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Star Citizen: The Road to Release, Financials and New Partners (cloudimperiumgames.com)
181 points by doener on Dec 21, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 232 comments



> We may not have the resources that an Activision or EA have to launch one of their tentpole games

GTA 5 had budget of $265M (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_Grand_Theft_Aut...). Assuming info on wiki is correct SC is nearing 200M (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Citizen#Funding) which isn't too far off from GTA budget.


$265M was an estimate for both development and marketing, the estimate for the development alone was a bit over half, at $140M. So SC should already be over GTA V in terms of funding for development, as long as they're not forced to refund what they raised [1].

[1] https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/ne5n7b/star-citiz...


But gta v started with gta IV, right? The engine was overhauled and improved - but SC started from scratch, pretty much?


SC started with CryEngine and is currently on Amazon’s Lumberyard (which is a fork of CE).


And that's just the engine. Gta IV already had a framework in place for "telling gta stories" so, even if they had a off the shelf game engine, se would still be making a "game" from scratch. Gta v probably tweaked most everything from iv beyond recognition - but they kinda started from a working game, and made another game.


SC has a framework in place for "telling Space Sim stories". There is nothing new there and Roberts has experience with that. I don't see how this would justify those "delays" and failures at all.


Lumberyard is virtually identical to CryEngine, there was little work needed to make the conversion


That is not entirely correct. The current version of Lumberyard contains only remnants of CryEngine. Most everything has been scrapped and rewritten in favor of non-horrifying code.


Why would Amazon put that much effort into this? Amazon doesn't particularly have much of a marketshare in videogame sales, unlike say Google Play, Steam and others.

Smells like a me too offering from Amazon...


I would say it is down to AWS integration mainly, give an easy integration path to AWS services and dev's might be more willing to use AWS and that's where they make the money back.

But Twitch (an amazon company) also had its own game store they were pushing (and giving a cut of any sales referred from live streams to the streamer) but Twitch closed that down last month (But they still have free games / loot which is linked to your twitch account and accessible via their desktop client). So it is possible they might of pursued that route more heavily and did what Epic has done with their store (lower fee's when using their store and engine over using Steam and their engine).


Replying again as I am no longer able to edit.

Just quickly read the terms for Lumberyard and they state the following[0].

> Operating Restrictions. Without our prior written consent, (a) the Lumberyard Materials (including any permitted modifications and derivatives) may only be run on computer equipment owned and operated by you or your End Users, or on AWS Services, and may not be run on any Alternate Web Service and (b) your Lumberyard Project may not read data from or write data to any Alternate Web Service.

But reading their github repo and FAQ you are allowed to use hardware you own and operate yourself and you are allowed to connect to things like steamworks etc [1]

> Q. Can my Lumberyard game connect to services like Steamworks, Xbox Live, PSN, Apple Game Center, Google Play Games, or console social services?

> Your game may read and write data to platform services and public third-party game services for player save state, identity, social graph, matchmaking, chat, notifications, achievements, leaderboards, advertising, player acquisition, in-game purchasing, analytics, and crash reporting.

So it would seem that you are fairly locked down to what Web Services you are allowed to use with Lumberyard so that is where Amazon will make their money back.

[0] https://aws.amazon.com/service-terms/#57._Amazon_Lumberyard_...

[1] https://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/faq/#licensing


Because Lumberyard provides easy adapters to all kinds of AWS services which, if used, is very profitable for Amazon in the end.


worse than that. SC/CIG started from scratch at least two times.


When did they restart development?


They didn't. They started on CryEngine, then moved to Amazon lumberyard (which is a fork) for licensing reasons.


SC will likely rank (easily) as one of the most expensive video games of all time should a completed version ship.

Elsewhere they boast of a dev team of well over 400 members and 5 international studios... hard not to argue that's AAA studio development sized like a product from EA or Activision.



They were referring to their marketing/launch budget, which is what the recent investment was for. At $46 million, it's substantial, but less than some tentpole games have gotten.


They might be talking about non-monetary resources, like partnerships and experience?


Robert is an industry veteran. And his business hired most of Crytek staff in Europe, did you play Crysis series? Do you really believe its developers lack "experience"?


GTA involves a completely different kind of game play experience. Look one direction, then look behind you, then look back and what you see may be completely different and regenerated. Star Citizen uses various methods to implement a virtual generated world so that what you see is what is there and you can carry around, drop, pick up, and trade items. The Star Citizen simulated world is far more detailed and consistent than anything in GTA.


I think they're referring to the marketing budget, which isn't accounted for in the development budget.


The quoted number is actually the entire budget, including marketing.

> Media analyst Arvind Bhatia estimated the game's development budget exceeded US$137 million,[7] and The Scotsman reporter Marty McLaughlin estimated that the combined development and marketing efforts exceeded GB£170 million (US$265 million), making it the most expensive video game ever made at its time

And here's wikipedia's source on the $137m

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-02-01-gta-v-dev-...


It's interesting reading this thread as one of the founders of Star Sonata, a space MMO that launched in 2004. Star Citizen has a lot of hype and a lot of money, but people seem to hate the game/results. Our players for the most part love our game and keep playing and subscribing even after more than a decade, but I can't for the life of me get the marketing right, so have been unable to bring in new players in any kind of numbers. I just wish 1% of the players who paid for Star Citizen even knew about Star Sonata.

For a while back in 2007-ish Google ads were working really well and bringing in paying players at about $35 cost to acquire each and they were worth more than $200 over their lifetime, but something changed almost over night and Google ads got more competitive and almost no amount of money would bring people in. I'm sitting here with a game that people like and will pay for but can't figure out anymore how to acquire them.


The "something" that changed is that private equity (and even banks) figured out how to financially model MMOs just like SAAS.

I think Tomasz Tunguz illustrates this concept beautifully in considering SAAS / MMOs as annuities (1)

With little incremental cost to each additional user, and predictable revenue over time, the customer acquisition cost becomes highly flexible if you can finance it (or leverage it).

As a result it's become an arms race and a common VC model today is to spend 2 - 3x total annual revenue in marketing spend to land grab new channels while the "annuity" cost is low.

If you're open to sharing more details you may spark somebody's attention on HN :) - I personally invest in SAAS / MMO / CRE + bring customer acquisition expertise (and a team) for cases exactly like this - although we try to target some minimum scale ($5m+ ARR / ASR)

(1) https://tomtunguz.com/recurring-gross-margin-dollar-efficien...


Happy to share more information but don't want to hijack the thread too much. Would love to talk to you about this stuff sometime if you'd be interested. My email is in my profile.


How do I get in touch with you?


My email is in my profile.


Hey man... I appreciate your game, and your problem.... it's a tough one to crack.

But the kind of person who appreciates this > https://www.starsonata.com/inc/images/screens/gallery/Galaxy...

Is not the same person who is just looking for a modern update of Wing Commander.

I think you need to focus those ads on the True NERD crowd. Like I bet the ROAS for an ad against "Terragenisis" search queries might be positive for you.

Also you need to go a little more modern in some of your design choices.

But you are 99% crushing it. I really hope Star Sonata 2 breaks through!


Interesting to hear, because what you've said really reflects my short contact with Star Sonata. I found it through ads at about 2007, because at the time, my way of finding games was through ads. I played a bit, joined a team, had fun with base building, and stopped because it wasn't really my thing. Fast forward... Nowadays my go-to places for games are basically: Steam and web games. With both, you literally just navigate to the game and hit play. I think that's a big thing: if I have to download and install executables myself it feels less sleek, less secure and trustworthy even. I can't imagine finding games through ads anymore.

Not to be harsh, but suppose I was a new player and I knew that Star Sonata 2 was a thing. (I do now because I Googled it.) I still probably will not take the effort to download it, simply because of the work and trust investment it represents today, an investment which I would not have thought twice about ten years back.


As a layperson, I visited the Star Sonata web site and there doesn't seem to be a page telling me about the game. I guess a screenshot tells a thousand words, but I always look for words before trying out a game. As a newcomer I don't necessarily look for news and that seems to be the main thrust of the home page.


I hate how so many MMO game homepages are basically 100% oriented towards current players with news and community features...meanwhile the "marketing" side is a generic "photos" and "videos" with no context or summary of the game. And the videos tend to have no context and are often also oriented towards experienced players, as they show advanced game play.

Or worse the "about" page is some fiction storyline from the game with no indication of what game play is like, or how it compares to other games.

Some major games do this and it's shocking. Must be nice having such good word of mouth and press coverage (ie, written reviews, youtube videos) that you don't even need to bother making a nice marketing page.

I wonder if any of those have proper marketing "funnels", landing pages, analytics, elsewhere etc and just don't care much about using their homepage for sales. At last Star Sonata has a nice big CTA at the top of the homepage but otherwise is lacking a true central landing page.


Pay a Twitch.tv streamer who plays similar games to play your game?


Wow, what a throwback. I played Star Sonata, Astro Empires, and Pardus in the mid-2000's timeframe. And Eve Online later in early 2010's. Only Pardus and Eve stuck with me because of the persistent sandboxes. They're the only ones I remember and therefore talk about.


Astro Empires, my favorite gamified spreadsheet. People took that game way too seriously for me to have much fun with it.


I've been very interested in following the divergant paths of Star Citizen and Elite:Dangerous which are similar projects which started at roughly the same time (both kickstarted in 2012)

E:D seem to have taken the route of getting an MVP out and functional and have been iterating on that base since then adding new content, play modes, platforms etc. As a result they had a playable game out in 2014.

SC seems to have gone more for a big bang approach of only launching once they've got more in place with, from the blog post, an alpha in 2020.


I agree. E:D is a classic example of an iterative MVP. It's been criticized as being "wide as an ocean and deep as a puddle." People have also complained about subsequent for-pay expansions being "money grabs," and "why don't they finish the game before asking me to shell out more money."

Star Citizen took a more traditional "big-bang release" approach, complete with the (also traditional) wildly incorrect release predictions. Its funding model is based on selling spaceships, particularly concept sales for ships that aren't available in game yet, which has been criticized for "selling jpegs" and "pay-to-win."

Braben and Roberts' games were both very famous in their day. They're theoretically equally capable of generating a fervent following. It's interesting to see such diametrically opposed approaches. It seems to me that Star Citizen is much more successful, which is surprising, because the E:D approach is more in line with modern startup advice. Despite the complaints about SC's funding model, it's been amazingly consistent at bringing in about $34 million in pledges a year. [1]

(The real moral of the story: people on the Internet, and particularly gamers, will complain about everything. But those complaints aren't necessarily correlated with success.)

[1] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tMAP0fg-AKScI3S3VjrD...


To be honest as a person who played Elite and Elite 2 ( Frontier I think was its full name) extensively in my childhood and adolescent years they were always "wide as an ocean and deep as a puddle". And speaking of Elite 2, it wasn't kidding. I still marvel at how 500kb of a game (I distinctly remember it was only a single disk and a disk to hold save files) contained entire galaxies and planets not only you can land but traverse with your ship. Sure they were procgen but still it was really breathtaking to see all those vistas I would never see - barring a wormhole

They were all about creating your own story, I think there wasn't a base storyline. It was like "here you have a kestrel with some equipment including atmospheric shielding and some pulse lasers. Now do whatever you want" But because I knew the trick trading route between Barnard's Star and Sol carrying Luxury goods and industrial stuff to and fro I could amass a huge amount of money in no time to buy me a Cobra MkIII and do military and imperial missions. And this was my story, a lot of people have different experiences with it. And even though it doesn't have any deep, life changing experiences it was fun and I think current iteration of E:D is faithful to that legacy. It is you who make the game deep with your experience I think. I don't play it, because me and internet-is-required games don't get along but from what I've seen I can make that claim.

Wing Commander and to an extent Freelancer can be seen more deep compared to Elite. But it lacked that free spirit Elite conveyed. Also on an unrelated tangent I still think a game with Freelancer controls (actiony rather than simulationy) with X-universe freedom can be a thing still.

Thanks for reading.


X3:Terran Conflict and X3:Albion Prelude have almost nailed the mouseflight controls of Freelancer and the overhauled menu system is slightly less annoying and slightly more intuitive than that of X2:The Threat or X3:Reunion. The weapons are even gimballed so you don't have to track an enemy perfectly to be able to shoot them.


This description makes me wonder. There are lots of games who have huge amounts of depth like Paradox's grand strategy games. And they also claim the "tell your own story" environment, reasoning that the depth gives the environment that you can use to tell a story. So kind of the opposite of what you say being required.

Why do you think depth is not a requirement for this self story telling game? Isn't it getting boring quickly?


Not OP, but I think it has more to do about affordances [1] than depth.

From my experience with Oolite, a FOSS, modable Elite clone, providing a bunch of career choices (trader, pirate, bounty hunter) and NPCs that react to who you choose to be (e.g. bounty hunters will go after you if you choose to be a pirate) is a good start. Affordances for goal setting can be as simple as the traditional character/ship equipment upgrade ladder.

Oolite players tend to stick to the "non player centered universe" paradigm; that is the player is not a hero or destined to save the universe even though it is a single-player game. When a mod provides a new weapon or upgrade, it is considered better if the NPCs can use them too. They removed the Energy bomb that was present in Elite, an obvious player-only weapon.

In my experience, when the game doesn't make distinctions between NPCs and the player, your player instincts tell you to become stronger than NPCs.

A corollary of the non player-centered game paradigm is that the beginning of the game can be rough for the player. Typically in Oolite with the standard startup, the players spend their first couple hours staying away from any other ship and fleeing pirates because they cannot really fight back without a decent equipment.

One could name that a "difficulty inversion": a game that is difficult at first, then get easier as the player acquires better gears. Oolite has this problem. I was trying to make a set of mods to fix it before my interest shifted to another game. Not that I got bored of Oolite, it's just that I've found something even more interesting to work on, and sometimes I have an Oolite itch, because solving similar issues but in a full sandbox multiplayer game is even more difficult.

The endgame can be a problem too, because eventually players can afford the best gear and one-shot most things. My take on this is to use the "high-score" game approach, that is making it more and more difficult to survive (really just like Tetris). More specifically, in Elite/Oolite there's a mysterious and hostile alien race than can be used to create an unstoppable invasion force scenario. This approach both helps with increasing the difficulty proportionally to the wealth of the player, and provides a story-telling affordance.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance - my spellchecker doesn't know that word so I guess it's not common?


Um... I don't? I am only telling Elite was always a game like that (wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle) and criticizing it because it was faithful to its origins is not a valid thing imho.


> It seems to me that Star Citizen is much more successful, which is surprising, because the E:D approach is more in line with modern startup advice.

That advice is predicated on getting some amount of money from an investor who wants a return on their investment, rather than getting that amount of money as pre-purchases that from consumers who expect a game at the end of the process.


Yeah, exactly that.


You cannot define "the game" as MVP, make it as good as possible, and then be sad about not making money.

You go there without a game(!) and put different stuff in front of people's faces that they can pay for. Simple things that you can produce in a few hours. A kickstarter page, game_object.jpgs, planning schedules that you move up one year each year, engine demos, and then you look what brings in most cash.

And only if it's "engine demo" that brings in most cash, and only if it seems that the paying customers of that "engine demo" want "more gameplay" then you start building a game. If they pay more for schedules or for kickstarter pages, then you do more of that.

So I would argue SC follows much more closely the MVP+iteration principle than ED, and that IS(!) why it is financially more successful.

All that said I would not fall into the trap of defining "financial success" as only success. Financing the building of a game that is mostly there for people to enjoy a space simulation is also a succss! And in that regard X4 and ED are much more successful than SC will ever be.


At the risk of over-simplifying, it just seems like SC needed/needs a good project manager or producer, someone who is solely focused on shipping something. So many software projects end up in this perpetual alpha state because nobody has an actual step-by-step plan to ship it and is cracking the whip on it.

Bias: I’m a project manager :-)


I always got the impression they needed a lead programmer.. After Roberts initial crowdfunding round (based on the visual demo he made in Cryengine with contractor art assets) The 1st thing he should have done is hire one really good programmer who could have planned out how to make this, what engine / technology stack to use.. The core architecture for its main features, and then slowly build up a team to work towards that plan.

Instead he just seems to go on a mad hiring spree of artists, throwing more and more complete AAA assets on top of the POS visual demo he had made in Cryengine.. What boggles my mind is that it seems they never veered from this strategy, 100's of millions of dollars and 8+ years later, and it appears they are still throwing stuff willy nilly onto that original dumpster fire.

Seems like one of the best examples of the sunken cost fallacy in action that Ive ever seen.


I have been following development pretty closely on YouTube, although I'm not a backer. I don't think you're right. To me the cycle looks something like:

1) Hack together assets as close to AAA as they can get, on top of a POS tech demo. Enough to show to people and get sales (this is a very Hacker News startup-y technique)

2) Pick one part of the system that "needs to work" by release, hire a few good coders and have them actually write a proper software subsystem

3) Hack together another POS tech demo, with the proper subsystem in place

4) Redo all of the assets that have already been done to use that new subsystem

They've gone through this several times with many many subsystems. It's not clear to me this will ever crystalize into a system that has a certain quality bar it hits across the board. So in that sense you might be right that they should've taken a more top-down high falootin' architecture approach from the beginning.

But that's speculation too. Design is hard, and you generally have to try stuff in order to figure out a large system. Some degree of iteration is necessary. At a certain size waterfall just won't work.

But for sure your characterization of "he's just throwing artists at cryengine" is not correct.


Im not suggesting 'waterfall' . As far as I'm concerned waterfall was conceived simply to be an bad example.

I can sum up my point very quickly.. They used CryEngine.. Maybe the worst possible choice imaginable for this kind of game. They needed someone early on to choose not Cryengine, to choose some tech-stack that they wouldnt be fighting a constant losing battle against.


What label would you use for it? I’m not trying to be disingenuous. Big Design Up Front?


Eh, does everything need a label? Just prototype an iterate on the core things u need to do in your game as early as possible, with just one programmer if possible. Try and decide those big decisions like, what engine to use, and test that your choice will adequately handle the important things u need for the project. Before hiring a tonne of people and spamming code and assets everywhere.


SC's had exactly that...they just don't last long.


SC is already in playable alpha, and has been for years. It's Squadron 42 (the single player mode) that's planned for 2020.


It’s not playable, it’s a buggy mess. A $200 million buggy mess. CIG has never made a single deadline it’s set for itself.


It appears that you're posting an opinion rather than informed fact. You should attempt following the development if you have a keen interest.

They've switched to a quarterly release system and have, in fact, just released their Q4 drop last evening. I would grant you that they have had a history of missing deadlines, but stating that they have "never made a single deadline" is disingenuous at best.


Is the frame rate still limited by the server-side tickrate?


No, and it never was. The frame rate was limited by a large in-memory working set, high CPU load from tracking too many entities, and lack of multi-threading.

Those issues were fixed in the 3.3 release earlier this year.


I'm not too worried about bugs TBH as long as the underlying game.mechanism is sound. For example, Subnautica have had severe FPS issues from the beginning yet it never became a gamebreaking issue.

Last time I looked into SC (a few months ago), the only gameplay loop consisted of picking up cargo and dropping it off with no failure conditions attached. What else has been added since?


I guess you're using a different definition of gameplay here? You can fight other players, race, FPS, and more, and this has been available for a lot longer than a few months, unless you're also using a different definition of what constitutes a few months: http://www.infoapps.cc/en/starcitizen_playable.html


yep but unless I'm misreading the original kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen promised the single player mode in 2014


That was before the funding took off, and Roberts decided to scale it up in response.

Edit: The page reads "estimated". "Estimated" isn't "promised".


I've watched people play the alpha on streams and jesus it looks boring and terrible.


Apparently SC realized they can make a lot more money if they never actually released a game. I guess they're big fans of "The Producers".


Haha, I’ve never considered the similarities between “The Producers” and Star Citizen before, but it’s worthwhile to think about.

Actually shipping a finished product would turn off the donation stream...


This is only partially accurate. Elite: Dangerous definitely focused on getting that "release" 1.0 version ASAP. But Star Citizen has been playable for years as well, it just doesn't presume to call itself "done". Star Citizen is currently on version 3.3.7, and a decent amount of playable features have been around a long time.

They're not that dissimilar, just the labels of what they've chosen to state of their status. Elite: Dangerous added planetary landing more or less around the same time Star Citizen did, for instance, but E:D called it an expansion and Star Citizen called it a new version for their alpha.

Also, you are confused Squadron 42, a single-player game, which has an alpha in 2020, and Star Citizen, which is more analogous to Elite: Dangerous, which is ongoingly available.


That's not a good comparison either.

Elite: Dangerous had their alpha in 2013, playable beta mid-2014, with a 1.0 release end of 2014 that was a complete game.

Star citizen had a very scaled down version (Crusader) available end of 2015, as what amounts to an alpha.

I personally hope Star Citizen delivers, but there is really no equivalence here. Frontier delivered much faster.


What exactly was delivered? Physics based flight model? Procedually generated planets and cities? First person interactions with voice and face control? Large sandbox game environment based on comprehensive fictional world building?

What we are discussing has never been delivered before which might explain some of the perceived delays.


In terms of gameplay E:D didn't deliver. I ceased keeping track in mid-2017, but by then it was inferior to FFE.


What's FFE?

Whether or not you liked E:D, it's still a fully released game that felt polished, albeit shallow.

But that's besides the point. Parent poster was drawing equivalencies between the two games' release timings, and my point is those equivalencies aren't actually comparable.


I think it's Frontier: First Encounter, which is a 1995 game that's the precursor to E:D in the Elite series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frontier:_First_Encounters

I don't see how E:D is inferior to it, but YMMV.


Sure, it's a playable demo but it's barely a full fledged game.

Don't get me wrong, their development cycle is fine if they can keep with it and releasing content is awesome from them. However, I wouldn't recommend anyone that isn't a Space Citizen enthusiast to get their hands on Squadron 42.


didn't the original Star Citizen kickstarter promise the single player mode for delivery in 2014? It definitely seems that way from reading the page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen


Again with your "promise" claim, which is false!


After they got funding they promised, repeatedly, that it would be out in 2016.

https://www.pcgamer.com/roberts-space-industries-denies-squa...

"Squadron 42, the single-player portion of Star Citizen, doesn't have a hard release date, but it was expected to be ready sometime this year. There's even a little “2016” over the “Answer the Call” logo on the Squadron 42 web page. However, that came into question when German site Gamestar reported that, in an interview at PAX West, Cloud Imperium Games boss Chris Roberts said the game probably wouldn't be out until mid-to-late 2017."

A fun reddit thread from Jan 2016:

https://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen/comments/40fsop/do_you_...


'Yeah, I can fix your car. I estimate about a week.'

...one year later.

'Well, I never promised!'


Yes, you're right, it's stronger than promise, it's "sold as".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Citizen#Controversy

Wow, the timeline is an horror story.

I don't understand the appeal of space opera games like this. They will mostly be empty zones of players.

I also have ideas to make an ambitious video game, with persistence and an open world. But I would rather start small and humble by releasing something that is playable, add cool features as the development progresses, but still providing basic features and playability at first, that would be slowly replaced by the more advanced features of the game. Making a game attractive quickly from the beginning is important, especially if you're using the crowdfunding model. Today it's possible to have a continuous evolution of a game, to constantly change and improve it.

The hardest will always be to track player locations in realtime, on a large world, while keeping the game smooth enough. Once that is done, the sky is the limit. I don't understand why so many games focus on the content (because that can be an real time and money sink), while the only things that are attractive for such games are the gameplay and the multiplayer.


> They will mostly be empty zones of players.

They plan to have a complete Sims-like ecology of NPCs, and players will fit into that.


Yeah, they plan to have hundreds of systems. Now they have one planet and a few moons and not even that is finished.

What is the time frame here? Decades? I mean seriously, why is anyone believing this?


Yes, decades. I expect they will maintain this game forever. I don’t see them dropping it and starting a new property, and I don’t see them releasing a 2.0 universe. They will just keep adding and improving the SC universe as long as people keep buying ships.

Actually, I think there’s a 50/50 chance SC becomes one of the first permanent 24/7 habitable VR universes. Where people live and work full time. A full economy, elections, etc.

Obviously that’s decades away, but who else is building anything equivalent? Facebook is taking the approach of giving us mini VR apps, and hoping a universe will evolve from that. Cloud Imperium is taking the opposite direction, building a “Sim Universe” first and adding “apps” as needed.

I’m not sure which is the better approach... which is harder, building a fully fleshed out simulated universe or building out the killer apps of VR interaction?

Actually I think they’re probably about equally hard, and each side will just copy what the other did to complete the picture. But CI and FB are both well positioned to capture a slice of the fulltime VR market when it emerges in the late 2020s.


I'll eat a sock if this mess becomes anything even close to what you expect it to be. Considering the rumors that they've used up over 90% of the money last year already, I can't imagine what this company will become in a few years.

> I’m not sure which is the better approach...

Really? How about a stable foundation for something like a permanent universe? How about a management that is capable and how about a serious, viable business model?

Instead the business model is the worse of the new lootbox-generation of games, the management is a highly questionable dictator with a terrible history of managing teams and his wife. The foundation never was properly stable for anything of the scale it is in now. Not even speaking about a functioning MMO. And of course there is no native support for VR there...it may come...like female characters...

I mean man, come on... The visions some people have of this game are so far away from justified, it has all the signs of a unhealthy cult.

FYI: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7SIP0NDfM2yyHKfRmCAo...


Remember how the same kind of runaway imagination ended with the release of No Man’s Sky? If I were at CIG, I’d be really worried about the psychotic hate that could come my way when this all collapses, or just fails to meet the incredibly overblown expectations of fans, nurtured by CIG itself.


I'm sure they'll have some story for them moment when it fails. My bet is: Roberts will blame it on those investors he obviously started collecting now (if they don't remove him by then). And for the rest: yeah, some will be pissed. The rest will keep justifying. They've been doing it for years and many did grow up with it. I mean, this thing is going for a few years already.

The rest will keep on laughing...

Edit: regarding delusional artists https://wccftech.com/roberts-squadron-42-above-god-of-war/


I don't follow the development of this game but I can imagine they have plans to allow user-generated content to be added to the game through some kind of system. And if they don't have plans, they should.


They have a plan for users to buy content. And yes, you can buy news-ships for some game mechanic that is not even in pre-alpha.

The only time there was talk about user-generated content was when they had a "design a ship"-contest. Designer teams jumped on it, designed a ship that you could visit in the hangar instance but it's gone now...because they needed to rework things there. I wonder what because that ship was never playable....This is SC for you.


As far as I can tell, this game is still an utter clusterfuck. From a basic technical point of view, there have been fundamental flaws that have been there from its inception in 2011, that have never been fixed. They just keep throwing more crap on top of it making it buggier and buggier. Its the poster child for the sunken cost fallacy.

From a gameplay perspective, it hasnt gotten to a point where Ive been been able to even speculate on that. Their gameplay concept seems to be: build a big online sandbox and then... fun will magically appear, and they've iterated on this less than 1 time so far, so my expectations are about as low as possible. Also any time I've played it, every kind of interaction (flying, walking, UI, everything) is a mess, and feels terrible.

I dearly want this to be my dream game, but my professional opinion is that if it ends up being any kind of decently playable game at all it would be a miracle.


I want to read about those flaws in detail but do you have any articles or blog posts links of such?


Related discussion on HN about star citizen and their gross mismanagement/incompetence with their funds and time: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17553371


This story was a wash. A guy put a shit ton of money into a kickerstarter product and was expecting a fully fledged polished product. It's not a pre-order, buddy.


If Kickstarter is a license to take millions of dollars then deliver something different four years late, why does anyone ever contribute to Kickstarter projects?


Is it hard in this day in age to understand the difference of being part of bringing a product to life versus pre-ordering a product? Apple has set the bar so high that people turn off their brains.


"Being part of bringing a product to life" is usually something you're paid to do, not something you pay to do.

Compared to being an employee collecting a salary or an investor collecting a share of the profit, Kickstarter is a terrible deal.

Not a pre-order indeed. Not even a pre-order. Worse than a pre-order.


Personally I think even if they fail (though I prefer they succeed!), they've still done a wonderful thing. They are pushing boundaries far beyond what I thought was possible in modern games and that in itself is a great accomplishment. It's going to push more game developers to do the same and given the success of Red Dead Redemption 2 - which also pushed boundaries beyond what I expected - it seems we're going to be getting some really massive and immersive games in the not too distant future.


As an early Star Citizen backer, I don't fully get how they pushed the boundaries of gaming. They seem to have to just wasted backer money, wasted hours of developer time that could have been used to make other games, and broke promises.


The scale of the art is the biggest thing for me. The ship designs are incredibly detailed, but then you zoom out and there’s a whole planet and several moons and it’ll only get bigger from there.

When I fire it up occasionally I honestly don’t even do missions, I just go see what new places have been added and go chasing alien sunsets.

Landing on Hurston https://i.redd.it/xyjxc15jbh421.jpg

The moons of Hurston https://i.redd.it/opk5azvmvfr11.png

Some day I’ll work my way up to a Constellation Phoenix and just cruise around the galaxy taking in the sights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzVPVDIRgK4

If you want more technical stuff, the panels from Citizen Con are a good watch, but individually I’m sure there are other games doing some of the same things.



As a game developer, I don’t think this is particularly noteworthy.

I’m sure it was a very important optimisation for Star Citizen, but it’s not like some amazing tech that will be important for the game industry or anything.

Star Citizen had some awful performance problems, and because the development is quite public, optimisations that programmers are working on get important sounding names and publicity all their own. If it wasn’t for that, this would just be an implementation detail in their engine.


I didn't post that to suggest it was something remarkable or novel in game development, but it certainly wasn't a waste of time as the commenter I replied to was suggesting.

As you said, OCS was a needed optimization at the time it was rolled into the publicly facing releases, and I thought it was an interesting topic to at least share with others who are interested in the discussion (the amount of negative downvotes I see now maybe suggests folks don't find it as interesting as I do as someone who merely plays video games but doesn't develop them); at the very least I wasn't aware that it's a common technology, but it is still an interesting technology to me nonetheless.


Its just zoning combined with streaming, but under other name - its been around for a long time, at least the times of Unreal Engine because I clearly remember dealing with zones in first Unreal's editor back in 98.

As fun fact, its something you are getting for free with Unreal Engine 4.smth these days because Epic needed it for Fortnite Battle Royale ;)


I know other engines do streaming, but do they nest the same way or just load the required parts of a level?

The SC version has a star system, which has containers for areas around each planet, which has containers for moons and the planet, and you go down to the planet and it has containers for cities, which have containers for buildings which have containers for apartments. I wouldn't think Fortnite would bother rigging it up that way, but maybe arbitrary nesting is a natural way to handle it.

Of course there's the additional mess of coordinate systems on a spinning planet orbiting around a star that your average shooter doesn't deal with either.

But the really impressive part is that they managed to stuff this into an old version of CryEngine and make it work. They really lucked out with CryTek running out of money to pay their programmers with, which let CIG scoop up a bunch of the engine devs and start their Frankfurt office. When it comes down to it, that might be what makes the whole project possible.


Speaking only for myself, I contributed Kickstarter funds to get a working game, not to advance the state of the art. I realize different funders have different takes on this.

EDIT: I should mention that I haven't actually tried playing the game in quite a while. I've been waiting for the developers to stamp it as "released" before I take another look.

So perhaps in its current form, it's playable enough to satisfy what I signed up for. It's a little hard to tell from the varied characterizations of its current playability.


I've tried recently it's unplayable and none of mechanisms are remotely fun.


Then you didn't tried recently. Recently i get 30+ fps and the game is playable.


You have a very generous definition of playable. Basic things like collision detection don't work. Large ships clip through each other, they disappear randomly. Seats and other interactables glitch out stranding you, there are numerous bugs that can catapult a passenger into deep space at ridiculous speeds.


I haven't played but is this what you get after 8 years with $200m?

If the $200m came from a studio's budget, the guy is fired 5 years ago.


about RD2 , what do you mean it pushed boundaries? if are you referring at programming I want to know what you mean since I did not see anything new in it(just asking not want to contradict you).

The graphics and animations are good but I seen similar on other games.


Fair question. It was a combination of several things put together that I think qualifies as pushing boundaries for me. On their own these things may not be a big deal, but altogether and especially on relatively outdated hardware(console) they're great accomplishments.

The game is seamless - and I think God of War does this well also - basically there's really no "loading" once you're in the game; you go from gameplay to cutscene to gameplay without any interruption. The graphics are high quality and that's amazing for how huge the game is and how extremely dynamic it is (e.g. how animals interact with the environment, the weather).

Considering the lag I get on the PS4 with games like Witcher 3 that try to balance high quality graphics with scale, RDR2 is smooth. You can be on a train fighting 30 guys (each with dynamic facial expressions) with animals running around in the distance, explosions, the wind is blowing the trees around you and it's changing from sunshine to pouring rain - all this and more without a hiccup. That's a lot of detail processing at one time.

EDIT: one other thing I found impressive and i'm not sure I've seen this in other open-world games or if they intentionally programmed it this way: during one of the missions I slaughtered about a dozen or two guys and traveled a considerable distance away from the scene. Normally when you come back to something like this, the world around you has pretty much re-rendered, but 30 minutes later when I arrived back, all the dead bodies were in the same place as before.


> The game is seamless - and I think God of War does this well also - basically there's really no "loading" once you're in the game; you go from gameplay to cutscene to gameplay without any interruption.

Lots of games have had "no loading" (after a large load in the beginning and hidden loads throughout the game), dating back at least to the PS3.

What God Of War did differently is that there's no camera cuts; the whole game is one continuous camera shot.


RDR2 is definitely a great game, with more detail and nuance than I’ve ever seen, nevermind the gkorious visuals and music. But I agree with the previous commenter’s sentiment — there’s not a lot of game design innovation. The mission structure is linear and restrictive as a straight-jacket. There’s no way to progress that doesn’t involve murdering an immersion-breaking number of outlaws and cops alike. Even the detail you mention — corpses being present (and even decaying) — is as much an illusion (due to memory constraints) ad it is in any other game. Humans disappear as soon as you move into a nearby zone (especially after a mission). Some corpses of certain infrequrntly-spawning animals do remain, but only for awhile.

Again, the overall package and detail is incredible, especially the amount and variety of voiceover work. But it’s not particularly innovative.


I think the innovation is entirely focused on making the narrative of game more cinematic. The way dynamic gameplay lines up perfectly with cut scenes... and stuff like that.

I can understand why those innovations don't really count for a lot of hardcore gamers. You are typically looking for innovations in AI, persistent world features (memory optimization), game decisions that effect the world and game play (branching trees).

RDR2 isn't a revolution from a technology perspective. But it's revolutionary from an artistic one.

The attention to detail in animal behavior is my favorite part about the game. I'm sure there are many geniuses at Rockstar but what made this game was beautiful craftsmanship.

I think when this game eventually gets the VR remake like Skyrim recently did, people will be able to appreciate how much went into this game. People will be revisiting it for a long time.


Thanks for the reply, seems to me that is a natural evolution from the previous game, the new hardware is more powerful and they had the money and time to add those details and polish it. I 100% agree the graphics and details are great, I was wondering if they brought something revolutionary since the last games that I missed in the reviews and gameplays I watched.


The graphics and animations are more or less on par, it's the underlying mechanics where new ground is being driven. Star Citizen has taken the "simulation" approach to insane levels. There are so many things you can do in Star Citizen that just aren't possible in other games because of how they're designed.

In a lot of games, each interior of a spaceship would be a map, and then you would have a map of each location you could exit the spaceship, and then you would effectively teleport at a doorway when you "exit the ship". (Think about how this works in Mass Effect. The "ship" that you run around on never actually "moves". It's much easier and more efficient to make a game this way for a lot of reasons. In Star Citizen, they actually move a ship around the map, and if you open the door, it opens the physical barrier between you and the outside world and you can see out of it.

By keeping everyone and all objects "in space" all the time, Star Citizen allows some insanely different experiences that other games would have to specifically program functionality for.


>In Star Citizen, they actually move a ship around the map, and if you open the door, it opens the physical barrier between you and the outside world and you can see out of it.

This doesn't sound special or ground breaking at all. Heck there are decade old MMOs like shores of hazeron that combine survival game elements, sim city style planet construction with complex resource simulation and minecraft style construction of your own custom designed spacecraft. At all times you're playing single character seamlessly without any loading screens. There is one exception though. Traveling to another solar system via a wormhole opens a loading screen, however if you don't have a warp drive you can just accelerate to light speed and travel within 10 minutes to another solar system without a loading screen.

However it's developed by a single guy and pretty much dead nowadays with 5 active players but it wouldn't surprise me if star citizen can't reach the complexity of that game within the next few years despite having significantly more resources.

http://allthetropes.wikia.com/wiki/Shores_of_Hazeron


Sometimes I am not sure if people are serious. It's not to say that graphics = complexity, by any means, but supporting the complexity Star Citizen is trying to with the sort of graphics that Star Citizen has is a very, very different thing.

Another commenter wondered why more Star Citizen backers weren't interested in the 2D game he founded. Again, hard to tell if people are serious, or they just don't understand what the draw is.

Images: https://cdn.mmos.com/wp-content/gallery/shores-of-hazeron-ov... https://cdn.mmos.com/wp-content/gallery/shores-of-hazeron-ov... https://cdn.mmos.com/wp-content/gallery/shores-of-hazeron-ov...


I mean, Shores of Hazeron is a 10+ year old game at this point. You can't, with any shred of genuineness, actually compare the graphics between it and Star Citizen. Same with Star Sonata (it's really not that hard to scroll up and actually be respectful and use the name of the game instead of belittling it to a "2D game") which is almost 15 years old now.

Of course the graphics of S:C are going to be more complex. But that says nothing about the underlying technology, which you claimed is so incredibly groundbreaking but were immediately disproven by other games managing the exact same thing a decade ago.

It's really not as insurmountable of a challenge as you make it seem to support prettier graphics on the same technologies used 10+ years ago with the massive CPU and GPU upgrades we've had in the last decade.


In Battlefield 1942, you can steer a full aircraft carrier while other player spawn on it and small boats and aircrafts are taking off of it. And yes you can walk on it too. It was more than 16 years ago.


Now add space travel in three-dimensions, moving between variable gravity and atmosphere environments, make the map the size of a solar system with fairly massive planets that you can fly down to any part of freely. Try to get hundreds or thousands of people in that at one time, then throw tons of NPCs down on top of it to make sure things really seem lively. Etc. Add not just the fully-modeled interior of one or two aircraft carriers, but several of varying size and scale from various manufacturers (and species), add multiple professions for mining, salvaging, refining, etc. which each have mechanics far beyond "press key to do action".

This is a non-exhaustive comparison. There are an insane number of aspects where Star Citizen is trying to take it to another level. Trying to compare Battlefield 1942 to an approach like Star Citizen is like comparing a deck of playing cards to Battlefield 1942. You're trying to compare a first-person shooter which allows for a handful of straightforward game loops to a game that attempts to include the full scope of MMOs and sandbox games with the graphical and environmental fidelity of a first-person shooter.


I would love all of that but so far none has been delivered.

When you play what has been delivered, it feels like a shitty side project put together in a hurry. Game crashes. Current art is ugly. Interiors are empty and feels fake. Performance is sluggish even on top of line PCs. Physics are no fun. Collisions are not properly implemented. Every ships and players look the same.

They should call this project a failure and release the resources currently being stuck in this project.


> I would love all of that but so far none has been delivered

This is objectively false, and you seem to have a serious chip on your shoulder.

I played their last open play session, and I definitely jumped in a ship with multiple friends, flew to several different planets, flew down to their surface, transitioned between different atmospheric environments.

I had a lot of fun with it.

It's one thing to say, "I don't like what they've done." It's another to say, "They haven't done something." when they objectively have.


I just took a look at the roadmap of SC [0].

3 underwhelming gameplay features and 11 ship designs? Other games like Warframe tend to suffer from feature creep because they keep adding dozens of features which do not integrate deeply with the rest of the game. (I'm looking at you Archwing mode) StarCitizen's development pace in comparison feels rather anemic and primarily focused on all the damn ships people have preordered for thousands of dollars.

[0] https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/1-Star-Citi...


But is it fun?


You need friends and your group needs to be motivated to find fun. Doing that has resulted in completely new game experiences, and I've been a gamer for 22 years. I've sat with a buddy stranded in a satellite, while our other friend organized a rescue, shooting shit. I've infiltrated a capital ship in order to shut down the shields, so that the rest of my group can board it (after destroying the rest of the fleet). I've participated in the Jump Town shenanigans, on both sides of the law. If you have friends who play it, it is a kind of fun that has been impossible to experience until now.

If you don't have anyone to play it with, I can't recommend it at all. You will not have fun. Maybe once there's more to the game.


That's a very subjective question, and answers to it will obviously vary based on who you ask. I have fun with it every time I play it, now that it's more or less stable and gameplay sessions don't end with "it crashed and I don't want to spend five minutes loading in again". (This was my 2.x or so experience with Star Citizen.)

3.x builds are a ton of fun and there's a lot of places to see and stuff to do. I've heard about all sorts of features and landmarks I've not yet trekked out to see or tried to do, and this is on a game which "barely has any content" according to some people.

The biggest issue right now is that there's no solid incentive to put a lot of time into it. Since it's still in "we reset everything each major patch", I don't want to put time into running missions and accumulating crud that might not be there next time I sit down to play. I personally hesitate to play most MMOs on beta servers for this reason, I feel like I'd rather accomplish things when it "matters".

Note that that's just the persistent universe portion, and there's effectively three "competitive modes" in the game as well, with which the leaderboards are shared in the newsletters each week: Arena Commander has both dogfighting and racing game modes and Star Marine has a first person shooter which has some fairly neat mechanics.


To put it another way: I think you almost nailed it in your previous reply, though I don't think you meant to.

> Trying to compare Battlefield 1942 to an approach like Star Citizen is like comparing a deck of playing cards to Battlefield 1942

A deck of playing cards isn't inherently fun. A game is, though. There's a much better comparison of Star Citizen to the deck of cards here, and of BF1942 to a game.

You can, and have, created some fun by bending Star Citizen into game-like situations. I have, too! That's totally valid. That doesn't happen as often in BF1942—not never, but many people simply play BF1942 as designed.

Is Star Citizen fun, or are you and the people you play with fun? You can list features and functionality all day, but is the enjoyment coming from the game, or is Star Citizen primarily a medium for you to create your own enjoyment?

It's maybe a subtle difference. You might even consider it a meaningless one. But seriously: is Star Citizen fun?


By that definition, sandbox games are not games, and just something you can make fun in if you bend them the right way. EVE Online is apparently no longer a game, and perhaps someone should tell CCP that.


> By that definition, sandbox games are not games

Even as a little kid, when playing in actual sandboxes, I never considered that kind of playing a "game". Playing tag or hide and seek or checkers was always distinct from just running around in the woods or playing in a sandbox. Even filling up balloons with water and looking for targets on our BMX bikes, even though it was trickier than many games, wasn't a game. Making a bet, having a competition or playing a game, that has additional elements to just having fun with whatever.

Not that there's anything "wrong" with "just having fun", or that "just having fun" can't get crazy very complex and tricky! With most games, certainly if they're multiplayer, you can have the sandbox element, too. That is, you can just ignore the rules and turn gameplay features into derpmanship tools. For example, this movie is from clips recorded when a new TF2 map came out, I joined a nearly empty public server, and along with others managed to do everything BUT the objective for 15-20 minutes. I'm the pyro doing the impossible at 3:11 ^^

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQlz7kFoXSc

None of these people knew each other. Eg. at 0:58 a guy shows up who isn't in on it yet, ruins the fun, then switches to soldier to shoot projectiles that don't do damage, for even better ping pong. No voice chat, hardly any text chat; all this basically just happened, and it was more fun than many "real" TF2 matches I had. In a normal match you just think "how can our team score", when the objective is "have fun", the feasible permutations for what do you increase by a lot, it's a whole other level of complexity.

After watching that movie again I totally forgot what I was arguing, sorry. I agree with games having win/loose conditions, and usually a way to measure better/worse performance, roughly, and therefore sandbox games "not being games in that sense" -- but I think there's nothing wrong with that, and that ideally, you'd have the option for both. I never played Star Citizen so I have no clue how the universe is set up, but I could imagine some regions being more active and contested, where money and/or weapons establishes a pecking order, whereas you can always just fly off to some moon in the middle of nowhere and hold races there, or spell out obscene messages with ship wrecks or whatever.


Yes? Literally? They've both embraced that, and successfully. CCP says as much: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/179811/EVE_Online_and_th...

Wait, are you arguing something? If so, what?


Just some corrections(I did not downvote you), Mass Effect is an old game, Mass Effect Andromeda for example had the ship appear on the actual planet so you can see outside the windows.

Btw I was not criticizing RD2 , a good game can use old boring techniques, I was wondering if I missed some revolutionary thing they did since previous games.

The new X game also looks interesting, Space Engineers is also a game that I follow it's progress


Andromeda uses all of the same limitations though as the original Mass Effect trilogy, for the most part. While the ship "appears on the actual planet", it is in a fixed position. This means they know exactly what will be displayed out the windows, for instance, and it can likely be pre-rendered or otherwise heavily optimized. You cannot move on and off the ship without a "cut", because you are moving from one map to the other. There is also no real movement of the ship with respect to a planet, as transitions such as landing are done via cutscene.

Andromeda moves Mass Effect forward here and there, but it's still more or less limited in the same ways, and I think my comment still mostly applies. I didn't intend to specifically refer to "Mass Effect 1", but the franchise as a whole.


Sure, my comment was purely informative , I am not a Star Citizen critique because I am not following this game since I am playing single player games. I am curious if you tried the X games from EGOSOFT (for some reason I could not get into them but the latest one looks better) , or if you tried Space Engineers (this one appeals to me because I could create or import Star Trek ships and create my own thing , though I am waiting to be done before I get back into it.


Seriously? They've done a TERRIBLE thing. They've shown that you can get ridiculous amounts of money for...pictures and empty promises. I hope this idea will never catch on because this is far worse then every loot box business model out there.

It also hurts everybody else attempting to do something like that. Just imagine what a capable director could have done with those amounts of money...


Agreed. I would also add they are completely rewriting what is the size of project approachable by “indie” game devs. A success changes the rules of the game dev ecosystem.


I think "indie" starts to mean very little when you apply it to a studio with $200M.


Roberts was already a big budget producer by the time SC came around...calling someone 'indie' when they've hired Nicolas Cage for a project is stretching the term well beyond its limits.


Henry Cavill is SC’s more notable get [0]. Nicolas Cage is unfortunately mired in mostly VOD projects to deal with his reported financial problems.

0: https://www.tweaktown.com/news/63481/superman-star-henry-cav...


> done a wonderful thing

That's the least you expect from a $200m project. It's a massive failure if they don't deliver with that amount of money. It's just that they lose nothing but reputation because it wasn't their money.

Bad management so far.


$460M valuation and taking on money from a family office. Not too shabby. I still think CIG bit off far more than they could chew, and comprised the final product as a result. But I do hope they succeed.


I'm very impressed that they got that valuation. Looking at the UK CIG accounts for 2017 they had a balance sheet value of -£12,304 , so props to them for getting that much investment.


The roadmap they created is pretty fucking incredible, and it definitely inspires me to put more effort into my Asana/Basecamp/Trello Boards...

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/2-Squadron-...

But serious question, how long did it take to make this roadmap? Like was there a roadmap for the roadmap project?


They have a third-party contractor, Turbulent [1], that builds their website, including the roadmap visualization.

The data from the roadmap comes from CIG's internal Jira. There's some sort of automated export once every week. I presume they tag Jira items in some way so they show up on the roadmap.

They've been providing a roadmap for Star Citizen (the MMO counterpart to Squadron 42) for a year. It's been reasonably accurate about what will be delivered in the next quarter, with only a few things slipping. It's been mostly inaccurate about the following quarter. Longer term plans are almost always delayed.

It's reasonable to assume the SQ42 roadmap will experience the same sorts of delays and I think plotting out a roadmap to this level of detail was a mistake. I think it reflects a culture of wishful thinking among CIG's upper management and the delays will inflame the fans and the press.

[1] https://www.turbulent.ca/en

(To be clear: I don't think there's anything wrong with delays. Software is always delayed. The mistake isn't the delays; it's believing the estimates.)


It felt like especially early on planning fueled contributions which they used to update and expand the existing plans which fueled more contributions. I think that's one of the reasons why it feels/felt kind of stupid to the outside observer where it felt like they were just planning to expand the game to chase more money rather than start working on the game.


I don't understand all the talk about marketing there. If there is something those products doesn't need more of, then it's marketing. They've made millions selling digital pictures. It was pretty much brilliant.

However the product itself lacks...everything.


However the product itself lacks...everything.

I don't know if I, a frequent Star Citizen player and Day 1 backer would say it lacks "everything", and am unsure if your hyperbole was just for dramatic effect but from the first executable to where we are now in Alpha version 3.4 (soon to be 3.5), we have an impressive amount of content-all things considered, especially via in-game locales and systems that have facilitated some incredible emergent gameplay among the player base.

The "Jumptown Wars" have been an amazing thing to watch and participate in, and I encourage you to go look through the Star Citizen subreddit to see some of the in-game coordination players are engaging in just to secure a static trading depot on a dead moon (diving deeper into the anecdote rabbit hole: I participated in a 12 ship assault on said depot when a pilot in the player "Organization"-SC's guild system-I'm a member of was shot down by a rival group and requested evac).

It's light years from lacking "everything". It's not complete, but it's also not near as empty of an experience as you seem to be suggesting.


I'm in "stand on the side and enjoy the show" camp myself, but looking at gameplays, the game is not that lacking. Its vertical slice that they can now build upon. I'm not aware if there's dynamic economy or sandbox wideopen yet, but I'm not losing anything holding out and bidding my time for final release.


I'm not aware if there's dynamic economy

Kiiiind of? As in, you can see the framework of how it could work, and to a certain extent, specific actions by one player at-for example-the Grim Hex Orbital station can affect trade for another player, but it's a level of detail I wont bore you with by typing out a gigantic wall of text.

But again, it's not fully fleshed out, and lacks a few elements, but it's not nothing, and what it is, is enough to have spawned a trade war among players, which we are having loads of fun with.


The only impressive thing about this is the exaggeration that is being played out here. Which is also a reason why I don't go to the related subreddit anymore. We are still talking about a absolute minimal part of what the end product is supposed to be and the cheering happening now is related to basic things that are not so bad anymore (FPS, server stability, etc.). Considering the time frame and the budget we're talking about here, its a joke...I wrote "everything" because it depends what the topic is with the fans the product is either not there "because it's Alpha" (even though with the PTU shouldn't it be pre Alpha?) or it's a great product because it's so fun now and so on. So maybe I should have rather said the product is in Shroedingers Box and we don't know what it is.

In my opinion it's a terrible abomination and it reflects Roberts career and pretty much the worse things about the gaming industry today. I don't see a single good thing about what is happening there. I just hope nobody, ever will get the idea that this is a way of delivering a game or any kind of product.


They might need a lot of marketing to undo the damage that has already been done. I'm one of those who have been super interested in it during the past years but I wouldn't touch Star Citizen with a 10 foot pole now, after those "pay hundreds of dollars for alpha access" horror stories I've heard.

And just for the record, despite liking space sims I'm also not planning to pay $27,000 for a starter pack.


I've been following Star Citizen loosely since the first day the original crowdfunding campaign was launched, but I never backed it. The reason is this: at the time, it looked impossibly ambitious. Budget an order of magnitude larger than others, studio without a history, and too many promises of really ambitious game mechanics wrapped into a single package. I think you can't really blame anyone for smelling another Peter Molyneux style story brewing.

Since then, I've spent time watching and the main problem is the same one I had with games like Destiny 2 at launch or Elite: Dangerous (played both, wish I had waited two more years). There's a kernel of fun in there, but that's where it ends, and there are plenty of other games out there that have both the kernel of fun and a fleshed out execution.

Star Citizen doesn't look bad, it just looks incomplete against its ridiculous ambitions, and I'm lumping this in among games that will probably become complete a few iterations after release. I would much rather have the game as promised, but I've seen this pattern too many times before and there are too many other great games in the meantime for me to hold my breath for it.


I'm also not planning to pay $27,000 for a starter pack.

Well the good news is a Star Citizen starter pack these days runs about the same cost as your average AAA game these days, give or take a few bucks.


If anyone's wondering, $45 gets you Star Citizen, optional $15 add-on to also get Squadron 42. $60 total for the MMO and the single player game.

You can't add SQ42 at that price later, so if you're interested in single player be sure to hit that checkbox.


> And just for the record, despite liking space sims I'm also not planning to pay $27,000 for a starter pack.

What are you talking about? You can get in for $35.

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/game-packages


OP is referring to the $27000 Legatus Pack (seemingly not on offer anymore) which had almost every ship in the game and some other stuff.

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/for...


They've promised an ongoing persistent universe with Star Citizen, with no subscription fees and ongoing updates/upgrades after its official release (whenever that is). How many backers does SC/SQ42 actually have? Isn't it around or less than 2 million? That's a pretty low figure for an AAA game (one that features top acting talent, like Henry Cavill, Mark Hamill, Gillian Anderson, Gary Oldman).

When SQ42 finally launches in 2020, they'll probably want to expand the userbase, and marketing is an effective way to do that. Even Rockstar, which is a current industry legend with unbeatable name recognition and hype around GTA and RDR, still spends hundreds of millions in advertising.


They already have most of the market though. What will advertising really do for them, considering that anyone who will even remotely be interested in this game has already heard of it. The population of people who would be willing to play star citizen has to be smaller than the number of people interested in something like red dead or GTA, the original pitch focused on the fact that this game is niche enough to not attract AAA studios.

Who will they advertise to, they've attracted enough attention that any potential players have already heard of this project?


Well, there's the whole market of "people who want the game to exist before they buy it".... seems like a pretty big group.


I am definitely curious how they'll manage to keep post-release funding afloat for all of the server costs and content development. I would expect a game with Star Citizen's server demands to be a subscription title, and I doubt they'll be able to keep selling ships at the rate they have once you can reasonably earn them in-game. (You can now buy ships in-game, but it takes a lot more money than people tend to make right now, and everything gets reset regularly anyways at the moment.)


They aren’t starting a giant marketing campaign today, but Squadron 42 will need to be advertised as the release approaches. And AAA game advertising budgets are not small. They’re frequently as large or larger than the game’s development costs.

For some examples, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3 both had 35 million dollar marketing budgets. Grand Theft Auto V was 128 million. CoD: Modern Warfare 2 was 200 million.

Since Roberts promised to only spend the crowdfunding money on game development, all that money has to come from somewhere. That means either signing on with a publisher, or taking outside investment.


They are completely crowd funded, and with how much they have raised (>$200 million), it would be silly for them to sign with a publisher or seek investment. In the beginning they were looking at signing investors, but they raised enough to not need that. Also, with the 2 million people who have already backed the game, they do not need to do traditional advertisements. They do have a presence at game conferences, and produce quite a bit of video about the development of the game as pretty much their only form of advertising.


They raised that money in part by saying "We're going to spend this money on game development." I don't think they could turn around and spend $50M of it on advertising without inviting lawsuits.


They also said they were going to raise that money to make a game by 2014. A few people have successfully sued to get refunds but I don't think they care much about the original terms they used when raising money.


CIG's own legal argument is that they have already shipped the game in the form of 3.0 alpha, thus the ToS was amended to forbid any refund beyond the basic cooling off period following purchase. Challeges has so far not been successful.


I really enjoy their Bugsmashers series on Youtube, where they walk through fixing code. It's great in its own right, and I'd watch it even if it wasn't about Star Citizen.


They do have a paid subscription service that pays for promo materials. I suppose it depends on how much you trust the organization to firewall different money sources.


I have a free key I received with a graphics card...back in 2010/11 :/


One of the AMD ones with the branded Mustang version? If you're not interested in using it, you could probably sell that for around $100.

EDIT: this one https://starcitizen.fandom.com/wiki/Mustang_Omega


Is that ship really worth that much? I also have an AMD Mustang Omega. I knew it would be special someday!


That seems to be the going price recently, yeah.

https://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen_trades/search?q=Omega

No idea how people handle escrow on those gray market transactions, maybe there are trusted middlemen who will do it for a cut. I’d be iffy on trading a limited edition ship to some random person online.


Wow, that's pretty wild, I figured they would be pretty common. I probably would never sell it anyway, but maybe it'll be worth even more by the time the game actually comes out. lol


Yes, that is the price that it fetches in the open market! Because enough people feel it provides them with at least that much value in return. For all the weird detractors (who seem hell-bent on telling other people what they should or should not enjoy), Star Citizen is a great game with a great future providing value to a thriving community.


Saying the product lacks "everything" seems a little weird, considering how much there already is to do in the game.

If I had to guess, I'd say you're either not a backer, or you haven't played recently.


Two minutes on YouTube would demonstrate that the game isn't a scam. SC being a scam has become a meme/echo chamber, it doesn't really matter whether or not it's true. The game could launch and people would still call it a scam.


It's really unfortunate the amount of FUD and cruft being spread about Star citizen, because it's an amazing experience that straddles the line between Simulator and MMORPG incredibly well for the state the game is at currently in the dev lifecycle.

I haven't even played Elite:Dangerous in ages since the Alpha 3.1 update came out and Elite is one of my favorite space series of all time


>FUD

I came into this thread looking for the acronym. Thanks for not letting me down.

I mean, there are plenty of controversial topics being discussed on the internet, but I only see the F-word being used ad libtum when the topic is either cryptocurrency or Star Citizen. Perhaps these two have more in common than it looks?


I am unsure what you mean by everything.

The early demos can certainly do more than anything currently on the market...


It's more of a game than the abomination that is Fallout 76.


I get the impression that the future of gaming is not going to be massive AAA titles. They will start to not be economically viable very soon as we get to a max saturation of peoples time playing video games. With the over-abundance of good and "good enough" titles that took 1/100th of the time and money to create what sense does it make to have a 200 million dollar project?


There are game types that just aren't possible without massive budgets. Huge open world games in particular can't be made without a large team of content creators[1]. For games like Red Dead Redemption, Breath of the Wild, etc... there isn't anything close to comparable coming out of a small studio anytime in the near future.

Even CD Projekt Red, which is based in a low cost of living country spent $81 million developing The Witcher III. A small studio with a $2 million budget has absolutely no chance of making something that players who expect The Witcher III will think is good enough.

And as technology (and budgets) progress, gamers expect more. More art, more story, more quests. The kind of content that we are nowhere near auto-generating.

1. I shouldn't say can't be made--can't be made up to the standards players expect. No Man's Sky and other games have tried, but procedural generation just doesn't come close to matching the quality and detail of more hand crafted open worlds.


I would like to mention Avorion. Its sandbox space game developed by two guys with heavy emphasis on user-created content and procedural generation that I've bought on Steam sale two years ago for 7EUR and devs are still updating it adding new features and fixing issues:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/445220/Avorion/

Its considerably small and limited in scope, yet game progression feels rewarding enough that some people (me included) have clocked hundreds of hours doing it.

This is the kind of game I feel we need more of. Small games focused on limited number of features, continously improving those features.


I don't mean to suggest that it's not possible for indie studios to make great games by limiting scope--clearly it is, and I'm working on one myself. Just that we have to remember that the key is that they are limiting the scope. There will always be a place in the market for games on a grander scale.


For the same reason it still makes sense to make very expensive movies even though anybody can invest a few grand into good equipment and make their own.


You should study how markets work. Sadly customers are not the well educated, disciplined people we want them to be. Especially for entertainment they are often exhausted office workers who just want to relax in the evening. They really need some relaxation and some escape from reality. And they pay for it not as a political choice but like VAT, something they can't avoid. They are the slaves of whoever produces the best solution for their relaxation.

So the power comes not from the customers but from the investors. Because investors will bring money for developing these products and they will do so with the very intention to influence the market to their own advantage. And these people want a more and more centralized monopoly around their source of income.

That's why companies like Blizzard get worse and worse, they don't care if they lose their current player base. They can gain another and make their investors more happy with that.

That's why a company like EA exists for so long and is so successful.

The market is not getting better but worse. The more easier to use and open worldy and better graphics the AAA titles get the harder it becomes to find players and investing for your indie titles. Probably we will also see that regulation will set in more and more, creating real legal requirements to sell games.

Indie games will always exist. Like indie movies, and indie music. But they will make less and less money, get less and less actual funding, and become more and more a personal hobby and art form.


> a complete overhaul of the game code to run on multiple CPU cores simultaneously

Did they switch to Vulkan already to do it? In the past they said, that was the plan.

Also, no word on Linux version in this announcement.


Why would switching to Vulkan have anything to do with making the CPU code multithreaded?


Most OpenGL versions(not sure about last ones) required to use one thread. You can push stuff into GPU from multiple threads in vulkan.


Because OpenGL doesn't allow doing it properly.


They have 4 Tasks left to complete on the Roadmap in Q4 of 2018.

So 9 days, and Christmas/New Years Eve Holidays to deal with.

I think they are in real danger of fucking up their 2 roadmap within the first week of releasing it.

I hope for their sake they didn't publish this without getting a few of those tasks basically finished ahead of time so they could at least start off in a way that made it look like they could follow their own schedule.


Their roadmap is pulled directly from their JIRA database, so if a task slips a week or so due to holidays, the next update will reflect that. If you look back at their previous roadmap updates, they knock way more then 4 tasks out a week, but even if they miss their target they can "fuck up" the road map since it will just update with the new status next week.


I never backed Star Citizen, though I keep an ear out for updates here and there.

It seems like Derek Smart has come up in every thread about SC for a few years now. Why? Google tells me he developed a similar singleplayer game a long time ago and is currently working on some kind of online venture. Is he attached to the SC project?


As far as I've been able to tell, Derek Smart and Chris Roberts have a long-standing bitter rivalry over who can make the best space game, driven by the substantial egos on the both of them. At present, that mostly manifests as Smart doomsaying about Star Citizen on the internet to anyone who'll listen, with claims of highly variable quality - but I believe there have been periods in the past when the roles of developer & critic were reversed.


bitter rivalry over who can make the best space game

That doesn't sound quite right. For all of SC's seemingly infinite problems, Chris Roberts has actually shipped a whole bunch of beloved classics. Derek Smart has not.


Chris Roberts' last game which he was kicked off by Microsoft, was Freelancer. He exited the video game industry shortly after to go make movies. His Ascendant Pictures venture collapsed a few years later.

http://gameranx.com/updates/id/70033/article/the-chris-rober...

Derek Smart, since 1996, has developed and shipped over a dozen games. He still makes games.

http://3000ad.com/games/


This is silly. Derek Smart's 'games' are barely games. Chris Roberts, again, has shipped whole bunch of acknowledged classics. Me playing air-guitar in the shower does not make me a 'bitter rival' of Jimmy Page.

You could say they're rivals in who is going to turn out to be a bigger scammer and purveyor of unfulfilled promises. Roberts might end up winning that one overwhelmingly as well.


What you're saying is what's silly and preposterous. Nothing further needs to be said.


I never heard about the guy until today and spent a little while searching.. I can say I am absolutely stumped why this guy is getting any attention at all.

All the profiles he's written about himself seem extremely conceited. His posts present hyperbole and opinions as fact. And to top it all off, the exact things he is criticizing SC for he has done himself with his most recent game Line of Defense... https://steamcommunity.com/groups/acpreport/discussions/3/48...

Dude has an entire subreddit where a majority of the users seem to be devoted to "calling his crap out": https://www.reddit.com/r/DerekSmart/

And of course encyclopediadramatica has their own page on the guy (of course nothing there should be taken at face value, just found it amusing after reading up on him): https://encyclopediadramatica.rs/Derek_Smart


You appear to be a Star Citizen backer. The composition of those statements are a dead giveaway because it contains all the same talking points you guys spread around to attack him for voicing his opinions on the project.

Line Of Defense isn't crowd-funded. It was released on Steam Early Access. His games traditionally take a long time to develop and release because they are complex, and he doesn't have a large team or resources.

Comparing an indie funding his own games to a company that has taken over $200 million Dollars in crowd-funding, and also investor money, is laughably foolish.


Or, crazy idea, I did my own searching on the guy and came to the conclusion I just posted above.. His twitter alone could be used in a psychology course.


Oh I see. In the over 74.6M entries about him on Google, you just happened to pick the detractor talking points which aren't even in the first 10 pages.


You should turn on incognito or use duckduckgo and take a look...


He was an original backer of the project in 2012. In Summer 2015 he wrote a highly publicized blog in which he claimed that because Chris Roberts increased the scope of the game, that it was doomed. In response, CIG refunded his $250 and kicked him off the project. Then they made the grave mistake of issuing a press release lying about it. It's all documented here:

http://www.dereksmart.org/2015/08/star-citizen-how-i-got-inv...

Since that time, the most avid backers of Star Citizen have been waging a proxy war with him on behalf of CIG. And at times it gets a lot worse than the Usenet flamewars he was engaged in back in the day. They even hijacked a sub Reddit bearing his name, and were using it as a way to harass, attack, dox him etc. Until it was closed (by the mods) about a year ago. They re-opened it temporarily due to him being right (once again) about the dire financial straits of the project, as revealed in their financial statement released this week.

Kotaku has a five-part series which also covers the beef between him and Chris Roberts.

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/tag/inside-star-citizen/

Don't believe everything you read from those who have a vested interest in either Star Citizen, or those who don't like him. So far, he has been 100% on the ball regarding the key issues with this project. From the money part, all the way down to the technology, challenges, schedules etc. Since Summer 2015, he has been obsessively documenting everything about this project. So much so that many on the Internet, including the media, go there for material when writing about this project. It's uncanny and disturbing to say the least.

http://dereksmart.org

He apparently has plenty of friends who work on or have worked on the project. And they are the ones who appear to have been feeding him his most accurate leaks. For example, about this investment, he leaked the news on Twitter in May. That same month CIG was closing this deal. We know this because the public filings in the UK which became public in Dec, show all the signatures and actions regarding this $46M investment taking place in May. His latest article lays it all out.

http://dereksmart.com/forums/reply/6792/


In other news, the main character will be renamed Duke Nukem.


Congrats guys for making the world record Micro transaction sale of $46 million. All that without ever even making a game!


The thing about Star Citizen is that there's this super vocal minority of people that bought into some version of Derek Smart's bullshit. They decided that some aspect of Star Citizen is not exactly how games have worked in the past, or otherwise does not meet their expectations, and they are now rooting for failure -- any kind of failure. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of backers (myself included) are happy with the way things have gone and are going. Or there are the few detractors who paid their $35 or whatever in 2014 being told in no uncertain terms that "this is a flexible project with flexible design goals and a flexible release schedule" and so are complaining about not having read about Star Citizen before buying into it. And so, as someone that has put multiple thousands of dollars into the game from the first week it was on Kickstarter, I am enormously pleased with how Star Citizen has been developed, and how it looks and plays now, and actually sincerely hope they push for a later release than 2019. I can wait for Chris Roberts' magnum opus.


How would you know? This sounds more like your opinion, or the opinion of an echo chamber like /r/starcitizen. Derek Smart seemed like an idiot, but the game still seems to be regarded as a total joke outside of that subdeddit (e.g. /r/games).

I've no skin in the game apart from I loved the original wing commander, but it is funny looking over old threads in /r/starcitizen actually, here's one I just found where the top comment was saying it'd be too long if there wasn't a beta in 2018 (there wasn't) and that some Squadron 76 missions should have been released by then (they haven't):

https://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen/comments/4j211n/how_lon...


Derek Smart is the original king of the over-promise and under-deliver a space sim game. I don't know if he's all that accurate in his complaints about Star Citizen, but as someone with no skin in the Star Citizen game but was almost burnt by a Derek Smart game, it seems a funny "pot, kettle, black" situation to me. It does have me wondering how much of a "takes one to know one" moment of schadenfreude clarity Derek Smart may be having right now. Though, knowing Derek Smart from following previous ventures, I'd probably just put my money down on "a broken clock is right twice a day".


Have you played the game?

I ask because you sound exactly like one of the people complaining because they can't for some reason handle how the game is developed, that its not going according to your expectations. If you don't plan to play Star Citizen, then why do you care how Star Citizen players feel about the game? CIG has been very clear from the start that Star Citizen's development will be unlike any other game before it, and they have been especially clear and emphasized that "it will be done when it's done".


What game? I had a go of a tech demo at some point. It was awful.

Look at the thread, people in there believed SQ42 was almost finished. That was 2 years ago! CIG were giving the impression that they'd almost done the single player campaign, now they're talking about 2020.

A possible scenario at this point is that they burn through all the cash and the game is put out either unfinished or never sees light of day.

Maybe a great game will come out of this, but it's perfectly reasonable to believe that's doubtful.


I would be shocked if it "never sees the light of day" at this point, just due to the amount of invested resources. Even if CIG had lost the Crytek lawsuit and had to pay up a mass sum or go under, or if they run out of money in the future, someone would probably pick it up for cheap (as Microsoft once did with a previous Chris Roberts title) and wrap it up into a nice bow.


Their recently released financial accounting is all the evidence needed to show that not only was Derek Smart right when he claimed in July 2015 that the game could never be made for $150M (they had raised $85M at the time), but also that it could never been made as has been pitched by Chris Roberts.

https://cloudimperiumgames.com/blog/corporate/cfo-comment-20...

Right now Star Citizen is barely a proof-of-concept tech demo, while Squadron 42 which was coming in 2014, is still almost 2 years away from BETA.

After blowing through $200 million of backer money, in May 2015 they sold 10% of the company to an off-shore investor for $46M to continue funding development. And Derek Smart was the first to leak that info as well, and almost a full week before CIG made it public that this was in the works since May 2018 (when Derek Smart first leaked that something was in the works).

http://dereksmart.com/forums/reply/6792/


[flagged]


CIG repeatedly promised, on their sites and promo videos, that SQ42 would be launching in 2016. You can argue that what they’re doing with SC is unprecedented, and SQ42 is dependent on them. But it wasn’t CIG themselves that were adamant on the 2016 release date.


[flagged]


You've crossed into incivility in this thread. Please stop.

Believe me I know what it's like when it feels like you're right and everyone else is wrong and ganging up on you, but the only thing that works in this situation is to remembe that it's just the internet and let it go.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


You are reading hostility which does not exist. I understand as mod you read hostile posts all day, but I will ask you (as I have in the past) to please remove any sense of hostility you read in my posts, because that's not what went into them.


You keep attacking the use of the "promise". I don't know if English is your first language, but people making this claim in the thread aren't using the word in the sense of a pinky promise. They don't need to say "we promise to ship this, for real!" If a game developer says a game will launch in 2016 and provides publicity material such as posters implying this fact, then they are "promising". If I tell you that I will follow up on an email you sent me, I've made you a promise; if you set an expectation, you've made a promise to someone.

For the record, I've only heard of Star Citizen and never funded it, played it or engaged with the community.


They've always been clear that the date may move. I realize this sentence is totally invisible, though. And classy move there, with the comment about language.


Maybe you should pay attention to the campaign. A simple search on Google or r/starcitizen has all the evidence you need. In fact, SQ42 was promised as early as Fall 2015 (with SC having its commercial launch in 2016) in CIG's own slidedeck [0], but I remember the 2016 promise being memorable because they didn't change it even into 2017.

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/star-citizen-release-sched...


No, you don't understand. They didn't explicitly use the word "promise" so it can't be a promise.

At least, that's how parent commenter thinks the world works.



It was “2016 - Answer the Call”, then it changed to 2017, then it dropped the date entirely.

https://goo.gl/images/cib7Dn

I’m as excited about it as the next guy but let’s not pretend it hasn’t been delayed repeatedly.


I'm not engaging with you any further, as I said I have no skin in the game, but you're clearly suffering from a sunk-cost fallacy.

It's hard to talk sense to a fanatic who's too invested to realize they should stop spending already.

Personally I love Indies, and can enjoy unpolished games (check out Kenshi, game of the year for me!). But watching Star citizen unfold is like watching an extremely slow motion car wreck. I almost invested in the KS, I'm really glad I didn't.


It'll be done when it's done is, unfortunately a common thing said when people are late.

Looking at the original kickstarter page https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen there's pledges of a finished product in 2014, so it doesn't feel unreasonable for people to say that it's late.


It's always been an estimate, and they've always been crystal clear about the process and releasing new estimates. If you haven't pledged, you aren't receiving the incredible amount of updates from almost every team at CIG. In the past week I have received seven Star Citizen-related emails. There are about two or three videos from CIG uploaded to Youtube every week. If you didn't pledge, you don't see that. You just see whining on Reddit. And again, as someone that's put a ton of money into development, and who is pleased with the state and direction of the game, I hope this isn't released in the next two years. Or the next four. Or however many years before "it's done", because I actually did fund the game, and I went into the Kickstarter expecting to fund Chris Roberts' magnum opus. And that's what I'll wait for, as the person who's put two orders of magnitude more money into it than your average kid whining about it on Reddit.


I've just read all the way through the kickstarter page where SC raised it's first $2m dollars (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen) in 2012.

In there they very clearly commit to delivering the game in specific timelines, nowhere that I can find does it say "it'll be done when it's done" or "this is an estimated time it could be much later"

Perhaps I'm missing where the page that backers used to decide whether to commit to the project says that their timelines are an estimate...


It seems like the content for Star Citizen is not the actual game, but the various updates surrounding it. And fans seem to have a good time enjoying those updates, up to the point that the actual finishing of the physical "game" is becoming irrelevant. So I like to think of Star Citizen fans not as conventional video game fans but as Youtube subscribers paying for the update videos and the occasional kool demo...


But people are very much in right to have negative opinion on how game is being managed and developed. That's what healthy discussion is about: inviting critical opinions.

I've missed the point when fanbase became fiercely defensive of SC, but it's crazy how quickly reaction to any criticism of the game is to shut down that criticism. Saying that "Chris Robets said in advance that game will be developed differently" is not some sort of "get out of the jail card" for criticizing them for ballooning the game out of scope.

It's actually crazy how far some people are putting in "for defense of a dream". I once saw a comment under the article about SC which's author was berating the site for not knowing what they are writing about and telling them to shut it. Because comment was made using facebook comments, I've decided to follow the link to Facebook profile for my own curiosity.

His Facebook profile was literally those things:

- Intro was I am 64 years old retiree living somewhere. I am participating in creation of Star Citizen video game and love it!

- Wall was usual posts with photos of relatives, family meetings, travels and shares of StarCitizen news/commentaries

It's absolutely nuts!


Nice, accusing the people you disagree with of being bot accounts. That's quite classy.


If this is how you've understood my message, I guess it proves my point of how unreasonable some of SC fans are in discussions, seeking conspiracies everywhere.


I agree with you. People seem to be mistaking their kickstarter as a pre-order and are sad when that it doesn't work like this.

I'm thrilled at this new way transparent way to see this game coming together, and it's a real look behind the cloak of game development. Imagine seeing GTAV or RDR2 development within a few months of development, it would probably be a shit show of bugs, ideas or features.

Another question, have we ever seen behind the cloak of a AAA game in super early development, and getting to watch all the pivots, bumps and warts so transparently? I can't think of a single instance.

Usually by the time the hype train starts on a game, the game's usually %75-%90 done.

What I do love, is that they're building a foundation of a game engine that they won't abandon next year for the annual or bi-yearly refresh. Imagine if there was only a single version of Battlefield/CoD that they continually added features to (like WoW). I would expect the level of code polish would be higher as the devs would be invested in creating good solutions verses throwing it away and starting over again.

I'm not sure why more games don't follow other Sass software models, or a WoW model, where the game lives on perpetuity, and the developers continue to enhance it over time as technology and resources change. As a developer, the choices you make about your code really impact when you know that you're going to have to deal with your choices years later, versus starting the project brand new again.


It’s not like they throw away the frostbite engine and start over for every new battlefield game. I’m sure the code for BF1 and BFV is pretty similar.

Same with whatever engine is used for CoD, although I’m not sure if each studio is using the same engine.


Are you seriously saying that opinions of ONE man is somehow so important to the success or failure of a $200M crowd-funded company?

There has to be a reason why you guys always can't seem to help but drag him into all your discussions about Star Citizen. That's how ALL of you made him an integral part of the discussion. And that is how you all gave him the power to shape the narrative, while aiding in the complete destruction of the reputation of the project.

He says so himself:

http://www.dereksmart.org/2015/08/star-citizen-how-i-got-inv...


Derek Smart was and is right.


All of these intense, weird, baseless, anti-SC posts suddenly make sense.


(Approximately twice a day.)


LOL! The fuck he isn't. ️ This has got to be a bot!




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