starcitizen Star Citizen backers receive first playable codeIf you are like me, you probably spent a great deal of time playing games from Chris Roberts through your youth. You can imagine my elation when Chris Roberts revealed Star Citizen. Today, Cloud Imperium Games and Chris Roberts launch their first “Module” for Star Citizen – the first playable code provided as a way for backers to interact with and customize their ship fleet. If space sims are why you own a flightstick, rudders, pedals, IR head tracker, multiple monitors etc. etc. etc., you should read on.

Chris Roberts and the development team at Cloud Imperiumâ„¢ Games are rolling out the first playable area in their highly anticipated space sim, Star Citizen. The Hangar Module is an area of the game where current backers of the project can walk around and admire all the ships they’ve purchased for the game in a 3-D hangar created completely in-engine. The Hangar Module officially launched overnight for all backers of the crowd funded project. It’s all part of the modular development process Cloud Imperium is utilizing to provide backers of the crowd funded game a chance to experience the gaming world earlier than normal.

“In creating a project of this size and scope in a traditional sense, you wouldn’t get a chance to play the game until it reaches late alpha or beta stage,” said Cloud Imperium CEO Roberts. “By creating modules in this fashion, our backers get a chance to jump in and enjoy the world much earlier. Soon we’ll be adding a Dogfighting module, a Planetside module and more. Eventually we’ll weave them together to make the world that will be Star Citizen.”

The Hangar Module was previewed to members of the media last week at the Gamescom Trade Fair and Exhibit in Cologne, Germany. A special preview unveiling on Saturday night was wildly received by more than 1,200 Star Citizen fans.

“Our backers have invested a lot of their time and resources to Star Citizen,” said Roberts. “This will be their first chance to experience a portion of the game that ultimately will find its way into the final game. Some of the fans have purchased multiple ships and now they’ll be able to see most of them in their own hangars. The next step will be launching those ships and dogfighting. But for now they can customize their ships, walk around them, jump into the cockpit and even purchase a few surprise items to outfit their hangars. And all of it will take place in the game engine.”

Fans must back the project in order to experience the new Hangar Module. Information on becoming a Star Citizen backer can be found at http://www.RobertsSpaceIndustries.com.

The game represents the most funded croudsourced title ever, topping more than $16.7 million from backers all over the world. To those developers and publishers who say Space Sims are dead, I submit that you are very, very wrong.