But there’s a little truth behind every joke. Robert’s team is huge – now over 300 strong – and many think they do not have enough money to deliver on four massive game systems, which include a space combat game, a massively multiplayer online game players and a first-person shooter. And given their aggressive development schedule, this game should be released commercially next year.
So how does it look now? In a word, extraordinary.
The playable Module now available to all donors is called Commander Arena. It is an air combat simulator that allows for free flight, running, fighting against ships controlled by the AI and multiplayer dogfights. With a high-end graphics card, it looks amazing. A card is held in high orbit around a planet mars and the sense of depth and detail in the box below gives me a real sense of vertigo.
The first barrier to entry for me was to set up my checks. The presets for my staff during flight and accelerator, system Saitek X-55, were buried in menus. I actually had to reach technical support to help them find it. Then there is the decision by default the yaw axis for the movements of the left and right of the flight stick and card roll twist the stick – the exact opposite of a terrestrial flight model. For those used to steal virtual planes, it will feel a bit like rubbing your stomach while patting your head, but it’s fairly easy to fix by remapping the axes in the control panel. It took a few days, but once I’m locked in I was out of the race.