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Reclaim the stars in the exciting new Space Epic from legendary game designer Chris Roberts.
34,397 backers pledged $2,134,374 to help bring this project to life.

Project GODUS and Elite: Dangerous

Posted by Cloud Imperium Games Corporation (Creator)

Hi everyone!

I’ve decided to do something a little out of the ordinary and step outside the Star Citizen realm for a moment.

There are many reasons why all of you so generously backed Star Citizen: You missed a good space sim, you wanted back someone that cared about PC games, you liked the previous games I’ve made and would like to play another. But I also think you backed Star Citizen because you wanted to say something to the business and marketing machines that normally decide which games are made. You said they are not the taste makers for you, that you want your voice heard on what kind of game you play and you want to have a greater involvement and connection to the development of that game.

I can’t tell you how invigorating this last part has been for me as a game designer, for the team that worked on the prototype and the new people we are bringing on. I make games that I want to play. But I also get a huge satisfaction from making games that other people enjoy and lose themselves in, much the same way I want to be entertained when I play a game.

In the old days before digital and online you almost never got to connect with the people that you were making your game for. Instead the only people that would see your progress was a few publishing and marketing executives that most of the time didn’t really care about the game outside what it could do for their bottom line.

With crowd funding you cut the middle man out. No retailer. No publisher driven by the demands of its shareholders for quarterly profits. Instead you build the game directly for the audience that wants the game for the right reasons – because they want to play it. This is an exciting shift in the dynamic and something gaming needs unless everyone wants no other choice other than to buy yearly sequels to one of a limited number of gaming “brands” that the big publishers focus on.

I’m committed to delivering a great game to you all. I’m committed to involving you all in the process and making that process as fun as possible. I’ve said it in a few interviews, but my hope is by the time we release the final “live” version of the game for the public, all of you will have already had a huge amount of enjoyment and fun and will feel the journey was worth the price of backing, with the playing of the final game a pleasant bonus.

I don’t think this model works for everything and everyone, but I do think it is a very viable model for a lot of games. And I think it’s great model for some designers, genres and platforms that don’t get the big publisher love because their type of games don’t sell 10 million copies worldwide.

Which is why I’m writing this comm-link today.

There are a couple of other games coming towards the end of their Kickstarter campaigns that need a little help.

The first is Project GODUS from 22 Cans. They’re about £60,000 away from their goal with just under 3 days to go. Without a decent end of campaign kick they won’t make it. Which would be a shame as they have been doing everything you should in a crowd funding campaign; daily updates, taking on their community’s suggestions, showing work in progress and embracing all that is good about crowd funding.

I’m not the biggest God Game fan, but I played the original Populous and Black and White, and PeterMolyneux pretty much invented this classic PC category. I think it’s great that he’s going back to his roots with GODUS and you can clearly see that his team really cares about what they’re doing.

I know there has been some blow back because a lot of people have felt let down by some of Peter’s promises in the past. I’ve known Peter for many years. Back when Origin and Bullfrog were acquired by EA and we used to travel the world on press tours promoting our respective games. He is definitely very enthusiastic, which can get him into trouble sometimes, as he can over promise, but it always comes from the right place – he wants to push the possibilities and he has a childlike wonder with doing this. And having been in the situation in the past, the fault with this doesn’t lie all at Peter’s feet. A lot of the reasons why promised features don’t make it into the final product are publisher driven. When Electronic Arts or Microsoft want a product on a certain date to make a financial quarter features get cut. The difference between Peter and a lot of other developers is that other developers are a lot more circumspect in public in disclosing what they’re trying to put in the game. Trust me, there are many lofty goals on most projects that never make it, Peter just is more public about his and sometimes gets caught out because of it, especially when there’s a hard date imposed by his publisher.

The second project is Elite: Dangerous from Frontier Developments. They still have 17 days left, but are also in danger of missing their minimum Kickstarter raise without a surge towards the end. They need a little more – some £456,000. You may say hey Chris, why do you want to support a competing project? Well I believe the world is big enough for multiple quality Space Sims. Having to compete against the Star Wars X-Wing games from Larry Holland certainly didn't harm Wing Commander and I feel Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous are different types / styles of games. Star Citizen is more focused on a “crafted” approach to the universe – more detail, cinematic flair and more unique characters and locations whereas Elite will follow a more procedural approach which will allow it to have a much larger galaxy to explore as a lot of content will be computer generated. Besides wanting to see Space Sims make a comeback, I fondly remember playing the original Elite on the BBC Micro by David Braben and Ian Bell. I started my game development career around the same time David did, with my first three games all being on the BBC Micro in the UK before I moved across to the USA and joined up with Origin. The original Elite definitely got me thinking about just how cool it would be to blend 3D space combat that with a cinematic story to create the experience I always craved when watching Star Wars.

These are both games I’ve backed and I am writing this comm-link to let you know about them, if you don’t already.

You have already been so amazingly generous that no one should feel that they need to back any of these just because I am, but if like me, you like the idea of the gamers cutting out the publisher and enabling the developers to connect directly with their audience in a new connected way you should take a look as these are both titles from people that have made great games in the past and I think in the right environment, with no meddling publisher could make something special again.

-Chris

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      George J. King on

      It's funny that some people, like Chris Earl,think they know the games industry, its mechanics and the people and even their personal wealth better than Chris Roberts or other people who actually have worked in the industry. Regarding Peter Molyneux, he sold his HOUSE to keep Lionhead Studios running. That's how dedicated he is. He has new ideas all the time even when a game is already in development and sometimes he just talks about them and even the developers went "what? but that will take months to implement!". But - as Chris Roberts wrote, the problem was never his idea, it was the time they had to finish a game. And publishers are partly to blame for time problems, wanting a demo for E3 or whatever and then the whole team must work on that instead of the game. ideas like the famous "plant an acorn and watch it become a tree" are probably first to be cut.

      Oh, and then... most people moaning about him haven't even played Black & White 1 &2 and Fable 1,2 or 3. It's just a "cool thing" to citisize Peter, just like it's "cool" to say Windows 8 is bad. Common "knowledge", but wrong.

    2. Brodie on

      I have backed both SC and Elite to the hilt, I've looked at Godus and will look at it again, like Chris I've never been a huge fan of this genre and never played Populous or B&W, however I'm will pledge if only to help cast of the shackles publishers slap on to gaming companies.

      On a side note I would like to express my admiration and repect to Chris Robert for stepping up and giving ashout out about these game, you sir are both a gentleman and a sscholar and I salute thee.
      England misses you sir.

    3. Marko Susimetsä on

      Excellent post, Chris! I'd also like to see more than one space sim out there. :)

    4. Polaris Penguin on

      @Chris Earl What makes you think any of them could have funded any of that from their own pockets? Please do some research before posting an uninformed opinion.

    5. ☜☆RSF☆☞ on

      ehh just for clarification, that was addressed @ Chris Roberts

    6. ☜☆RSF☆☞ on

      Nicely done Chris. ;-)

    7. Chris Earl on

      Plenty of projects that could use some help via the captive audience of an overfunded project like this, but you go and shill for the King of Broken Promises, who could have funded this out of his own pocket, and started the project page with nothing more than a bare bones concept, and still hasn't offered any of the sort of proof of work or legitimate (read not fraudulently mocked up) early gameplay, the sort of things that are mandatory, and for a project that should by all rights fail because it offers absolutely nothing except "I made Elite 20 years ago, give me money for a remake". The entire project page is fueled entirely by nostalgia, and in a dangerous way.

      I won't be funding them at all, and I was disappointed to receive this email.

    8. Rambutaan on

      Great update Chris. I already pledged to the both projects before you mentioned them in the update but it's good to see someone high profile giving them some publicity too. :) - I'm a sucker for supporting developers that created awesome games during my youth (the early 90s).

    9. Polaris Penguin on

      @Samuel Understand where you're coming, hoping to give Peter the chance by going back to his roots :).

    10. Samuel Bickel on

      Sorry but I can't in good conscience back Godus. While failed promises for Fable may have been the publishers fault Peter made Curiosity on his own BLEGH. I backed Maia instead, it looks far more interesting.

    11. Missing avatar

      Mark Mc Fadden on

      My bad on posting why my comment was removed, didnt realise theres a delay between me seeing my posts in the comments and it appearing for everyone else( seen it via different browsers ), dawns idiot hat :)

      My original comment is valid though :)

    12. Joseph Doherty on

      Anyone who is a space sim fan and pledged for star citizen should pledge for Elite Dangerous. They are two different games but they will both be great games. If you are sick and tired of now having in good space games to play then you should have pledge already. Please help Elite get made so that come 2014, we have 2 great space sim games to play.

      @Peter: I don't think that the ship artwork is terrible. Just because from the ships we have seen are more geometrically shaped does not make them bad. They are two different companies with different artists who have different opinions on how ships should be designed and look. If anything I am glad they have taken two different approaches, I wouldnt want to play both games that have similar looking ships. Variety is a good thing remember that.

      Also remember, Chris Roberts already had a crowd funding going for his game and investors before kickstarter, so they would not need as much as Braben needs for his game Elite Dangerous. Not too mention its not fair to say that when they will have two different scales. SC will have roughly around 100 star systems, while E:D will have tens of thousands of systems. Im happy that you pledged for E:D, but don't put it down because it didn't have a cinematic video to show like SC.

    13. Polaris Penguin on

      @Peter Sure ED was not pitched as well as could have been, but I am after a game, not a glorified book cover which arguably Kickstarter is, but it has improved a lot from the first day. The title makes sense from an Elite perspective, you have different ratings, going from Harmless to Elite with all the bits in between, and Dangerous is a rating before Deadly. A little tidbit of information, Douglas Adams had input on the rating system back on the original Elite game back in the 80's, I think one of his was "Mostly Harmless".

    14. Peter Jacob on

      Elite: Dangerous' pitch video was not very good at all. I recall purposefully declining to back it when I first looked it over. He does a dreadful job of explaining the separation of the single/multiplayer. It is also very expensive; $48 to reserve a digital copy of the game. Maybe at retail when brand new, but as an early investor paying for its very development? Not cool.

      Oh, an even their concept art ships look sad compared to your in-game-assets video. Just to rub salt in the wound, they're asking for roughly $2mil to your $500K. There's a reason you guys got the $2mil instead. Maybe you guys already spent big $ getting where you already are but I bet I'm far from alone in thinking Elite: Dangerous smells bad. Their title is rubbish too. The best name they could come up with for their grand space opera is "Elite: Dangerous"? Really? Bad signs all around.

      After all that grumbling I've now backed them anyway because you have faith in them and I have faith in you. Already on for Godus because Molyneux's work has been a part of my life since childhood, bless his crazy heart.

    15. Missing avatar

      Mark Mc Fadden on

      Why was my comment removed? i followed the rules on "Be respectful and considerate", yet when i referenced the Eurogamer article and the fact that the email/update is a direct response to it without even referencing it my comment is removed?

      Article is - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-12-are-the-rich-old-men-ruining-kickstarter

      Awaits removal of this comment also

    16. Koshinator on

      Already backing elite, but I am still dubious about Godus. The main kickstarter i'm really waiting for is coming in the new year (hopefully) when Infinity: Quest for Earth gets their act together and starts their campaign

    17. Polaris Penguin on

      Already backed both, but this just shows how awesome Chris Roberts is! By the way Chris, Notch and David Braben will be in Elite's alpha, I hope it gets recorded if they fight each other, likewise when David Braben is in Star Citizen's Alpha, would be great to see that too :).

    18. Polaris Penguin on

      @Mechpilot They have video up of pre-alpha for Elite, and was explained in an interview (if you bothered to do any research) they thought the uptake would be very slow. Its fixed now, and your opinion is not only out of date it is worthless. As for experience, research more.

    19. MechPilot on

      Wow aint that a B****.

      Godus I will absolutely look into. Because While I personally dislike Peter monelu's (grand speeches) I played the absolute hell out of Black&white. Heck I even have Some Ideas I'm temped to send him. Hes definitely a....dreamer.

      However Elite Wont get a single dime from me, on principal alone. From the start they seemed like a scam. All these promises with ZERO experience, Zero Video, Zero Screenshots. From day one they had nothing to present, but an Open palm saying "give me money please". That Is NOT how you do business.

    20. Missing avatar

      Mark Mc Fadden on

      this looks like a direct response to EuroGamers article "Are the rich old men ruining Kickstarter?", its a shame that the email we received hasnt referenced that article considering every game mentioned is whats mentioned in the email.

      If you read that article, while it has many points i wouldnt consider important, it raises the issue of publishers having overall control over projects and making the decisions on direction/release dates etc. With Kickstarter we have a situation where complete control is given to the developer, while i would consider that good generally, George Lucas is a good example of complete failure in that respect.

      On the projects referenced in the update/email( and i'll be blunt )
      Peter Molyneux's Project Godus - Peter Molyneux hasnt released a great game in a long long while and even at that he f****d over the PC community in the process and threw it out as a viable platform, so why should i support that?

      David Brabens Elite Dangerous - my main concern with this is no prototype was previewed, Frontier Developments have been playing with tech for the next Elite for a long while. For such a legendary game, along with Elite, i dont understand why they havnt got external investors involved, in that sense to me i would consider it high risk/not enough shown. I do hope that it meets its target and i will most likely contribute, but its very high risk

      On Star Citizen, it was well presented, prototype videos show exactly what we want, its from Chris who has been out of the game for a long time( but that means not releasing $hit games either ), but not disrespected PC development but infact embraces it and is actively supporting the likes of Oculus Rift etc.

      Chris - if youre reading( i very much doubt so ), im kinda offended that whats mentioned in the article, who's involved, that you've actively requested support for exactly those projects without referring to the fact that your email is a direct response to the article.

    21. LordCrash on

      It's very nice of you to support those other projects! I raise my hat to you, Chris! :)

    22. Missing avatar

      Ed Doyle on

      Okay. I was teetering on Elite Dangerous.. and GoDus might actually be the first real playable game on an ios device besides Letterpress and pinball games. But that's it, I just can't keep throwing money at this stuff! Somebody send me a beta to play! :')

    23. Missing avatar

      Daniel
      Superbacker
      on

      Will probably back godus. But £30 for a game that will take 2 years or what ever to produce. And not even give any early access seems high. Before kick starter I backed a few games that had about 75% off and access to any release from then out. I think miner wars 2081 was my first which for $10 I got alpha beta builds and the final version of both the mmo and single player.

      While kickstarter seems cool. I have noticed the number of awesome looking games have increased as well as the minimum investment for a game upon completion. I've kinda just stopped until I start getting something back. Haha even this was close to not getting backed but I do love space Sims.

    24. Nicholas Sylvain on

      Thanks Chris! I have to admit, I kinda liked Tie Fighter the best, but Privateer *was* a close second :) , and lord knows, I've sunk enough cash into Star Citizen!

      I backed GODUS early on, mostly because I think I'll enjoy watching Molyneux and his team's creative process, possibly more than the game itself :) (and despite being a bit let down by Fable 3!)

    25. Soulwynd on

      I'm sorry Christ, but fuck Peter Molyneux. I hope it will not get there. I love god games, but giving them back to that guy will just further ruin the state of god games. The time when his stuff was actually interesting is long gone, I've learned my lesson and will never support him again, he's done.

    26. Daniel Bryntse on

      Already backing ELITE, of course - since the very second I became aware of their campaign here on Kickstarter!
      I've been craving for a decent space sim/shooter quite some time, with Starlancer beeing my latest love running over a decade now.
      Now... there's two of them int the making. :)

    27. Stuart Hunt on

      Lovely words Chris, you're a true gentleman. The other projects do deserve backing because they are true gaming gods trying to make the games THEY want to make, but it's very generous to give your support in this way nevertheless. Hopefully your push here will help them both towards full funding.

      As a game developer for some 18 years, I would definitely like to cut out the games publishers for the larger games, and I doubt there are many seasoned developers who'd argue. It'll be interesting to see what David, Peter and yourself come up with, without the creative shackles of the publishers!

    28. Grimster on

      20 - 30 quid gap's too wide (and sold out). It'll be discounted on Steam so think I'll wait.

    29. Neil on

      I meant 8 months between Elite and SC coming out, not 18 months of course :)

    30. René M Jensen on

      Definitely gonna check the projects out.

      I think one thing that future developers should really take into serious considering.

      Maybe dont make a Kickstarter than runs around Christmas and Newyear, to be that just seems like a double edged sword, your are fighting on 2 fronts.

      Your trying to get money sure, but people might not be home, they need money for christmas and new year.

      If it was me, there is definitely 2 months i would avoid using for fund raising, December and January.

      But i do hope they both suceeds!.

      There is also a Dungeon keeper clone on kickstarter, sadly it isnt doing to well either :(

    31. Sean Houlihane on

      The point about publishers is key - especially for the newer developers, but it's important to show that crowdfunding is a viable model if the more established developers are going to risk it in future.

    32. Neil on

      Thanks Chris! For me Elite blew my brains back in the 80s - one of the first truly open world games. Which led to Wing Commander... X-Wing... Privateer. 1 /2 .. Tie Fighter... then the lost years ... and here we are.

      Great that space sims are on the way back.

      And those of you hesitating to back Elite - just think - with Elite coming out 18 months before SC there'll be plenty of time to play both! And we get to show the world the demand is there for more.

    33. Missing avatar

      sgetty
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm already backing Elite but I have a hard time giving more money, though I do hope more people chip in and it gets made. I've shared this on the Elite comments already, but here goes again: My advice to Elit, which seems to be ignored, is that they need add-ons that will draw more from the base of current contributors. Naming rights is not a huge draw to people on a budget. Where are the ship add-ons, or cool alien weapon systems I can buy? I pledged ten times as much to Star Citizen because there were better ships and add-ons that my money got me. In Elite, there is no value to a high pledge unless you want to pay to be a tester or name a planet or star system.

      I hope Elite gets the money to meet their goal but they apparently think add-ons are not the way to go. Maybe someone else can convince them, because my suggestions get no traction.

    34. MattK: Pathfinder inXile for Eternity on

      Oh, someone below mentioned Forsaken Fortress also ending soon!

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1317934609/forsaken-fortress

      And maybe when Pathfinder Online gets close to its end, you can spread the love too?

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1675907842/pathfinder-online-a-fantasy-sandbox-mmo

    35. MattK: Pathfinder inXile for Eternity on

      Thank you so much for doing this! I'm a proud backer of this project, and of those two projects as well! :)

    36. RedRum
      Superbacker
      on

      Apocalypse Friday? Hope so with Forsaken Fortress, the survival RPG kickstarter ending this Friday. It also is on short side of funding.

      We are hoping for atomic squirrels!

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1317934609/forsaken-fortress

    37. Marcel Schoen on

      My heart jumped a little as I saw David Braben's face coming up... good old times... Nice touch of you, supporting other projects too, Chris.

    38. Missing avatar

      DataKill on

      ATTENTION Chris:
      Your GODUS link points to your Exchange/OWA

      Please take care of you
      With best regards
      DK

    39. Cloud Imperium Games Corporation Creator on

      Sorry the link to Godus became broken in the cut and paste process!

      The actual link is http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/22cans/project-godus

    40. David del Rio on

      I backed SC and ED. This kickstarter stuff is getting expensive, but I'm tired of the crap. Time to put all this modern technology to use and get people making decent space sims again. Also, Limit Theory looks awesome if you haven't checked it out.

    41. Phil Stocks
      Superbacker
      on

      while I'm most interested in Star Citizen here, I've always had a soft spot for populous and frontier - both backed now (though I was saving to get a constellation... :( )

    42. Missing avatar

      tonester on

      Fantastic update!!

      I had already backed Elite, heading over to Godus for a look :)

    43. David Iglesias (ditman) on

      Wow, I really hope that Elite:Dangerous make it, I really do :'D

      This update is AWESOME, thanks for the good karma Chris! :D

    44. Peter Baltzer Hansen on

      i would also like to say that forsaken fortress could use some attention, i can heartily recommend it :)

      i am now backing both games as well, thanks for bringing godus to my attention chris

    45. Darren Steinheuer on

      Good update but they are asking too much for elite.

    46. Will Lowe on

      Backing said games, quite interesting to see so many people with similar tastes in games.

      Really looking forward to more updates and Alpha :D

    47. Stephen Varey on

      Massive respect for posting that update Chris - I'm a massive Elite fan and you have my respect. I pledged to your KS shortly after Elite as I feel exactly you do with regards to space sims, retailers and publishers.

      I haven't pledged to Godus yet, but i will for the reasons above - even though I don't play 'God' games.

      It's all about getting the games we want made people - not what execs and shareholders say we should buy.

      We have the power to do this.

      Thanks again Chris - you rock!

    48. RedRum
      Superbacker
      on

      Don't forget Forsaken Fortress, the survival RPG. It's soon to end and it's also on the short side of the funding goal.

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1317934609/forsaken-fortress

    49. Missing avatar

      Ardos
      Superbacker
      on

      Thank you for the shoutout! Already have Godus backed and intend to back Elite before the end, funds allowing.

    50. Albert Soler on

      What a thoughtful update, I think it's really great that Chris took the time to raise the profile of these two projects in need of support, as Mr Braben might say 'it's really heartening!' :o)