Break out your joysticks, the man who created Wing Commander is back, diving straight into games development and creating a new PC-focussed space simulator, Star Citizen. For the past twelve years, Roberts has been working in Hollywood, producing films like The Punisher, Lord of War and the criminally under-rated Lucky Number Slevin, but it seems that the interstellar siren call has reached his ears yet again, and he's come back to gaming with open arms.
Star Citizen brings the visceral action of piloting interstellar craft through combat and exploration to a new generation of gamers at a level of fidelity never before seen. At its core Star Citizen is a destination, not a one-off story. It's a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. Pick up jobs as a smuggler, pirate, merchant, bounty hunter, or enlist as a pilot, protecting the borders from outside threats. I've always wanted to create one cohesive universe that encompasses everything that made Wing Commander and Privateer / Freelancer special. A huge sandbox with a complex and deep lore allowing players to explore or play in whatever capacity they wish.
Like so many others, Star Citizen will be crowdfunded, but with a twist: Roberts has done away with Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Pozible and the like, and is instead going it alone, raising the money via his official website. The goal is a steep one - between US$2M and US$4M. Roberts says that if he can raise that much (plus a little extra further private investment), then the entire project can be run independent of publishing partners - a worthy goal!
The game itself is built on the CryEngine 3, and rather than going with simple free-to-play or subscription, is promising a service model similar to Guild Wars 2.
Star Citizen has been in the works for a little while now at Roberts' Cloud Imperium Games, relying on investment funds, and while no official release window has been hinted at, we're guessing it's still a while off. If you want to hand over all of your cash (or maybe just a chunk of it), head to Star Citizen's official website and reserve your ship! (Be warned though: The site is a little overwhelmed and may or may not be online all the time...)
For more information on just what Roberts is up to (and what he's been up to), he's been interviewed all over the place at GDC Austin, so - while we're stuck on the wrong side of the planet, visit Rock Paper Shotgun, Polygon, GI International and Shacknews. (Thanks, VG247!)
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Jimmy the Geek