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Star Citizen gunning for $50 million, will make its own languages

Jonathan Lester
PC games, Roberts Space Industries, Space Sim, Star Citizen

Star Citizen gunning for  million, will make its own languages

"Do you speak Banu?"

Star Citizen's astonishing crowd funding campaign shows no signs of stopping as Chris Roberts' space sim blasts through the $48 million mark, having finally released a playable component. We'll now get a fun new in-universe advert for the Retalliator ship line, but Roberts has bigger plans for what happens when the war chest hits $50 million.

Specifically, he'll commission a team of linguists to create entirely new complete languages for each alien race. Qapla'!

"Do you speak Banu?" asks Roberts on the official site. "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. No universal translators, no garbled animal noises: Star Citizen’s aliens will be speaking their own authentic languages!"

Speaking personally, this stretch goal seems unnecessarily extravagant, ridiculous, cosmetic and absolutely ruddy brilliant. Rather than throwing yet another feature into the game and stretching the scope of the project yet further, this will help to ground us in the universe and make the galaxy feel alive, while still allowing RSI to keep doing their thing. Feature bloat has been a major concern of mine over the last few months, and I'd actually like to see more objectives like this that improve the game in surprising new ways.

Any ideas? To inspire you, Carl's latest video shows you the tense dogfighting and luscious visuals that Star Citizen now delivers via the dogfighting module.

Add a comment4 comments
googleberry  Jul. 17, 2014 at 00:08

I really really hope the core game is solid enough to warrant such lavishness. If I were a backer (and I am not) I think I would be rather ambivalent if told this was where some of that $50m was going!

JonLester  Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:29

Having backed the game myself (though I'm more excited for Elite Dangerous... bite me :p ), I actually prefer silly and extravagant stretch goals like this and the in-universe adverts.

For the longest time, Roberts was obsessed with adding features, eventually leading to the ridiculous logical conclusion of first person shooting sections in a freaking space sim. Having seen so many projects fold or fail due to 'feature bloat' -- studios promising to add loads of features, then realising that they've overreached themselves or introduced new vectors for delays/failure (see also: Towns) -- I've been waiting for RSI to call time and lock down finishing/polishing/developing the stuff they already have.

However, cool cosmetic goals like alien languages doesn't require much more work for the dev team, doesn't require hiring more staffers or potentially shoehorning a new feature into the space sim framework. Rather, it's an extra that just makes the universe that little bit more believable and more fun to immerse yourself in for the long haul.

Weirdly, I feel it'll be a much better investment than their motion capture studio. I still don't know why a space sim needs a motion capture studio. It's a space sim.

Last edited by JonLester, Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:39
MattGardner  Jul. 17, 2014 at 10:36

I agree. As much as Carl's spotlight vid on the Arena Commander module looked good, I'm still holding off on this. The steady stream of feature bloat worries me, and far too little of the game has be seen given the amount of time it's been in the works for my liking.

There's a $48 million benchmark to satisfy. Getting it right is crucial and bigger isn't always better.

CarlPhillips  Jul. 17, 2014 at 13:20

For the longest time, Roberts was obsessed with adding features..

Nope - he's made it very clear (including in an interview with yours truly) that said features of "bloat" were always on the road map - all the stretch goals did was ensure they would make it into the game at launch.

...far too little of the game has be seen given the amount of time it's been in the works for my liking.

I can see your point, but then again I bet those who are subscribers have seen more progress than those who haven't and tested systems we have yet to see. It's what happened with both the Community/Corps update and the Dogfighting Module.

That said, I do agree that there is an immense pressure to deliver. If today's news of Yogventures being canned has taught us anything (and frankly the way Yogscast have dealt with this has been appalling) it's that developers have to know how much is too much. If you read the milestone post by Chris on the RSI site you'll see he's quite aware of this, and has been planning accordingly for some time.

Then again, I'm both financially and emotionally invested in this one, but at the same time I'm also probably more patient than most backers as well. I've been fine with the wait for the DFM, and even though there are some pretty big bugs in there, the core mechanics are gloriously satisfying (as evident by my child-like glee in the video.)

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