Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A projection on how much each ship will cost in Star Citizen

The following is my projection on how much each ship will cost in Star Citizen based on a few facts and some assumptions.

1. Ship insurance is going to be offered on a monthly basis and by definition, each ship needs to have its own insurance.
2. A basic monthly subscription at Centurion level starts at $10/mth.

1. Ship insurance is going to be the main revenue source for the game
2. $1 in real life money = 1000 credits
3. To 'play' the game, players will need to be flying a ship which is insured.
4. The game will forbid players from flying ships which are not insured.
5. If a ship's current monthly insurance runs out, you will need to buy another monthly insurance for it.
6. Ship insurance is offered in multiples of 30 days, eg 30/60/90/120 days
7. Ship insurance needs to be relatively cheap, less than or equal to credits worth $15/mth = 15,000 credits/mth, based on prevailing standard MMO subscription rates of $15/mth.

Estimating the costs of each ship in in-game credits

Looking at the Digital Scout package, it gives you an Aurora ship with 1000 credits and 2 months ship insurance, at a cost of $30. Based on a subscription model of $10/mth. 2 months ship insurance would be worth 2x$10 = $20. Why? Because I can fly the ship for 2 months, effectively allowing me to play the game for 2 months in that ship, equivalent to a Centurion level subscription for 2 months.
This would mean that the basic Aurora ship costs:
$30 (Digital scout package) - $20 (ship insurance) = $10 = 10,000 credits (assuming $1=1000 credits)

Digital Bounty Hunter package gives you a 300i ship, 2000 credits, 4 months ship insurance, at a cost of $65.
This means the basic 300i ship (ignoring the 2k credits) costs:
$65 - $40 = $25 = 25,000 credits.

Digital Colonel package gives a Hornet ship, 5000 credits, 6 months ship insurance, at a cost of $125.
This means the basic Hornet ship (ignoring the 5k credits) costs:
$125 - $60 = $65 = 65,000 credits.

Digital Freelancer package gives Freelancer ship, 5000 credits, 6 months ship insurance, at a cost of $125.
This means the basic Freelancer ship (ignoring the 5k credits) costs:
$125 - $60 = $65 = 65,000 credits.

No digital package to compare with, so we look at the Rear Admiral package, which gives 10k credits, 6 months ship insurance.
This means the basic Constellation ship (ignoring the 10k credits) costs:
$275 - $60 - $15(shipping costs) = $200 = 200,000 credits.

Estimating the Real-Life money cost of lifetime insurance for digital add-on ships

Now, we know that pledge ships are also available as digital add-ons for people who pledged during the crowd-funding campaign. Working backwards with the data from above to find how much lifetime ship insurance for each ship is worth, we have:

Constellation: Available for $225 as digital add-on
In-game ship value: $200 = 200,000 credits
Hence estimated lifetime insurance = $225 - $200 = $25 = 25,000 credits

Freelancer: Available for $110 as digital add-on
In-game ship value: $65 = 65,000 credits
Hence estimated lifetime insurance = $110 - $65 = $45 = 45,000 credits

Hornet: Available for $110 as digital add-on
In-game ship value: $65 = 65,000 credits
Hence estimated lifetime insurance = $110 - $65 = $45 = 45,000 credits

300i: Available for $55 as digital add-on
In-game ship value: $25 = 25,000 credits
Hence estimated lifetime insurance = $55 - $25 = $30 = 30,000 credits

Aurora: Available for $25 as digital add-on
In-game ship value: $10 = 10,000 credits
Hence estimated lifetime insurance = $25 - $10 = 15,000 credits

These values can be used in estimating the costs of each limited-add-on ship for the digital add-on tiers below.

We will use the estimated lifetime insurance of $25 for the Constellation to find out the in-game costs for the limited-time-pledge ships below.

Estimating the costs of each ship in in-game credits (Continued)

Anvil Gladiator Bomber $150
*Estimated value in-game: $150 - $25 = $125 = 125,000 credits

ORIGIN M50 Interceptor $80
*Estimated value in-game: $80 - $25 = $55 = 55,000 credits

Starfarer Tanker $175
*Estimated value in-game: $175 - $25 = $150 = 150,000 credits

Drake Caterpillar Transport $225
*Estimated value in-game: $225 - $25 = $200 = 200,000 credits

Drake Cutlass (The Pirate Pack) $100
*Estimated value in-game: $100 - $25 = $75 = 75,000 credits

Retaliator Heavy Bomber $250
*Estimated value in-game: $250 - $25 = $225 = 225,000 credits

Idris corvette: Available for $1,000 as digital add-on
*Estimated value in-game: $1000 - $25 = $975 = 975,000 credits
Alternative estimate:
Assuming lifetime insurance to be equal to 1 year of ship insurance (modeling this after DCUO where a lifetime subscription cost $200, at a monthly sub of $15/mth. Break-even point occurs at 13.3 months)
12 months ship insurance = $120
$1000 - $120 = $880
An Idris corvette will cost 880,000 credits.

Vanduul fighter: Available for $300 as digital add-on
*Estimated value in-game: $300 - $25 = $275 = 275,000 credits
Alternative estimate:
Assuming lifetime insurance equal to 12 months worth of ship insurance,
$300 - $120 - $180
A Vanduul fighter is worth $180, placing its ship value between a Hornet/Freelancer and a Constellation

* Based on an estimated lifetime insurance worth $25 = 25,000 credits

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Star Citizen raises $6.2 million in crowd-funding! All Stretch Goals unlocked!

Chris Roberts and team celebrating at the end of the crowd-funding campaign
Woot! Congrats to Chris Roberts and his team at Cloud Imperium Games for raising $6.2 million dollars for their crowd-funding campaign for Star Citizen! Below is their Facebook posting on the final amount raised. Of the $6,238,563 raised, $4,104,189 was from the RSI website and $2,134,374 from Kickstarter. Total number of space sim fans: 89,667. It should be noted that this number is inflated because some people pledged on both RSI and Kickstarter, and the final number of supporters should be approximately between 55k to 89k.
Below you can find a list of all the stretch goals unlocked for Star Citizen!

Total raised: $6,238,563
General features:
  • Full orchestral score (I personally suggest Bear McCreary (BSG, The Walking Dead) or Thomas Bergensen (Two Steps from Hell) as both candidates have the chops to compose epic scores!)
  • 100 systems to explore in persistent universe (single server like Eve Online, post-single player campaign World. See below for full blog post by CR on instancing mechanics and how PvP will work. Take note you WILL be able to create private servers and mod them to your heart's content)
  • 50 SP branching missions in Squadron 42 campaign
  • Professional mocap
  • Celebrity voice over (at least one original cast member will return. MARK HAMILL COME ON OVER!)
  • Extensive peripheral support (MFD, multi-monitor, Oculus Rift, pedals, chairs, etc.)
  • Tablet app for Android and iOS (check inventory, missions, newsfeed, etc.)
  • Monthly updates on progress of game development (Town Hall meetings CR called them)
  • Largest playable ship in the online persistent universe hosted by RSI: Bengal Carrier (5.5M stretchgoal)
  • Multiple types of bases (see below for more details)
  • A Lamp
  • Cockpit decorations (including bobbleheads with realistic physics, dinosaurs)
  • Mod tools
  • Private servers
  • AMX-1 Repair Droid "Thanks to a network of nine telescoping flex arms, the AMX-1 can access and repair any standard ship system with ease. Though it lacks the full speech boards and the emotional memory cores of more expensive models, the trademark whirring and beeping of an AMX is a welcome sound for anyone charting a path between the stars."
  • A Lamp
  • Multiple classes/types of ship: bomber, interceptor, general purpose fighter, destroyer, carrier, transport, pirate ship
  • Extensive trading system
  • CR would like to add crafting as well, but it will never approach EO complexity as this is not what he wants for SC. No details for now.
  • Unlimited and free garage space for all pledge ships
  • Lifetime insurance on all pledge ships
  • Purchase of in-game credits with real money. Planned conversion rate is 1$ = 1000cr
  • No monthly subscription to play on persistent server
  • Ship-to-ship capture and boarding with FPS elements, Melee & Heavy Weapons, Zero-gravity Simulation, Suit HUD Options, Increased Customization, Outside-the-ship combat (magnetic boots on a hull; think Moonraker)
  • First/Third Person movements on big ships (Bengal Carrier, RSI Constellation)
  • NPC interactions on stations and bigger ships
  • Planet landings (scripted)
  • Ability to fly through a planetary atmosphere to siphon hydrogen to use as fuel
  • Manual take-offs and landings on carriers
  • Fully modular ships. Damaging key components will affect flight capabilities. Although built slightly simpler than the smaller ships, capital ships will have sub-targets we will be able to destroy to incapacitate or disable it.
  • Multi-person ships. The RSI Constellation (250$+ tier or available via add-on) can be piloted by a single person, but has room for 3 more. The ship has a dockable P52 fighter friends can use, as well as two mannable turrets (think Millenium Falcon). It has not been confirmed whether crew ships can be manned by NPCs if friends are not available to drop-in your ship and control the fighter and turrets.
  • Tractor beams
  • Choose between male and female avatars, and they will be customizable, though not to the extent of Skyrim
  • A frickin' lamp!!!!
Monthly backers
Centurion 10$/month:
  • The ability to participate in the live monthly team “show and tell.” We will answer twenty questions from subscribers (selected via voting system.) Subscribers will watch the update live as it is being recorded. Jump Point, the monthly digital magazine of Star Citizen. A 4-6 page monthly newsletter which includes updates from the team and new in-universe Star Citizen fiction from the writing team.
  • Access to “The Vault,” a collection of Star Citizen artwork that would otherwise never be seen, including ‘paths not taken’ discarded concept art for the true collector.
  • An exclusive catalog of Star Citizen subscriber merchandise.
  • Your name in the game. We can’t tell you where you’ll find it, but if you subscribe for at least 12 months your name will be located somewhere in the Star Citizen world!
  • Centurion decal for your ship
Imperator 20$/month:
Everything listed above, plus…
  • Visit Cloud Imperium and see how the game is made! Imperator-level subscribers will be allowed one visit per year (scheduled in advance) to the Star Citizen development offices in Austin or Los Angeles.
  • Three wishes – Chris Roberts will personally reply to three of your questions a year.
  • Your name on the wall-of-honor at Cloud Imperium HQ if you subscribe for at least 12 months.
  • Jump Point: Year One, a printed collection of Jump Point issues provided to anyone who subscribes for the entire first year of development.
  • Imperator decal for your Ship.
All of these ships will be available at launch and be obtainable in-game either for in-game credits or by capture. The main advantage of pledge ships is the lifetime insurance on the hull. Insurance up to 12 months will be available in game, but lifetime insurance cannot be bought for any ship once the game is released.
  • Aurora | specs: here
  • 300i | specs: here
  • Hornet | specs: here
  • Freelancer (transport) | specs: here
  • Constellation | specs: here or download the full PDF here
  • Anvil Gladiator Bomber | specs: here "The Gladiator is the civilian variant of a powerful military bomber currently being used against the Vanduul on the frontiers of the galaxy"
  • ORIGIN M50 Interceptor | specs: here
  • MISC Starfarer Tanker | specs: here
  • Caterpillar Transport (pirate ship) | specs: here
  • Drake Cutlass (pirate ship) | specs: here and here
  • Retaliator Heavy Bomber | specs: here
  • Vanduul Fighter | Vanduul fighter was confirmed to have 12 thrusters, 7 missiles, fixed weaponry, and the asymmetrical wing is reinforced for ramming. CR also stated that it was crippled for cinematic effect in the footage we have seen of them in action.
  • Idris-class Corvette | "Larger than a bomber but smaller than a ship of the line, corvettes occupy an interesting space in the pantheon of warships. While they lack the heavy armor and the capital weaponry of a cruiser, corvettes are more maneuverable and are highly configurable. Even the least expensive models feature numerous upgrade slots and multiple hard points for turrets and missiles. Corvettes are also frequently used for boarding actions; a single ship can support a team of marines capable of taking the fight to the decks of larger warships and stations."
  • Bengal Carrier | It will be used as a clan base and CR said it will be very hard to get.
The Bengal carrier shown in the trailer will be your base for the duration of the SP campaign. In the persistent universe, there will be multiple types of bases.
  • Hidden Smuggler Asteroid Base | specs: here
  • Alien Derelicts
  • Vanduul Trading Post (4.5M stretchgoal)
Skins can be purchased separately and applied to ships using the Electro Skin Hull Enhancement module. The module and most skins are available as 5$ add-ons.
Note: one skin is exclusive to a tier, some are automatic stretchgoal rewards and there is one skin exclusive to Kickstarter as well.
  • Exploration Skin
  • Military Skin
  • Pirate Skins | One and Two
  • Shut Up and Take My Money Skin (exclusive to Kickstarter)
  • Double Backer Skin (if you pledged at least 5$ on KS and 10$ on RSI)
  • Centurion and Imperator Decals for monthly backers (see above)
  • Special 'Record-breaker' skin (5.5M stretchgoal)
  • Unique custom skin for 10,000$+ pledgers for their RSI Constellation
Physical Add-ons
  • Fold up glossy full color map of the game universe (provides information on systems, resources, bases, etc.) +$10
  • CD of game soundtrack +$20
  • Hardback bound 42 Page Book “Squadron 42 Manual” +$20
  • Hardback bound 42 page Book “Engineering Manual for Modders” +$20
  • Hardback bound 42 page book “The Making of Star Citizen” +$25
  • Spaceship shaped USB stick +$30
Game Mechanics
  • Multiplayer, Single Player, Instancing | Blog post by CR here
  • Ship boarding and docking | Detailed blog post by CR here
  • All pledges and add-ons can be added or upgraded in first 12 months after campaign has ended so long you pledged before it did end.
  • KS and RSI pledges will be combined once campaign has ended
  • All pledges and add-ons count towards a "total" pledge amount that will reflect what Citizen card you get (so if you got the 60$ tier on KS but added over 200$ in add-ons, you're considered a "Rear Admiral" pledger (250$+))
  • Pledges guarantee lifetime insurance on the hull ONLY. All upgrades and cargo will be lost.
  • Star Citizen Pledge Tracker Spreadsheet on Google Docs
  • First "expansion" (mission disk) with 16 more missions free to all backers when it comes out
  • All backers get 1500 bonus credits on top of promised amount in your pledge tier (5.5M + 1M stretchgoals)
  • All backers get a AMX-1 Repair Droid (750K stretchgoal)
  • You can name a system for 5000$+
Physical boxes
  • 125$+ get a green box (image: here)
  • 250$+ get a gray box signed by CR (image: here)
Just like Citizen cards, all add-ons and pledges go toward a total pledge amount that will determine which box you get.
Backers over $1,000 get the Squadron 42 shirt for free and backers over $5,000 get both.
Interesting audiovisual material currently available for viewing:
  • Early spaceport concept art to 3D conversion | here (take note that the red ship is a a placeholder model CR found online and won't be in the game)
  • Extended Trailer, in-game engine | here
  • AI Combat demonstration | here
  • Final Week Push PR Video | here
  • Pilot AI WIP | here
  • CR's YouTube Channel | here
  • Xi’An Empire | info
  • Kr’tak (4.5M stretchgoal)
  • The Lamp

Monday, November 5, 2012

LEGO - Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7965

Spent about 5 hours building this baby. Looks awesome!