Star Citizen: If Funding Hits $50 Million, Developers Will Create Their Own Alien Languages

Cloud Imperium Games will work with real-world linguists to create "distinctive and realistic" languages for the game's three biggest alien races if funding milestone is reached.

If funding for Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts' upcoming space sim Star Citizen reaches $50 million (and really, it seems like it will), then developers at Cloud Imperium Games will create their own languages for the game's three major alien races.

"We will work with real-world linguists to create distinctive and realistic alien languages for Star Citizen's three biggest alien races, the Vanduul, the Xi'An and the Banu," Roberts said in an update to the game's website. "No universal translators, no garbled animal noises: Star Citizen's aliens will be speaking their own authentic languages!"

Earlier this week, Star Citizen crossed $48 million in funding, with the campaign currently standing at more than $48.1 million from close to half a million total backers.

In addition to revealing the $50 million stretch goal for Star Citizen, Roberts gave a general status update on the game. Developers are currently fixing bugs responsible for the rubber-banding issues currently affecting the dogfighting module, Arena Commander, he said. The team is getting close to finding the source of the issue.

"They have narrowed the issue's introduction down to one of eleven possible change lists," Roberts said. "It can't hide from us much longer! We are adding additional debugging tools and metrics while homing in on the problem, and we're currently digging into possible differences between remote and local simulation of ship movement which could lead to the jumping."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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243 comments
ibolixx12
ibolixx12

wow weirdo developers lel i liked it....but not interested in the game... dont argue please...

RevLux
RevLux

What's wrong with every alien simply saying "Achunta" KOTOR style? j/k


This game looks like awesome feels so far. Hopefully it will play like it as well.

Exia2004
Exia2004

yeah trow money away in stupid languages

darrenecm
darrenecm

All I see from CIG development news at the moment leads me to believe that what the devs have so far is a spaceship generation tool. This latest alien language stretch-goal is, frankly, meh! How long before the announcement of a procedural clothing system for your toon? They'll probably start with socks first and stretch-goal their way to full battledress uniform capability.

Navardo95
Navardo95

Star Citizen looks like an OK game for me... 

I really don't get all the "HOLY HELL WOWWW!!!!" feeling that other gamers are having....the hype is just too massive.

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

Being a fan of TIE Fighter back then, I loved that type of Space Sim because of the epic missions you'd do dogfighting in and all that.

But in Star Citizen, who do you dogfight? Is there a story? A context? Objectives? To me, it's not simply having a ship that matters but more of what's going on in the universe and what I do in the game with this ship. Star Citizen doesn't quite look like my type of game.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

it's nice to keep developing the game...but can we JUST FOCUS on bringing the core feature out? that would've happened a year ago if they weren't adding more trivial things/non essential elements

Slagar
Slagar

Would rather give money to homeless people than fund this kind of hype-that-will-not-materialize, as well as new Porsches for those that are already stupidly wealthy.

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

So now, when the game is released, there will be aliens that will tell you in 3 different languages "We screwed you good! Thanks for the houses and vacations!" 

If you think even one quarter of the money they've raised is actually going into that game, you're in need of some serious help. 


Kickstarter: The Fleecing of Champions.

joalopes
joalopes

For those that think $50 Million is too much for Star Citizen MMO.

http://kotaku.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-big-video-game-1501413649

Star Wars: The Old Republic - $200 million

DC Universe Online - $50 million

The Secret World - $50 million

Defiance - $70 million

Destiny - $140 million

Watch Dogs - $68 million

Rift - $60-70 million

Elder Scrolls Online - $200 million



Most games take about 3-5 years to make. Let's say Star Citizen gets released in late 2016 (4 years) 

Since some people think they have made too many promises let's say that the development costs is higher than most MMOs. So instead of costing around $50 Million like DC Universe it will cost around $70-80 Million just to remain conservative. (most likely a project of this scope needs more funding than that)


Taking this into consideration I see no wrong doing from CIG so far. 

1 - Crowdfunded or not, they need money. As long as people are willing to pledge money for the project it seems logical to follow that path instead of accepting venture capital and loosing some independence.

2 - Game development nature means that most projects get delayed. An early release date would be something like late 2014 or mid 2015. This is what they stated back in 2013. But I think it's safe to say that they gave the best possible release date. 
When I backed this project I personally didn't expect a release date any time earlier than late 2015.

3 - Unlike most crowdfunded games they release almost daily updates to the community.
This week alone we had a small sneak peak of a planetside location. A look at the Gladius concept. Progress on the upcoming 12.5 update. So honest or not they do make an effort to keep the community updated on what they are doing.


In my opinion they are doing a great job.

Question is. What would you do better if you were in their shoes?


cbxero
cbxero

2097 release date seems legit now.

darktruth007
darktruth007

CIG are saints for going to such great lengths to develop a game in a genre that has been decreed all but dead by all mainstream, triple A game developers. The industry needs something more than a never ending stream of first person shooters and gta clones. 

Thank God for kickstarter.

joalopes
joalopes

@Navardo95 I agree, the hype is massive. 

I would prefer if it wasn't so and that people simply gave time for the devs to do their work and check back later when the game is actually closer to release. 2015 or 2016.

Truth is, their marketing efforts is how they engage with the community with constant site updates. That has generated buzz in the press and in events. The fact that they have done great at crowdfunding is also another major reason.

Again, those not even remotely interested on the game should just dismiss it.


The footage shown so far looks really good, but they don't even have something we can call a game yet.

It's still very early.  


Carton_of_milk
Carton_of_milk

@MegaPhilX2


This is an Elite/Privateer/Freelancer/Evochron type game more than a WC type game BUT is very well documented that there is an option in the game to be a navy pilot and that this part of the game will be like WC. Personally while i enjoyed WC/X-Wing then, i'm more a fan of open wolrd space sim where you set your own goals. A linear game like WC would bore me now. But if you can both have that and an Elite-like game, all the better. and that seems to be what he's aiming for.

predatorGS
predatorGS

@MegaPhilX2 Is there a story??? it will have a complete (and offline if you want) SP campaign! The amount of back story that is out there already is just overwhelming... To me, it seems you have not investigated the game as of yet.


darrenecm
darrenecm

@MegaPhilX2 

It will be a total anti-climax if all the kick-started cash thrown at this results in a basic 'pew pew pew' spaceship shoot'em up.

lindallison
lindallison

@Slagar 

If buying a finished game doesn't bother you, despite the whole sending dollars to folks who are already stupidly wealthy thing, you can just wait and see if the hype materializes and buy a copy like a normal person in a few years.

I've already bought the game for $40.00, if it collapses I won't regret it - the space sim is my favorite genre and SC was worthy of a vote of confidence.



lindallison
lindallison

@therealzorvan 

Even if less than 1/4 of the money they've raised isn't going into the game, - which I very much doubt, why are you opposed to people being paid for their work?

Do you pirate all your games because you don't believe in paying money if its going towards the dev/publisher profit?

 

screecwe
screecwe

@therealzorvan So, please, tell us where you got this information. You seem to be in the know. How is it you know that less than 1/4 of the funding is going towards the game? Do you think 250 people show up to 6 studios across 4 countries for free? 


I mean, if you're going to make a stupid comment, shouldn't you at least try and back it up with something even passably resembling a fact?

AnimeFreaks
AnimeFreaks

@ponymilar ummm....people willing to spend money and get what they like are not retards....people just have different values. you should try to understand.

and if they are purposely spending excessive money to support the game, buying the high priced optional things their action can be described as donating. and no i dont see the total funding figure as donations. while they are donations in a way i've always regarded the figure as a sales figure. and i dont see what is wrong with the developer putting out targets and getting a good sales figure.

joalopes
joalopes

@ponymilar Yet you fail to mention that for $30 you can get access to both the final Squadron 42 and Star Citizen game. For $40 you get access to beta.

In a previous post you mention Elite Dangerous. I'm expecting that game as much as you are, but since you like to compare games, the Elite Dangerous digital download costs $40. And to access to standard beta you need to pledge at least $60. For the closed premium beta $120.

Compared to other projects I have pledged, Star Citizen has a very low "price" of entry.

With $40 you get both Squadron 42 and Star citizen final game and beta access.

If you want to play the Arena Commander Alpha now...just pledge $5. No need to buy a big package.


The fact is that you don't need to pledge $80 or anything like that to get access to final games or access to the alpha and beta. 
I would agree with you if CIG only provided access to the final game to those that pledged more than $60.  (that would be greedy).

But in all honesty, they are giving people access to everything (game, alpha, beta, content) by pledging less than what is expected the full games to cost.


ponymilar
ponymilar

@joalopes This crap again. CR, you know... the CEO of cloud Imperium that probably have a better view of the cost of his game, told that his dollar represents 4 in a traditional development, because the money is going fully to the development, which does not happen in the traditional dev, with publishers... Now,... please, do the math. 4 x 50.

Never a game development received such quantity directly to develop a game. It is actually at least 5 times of what the big/huge majority of developers receive to make a game, whatever if its AAA or not.

In the 41 million letter, he told that he has all money needed to develop the full game and to keep the servers running, and thanked his backers for that.

ponymilar
ponymilar

@darktruth007 Not merit to SC here that is just selling dreams. I prefer to give this merit to other crowdfunded projects, like Elite: Dangerous.

suppaphly42
suppaphly42

@lindallison @Slagar as much as i agree with you don't you think its imposable that the game will just collapse as it has more money then most games have for a budget   

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

@lindallison @therealzorvan 
It's not going to the devs, it's mainly going into Chris "I used to be a big name 20 years ago so I'm gonna milk that as far as it takes me" Robert's pocket. There are not enough devs to warrant that much money, and the going rates for the actual devs work would not justify that much money neither. And there is no publisher.


Hey, you wanna be a Kickstarter sucker, be my guest.


Edit: And I buy my games from Steam and GoG sales on PC, and store bargains or craigslist for consoles games.

crissy14
crissy14

@screecwe @therealzorvan  I'm not a lover of hater of this game. Most likely I won't play it because I'm into strategy/rpg games. However, I do remember when Chris Roberts said a year or so ago that if the funding reaches 25 mils then this game will be done without any help from other developers. One can only wonder if the other 25 mils are poured into additional features or it's just profit for him, because I don't see how the next 2 millions are needed to make up a language. Then again, maybe I'm wrong since I never did try to invent a new language :P.

ponymilar
ponymilar

@screecwe @therealzorvan " So, please, tell us where you got this information. "


He probably got that from the CEO of the Cloud Imperium Games which already announced the cost of the game (twice less of the money that he has) and already confirmed recently that already have the money to make the full game and keeping the servers running.

If you seriously think that half part of the money is necessary to keep servers... well... I have no words anymore.

Some additional things are been made, but they hardly justify first, that they would not be there anyway, and where just "revealed" and second that only by themselves they cost so much millions, twice the money of the full game, while the full game, with tons of features, just cost 20.

ponymilar
ponymilar

@joalopes @ponymilar "et you fail to mention that for $30 you can get access to both the final Squadron 42 and Star Citizen game. For $40 you get access to beta."


And you failed to mention how much ACCESS this 30 and 40 bucks gives you... how many ships people can fly... Now tell me... How much I would spend if I want to test-fly all the ships as soon as they were released in the Alpha and Beta?

joalopes
joalopes

@ponymilar All values are development costs. Check the article. Games like COD can cost up to $200 Million when you add marketing costs to it. But development wise they cost around $50 Million. COD MW2 cost around that ...development cost alone.


rofeta
rofeta

@ponymilar A number of games have been reported as costing more to develop than what CIG has right now.  As for it been several times more than most developers have, few (if any) would be of the scope of Star Citizen.


As for the $1 = $4, the development amount doesn't magically quadruple as you are trying to suggest.  His point was that unlike traditional development all the money funded was going to development and not to be split 4 ways.


joalopes
joalopes

@suppaphly42 @lindallison @Slagar Take into count two things.

Fist, Star Citizen budget is precisely the cost of most AAA games.

Check this article : http://kotaku.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-big-video-game-1501413649

Second. Taking into count that AAA space sims were pretty much dead since no one was willing to invest millions building one, even if the game fails to accomplish everything they proposed, it will still be a AAA game production. Squadron 42 alone will have professional actors, story done by professional writers, a live orchestra soundtrack and so on. 
I don't know if they will achieve the goal or not, but they have better chance then most.



lindallison
lindallison

@therealzorvan 

Well unless you did Chris's taxes or have some other inside information I'd be tempted to say you have a naive idea about the way businesses work..

AnimeFreaks
AnimeFreaks

@ponymilar then the guy really needs to take his own advice and get some serious help. "twice less of the money he has does not sound like less than a quarter to me...and i seriously doubt that guy knows what he is talking about.

i get it you dont like the price they charge for the additional features because it really does not reflect the added cost. i I actually felt the same you do or at least very similar a while ago. but i've since changed my view. i really like this game and i really like what the developers are doing and to me he deserves what he is getting. I have no complaints. The other thing is that you have to be willing to give for things to develop and grow. its not a very good to always hold your wallet so tight. you have to know what to go for. the big games with the smooth visuals and movements did not develop because people held their wallets. and it is those that are willing to give that is shaping the direction of things to come.

ponymilar
ponymilar

@tanerb @joalopes @ponymilar Pre-Alpha in 2017, stable in 2019... maybe...

And let's just imagine here, the status of ED on 2019... right? Or even in 2017! 

Things impilemented that will be just dreams for CIG... and CIG having to change their design to do not be like a Elite clone... and losing themselves on that too.

So easy to see how is the game that will raise the popularity of the Space Sims, while the other is just a money grabbing machine focused in a very tiny part of the Space Sim fans.


joalopes
joalopes

@ponymilar @joalopes In the current pre-alpha only the ships that you have bought. 

In the PU beta as you probably know, you will be testing everything. Including buying ships in the in game store. Much like you do in the Elite Dangerous beta.


ponymilar
ponymilar

@joalopes And the "low price" entry, is an obvious trap. 

tommen_stark
tommen_stark

@joalopes @ponymilar  "but it is also going to be a lot bigger than it was envisioned at the end of the initial funding as well."

Are you sure? Because that sounds pretty vague. I read the Kickstarter description and compared all the features that they promised first and was not able to see where is this "lot bigger" that you are talking about. Nothing reallly that can prove that they would not do a lot of what they are doing, anyway. 

Actually it's the contrary. I found many quotes of CR saying that those new Stretch Goals, in its majority were exactly that, things that they would be doing anyway.

And a lot of things that they are doing, were basically implicit between their description of the game too, and others are simply requirements to fullfill the promise of an "AAA 10x more detailed than any current one".

And remember... the "game-as-described" was promised to be relesed in 2 years.

Now, if you think that believe in this earlier speech and promise of CR is ridiculous, its good for you. But its an obligation of companies to do not make deceptive marketing by the US Marketing/Ad laws. I wonder, if a 20-year experienced developer and game designer like CR, that suffered many delays earlier in his career, would simply forget to mention about delays in that time, and even associating money with his timing (less money = slow release, all the money = 2 year time period).

Bait. Trap. That's what they did. And if you pay attention, in different manners, they continue trying to do that.

All that is coming, due their continuous deceptive attitude... and will come in larger scale in the future, to bite them.

Watch and learn.

The only losers here will be the fans and the professional developers. CR, his associates and his couple of friends (with no skill to assume some important roles that they have assumed and commited many mistakes along this projectt) definitely won't suffer at the end.

ponymilar
ponymilar

@rofeta @ponymilar I think that you are looking and making the math under a wrong perspective. Let me more clear. Developers barely receives 10 million to pay the cost of a game. In its huge majority, developers receive 20 to develop AAA. 

That's what CR tried to explain, but it seems that you are trying to "magically" change what he said.

Let me give you another of the CR quotes:

“If you’re skeptical, I guarantee you EVE Online didn’t cost $50 million when they first released it,” Roberts said. “It was a small Icelandic company that did it on their own dime, for I’m guessing something around $4 or $5 (million) by the time they launched.”

ponymilar
ponymilar

@screecwe @ponymilar @darktruth007 I didn't back ED. But they are in Beta, near apparently to the target, as far as I know... end of this year... 

Meanwhile, after 2.5 years, CIG released what? 

A preprepreprep-bs... unplayable, not accessed by the majority, and those with access rarely are able to play it... A multiplayer map that does not support 2 x 2, keeping the same scenario of that one that happened 3 months ago in the presentation.

But for CIG, lack of efficiency means delay that means more time to sell ships. Just a coincidence, right?

lindallison
lindallison

@ponymilar 

I think you're right about the release date of a stable game, I'd wager it will be delayed ~ two years.  I'd also wager their funding will plateau around 60 million total. 

And though CR is very optimistic about what the game will cost and how much they're saving by self publishing, as it gets delayed it'll also go 'over-budget' so I hope CIG is treating its war chest with care.

ponymilar
ponymilar

@joalopes @ponymilar When the PU Beta comes? Optimistically on 2016.

We are talking here about years of gameplay, stuck with one ship and having others flying around, super-polished ships released earlier (even that the game is far from a good state), pretty commercials, and so on.

Trap.

Definitely people will end spending much more than the "high" cost of the ED Beta, that actually gives you access even to further expansions.

rofeta
rofeta

@tommen_stark @joalopes @ponymilar "

Are you sure? Because that sounds pretty vague. I read the Kickstarter description and compared all the features that they promised first and was not able to see where is this "lot bigger" that you are talking about. Nothing reallly that can prove that they would not do a lot of what they are doing, anyway. 

Actually it's the contrary. I found many quotes of CR saying that those new Stretch Goals, in its majority were exactly that, things that they would be doing anyway."

You're making my point, these things were added in the stretch goals.  Compare the game at the end of the initial funding to now.  You have more sp missions, more ships, more planets/systems, a planet-side combat.

It's true Roberts said they wanted to do it, but without the stretch goals these component would come later down the road.  I think some of this is a mistake and that it should be left for later, but what is done is done.


As for the launch date, it isn't a promise, it's a goal.  When you develop something you don't really know how long it will take, but you can made an educated guess.  How accurate that guess is depends on what happens during development.


As for them being deceptive, there is no proof of that.  Robert's initial timeline looks like it will be incorrect, which isn't the same as lying.  Star Citizen isn't the first game to be delayed (or even the most costly game) nor will it be the last.

rofeta
rofeta

@ponymilar @rofeta The cost of other game developments has nothing to do with Star Citizen, so I don't know why your focusing on it.


The only person who changed what Roberts was explaining was you by trying to suggest that their development cost is 4x what it is.  It isn't nor did Roberts say they were.

That's a good quote on how you can start humble and grow to be massive.  Which I think Roberts was using as an example of what he hoped to do.  However, now they are starting massive so the quote is meaningless to the situation now.

lindallison
lindallison

@ponymilar 

I agree it was a mistake for them to sell ships if they're trying to avoid pay- to-win.  There will be pressure over all testing periods to buy ships with $, which is exactly what they were initially trying to avoid.

Though I'm sticking with the $40.00 dollar Aurora package I bought ages ago, as I wouldn't want to give up the experience of progressing from the gomer ship and up in-game, I am a bit concerned about the uneven playing field I'll face from more generous pledgers.

joalopes
joalopes

@ponymilar And in what way does that mean that they won't create a great space sim? Are you judging their inability to create a great space sim based on their marketing skills or do you have any proof  that they don't have the skills to create the proposed vision of the game?


You call it trap. I call it giving someone that has pledged more or has been around longer an advantage in this early phase. 

Advantage that will completely disappear later on. 


And again, this in no way reflects the final quality of the game. 

ponymilar
ponymilar

@rofeta @ponymilar Thanks for your considerations. I am pretty sure that people have enough arguments from the both sides to decide by themselves... having different perspectives about this project presented.

ponymilar
ponymilar

@joalopes @ponymilar You really think that marketing does not impact in the final results of a game, mainly in this kind of situation of getting people's money earlier? Ok then... Have faith! LoL

Please, continue to underestimate the game industry as a whole, press and customers, just like CIG did and makes.

I would hate to be wrong and having to be ashamed to attack their strategies in such strong way. The worst thing that could happen to me, the "hater", would be their changing their current money grabbing approach to something that was not benefiting just them, instead their customers, and giving more importance to their image.


But its not just that. Besides that, they made serious bad choices of engine, because they thought that "would deliver something new". They underestimated not just people, press and how "starter" they were (since they act as they were so self-sustainable as EA), but mainly.. the competition... and when you have competition, timing is the difference between success and fail, timing and efficiency. 

No matter how efficient they could be, their earlier design/engine choices are only making the things more dififcult for them, and easy to the competition.


There was a public for Space Sim. Indeed... CR was right on taht. But they confused the public of Space Sims with the public of "hardware upgrade lovers", that is just a very very tiny part of the public of the SS fans. Even minor is the public interested in the "Fligh Sim", since traditional Space Sims are different in flight mechanics... The rule of the "cool" gameplay, with variables, but not soooo complex as a Flight Sim. And they ignored that Space Sims won't fit in a time of Space Operas that goes beyond of that. And while he promise things, for a far future, others are going to implement all that very quickly (much more quickly than CIG) without the need of the "super-high-fidelity-mogus-bogus" but stilll "stunning and great graphics" anyway).


Don't believe me... Watch and learn in the next couple of years!