- September 6, 2016 at 10:21 am#4407
- May 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm #5276
SQUADRON 42 DELAYED TO 2018
As I reported on Twitter earlier today, several sources, as they have done twice before in 2015 and 2016, have once again informed me that SQ42 is now a 2018 game. In fact, the current internal schedule shows it stretching all the way to mid-2018, and possibly beyond. The past two times that I had reported this, some people didn’t believe it. And CIG kept denying it. This Sept 2016 denial was my favorite. Both 2015 and 2016 came and went. Right up to the blatant lies that CIG told during the events (GamesCom and CitizenCon) of Q4/2016. I wrote extensively about that in my Shattered Dreams blog from Oct 2016.
Sources also tell me that they’re frantically trying to either get a preview or trailer out before the end of the year. So yeah, probably a repeat of Q4/2016 all over again.
Oh, and they have definitely chopped up the SQ42 game. I reported on this back in 2016 as well, but they have apparently stuck to the goal of releasing the once full game, into bits and pieces in order to “keep things going and raising money”. It makes perfect sense if you ask me. They know that the minute they release any “final” version of any portion of this train-wreck project, that’s it’s all over. So why not maintain the bait and switch Status Quo by splitting a full game into parts, then sell them separately? If you recall, they did that back in 2016 when they split SQ42 from Star Citizen, in order to sell it separately. Except this time, they’re going to split SQ42 even further. Which, now that I think about it, explains why you can buy that game for $15 (instead of $45) if you buy it as a bundle ($45 + $15) with Star Citizen. My God man! We’re doing it all wrong.
DAT DEV SCHEDULE!
I have seen it.
And it goes beyond 2017, and all the way to 2021. <—- LOL!!
The internal dev schedule looks absolutely nothing like the public dev schedule they put up for backers. Not only does the internal one have entries for SQ42, but it also shows all the tech and asset dependencies that the title is currently awaiting. Since SQ42 uses the same engine as Star Citizen Actual, it stands to reason that, networking fiasco aside, they simply can’t complete that title without those core engine components and assets.
When they first released a dev schedule, following backer dissent and outcry, it was along the lines of what was shown in Q4/2016. They got quite a bit of money by the time dust settled, and backer trust (in some regard) was regained. That didn’t last very long because shortly thereafter, they released a new version for the upcoming 3.0 that looked nothing like the original plan, though it did go all the way to 4.0. Then, shockingly, they later released another version which completely removed everything after 3.2. Yeah.
Basically, having failed to “save PC gaming“, while singing the “death to publishers!” theme song, Chris is basically doing what publishers know some devs with publisher funding tend to do: maintain two separate schedules. One to keep the publisher happy, and milestones paid; and one that’s the actual internal one which they hope will match the timeline that leads to a game. It’s the equivalent of having two accounting “books”, one of which is highly fraudulent. Only this time, backers are the publishers. Except that the backers still giving them money, are either completely gullible fools, or they’re using Star Citizen to launder money as I wrote in my Money Laundromat blog.
It is amazing to me that there are two games in development; but yet still, even though backers haven’t seen anything tangible from SQ42 since the Godawful Morrow Tour from 2015, that it doesn’t even appear in the public dev schedule. It’s as if it doesn’t even exist; or that they know if they release it, that backers would freak out, and see that it’s nowhere near complete in the short-term. This despite the fact that they keep showing art and videos purportedly from the game. But that’s normal though, right?
What’s even more egregious to me, is that backers have forked out over $150 million for two games, but they have to rely on insider leaks – for a crowdfunded project – to get most of the tangible and reliable information about the project they paid for. And they still don’t have a clue about most of what’s left to do in the games. So we have a public tracker that’s just as hilarious as it is shocking.
The project is FUBAR. And backers are in for the most interesting shocker yet. But I’m holding on to that one for now. Stay tuned.March 15, 2017 at 11:26 am #5224
IS AMAZON THE NEW STAR CITIZEN PUBLISHER?
So TheAgent is back with some info that even I find it very hard to believe, let alone absorb. I have reached out to my own sources for some confirmation. Will report back when I hear more.
“so amazon is 100% their publisher now
welcome to the jungle, motherfuckers
I know everyone has said, no no, Lumberyard is free or whatever
but they just got a huge cash injection and programmers and support from amazon
so there you go
all severs are free. new patcher by amazon. new devs from amazon. new higher up execs are all amazon. no more dreams. mvp early 2018.
and they just tossed all the dead weight devs. goodbye, tony z
expect to see amazon partnerships everywhere this year, like the AMD days of old
btw according to rumors amazon is going to take a loss of $700m over 3 years in their games division in order to make it a viable product going forward“
Basically, if true, then the circle is complete, and this is the Freelancer (1, 2) debacle all over again, and which happened mere years after Microsoft bought Digital Anvil and booted Chris Roberts off the project.
I have to wonder how on Earth any publisher – let alone Amazon – would look at the state and notoriety of this project, let alone the largely toxic community, and find it to be a good investment.
For one thing, very few devs are using LumberYard; not because it’s a bad engine mind you, but because, well, UE4 and Unity5 are so far ahead, it’s not even funny. Plus, regardless of all the wonderful (they really knocked it out of the park, when compared to what they originally pulled from CryTek) things they’ve done with it, LumberYard at its core, is still based on CryEngine 3.x which very few devs actually used; when compared to other offerings.
Not to mention the HUGE liability Amazon would be saddled with, nor the inevitable lawsuits (from either whales or State and/or Fed officials) and backer backlash they are going to be facing when the final chips fall and the game promised, and for which they have received over $145m to date, isn’t delivered.
It beggars belief. But this is the videogame industry; it’s not supposed to make any sense.
In my Irreconcilable Differences blog from Dec 2016, I wrote about how I thought it makes sense that CIG switched to LumberYard. At the time, from what we could tell from the 2.6.0 build (which first had the LumberYard logo), and sources, they hadn’t actually switched at all; other than the move from Google Compute Engine to AWS. The current 2.6.1 build still doesn’t have any evidence (if you have access to LumberYard and Star Citizen 2.6.x, and you know what to look for – go look and see) that they have in fact made a “switch” beyond that move from GCE to AWS.
Note that they never gave backers ANY forewarning about the LumberYard switch back in December 2016. This despite the fact that for most of 2016; they were already contemplating the switch. Which isn’t all that surprising, considering all the information they tend to either withhold from backers or communicate poorly.
To wit, in the past 24hrs, they have discontinued (1, 2) yet another aspect of the project which most backers have come to rely on for information about the project. Yes, they have now canned – without notice or forewarning – the monthly studio reports. These were detailed reports which, despite being mostly bullshit and inconsequential fluff, the backers could still use in their wet dreams about all the crap (none of which – six years later – has come to fruition mind you) they’re going to be doing in a largely vaporware game.
It’s hilarious that my first Star Citizen blog from July 2015, Interstellar Citizens, was written due to what I had read in an earlier monthly report and determined that they were i) fucked, and couldn’t deliver on what was promised ii) making shit up on the fly iii) lying to backers in order to continue raising funds
As I type this, there is still no public schedule for the much awaited 3.0 patch (which was really coming by Dec 19th 2016). At the time, I had said (1, 2) that it was pure bullshit, and that it didn’t even exist. It’s now March 2017 and the next 2.6.2 patch is supposedly coming around Mar 23rd. That’s basically the end of Q1/17. This despite Chris Roberts going on the record and saying that they share with backers the same internal schedule they use.
So taken at face value, the absence of a 3.0 schedule basically means that it doesn’t yet exist as a build; thus no schedule. Either that or they won’t share it because then backers are going to hold them to it. All of which makes sense, seeing as even when they started doing schedules in Dec 2016 in order to give backers even more false sense of security, they tend to remove items from the schedule without warning or notification. So basically, for all intent and purposes, despite what was promised in 3.0, they could very well take any patch higher than 2.6.2 and call it 3.0.
Back in late 2015 when this whole thing fell in my lap, and Chris decided to “face the devil and give it a face” by calling me out for writing a blog that went mainstream, I had taken legal action in which I asked them for three things. Their legal “come at me bro” response; was basically as worthless as the medium it was written on. I had asked for:
- Refunds for backers who asked for itThey resisted this until a brave backer, reading my blogs, decided to get State officials involved after they refused his refund. The end result basically proved what I had been saying all along that the ToS (which has been revised several times and skewed in favor of CIG) wouldn’t hold up to any legal scrutiny if backers were being refused refunds. I wrote about this in detail in my Star Citizen Refund Debacle blog. And just like that, compared to previous years, refunds were a thing.Not to mention this recent case brought by the CA District Attorney over the Lily drone crowd-funding fiasco. That case, like other State actions against crowd-funded projects, sets yet another standard and precedent for what I believe is coming down the line for Star Citizen if they continue along this path of non-delivery. It’s just too big to ignore.
“There’s also a slightly technical issue that forms a second front in the DA’s lawsuit: the fact that they went with an independent “pre-order” strategy rather than an established crowdfunded development site like Kickstarter. That makes Lily’s money qualify more on the side of internet sales than investment in an idea (something Kickstarter and its projects are always careful to explain), which exposed the company to certain consumer protection laws.“
- A schedule that backers can rely upon as an indicator for when they would get the games paid forThey refused to do this until Dec 2016 during a major backer backlash after they – again – missed the 2016 ship date for both Star Citizen and Squadron 42, then never gave any forewarning. Then, out of the Blue – without forewarning – there was a schedule. And it was largely bullshit because not only was it not even complete, let alone detailed, what they ended up releasing in 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 barely contained what was promised, but also contained a slew of things that weren’t even in the schedule to begin with. Which means that they were just sharing what they felt was enough to keep backers on a leash. The practice continues in the current 2.6.2 schedule.
- The promised financial accountability promised in the ToS which they used as a way to gain backer confidenceGiven the controversy surrounding the claims of monies $145 million to date raised (1, 2) for the project, not to mention the Red flags in the filings of the UK entities or the disparity in the funding chart (which doesn’t appear to take into account backer refunds, bank loans, and investor money), it is highly unlikely that outside of a lawsuit (whale backers, investors, State and/or Fed officials) that backers will ever get this financial accountability. And the arbitration clause in the ToS pretty much represents the first hurdle for whale backers because only investors, State and Fed officials can get around that, as they are not bound by the ToS.
So aside from the many rumors – and evidence – that the project is in trouble, whale backers ejecting like rats from a sinking ship etc, if Amazon has in fact taken on the liability and the role of “publisher” for this project, thus putting it under the purview of one of the Amazon Game Studios, to me, that’s the one move that’s going to cause the largest backer revolt yet. For one thing, as long as Chris Roberts isn’t in charge, any competent AGS lead producer will immediately have access to the game’s design and schedule, then see that i) what they’ve promised is all but a dream, and – as I’ve stated – simply cannot be built as promised ii) even if they chopped it up, scaled it down, and shipped both Star Citizen and Squadron 42, it likely won’t happen before 2020 – at best.
The flip side of Amazon (who is apparently doubling down) being the publisher is that they stand a very good chance of stripping away all the lofty promises, while attempting to ship a game they can deliver – even in an MVP form. Unlike Freelancer, it won’t be such an easy sell to backers who have paid upfront – and in some cases thousands of dollars – for a completely different game.
LumberYard needs a boost because it’s not widely adopted. But using it to sell AWS is a tough call because contrary to popular belief the AWS costs can be prohibitive – especially for multiplayer games. And when those games stop making enough money to pay for AWS, well, it’s sunset time. So in the case of Star Citizen, I just don’t see how AMZ buying or publishing this game makes sense. It’s a massive financial and PR liability. And if that were to happen, the end result is that those acting like they are in a cult will just end up blaming AMZ for ruining Chris’s ‘vision‘ if they shipped anything less than what he has promised – even as all indications are that he can’t deliver on said promises anyway. With $145m (if you believe it) to date in liability, what exactly would AMZ be buying for them to even recoup that; let alone make any money? All that money is basically pre-orders with very little room for further monetization. Not even if it came to consoles. It makes no sense for them to do it; which is why I find it hard to believe this rumor. But if AMZ is going to do this as a way of marketing LumberYard + AWS for games, it’s one heck of an expensive spend – aside from it being completely nonsensical.
If you’re a whale backer, or investor in this project, and not already asking questions or trying to find out whether or not this very specific rumor is in fact true (in some form or another), you will only have yourself to blame for the end result.
Stay tuned.January 12, 2017 at 7:00 am #5174
STAR CITIZEN – EARLY 2017 UPDATE
The year has barely started, but the clowns over at CIG/RSI are making waves again, even as they come up with new and inventive ways to piss off their backers who have so far given them $141 million to make a pair of games (neither of which is even near completion). So, let’s see where we are barely two weeks into the New Year.
THE LUMBERYARD NON-SWITCH
You probably know by now, as I wrote in my last blog, Irreconcilable Differences, that after several months of delays, they finally rushed out the 2.6 patch in late December. Not only has it been confirmed that in 2.6 the switch was basically restricted to their use of Lumberyard’s abstracted access to EC2, hence the need for displaying the logo, but also that aside from some network performance improvements due to the switch from Google Compute to Amazon EC2 cloud servers, it had zero impact on the game. Same game. Same custom engine. Same bugs. Same performance & networking issues. Which pretty much explains why they didn’t even bother mentioning that – for almost a year – they were considering this switch, but never once mentioned it to the backers.
As one joker put it: “The development is so transparent and open, that you can’t even see it.”
STAR MARINE. TOO LITTLE. TOO LATE.
Some backers were rejoicing that – after four years of promoting it – CIG managed to release a stand-alone fps game module built with an engine designed specifically for fps games. The end result? It’s generic, lackluster, buggy (hey pre-Alpha!), and uninspiring in every way. Needless to say, this one won’t be saving PC gaming any time soon. And if you believed Chris Roberts – even for a second – when he said that “it would be more lethal than Call Of Duty“, congrats; you’re a fool.
Basically, this was just them ticking off another check mark in the list of documented promises, and which joins the hangar, Arena Commander, and persistent universe modules in their mediocrity (at least for a $141 million project). And if those other modules are anything to go by, this first release will also lack any meaningful content and updates for quite some time.
Case in point, people are already using hacks to cheat. For a game that is in pre-alpha, you would think that these reports would be useful to CIG in order that they be identified and fixed. But no, that’s too easy and logical. So instead, they’re threatening to ban accounts. For cheating in a pre-alpha game. Yeah.
And speaking of Arena Commander – which first appeared in 2014 – after all this time, not only do they still not have a plausible flight module, but in 2.6 they somehow managed to make it worse; if you can imagine that.
SQUADRON 42. STILL MIA
This single-player version of the game, and which was to tie into the larger Star Citizen (aka Persistent Universe), is still a no-show; and all bets about it even being released in 2017, are off. In fact, in a recent issue of German magazine, Der Spiegel, Chris was quoted as saying that it would “probably be finished in 2017“.
Rumors have been swirling for months that not only is that module itself in serious trouble, but that it doesn’t even exist as a cohesive game. Just think, it was supposed to be coming in 2014, then 2015, then for real, in 2016. But so far, aside from the godawful Morrow Tour video from CitizenCon 2015, nothing of it has been shown. Not even a trailer or a demo.
After seeing the likes of the recently released Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare and the upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda, anything less than a spectacular showing of SQ42 – the game that Chris mostly cares about – will be devastating. But let’s not ignore the fact that Chris had gone on the record and stated that they had a demo “ready to go” for CitizenCon 2016, but they opted not to release it due to time constraints. I wrote about that in my Shattered Dreams blog.
Other rumors say that only a prelude (aka demo) – not the full Episode 1 – will be released sometime in Q1/17. Seriously, we can’t wait. Though with some top level team members (e.g. Tom Johnson, Todd Pappy) on that project rumored to have either left or on their way out, one has to wonder how far along that module is at this point.
A recent rumor that’s been floating around also suggests that SQ42 will probably no longer exist as a separate game as previously planned. Instead, the missions will be rolled into Star Citizen, thus making it just another game mode like Arena Commander and Star Marine. Yeah, it’s hilarious. Especially when you consider that they split it into a separate product earlier this year; no doubt in order to maximize sales, as well as spin it off as its own title; thus justifying a console port, as well as DLC (episodic content etc).
To be honest, as a developer, and given the structure of the what they’ve built so far, I think making it a game mode and accessible via the Star Citizen menu, is probably a good call. Though it is mission based single-player, but originally billed to support co-op (which requires networking support), it makes sense. In fact, doing that could also enable them to bring back co-op play. But that would require revisions to the missions of course. And if nothing else, it would be consistent with the other game modules (hangar, persistent universe, star marine, arena commander).
None of this matters anyway. Now that they are switching to Lumberyard – five years into development – they have bigger problems to worry about.
THE DEV SCHEDULE
Back in Dec, following the disastrous CitizenCon 2016 and anniversary community events, they released a dev schedule. Most of us – after we finished laughing – remained skeptical, seeing as we already knew that they did that only to boost backer confidence in the name of “open development”. Of course, aside from the fact that the schedule was just rubbish, they missed every single deadline contained within. Finally rushing to release a broken 2.6 patch, of which various promised items were removed. Which begs the question. Why bother? They are already notorious for missing deadlines; so how does releasing a schedule in which they continue that trend, change anything? It doesn’t. They only did it due to the backer uprising.
So here we are, week two of the New Year, and the first problem (shocker) was just made public via the latest communication to backers from Chris. They’re now talking about delivering 3.0 (aka The Jesus Patch) in 2017. The same 3.0 that Chris, according to these slides, said would be released before Dec 19th, 2016. No talk of 4.0 coming in 2017 now. The Reddit thread that popped out around it, contains the usual hilarity.
FOR SALE, ONE BARELY FUNCTIONAL FLAMETHROWER
Quite a number of backers continue requesting and getting refunds. Some have made it public, while others are doing it quietly in order to stay out of the on-going fray. Even the hardcore backers who were once convinced that I was wrong about all this, that my sole purpose was to kill (yeah, hilarious, I know) the project etc are getting refunds. In the last 24 hrs, two made public that they had requested a refund. In fact, when this hardcore backer posted that he put in for a refund, he got attacked; prompting another backer ($7.2K) to put in for his refund.
CIG have in fact been granting refunds – as indeed they should – or face the wrath of State and Fed officials who are long aware of what’s going on with the project. However, in the New Year, there have been some reports of refunds being rejected. We’re still looking into it; but it appears as if either they’ve stopped doing refunds in 2017, thus only doing those who filed before the end of 2016, or they’re enforcing the 2016 ToS refund criteria now.
They’re rumored to be quite low on funds (it’s expensive to fund 4 studios and almost 400 people around the globe), so we already expected this to start happening eventually. With this much money at stake, all things considered, CIG is basically robbing Peter (new backers) to pay Paul (refunds). Which is how a Ponzi scheme collapses once the amount of money needed to give to Paul, exceeds what was taken from Peter – and spent.
If after all these months of being warned you didn’t get a refund, well, you only have yourself to blame.
Across the web, and on the official forums, many a heated thread has either been closed or flat-out deleted. A lot of the hardcore backers, already fed up with what is going on, are voicing dissent on a daily basis; even as they face incessant attacks from the anti-social Shitizens (the backers who are waging an Internet war of attrition against dissent).
And even long-time backers are facing attacks and ridicule for even questioning what is going on. This thread popped on Reddit after a long time original backer ($8K vested!) was censored on the CIG forums for basically doing nothing wrong. So he got even and put in for a refund.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, in the past 24 hours, yet another original (2012) backer, Badger, a Golden ticket holder and the second or third oldest documented backer, also faced similar derision. Get this. A CIG staffer even threatened to close his account if he leaked the plot to Star Wars Rogue One movie. Yes, something that has nothing to do with Star Citizen.
If you have been following my Star Citizen writings, then you should know that this won’t be the first time that CIG have taken action against a backer for something said outside of CIG forums. There was a media article about it as well. Anyway, the backer wrote an entire missive about it up on Google Docs; which he then posted in this Reddit thread. Well, go look and see what happened next.
Basically, the backers – who just wanted a game they paid for and who are now seeking accountability, while voicing their dissent, are in an all-out war with Shitizens (who are fighting a proxy war for CIG), and even CIG community staffers.
Aside from the wars going on in the backer community, CIG has also been scaling back on community activities. Last year they canceled the popular 10 For The Chairman programming (in which Chris answered questions from subscribers and backers), while scaling back on a number of other broadcasts. This new year has now seen the cancellation of the Reverse The Verse (weekly updates from the community teams) programming as well. And – get this – that has now been replaced with a Happy Hour broadcast in which CIG community members get to play the game on a stream. No, I’m not making that up.
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Having failed to deliver the games promised and within the 18 month grace period following the Nov 2014 promised date, CIG have not only failed to release financials to backers as promised, but they also changed the ToS in June 2016, removing that requirement for new backers completely. That single action alone sparked a refund cascade, and which I wrote about extensively in my Refund Debacle blog. Since that time, seeing as the UK laws, unlike US laws, require companies to make their financials public, we’ve been paying close attention to the money being funneled into the UK from the US.
After being late (like the other two entities) and paying fines each year, for whatever reason, CIG (UK) have recently filed their 2015 financials. Basically, CIG (UK) costs £15m (approx $18m) a year; which is almost 50% of the $35.9m raised in 2015. These financials are evidence as to why they need to keep raising money. Think about it. If this single studio cost this much to run in 2015; how were they planning to build a game for $65m, let alone $15m as they were saying merely two years ago?
And my guess is that this funding amount is going to probably be higher in 2016 due to the increased head count as shown in this slide during CitizenCon 2016 this past Oct.
Remember, for some reason, there are 3 (!) UK companies for this single project. Seriously. CIG (UK), RSI (UK), F42 (UK).
1) Cloud Imperium Games Corp, West Hollywood, CA
2) Cloud Imperium Games LLC, West Hollywood, CA
3) Cloud Imperium Services, LLC West Hollywood, CA <– The one is interesting. It is found on BBB, but is not in the CA Secretary Of State dB records
4) Cloud Imperium Games LLC, Santa Monica, CA
5) Cloud Imperium Games Texas LLC, West Hollywood, CA
6) Cloud Imperium Games Texas LLC, Austin, TX
7) Cloud Imperium Games UK Limited, UK
8) Foundry 42 Limited, UK
9) Foundry 42, Germany
10) Gemini 42 Entertainment LLC, West Hollywood, CA
11) Gemini 42 Productions LLC, Santa Monica, CA
12) Roberts Space Industries Corp, West Hollywood, CA
13) Roberts Space Industries International Limited, UK
14) Twin Brothers Production Inc, West Hollywood, CA
15) Twin Bros, Germany
The money flow for 2014-2015:
Also, similar to how some States here in the US give tax breaks and financial assistance to some companies (see the 38 Studios debacle) depending on investment, jobs etc, we’ve been trying to find out how much financial or tax breaks CIG received from the UK; specifically the city of Manchester. This is something that some of the local businesses are also trying to find out, amid rumors that CIG may have sucked up most of it. To that end, when we came across the 2016 Science & Innovation Audit report from Manchester, which listed CIG as having a £1 billion turnover, we immediately jumped on it seeing as we knew it to be factually incorrect. In fact, given their yearly fund-raising, not taking into account bank loans (e.g. the NatWest loan in the UK), and investor money, the entity is barely a $35 million company. Assuming you go with gross revenue and not P&L.
Manchester wrote back to confirm that it was in fact an error.
But they also indicated that the US parent company had a £150 million turnover. We have no freaking clue where they got those numbers from either; so another query has been sent to them. We’re just hoping that whatever it is they filed with the UK officials, is accurate, because when the final end game starts to play out in the coming months, this is the sort of data that’s going to be crucial to following the money and finding out how they could possibly have raised – and blown through over $141 million (not including loans and investments) in five years – and never shipping any of the games promised.
update 01/12/17: A response was received regarding the £150 million turnover amount. So basically they were just publishing data straight from CIG/F42 – with zero vetting.
THE ROAD AHEAD
If rumors and insider leaks are to be believed, not only are they now facing the prospects of doing layoffs (so far, we’re tracking over 20 people having departed in the past weeks) in order to curb spending, but even with SQ42 now a “maybe” for 2017, without additional funding or curbing their spending, not only do they stand a very slim chance of delivering on even 25% of what was promised, but they stand zero chance of delivering 100% of what was promised by Q4/2020. Back in July 2015, in my first blog, Interstellar Citizens, I opined that they simply couldn’t make the ultra ambitious game Chris pitched. And I further went on to say that even if they had the tech and the talent, they’d need $150m minimum to do it. That was at $85m. Clearly they neither have the tech, nor the talent; and even with $141m and five years in, by all accounts, they simply can’t build that game.
At this point, short of money laundering and similar shenanigans, anyone giving them money, knowing that they have zero incentive to complete, let alone ship the games promised, deserves to lose it. Enough is enough. And those backers fighting a proxy Internet war of attrition against dissent, are doing more to taint and tarnish the project and its community, than they can imagine. Even so, for those guys, no matter how this ends, the worst thing to them isn’t that Chris Roberts was wrong; it’s that Derek Smart was right.
How did I get involved in this on-going farce? I’m glad you asked. It’s hilarious; and the sort of dumb thing that only someone like Chris Roberts would do.December 21, 2016 at 10:04 am #5096
Today’s Star Citizen leaks courtesy of TheAgent. Some I already knew and tweeted about.
- 2017 is now looking like the last full operational year for CIG (*from the perspective of 2 people who recently left)
- several office/staff moves (including the Brno move, disco lando, ben, etc) are still planned
- roberts joked at one point “the cheap labor must flow”
- the “must deliver” deadline is still march/q1 of 2017 for the sqlude
- might be much less than what was planned to be released (think less than an hour of story content, highly repetitive missions to pad playtime, grind, etc)
- sqlude will include the new footage shot earlier this year of hamill
- direction/management are being shuffled around, some people with no experience are now in charge of dozens of employees
- several employees and execs are now gone, including cashing out on promised bonuses or other monies when they left
- “If [we] didn’t have money in the tank for refunds, delay. Delay, delay, delay. Promise, then delay. That was standard, yes.”
- had to cut one or several major characters from SQ42
- additional mocap is required “to have the story make any sense” thanks to “constant” changes to the script
- entire maps, levels, mocap, VA, music and SFX have been thrown out, reworked and thrown out again
- what was promised for 2.6, especially networking, won’t be in until late Jan/Feb 2017 at the earliest (maybe midyear)
- 3.0 networking is a massive, complete mess and won’t be anywhere ready for 2017
- “They are walking the design back on a massive scale. Try and get a refund.”
- ^ moma that one is for you because the guy who said it, lol, just lol
- crunch time has continued now for over six months, some people over a year
“if you’re in this project for anything over $40, get a refund. get a refund like now. after 2.6 releases to the PU you’re going to have a hard damn time getting anything back unless you pledged for the SQ42 package only“December 13, 2016 at 4:57 pm #5064
STAR CITIZEN UK FINANCIALS
Seeing as five years and over $138 million later they have yet to ship either of the promised games, all eyes are on the Star Citizen project financials. Especially given the recent fundraising shenanigans (1, 2) that CIG has been up to of late. The US corporations are private entities, so they are not required to file financials. Those financials are only shared with investors, banks and similar parties. Backers of the project were once promised access to those financials if CIG failed to deliver the project within the allotted time. So far, aside from the fact that CIG have since rescinded that offer in the June 2016 ToS change, no backer has challenged them to produce the financials. I have written before that the state of their financials represents the smoking gun as it pertains to their ability to complete and deliver the project as promised.
In the UK, where there are three (!) corporate entities, they are required to file public financials for the preceding year, by Sept 30th. Back on Sept 26th, F42 (UK), the entity with the liabilities, and which is tasked with making the game (as the developer), filed their accounting. It was pretty uneventful. The other two corporate entities, CIG (UK) which now owns 100% (1, 2) of both F42 (UK) and RSI (UK), as well as F42 (GER) didn’t file. Yesterday, RSI (UK) filed their accounting; leaving only the parent company, CIG (UK) which is currently late in filing.
I had written back in my July 2016 blog about what appears to be the execs cashing out and selling back their shares to the parent company, thus taking out wealth from the company.
“There are so many holes in this whole thing that the minute I even make public everything I know, I would no doubt have pretty much impeded on-going investigations. So we wait. But while we’re waiting, here’s a nugget. Please ask them if it’s true that: after they founded a studio (Foundry42-UK) to help develop this game, and Chris pulled in his brother and childhood friends in from another company to head it, that less than two years later, another subsidiary (associated with the project) then turned around and bought the company back from those very people. Thus taking out a significant amount of wealth out of the project and putting it into the pockets of those very friends and family. While still paying his brother Erin, what amounts to almost $250K in yearly salary; not including benefits or bonuses – which aren’t disclosed. Aside from this being reported to be almost 3x what he was making at his previous company, it’s also 2x the average for a director in the Manchester region. And in case you forgot, this is a crowd-funded project.”
In 2015, according to the funding chart (which is 100% inaccurate), the project raised approximately $35.9 million. That’s not taking into account refunds, investor amounts, bank loans etc. The RSI (UK) filing clearly shows that they are playing a financial shell game with the funding that’s going into the project. Arguably one would do this sort of thing not only for tax and liability reasons, but also as way to mask accounting anomalies and irregularities, while also inflating the value of the associated entities.
Also it should be noted that not only is RSI (UK) operating at a loss (!), but also F42 (UK) – the developer – is holding a secured loan note with NatWest bank. And they blew through almost $20 million in 2015 alone. Can’t wait to see the 2016 numbers.
Someone made a handy chart showing how the money reported in this filing, has moved around.
When the parent entity, CIG (UK), files its accounting, we should have a much clearer picture of how the money – up to 2015 – flowed to the UK entities. It won’t tell us anything about the F42 GER financials, nor the financials for the two US studios. And when you think about it, the fact that backers have no insight into the financials – something they were promised – it’s going to be very interesting to see how those very people who are saying “it doesn’t matter“, react when the dust settles.
List of Star Citizen related corporate entities
- Cloud Imperium Games Corp, West Hollywood, CA
- Cloud Imperium Games LLC, West Hollywood, CA
- Cloud Imperium Services, LLC West Hollywood, CA <– The one is interesting. It is found on BBB, but is not in the CA Secretary Of State dB records
- Cloud Imperium Games LLC, Santa Monica, CA
- Cloud Imperium Games Texas LLC, West Hollywood, CA
- Cloud Imperium Games Texas LLC, Austin, TX
- Cloud Imperium Games UK Limited, UK
- Foundry 42 Limited, UK
- Foundry 42, Germany
- Gemini 42 Entertainment LLC, West Hollywood, CA
- Gemini 42 Productions LLC, Santa Monica, CA
- Roberts Space Industries Corp, West Hollywood, CA
- Roberts Space Industries International Limited, UK
- Twin Brothers Production Inc, West Hollywood, CA
- Twin Bros, Germany
I am still of the belief that the project is on the verge of collapse; and the recent desperate cash grab plays into that. What is unclear is what form that collapse will take, how they will handle the wind down (e.g. from 4 studios and 350+ people), and whether or not the project will continue in some fashion following the downsizing. As of Nov 2016, they had 363 employees working at the four studios. That does not include the many contractors at third-party studios which are also working on the project. Though several (including no less than three high profile positions) have left since the chart below was shown by Chris Roberts; and many more are rumored to be on the way out.
Seeing as F42 (UK) and F42 (GER) are primarily tasked with tech and Squadron 42 (the single-player game) development, it stands to reason that the two US studios are likely to suffer the most casualties; especially since nobody with half a brain really thinks Star Citizen is ever going to see the light of day.
THE END OF YEAR FIVE
Back when I said that neither Star Citizen nor Squadron 42 was going to be released in 2016; I faced quite a bit of derision and attacks. You know, all the standard things I’ve been dealing with since I got involved in this farce last Summer. Then came the August GamesCom event (I wrote about that here) in which even more lofty promises were made; topped only by even more lofty promises in the Nov CitizenCon event, and the subsequent anniversary event. The key takeaway from all those three Q4/16 events is that CIG created proof-of-concept tech demos, passed them off as being in the game, while promoting the sales of ship assets which aren’t likely to ever see the light of day. All designed to do one single thing: raise money based on LIES.
The most egregious affront to backers, has to be the promise that 3.0 patch, which included elements shown in all of the above streams, was imminent. Heck, they even went on record, while creating an entire “Road To CitizenCon” video, telling backers that a demo/preview of Squadron 42 was imminent, but that they ran out of time to polish it. Now, with the year ending, not even the much delayed 2.6 patch has been released to backers, let alone anything of Squadron 42. And you know what, I already raised the alarm on ALL of this months ago, and again quite recently (1, 2, 3).
This is what was promised in 2.6, which is already over six months late. They have yet to deliver it, even as they continue to shift the schedule.
And this is what was promised in 3.0 for end of 2016 release.
And even as I type this, there are backers who are vehemently denying that Chris Roberts ever promised 3.0 by year end. Despite his own word salad to that effect.
“..so, it’s our big end of the year release. er so er yeah, so we’re gonna get it out the end of the year; hopefully not on December 19th but, er, like last year….but it is a big one, so, not making er, I got shot for making promises, but er, that’s our goal.”
Note that back when I said the schedule was released in order to appease irate backers, and that it was inconsequential, again, I got attacked for it. But here’s the thing: since they first released it, they’ve missed every single milestone contained within. So it’s no different if they didn’t release it, since backers should just as well ignore it. And they keep making suspicious changes (1, 2) to the schedule page itself.
When I wrote the Star Citizen – E.L.E. blog back in April, and pointed out specifically why I believed that the project was inexplicably doomed, that neither of the two games was going to see a 2016 release, some backers waved it out of hand, while others decided to heed the warning and go for refunds (you can read the resulting fiasco in my Star Citizen – Refund Debacle blog from July). Since then, hardly anything has changed that would serve to change that opinion. Heck, this year, all they’ve released have been bug fixes to the 2.0x kernel, an in-game shop for buying pants, some flyable ships, and one new base (GrimHex). That’s it. All year. And, despite the dispute regarding the accuracy of the funding chart, they appear to be on track to raise over $35 million in 2016. In a year where they are on track to raise half of all the money that all of crowd-funding did.
As for Squadron 42, if they ever release any version (demo, prelude, episode 1 or whatever) of it, and it’s not stellar, they’re screwed because seeing as it’s built on the same engine components, it is going to automatically affect the larger Star Citizen game. But that won’t matter, seeing as they have already been paid in advance.
At end of the day, it’s all been a pack of lies, and what I believe to be protracted efforts to mislead backers at every turn. Which, when you think about it, makes sense that they would revise the ToS in order to not only reduce their liability, but also rescind whatever leverage backers have in terms of financial accountability.
At this point in time, what’s going to be interesting is just how those very same toxic backers who are attacking dissenting opinions, will react when they get wind of what is currently playing out behind closed doors. But that’s why we have the legal system, as well as State and Federal agencies who pay attention to things like this.
You all had ample warning. Now you get to bear the consequences.October 4, 2016 at 10:31 am #4566
STAR CITIZEN FINANCIALS – THE SMOKING ROCKET LAUNCHER
Back in 2012 when Star Citizen went to crowd-funding on Kickstarter, one of the most important carrot sticks that was dangled in front of potential backers, and which remains in place today (even though the wording has been changed with the June 2016 update), was financial accountability for the project if they failed to deliver within 12 months (later changed to 18) months of the promised Nov 2014 deadline. There are two sections of the ToS which tie into i) refunds ii) use of funds iii) accountability for funds
In v1.2 of the ToS, which was current up until June 10, 2016 the following appears in Section VII
“RSI agrees to use its good faith business efforts to deliver to you the pledge items and the Game on or before the estimated delivery date communicated to you on the Website. However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a firm promise and may be extended by RSI since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of your Pledge shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has failed to deliver the relevant pledge items and/or the Game to you within eighteen (18) months after the estimated delivery date.
For the avoidance of doubt, in consideration of RSI’s good faith efforts to develop, produce, and deliver the Game with the funds raised, you agree that any Pledge amounts applied against the Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost shall be non-refundable regardless of whether or not RSI is able to complete and deliver the Game and/or the pledge items. In the unlikely event that RSI is not able to deliver the Game and/or the pledge items, RSI agrees to post an audited cost accounting on the Website to fully explain the use of the amounts paid for Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost. In consideration of the promises by RSI hereunder, you agree that you shall irrevocably waive any claim for refund of any Pledge that has been used for the Game Cost and Pledge Item Cost in accordance with the above.”
In the June 10, 2016 ToS, the above section was changed to the following. This widespread outcry sparked numerous backers to immediately ask for a refund. I covered some of those issues in my Refund Debacle blog back in July.
“RSI agrees to use its good faith business efforts to deliver to you the pledge items and the Game on or before the estimated delivery date communicated to you on the Website. However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a firm promise and may be extended by RSI since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of your Pledge shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has ceased development and failed to deliver the relevant pledge items and/or the Game to you. (Pledges made under previous Terms of Services continue to be governed by the corresponding clause of the Terms of Services, or of the Commercial Terms, as applicable, which were in effect at the time of making the Pledge).
For the avoidance of doubt, in consideration of RSI’s good faith efforts to develop, produce, and deliver the Game with the funds raised, you agree that any Pledge amounts applied against the Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost shall be non-refundable regardless of whether or not RSI is able to complete and deliver the Game and/or the pledge items. In the unlikely event that RSI is not able to deliver the Game and/or the pledge items, RSI agrees to refund any unearned portion of your Pledge, and to post an audited cost accounting on the Website to fully explain the use of the amounts paid for Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost. In consideration of the promises by RSI hereunder, you agree that you shall irrevocably waive any claim for refund of any Pledge that has been used for the Game Cost and Pledge Item Cost in accordance with the above.“
You can see all the material changes to both the old and new ToS versions.
Here’s the thing. As per the above, backers who don’t agree to the new ToS, are 100% entitled to a no-questions-asked refund. Until this ToS change fiasco, coupled with the numerous complaints to State and Fed officials, it was very difficult – and near impossible – to get a refund. But people (recently a whale pulled out $11K) are getting them now, though the process is reported to still be fraught with complexities, numerous back and forth shenanigans, delays etc. But the new ToS makes it near impossible to get a refund.
Those who agree to the new ToS, either as existing or new backers, are faced with the possibility that they will never get a refund. Most people (especially gamers who think they’re rubbish anyway) don’t read the fine print. So let me interpret that fine print.
If RSI is unable to complete the game, that means they have run out of time and money. So where exactly would the refunds be coming from? If the funding chart is accurate (it’s not – but wait for my upcoming blog), it stands to reason that after raising $124 million (see breakdown) from backers over a four year period, if they failed to deliver, even without refunding media subscriptions – which they don’t – they would still have to refund the cost of undelivered physical goods, as well as the pre-purchase (no, it’s not a pledge – so stop it) of the game. Last we checked, subscriptions hadn’t even broken the $1 million barrier. So when RSI fails to deliver – as they already have, two years later – it will be a total loss; and there would be no money left to give refunds. Think about it; if they had money to give refunds, they won’t be closing up shop, would they?
Now here’s the fun part. Outside of legal, State or Fed action, they have no incentive to provide the financial accounting promised to backers. If they had nothing to hide, and they intended to provide it, there would be no need to keep revising (it’s on its 4th revision btw) the ToS, even as they reduce their liability, and hang backers out to dry with those changes. So, most of us believe that they won’t provide it because aside from wasteful spending, unjust enrichment by the execs, and claims of malfeasance, revealing those financials would give backers cause for concern, and of course give people like me even more reason to be shouting from the rafters. It would also no doubt show that not only are they running on empty – as claimed by several sources – but that’s why they have to keep using objectionable (creating canned demos to show progress, selling pictures of ships etc) tactics to continue raising money. It’s not unlike a Ponzi scheme; seriously. And that’s precisely how most of us expect it to eventually collapse. It won’t be a slow burn (see Godus and its ilk); but a sudden, catastrophic collapse. With four official studios worldwide, and almost a dozen more operating as contractors, and with over 300 employees/contractors, they have to be burning around $3 million or more per month – easy. Which means that, for all intent and purposes, unless they are making that kind of money each month, they’re probably running at an operating loss (spending more than they are making each month).
The question of what happens to money given to companies, is one that most backers aren’t focused on; even though it’s the smoking rocket launcher in the case of Star Citizen. Which is why, even though private US companies aren’t required to share their financials with the public, over in the UK, they are required to do so. Heck, Frontier Developments Plc, makers of Elite Dangerious, have theirs regularly filed (1, 2). And so, with three (1, 2, 3) entities still late on filing their 2016 accounts, we are still waiting to see what those numbers are; as they will in fact shed light on the financials of the US companies associated with them. As of this writing, they are late – again – on those filings. But according to discussions with Companies House, companies have two (it used to be three) months after the deadline in which to file, before facing higher fines and ultimately criminal prosecution of the directors. Which means that they have until Dec 1st to file.
Problem is, unless and until State or Fed agencies, banks, or investors takes action, the only way for backers to get these financials, is to file a lawsuit and obtain them either through discovery, or as a resolution to the suit. Right now any backer on the old ToS – with or without an attorney – can sue them for those financials seeing as they have missed the 18 month cure period to deliver as promised. But they are bound by arbitration (see Section XXII) which heavily favors (1, 2, 3, 4) corporations. But guess what? Even so, CIG will just refund them; and probably (depending on the arbitrating judge) never have to provide those financials. That would be the end of the matter. So they might as well give refunds; which is cheaper and has less PR nightmares for them.
In one of my blogs, I stated the following related to the financials as it ties into the executives who are relatives (Chris, Sandi, Erin – Roberts) and lifelong friends (Nick & Simon Elms, Derek Senior), most of whom were part of the Gizmondo collapse from a few years back, and which I covered in an earlier blog. Notwithstanding the fact that every single known venture that Chris has been involved in since leaving the games industry over a decade ago, has ultimately collapsed.
“Please ask them if it’s true that: after they founded a studio (Foundry42-UK) to help develop this game, and Chris pulled in his brother and childhood friends in from another company to head it, that less than two years later, another subsidiary (associated with the project) then turned around and bought the company back from those very people. Thus taking out a significant amount of wealth out of the project and putting it into the pockets of those very friends and family. While still paying his brother Erin, what amounts to almost $250K in yearly salary; not including benefits or bonuses – which aren’t disclosed. Aside from this being reported to be almost 3x what he was making at his previous company, it’s also 2x the average for a director in the Manchester region.”
For those of you clueless as to how a business runs, note that just because you have several shell companies, multiple studios, and hundreds of employees, doesn’t mean squat in terms of longevity, or financial health, let alone the internal state of the company. It’s all in the financials. And for a $124 million crowd-funded project – not taking into account investor amounts, loans etc – those financials are vital in determining whether or not they can in fact deliver on promises. Obviously RSI knew this, which is why they put that clause as a carrot stick in the ToS right from the beginning. Then, as with everything else, have thus far failed to keep their promise; even as they float the money across several shell companies.
Homework: Go look at Frontier’s company/team size, and their burn rate (it’s in their financials). And that’s one studio.
THE LUDICROUSNESS CONTINUES
RSI isn’t operating like a company that is flush with cash, let alone one that has ample cash reserves as Chris Roberts – who has the uncanny ability to lie on cue, even without reason – has claimed. They have continued to use a series of carefully planned and staged tactics designed to continue bilking backers (probably investors as well) in order to raise money. And with a few backers (approximately 2000 last time we ran the metrics), still funding the project, there is seemingly no incentive for them to stop using these practices. They pulled the same stunt this past August at the Gamescom2016 event – to the tune of $4.4 million total take for the month. Based on what many believe to be lies. Multiple sources have in fact confirmed that the demo shown – aside from the analysis by myself and others following the event – was staged for the event in order to show progress. Just like they’ve done before in the past.
And naturally, as part of the on-going fundraising effort, they’re still selling JPEGs of ships. The latest being the above concept ship. This aside from the fact that the engineering debt on those is currently so high, that last we checked, not even 50% of the ships sold, have been created, let alone implemented in the game. And with the upcoming yearly CitizenCon2016 event on Oct 9th, they announced another “concept” sale.
From the latest upcoming sale, ponder this. That’s $750 (not a typo) for an image of a ship, for a game that doesn’t yet exist.
Amid all this, remember that Chris Roberts this past April, came out and flat-out said that the first official release of the game, will be a Minimum Viable Product, instead of the full game promised back in 2012. This after five years, and having raised $124 million.
All of these actions and statements are enough for backers to have questions about how long the company can be a Going Concern, and also what has happened to all this money.
As I’ve stated before, how people choose to spend their money, is up to them. However, the few who, going through Sunk Cost Fallacy, and continuing to pour money into this train-wreck, can only speak for themselves. There are others who just want the game they were promised, or a refund in full. RSI cannot deliver the product promised; this is no longer in question because it’s now a foregone conclusion. What’s in question is what will they have achieved and delivered before they either start the inevitable down-sizing, or when the predicted catastrophic collapse comes?
And what should be even more concerning is that this game – as designed – relies on a very expensive server backend to operate. Built like an MMO, complete with cloud server backend, with database access etc, it simply cannot operate without someone footing the expensive monthly bill. There is no single-player. There is no peer-to-peer networking with private servers which ensures players can play the game once the servers go dark. That’s what a catastrophic collapse of the project means. And anyone still giving them money, knowing all this, amid the high risk and broken promises associated with this project, will lose their money when they fail to deliver.October 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm #4727
THE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN
Oh this one is good. Real good.
Earlier today, an absolutely crazy review of Star Citizen showed up online. Like seriously, it was here. Not only was it not even based on the game as we know it, but most of the outrageous claims were straight out of their marketing campaign. Even the tribe over on Reddit were aghast (which is a stretch, even for them).
Shortly after the outcry reached crescendo, the article was taken off line; mere hours later. You can find an image of the original, as well as an archive of the most outrageous parts highlighted. What’s worse, even David Swofford, head of PR for the project, re-tweeted the article earlier in the day.
Upon further research, it was discovered that the author was non other than Rick Hudson who just happens to live in Manchester where one of the studios (Foundry 42) is located. Here is an article from March 2015 which was preceded by this missive which he wrote a month earlier in Feb 2015.
“Rick Hudson, a well known horror and sci-fi writer, who lives in Manchester, stopped by the Foundry 42 offices a couple of weeks ago to have a look at Star Citizen. He came away impressed. He plans on writing a story on his visit and impressions at some major outlets, but in the meantime he posted his early thoughts on Indiebration. “Unusually for a computer game, it had me gripped. First off, the game looks amazing – don’t ask me about gigabytes and the like, I know nothing about that stuff – but in terms of graphics Star Citizen is phenomenal.”“
UPDATE: There is mounting evidence that CIG may have hired a “reputation management” firm as a result of all the negative press on the project. The way those companies work is that they flood the Internet and social media with positive articles, social media posts etc in a bid to drown the negative stuff. e.g. my blogs, the media (e.g. Kotaku articles etc). We’ve so far found other articles (1, 2) which have been shoved into the metrics. And it’s also duplicated, with different wording. Thing is, they’re mostly fabricated statements and outright lies touting features that are either non-existent or not even promised to be in the game. Any reader with a working knowledge of the game, can easily see this.
LATEST INSIDER SCOOPS
TheAgent (man on the inside looking at the abyss outside from the inside) is back with more outrageous insider scoops.
Let’s start with the most outrageous one.
Went out drinking with a friend last night..
“We are, we do! Work towards something. We work hard at making progress. We do! But that progress is changed every week. Every day sometimes. How can anything ever be finished if entire teams of employees are retasked at any moment? People lose momentum. You lose sight of what the project is. It just becomes one unfinished thing after another. One of Roberts’ lackeys tells you to drop something, you do. Then two weeks later Roberts is screaming at some poor guy because he did as he was told. “Not by me.” That’s the response you hear a lot from Roberts.”
“The best one, absolutely, deals with [a brand new employee]. It’s his, what, third day? He’s in the break room and Roberts storms in but is real quiet. Pulls the guy out and walks him in front of some other workstation. “What is this?” Roberts goes. The new guy, right outta college, is shitting himself. What could Roberts mean? Was something wrong with the desk? Was this where he’s supposed to be sitting? He’s got no idea.
“You know what this costs? You’re taking my time, everyone’s time,” and now Roberts is shouting, “it’s like you don’t care how much you’re costing us. Do you like spending my money?” Chris stands there, arms crossed, waiting for a response.
[The new guy] is scared stupid. He starts blubbering and apologising without having any idea what’s going on, right?
Chris points to the chair, “Sit your ass down and get it right.” He then storms off again. Poor guy has no idea what the fuck to do.
Turns out Chris thought he was [completely different employee]. He never apologised. Never went back to check if anything was fixed. [New guy] quit by week three.”
“if they don’t push out 2.6 before 2017 hits, they are done
if they push out 2.6 before 2017, its going to be a terrible, contrived, bug riddled mess and then they will be done
they are seriously weighing those options right now. like having closed door, “what will we do about 2.6” meetings
I mean 3.0 is supposed to be here in less than 9 weeks, but is roughly a year+ out. 2.6 is the last saving grace for them before they start shitting out sq42 episodes and preludes and interludes and prelude dessidia final fight squadrons or whatever fucking kingdom hearts titled shit they have stored in the back there
do you know that they are talking about doing another crowd funded project? I’m not even kidding“
On Squadron 42. Apparently still a thing…
“sq42 prelude in q1 2017, 100% confirmed today
its now more like a demo showcase, but its playable
and its awful
honestly I don’t see it hitting until q2 because chris is still reshooting
but they do have march 31st, 2017 on internal mock ups
remember this isn’t a full episode. a full episode or whatever is 20+ hours of content
not even close“
The on-going fps shenanigans (we assume it’s Star Marine)…
“one of the biggest problems with the cover system right now is that when you peek out from wherever you’re hiding, your gun just sticks into the fucking wall or
you don’t shoot where your crosshairs are aiming or
you pop out of cover but can’t be hit because you’re still registered as being covered or
you vault over another player and kill him instantly (I think they should keep that in) or
you jitter out of the map when you go into cover most of the time or
you fall through the map because you switch guns while in cover or
the animations get totally fucked when popping into or out of cover and you turn into horror spaceman and your guns warp and bend and then you start shooting everyone like you just watched christian bale’s gunkata for beginners“
Oh, but it get’s better..
“roberts wants projectiles fired from guns to actually come from the barrel
that means you aren’t actually shooting where you are pointing the crosshair, you’re pointing the crosshair to point the gun that fires a round
which means a lot of coding to get that working
which also means a shitload of networking to figure out trajectories and shit because the gun isn’t static, its constantly moving
it also means you get fun ARMA type bugs where suddenly you die because you just shot your own neck“
EightAce (the other man on the inside playing tag with crobert’s wig) chimed in with this gem:
“Sq42 ep 1.01 is coming out around feb/march next year. Brace yourselves, it looks like a mid term submission off a half competent student on a games design course that has learnt to use Cry engine. I cannot wait to see the reviews“
I swear at this point, even though most of their scoops tend to pan out, I have to wonder if these two aren’t taking the piss now. Seriously, some of this stuff is so bat-shit crazy, that it’s unbelievable. But as the saying goes: “It’s CIG. There’s always more; and it’s always worse“October 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm #4701
STAR CITIZEN PROGRESS
Ahead of the GamesCom event in August, I had said that Chris was – again – going to be making stuff up in order to raise money. During that event, he – again – made some lofty promises in relation to a much touted 3.0 (aka Jesus Patch) patch. Aside from the fact that sources had claimed that most of that stuff wasn’t even implemented at the time he made those statements, he has again used a tech demo as a means to show progress. A demo which, much like the one shown in the CitizenCon event of Oct, wasn’t even part of the current game proper. And so, here we are at the end of October, and not even the much awaited 2.6 patch is in community (Evocati) testing.
And the hilarity of it all is that even though Chris went on stage and claimed that 3.0 would be coming at the end of the year, in keeping with the tradition (NOTE: That’s only happened once, back in Dec 2015. So we have no clue what tradition he’s talking about), some in the community are now trying to pass it off as if he never did say that. Well, he did (start at 23:42).
To say that the natives are getting restless (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) would be an understatement. I mean, threads like this, in which almost 50% now don’t expect the game before 2019, which would normally be hidden away in the “concern” sub-forum, are still visible. And it’s not just on Reddit or the official forums; the dissent is getting louder by the day.
Not to mention the fact that the needle on the stretch goal promises list as of this writing, hasn’t even moved; and there’s nothing in 2.6 that would even cause it to do so.
Amid all that, you’d think that CIG/RSI would be focused on showing backers relevant development progress, instead of spending time on tech demos designed specifically to portray progress, while milking backers for even more money. But as we’ve now learned, the upcoming holiday stream is going to be showcasing ships (their primary commodity and source of income btw) as well as other peripheral irrelevant nonsense; all designed to continue raising money.
SQUADRON 42 PROGRESS
Sources say that it’s coming along, and that a trailer is quite possibly coming by year end. Which doesn’t mean squat; seeing as it was touted to be released back in 2014; and nobody has seen anything of it in over a year since the rubbish Morrow Tour tech demo was shown in late 2015 – at yet another event.
The issue with SQ42 is that a trailer is just going to be regarded as just another trailer in the list of trailers and tech demos they have been releasing; and in which most are either not reflective of the game, or which will never make it into the game. That fact that it’s over two years late, no demo for, or testing by backers, is testament to the fact that not only is it several months away, but simply isn’t in any production ready state which would facilitate even a live demo walkthrough.
On the tech side of things, aside from the fact that it shares the same engine as Star Citizen (aka Persistent Universe), it’s going to be interesting to see how exactly it is they are planning on shipping Squadron 42 ahead of Star Citizen, when in fact they both share an engine which, for all intent and purposes, is still very much in a major state of flux. For example, SC is currently at 2.5 (the Evocati testers are at 2.5.1). So let’s assume for argument sake that they do release 3.0 patch in Mar 2017, then SQ42 EP1 comes out in May. That would mean the latter is based on a subset of the 3.0 engine kernel, seeing as 4.0 is now targeted for end of 2017. Now they have to issue on-going patches for a released game (SQ42 EP1) and a work-in-progress game (SC) which has several interconnecting modules.
So basically, they would be releasing a “finished” game, based on an engine that’s still very much work-in-progress. Not to mention the fact that he’s recently been going on about having procedurally generated planetary terrain, when in fact what was shown, and what they seemingly have, is basically a pre-generated height map with 3D assets manually placed on it. Like this (that’s based on the same CryEngine3 sub-set from which they built this StarEngine btw).
That aside, if you have seen how they literally abandoned the Hangar, Arena Commander modules, canceled Star Marine etc, while focusing on the PU, it’s easy to see what will happen when SQ42 gets released and enters the mix.
Read more about this scheduling nonsense in my recent Shattered Dreams blog.
But it gets better. At $5 million funded, Chris promised 50 (!) missions (among other vague things) for SQ42. That was back when the package was the game, plus a “Behind Enemy Lines” mission disk for all backers who pledged before $6 million. Then in an April 2015 “10 For The Chairman” broadcast, Chris again not only made lofty promises, but he split the game into episodes. This time, the base game would be EP1, the mission disk would be EP2, and the story would continue in EP3. There’s a long Reddit discussion about that, if you want to look it up. Despite the fact that I had reported it long before he even made it public, in Feb 2016, he officially announced the split of SQ42 from SC. We all laughed.
What’s interesting about all this is the fact that most of the backers are already entitled to ALL these games. So if you consider that the funding is all pre-orders, it’s easy to see how this scheme is going to absolutely collapse if they can’t somehow monetize these games going forward. They’ve been doing just that with SC, but so far, no clue on how they plan on doing it with SQ42. One theory is that, seeing as nobody knows what EP1 to EP3 are supposed to contain, it’s feasible that the 50 (disregard that Reddit nonsense of 70 missions; he never said that) missions are going to be spread out in some fashion. In that aforementioned broadcast, he mentioned EP1 as having “about 21 chapters with over 70 Wing Commander style missions, spanning about 20 hrs of gameplay”. Nobody knows how many missions are in a chapter. So ponder this. Do you really think that the running time for 50 missions is “about 20 hrs”?
Seeing as they change things on the fly, my guess is that they are going to release a Minimum Viable Product for both EP1 and EP2 since they’re already in “debt” to backers for those; then try to somehow monetize EP3 to everyone. This is all assuming that they even survive 2017.
The other thing to remember is that once they release EP1 as a finished product, it is going to be reviewed as such, and automatically be associated with Star Citizen proper. If what sources are telling me turns out to be true, that the visuals look good – not great, the script is atrocious, the cut-scene acting piss-poor, the game rife with cut-scenes, and the “gameplay” is the usual cookie-cutter nonsense, it’s going to get absolutely ripped by media and gamers. Completely. All of these things contribute to Chris’s hesitation at showing this project to media, let alone the backers who have paid for it. He knows fully well that the minute this gets shown in any playable form, if it’s not the masterpiece that he thinks (only he thinks this btw, several sources have unequivocally stated that it’s crap) it is, then it’s game over.
Which brings me to today’s Sandi hilarity. At the 0:40 mark, after Forrest talks about what they are working on, she made a comment “so nothing’s happening then” after the mention of Squadron 42. No doubt this was meant to be a sarcastic jab at dissenters who have been upset about SQ42 not being shown at the recent CitizenCon, let alone released in 2016. Of course, since she has no training in media relations – let alone marketing of any kind – this sort of comment, in complete disrespect to the very backers who made them rich, is somehow perfectly normal.
In case you missed it, read more about the SQ42 fiasco in my Star Citizen – The Shafting blog.
MEMBER OF STAR CITIZEN COMMUNITY ARRESTED, ARRAIGNED ON PEDOPHILE CHARGES
On the darker side of The Farce, we have reports that one Shawn Thomas Weixelman (aka Fuzzy Modem), who has been prolific in attacking me and others for “saying bad stuff about the train-wreck that is the Star Citizen project” has reportedly been indicted in Alaska on serious felony charges. This was first spotted about two months ago in a comment posted on his YouTube page, but it wasn’t until the last 24 hrs, that more details came to light. As reported in the news and court reports (case # 4FA-16-01486CR <– if that doesn’t work, search by the case number), he was arraigned on July 22nd and held without bail, less than 24hrs after his last activity in the Star Citizen community.
As someone with a Shotgun (Star Citizen’s dev feedback platform) he interacted with some members of the team, including Sandi Gardiner (who he goes out of his way to defend at every opportunity) who mentions (18:37) him in the Oct 22nd 2015 episode of “Around the Verse: Episode 2.04” broadcast. And this is him from the May 2, 2014 episode of “The Next Great Starship Episode 1.11” broadcast. Apparently the Polaris ship that CIG/RSI have been flogging since CitizenCon2016, was either his original design, or the inspiration for the final version.
As I’ve stated before, the vocal backers in the toxic cesspool that is the Star Citizen community, who (aka Shitizens) are waging an Internet war of attrition against dissent, are the project’s biggest liability; bested only by Chris Roberts, his wife Sandi Gardiner, and community person, Ben Lesnick. Amid a lot of hate filled rhetoric, attacks, harassment etc, I have received death threats since my first blog. In fact, one such threat was traced to this fellow who is also a backer.
When you consider the fact that these people reportedly knew about allegations of sexual harassment of a community member by another, Wulf Knight (aka Dick Wulf, the delightful fellow written about here), and chose not to act, but to allow the accused (being long time friend of Ben Lesnick) to remain within their ranks, it’s hard to disregard. Heck, just weeks ago we raised the alarm after this same person, boasted on Twitter about handling security for the CitizenCon 2016 event earlier this month.
All that aside from the uncovering of Ben Lesnick’s website (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) earlier this year which was rife with not only racist, homophobic and anti-semitic posts, but also years of questionable commentary which would have certainly guaranteed the firing of anyone at any other public facing company. Shockingly, as I write this, though reports are that he is no longer actively on the payroll, having been “phased out” of the limelight and the project, he is still active at the CIG office in LA. We’re still investigating that one. But if true, it could only mean that he’s now a contractor (probably with a Golden parachute exit that’s normal for people who “know too much”) of sorts, and CIG/RSI have chosen to remain mum about his current role on the project, let alone his exit. Recently, he’s been seen begging for money in order to buy legacy Wing Commander trash (aka paraphernalia) which even Chris Roberts doesn’t seem in the least bit interested in. I kid you not.September 29, 2016 at 2:27 pm #4530
KOTAKU (UK) ON-GOING STAR CITIZEN INVESTIGATION
Kotaku (UK) is working on a five-part series of Star Citizen articles as part of their on-going investigations into the project.
- Inside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen
- The 24-Year Feud That Has Dogged Star Citizen (English translation of “Star Crisis” article in Swedish LEVEL mag, June 2016)
- Who Are the Star Citizen Superbackers? (re-print of an August 2016 article)
- What Happened to Star Marine, Star Citizen’s Missing Module
- What to Make of Star Citizen (added on 09/30)
The Star Marine one is pretty interesting as I had already covered it extensively in one of my blogs; and is also covered here. I had even hinted on Twitter that the problems with that project being scrapped, were not solely (if at all) the fault of Illfonic. Since last year I had said that due to the NDA, Illfonic couldn’t defend themselves from the accusations from backers that they were responsible for the fate of Star Marine. Reading the 1st and 4th articles above, it becomes clear that the same problems that plagued Star Citizen proper, also plagued Star Marine.
The interesting part is that, even after going on the record and saying that Star Marine was already released and in Star Citizen, he recently (coincidentally just ahead of GamesCom2016) started talking about it again as coming soon; no doubt to reduce the liability associated with the cancellation of a prominent module that backers had paid for – in full.
This is Star Marine in 2014. Nope; definitely not in the current Star Citizen build.
Then there’s the wall of lies by Ben Lesnick, which also mentions Star Marine back in 2015.
Another titbit, we got word of how Chris Roberts became involved in that first Kotaku article.
“I alluded to this earlier, but the original article was due to come out before Gamescom and initially contained no Roberts at all. Then, during the standard request for comment, the Big Man himself couldn’t resist handling things personally, thinking there would be no better source for disproving the vicious rumours (or, you know, doing anything because he’s the best and knows all the best words) than himself.
Prior to him getting wind of the article, it was probably going to be some F42 people (presumably Erin and an equally cagey backup), and you can imagine how different the final article would have been in that situation.
All in all its just a repeat of the Escapist fiasco from last year. At a time where no info is still the best info for the project, he waded in there and needlessly made another mess. If the gossip about Ortwin turns out to be true I don’t doubt it’s because he’s finally realised Chris is a liability beyond anyone’s control.“
Chris truly is his own worst enemy. Seriously, if he wasn’t involved in that first article, it would certainly have not only read differently, but also won’t have cast him and the project in such a poor light. It’s quite revealing, and shows all the same behavioral traits from his past (solo or joint) endeavors (all of which btw, ended up being catastrophic failures) after Wing Commander.
STAR CITIZEN 3.0 (JESUS PATCH) COMING IN 2016
Chris lied (again) to raise money at GamesCom2016. It’s just not happening. The End.
Even the upcoming 2.6 patch (the last one before the big leap to all the 3.0 promises) is currently in the first Evocati testing stage. It doesn’t contain Star Marine. It’s now Oct 2016.
UPDATE: In today’s pre-recorded AtV broadcast (16:19), they’ve now gone on the record saying that what Evocati are now testing, isn’t even 2.6, but 2.5x. Which means that 2.6 – whatever that is – will be their end of year patch. My sides.
CHRIS IS AT IT AGAIN
So last week, two new interviews (1, 2) popped up over at GamersNexus. This time he’s gone on the record again promising even more new features. This time, seeing as he is on the procedural planets roll, he’s gone and promised planetary weather patterns and solar positioning of stellar bodies. In a game where every asset that’s part of the scene is either static or with an animation (e.g. the rotating parts of the station) controller. Aside from the fact that it’s all blatant lies, it’s yet another example of the feature (assuming they actually do it) creep that has plagued this project. Remember, they don’t even have planetary landings yet; let alone a fully built star system from the 100 that was promised during the campaign back in 2012.
Oh, and it’s no longer the Best Damn Space Sim Ever. It’s now the Best Damn Everything Sim. Yeah. Of course those key parts are now being picked up by the media and propagated.
Some hilarious titbits from the GamersNexus interview.
- Says the Sun doesn’t move around our solar system (6:50). Which most of us who are into the sort of thing, know to be false. The Sun is actually moving through our galaxy. The gravity of the stars (billions of them) within it, are what keep the Sun at the relative center of the galaxy where it maintains an orbit. But yes, it does move.
- Thinks The Morrow Tour (SQ42 reveal) from CitizenCon2015 looked terrific (4:37). Here, you take a look.
- Talks about the short term thinking that drove all their previous iterations & presentations (11:18). Gee, who knew? We’ve all known and seen how they end up showing material as “Coming Soon“, yet never to see the light of day. The trend continues as recently as this past GamesCom2016 presentation, and is expected to continue again in the upcoming CitizenCon2016 fundraiser on Oct 9th.
What’s even more hilarious in all these recent interviews is that he keeps talking about Elite Dangerous as a competitor. This despite the fact that not only is that game (also crowd-funded prior to release) out, and making vast improvements in leaps and bounds, but is also technologically superior in every way. And even so, they aren’t modeling our galaxy at a 1:1 level of fidelity. Yet, there he is, talking up a bunch of crap about a sci-fi based universe that’s supposed to be competing at the same level.
He is never going to learn. At all.
AND THEN CAME BEN
This (we have history) clueless, racist, incompetent buffoon, is the single worst thing that could have ever happened to this project. Next to Chris, and Sandi, he’s this project’s prime liability. And I for one, can’t wait to read his deposition. For those of you who have forgotten how this fool got involved in a project that many believe is now an on-going scam, go watch this interview segment from Feb 2014. And you can read his legacy (1, 2, 3) archived for posterity, complete with homophobic, racist, antisemitic comments. Then there’s this rant against backers. Yes – he works for CIG/RSI.
With the Star Marine fiasco in full swing, and backers expecting (<— LOL!!) it to be in upcoming 2.6 patch as promised (<— LOL!!) by CIG/RSI, he recently went on an interview (5:59) in which he was asked a specific and direct question about it. He was taken off guard. Seriously, this is a 100% accurate transcript of that answer.
“You have had an opportunity to PLAY and not talk about yet, STAR MARINE, that’s gonna be coming to us in a few short weeks, I hope SOONER than that, but… since the EVOCATI doesn’t have it I’m gonna say ‘a few short weeks’, um…”
(grins) fingers crossed!
“Yeah, fingers crossed, I know how you go, there’s always SOMETHING that’ll keep it from coming out and we wanna know and make sure that it’s ready to be TESTED and not just be BROKEN… so… I mean that’s what we’re DOING… um… but… but… even FPS in this game is more about SUPPORTING each other than just KILLING each other, what are your thoughts from the few hours that you got to spend in STAR MARINE?
Is that… am I getting that same feeling?”
“EEee-yeah it’s very team based… but uh… it… it’s still that kinda FPS experience… definitely you fighting other PEOPLE. Uhh… I… I… I think it’s more than just the GAMEPLAY with STAR CITIZEN, it’s more… we have all these people behind the IDEA of doing FPS differently… an-ya-nuh nobody goes into… the latest BATTLEFIELD er… BATTLE… I keep calling… CALL OF DUTY saying, ‘oh what, what kind of technological improvement is it’, it’s more… you know…
I don’t know where I’m going with this…
Duh… it… it feels like we have all these people with a FULL UNDERSTANDING of what goes into the GAME, ah… we… I think… which helps you a lot“
STAR CITIZEN ACCOUNTS VS CITIZENS NUMBERS
I have a high profile source who has managed to explain to me just how exactly the funding chart (powered by Turbulent) works. And I have a new blog in the works related to that one. I have written many times that most of us have reason to believe that the chart is inaccurate, and that it appears to be manipulated to show health and interest in the project. As these things go, nothing short of a State or Fed investigation, or a lawsuit, will be able to get to the bottom of that. Naturally, some people have resorted to scraping it as well. Heck, this is Chris himself proclaiming one million citizens milestone back on Oct 4th, 2015.
This project has so far raised over $124 million with zero oversight and financial accountability – both of which were promised to backers (see Section VII) from the onset. Notwithstanding the fact that with the June 2016 ToS, they not only removed (see comparison) the ability to get refunds, but also changed most of the terms related to that, as well as financial accountability.
To compound the issue is the fact that, all this time, nobody in the media has seen fit to ask Chris the real backer numbers for the project. If they did, they were probably told off-the-record, or the question wasn’t answered. In either case, why is it such a secret? The simply answer is that it’s better to say the game has 1.5 million backers, than to say that’s 1.5 million accounts, of which barely 500K (as of when we last scrapped the metrics) are backers (who put money into the game).
In fact, just a few months ago, a statement made to the media as to the veracity of this 500K number, went largely unnoticed, as it was made to an obscure magazine in an interview of Turbulent, the guys who built, and run it for CIG/RSI. Here, take a look at the original French version, and the English version. See anything missing? Well, this part does not appear in the English version.
BREAKING NEWS! EXPLOSIVE NEW LEAKS!
The rumors and leaks keep on coming – and from most of the studios associated with the project. The most prominent rumors that seem to be picking up steam are that layoffs and high-profile exits are coming, that they’ve literally run out of money to build Chris’s dreams in the long term, and that Sandi and/or Ortwin may be on the way out.
Though we’re still trying to get first hand confirmation with the authorities, there is also word that a complaint was filed with the CA Department of Labor regarding overtime at the studio. This is a very big deal because the labor dept in most states, are very strict about this sort of thing. Just ask the many companies – including game companies – who have run afoul of it and came away with heavy fines, time consuming investigations etc. Note that this overtime crunch period also appeared in the first Kotaku article.
“The fines are the least significant cost. I had a couple friends who had a job where they apparently had to be there at work 15 minutes before their shift due to IT shenanigans but were never paid for it. This went on for years. Apparently, Department of Labor got an anonymous letter from someone working there, they investigated and found the company violated labor laws. This opened them up to a civil class action suit which resulted in not just the current employees of the company but former employees as well getting paid that extra 15 minutes at time and half for every day they worked there, minus lawyer fees. My friends got about $2000-3000 each for working there almost ten years.
Now, here, we have CIG employees that have over 80 hour weeks and 36 hour days and not getting paid for overtime. Even the 90-day probationary employees who worked then left would probably be looking at 250-500 hours overtime in their work history and (I’ll pull $20/hourly for entry-level creative work), that’s about $5k to $10k per those employees. And CIG was a revolving door. They’re looking at least $2- to $3 million in overtime pay alone.“
Whale backers are still frantically trying to get their money out of the project. In the past 24hrs, a backer with over $11K finally got a refund after almost two months of wrangling.
TheAgent is back!
Once again, TheAgent is back with more leaks and rumors. As always, a hefty vial of salt is highly recommended.
- the leaker back in august told me there was new mocap going to be put in after citcon in october
- but! sandi has been getting paid to do the fill in mocap for the female models for the last few months
- and! sandi will also be in the new scenes in october/november
- these are not technically “reshoots” since its new material, but had to be added since some actors are no longer available or desire to work with roberts and the script was rewritten (again, for the 3rd time after principle shooting)
- the last leak on mocap shooting was $29m, is now a projected $40m+ (one person said 60m but I dont believe that
- unconfirmed: ortwin is now distancing himself from the project, requesting a buyout
- confirmed: legal ramifications for unpaid overtime due to an “anonymous letter” sent to the california labor commissioner
- 3 absolutely key guys are leaving
- the money has run out
- les dennis is appearing in sq42
- cig are being sued for 50 mill + by a group of investors and whales
- an ex senior staff member has been questioned by police after a xxxxx was brutally xxxxx in a xxxxxx
CITIZENCON 2016 CASTING CALL
So, in what can only be called filler for the show, CIG/RSI put out a call for backers to do a short video. Not judging though, but here, please introduce yourself to “saviors of PC Gaming“. Enjoy.November 20, 2016 at 11:20 am #4905
THE SHITIZEN SCAMMER
We know that all gaming communities have their share of toxic anti-social nutjobs, scammers etc. In fact, the average Shitizen (toxic Star Citizen fans waging an Internet war of attrition against dissent toward the project) is all of those things – and then some. I have written a number of blog and forum articles about them 0ver the years, and it just keeps getting better and funnier. So it should come as no surprise that recently the person we once thought was your garden variety citizen, turned out to be a scammer running a variety of cons in various MMO gaming communities. Heck, there’s a Shitizen (Fuzzy Modem, who is also now banned on SA), an alleged pedophile, sitting in jail right now.
It all started with this thread on the Star Citizen forum started by one Deloria who was originally thought to be an 18 yr old Norwegian girl who backed the project when “she” was aged 14. At first, this person was only notable for the thread because shockingly it was neither deleted nor moved by CIG. If you scroll down to other posts here, you will see the posts about the growing dissent since CitizenCon. Well, after I tweeted that link, apparently Deloria got wind of it; then showed up on the SA (Goon enclave) forum – where we found out “she” had been banned since 2013.
Even with the paywall ($10 to read the site), we get all kinds of stragglers over at SA, and we tend not to pay too much attention to them; only regarding them as lol fodder for the most part. But Deloria decided that she was now famous, seeing as not only had I tweeted and written about her forum thread, but also it was being discussed on the SA forum. What followed was the most hilarious case of self-own in recent memory.
At first Goons were basically telling “her” to get a refund, that a “girl” spending $6K (which she said was her Confirmation gift from family) on a game that doesn’t look like it was ever seeing the light of day, was a bad idea etc. During all this time the “Curious case of Deloria” generated over 400+ posts. At some point, a pattern appeared to form, and it caught my autistic attention. So I decided to run with it. In the end, I found out that “she” was a middle aged dude, posing as a teenage girl. As soon as I mentioned that this person was a dude; some Goons decided to look into it.
In the end it was discovered that not only was Deloria a dude, but also had been running various scams across several MMO gaming communities. So with all the background material collected, I made a single effort post about it. Deloria stopped posting; and shortly after, asked a mod on the Star Citizen forum to close their original thread. It gets better. He also reported the post I had made on SA, as doxing (hint: it’s not). That last part is as hilarious as it sounds; seeing as these clowns tend to use that word as they see fit, even as they scam their way across the Internet. If posting publicly accessible social media pages is doxing, well I’m guessing that all the websites, including mainstream media sites such as Ars Technica, Gizmodo etc which tend to do expose articles with relevant links, are all guilty of doxing. It’s bullshit really. This was basically exposing a scammer. Period. End of story.
Anyway, below is the post that I made in its entirety, and as was originally written on SA. Enjoy.
NOTE: Deloria was subsequently banned on the SA forum. Again.
Once they get busted and outed, they are always quick to pull out the “harassment” and “doxing” card. It’s the oldest – and dumbest – game in the play book.
No, you’re a scam artist who got busted the minute you decided to come back to SA and mouth off.
This is all public, and most of it backtraced to what you posted. So if you even utter the word doxing, you’re getting temp-banned – again.
After comparing to the previous Mann Facebook page – which freaked you out and you started sending out frantic PMs here – the question is: did a middle aged (approx 35 yrs old) man have a 14 yr old GF in 2013, or are you (Mann) all these alt accounts?
And from your very own post here on SA, there’s that “Mann” surname again.
Here is where it gets even better…
This article was interesting though.
You’re a scammer that’s been lurking in various MMO gaming communities such as Star Citizen, Black Desert Online, Archeage, Shroud Of The Avatar, TERA, Crowfall, Elder Scrolls Online obtaining money and items while posing as an Norwegian girl.
There’s more – a lot more – but posting those will definitely be within the realms of doxing. Which is why I called you out as being a dude* the minute you showed up here; and others took up the mantle to look into it.
Bear in mind that roleplaying with an online persona is perfectly OK. What’s not OK is using that to scam others. As far as your history shows, you’ve tried to raise $10K twice (once with a calendar for which you got over $1k). Not to mention all the other gifts you’ve got from those gaming communities. That’s not different from a garden variety 419 scam.
* I have extensive AI experience; so pattern recognition is something that my brain is wired for. Your post patterns, sentence composition, context connectivity, and word usage, were a dead giveaway. The more you posted, the more obvious it became that you were a dude.November 15, 2016 at 9:46 am #4854
THE E.L.E MOVING AHEAD FULL STEAM
The recent INN coup is even more poignant as the community is currently up in flames over the fact that not only is the long-awaited 2.6 patch not out yet, but 3.0 – as I predicted – was just lies (again) by Chris Roberts, and is neither a “thing”, let alone being released this year as promised at both GamesCom and CitizenCon.
To make matters worse, just a few days ago, instead of showing progress on the game, they announced yet another JPEG (!) concept ship sale, the long promised Prowler, at the ridiculous price of $425; even though the furor over the recent Hornet ship sale hasn’t even died down yet.
I have no idea why these backers are now all of a sudden acting as if ANY of this is new. Regardless of what I’ve said in my blogs, posts etc, the warning signs were there all along.
See the thing is that for a long time we’ve all been saying that betting on SQ42 is what’s going to be the last straw. Most whales didn’t back for SQ42, which basically was just a peripheral project. Then, because he figured out that he could make a movie, Chris and Sandi decided to use it to buy their way back into Hollywood, even as they squandered away millions on it.
“I am concerned that our money has gone into building a corporate empire, rather than a game – backer on Reddit“
Engine issues aside, seeing as the tech can’t even run a single-player game – which should be shocking enough. When I wrote this missive ahead of CitizenCon about the engine, the fact that the event was just going to be more smoke & mirrors, the hardcore backers laughed, and some skeptics just discarded it. Well, as we came to find out, that’s precisely what happened: smoke & mirrors. And CIG themselves helped prove and confirm it with their “Road To CitizenCon” post-event video. Every backer – right now – should be asking themselves why they still have nothing show of SQ42, if they were claiming that they wanted to show it at CitizenCon, but that it wasn’t ready. It’s been a month already.
In my latest blog, Shattered Dreams, I again said that if they were having engine difficulties, that it’s bound to also affect SQ42. In fact, I said:
“While others have taken it apart, the glaring issues* are that things like AI, pathfinding, proper vehicular dynamics/physics, atmospheric conditions – or even the expansive planet promised, are just missing. So, if the tech demo showing the new terrain tech is missing such fundamental building blocks of the game, all of a sudden it makes sense that both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 (which uses the same engines and tech) are so far behind in development.”
So it stands to reason that if they can’t even get 2.6 out this year as promised, let alone 3.0 (<—- lmao, I called that one the minute he uttered it), that they’re having some very serious technical issues. I don’t even think that anything less than a playble 2.6/3.0 or SQ42 in a live stream, is going to quash dissent. They’re at the cusp now whereby the skepticism is at an all time high and nothing short of tangible delivery is going to curb it. These posts (1, 2) below from the “We didnt fund a company – we funded a game. Remember the pledge” thread is an example of where things are now.
When all is said and done, despite what some fringe think of me, I have made a career out of developing massive games. I have extensive knowledge in all forms of game design & engineering. Which is why once back in the Summer of 2015 I saw that Vision 2.0 was now the end goal, I realized that the project was FUBAR because they simply couldn’t do it with that base line engine. Not to mention the fact that they don’t have ANYONE in the team who has ANY experience building MASSIVE games; let alone MASSIVE SPACE GAMES WITH FPS.
When I was calling for financial accountability, some backers kept giving them money, even as Chris Roberts continued to lie, and make false promises. The fact is that it is 100% illegal for a company to make false statements and warranties, in order to convince the public buy their products. There is absolutely no getting around this.
This is no longer about a game, it’s all about money now; and has amounted to what many of us believe to have evolved into an outright scam. When this collapses – and I have every reason to believe that it will in the coming months – the ramifications are going to be unprecedented. All the signs are there already. As if there was any doubt, when that happens, I am going to make a new mission out of ensuring that ALL the leading execs (friends and family such as Chris & Erin Roberts, Chris’s wife, Sandi Gardiner, Nick & Simon Elms, Derek Senior) as well as the leading studio heads and devs (Tony Zurovec, Sean Tracy, Brian Chambers et al) answer to the authorities for what they’ve done. And I will continue to turn over any/all material that comes my way in the pursuit of this because I had swore that I would never let them get away with this. This whole thing has all the undertones of the Gizmondo collapse (I wrote about that here) which some of these people were previously involved in.
Back in April, I wrote the Extinction Level Event blog, and espoused that it was already in progress due what my sources were saying, what CIG itself was doing publicly etc. It’s only a matter of time now.November 17, 2016 at 10:58 am #4873
PSA: TO THE SHITIZENS PARKED ON REDDIT
So a thread on a sub-Reddit popped up about that time when Chris Roberts took 8hrs writing a diatribe about The Escapist article. An article which didn’t even mention me once; though Roberts decided to mention me 24 times, while blaming me for the “unfounded” dissent against the project.
A year later, that dissent is even louder. The hilarious part is that, to this day, as is normal for those clowns, they’re blaming me for The Escapist article – because Roberts said so. So I decided to give them a wakeup dose of reality; something they’re not very used to.
Easy claim to make. Especially since it’s patently false.
So please, by all means, post your evidence that shows I had any prior knowledge of, let alone gloating, about any such article before it was published.
And no, this nonsense you guys keep parroting as proof is just that, nonsense. My tweet was clearly referring to my original July 2015 blog, which was the first time anyone went on record and detailed why the project couldn’t be made. A small fact that most of you tend to ignore because it hurts your feelz. And since my blogs, then following The Escapist article, many other similar articles about the demise of the project, have been written. Heck, look no further than the most recent flurry of articles from Kotaku. I had a hand in those too, huh?
That aside from the fact that people – including the media – excerpt and quote things all the time; and has nothing to do with collusion or what you’re inferring. How did you think my original July 2015 blog in which I said they were lying and couldn’t build the game pitched, got picked up? Oh, that’s right. I went around to all the media outlets and asked them to read, let alone excerpt my blog.
You see, this is the problem you guys have, and aren’t willing to accept. YOU are the reason for where we are today. You’ve elevated me to a position that, never in my wildest dreams did I ever ever aspire to be in with this whole Star Citizen farce. And your penchant for waging an Internet war of attrition across the Internet has only served to magnify the problem, while showing off the Star Citizen community as a toxic cesspool of malcontent. I didn’t do that. You did.
And even though the Derek Smart Was Right movement is moving ahead full steam, having proven beyond any/all reasonable doubt that I was RIGHT about them never – ever – being able to build the game pitched, this hate-Red will be here as a reminder that the harassment & attack campaign were all for naught.
You think the growing dissent is loud now? Wait and see what comes next. I’m not even going to say anything further about that because I think the conclusion needs to be shocking for it to have any effect.
You’re all in denial. Attacking & harassing me and other dissenting opinions has proven to have zero effect in the general scheme of things. It hasn’t made Star Citizen:
- a “game”
- less of a scam
- less of a frantic cash grab
- a project that looks like it will ever be a “game”
Instead, the dissent has grown louder, the project has failed harder, it is the laughing stock of the ENTIRE gaming industry, people are rushing to get refunds etc. Even as CIG/RSI continue to beg backers to reconsider refunds; which btw is hilarious, when you consider that croberts had stated in past that if funding stopped, they had reserves to finish the game. Just one in a string of blatant lies he has told in order to keep milking gullible backers.
And hardly anyone is even playing the tech demo now; and even the popular streamers are now having frequent meltdowns – live on camera.
All you guys have done is made a group of friends and family in exec level positions, rich. And some of you even agreed to a ToS change that says they neither have to provide the financial accountability promised nor the games promised!! And that’s just hilarious AF.
I didn’t do ANY of the above. You the toxic backers aided CIG/RSI to turn the project into what many of us now believe has evolved into an epic SCAM.
ps: Go ahead and down vote; it won’t stop the signal because that’s louder than your exclusive toxic hug box.November 13, 2016 at 5:22 pm #4829
Yesterday, this cryptic thread about a new INN site popped up on Reddit. Speculation was that they were just moving hosts – or something. Then today, Wolf Larsen, who I outed in an article (The INN Conspiracy) about INN months ago, create a page that there was a foiled coup d’etat. Then a follow-up thread popped up on Reddit shortly after.
Not sure how this is a coup, but apparently the four guys who used to post – highly questionable content – on the site, decided to split, with everything, leaving only Jake (who wasn’t active on the site anyway), the owner.
The exchange below from one of the primaries (Erris) indicates that Jake is on his own once again. So the fifty people who actually read the site, are probably giving a collective yawn. I am asking around, but this all probably went down because Erris and co found out that Jake, being paid by CIG, was probably stifling what the guys could or couldn’t write about. And given the current actions by CIG, and which has the community up in flames, it makes sense that no matter how much of a shill the INN guys are, they know that before long, they’re all going to be left with a lot of explaining to do, so they probably want the autonomy to get in front of it. You know, much like how even the most dedicated shills, the latest (Twerk17 had his share couple of weeks ago) being WTFO (1, 2, 3, 4), are currently having spectacular meltdowns.
This INN drama has been fermenting and going on for quite sometime now, and long before I wrote the blog. In fact, at some point last year someone at INN was calling Jake out a year ago. The person claimed that the r/star citizen/ sub-reddit was controlled by INN. Subsequently, one of the mods, /u/dolvak, who worked for INN, stepped down as mod, then deleted his entire comment history. So seeing as CIG was funding Jake’s INN, it stands to reason then that CIG was in control of the sub-reddit, which is possibly a violation of the Reddit rules.
The whole INN thing has been murky from the start; which is why I investigated it and wrote the blog. In fact, this image shows all the changes they made to the ownership section of the site in May 2016 following my INN conspiracy blog.
UPDATE: Erris, the believed leader of the coup d’etat has issued an a statement. Also, earlier this evening on Discord, I asked Erris (the more prominent member of the INN group) whether or not he was aware that Jake DiMare (aka Wolf Larsen) had in fact received funding from CIG (something that various sources have told us). His response is below.
TheAgent (the premier Star Citizen insider info leaker), weighed in:
here’s what I can 100% confirm (and they are lying if they tell you different):
– INN/Redacted receives money from CIG both directly and indirectly
– this includes gifted ships and donations
– several members of INN and Redacted have given away these ships for events or to increase subscriptions to their channels
– members have also, directly or through 3rd parties, sold CIG gifted ships on the grey market for cash
When all is said and done, it appears as if while Jake was being paid by CIG, he wasn’t paying the guys like Erris who were working on the site, creating content, engaging the community etc. Heck, as of this writing, Jake hasn’t even logged into his RSI account since June 2016.
However, now that Erris is saying that they never received any funding from CIG, though he doesn’t know about Jake, it appears that someone is lying. This image below of a discussion shows a QA session with Erris back in January and again yesterday. On Jan 8, 2016, he says “No-one at INN works for CIG in any capacity“. Now on Nov 13, 2016, he says “We don’t know. I never was. Wolf has (per the whole issue here) not been very open, ever”November 2, 2016 at 6:54 am #4757
STAR CITIZEN – A DISTURBANCE IN THE VERSE
Things are rapidly going from bad to worse over at the ranch. In my 16-10-25 update, I had pointed out some cracks which appear to now be getting larger. In fact, just the other day, multiple sources informed me that things were so bad now it would be a miracle if they are able to push the 2.6 patch out before year end; let alone the 3.0 Jesus Patch. As a result, I sent out some tweets (1, 2) of what I had learned, while awaiting further information.
In their defense, this sort of thing happens in game development and it’s par for the course. As I’ve stated over and over, as a gamedev myself, I simply cannot fault them for having major blockers in a game which, for all intent and purposes is basically a glorified tech demo; and with nothing that even resembles a vertical slice, let alone a pre-Alpha (as they’re calling it). However, the fault lies squarely on Chris Roberts due to having significantly increased the scope of the game, even as the engine chosen for the original vision, could only marginally have made that original vision possible.
The other side of this coin is that he has – repeatedly – lied to backers about the state of the project, withheld critical information, and intentionally failed to communicate to backers the true state of the project. Why? Because the truth will let backers see that not only is the entire project FUBAR, but it’s an impossible vision for a game which – as I stated over 18 months ago – simply cannot be made.
With the anniversary events mere weeks away, and during which they intend to again raise money through selling ships, the silence on the state of the 2.6 and 3.0 patches shouldn’t be surprising in the least. This has been the on-going theme. It happened with Arena Commander, then with Star Marine which was later flat-out canceled before being resurrected after an uproar. Then it happened with Squadron 42 (I wrote about that in my Shattered Dreams blog). Now it’s continuing with Star Citizen (aka Persistent Universe).
The biggest issue here is not that the 2.6 patch is late, it’s that the current 2.5 build is in a terrible state; and as some backers have said, very few people (even the pro streamers have either bailed or on their last legs) are even playing it now. The results and commentary for the latest free fly period which ended Oct 31st, should be yet another wake up call for the project. Most backers – rightfully – don’t have a problem with 2.6 being late. For a game that’s in constant development, this should be expected. But nevertheless, when you are touting “open development”, even as you focus on non-essential updates, selling in-game items etc, amid the uproar, information about a much awaited patch, should be front and center. They spend so much time writing and filming a bunch of nonsensical fluff – most of which, being R&D aren’t even likely to be in the game. That time – all of it – is better spent outlining specifically what is going on with the patches, how they are being addressed, what the delay looks like etc. That’s how you keep a community on your side, while keeping stragglers, dissenters, and trolls, in check. By doing this, you completely disarm them. Yes, there will still be some dissent, but then you can point at a bulletin, or a video and say “This is what we said. Go read or watch it“. Case closed.
When it comes to the 3.0 patch, backers may as well just reconcile the fact that they were lied to – again. It’s not even a case of a missed schedule. He basically came up with a list of features (none of which, according to sources, exists or in a form that would have lent any credibility to his “end of year” promise) he knew backers would fall for, then put it out there as “coming soon”; thus – like the demos at GamesCom and CitizenCon – raising money from the few whales who are still dumb enough to keep giving him money.
The issue with Star Citizen is that $130 million comes with a lot of strings, and accountability. Especially when, not even 15% of the larger game is completed; and by all accounts, won’t even be 50% completed (this promises list is 100% accurate and derived from the stretch goals, and updates from Roberts himself) by the 4.0 release slated for end of 2017 (which we all know is rubbish anyway). Since there is no publisher, the strings are the money that backers keep giving, sans the accountability that should go with it.
What backers are experiencing right now should come as no surprise that the accountability that comes with delivering a product, let alone accounting for the money given, went out the window with the June 2016 ToS update. They had no other reason for doing that as anyone can see. Most believe that they were basically preparing – well ahead – for the ultimate collapse and total loss of this project because it will end if they can’t keep raising the money to sustain it. Hence the on-going lies which are mandatory to keeping the money flowing.
Rumors and source leaks aside, the writing is on the wall. They are either going to move 2.6 into 2017 – as indeed they should if it’s not ready for test release – or they will try to push some interim 2.5.x minor branch out in order to quash some of the dissent. But the fact remains, waiting until the last minute, or at a time when the bad news won’t affect the anniversary stream, is just another dishonest plan, and one which has become a staple for them.
My advice remains the same. STOP giving them money; and just let them continue with their dev schedule and plan, release their patch updates as they see fit, then wait to see how things pan out. And if you’re sick and tired of waiting, the lies etc, do what others are doing, go get a refund. If you backed the game ahead of the June ToS, you are 100% entitled to it. If you backed after that date, and agreed to that ToS change, then you have 14 days from your purchase to get a refund. When all else fails, you can be like this guy, sell your ships on the Grey market, and buy a car, house or something.
With that editorial out of the way, here is how things stand as I understand it from my sources.
2.6 status: Not even close to ready for Evocati, let alone GA. Star Marine still laughably doesn’t EXIST because they are still trying to cobble together many bits in order to make that one happen – again. There are said to be many old and new blockers which are creating lots of problems. And sources say the 2.6 list (see above pic) is rubbish because a good portion of that, as basic as it looks, isn’t in a working state. And sources say that most don’t even have a clear understanding as to why Star Marine was even promised for this release; when it could very well have been pushed into a 3.0 point release, which – seeing as it’s nowhere near reality – would have given more time for implementation and testing further into 2017. For my part, I still maintain that Star Marine being back on the schedule (even though Chris went on the record saying it was already released and in the game) as a standalone” module is just a check mark against the liability based promises made to backers years ago.
3.0 status: sources say all are still laughing at this one. It simple does NOT exist as was communicated to backers. It was basically a wishlist of items they wanted to see in a point release; and which Roberts when on the record (again) as saying was coming by “year end, and not on Dec 19th like last year“.
As a result of all this, many threads (1, 2, 3, ) are now popping up all over the place, questioning not only the “silence” on the part of CIG as per the status of these two patches, now that the year is close to an end, but also whether or not, Roberts – again – went public with a litany of lies in order to continue misleading backers and raising money. When Shitizen #3 has a top Reddit thread about how he’s “bored”, you know you done goofed, and should probably start planning for inevitable conclusion of the in-progress E.L.E.
Here are some backer comments.
Even as Rome burns, Lando, a CIG community member, instead of providing info to backers as to the state of progress, instead decided to point out that:
“Updates on the development of the game: while the Comm-Link Schedule has never been the place for this, I certainly understand (and even share) your voracious appetite for updates. The primary source of updates to Star Citizen’s continuing development is in Around the Verse. “
Which was met with accurate responses like:
“I appreciate the sentiment but I believe you would agree that ATV has been mostly looking backwards since CitCon and not the future. At this stage the “we are working on it” that we got last week on ATV is not really an update – unless anyone thought you guys were all just partying instead of “working on it.”
“Sadly last 3 ATVs and RTV were about things you got had to get done for CitCon. There have been no word about what have been done since CitCon so you have to understand the frustration. We know that you are working on the game… But we would “really” like see that.”
“Curiousity here. Not hostility.
Can I ask why you have to show before you tell? That doesn’t really make sense to me. I have personally seen a lot of feedback on requests for telling us more about where 2.6 and 3.0 are in development.
I work in project management and when my team is late on delivering storyboards or late on a project in general (this can be date or not date focused, as a project manager, I can just gauge when it has been a while since a client has heard something) I give a list of what is keeping things back. Do you guys have a protocol for responding to the community until you have something to show? Again, for the love of god, I am just asking/curious.“
LATEST INSIDER SCOOPS
TheAgent (man on the inside looking at the abyss outside from the inside) is back with more insider scoops. Most of them echo what I said yesterday, but with more details (I tend to be vague in some regard, so as to protect sources).
here’s the problem
CIG has to push out a new patch before years end. this cannot be 2.6 (with FPS mechanics) or 3.0 or anything star marine related because its so fucking broken
- their current matchmaking breaks every damn thing on the server
- it also breaks your client when two people try and use cover at the same time
- half the time you still respawn inside your bunk during a match
- the new arena FPS maps are still buggy as hell (clipping, wall walking, etc) and have to get redone
- the replacement arena maps are areas that have been wholly lifted from current areas, like grimhex
- roberts doesn’t want “maps” but entire seamless areas (“Shoot in the same universe you can fly in.”)
- this is not so good for the servers or players in ships flying around outside the hostile zone (which is why the arena style maps are still being worked on)
- the team is confused on what exactly they are putting together and what roberts wants to release
- there’s a separate module for SM but roberts wants it folded into the universe
- lag is bad, really fucking bad, even with less than a dozen players
- the instance network code is six months to a year out for rudimentary matches (24 to 36 players, small arena type maps, etc)
- a year+ out for higher matches (multiple areas, surface to air combat, 50+ players etc)
- the much touted “local physics grids” don’t work for shit with FPS stuffs
they are discussing prepping the flight model changes and releasing that as 2.6 instead, with star marine being totally folded into 3.0. but this is a big problem, because chris said star marine is weeks away back in september
they are kinda fucked either way so I’m really interested to see what they do. if they really do end up pushing out 2.6 with star marine in its current state, I don’t think the game will survive. its like, not playable. you can only wave your hands around and say alpha so many times before people start figuring out this is the game they just paid $2500 to play
current standing at the office is there will be no more numbered releases until 3.0 in late 2017/2018, after the sq42 prelude/episode 1 is released. I posted that awhile back but it’s looking more and more like 2.5 will be the last patch for SC for quite awhileSeptember 23, 2016 at 7:37 am #4508
NEW INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA ARTICLES
In the vein of the recent The Chris Roberts Theory Of Everything article, comes a Kotaku UK article which delves into the Star Citizen fiasco. It’s quite a lengthy read. Read Inside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen
Several mags, including PC Gamer are also covering it, while adding their own commentary. Read Eight-month investigation lifts the lid on Star Citizen’s troubled development
PCGamesN now also has a Former Star Citizen devs claim impossible standards wasted months of development, Roberts responds article, as does Rock, Paper, Shotgun with Roberts Acknowledges Some Of Star Citizen’s Woes In Tell-All Investigation
A Swedish magazine, LEVEL, did a similar article back in July, and which, last we heard, was picked up by a leading English media outlet for re-publication; with the Swedish author doing the official translation. As that has been some months now, some are of the opinion that the article may have been bought and buried. But as these things go, there is an unofficial English language translation floating around from back in July. UPDATE: That outlet was in fact Kotaku UK; and they have now published the article on 09/26/16.
BREAKING NEWS! EXPLOSIVE NEW LEAKS!
So TheAgent, who frequents the Goon enclave, and who has posted leaked info in the past, and which were correct, has posted a new slew of leaks. Some are pretty explosive.
What’s interesting is that just yesterday from the 2.6 Evocati leak which I wrote about (see below), I had extrapolated that there was no chance of the much touted (at GamesCom 2016) 3.0 patch (aka Jesus Patch) coming out in 2016. Heck, it’s bad enough that neither Star Citizen nor Squadron 42 are coming out this year. So if TheAgent is correct, that’s pretty hilarious. Then again, as they did with the completely disastrous (it was rushed out) 2.0 patch from Dec 2015, they may just rush out a subset of 3.0 at some point this year, just to prove us wrong. We’ll see.
The bottom line is that, as I previously wrote, Chris has done it again. He went on stage, made false promises, raised money as a result, and once again is probably not going to deliver.
Printed verbatim from TheAgent :
- no 3.0 this year (duh), release date is now “after [a significant portion of] SQ42 is released”
- ship sales will continue
- there’s yet another new studio involved (most likely contractors/outside dev pool) for planet artwork/maps
- “The Squadron 42 [Prelude] has to hit its [Q1 2017] goal. No more excuses.” unsure who, just listed as “top exec”
- a lot of mocap issues with translating them directly into the game, mostly due to character and players size (?? not sure what this means)
- “Expect a lot of cutscenes.”
- mocapped characters are fine stationary (sitting, standing, etc) but currently anything involving complex animation makes the models freak out, mostly clipping and clothes problems (still)
- certain characters have several (reported up to six!) different models, as certain scenes had to use entirely different models for the same character due to model size, lod and poor mocap translation
- specific reshoots using stand ins for A list actors are ongoing, mostly animation, actions and poses (still occurring as of q3 2016)
- FPS AI still murders everything through walls, doors, whatever
- certain departments continue to pump out work at an incredible rate while others snail behind, causing back up and necessary “refactoring” when certain elements do not work or had scope change
- heads of department told to “turtle” and avoid outside influences (?? )
- they can’t get the intricate damage model to work in SP/MP at all yet, ships continue to randomly jumble themselves to death
CitizenCon 2016 (Oct 9th)
- crunch time continues for all studios, many people are working seven days a week for the citcon showing
- companion app with $ to ingame currency purchases, chat, etc (design phase only, citcon slide)
- new A list cutscene, wrapped shooting july 2016 (majority of overtime is spent working on this)
- touting multiple SQ42 endings on one citcon slide, also says it directly affects SC world/player character
- FPS purchasable classes still a thing and one of the major things they are revealing
- SQ42 prelude still listed as march 2017
- ^ “no way we’ll hit that deadline” ^
- Roberts: 2.6 should be playable at Citcon
- nothing playable at this time, live streams still using 2.5
the hope is to release SQ42, which will retain players and continue to grow their base while they work on the major problems of SC. SC ship sales and some single player sales (models, skins, ships, va packs, etc) to continue to bring in revenue
they will be pushing a new subscription thing at citcon too, btw
it supposedly rewards sub only campaign missions, fps classes, certain ships, etcSeptember 22, 2016 at 7:10 am #4493
STAR CITIZEN 10 FOR THE CHAIRMAN (16-09-21)
After a long absence, the 10FTC program is back, featuring The Chairman himself, Chris Roberts – with a different format. This one was all about characters; specifically about scanning of character heads for the actors in the Squadron 42 interactive movie, and also having player head/face character customization.
It’s all the usual bullshit really.
The most important takeaways from this video are the following:
- Chris completely forgot that, back in 10FTC Ep19, (14-05-05), over two and a half years ago, he had promised character aging (1, 2).
- There has been a lot of talk about how CIG/RSI, despite the work being done on the “game”, continues to use a lot of movies, scripted demos etc in order to show work that’s coming soon. Most of that stuff over the years, has never made it into the game; either because it was just a promo, or because the R&D simply didn’t pan out and had to be trashed.The most recent of this was the GamesCom mission demo (16-09-19), which while being heavily scripted, staged and full of R&D stuff not in the game, helped them raise $4 million. Before that it was things like the Star Marine movie (14-08-19), the Pupil To Planet (15-12-16) movie, the Nyx base (15-08-28) on a procgen planet etc. In fact, their Vimeo and YouTube channels are littered with this stuff going all the way back to 2012.So now comes the kicker. In this segment (starts at 16:40), Chris now tells backers to “forget about The Morrow Tour” which he now basically admits (just as I reported back then) was put together, rushed etc. For those of you not paying attention, The Morrow Tour gameplay segment was from Squadron 42. It was shown in Oct 2015 at the CitizenCon 2015 event. They raised over $3.5 million during the month of Oct based on that presentation, and JPEG ship sales.
- The $22 million dollar stretch goal promised a facial capture mechanism which would import backers facial image into the game. At the 11:30 mark, Chris now pretty much says that’s off the table due to fidelity of the system they are now using.
Yes, games in development evolve over time, things change, are improved upon, tweaked etc. That’s not the issue here. The issue here is that time and time again, we’ve seen this happen whereby they spend resources on creating these assets in order to continue raising money. Most of the work ends up getting trashed because they can’t be used in the actual games being made. Heck, they once trashed an entire gameplay module (Star Marine developed by a third-party contractor, Illfonic). And just a few months back, amid major outcry, not to mention the legal liability issue, it’s apparently coming back. This despite Chris – falsely – claiming in 10FTC Ep85 (16-01-25), that the long promised, and much touted Star Marine, was already in the Star Citizen game backers were playing at the time.
So, with all this time and money wasted, it should have come as no surprise when in 10FTC Ep83 (16-04-18), Chris declared that the first release of the game wasn’t going to be the full game promised (for Nov 2014), but rather a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
By all accounts, most of us believe that this whole thing has evolved into an elaborate scam which goes beyond just a simple case of broken promises in a video game. It has all the makings of a massive engineering Ponzi scheme designed to unjustly enrich the execs in charge of it, under the pretext of making the games promised. This is why they need to keep raising money using these tactics. The pattern is easy to see:
- Wind up backers with wild promises (mostly lies) and unachievable objectives
- Take the money raised as per the aforementioned
- Later, walk it all back, or ignore that the promises were ever made
- Rinse. Repeat
And according to metrics, even with the suspicious nature of their funding chart, there appears to be around 2000 backers still putting money into this train-wreck. It’s mind-boggling to say the least.
ABOUT THAT VISUAL STABILIZATION BULLSHIT
This one is particularly hilarious to most of us. The “head bob” issue in the fps part of Star Citizen has always been a problem, and a major source of complaints. So a week ago, CIG released a video segment in which they were touting the implementation of something they were calling “visual stabilization”. Pretty much the same horseshit they come up with when making up names for tech that already exists, and which they’re pretending to have created.
Basically, as most of us had already said, they removed the “head bob” from the animation. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
So yesterday, in an AtV segment, the Lead Animation Engineer confirmed this. The segment starts around the 11:22 mark.
THE OPEN-BUT-NOT-SO-OPEN DEVELOPMENT
A few months ago, CIG/RSI introduced a new layer to their testing protocols, dubbed Evocati. We had a laugh with that one, and I covered it in my April blog. Basically, it’s been going on since then. With the current 2.5 patch being a horrid and largely unplayable mess, with backers aching for the upcoming 2.6 patch which they hope will bring much needed fixes and stability, it comes as no surprise that details about that upcoming patch have now leaked. Again.
But that’s not the issue here.
The issue is that some of the more toxic members of the community are up in arms about Evocati backers breaking the NDA by leaking patch details. To the extent that there is now a Reddit discussion going on about how to deal with such leaks. Oh the irony.
Here’s the thing, nobody should be encouraged to break an NDA they agreed to. When you think about an NDA as a contract, the only circumstance under which those can be broken and details leaked, is if the leaker is either a whistleblower or a concerned person passing along info about fraud, wrong-doing etc. Thing is, even the media, bloggers etc, all encourage this sort of thing when they accept info from anonymous sources at companies where they may have either a specific NDA, or a contract with an NDA section. But stuff still leaks, regardless.
It’s interesting to note that most, if not all, all crowd-funded game projects in development, tend to give access to alpha and beta builds to their backers. Star Citizen has been in a perpetual state of Alpha (according to CIG/RSI who are redefining the terminology; in our books it’s a pre-Alpha aka tech demo).
Anyway, this Evocati NDA represents an interesting conundrum for backers. As a backer in the Evocati, you already have access to the game you paid for. Just like the other backers who were not selected to be in the Evocati. But then, being in the Evocati for a game you already paid for, you now have to agree to an NDA which forbids you from sharing any details about it. So why would someone choose to break the NDA and share the patch details? One person in a discussion, told me:
“It’s wrong for them to be doing this. We all payed (sp) for the game, and yet some have access to it, while others do not. They claim open development but we have no clue what is going on with the project most of the time. A friend of mine pledged over eleven hundred dollars and is not in the Evocati. How is that fair?“
While it does not absolve them of the liability of breaking an NDA, it’s easy to see why it makes sense to the people doing it. Especially in light of the fact that this latest leak has clearly shown that not only is the 2.6 patch most likely not coming in Oct; but that given that the test pattern has a lengthy period from “limited Evocati –> wide testing –> live“, it means that it probably won’t be out until sometime in the Nov/Dec time frame. And that, my friends, all but guarantees that the much touted 3.0 (aka the Jesus Patch) which Chris was heavily promoting at GamesCom as coming by end of the year, is not being released this year. At all. Yeah, I know – shocking. Note that there isn’t even a 2.7 patch. It was once talked about, then came GamesCom and Chris saying that after 2.5 (current), there will be 2.6, and then it’s onto 3.0 – the Jesus Patch which fixes everything, and includes all of the latest promises.
So much for “open development“; and one in which backers have no clue what’s going with their game, how the money is being spent, let alone how Squadron 42, which is rumored to have now cost over $30 (!) million to develop, is coming along.
STAR CITIZEN vs LINE OF DEFENSE. AGAIN
Yes, they’re still doing it. As soon as someone says something negative about Star Citizen, one of two things is likely to happen. i) Derek Smart is evoked ii) Line Of Defense is crap becomes a point of discussion. Happened again within the past 24 hours; I’ll just post excerpts from the exchange. It’s just amazing to us how it is that these guys truly think that attacking and slamming me and my game, will somehow make Star Citizen a reality, a better game etc. It’s mind-boggling.
“Mr. Smart – Do you want to know what really the funny part is? The maintenance mode you claimed the project was in earlier this year shows astonishing progress. I hope that your own project will also enter such an maintenance mode at some point.“
Usually when people call me out in a thread, when I respond, it tends not to work out so well for them.
So, for your sake, aside from the fact that it’s a violation of the forum rules (look it up), try not to do that. There is nothing to be gained by singling me out. Just post; and anyone who cares enough will respond.
My indie game, like it or hate it, is coming along just fine; and the people testing and helping us out with it, are perfectly happy with it. Our changelog shows steady and meaningful progress; our bugs list isn’t even noteworthy, our roadmap remains focused, straightforward and informative.
Meanwhile, 500 people + five years + $124 million later; Star Citizen has no clear focus nor objective or roadmap; has over 29K (!) documented bugs – most of which are 2+ years old; and the changelog for each patch shows even more issues, while not fixing the majority of what came before.
And the “game” is very much in maintenance mode seeing as NOTHING tangible (unlike you, most of us actually pay attention to the changelog) has been done to the game since I made that comment earlier (Mar 30th, 2016 in post #2805 to be exact) this year.
Despite the fact that you guys think that by obfuscating facts, you’re going to convince anyone of anything, the reality of the situation is that all of this material is actually out there. Anyone who knows anything about games, can look at the SC changelog since Mar to now, and clearly see that, outside of shops, one new location (GrimHex), as well as some new weapons and ships made flight ready, NOTHING tangible by way of meaningful progress outside of bug fixes and tweaks, have been made to the game.
No, I am not going to explain to you what “maintenance” mode means as it pertains to software development; go look it up and add it to your MS Word document, so you can copy and paste it wherever you guys post.
Comparing this multi-million dollar game with a triple-A budget, to an indie game with a small team, isn’t going to make Star Citizen any better, nor increase its chances of ever being released (even as promised), or make it a good game. And the more you guys do it, the sillier and more desperate it looks. At the end of the day, just like all my games, LOD is in no danger of not being released.
As we’ve all stated, the people like you in the community, are the worst thing that could ever have happened to this project. So no matter how the game turns out in the end, it is forever tainted, and will forever remain the laughing stock of gamers and game devs everywhere.
- Refunds for backers who asked for itThey resisted this until a brave backer, reading my blogs, decided to get State officials involved after they refused his refund. The end result basically proved what I had been saying all along that the ToS (which has been revised several times and skewed in favor of CIG) wouldn’t hold up to any legal scrutiny if backers were being refused refunds. I wrote about this in detail in my Star Citizen Refund Debacle blog. And just like that, compared to previous years, refunds were a thing.Not to mention this recent case brought by the CA District Attorney over the Lily drone crowd-funding fiasco. That case, like other State actions against crowd-funded projects, sets yet another standard and precedent for what I believe is coming down the line for Star Citizen if they continue along this path of non-delivery. It’s just too big to ignore.
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