- April 11, 2016 at 5:31 pm #2916
- April 16, 2016 at 12:19 pm #3050
Then Goons uncovered Ben Lesnick’s legacy website, which he admitted (1, 2) to owning, with all manner of creepy stuff and commentary from him. Ranging from rape comments, and racist comments, to stalker-creepy photos of a TV personality.
Both are CS execs for the $112M crowd-funded Star Citizen project. These are the people tasked with running the community, and so it should come as no surprise that it is regarded as being one of the most toxic (1, 2, 3)communities in gaming.
Here are some choice ones:
UPDATE2: He wrote a “non-apology” missive. And yes, you guessed it, he blames it on Goons. And that he was a teenager. This despite the fact that he was well past mid-twenties, and according to data mined and EXIF data from images, he was working for the public school system at the time.
Here is Lando reacting to the unfolding events during a weekend stream.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1920"] infographic of Ben’s non-apology lies[/caption]September 16, 2016 at 8:59 pm #4481September 16, 2016 at 12:17 pm #4480April 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm #3108
From BDSSE! to Minimum Viable Product
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Derek Smart was right[/caption]
This is what I stated back in July 2015 in my first Interstellar Citizens blog.
“Without disrespect to anyone, I’m just going to say it: it is my opinion that, this game, as has been pitched, will never get made. Ever.
Do you know how many games which cost $50 million to make took almost five years to release? And they were nowhere in scope as Star Citizen?“
Here is what he said in July 2015 following that blog:
“There are people out there who are going to tell you that this is all a BADTHING. That it’s ‘feature creep’ and we should make a smaller, less impressive game for the sake of having it out more quickly or in order to meet artificial deadlines. Now I’ll answer those claims in one word: Bullshit!
Is ‘feature creep’ a worry? Sure… it’s always a worry, and we are well aware of it. However, building the game to the stretch goals embraced and endorsed by the community is not feature creep!”
Well, this is part where everyone starts chanting “Derek Smart was right”
Less than one week after this latest blog went live, Chris, on April 18th, did another broadcast in which, in no uncertain terms, declared that, as I had said back in July 2015, the game he pitched, simply couldn’t be built.
In that broadcast (starts at 23:08) he stated that the first commercial release of Star Citizen, for which he had already been given, at that point, $112M dollars to deliver all he promised, will not contain the full product promised. He stated that a “minimum viable product” is what will be delivered. Read this and this.
“10 for the Chairman: Episode 83
Apr 18, 2016 @ 23:20
Q: Have you had any thoughts on the direction CIG will go after Star Citizen is finished? Do you think you could put all that you as a company have learned and developed into creating additional content?
“Well yeah, absolutely. I think I’ve said this for quite a long time but Star Citizen is never going to be finished and I don’t think people would say EVE is finished or World of Warcraft is finished now. Star Citizen will go on, that universe will go on as long as anyone is out there wanting to play in it – which I’m hoping will be for a long time obviously. The games I mentioned have been 10 years plus.
So, really what we’re doing with Star Citizen is we’re working on the game, adding features for an incredibly ambitious design – I don’t think there is any other game that is trying to do as much as we’re trying to do. So, degree of difficulty 11, not 10. And, we’ll have what we determine is a minimum viable product feature list for what you would call Star Citizen the commercial release which is basically when you say, “Okay, we’ve gotten to this point and we’ve still got plans to add a lot more cool stuff and more content and more functionality and more features…” – Which by the way includes some of the later stretch goals we have because not all of that is going to be for ‘absolutely right here’ on the commercial release. But we’ll have something that we’ll think, ‘Okay yeah, not everyone can play it but it doesn’t matter – you can load it up, it plays really well, it’s really stable, there’s lots of content, there’s lots of fun things to do, different professions, lots of places to go, we’ve got a really good ecosystem.’ So, when we get to that point that’s when we would say, “Now it’s not alpha, it’s not beta, it’s Star Citizen 1.0.”
But of course the team is going to absolutely continue working on it, just like if you look at World of Warcraft – they continue to add content and features all the time. The same happens on EVE. We will update stuff, so we’ll update the graphics, we’ll add new functionality, new content, new systems, coming across additional alien races – all that kind of stuff will be there. So, we’re going to work on this as long as you guys let us or support us doing it, because the world’s huge. There’s so many things to do out there.
It’s the same on Squadron 42. Once we’ve told the Squadron 42 trilogy then we’re going to move on and we’ll have other stories we’ll tell. Maybe they’re not necessarily military stories, maybe it’s more an adventure – sort of a Han Solo style adventure.
It’s just a huge universe, you know. Look what Disney’s doing with Star Wars. They’ve got a whole roadmap of the main ones and the spinoff ones and all the rest of the stuff.
So, you know, I think Star Citizen has the possibility to have a huge interesting universe. We’ve really put a lot of effort into the lore of it. I mean, you see from the very beginning that’s one of the things that we made foundational. Dave and his team constantly are fleshing out the world in addition to writing stuff for the Squadron series as well as doing stuff for the PU.
You know, we want to make this world as livable and believable and you guys spend many years adventuring around in it. And I think in today’s world, it’s not the way it used to be… where it was like, ‘Here’s a game, then you put it on the shelf, and then you come back to another game a year or two years later and you sort of iterate it.’ You know, where you have Grand Theft III and IV and V come out. I think with us, we’re just live and we’re just continually improving and adding stuff and more people are having fun and adventuring around. So, kind of like what we’re doing right now but obviously with more features and more content. Better stability, better performance under our belts and then at a certain point we’ll say, “Yup, ready for the full general public,” there you go.”April 17, 2016 at 8:07 am #3067
The thing is that nobody gets to be right all the time; and as humans it is very easy for us to be biased about a lot of things. Those who know me, and have followed my career in the almost three decades that I’ve been in it, know that I have never – ever – professed to be perfect, let alone the pillar of anything politically correct. I tend to be the arbiter of discourse because I stand firmly on the things that I believe in. Regardless, I tend to be fair, try to be unbiased, I admit mistakes, I learn, I move on etc. However, the issue with this Star Citizen fiasco is that it is so polarizing that it is very difficult for people to separate “Derek Smart” from the “facts” as they stand. And that’s the primary reason that so many people are taking such a ludicrous defensive stance, because at any and all cost, they simply cannot accept the possibility that I could be right. About anything related to Star Citizen. This despite the fact that I’ve been right most of the time.
The issue with the UK is they cannot save this project. There is no way that they can complete SQ42. And even if they did, it won’t be enough to save the Star Citizen project or all the four companies associated with it. Yes, they are separate companies, so if the US arm fails, the UK and possibly German ones could stick around to complete SQ42. But that’s not true at all; and it doesn’t work that way. The fact of the matter is that most of the people who would have bought a game like SQ42, are already entitled to it. The sales they did barely made $1m according to our data metrics. And as of this writing, it’s a PC game. Even if they made a console version – which my sources tell me is on the table – it would be too late.
What Erin is trying to do over there, is precisely what he did with Digital Anvil back in the day, in order to save his brother’s ass. Again. They know that there is no way on this God’s Earth that Star Citizen – as promised – ever sees the light of day. That’s a foregone conclusion. And that’s why all bets are on SQ42 because they want to be able to deliver something tangible in order to satisfy some aspect of the delivery promise. But it won’t be enough. They’re all going to get sued regardless of how this ends, and I have no doubt in my mind that someone is going to end up in jail over this project.
The other thing about the UK office is that those guys are royally pissed about what’s going on over here in the US. And they are leaving. Several more are about to leave, including some yet-to-named top tier people. And the more that happens, chances are they will take their friends with them; which is what tends to happen. Nobody wants to be around when this ship sinks.
And the reason that Chris can’t find top tier people to hire anymore is because everyone is talking, and nobody wants to be a part of this shitshow.
And if you read between the lines of the latest Glassdoor reviews (e.g. this one), it’s easy to see that the theme is the same. And now even those in the UK are beginning to write them. Of course some are going to say that they’re fake; this despite the fact that most of things stated in prior reviews, have actually played out. Not to mention the Denison letter, comments by others who have left etc.
[quote]My personal feelings and experiences with CIG aside, I still don’t understand why people are investing so much into this game and such a die hard fan base that is really starting to resemble a cult for some time now. I would say such “dedication” is dangerous and resembles an ideology. My hope that when it does finally end one way or another that it is not as explosive as it appears to be. I have nasty feelings some of the more dedicated fans may be unable to accept loss of the game and become a threat to themselves or others. [/quote]
It’s sunk cost fallacy combined with cognitive dissonance. It’s not supposed to make sense.April 17, 2016 at 8:05 am #3066
let’s play cards on table . Yea, it is very sad , but there WILL be some suicides. As well some other cultists may take a bad move out of desperation, and do something very awfull . I would be CR, I would leave far far away before somebody makes holes in my body.
As you pointed out, it’s getting worse now on forum, and not surprising, when you see that the core community is composed of nazi-like, uneducated and unevolved human things.
Well it’s dying, the ELE is playing right now.
The Cult has always been there, its just getting more visible now that the more and more people are waking up.
I don’t know what trigger you could use to wake them up; I gave up personnally, cause it is “DS, us and goons”, VS “believing into CR and the thousands of $ they put in”. They just can’t imagine for a second they’ve been lied to. How could they , after all they’ve put so much into this. CR definitly can’t be a liar. And since a lot of them are fierce gun-lovers nazi chimps, they won’t ever admit they might have been very wrong to waste that money.
I know I’ve been highly speculative and extremistic, in my opinions toward CIG . But as Derek pointed out, since we have absolute 0 transparancy about what’s going on there, I’d rather play the game of the possibles.
People suiciding after CIG failure is definitly a high percentage possibility.May 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm #3335
Why not – not like you have anything to keep you busy <G>. Seriously that is good news. I’ve made GOG my preferred source. I’ve really liked Steam which I started with in 2008/9 because it seemed to solve the digital delivery problem and manged DRM well in if our computer blew up or we got a new one we could simply re-install Steam client and download what we bought unlike some services that had limited downloads after the purchase. However, in the last couple years their support has gone very wacky with totally useless responses to tickets. I submitted one ticket letting them know their docs for a Linux download site were out of date and got a response saying to reboot, check my network connections, etc. My response to that got an even dumber one from them! Supposedly they are working on that but it’s over a year and nothing’s changed. I haven’t done much online but there have been people locked out of their accounts for months due to Steam screw-ups so I’ve looked for an alternative and found GOG has become more than just an old game download site.May 12, 2016 at 3:28 pm #3333
Yeah, I know the GoG guys, but just haven’t found time to get those games up there. I do plan on doing a compilation at some point though.May 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm #3332
Have you thought of releasing the old versions on GOG (gog.com)? Although I have a lot of games on Steam I’ve started using GOG as the first choice if the game is available there. GOG has developed an interface, as everyone else has had to, to get to the store, download, launch, from, etc. pretty much what’s needed to get, install, and run the games. I used to use FilePlanet and the others a lot (back in the original MOH, COD, Quake II, days) but they seem pretty much defunct now.May 11, 2016 at 10:33 pm #3331
I really had not though of it. There can be a lot of issues such as who you are dealing with. For now I’ll see what the FTC, BBB, and CIG do – probably nothing but I can try. The whole scam needs to be exposed but the only way to do that is get the documents on the finances and other things out in the open for all to see and that won’t be easy.May 11, 2016 at 10:03 pm #3330
Grey Market is an option ?May 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm #3329
I have the BC3000Ad v2.x. I tried the but the FilePlanet one takes me to a page my browser/av software warns has serious problems. The other links are dead. I found an old thread where they guy had zipped his original and v2 installs and posted them. In fact you were in on the thread when they asked about uploading a retail CD. I have it now and it runs.
The games then seemed magic but I guess that’s because we did not have anything before them and now days people are jaded and think a pretty graphic face is all there is. Look at COD. The originals were great but now no real storyline and just hyping the graphics or some features. Although the new one in space may end the need for Star Citizen <G>.May 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm #3328
Crowdfunding might be dead in the water soon, this looks like foreshadowing.
When the largest crowdfunding project ever collapses it’s over for anybody collecting “crowdfunds”, because payment processors won’t transfer money anymore to stay clean of that stuff.May 11, 2016 at 10:51 am #3327
lol! yeah. And the most hilarious part is that they don’t seem to understand that most of the promised features rely on other unknown features which need to be implemented in order for anything on the list to be checked off.May 11, 2016 at 10:33 am #3326
32 % lol when the guy says himself they still have to produce the 99 other planetary systems. Maybe major Tom should apply to next show so he can provide them with the full missing features list.May 11, 2016 at 8:13 am #3325
heh yeah, those were the days. btw you can download the more recent free versions from our website.May 10, 2016 at 11:24 pm #3324
I have one complaint. After doing some background on you and seeing references to BC3000AD I downloaded BC3000AD v2.0 and got it running under DOSBox. You made lose a bunch of time tonight <G>!! Another sim to play.
The old days! I first started with Castle Wolfenstein (someone brought it to work and I ended up buying a copy). We were just excited to have VGA and SVGA cards!
Looks like I need to check out your latest work.May 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm #3323
They closed my ticket but I replied and reopened that according to the TOS they were to give me refunds and a financial accounting of how the funds have been and are being spent. I don’t expect either and I’ll deal with my bank tomorrow.
Love some of the videos you’ve linked to.May 10, 2016 at 7:56 pm #3322
Still CIG, sorry. I’ll be working on my credit card company next. Assuming CIG is short of money they’ll be denying any refunds they can just to keep the bleeding down.May 10, 2016 at 7:12 pm #3321May 10, 2016 at 6:40 pm #3320
Is that with your bank, or still CIG?May 10, 2016 at 6:32 pm #3319
I’ve been denied – the 14 day thing even when I pointed out others have gotten it after 14 days. I’ve filed complaints with the FTC and BBB. I don’t hope for much but I will do what I can. I hoped this project would be finished but now I just want it to die, CIG and it’s officers be investigated and punished.May 10, 2016 at 5:57 pm #3318
Hey, at 64 million we were supposed to get pets!!! Where are they? How about finishing some ships that I purchased back in 2014!!May 10, 2016 at 9:41 am #3307
UPDATE: So a few hours after I made this post, and also sent out a tweet, this Tweet appeared in my feed from Ben. I don’t know him, and we don’t follow each other on Twitter. So someone must have alerted him to either my Tweet or forum post.
I recognized his comment as a tongue-in-cheek because, after all he is British. So I refrained from taking the bait. If he meant it as a slight, that’s on him. I tend to have the last laugh; so that sort of thing doesn’t faze me in the least.
Regardless, sticking to the technical aspect of my original comment, I responded to him in kind.
However, what’s missing in that curt exchange – and the part that the Shitizens are of course twisting – is the fact that my response had nothing to do with their choice of engine. No, it has to do with what I’ve been saying all along in terms of needing a custom engine to build a game like this; and that their simply isn’t an engine on the market to build it with. And that is because, while the CryEngine3 was perfectly capable of building the original game pitched in 2012, once the scope changed and it became this behemoth, the design/scope outpaced the engine. So they had to build on top of that.
We faced the same challenge (which he described in the post above) with Line Of Defense because from the onset I already knew what game I wanted to build, and that the top engines (Unreal, Unity, CryEngine, Unigine, ID Tech9 et al) at the time simply wouldn’t be able to build a game of that scope.
So after dumping the in-house engine we were building (as I had done in the past with my other games) from scratch, I licensed Trinigy (which became Havok Vision Engine) and used that as the graphics engine core for the custom game engine we ended up building for the game. And the parts of that Vison Engine engine which we didn’t like, we replaced in-line. e.g. water, sky, lighting etc.
So that’s why, what he stated, made sense to me because that’s precisely what would need to be done to build the new game because the base CryEngine simply won’t cut it.
Regardless, they’re never – ever – going to build Star Citizen as pitched. So this is all a moot point. They know it, I know it, they know that I know it. And in the not-too-distant future, after the inevitable collapse comes, everyone is going to be coming up with their own theories of why they failed. Ben, as someone who works on the custom engine, will be one of those people.May 10, 2016 at 12:39 pm #3311
Thanks. I’m not hopeful but I will pursue all these avenues. Even if I get nothing I’ll cause some grief.
I used the Amazon services and it was on my Amazon card.
I’m a little unsure about TOS v1.2. Since I did access my account I’m under it which means no refund or accounting as I read it. Is that correct?May 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm #3314
I’m not a kickstarter but did start around June 2014 if the records are right. I’ll follow up with the credit card company and anything else I can do. I may not get much or anything but it will be worth trying. I think they are simply denying refunds and hoping we don’t followup. From what I’ve seen here and elsewhere if you push you may get some refund. At the least I can cause them a little grief <G>.May 10, 2016 at 11:55 am #3310
Yeah, that’s how it is now. Your only recourse is a chargeback through the bank.
Also, if you paid through PayPal, then you should do it quickly because effective June 25th, they will no longer do refunds for crowd-funded projects.
Also, key to your claim is that come May 31st when the current ToS 1.2 expires, you have a right to a refund, and a full accounting for the project.
If you are planning on reporting to the FTC and BBB, here are some resources on how to do that.May 10, 2016 at 11:50 am #3309
I do not know if you are an original, veteran, or simply 3rd or 4th generation backer, but the only way to actually get your money back this late into the scam is to open up a dispute with your bank, and ask them to perform a chargeback against CIG under the basis of false advertisement and failure to deliver. Send them emails and documentation as additional proof.
Chargebacks have conditions, and usually a time limit. Act fast. Much easier if you purchased from a credit card.
Just google “star citizen chargeback” and the first few links should give you what you need.May 10, 2016 at 11:37 am #3308
Thank you for the research that is exposing the sham that is Star Citizen. I was a WC fan (I have all the CDs of the Windows versions) and was excited when I saw Star Citizen and the goal to create the Wing Commander we always wanted so I subscribed and ended up at around $2500 USD. However, by then I began seeing the signs. I have project management experience both in heavy industry (projects around 2 mill) and IT projects and there were too many red flags such as adding new features and apparently just taking resources from one place and throwing them at other projects. There was no apparent direction but more – “oooh. Shiny. Let’s chase it” Instead of ships and a game we were given fish tanks and liquor cabinets for the hanger. This was before your work but given the red flags I suspended any giving or subscribing.
Yesterday I requested a refund based on non-delivery and got the standard letter of how it’s over 14 days, etc. I responded that I expected this answer but was aware many had gotten refunds after the 14 days and wanted to give them the chance to do the right thing before I contact the FTC and Better Business Bureau which I am now going to do. Once I contact these agencies I’ll let CIG know but I don’t expect much.
Keep up the good work.May 10, 2016 at 9:18 am #3306April 15, 2016 at 9:24 pm #3027
The trouble is that CR is the one making claims that he is developing Star Citizen with all its burgeoning content and futuristic gaming experience.
Where is HIS EVIDENCE that he can and will deliver while he lies his way to $millions of backers money and spends it like a kid in a candy store ?April 17, 2016 at 8:07 am #3069
Wow, still seems some people still don’t get it. And by ‘it’ I mean how far down the toilet star citizen has gone. The latest blog is called Extinction Level Event for a very good reason. Just my speculation but perhaps those such as Denan want to believe that there is still hope for the game, simply because they don’t want to face the fact that their money has been wasted. Following that reasoning, if everyone pointing grim opinions like that out, as well as the other horrors occurring then go away, everything will be better. The shitizen community and CIG management/CS team will accept all their valid concerns with open arms with the ‘obstacles’ then removed. LMAO.
Seriously dude for whatever the reason, how is it so difficult to understand from all the evidence that has been presented (a multitude of sources not just here) that we have passed the point of no return. You can have any number of concerns, very valid concerns about a variety of aspects of the game. But it does not mean anything at this point in time. You are not going to get a game with even a 1/4 of what was promised. The best you can hope for is some shit tier game as described in that goon leak sometime ago. The why this is happening has nothing to do Derek and some goons. Its been less then a year since Derek’s first blog about the game! Hell, I am an avid space sim fan who started following this hilarity since the second half of 2013. Never gave a single cent to the project because I saw it for what it was with all the hype and scope creep. Thats right, ~ 2 years before 1st blog! Just want to emphasize that.
The reasons why you have lost any money put towards star citizen is as follows:
1. Chris Roberts. Constant rework, movie aspirations, history of incompetence speaks for itself. No Microsoft to save the day this time. Not to forget unprofessional as demonstrated by the 8 hour missive of fail and lol he wrote. A CEO doing that in other businesses would typically be on the way out. The fact Chris is still there with power shows what a farce this all is.
2. Organizational culture plus external community. Reports of CIGs internal failings are the stuff of nightmares and the external community is regarded as the most toxic that ever existed which is saying something.
3. Crippling technical issues as covered expertly by others here and elsewhere.
I strongly recommend those that are accepting that the project is in serious trouble yet are placing the blame where it does not belong, to instead focus on getting your money back. If all attempts at this fail then take it as a life lesson and get over it.
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