Space Games

I owned an Amiga A600 and anticipated owning Frontier: Elite II hugely, watching a rolling demo of the intro sequence movie from the coverdisk of CU Amiga (Nov. 1993) as I went to bed at night! The game was given to me that following Christmas, and I never really looked back, continuing to play the game in some form until 2014!

Elite II really was an amazing game, because although I played through the Wing Commander series, the X series by Egosoft, and even EVE Online, I always went back to Elite.

Despise initial concerns from me during the Kickstarter campaign about timing, I am actively playing Elite: Dangerous, the long-awaited game from David Braben. With ED I actually once again feel like I can escape life.

I also backed Star Citizen on Kickstarter, this game from Chris Roberts (of Wing Commander), and I'm quite excited to see where that goes with both the Squadron 42 single player and multiplayer versions of that.

 

Star Citizen Hangar Module

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I’ve been very excited about Star Citizen since the moment I heard about it. I backed it immediately, but over time my opinions have changed a little bit, to where I felt that David Braben and Frontier Developments might actually deliver the space sim I was hoping Star Citizen would be. It’s not that I don’t think Star Citizen will be epic, successful and probably a lot of fun, I just think it might work on too great of a scale for me to be interested long term. I think it might actually suffer from having achieved too many stretch goals, and become a financially motivated or diluted shadow of what it could have been.

I should note that I also have been affected by witnessing Chris Roberts not do a few of the things he said he would, such as supporting other small developers within the genre. While I understand he’s a busy man, etc, I can’t say that this hasn’t had an effect on my belief in him to deliver on other promises.

Recently, the Hangar module was released. I downloaded, excitedly, and was probably among the first to run around my hangar like a mad man. The first thing that actually struck me is that I had never heard my graphics card make that much noise before… The hangar had clearly not yet been optimized or lower texture resolutions been enabled. It looked pretty, but I feel like I saw this same set of features back when they were first asking for backing on Kickstarter, didn’t I? I remember seeing a guy running around a huge hangar… I actually felt a bit disappointed that with a budget like the one now available to these guys, they hadn’t got a lot further.

I know very well though how complex development can be. Expectation is one of the most damaging things for a developer, and like everyone who knows this, I try not to have any expectations.

However, the most potentially damaging thing for Star Citizen, was the poor timing to enable a store where you could buy upgrades for your hangar. I, like many, downloaded my hangar, got my ships, but then wondered about being able to explore others. Tada – store enabled! I then found myself browsing ships, with enormous price tags. It didn’t even occur to me that these ships could be bought later with in-game credits I could earn, it just looked like a way for Roberts to get more money.

It seems a shame that only those with greater finances can currently experience the upper tier hangars, ships, etc. This makes me worry about the future of Star Citizen, and whether this type of situation will continue. I don’t want to compete in a virtual world, where real world benefit matters. You would think, or I guess I thought, that I would be able to run around all the hangars, see all the ships… Oh well.

 
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Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.

He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.