Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts approached space game fans in 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign. He wanted to create a complete, living universe. Detailed spaceships, dogfights, FPS battles, professions and trade – it should be an adventure like no other before. Squadron 42 was also planned as a cinematic single-player campaign. The fans’ response was overwhelming: In the meantime, nearly 300 million dollars have been collected. From completely accessible moons and planets to base building and player mimics via webcam on the face of the player character (Face over IP), the ambitions of the developers have risen steadily. The impressive progress on this journey can be seen in the Alpha of Star Citizen.
Star Citizen is still in its alpha phase. Update 3.9 is the current version. With important performance technologies the basis for the first real planet, Hurston, was laid in 2018. The entire playing space of the Stanton system, which is currently under development, already amounts many millions of km² – and the first star system is far from finished. In addition to well over 70 flyable spaceships (including huge industrial ships such as the Reclaimer), we can trade and mine, fly missions and explore many moons and giant planets. Star Citizen is a “work in progress” project and will not be released until a number of key technologies are ready. These include full persistence and a sophisticated server technology that will fill the universe with many players. There is no date, but over half of the necessary technologies are now largely complete.
Behind the link you will find the official roadmap for Star Citizen. The roadmap is updated on a regular basis and reflects the three-month release cycle of Star Citizen updates. Currently the updates are planned until 4.1. The roadmap shows the planned features and the progress made.
Star Citizen is not only technically ambitious – it also sets standards in terms of content. The development of the Stanton system will take some time. Here alone, four planets plus their moons are to be implemented. Space stations, outposts, asteroid belts and other points of interest will be added. A total of 100 systems are planned, each with several planets and moons. Other professions will be included, such as salvaging, refueling, passenger transport, bounty hunting, setting up own bases including farming and much more. The economy will be controlled by the players within certain limitations and the universe, which is mostly populated by NPCs, will offer variety through sophisticated gameplay systems.
If you want to play Star Citizen, you have to buy a game package for about 50 $. This contains the digital version of the game, a hangar for ships and a starter ship. Nobody needs more in order to be able to play, because everything else is supposed to be reachable and buyable in the game. You can already buy ships for in-game currency (credits) in the game, but the game is currently still subject to regular database resets as long as it remains in Alpha.If you like to support the development and share the ambitions of developer CIG, you can buy more ships or other things for real money. The money goes directly to the five studios and over 500 employed developers. With a monthly subscription the production of regular video shows can be supported, which offer detailed insights into the development progress.
But beware: Star Citizen is not a finished game yet, even though it feels more and more like one. Bugs and performance problems are already getting significantly reduced and Star Citizen is well playable – but it still remains an alpha version with all the related problems. Currently we only recommend only frustration-resistant enthusiasts to support Star Citizen. All others should wait patiently for the official release.