News

Star Citizen asset cost for ships "anywhere from $35,000 to $150,000"
Posted: 28.06.2013 10:33 by Simon Priest Comments: 31
It's probably a good thing that Star Citizen is the most crowd funded project ever with over $10m considering that development costs to build those gorgeous star ships are at least around $35k each.

All that modelling and application of realistic functions takes huge chunks of time, especially for the mega-huge ship designs. Polygon counts will dwarf what triple-A titles use for vehicles.

Whereas 30k polygons might make up a vehicle in top notch games today, Cloud Imperium Games is injecting about 300k per ship they make.

"It can be anywhere from $35,000 to $150,000," Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts told Joystiq.

That $35k price tag covers a small fighter with everything functioning realistically including animated dashboard displays, with internal and external moving parts. Larger carrier-class designs like the Bengal Class - a kilometre long - explode upward in asset development and can reach to highs of $150k.

7 million polygons make up the detail of the largest creations. A small fighter will be around 300k polygons, which is a lot compared to what most games use which is "10,000 polygons for a character and 30,000 or so for a vehicle."

Understandably this is "the most customizable game I've ever done," said Roberts. He thinks of each ship hull as a PC case where the player gets to cram in what hardware they want.

Originally Roberts and his studio said they'd need 12 to 14 million dollars to get Star Citizen into alpha form and out the door. They plan on using the 'Minecraft method' of seeing the game reach the finish line by encouraging purchases for the alpha builds. The whole studio has been taken by surprise with such huge community interest and pledges that they're rethinking their finances.

"We're actually debating right now of not even taking some of the investment money that was already pre-committed. Because if it's going to come from the community, it's better for the game and it's better for the community because I don't have any other interests involved," explained Roberts.

"I'd rather run Star Citizen as a community-funded game universe. All I care about is making the best game possible, which is what I think the community wants, too. As long as we're sustaining enough revenue to add more content and all of the rest of the stuff, that's great by me."

For a look at just how detailed Star Citizen's hangar of ships will be, check out the trailer below.

Star Citizen releases on PC in 2014.

Source: Joystiq
Related games: Star Citizen (PC)
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Comments

By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
SirRoderick
That's my ship! :3

I pumped 200 dollars into this game and I don't even regret it, I want this to succeed so incredibly badly.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
nocutius
Exactly, we're the only boss they need.
Now shut up and take my... oh you already did. In that case shut up and get back to work :).

Roderick, they got you for 200$ lol, what did you spend it on?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
SirRoderick
Well I spent it on getting them working harder! I really just wanted to support them. The goodies I got in exchange though is what you mean surely.

-Aurora LX basic ship (with leather seats!)
-Origin 325A (A varient of the ship in the video above with added weapons and shields)
-Cutlass ship (pirate-style ship meant for cargo hauling and boarding action)
-Docking collar + tractor beam for the cutlass
-Alpha and Beta access
-Electro skin hull (lets you switch between skins on the fly)
-Some credits
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
nocutius
So 3 ships, early access and some fluff. I need to check how awesome those things actually are but the site is offline currently.

Compared to your 200$ my 30$ feel more like a tip, I guess I should be happy if I'm allowed to even play the game together with the rest of you guys in my poor fighter :).
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
SirRoderick
Not at all! There seems to be very little elitism in the backing community, we're all just happy at how the game is shaping up and glad to be a small part of it. And you really have to think of it as a donation to these guys, you can just wait till release and buy it at retail price and get all of these things in the game. There will be some limited microtransactions for skins and such I believe, but there is only one in game currency and everything can be earned and earned in reasonable timeframes.

As for the site, yeah they are switching it over to a completely new server and design so there;s a 24 hour overhaul in progress.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
nocutius
Has the way lifetime insurance for those premium ships is going to work been explained in detail yet?
Can similar non-lifetime insurance be bought for all ships? I'm asking cause the idea of permanently losing my ship sounds horribly painful to me.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
SirRoderick
Oh I forgot about LTI! That is something to consider indeed. IF you pledge BEFORE July 6th (you already have from the sound of it) then all your ships come with life time insurance, which means that the ship AS YOU GET IT IN GAME, will be replaced in its entirety in the event of its untimely demise. This includes weapons and modules that came with the design but not any modifications you made.

So If my Aurora dies a fiery ball of pirate-induced lasers I can return to my hangar where a brand new one will be waiting, but unfortunately my fuzzy dice and aftermarket engine were lost for ever :)
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
nocutius
Can any kind of a similar one-off insurance be bought for all ships? Or is the entire concept of insurance reserved for these premium ships?

Yes I've pledged the smallest amount and only got a non-jump capable fighter. I was kinda thinking about going up a notch for a ship that's also usable outside of the starting system but... imminent Steam sales... MWO Phoenix project.
So July 5th is the deadline, will try to keep it in mind.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
SirRoderick
You can buy insurance in game at various levels. They will guarantee the return of either credits of lost materials but how much of it depends on the level of insurance. A top level one works the same as LTI I believe. One more thing to take note of is that these insurances will have a security level attached to them. Meaning if you go into sectors where the official security ranking is lower than what you are insured for, they will not cover losses.

And if you would like an extra ship, The aurora is probably your best bet. Not too much money but a capable starting ship.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
nocutius
Ok, that's clear enough thanks :).
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
SirRoderick
For those interested, the dev is running a 24-hour live stream on the game at the moment. Just head over to www.robertsspaceindustries.com or http://www.twitch.tv/roberts_space_ind_ch_1/new?utm_campaign=live_embed_click&utm_source=www.twitch.tv
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
JonahFalcon
@SirRoderick: I pumped in $140 for Project Eternity, so I can't talk. :p
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 28, 2013
SirRoderick
The only reason I haven't done that is because this game got to me first ^_^
By Chris_Spray (SI Member) on Jun 29, 2013
Chris_Spray
THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND dollars per ship?

That's one person's salary for a year.

My bullshit radar just exploded.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
SirRoderick
You realise how many people are working on this along with materials, licenses, office space etc? I would say 35 thousand for a ship that detailed is a job well done. Games are expensive to make!
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
SirRoderick
Games that cost well over 10 million dollars are commonplace :P
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
nocutius
It's not like they're asking us to actually pay that much for the ships :P.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
JonahFalcon
I want a REAL spaceship for $150K!
By darranged (SI Newbie) on Jun 29, 2013
darranged
Chosen_One, the development cost is that much. That should not be at all surprising. Wasn't there a kickstarter recently to add one character to a fighting game and it was going to cost something like $90,000. The actual cost of the ship to the player is just in game credits or if you want to buy them with real money they are I think 35$ on up to 250$ or there about.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
JonahFalcon
We're not talking a pixel here and a pixel there.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
SirRoderick
Sweet jesus chosen, you are SERIOUSLY underestimating the amount of talent, work and time that goes into these sorts of games. Consider that the total raised budget for the game is currently over 11 million dollars. These ships are a fraction of that!

Also I can assure you developing a real car is a lot more expensive than that.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
nocutius
Did they change the dates regarding the LTI, this is what it says on their site:

""The United Empire of Earth appreciates your service! As one of Star Citizen's very first backers, you are eligible for exclusive packages not available anywhere else and lower prices than anyone else through November 26, 2013.

Any package purchased before that date will include Lifetime Insurance on all ship hulls.""

Or is the July 6th a different milestone only for the availability of the original backer packages?

Also:
About upgrading pledges, I have the 35$ scout package, if I were to purchase the next tier at 60$, would I only get charged 25$( difference between the two)?
And the ship would change from aurora to Origin 300 and then you simply purchase additional ships that you might want?

I notice both your ships are combat oriented, care to share your reasoning for that? You simply like action more than trading?

Also #2:
You dirty pirate :)
Can the Cutlass be used by a "legit" citizen or does that ship brand the pilot? Can you become a pirate without owning a pirate ship?
Will you be able to have alts, for example one pirate and one bounty hunter or do you have only one persona?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
SirRoderick
July is for new backers! The november date is indeed the newest one for original backers.

As for your upgraded packages, in short yes. Just make sure you actually upgrade the package and don't just buy a new one, which is something you can also do. You would lose the basic Aurora and Gain the 300i which you can then upgrade, as you say.

My ships themselves, yes I have two ships that are very capable of combat scenarios, but they have very different specialities. The 325a is a nimble dogfighter, so it excels at tearing someone apart but is only serviceable in other areas. The cutlass is better rounded, with a sizeable cargo hold (for "trading"...) and the ability to dock (for "salvage operations" *cough*...). So basically I plan to use the cutlass for day to day utility but the 325 if I need something fast and lethal!

As for Cutlass branding, that manufacturer is completely legal and sells their ships as practical vessels with defensive capacities perfectly suited for militias and salvage/rescue ops. The ship is just a tool, it's what you use it for :)

That said the package does come with a pirate skin :3

As for alts, as far as I understand each account can have several character lines. So sure, you can has alts.

Note that I said line as your characters can and will die, only to be followed by a "beneficiary". This is to involve a sense of consequence more than anything. If you die all your possessions pass over to your beneficiary who can have a new name. His reputation and relations with various factions will partially transfer as well, but not entirely. This means you can basically play an entire family line of Bounty Hunters if you like, or just call them all exactly the same if you prefer. Up to you that is, I personally like the perma-death like system.

And it would work because there are no RPG skills and such to lose.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
nocutius
Thanks, having you around sure is handy, just keep your distance when you're gonna have some particularly friendly intentions in that completely legal Cutlass of yours :).
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
SirRoderick
I suppose this actually brings up an interesting point. When you see someone in a Drake-manufactured ship like the Cutlass...would you immediately assume they are piratical? The ships DO in fact have perfectly legitimate uses after all :3

If he;s wearing the pirate skin, now THAT is a different matter! I for one plan to use my electro-hull gadget to switch between peaceful skin and fighting skin in that thing :P
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
nocutius
Wouldn't they have to fire the first shot before you could legally defend yourself? Or would simply having a "proven" track record be reason enough?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
SirRoderick
Depends on the security level of the sector you're in. If you're in the middle of UEE space, well policed civilised territory so to speak, there would be SEVERE penalties to firing a shot unprovoked. think of getting blacklisted from all UEE facilities and getting a bounty placed on your head along with an outlaw status so everyone else is free to kill you even in high security space. In lawless space there are no consequences like that, besides that which other players decide to enforce on you of course.

But if you kill some trader outside of UEE jurisdiction and THEN enter secure space I do not believe there is any problem, since no one saw it happen as such.

A system like that is meant to encourage caution outside the UEE and make sure that griefing and petty-crime isn't worth anyone's time in the safe zones without actually imposing PvP rules as such. You physically CAN attack anyone, just like in real life.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
nocutius
That's cool and scary at the same time :).

One last question about upgrading a pledge:
1. I reclaim the pledge
2. I get $ store credit
3. I use that store credit + additional funds to purchase the higher tier aka upgrade

Correct?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 29, 2013
SirRoderick
If there is one word that describes the game's design philosophy, it is Immersion :)