Chris Roberts' crowd-funded space sim Star Citizen has raised roughly $42 million thus far. Amazingly, about half of that has rolled in over the past six months. The full game isn't expected to be released until 2015, but a separate dogfighting module is due later this month or early next. Roberts demoed nearly 15 minutes of in-game action from that module at PAX East, and it looks quite good. See for yourself:
The demo is a little rough around the edges. Several bugs are evident, and Roberts suffers a few untimely crashes. However, the graphics look stunning, and the flight dynamics seem solid. I especially like the fact that generating too much g-force causes the player's view to slowly black out. The missile locking animation is a little weird, though.
The dogfighting module is actually called Arena Commander, and there are plans to expand it after the initial release. The first iteration promises five gameplay modes, including individual and team-based scenarios. The second Arena Commander revision will add multi-crew ships, in-game communication, and cooperative AI, while the third release will boast new and larger maps, an additional gameplay mode, and "FPS boarding mechanics." Star Citizen backers already have access to a hangar module that lets them walk around their ships.
If you want a taste of Arena Commander when it's released, Star Citizen packages are available for as little as $40. There are options to spend a lot more on different ships, including multi-ship packages that cost up to $10,000. No wonder the developers are raking in millions.
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