double as escape pods. Also in this section is a hatch and the platform/airlock that allows you to leave and enter the ship.
Behind the living cabin, and another bulkhead door, you have the largest section of the ship, the cargo bay. Here a catwalk wraps around a large platform that can be lowered to place cargo. On either side are more hatches as well as the missile holding bays.
Finally, behind another bulkhead door is the little room that house the ship’s power unit and sticking up from the floor is the cockpit for the detachable fighter ship, the P-52 Merlin. This little ship is a beautiful, aluminum-looking, ship that you would think was designed by Apple.
As someone that has done a fair share of 3D modeling, I can say this is a well made model. They put a lot of love and care into it. It took them 8 months, and you can tell.
I can already imagine the adventures this ship and I will have. I can trade, explore, maybe even mine. I can tweak and upgrade her systems to make her even more powerful. Supply her with bigger guns and special missiles. Ships in Star Citizen will get dirty over time, they will pick up odd quirks. Caring for your ship will just make it feel all the more real and make you more attached and proud when she pulls through a sketchy situation.
Star Citizen is still in development, but it is well on its way. I look forward to exploring the immersive universe they are creating on my Constellation in the near future. Be sure to check out their website. They have a lot of articles that explain the game systems in more detail and they have weekly videos that update you on the game’s progress.