Before I explain the title, here’s a story from my childhood:
I was in junior high (“middle school” for you non-New-Englanders) and I had kinda grown up on my Atari game system, arcades and (later) my Apple IIc.
Sometime during those wonder years I met a friend with a PC: a 486 Windows 3.something. And he had Wing Commander. I hadn’t played anything quite like it, and I’m not sure anyone had. It was a quasi-3d space shooter which had so much more. The storyline won’t knock yer panties off, but the game had a storyline! This was revolutionary back then.
Storyline PLUS great gameplay = I rode my bike 3 miles after school to go watch my friend play this game. I eventually did play (and got my own PC), but this game shaped all my future gaming in so many ways. Wing Commander was the benchmark by which I measured many other games that came down thru the years (even non-space-sims). Between this game, Pool of Radiance and Railroad Tycoon, my gaming pedigree was established.
The man behind Wing Commander kinda disappeared for a while. But now he’s back.
And he’s crowd-funding his next project.
Watch his video explaining the project. He talks about how he could have signed with a publisher (with his street cred, publishers line up for him), but he doesn’t necessarily agree with current publishers’ visions of the future of gaming. He wanted to retain control of his own project and develop it for his beloved platform: PC.
God damn, we live in an exciting time! I see projects getting “crown funded” all the time on sites like Kickstarter nowadays. Creative people with great ideas can see their projects come to life and succeed/fail based on their own merits – rather than on some gatekeeper’s whim (sound familiar?). To see this sort of “do it yourself” invasion spread across many aspects of life today is truly inspirational. We self-published writers might have the best toolset of them all (Amazon, ’nuff said), but sites like Kickstarter and Gamecrafter are spreading the revolution into other creative avenues.
Bravo to these pioneers. And Bravo to Chris Roberts. I’ll be happily funding your project and eagerly await the release of Star Citizen (or whatever you call it in the end).