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Stick and Rudder

Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen's risky hangar module reveal

Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder
Man, I'm excited for next Thursday! Not because it's the day before Friday -- although that's pretty great, too -- but because we're going to get our hands on the first official release of Star Citizen. Chris Roberts called it the "baby Star Citizen" during last night's Gamescom love-in, which you should watch if you'd like to see the Cloud Imperium crew overwhelmed by the rock star treatment it received from the backers who journeyed to Cologne.

Anyway, the hangar module! The devs have been showing it off to fans and press, and if initial reactions are anything to go by, it's going to be a successful mini-launch.

It's still a risky move, though.

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Stick and Rudder: Wingman's Hangar is must-see Star Citizen TV

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder Wingman's Hangar is mustsee Star Citizen TV
OK, technically Star Citizen's weekly Wingman's Hangar webcast is must-see YouTube. I mean, does anyone still watch television? On a TV, really?

Over the past couple of weeks I've powered through my personal back catalogue of WH episodes, mostly for my own fanbot gratification but also to minimize the knowledge gaps in this column. And as I was watching, the strangest thing happened. I began to care about the people involved. Not care as in I'm-going-to-go-stalk-Eric-Peterson, but care as in the sort of distanced-but-semi-invested attachment that I form with characters in a particularly effective documentary film.

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Stick and Rudder: The myth of the PC master race

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Consoles, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen

Stick and Rudder
One of the finest games I've ever played in my life is a console-only title. Last night I finished devouring Naughty Dog's PS3-exclusive The Last of Us, and I've logged more hours in Turn 10's sublime Forza Motorsport series than I care to admit.

That said, the PC is and likely always will be my preferred gaming device, and those games I just mentioned would have better served my personal funtime goals if they'd been available on the PC. More importantly for the purposes of this particular column, the PC is the only platform that can do justice to a giant juicy steak of a game like Star Citizen.

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Stick and Rudder Extra: Chris Roberts on Star Citizen's persistent world PvE, PvP, and more

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

roberts interview
At first glance, Star Citizen is a game about internet spaceships. Extremely high-poly pardon-me-while-I-pick-my-jaw-up-off-the-floor internet spaceships, but internet spaceships nonetheless. If you look deeper, though, you'll see a sim that aims to be just as immersive outside the cockpit as in, thanks in no small part to a diverse set of gameplay options wrapped around a dense player-driven economy.

Creator Chris Roberts says this was the plan from the beginning. Actually, it was the plan as far back as 1999, when Roberts first spoke publicly about Freelancer and his grand ideas for a persistent universe title. Fast forward 14 years and Roberts sits in the captain's chair at Cloud Imperium, presiding over a small army of talented gamemakers and a ravenous horde of fans who've made Star Citizen the most successful crowdfunding project in history.

Will the finished game live up to lofty expectations? I recently interviewed Roberts in an attempt to find out. Join us after the cut as we talk PvE vs. PvP, the passage of in-game time, and much more.

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Stick and Rudder: How dare you spend money on Star Citizen!

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - How dare you spend money on Star Citizen!
I've got to perform a public service this week because there's a certain subset of our audience that simply doesn't get Star Citizen. Granted, taking the time to explain things to trolls may do nothing but invite additional trolling, but hey, at least now I'll have a handy link to copy/paste any time I see some of the how-dare-you-bankroll-Star-Citizen bellyaching going forward.

And no, today's column isn't addressed to you personally. If you think it is addressed to you personally, though, that's probably a good indication that you should do what well-adjusted people do and refrain from continually posting about games you don't like!

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Stick and Rudder: The best bits of Star Citizen's 24-hour livestream

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Opinion, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder Dissecting Star Citizen's 24hour livestream
There are livestreams, and then there are livestreams, and Star Citizen's 24-hour marathon that concluded yesterday was a prime example of the latter. The event was crammed full of developer roundtables, celebrity cameos, and enough internet spaceship shenanigans to keep me watching for far longer than I originally intended.

Cloud Imperium revealed several new spacecraft, along with additional stretch goals that blew my mind, plenty of slickly produced videos, concept art, and more.

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Stick and Rudder: On Star Citizen's E3 absence

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - On Star Citizen's E3 absence
So E3 happened this past week. If you're a Massively regular, you're no doubt aware of that since we spammed up our front page and your RSS feed with gobs of hands-on coverage including everything from racing games to The Elder Scrolls Online.

One thing we didn't cover was Star Citizen, because thankfully, Cloud Imperium's upcoming space sim sandbox didn't bother with an official E3 presence.

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Stick and Rudder: The five types of Star Citizen guys

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Humor, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder The myth of the PC master race
I've been through my share of alphas, betas, and early release communities over the years, and without exception, every one of them is chock-full of the same five guys. Oh sure, these guys have hundreds of different forum handles, and in the case of a nostalgia-drenched core title like Star Citizen, some of them may even be old enough to know better. But they're still the same five guys.

These guys are in the good pre-release communities and the bad, and while their passion is largely laudible, their busy-body forum hijinks are nothing if not high-lariously predictable.

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Stick and Rudder: Why all the love for Roberts and Star Citizen?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Roleplaying, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Why all the love for Roberts and Star Citizen?
I was talking with a gaming buddy recently who missed the whole space sim experience in the 1990s. He's a Star Wars fan and a real-life pilot pushing 40, so it surprised me to learn that he'd never heard of Wing Commander, Freespace, X-Wing, and the like. My jaw really hit the floor as our conversation turned to current games and I began to evangelize about Star Citizen and Chris Roberts.

"Who's Chris Roberts?" he asked, with a straight face.

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Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen celebrates $9 million with Auroras, space suits, and LTI

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Roleplaying, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Auroras, space suits, and $9 million
You know, Star Citizen occasionally seems too good to be true. Take this past week, for example. It saw not one, not two, but three major news releases focused on the fledgling space sandbox, all of which were well-received by most in the community and all of which generated even more buzz and positive word-of-mouth for Chris Roberts' crowdfunded juggernaut.

I'm certainly not complaining, mind you; it's just that Cloud Imperium's game is doing a damned fine job of turning a cynic hardened by years of sub-standard MMO releases into a wide-eyed game-loving kid again. So let's talk after the cut about the Aurora, our new space suits, and lifetime insurance, shall we?

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Stick and Rudder: Why Star Citizen's development model matters

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Why Star Citizen matters
Chris Roberts' Star Citizen crowdfunding colossus exploded onto the gaming scene late in 2012 with a chip on its shoulder and a certain can-do attitude that resonated with gamers because of its conspicuous absence over the past decade. "I am a PC game, and I am a space sim," the game's trailer defiantly proclaimed.

PC games and space sims, of course, were long past the prime of their 1990s golden years, according to most industry pundits, so how and why did Star Citizen make such a successful splash (over $8.5 million in crowdfunding as of press time, with an additional $5,000 to $10,000 gained on a daily basis)? More importantly why is the title's development model so integral to the future of gaming?

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Stick and Rudder: A guide to Star Citizen's community

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Guides, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Player-Generated Content, Star Citizen

Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen community guide
Welcome aboard pilots, privateers, and pillaging pirate queens; you've found Stick and Rudder, the gaming press' first Star Citizen column! I'm putting all pretenses of objectivity aside today because I'm terribly frackin' excited for this game. That's why we're here, now, talking about it way out in front of its release.

With all of this expectation comes the potential for massive disappointment, of course, but the good news is that Cloud Imperium is being pretty open about its development process. This has the added benefit of giving us lots to chew on while we sit through the agonizing months leading up to launch. Anyway, now that some of my fanboy gushing is out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks and carry on the time-honored Massively tradition of kicking off a new game column with a community guide.

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