'Star Citizen' celebrates first year, launches design contest

Chris Roberts

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One year and more than $21.5 million raised after it was announced, the under-development space game "Star Citizen" will be giving some money back to its fan community.

At a Thursday night anniversary celebration, Cloud Imperium Games Corp. announced "The Next Great Starship," a design contest and web reality series that will award $45,000 in cash as well as computers, hardware and software to teams who develop new ships for the game.

The contest will open up on Oct. 31 and will run through Dec. 31. Teams of designers will be invited to submit via YouTube video their concept for a wave particle cannon. 16 entries will be chosen to design space ships and the design and judging process will be detailed in videos of "The Next Great Starship" to begin airing on YouTube Jan. 31. The grand prize is $30,000 in cash for the winning team as well as AMD-powered systems and software for each team member (teams are limited to three members).

Judges will include game designer Chris Roberts, designers from the company as well as a judge from the game company Crytek and as-yet-unnamed "Celebrity judges." The contest will culminate in a June 8 Los Angeles showdown between the last two teams.

In the year since it was announced, "Star Citizen" has raised more than $21.5 million as of this writing through a combination of Kickstarter funding and money raised through the robertsspaceindustries website. Roberts is best known for the classic "Wing Commander" series of video games. He also directed the film version which was screened Thursday night in Austin as part of the announcement and celebration.

More information on "The Next Great Starship" in the video below:

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