Star Citizen, an upcoming space trading and combat simulator, has just exceeded $18 million in its online crowdfunding campaign. The highly ambitious project, still in early development, requires an estimated $21 million to complete – and it’s looking likely to reach that target.

This boost to funding has coincided with the recently released ‘Hangar Module’, which allows early backers to explore a hangar bay filled with ships. Star Citizen aims for a modular, transparent development schedule, with several more modules planned over the next couple of years. These include (from the Wikipedia page):

  • The Dogfighting Module (estimated December 2013) will allow a limited number of early backers to playtest the ship combat portion of the game against other players.
  • The Social/Planetside Module (estimated March–April 2014) will allow backers to experience the 1st person non-combat planet based environment, consisting of various shops and bars.
  • Squadron 42/Singleplayer Alpha (estimated August 2014) – little is known at this stage, but it is understood that this module will allow backers to try out the branching single player campaign (known as Squadron 42).
  • Persistent Universe/Beta (estimated end of 2014/early 2015) – again little is known at this stage, but it is understood that this module will allow backers to access a Beta version of the massively multiplayer persistent universe (known as Star Citizen).
  • Final Release (estimated Q1 2015) – Full commercial release of both Squadron 42 and Star Citizen.

As new details are released, Star Citizen is looking more and more like one of the most ambitious videogames ever planned. The game will include a single player campaign, drop-in cooperative mode, and a massively multiplayer persistent universe. The core gameplay will mix elements of space combat, exploration, interstellar trade, and social interaction. If Star Citizen delivers on all the promises being made, it could be revolutionary. If only for the inevitable Battlestar mods.