Phase 1 of development was to get a working, playable prototype. Because of your faith in us and because of your donations, we have accomplished that goal. The purpose of the prototype is to lend credibility to our cause and our own abilities so that we can fund the rest of the development of the game.
The first part of phase 2 of development is to get proper funding so we can actually have a solid group of developers working full time on the project. Part of that funding will come from a kickstarter campaign that we plan on launching in the coming months, and a big part of that campaign will be the donation reward levels.
We are hoping that some of you will help us come up with some really spectacular donation reward levels. To start us off, I've included a list of core donation reward levels, some addons, and the new player organization reward levels.
Feel free to comment and critique, suggest new rewards, suggest raising or lowering costs, or just debate whether or not these rewards bring us too close to pay-to-win.
INDIVIDUAL DONATION REWARD LEVELS
25 - You get the game when it is complete, and access to the private beta (expected to be ready in about 1.5 to 2 years).
35 - You get the game when it is complete, and access to the private alpha (expected to be ready in about 1 year).
50 - All previous rewards + access to the stable pre-alpha tests (available now).
65 - All previous rewards + extra starting resources during pre-alpha tests (excluding custom servers)
75 - All previous rewards + extra starting resources during ALPHA tests + an extra character slot for all phases of development
85 - All previous rewards + access to the release candidates of all stages of development
150 - All previous rewards + access to the bleeding edge developer tests of all stages of development
$?? - Add a specific ship that you can spawn with rather than a random one
$?? - Add a better specific starting ship
$?? - Start the game with a small fleet of ships (2,3,4)
$?? - Start the game with a small carrier
PLAYER GROUP REWARD LEVELS
$?? - Player groups bid to get on the top 5 player-groups list on the main website. Links back to their home website. The rest of the groups will be shown in an extended list if the user wishes to view the full list.
$?? - A custom flag. Custom flags must be approved by moderators. Player groups can otherwise use our flag generator.
$?? - A player group's leader gets a "spawn beacon" along with his ship which he can place in the game world. Members of his group can spawn there instead of "near a friend". The group leader will still spawn randomly in the world though.
$?? - The group leader spawns in a resource rich area, though still random.
$?? - The group leader gets to choose one of 5 spawn locations rich in resources. He will also be given the general layout of these areas as well as nearby player settlements.
$?? - Any time a group's name is shown in-game, it will have a silver gilding.
$?? - Any time a group's name is shown in-game, it will have a gold gilding.
One final note. Some of you are likely to think that some of these reward levels will end up making VoidSpace too "pay-to-win". However I would like you to consider this:
1. Ships in the game are going to be heavily upgradable. So even if you start with a better-than-usual starting ship, you're still going to be extremely vulnerable. On top of that, having a better "shell" of a ship will actually make your more vulnerable due to other players wanting to take your ship from you to upgrade it for themselves. And you're still starting at the bottom of the ladder when you get in for the first time.
2. Players cannot simply "farm ships". They would only be able to start a new character with their upgraded ships once in a while (perhaps once per week). On top of that, players cannot spawn in the same place twice unless they die, and even then there will be a significant cooldown before being able to spawn again (this is separate from the donation reward ships).
3. Star citizen is openly selling ships to players for money, and I get the impression you wont be as vulnerable as VoidSpace either.
4. ALL of the rewards that smell a little bit like pay-to-win are actually not giving you a real advantage over other players. It is the equivalent of starting a world of warcraft character at level 10 instead of level 1. In the end, it doesn't really matter, it just saves you some time at the beginning.
Thanks for all your support! You're a fantastic community and we are lucky to have you!