This is absolutely one of those too long, don’t read posts unless you’re bored or really into this game, the Wing Commander series, Chris Roberts or indie games and funding so... you've been warned. ;)
There are those times in a person's life when they sit there with the widest of grins. One of those times for me was when I first played the Wing Commander. I had grown up on Star Wars and with the idea of space adventure and the wonder of it all as a kid and just couldn't think of anything more amazing than being up there, flying a ship against the odds and being that hero pilot; and then there I was. Unfortunately I was a bit too old for it to be as amazing as it would have been had a been a few years younger, but it was still pretty great.
The computer was slow, the models were awful, the voices were terrible and text was bad. But the story was there, the action was there and the most important part was there; me. I felt in the game and important. To this day, decades later I can't really ask for anything else from a game or a movie or really any other form of entertainment than to take me out of my daily grind so when I found out that the rumors where true and Chris Roberts of the Wing Commander Saga was up to his old antics in space again, I was hooked.
I started writing this as I was watching a dozen different tabs in chrome and a bunch of live streams for the last 24 hours of the crowd funding for the spiritual successor for my beloved series now called Star Citizen.
Chris and his new and many of the old crew sit around a make shift office talking of new and old times and fielding questions and problems with the site, streams and various other challenges of the modern day indie "big" game projects. They talk of competing with F1 racing, meals and major television programs. The site has been up and down, thousands of people want to pledge more and have questions that the old timers that have been following since the beginning of the project answer questions across Kickstarter, Twitter, Facebook, TwitchTV, RSIChat, various gaming and guild site boards, several user created IRC channels and many more.
The community feels like a bizarre underground movement that exploded over the last month. The project is at $5 million as I type this with about 18 hours to go till the funding is officially closed for this phase. This means that it's now the highest crowd funded game ever. I myself went in for about half a check worth so far and I expect I'll be into the game for at least twice that before it's out not counting the entire system upgrade and high end HOTAS set up and new multi-monitor I'm planning on. Hey, it's cheaper than a sports car or a Harley... at least that's what I'm going to tell myself.
I can't wait for the alpha (the early backers get invites along with the whatever perks they ponied up for). My friends and I have been talking about our squadrons, goals and what we want to do and get out of the game for months. Many of these I met in the modding community for the later Wing Commander universe games and have been guilded with and raided with them through numerous other MMOs and shooters. Some I've traveled across country to meet up with several times and known for more than two decades now. Good friends all because of video games.
It probably seems strange to any non-gamers than might happen upon this for a grown man like myself (I'm 41) that has a serious job (I do medical research) to be giddy and excited over a video game, but I have to tell you; I'm stoked. I've only seen some video of test footage, read ideas and concepts, looked at art assets and exchanged ideas with other fans but I have faith in the team putting the game together. I just want that little bit of my childhood and camaraderie back even if it's only for a few minutes a few times a month; which is likely with the pace of my life these days.
So if you happen to find yourself in your trusty ship somewhere out there, exploring, hauling or hunting for the unwary pilot; you may just find this author looking around for something to help forget about the very real life stuff at the hospital today for a few minutes and smile like he was a kid again.
Last Hours of the Live Streaming (kinda boring if you haven't been following, but here it is): http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/live/ The crew has just run off to grab dinner around 17:20 PST.
RSI Site when it's up, it's been up and down all day: http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com
Kickstarter Site: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen