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Star Citizen Unveil The Aurora Vessel

Carl Phillips
Aurora, Chris Roberts, Cloud Imperium, Crowd Funding, PC games, Roberts Space Industries, Squadron 42, Star Citizen

Star Citizen Unveil The Aurora Vessel

Last Minute Pledges Now Available, Final Stretch Goals Announced

There have been some interesting tidbits of information to spring from the developers at Cloud Imperium over the last few months, but yesterday saw the long-awaited reveal for the Aurora spacecraft – the basic spacefaring vessel newcomers will be flying when they enter the online world of Star Citizen. In addition, the folks over at Roberts Space Industries have begun a final week-long sale for the newly revealed ship, with a number of options available depending on how players wish to proceed, but this will be the final opportunity to buy a ship with lifetime insurance (ie. players won’t run the risk of losing it without buying insurance using in-game credits.) The reason behind the sale is to entice the 40,000 registered users on the official website who have yet to pledge any money. We have more details, including an update on the studio’s most recent developments, after the jump.

While the sale is being aimed at those still on the fence, or were a little late to the party, studio head Chris Roberts pointed out in a statement that anybody, including previous pledgers, were welcome to purchase one if they wished, although he did go on the stress that he recognised that fans had already given “more than enough” to the project.

As part of this we’ve decided to create a little mini campaign around the new site, complete with some stretch goals, rewards for all backers and a 24 hour live cam setup to celebrate the new site going live at the end of May. For those of you that will want to add the Aurora LX to your collection now we’ve created a couple of options for you to contribute a little more money towards development and get in return add the LX to your fleet. I want to stress that if you did this it would only because you wanted to contribute to the development funding not because you have to. You will be able to earn credits to buy this ship in game once we go live. So please do not feel obligated to do anything. Everyone has given more than enough. This is purely a “for the fun” sale / event to hopefully push our funding along.

The Aurora comes in several flavours, including exploration, mercantile and combat variants, but fans will have a number of ways to get hold of the ship through pledging. Those purely interesting in just Star Citizen, the online portion of the game, can pledge $35 (~£22)) for a basic Aurora, with a more advanced version going for $45 (~£29) which will include single player campaign Squadron 42. Existing pledgers can add the ship to their list of perks for $25 (~£16) should they wish to support the development a little more, but regardless of which tier is chosen all pledges during this sale will the final chance for guaranteed lifetime insurance on their ships. You can find more information about the Aurora, including the available pledge tiers, by heading over to the official website.

Star Citizen Unveil The Aurora Vessel

The crowdfunding campaign may well have drawn in a record-breaking $6.2 million, but the current total now stands at a colossal $8.7 million thanks to the sales of T-shirts, Citizenship ID cards (both of which are reportedly on their way to pledges) and subscription fees for exclusive first looks into the development of the game. While the current total has gone beyond everybody’s expectations, the folks at Cloud Imperium have revealed a final pair of stretch goals to achieve everything they could hope for in bringing players the best experience possible.

Should the grand total reach $9 million, players will be gifted with an exclusive space suit for the characters, as well as guaranteeing that all pledgers, regardless of the tier, will have Lifetime Insurance on their ships. The final goal, at a staggering $10 million, will provide the opportunity for Cloud Imperium to setup their own mo-cap studio in-house, allowing for a greater array of authentic animations for the game. I would say it might be a challenge to reach that total, but I remember saying that about the $3 million stretch goal… so….

As well as the reveal of the Aurora, Cloud Imperium recently announced that they have opened a new studio in LA which will “focus on high-end creative element” and provide a workspace for the crew that are based in the area, which includes Chris Roberts and conceptual artist Ryan Church (and, interestingly enough, is located next door to the Ouya team.) Those worried about the new office space costing a fortune need not worry – the landlord is apparently a fan of the project and has not only agreed to decorate the space using his own money, but has cut the team a deal on the rent. That means more money for development, which is clearly a good thing. We've got a video walkthrough of the new studio for your viewing pleasure below.

In other news, pledgers of all tiers can expect to get their first taste of in-game action this August with the release of the Hanger module. This will allow players to walk around their ships, customise them to some degree (depending on what assets are ready by then) and invite other players to see their spacefaring vessels in all their virtual glory. We can expect the module to arrive around the time of this year’s Gamescom convention, with the alpha dogfighting module to follow in December.

Star Citizen and its single player component Squadron 42 is currently scheduled for a November 2014 release. If you have yet to learn about what the creator of the Wing Commander series has been up to for the last 8 months you can get up to speed by reading our round-up of the Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign here.

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