“Star Citizen” is a new project from Chris Roberts, a game designer who was very successful in the 1990s with the “Wing Commander” space combat simulation game.
After a few years’ break, Chris Roberts made a comeback in 2012 with an ambitious project: to relaunch the space combat sim and make it a total online experience. His goal was to create a full and fluid experience, allowing players to pilot spaceships, exit spaceships, open fire on the enemy, and carry out missions and trade – all in unified and immersive universe. He produced a demo video and started a crowdfunding campaign for “Star Citizen.” The huge community of fans built up by “Wing Commander” responded enthusiastically by contributing US$100 million in funding, making it the most successful crowdfounded project ever in the world.
Roberts Space Industries, which was developed by Montreal agency Turbulent, referred to Chris Roberts by game studio Behaviour Interactive, is the platform that manages the crowdfunding campaign: it provides players with an opportunity to buy spaceships and items they can use once the game is released. The platform is also used to inform the community of the latest developments in the game, provide specific information on the universe in which it is set, bring together players in groups, and ensure players’ direct impact on the development of the game.
“Chris Roberts showed up one day at Turbulent,” recounts Benjamin Fardel, a project manager for Roberts Space Industries. “Being introduced to someone so influential in the video game industry is certainly impressive. We met and discussed what we could accomplish working together. From that point onward, it took six months to create the new platform, a large-scale site that combines data from the old site and from the crowdfunding campaign.”
In all, seven people work every day to add content and update the platform, which is accessed by more than a million users.
The Roberts Space Industries platform is special setting for sharing information and views with fans and players. Through chatting and discussion forums, players help developed enhance and refine the platform and the game.”
“We’re lucky to have a large number of players helping us out at every stage and every time we launch a module. When we handle a major update, we test it out beforehand on selected players and take every single one of their comments into account,” states Benjamin Fardel.