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Star Citizen in 2015 Written Tuesday 19th of January 2016 at 08:00am by Nehkara

Greetings Citizens!  Happy New Year!  Join me in discussing 2015 in Star Citizen. So, here we are.  The calendar has rolled over to 2016. Looking back at 2015, it was truly a roller coaster wear...

Greetings Citizens!  Happy New Year!  Join me in discussing 2015 in Star Citizen.

So, here we are.  The calendar has rolled over to 2016.

Looking back at 2015, it was truly a roller coaster wear for everyone involved in developing and backing Star Citizen.

Today I will take a look at major developments from the year just past relating to the game client, the funding, as well as CIG itself, and Star Citizen in a larger context.  Then I will take a brief look at 2016!

 

2015 IN REVIEW

Evolution of Star Citizen in 2015

First, as a refresher for where we were when 2015 started, a brief look back at the final weeks of 2014.

Just before Christmas last year (December 19th), after a huge crunch, CIG released Arena Commander 1.0 into the wild.  This patch brought the number of flyable ships in Arena Commander up to 16.  It introduced the signatures system, which was the beginning of having proper sensors in the game, and was also the introduction of the lobby system, friends system, and a few other ship-related systems.  Basically it was a gigantic patch.

And it broke everything.

AC 1.0 included a lot of features all at once, as well as a lot of excitement.  Lots of people wanted to play but, between gameplay issues/bugs raised by the new features and the load on the servers… well suffice it to say that the LiveOps team mostly cancelled their Christmas holidays to try and get Star Citizen back into a playable state.

This was especially notable because the previous patch, AC 0.9.2.2 played very well, was fun, and generally had a lot of engagement within the community.

And now…

January

A lot of server-side fixes were deployed over Christmas and early January to fix some things but it was January 23rd before AC 1.0.1 arrived to help address some of the bigger issues.  1.0.1 also had a few additions, mostly in missile functionality and UI improvements.

February

1.0.2 followed on February 5th with some bug fixes and minor additions (weapons mostly).  1.0.3 could be described similarly and arrived on February 19th.

During this period Arena Commander’s playability was not great, with 0.9.2.2 still being the best build to date in that regard.

March

The next update was a big one.  1.1.0 was released on March 20th.  This patch required a complete reinstall of Star Citizen and included Free Flight, REC, Landing, the Sim Pod, the Gladius to flight ready, and the Retaliator to hangar ready.  A lot of underlying functionality was included in this patch, including work for the new damage state system. In addition, the version system used by CIG was changed with this patch to be: Star Citizen Alpha x.x.x (this version being Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.0).

April

Other than those additions this was largely a bug fixing and balance patch.

May/June

1.1.2 arrived May 7th and brought the Tutorial with it.  This gave us the first hint of story content and the tiniest beginnings of the conversation system.

May 14th brought SC Alpha version 1.1.3.  This tiniest signpost on the 2015 journey was significant.  The patch itself was very minimal – just a few fixes.  However, it marked the last significant update to Star Citizen for a period of almost 9 weeks.  This normally wouldn’t be such a huge deal but there were significant issues with the playability of the game and unfortunately CIG could not patch Arena Commander.  Why you ask?  Well, that’s an interesting question.  In the spring of 2015 CIG branched off a version of the code that would be used as a release candidate for Star Marine.  In May that branch was made the main development branch with the expectation that a release of Star Marine was pending.

The issue became that Star Marine simply wasn’t ready.  Over time the code branches diverged to the point where the active work on Arena Commander, which was no longer in the main development branch, could not be deployed to the community with a patch.

Exacerbating this whole thing was the absence of Chris Roberts.  He was busy in the UK working on the performance capture shoot for Squadron 42, but the lack of patches, combined with his absence and a few other factors, threw the community into a bit of an uproar.

July

SCA 1.1.4 was a miniscule patch on July 14th to add hangar flair.

Mid July brought the return of Chris Roberts, which seemed to visibly calm the community.

Much to everyone’s relief, July 24th brought version 1.1.5 of Star Citizen Alpha.  This patch included a major rework of the server, instance, and matchmaking service as well as major gameplay improvements.  Also included in this patch was the flyable Vanduul Scythe and the flyable P52-Merlin snub fighter.  1.1.5V2 came out 3 days later on July 27th to address a backend server crash introduced by 1.1.5.

With this patch, Arena Commander was moved back into the main development branch and Star Marine was put on the backburner.

August

SCA 1.1.6 on August 6th was a minor patch to improve matchmaking logic and add some fixes. SCA 1.1.6A on August 18th included some more minor fixes, focusing on the racing mode.

Star Citizen Alpha 1.2 was released on August 31st, 2015, and included the first ‘new’ content in a long time:  The Social Module!

This was the first major module release since June 3rd, 2014 when Arena Commander was released.  CIG fulfilled their GamesCom promise to have the Social Module out by the end of August.  This patch was a huge milestone for Star Citizen, adding ArcCorp – accessible via the magic hangar elevator – and giving backers their first peak into the final game universe.  Also included in this patch were the ability to change characters in the hangar, the first implementation of augmented reality, the chat system and emotes.  SCA 1.2.0 represented the first good opportunity for players to interact face to face in-game, and the best opportunity thus far to see how the Persistent Universe will eventually play out..

September

Remember the note in June where the development streams had diverged?  Well, eventually they had to be merged again.  September was the month of The Great Merge.  On the plus side this brought a lot of the new tech development into the main development stream and unified the development streams.  On the negative side, the streams had been diverged for so long that the unification brought with it a LOT of bugs and conflicts.

October

Star Citizen Alpha version 1.3.0 was released October 23rd.  This patch included a significant expansion to the ArcCorp environment (which will continue to grow as development moves along) and – perhaps most importantly – exploding buggies! :D

November/December

Throughout the year CIG used the PTU (Public Test Universe) to invite groups of backers to help them test builds of Star Citizen that weren’t quite ready for prime time.  In November and early December that activity was significant as CIG prepared probably the biggest and most important patch ever for Star Citizen.

Star Citizen Alpha 2.0.0 was released on December 11th, 2015.  This patch was huge and included the Crusader larger world map in which players could participate in multicrew gameplay, explore the area around Crusader and a few of its moons (including space stations!), fight FPS style after collecting weapons from one of the stations, do missions/quests, EVA out of ships, and tangle with AI enemies.  This patch also introduced the Constellation as a flyable ship for the first time.  In terms of technology, the internal physics grids on ships (allowing players to walk/move around ships while they are in flight) was also deployed.  On top of all that, this huge update also gave Star Citizen a main menu for the first time – allowing players to choose what they would like to do before loading a level.

Star Citizen Alpha 2.1.0 was released to all backers on the PTU in December, and pushed to Live in January, shortly before the publication of this article.  SCA 2.1.0 features the Aegis Sabre as a hangar-ready ship and the MISC Freelancer as a flyable ship, in addition to an array of bug fixes and improvements. And as a very unexpected surprise, it also includes the Vanguard as flyable as well!


Funding

In 2014 Star Citizen made $32,933,205 and added 362,587 citizens.  December 2014 alone added $3,181,259 to the funding totals.  This leads us up to the year just past.

Note: I will talk about "normal daily funding" in this section below.  What I'm referring to in that instance is funding on days where there is nothing of importance happening such as a ship sale, event, or significant release. The numbers below each heading set the funding, citizen, and ship totals for that date.

January 1st, 2015

$68,590,679 | 708,095 Citizens | 581,193 Ships in the UEE Fleet

To start 2015, ending on January 5th, the limited Mustang Delta was available for the first time.  That said, this fact seemed to have little impact on funding.

Most of January was quiet up until January 23rd when the ship sale for VAT avoidance was held at the same time as the Persistent Universe Townhall in Austin, Tx.  This sale produced $2,066,813 between January 23rd and February 1st.

The UEE Fleet grew to 600,000 ships as of January 19th.

The $70 million mark was hit on January 24th at 00:58 UTC.

Normal daily funding from January = $51,705

This was the most successful January for Star Citizen, producing $3,270,829 compared to $2,099,081 in 2014 and $266,125 in 2013.

February 1st, 2015

$71,912,871 | 743,582 Citizens | 616,852 Ships in the UEE Fleet

February was largely very silent on this front until February 21st, when the RSI Orion concept sale occurred.  This concept sale brought in $1,731,299 and ended March 2nd.  If you’d like to read a bit more about the RSI Orion concept sale, a short discussion was included as part of the Starliner Concept Sale Analysis.

Normal daily funding from February = $42,495

This was the most successful February for Star Citizen, producing $2,399,668 compared to $1,741,103 in 2014 and $802,494 in 2013.

March 1st, 2015

$74,345,846 | 767,057 Citizens | 635,994 Ships in the UEE Fleet

The beginning of March was good, containing the tail end of the Orion sale.

PAX East, including an FPS demo, had little effect on funding but the free-fly promotion did significantly boost Citizen numbers (69,472 Citizens added in 12 days).

On March 13th Star Citizen surpassed 800,000 Citizens!

The release of Star Citizen Alpha v1.1 (new naming convention) and the Retaliator hangar-ready sale event that began March 20th did have an effect, adding $654,304 between March 21st and 27th.

March 28th brought the start of the Aegis Vanguard concept sale – one of CIG’s most successful concept sales to date.  You can see The Relay’s writeup on that concept sale here: Aegis Vanguard concept sale analysis.

Normal daily funding from March = $54,846

This was the most successful March for Star Citizen, producing $3,183,965 compared to $1,586,076 in 2014 and a meager $180,073 in 2013.

The end of March marked the conclusion of Q1 2015 in which Star Citizen brought in $8,828,952 as compared to $5,432,305 in Q1 2014 and $1,248,692 in Q1 2013, making Q1 2015 the most successful 1st quarter to date for the project.

April 1st, 2015

$77,506,244 | 859,313 Citizens | 663,004 Ships in the UEE Fleet

April began with funding on fire from the ongoing Vanguard concept sale.  By its end on April 7th, the sale had accumulated $2.25 million!

On April 11th, Star Citizen Alpha v1.1.1 came out and coincided with a Super Hornet and Gladiator sale.  These events brought in $315,140 between the 11th and 13th.

On April 25th, the backbone of Star Citizen’s cargo hauling system was unveiled with the start of the concept sale for the MISC Hull series.  You can see the full details with the MISC Hull Series concept sale analysis.

On April 26th at 05:50 UTC, Star Citizen reached the $80 million milestone!

Normal daily funding from April = $42,122

This was the most successful April for Star Citizen, producing $3,211,615 compared to $2,072,378 in 2014 and $615,252 in 2013.

May 1st, 2015

$80,847,428 | 883,835 Citizens | 688,024 Ships in the UEE Fleet

On the 5th of May the MISC Hull Series concept sale concluded, having earned $2,156,463 over its course.

The 9th of May brought the introduction and concept sale of the Starfarer Gemini, the militarized version of the massive tanker ship.  At this time the normal Starfarer also went back on sale.  You can find details of the Starfarer Gemini sale as part of the Starliner Concept Sale Analysis.  This sale ended May 19th and brought in $910,523,

On May 17th, another milestone was hit with the UEE Fleet reaching a total of 700,000 ships.

Soon after the Gemini sale ended, the MISC Reliant was unveiled… with a special News Van variant just for The Relay (kidding!).

The Reliant concept sale began May 22nd and predictably enough you can find details of that sale with The Relay’s MISC Reliant concept sale analysis.

May 26th brought the 900,000 Citizens milestone!

Normal daily funding from May = $28,655

This was the most successful May for Star Citizen, bringing in $2,815,387 compared to $1,288,270 in 2014 and $740,421 in 2013.

June 1st, 2015

$83,601,068 | 903,602 Citizens | 721,071 Ships in the UEE Fleet

The Reliant sale finished on June 2nd, having brought in a total of $963,498.

Unfortunately June was where the cracks started to appear throughout Star Citizen – including funding.  The inability of CIG to update Arena Commander due to build divergence, Star Marine delays, and Chris Roberts’ absence from the scene as he worked hard on the Squadron 42 performance capture shoot led to a period of concern and quiet.

Between June 3rd and June 26th nothing of significance happened in terms of funding for Star Citizen.

June 26th brought about the unveiling of an intriguing ship that perhaps best indicates the eventual depth of available gameplay in Star Citizen – the Crusader Industries Genesis Starliner.  The details of this concept sale can be found by reading The Relay’s Starliner Concept Sale Analysis.

Normal daily funding from June = $26,858

This was the LEAST successful June for Star Citizen, bringing in $1,061,274.  The best June was June 2014 with $3,041,289, followed by June 2013 with $2,027,421.

The end of June marked the end of Q2 2015, bringing in $7,226,694.  This is the best Q2 that Star Citizen has had, with Q2 2014 bringing in $6,405,842 and Q2 2013 bringing in $3,368,688.

July 1st, 2015

$84,628,596 | 917,823 Citizens | 729,320 Ships in the UEE Fleet

July 2015 has the very dubious distinction of having almost nothing to redeem it in terms of funding.

The Starliner concept sale ended on July 6th but didn’t produce much in the latter parts of the sale.  The total for this concept sale was $570,765.

Normal daily funding from July = $25,168

This was the LEAST successful July for Star Citizen with a total of $917,744 in funding.  The most successful July was 2013 with $3,107,281, followed by 2014 with $1,326,705.

Star Citizen earned at least $1 million in every month between June 2013 and June 2015.

August 1st, 2015

$85,534,053 | 935,109 Citizens | 741,446 Ships in the UEE Fleet

The beginning of August closely resembled most of July… but excitement was building.

The Star Citizen event at Gamescom 2015 occurred August 7th.  The announcements at the event and unveilings at the event – such as Social Module demo and Crusader/multicrew demo – along with a limited ships sale finally brought funding back to life, to the tune of $1,884,795 between August 7th and August 18th.

August 28th brought about the start of the Vanguard variant sale and August 29th was the initial release of the Social Module!

Normal daily funding from August = $25,586

This was the second most successful August for Star Citizen, bringing in $2,781,241.  The best August was 2014 with $3,699,901 and the lowest total for any August was 2013 with $2,201,742.

September 1st, 2015

$88,342,353 | 971,989 Citizens | 757,634 Ships in the UEE Fleet

September 8th marked the conclusion of the Vanguard variant sale, bringing in a total of $1,002,618 in funding.

This month marked The Great Merge where Star Citizen’s divergent code bases were smashed back together, kind of like colliding galaxies.  This occupied all of CIG’s time and therefore there was little of note in terms of funding after September 8th… EXCEPT…

September 30th was the start of the MISC Endeavor concept sale!

Normal daily funding from September = $24,242

This was Star Citizen’s LEAST successful September, accumulating $1,387,140 in funding.  The best September was 2013 with$3,320,543, followed by 2nd best $2,885,056 in 2014.

October 1st, 2015

$89,847,929 | 987,391 Citizens | 764,561 Ships in the UEE Fleet

October opened in the midst of the concept sale for the MISC Endeavor research platform – an incredible ship featuring a myriad of science modules and a detachable exploration vessel.

On October 2nd at 18:52 UTC Star Citizen reached the $90 million milestone!

The Endeavor sale began September 30th and ran into the weekend of CitizenCon.  Because of this, exact figures for the Endeavor sale are hard to pin down… once CitizenCon began it muddied the waters.  HOWEVER, about 200 hours in to the sale and before any of the activities related to Citizencon, the Endeavor sale had brought in roughly $1.1 million.  Previous concept sales have run anywhere from 220 to 254 hours.

CitizenCon was a huge event for Star Citizen – it showed off a lot of amazing technology and content and really boosted the mood of backers.  This even included the introduction and concept sale of the Aegis Sabre, Aegis’ competitor for the Hornet.  It’s more nimble and its pilots prefer to attack with stealth and speed whereas the Hornet is very much like a light tank.

On October 13th Star Citizen reached 1 million Citizens!

Between October 9th and 20th Star Citizen made a whopping $3,058,902.

The remainder of October after this point was relatively quiet.

Normal daily funding from October = $33,861

October 2015 ranks as the second most successful October for Star Citizen, raising $4,248,793 for the project.  The best October was 2013 with $5,132,756.  Third and fourth place are occupied by 2014 and 2012 with $3,903,722 and $2,543,656 respectively.

November 1st, 2015

$93,956,160 | 1,036,220 Citizens | 781,314 Ships in the UEE Fleet

November began slowly, the calm before the storm.  October is always a huge month for Star Citizen due to the annual CitizenCon eventn but November is always the biggest of them all… the yearly Anniversary sale is a big deal.

As noted below, the “normal daily funding” for November is quite low due to the anticipation of the big sale.

The Anniversary sale began on November 19th.  Many ships were available through the sale and it also introduced the Anvil Crucible repair ship as well as the Aegis Avenger variants.

The sale was extended to December 1st due to global payment system malfunctions due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Normal daily funding from November = $25,439

November 2015 was the 3rd best November for Star Citizen with $5,358,817 added to the coffers.  The best November for the project was 2013 with $7,871,634, followed by 2014 with $6,101,678 and 2012 with $4,367,877.

December 1st, 2015

$99,512,058 | 1,061,164 Citizens | 833,332 Ships in the UEE Fleet

December 1st was the final day of the 2015 Anniversary sale.  The total haul from the sale:  $5,103,754.

At this point it was inevitable… Star Citizen would hit $100 million before the end of 2015.  It was just a matter of when, and we didn’t have to wait long.

December 13th, 2015 at 01:34 UTC Star Citizen had officially surpassed $100,000,000 in crowdfunding!  It took roughly 3 years and 3 months to achieve (from September 2012 when the RSI website initially launched until December 2015).

After the end of the Anniversary sale things were rather quiet in the beginning of the December.  That is, until…

Star Citizen Alpha 2.0.0 launched to Live on December 12th.  This was a gigantic milestone as it opened the first large world map, allowing players to adventure around and do missions.

Normal daily funding from December = $53,903

This was the most successful December to date for Star Citizen with total funding of $5,213,773.  This is compared to $3,181,259 in 2014, $2,105,811 in 2013, and $333,015 in 2012.

January 1st, 2016

$104,592,187 | 1,141,548 Citizens | 877,891 Ships in the UEE Fleet

This brings us to the new year!  Obviously I can’t comment on the whole month of January but recently (January 6th at 14:46 UTC) Star Citizen hit the $105 million mark.

The most interesting part of January, however, has been the massive increase in “normal daily funding”.  So far in January it sits at a whopping $76,651.  Notably, this is higher than almost any other time during the crowdfunding campaign.  I take this as a very positive reaction to  the release of Star Citizen Alpha 2.0.

Charts, graphs, and musings

Star Citizen made less than $2 million in 64 days.

From the end of the MISC Reliant concept sale on June 2nd to the beginning of Gamescom on August 7th, Star Citizen made only $1,986,506.  It was this “dry” period that pushed my original October prediction for the $100 million milestone to its true date in December.

Star Citizen made $15 million in 97 days.

On October 2nd Star Citizen hit $90 million and on January 6th it hit $105 million.  Just an astonishing level of support from the backers – but not surprising as we have seen similar displays of solidarity (and ship lust) before.  This was obviously buoyed by CIG’s incredible second half of the year where they showed a several morsels of what is to come.

The following is a graph showing some details of funding over time:

And this graph shows how much each month has contributed to crowdfunding:

And this graph is a good demonstration of the entire campaign:


The Big Picture

CIG dealt with a lot adversity in 2015.  Scandals, game issues, delays, prominent staff departing, and more.  That said, there was vastly more positive in 2015 than negative.

The year began with Arena Commander having recently reached its version 1.0 milestone.

Shortly afterwards in the 3rd week of January there was the Persistent Universe Townhall!  This was a huge event for the community… we got a TON of answers about how the game universe would work from jump points to mission generation to pirates to server architecture.  One of the things to come out of this awesome event:

In February, a prominent topic of discussion was the newly unveiled Orion mining vessel and mining mechanics, once again putting an exclamation mark on Star Citizen’s planned deep and intricate game design.  Here’s a beautiful gif of the Orion:

Also in February we got a fantastic Inside CIG segment where they showed their beginning of their work with The Imaginarium in the UK for performance capture:

March brought us a pair of Star Citizen events.  The first was PAX East which was a demo showing the progress of the FPS gameplay.  In addition we got to see the new design for damage to ships!  Shortly after PAX East was SXSW.  This even was fairly low key but gave us this trailer:

March also gave us an incredible fan video… an M50 low pass in Arena Commander:

March was wrapped up brilliantly with the unveiling of this gorgeous beast:

The Vanguard put quite an exclamation mark on a great month!

April started with the introduction of a new studio that would soon prove to be key to unlocking the potential of Star Citizen:

Despite this introduction, things were fairly quiet for most of April until one of Star Citizen’s most important gameplay mechanics was somewhat fleshed out – Cargo Interaction.

 

Along with this came the reveal of the backbone of all cargo transport in Star Citizen – the MISC Hull Series:

April also produced this incredible image of the SATAball arena:

May the Hyper Vanguard Force be with you!  That’s right.  May began with Star Citizen’s best minigame to date (in the opinion of this writer of course).

The Starfarer received an update including a new variant:

And then came the unveiling of the MISC Reliant!  The newsvan!  The The Relay ship!  Alright… I’ll calm down.  But seriously… awesome:

This note is a bit of a different… On June 11th, reddit user /u/Swanton007 announced that it was his first day on the job at the CIG Austin studio as a lighting artist after posting his work on the Star Citizen subreddit on April 16th.  Emre Switzer continues to work at CIG Austin to this day.

In June we also got our first official look at the F8 Lightning fighter:

And the Vanduul Void Bomber:

June wrapped up with an intriguing design post on passenger transport and the concept for the Genesis Starliner:

Mid July marked the long awaited return of Chris Roberts from his directorial duties for the Squadron 42 performance capture shoot in the UK that brought him out of the spotlight for 3-4 months.

Shortly after his return… this little beast – the Kruger Intergalactic P-52 Merlin – became flyable:

To be perfectly honest… the first 7 months of 2015 were not the best months of Star Citizen’s development from a community standpoint.  That was all about to change.

Gamescom.  Social Module.  Star Marine.  Arena Commander 2.0.   Fans in Cologne were thrilled (and apparently overheated) by a thrilling series of demos and unveilings.  At last Star Citizen had truly got its footing in 2015.

August also provided us with this cool additional concept art of the Ursa rover that will be included with the Constellation Aquila:

It also brought us Vanguard Variants!

August wrapped up in incredible fashion… Star Citizen released its first module since June 3rd, 2014.  The Social Module, including ArcCorp, was released August 29th.

In that same announcement we were also spoiled with new concept art of Microtech:

And the stunning Nyx Landing Zone preview:

Oh… one more thing… Electronic Warfare design.

My favourite part of September for Star Citizen was this:

Followed closely by the revealing of the concept and design for the MISC Endeavor research platform:

And then came October.  Oh October…

CitizenCon.

Our INCREDIBLE fans sent a few members of this ragtag news team to the UK, where they got a series of interviews with CIG developers.  Thank you again!

CitizenCon was focused on Squadron 42 and it delivered in spades:

While the focus was obviously on the amazing work being done on Squadron 42, we also had the release of a very important feature – the Starmap!

And a new fighter, the Aegis Sabre:

The majority of the activity in November was tightly focused around the Anniversary sale, but we also got information in the form of the Ship repair and maintenance design document. Also, the Anniversary Livestream including this awesome teaser:

In addition, the Anvil Crucible repair ship was shown for the first time:

And the Avenger Variants made their appearance!

December brought gigantic milestones.

The first was the release of Star Citizen Alpha 2.0.0 after a lengthy, productive, and collaborative PTU session.  SCA 2.0.0 was released December 11th to Live!

The second was December 13th at 01:34 UTC when Star Citizen shattered the $100 million mark in funding!

Throughout December CIG Santa Monica was relocating to a much nicer and larger office elsewhere in the LA area.

Some of the coolest Star Citizen videos of 2015 actually came in the last couple weeks of the year.  During the Holiday Livestream we were treated to these two beauties:

Also unveiled during the Holiday Livestream were the Reliant variants.

And I’d like to finish off December with my favourite image from the December monthly report:


Looking Ahead

2016 will be a gigantic year for Star Citizen.  The persistent universe will continue grow and the mechanics of final game will continue to be implemented.  Oh, also, Squadron 42 Episode 1 will be released!

I’m excited to see Star Citizen going to a regular release schedule with a big patch being released each month.  I think this will provide more consistency and stability both to the community and the development team.  Every month there should be a new ‘big’ patch, including whatever features are ready for inclusion.

In the near-term I’m hoping and expecting we will see things like shopping (and persistence), female character models, and new EVA mechanics (these were experimented with in the 2.1 PTU).  I also expect expansions to the playable content in the Crusader map such as new areas and new missions.  At some point we should also see a Star Marine release, and the implementation of basic cargo and salvage systems.

Following afterwards I expect we’ll see subsumption (NPC AI system), the ability to take off from and land at ArcCorp, new landing zones including the well-developed Levski zone, and the integration of the procedural generation technology for planets.  I’m hoping they will start giving us the chance to mess around with jump points at some point in the near future as well.

Throughout the year we should see new gameplay mechanics integrated as their design and implementation is completed.  Things like repair, mining, and refueling all immediately come to mind as aspects to expect to see fleshed out in the coming months.

Later on this year I am looking forward to seeing the true birth of the Persistent Universe when the entire Stanton system becomes available for play.

Probably the biggest moment this year will be the release of Squadron 42 Episode 1.  This will mark CIG’s first retail release!  It’s pretty exciting stuff – I can’t wait to play.  The efforts put in to getting Episode 1 release-ready will also have a lot of side benefits for Star Citizen in terms of polish, performance, character customization, and game mechanics.

Ships!  I can’t forget ships.  I believe in the near term we will see the Xi’An Scout, the P-72 Archimedes, the MISC Reliant, the Aegis Sabre, and the Drake Herald in the game and flight ready.  In terms of hangar-ready ships I’m excited to see the Starfarer settle its bulk into the R&Y hangar soon!

On the technical side of things, I’m excited to see the modifications to CryEngine to make it fully compatible with DirectX 12 and able to take full advantage of this new API.  In addition, the VR implementation for Star Citizen will be of great interest to me as I will be receiving my Oculus Rift in April!

In terms of funding… well things are only getting more difficult to predict.  Normal funding has grown impressively since the release of SC Alpha 2.0.  If you conclude that this increased enthusiasm is likely to continue… I would be fairly confident in suggesting that Star Citizen could hit $150 million in 2016.  One interesting question is… do you consider Squadron 42 standalone sales to be a part of crowdfunding?  Or more importantly, does CIG?  If they do… that $150 million number could grow much higher.  There are also not many upcoming concept ships that we are aware of.  Does the possibility of a smaller number of concept sales in 2016 depress funding somewhat?

It’ll be fun to find out.

Thank you so much for reading my 2015 in review article!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Here’s to an incredible 2016!


TL;DR

It was a grand year for Star Citizen… and Star Citizen made a grand every ~14.6 minutes in 2015.


Ed's Note: One year of Star Citizen reviewed on the eve of one year of The Relay content! 
CIG's best year to date coincides very nicely with The Relay's first year to date. We hope
you enjoyed our coverage over the past year, and we look forward to providing you with
the same level of coverage, and more, over the next year.

Tune in Tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th of January, to Twitch.tv/The Relaylive for our one-year 
celebration livestream, with games, giveaways, and more.

Also, if you like our content, consider supporting us. The Relay is a volunteer effort, funded
entirely by fans like you. Visit our Support page to find out more.

Nehkara

Founder

Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.