Chris Roberts Wants You to Design Your Own Starship

Don’t fancy any of the spaceships Chris Roberts and the team at CIG have created for Star Citizen? (My, aren’t you the picky one.) Create your own.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign, which is now at a miraculous $21 million and climbing, Roberts announced The Next Great Starship competition. Teams of up to three people are invited to design, model, and rig their own spaceship — soup to nuts — with the winning design making it into the space sim and the team receiving $30,000 in cash and some impressive hardware for their efforts.

“Our fans have been clamoring for a way to get even more involved in the making of Star Citizen and I think we’ve found the ideal solution,” Chris Roberts said in a statement. “What better way to become part of the game than to create a spaceship that you and your friends can actually fly and take into battle. The winners of this contest will have to travel through an amazing process to get to the end, but there will be no doubt after navigating the weeks and months of tough competition that these three individuals will deserve the crown as designers of The Next Great Starship.”

That process begins when team registration opens on October 31. From there, you’ve got to prove you’ve got what it takes with a preliminary challenge: create a fully designed wave particle cannon. A nine-member judges panel, including Roberts and CIG devs, will vote on the entries and weed out the 16 best (CIG notes one of the 16 will be chosen by the Star Citizen community). From there the spaceship design battle really begins, and we’ll all get to keep a close eye on progress. Each week, teams will submit video updates and they’ll be edited into an episode of The Next Great Starship, a series that will run on the Roberts Space Industries YouTube channel. Throughout the course of the series, teams will be eliminated until the final two will compete live in front of the judges panel in Los Angeles. Fun.

Timeline: registration opens October 31 and runs through December 31. The 16 teams that make it through the preliminary challenge will begin competing on January 31, and the final two teams will compete on June 8. Here’s what they’re fighting for:

GRAND PRIZE: $30,000 in cash for the team members. Your Great Starship is included in Star Citizen and each member of your team receives the first production models off the press!  As well as Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite, Maya Premium and one high-end AMD based system with Radeon R9 290X (for each team member)
SECOND PLACE: $10,000 in cash for the team members. Alienware laptop, Autodesk Maya 2014, AMD Radeon R9 290X (for each team member)
THIRD PLACE: $5,000 in cash for the team members. Autodesk Maya LT, AMD Radeon R9 290X (for each team member)
SPECIALTY PRIZE: (to the most valuable player out of the remaining contestants among the final three teams voted on by the judging panel): One Cintiq Companion, the new Windows 8 “Make the World your Studio” tablet from Wacom
FINALIST TEAMS 4 THROUGH 16: $250 in RSI Credits (non-transferable/non-refundable)

The whole shebang is sponsored by Alienware, AMD, Autodesk, Crytek, Cologne Game Lab, Wacom and YouTube. So don’t worry, all your crowdfunding dollars are still going right into Star Citizen.

Interested? Register at Roberts Space Industries in a few weeks.

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