Star Citizen – Year Four

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  • #4393
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    Posted here for posterity, as year four (if you go with the 2012 start date) draws to a close with neither Star Citizen nor Squadron 42 being released.


    A lot is lost in the noise. But if you go back to my blogs and comments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) about this, specifically where I said that their 64-Bit positioning was bullshit and will wreak all kinds of havoc (which it is still doing) in the end, you will find that is precisely what has happened.

    I also stated – clearly – that Gamescom/CitizenCon 2015 were all smoke and mirrors, that neither Star Citizen nor SQ42 would see the light of day in 2016 etc. There is a long list of my predictions sitting squarely in my blogs. That’s why I write them so that the history isn’t lost in the noise.

    It is now Sept 2016, and there is NOTHING that has happened since Gamescom/CitizenCon 2015 that even remotely looks like a fucking “game”. It is still a glorified CryEngine mod masquerading as a tech demo. And not even a vertical slice at that.

    Sure they’re trying to make a game. But that’s not the point. It was never – ever – the point. The point was that they are wasting money trying to make a game they simply CANNOT make; and which I stated back in July 2015, couldn’t be made, once it was over-scoped.

    All they are doing is finding ways to make money (e.g. the stunt they just pulled at Gamescom 2016 with a staged/scripted demo, and which sources are claiming will never make it into the game) in order to prolong the inevitable disaster that is now fermenting. That’s the logic behind the ship and concept sales, as well as the implementation of an in-game clothing (!) store, even as they don’t have a mission quest, mining, trading or any vital GAMEPLAY elements promised. Currently, what passes for missions, is the same ganky flipping a switch bullshit, coupled with AI generated pirate ship fodder. And that’s been in there since Q4/2015. Meantime, they’re now showing grabby hands cargo manipulation (which btw, they showcased back in 2014!) whereby a designer really thinks that players are going to be manually hauling fucking boxes in the name of realism – because that’s somehow fun.

    With year five (or four, if you give them a 1yr pass to get their shit in gear) coming to a close, every aspect of the tech demo, is flat-out broken. All of it. And the saddest thing? There is NOTHING innovative or ground-breaking about ANY of it. The novelty of waking up in a wank pod, going to a ship, running to a platform, hoping your ship is there, then getting in – all in fps mode – is over and done with. Heck, even COD:IW is doing that now. And besides the wank pod part, I’ve been doing it in LOD since 2011 – almost one year into development.

    Go ahead and ask anyone (Shitizen or not) to point out ONE single innovative thing about Star Citizen, and which has somehow justified $120 million of crowd-funding.

    If the schedule seems haphazard, it’s because it is; as they are – in between the blatant cash grab – basically just going through a check-list in order to probably justify an MVP as a vertical slice in order to avoid liability in the long term. In software, there is zero liability if you deliver a product that doesn’t function as expected. As long as you deliver. That’s why companies like Sony, WB et al get hit in the media (and on Steam), and rarely does legal action comes out of it. Look at what’s happening to NMS, then compare to the Batman game, Aliens Colonial Marines etc. It’s a cycle; and Star Citizen is going to end up right there with them – but it will be worse since this was crowd-funded. Unfortunately for them, some of the promises (e.g. the size of the world) made for Star Citizen aren’t just going to get waved off and implemented from a check list.

    I have repeatedly said that I have my own selfish reasons for NOT wanting to see them fail. But denial is not a river in Egypt; and so hostilities (they started it!) aside, cheering them on when, as a tier 1 engineer I know the game can’t be built as pitched, is the sort of bullshit that Shitizens are made from.

    #4084
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    Yup, totally called it. So someone in the PU managed to reach the edge of the game world.

    #1812
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    Another more technical discussion for those interested in such things. Let me explain as best I can this world building issue.

    1) Take a piece of paper
    2) Draw a box and imagine each side of that box is 8km. You now have a box that is 64 sq. km
    3) Divide that box into 4 equal sections with each side ends up being 4km. This is a zone within the scene. You now have 4 of them
    4) Put an x anywhere inside each box and call them x1, x2, x3, x4. Do this such that x1 is top-left, x3 is bottom-right

    NOTE:
    The max “map/scene” size in CryEngine3 is 8km x 8km or 64 sq. km

    Imagine (regardless of whether or not you keep the 1:1 scaling) trying to fit the larger ships in there and having them fly around with enough space.

    The Javelin is 345m long, while the Idris-P is 240m long. More info on the ships.

    That’s the problem that Star Citizen has.

    5) Now draw a bigger rectangle (not a box) around the larger box such that the left side (h) is 200 km and the bottom side (w) is 5K km

    You now have a rect (map/scene) that is 1m sq. km. Note that we’re disregarding z-depth atm. But even if it were factored in, it would probably be no less than w (5K km)

    6) Put an x anywhere inside each box and call them x5, x6, x7, x8. Do this such that x5 is top-left, x7 is bottom-right

    So that brings us to this…

    Regardless of whether or not they use 32-Bit or 64-Bit world positioning, they can’t exceed the max map size of the engine without super-extensive modifications. And even if they did that, they still have one massive problem: the physics engine

    I don’t believe that they’ve done this. It would be absolutely insane and time consuming to do that. Plus, for a space combat game, it would have no benefit. Elite Dangerous did it because right off the bat, they built a game engine from the ground up to do just that.

    What I believe they’ve done is what Chris has been hinting at and which most people (if you’re not a tech) keep missing. They’ve zoned it. As in shards it. Because that’s the easiest way to do it in any engine, especially CE3 without hassle. You still need 64-Bit positioning because you still need to calculate that accurately in a game whereby you want to keep everything in sync and accurate.

    From my diagram above since the inner box is within the extents of the engine, you’re not going to have position precision issues as long as you don’t get too close to the 8km edge. But for a space game, 64 sq. km is woefully inadequate. Unless you’re in a close combat shooter like Arena Commander or the mission based SQ42 which can design missions to keep players within these world constraints. For Star Citizen, nah, not gonna work.

    They don’t use jump gates or anything (more on this below) of the sort (like I did in my massive world games, Battlecruiser 3000AD / Universal Combat) to link these zones. They wanted it all to be seamless and appear as one big open space.

    So, you are going to need 64-Bit positioning precision to avoid problems with objects outside of the 8km range; especially in an open world game that gives all the interactions that Chris has promised.

    And if they went with doubles (yikes!) the performance and problems with physics alone, are going to be headaches from start to finish (?). If they didn’t, then my post about them cheating with a hack, is probably what they’ve done; as they would have no choice but to calculate positions of objects in the world based on the player’s current camera viewpoint location.

    Even so, at a 5K km range, they are going to have to use logarithmic Z which gives them a significantly higher level of precision in the Z buffer in order to alleviate visual anomalies which we have been seeing in the PTU 2.0 builds.

    Again, I do *not* believe that they’ve made such extensive revisions to CE3 that they can now build *single* scenes of up to 5K km per side, up from 8km. Not only would that be insane (when you can just zone it all), but all the existing regions would need to be redone because re-sizing it in the editor will completely screw up the pre-existing object positions and introduce a whole new set of problems. It would be a lot of work to redo the maps. Then again, considering how many things they’ve had to do over, they may have done just that. Plus they only had one anyway.

    So, assuming they’ve zoned it, the end result is that object x1 moving to the position of x5 is going to seamlessly transition from it’s own zone (assume it to be less than 8km on any side) into that zone causing that new zone to be loaded. It’s like two mat pieces being stitched together. And since this is space – with not that many objects to handle – the loading times are negligible. Crashes can/will happen at this point btw. Especially since it appears (I monitored it in a test I ran yesterday) that they are in fact streaming in the zones.

    And transitioning between these streamed zones is what they are referring to as “jump tunnels”.

    In order to even do what I think they’ve done, they would’ve had to do something called “world origin rebasing” (look it up). You use this to shift the player’s world origin position as closer to the camera as possible when it’s too far from the current world origin where precision loss tends to cause problems. A combination of this and zone streaming is what they may be doing as it allows them to build this massive world with the appearance of it being one seamless piece as shown in their starmap.

    I know that UE4 has it (they don’t recommend using it for multiplayer games without writing a custom server solution), but I’m not sure that CE3 does. And I’m not sure why it would. Here is a discussion from earlier this year about large seamless worlds in CE3.

    Which brings me to the issue of borders.

    A few people have actually hit a literal brick wall going in one direction that took them to the world extents of the zone. If this were one massive universe that is 1m km sq. that should never happen. In my games, the way I handle this is I have a region called a “null zone”. As soon as you breach the boundaries of the world – usually by some fluke – you enter in world the same size as the one you left, but with nothing in it other than a jump anomaly that brings you back to known space. I built it like a Russian doll puzzle. No brick walls.

    Hope this helps those who are genuinely interested in the complexities of building massive worlds like this and the challenges presented.

    ps: Is it an MMO or not?

    #1797
    MDrake SC
    MDrake SC
    Participant

    Another anniversary sale comes. Not only is the 2.0 limited to just 1,000 people for now, they have to make a 7 day sale event for at least 26 ships…

    A lot of those ships for sale are still pure JPEGs. At least 10 have oldish models, and 5 are flyable. People who are addicted to this yearly sale event, and still keep buying stuff, kinda disgust me.

    And hurray for a $350 repair ship? Such pretty artwork showing off the repair gameplay design-dreamcrap. Materials, reconstruction, stripping, patching… All of this dreamcrap. Would it be better to just call it feature creep?

    Just more promises to go into the ditch with more “soon.” But wait, that means that JPEGS are not alone in enlightening people to give away money. All of these “complex” gameplay design “documents” are the secondary sales tool. Sure, the JPEGs need ships, but the ships “sometimes” need a document to convince folks that they are worth $350, or whatever price. And maybe a video for transparency-other-people-are-working.

    Enlightened with documents. Cleansed in transparency. Blessed by JPEGs.

    #1795
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster
    #1798
    Zyll Goliath
    Zyll Goliath
    Participant

    Well that CIRCUS from the last night proved that CIG avoid to show to the public actual Game-Play in the 2.0 as they didn’t change current Flight Mechanics at all,even worst seems that they implemented Interactive mode to ALL controller options,yeah joystick now has Interactive Mode so that You can Move your Crosshair the same way as with the Mouse.So that’s should be an improvement that CIG was promising for so long to the backers?Now seem that the game is even more aim-centered,as CR always wanted it to be a fucking First person shooter in space yeah that’s right remember him what he said about the Freelancer controls if you don’t let me remind you by quoting him CR:”The final mouse controls, while good, weren’t the ones that I saw in my head I imagined the game being like a FPS, but in space and having the same level of shooting precision”-Well I guess he finally nailed his wishes from the past I just can’t get it Why CIG even bother to implemented the complex damage system if people are going to play this crap like almost as any FPS game out there?
    And yeah seems that the forces of the White Knights pushing the buttons and trying to stop desperately anyone that mention “gizmondo money laundry connection” on others forums which for me clearly indicates that something is really fishy in there…….

    #1799
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    Yeah, it’s precisely what most of us expected. Just another money grab. You’d think that they would have done a demo of all the stuff Chris mentioned was going to be in 2.0. Thing is, he didn’t say when it was all going to be in there. Just that it was going to be. And given all the crashes from those who got it, it is understandable why didn’t show anything live.

    And two of my contacts got the invite and so far, neither one of them has seen even 5% of what Chris said was going to be in 2.0.

    #1800
    SJ Parkinson
    SJ Parkinson
    Participant

    I’ve been following the Star Citizen debate for almost a year now. I’m not a backer, I missed the KS and never signed up after. When I went to the CIG web site to do so, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I saw the amounts of money that were being collected (after wildly exceeding their Kickstarter expectations).

    Yet, I was tempted to buy into SC after reading the glowing press and universal user enthusiasm. I hadn’t seen a single negative press column until WIRED posted one entitled, “Fans Have Dropped $77M on This Guy’s Buggy, Half-Built Game.” That was enough for me to hold off. My attitude was “deeds, not words” and all I saw was pretty commercials, videos and graphics. WIRED was wrong, the game wasn’t even half done. If they’d produced something tangible, I would have bought into it, but they never did.

    I saw it as a, ‘We can do this project through KS for $500K, we collected $2.1M and now we have $60.2M, but still need more’ situation. Meanwhile, Chris Roberts is saying he could do the game with the money already collected, but didn’t stop the fund raising. Huh? Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments), in the meantime, asked for £1.2M on KS, got £1.5M, released a finished game a year ago and will be releasing their V2.0 version in time for this Christmas without additional fund raising.

    I’d heard of ‘Derek Smart’ referenced in several hate filled forums on a few discussion sites. I’m a former game designer/producer myself and always try to make up my own mind so I looked him up. Instead of the horrific bile spitting monster I’d been told about, I found someone asking the same reasonable questions I was. His subsequent treatment (as described in blog posts here) for being inquisitive was way over the top and another indicator that something was wrong.

    I’m convinced Star Citizen is going to crash horribly. The TOS changes resetting refund conditions and minimizing CIG obligations tells any intelligent person there is trouble afoot. I can’t stop thinking that Chris Roberts and John Romero have a lot in common at this point.

    Now, if I’m wrong and Star Citizen comes out, I’ll happily change the above opinion and offer a sincere apology to all involved. However, Derek you’ve been asking the right questions to date and I applaud you for that. Keep it up. The need for transparency, stated delivery dates and financial responsibility in projects of this scale is a necessity. There are over a million investors in Star Citizen today and having reliable information about the state of the project is valuable.

    Keep asking those questions and thank you.

    Have a great weekend.

    #1803
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    @SJ Thanks for stopping by. I have also stated, just as you did, that if I am proven to be wrong about this, and Chris does ship the game that he pitched and promised, that not only would I apologize, but I would also retire (I am semi-retired) from game development – completely.

    A LOT of people don’t really understand the nuances of what’s at stake here. They just see some angry, jealous (insert choice adjective of the day) raising the alarm, asking people to look closely, ask the tough questions etc. But instead, they just want to attack, attack, attack. YET they wonder why such extremism in the Star Citizen community, has now completely and utterly tainted it.

    The 2.0 they released yesterday is more than enough evidence that they have a LONG way to go with this project IF they ever get to finish it. And if they do, it’s easily another 2-3 years, plus another $75m+ to get there.

    UPDATE: I have added an update to my latest blog. It’s at the bottom.

    #1805
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    I wrote a short missive about the 2.0 jittering issue today; along with an exchange between Chris and an engineer 🙂 You can see the full Twitter exchange in these tweets.

    #1810
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    The jittering issue is not the most “damning criticism”. It’s about something they said they’ve spent the better part of one year addressing. That 64-Bit positioning issue was the Red flag that sparked my first blog this past July.

    So to me, as an engineer, it just tells me that they haven’t or can’t address it. Which means that, just like the whole Star Marine farce – which is still ongoing – it’s still another broken piece of architecture that’s either going to take awhile to address or they’re just going to say fuck it, then leave it broken. Just like Arena Commander, buggy buggies, buggy hangar, ArcCorp etc

    If you think this is trivial, ignore the jittering and just think about the massive z-fighting which is also a symptom of this problem with the custom engine they’ve building using CryEngine3 as base.

    Also, this is what they promised. All of it. For $95m+ thus far.

    …and they have yet to deliver even 10% of that.

    And what we’re seeing in this 2.0 release, despite it being in the PTU and not final release, is precisely what I predicted would happen back when they released the buggy social/planetside module.

    I have no confidence – none – that they will ever deliver the Star Citizen they promised. At least not in 2016. From what they just released to the PTU as 2.0, my estimation is still that this project is at least 2-3 years and another $75m (if they are frugal) away.

    If they survive 2016 long enough to deliver SQ42 EP1 (they promised 70 missions. lol!!) which they are now heavily pushing, my guess is that’s the good faith they’re now shooting for. Guess what? All existing backers are already entitled to it. And now it’s being sold separately for $45 to non-backers. Imagine then how those who have spent upwards of $30K on this project will feel when all they will have got is a half-baked Star Citizen and a SQ42 that others only paid $45 for.

    There is absolutely no fucking version of this where it ends well for anyone. Chris has completely and totally screwed this once promising project.

    #1787
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    This was a bona fide investor (not just a backer buying JPEG ships). Surprisingly, RSI/CIG agreed. He got his money back. This is a statement he posted in a forum and which I copied.

    #1785
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    Most developers, especially indies, do frequent dev updates. They don’t spend so much time, effort and money on elaborate nonsense that CIG are doing because they think it goes towards “openness” (no, it’s bullshit).

    #2249
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    The discussion of the Star Citizen ToS first appeared in my Interstellar Pirates and The Long Con blogs. I needed a link directly to this, hence this post.

    Everyone knows by now that since the release of the shoddy v2.0, they’re now claiming that it is substantial update, so they’re refusing refunds.

    Below are all the different ToS revisions since the start of this project.

    12-09-13 // Original from RSI website pre-Kickstarter

    12-10-18 // Kickstarter ToS which would be active from 12-10-18 to 12-11-19

    13-08-13 // v1.0 

    13-08-29 // v1.1

    15-02-01 // v1.2

    NOTE: If you pledged on Kickstart, then you are subject to their ToS, as well as the RSI ToS which was active after the campaign ended and you had to access their site to create your citizen account.

    According to their  ToS v1.1 of 08/29/13 they said if they failed to deliver within 12 months of Nov 2014 (the original Kickstarter estimated delivery date), they would issue refunds. At the time, this non-delivery period would kick in during Nov 2015.

    IV. Charges & Billing
    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. However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a promise by RSI since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of the deposit shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has failed to deliver the pledge items and/or the Game to you within 12 months after the estimated delivery date.

    Since that time, having already i) missed the Nov 2014 delivery date and ii) embarked on the increased scope (aka “vision 2.0”), thus extending the delivery date for the project, they surreptitiously made another changed in ToS v1.2 of 02/01/15(which remains the current one). The previous section was moved; and now reads:

    VII. Fundraising & Pledges
    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 withineighteen (18) months after the estimated delivery date.

    And in the current ToS, here is a key section that ties into the above:

     

    VII. Fundraising & Pledges
    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.

    #2000
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    If you really think that someone (least of all me) is trying to convince you, or anyone of anything, then you’re misinformed.

    The purpose of my entire campaign since July, is to get people to think, and take a long hard look at this project and its potential for failure.

    During that time, a lot has happened because a lot of people did just that: think

    And it was a lot more than was being done before my first July blog.

    What you believe is up to you. Your opinions are yours to make.

    But know this, the Federal (FTC) rules for crowd-funding are clear and not open to interpretation. In that the money raised should be used specifically for the purpose it was intended. Buying expensive furniture, paying an out of scale salary to key people etc are all cause for concern. Especially since a completed project is yet to be delivered.

    I do not – for one second – believe that this project, as pitched, will ever see the light of day. All the warning signs are there. How people choose to interpret those signs, is entirely up to them.

    #1989
    MDrake SC
    MDrake SC
    Participant

    @ xionicshockwave

    Asking or hoping that CR steps back and admits to feature creep, and needs a lot more time… if that happens, it’ll be too late. I don’t know if you are aware of CR’s history, but he has a history of too much scope creep, and he did kill his company Digital Anvil with it. Ran out of money making Freelancer, and Microsoft bought him out under the condition he would only be a creative consultant.

    Star Citizen is a Freelancer 2.0 and instead of Microsoft losing a huge amount of money, it will be the customers.

    I don’t have much of an interest in convincing you that CIG has money problems or worse. I do enjoy typing stuff though. Free speech typing is a nice feeling. In the end, you are here because of what Derek Smart has said, done, or will do. Only Derek can entertain, or convince you that something is wrong.

    I am having a lot of fun learning what CR did on his stream today. I couldn’t believe it, but CR really is “amazing.”

    #1988
    Xionicshockwave
    xionicshockwave
    Participant

    I definitely understand your frustration and you are right to be frustrated.  All I am saying is that its a buyer beware thing with crowd funding.  You might get promised something but the whole idea behind crowd funding is to donate to something you believe in….not to buy a product or service.

    CIG promised things by a certain date and they failed to deliver, which is a problem definitely.  However, this doesn’t really mean that the game will never get made, ever.  It just means (like all games) that the official release is delayed.  Just about every big publisher has experienced delays up to two years (sometimes way more).  I’m just a little salty about the horrendous community management and engagement.  If CR can take a serious step back and say “Look guys because we expanded the scope of the PU, we will just have to release the game when its ready”.  Ubisoft recently did this with The Division.  Time and time again they said to the players “we’ll release the game when it’s ready”.  And even they made the mistake of hyping up The Division way too soon or didn’t anticipate the reaction they would get.

    Regarding their solvency….I really doubt they would be moving into a bigger studio and hiring people in pretty much every studio if they were running into money problems so unless you have something concrete outside of your own personal guesswork you won’t convince me of money problems.

    Playing the baby PU has given me a little hope based on the progress I have seen so far.  As long as they get their act together with community engagement and interaction I think they can probably restore some lost confidence by continuing to deliver the game (albeit very slowly).  And hopefully there will be no more Illfonic fuck ups as development continues.

    #1987
    MDrake SC
    MDrake SC
    Participant

    @ xionicshockwave

    We’re all having fun in some way.

    If you got into SC out of donation or charity, that is your choice and opinion. I bought in, contributed, pledged, preordered for a product, by an advertised timeframe, with additional advertisement for that timeframe… especially since I was there to see the fully funded $23 million mark. I pledged way before the $23, let alone 20 million marks. I have full LTI on everything at their original lower or lowest prices. I’ve been here to watch CIG remind that LTI is ending, ending soon, ends very soon, buy your Freelancer or Constellation and extras for variants to get your LTI… Oh, CIG is bringing back LTI for all new concepts…

    It’s called bait and switch sales tactics. Also, donations don’t get charged VAT, only purchases.

    As for your refund, well, CIG has outright begun denying refunds. The discussion has moved here. Basically, the General Discussion forum. You missed any chance, and it doesn’t sound like you’re a large backer. You don’t have much to lose.

    I really don’t understand how it is “petty” to call out CIG for spending public money. They have not released a product, they have not made any actual profit. If you want to go farther, the FTC already forbids the use of crowdfunded money for stuff not directly related to the project.

    CIG will continue making enough money from white knights and whales to keep going till February, and likely till March 2016. They have secretly fired staff to cut costs.

    #1986
    Xionicshockwave
    xionicshockwave
    Participant

    Hey Guys,

    Sorry for the delayed response but I have been Christmas shopping lol.

    @MDrake

    JPEGS – I understand that they haven’t delivered but I mean, its crowdfunding.  I didn’t pay money expecting any ship….I paid money because I had some fond childhood memories of playing wing commander with my Dad and remembering how cool that game was at the time.  So I funded it because I had some background with Chris Roberts and the game and while it says I will get a ship….I never expect anything with crowdfunding…I donated some money to a project I had a genuine belief in, which is really what crowd funding is all about.  That’s why I can’t really understand why so many people are spending large sums of money and then crying later that they don’t have their ship.  Its really a donation.  Now they are obligated to deliver what they promised according to the ToS but I mean the common understanding here is that this is a donation.

    I haven’t made a decision on my refund either way yet…I’m just a little frustrated at how long its taking.

    Furniture – I do tend to think that this is a little petty.  There is a very strong case for airplane/ spaceship furniture because that creates a creative environment for the psyche.  And this game is all about creativity.  When an artist surrounds himself with a project…it spurs creative momentum….I have seen this happen first hand (my old friend is an artist).  Inspiration can strike from any direction.

    The Lawsuit – I am totally not looking for intimate details on the lawsuit, I know how the process works.  I am simply looking for confirmation that a lawsuit has been filed.  That tells me that someone has something…so far I don’t think Derek has filed yet though.  Until that happens…I really don’t have anything solid to go off of to make a judgement either way.

    2.0 – I have been playing baby PU for the last few days and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised.  I was expecting way less given the recent huge delays.  My confidence really wavered with their decision to hand FPS over to Illfonic and watching that whole thing erupt into a mushroom cloud of suck.  But I have to say that I see some real progress on the game with this latest release.  Also, it appears they are switching over to a rapid deployment strategy now that the stream has been unified so that makes me feel a little better as well.  The flip side of that coin is that it does look like they are still two years out from a total and completed PU with the 30-40 discoverable star systems and all.  Although, I don’t really remember how many landing zones will be with each system if any.  But that two year estimate was based on when the dev streams were all separate.

    I think for now I am going to just tread carefully and keep a watchful eye on things.  I definitely don’t think CIG is at risk of bankruptcy or “collapsing” as Derek puts it but I tend to be more patient than most.  I want to see how well they learn from their mistakes.  Plus SQ42 looks like it will be a kick ass game.  It will be interesting to see if they can deliver it in 2016.

    #1948
    Lir Big
    lir big
    Participant

    @Kristoffer

    “Regarding this entire inventory lists, I find that rather petty to be honest. Yes, CIG said all money would go to game development, but questioning their choice of lamps as too expensive? Really? How’s that any different than the gargantuan Orc statue outside Blizzard’s HQ in Irvine which has the same purpose – “we have money!”. If you follow the money trail it all comes from the people playing their games and monthly subscribing to them, it’s no different. We give CIG money to make a game the same way we pay Blizzard to play the games they’ve made. Who here gets do decide what can be labeled as going to “game development”? I mean, coders need coffee – so why not bring in the best coffee machine? Designers need light, why not buy the best lamp? It’s just petty so sit on the sidelines looking at every frame from their offices and putting price tags on their inventory and it really should be beneath this entire argument.”

    That kind of argument comes often with the SC defenders while it’s entirely false. CIG is playing with OUR money ,not with some traditional investors’s.
    Blizzard had earn its money by selling games and had never asked from crowd in the first place . I don’t recall Blizzard having a gigantic statue or AAA studios back in the days when they were developing warcraft 1 and were an unkonwn tiny company . CIG is at step 0 while Blizzard, EA, ID, etc etc are at step 100 with hundreds of millions of dollars they can do whatever they want with.  CIG wants to play at step 100 while they can’t afford, and yet they’re paying for high-end studios and stuff.
    So if you are fine with CIG spending YOUR and MY money on unecessary stuff, cool for you, but I’m not fine with it here.

    Again you can’t compare an healthy company like Blizzard that grew up all by itself ,with a crowd-funded company that has no back-up story and that is fragile by its very nature. They can have 10000 orc or jim raynor statues, who cares, they haven’t beg money from the crowd to achieve that.

    Why not bring in the best cofee or lamp ? Maybe because bringing in just the standard cofee or lamp should not affect whatsoever the workers efficiency? Maybe because having standard and comon stuff means >>> more money on dev? And as Mr.Smart said, crowd-funded project has to 100% put the money into development. High-end furnitures are not required within  a game development cursus. Hmm at my job I don’t remember having a 100000$$ cofee machine, the simple standard one is quite nice enough and do some nice cofee.

    #1947
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    @kristof

    still no refund? That actually makes me sad. Because I thought CIG was “owning up” to not living up to everyones expectation, and now that they blew past $100 million I thought they could lower the bar of what’s required to get a refund.

    They are doing it selectively. And more and more people are making it public now. This one is recent.

    Regarding this entire inventory lists, I find that rather petty to be honest. Yes, CIG said all money would go to game development, but questioning their choice of lamps as too expensive? Really? How’s that any different than the gargantuan Orc statue outside Blizzard’s HQ in Irvine which has the same purpose – “we have money!”.

    You realize that’s rubbish, right? This game is 100% crowd-funded and they are legally required to spend the money on the game; regardless of whatever misleading statements they made. Here in the US, the FTC, which is a Federal dept, makes this very – very – clear and specifically to crowd-funded projects. Spending that kind of money on expensive furniture, is not conducive to responsible spending which in turn will lead to the demise of the project before they can deliver it.

    And guess what, the AG of at least two States, and the FTC, have taken action against crowd-funded projects for spending money on things not pertaining to the project.

    And if/when this whole thing collapses, how they spent the money is going to be paramount to what legal action and remedies they face.

    Speaking of Derek’s statements – we’re down to 3 weeks left on the clock of Dereks guaranteed CIG bankruptcy , while CIG are 1 year overdue with “Wing Commander’s spiritual sucessor”.

    I never said anything about them being bankrupt. I said I gave them 90 days before they hit financial troubles. Yes, there is a difference.

    #1946
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    There’s over $10K worth of furniture in that shot. We have been following and posting about that for weeks now. It’s in my Twitter feed.

    As to my guidance about their operations, I had given them 90 days; which would expire in January, 2016.

    Sure they made quite a bit of money in Oct/Nov due to CitizenCon & the anniversary sale. But given their monthly burn rate disclosed by third-parties, all that does is buy them about two months or so. They have to make at least $3m per month to sustain development across four studios.

    So even if they are still around by end of Jan 2016, regardless, they will still need financial investment in order to continue being a going concern.

    And since the whales are all probably tapped out by now, coupled with the state of the mini-PU 2.0 which shows clear evidence that the game, as promised, is still several years away, their next push after December stream/sale this week, is going to be SQ42. But even so, they still have a big problem in that over 700K people are getting that for free.

    Like all things related to analysis, it’s not a perfect, but I still believe that something huge will happen to this project in 2016.

    As to lawsuits, there is a very good reason why I don’t talk about that anymore, following the 11/30 expiration of the ToS in question. And I am not going to comment on that any further.

    As for RSI/CIG, they’re not going to sue anyone as that will open up a massive can of worms; all of which will lead to their financials. They know this very well.

    #1944
    MDrake SC
    MDrake SC
    Participant

    CIG is giving refunds to folks in the EU. Mainly thanks to the EU consumer protection laws which are stronger than the USA equivalents. I’d rather not talk about my refund situation at this point.

    CIG could have chosen to use more cost effective furniture… but they didn’t. Here is a $400-600 lamp that I’ve seen in CIG streams or shows. Cannot find an easy picture with it, but last time I saw it was in Ben’s office. Here is a $1,900 desk, notice the whole wing of an airplane theme…

    View post on imgur.com

    All of that airplane style furniture… is not cheap. They are nearly all from the overpriced Restoration Hardware catalog. Chris has always cared for style over substance, just look at the HUD for any of the ships. He’ll have expensive stylized furniture for his offices, even when cheaper and just as functional furniture is available. Chris has no respect for backer money. He’ll spend, waste, whatever he feels like to sustain an image of success.

    If Chris had released a lot more content by now… like 5 missions of SQ42, or maybe the Caterpillar or Starfarer ships, or maybe refueling, mining, exploration mechanics… then it would be somewhat OK to have all that expensive stuff. Since the project is way behind, there are constant sales, and a recent series of constant patches to get 2.0 out the door… Things are bad at CIG. Desperate even.

    The next livestream will have Javelins and Idrises for sale. Gotta get 2.0 out to show that enough of a game exists, and encourage folks to spend cash.

    Derek is slowly changing his tune about CIG crashing by January, with the newest number at $11.35 million. I was right that CIG would be able to make enough money per sale, from the whales, to keep going till at least March 2016.

    It’s really a matter of when Derek can reveal details about his lawsuit. While I hope it is in December, I suspect end of January as more likely at the earliest.

    Don’t forget. Chris and Ortwin threatened the Escapist with a lawsuit. Where is that lawsuit? Why did the Escapist just shrug off CIG’s threat? It’s because CIG is in deep trouble, and the Escapist called Ortwin’s legal bluff.

    #1943
    Kristoffer S
    Kristoffer S
    Participant

    @MDrake SC , still no refund? That actually makes me sad. Because I thought CIG was “owning up” to not living up to everyones expectation, and now that they blew past $100 million I thought they could lower the bar of what’s required to get a refund.

    At the same time, you have to remember that no game developer would give you your money back any more easily than CIG! I had to fight for my refund for the new Deus Ex game when they launched their bullshit website to get more preorders. Eventually I got a refund, and they publically admitted “we fucked up!”. What I’m trying to say is getting a refund is by no means a consumer right you have after the two weeks (I think?) “no questions asked”-refund time period is up. If you’re a Kickstarter backer, like myself and Derek was, you may have a case though.

    But I really do hope you get your refund!

    Regarding this entire inventory lists, I find that rather petty to be honest. Yes, CIG said all money would go to game development, but questioning their choice of lamps as too expensive? Really? How’s that any different than the gargantuan Orc statue outside Blizzard’s HQ in Irvine which has the same purpose – “we have money!”. If you follow the money trail it all comes from the people playing their games and monthly subscribing to them, it’s no different. We give CIG money to make a game the same way we pay Blizzard to play the games they’ve made. Who here gets do decide what can be labeled as going to “game development”? I mean, coders need coffee – so why not bring in the best coffee machine? Designers need light, why not buy the best lamp? It’s just petty so sit on the sidelines looking at every frame from their offices and putting price tags on their inventory and it really should be beneath this entire argument.

    I don’t have the figures of what their Santa Monica studio cost in rent, considering the location it should’ve been rather expensive and one can hope that’s why they built a new office. Because in my head I was screaming “wtf you doing? trying to get 2.0 as bug free out as possible AND moving offices!? when I heard about it”. But this is another one of the unknown that might get public of Derek gets his will. Another thing that might get public is Derek’s statement of the Roberts buying a new house and cars with backers money, that’s a really serious accusation and if true might very well ruin all reputation that’s left. And it’d certainly tip me over to ask for a refund – if it’s really true.

    Speaking of Derek’s statements – we’re down to 3 weeks left on the clock of Dereks guaranteed CIG bankruptcy , while CIG are 1 year overdue with “Wing Commander’s spiritual sucessor”.

    #1942
    MDrake SC
    MDrake SC
    Participant

    For fund allocation, I can give you an answer. It is much cheaper and cost effective to run a game studio in Austin, Texas. The studio in Santa Monica, California is near a beach and extremely expensive. I do not know enough about the new Los Angeles studio to have a good say, but it would have been better use of backer money to expand Austin. Generally, crowdfunded projects should be using backer money in a conservative manner, to increase project success and minimize waste.

    There is another forum that is having fun tracking down all the expensive furniture their new studio has. The folks there are having a field day with finding $1,000-2,000 furniture used in CIG streams or shows. It’s damning.

    For buying JPEGS, it depends on which ones you own. Some of the stuff they sold back in November 2013 is still not available in any shape or form in the hangar. If Chris has shown no intention of delivering the product on time, what indication is there he ever will? Let alone turning old JPEGS sold into actual ships? Folks are spending more money to support the project, but it is an insane mistake since Chris never has to deliver more than the minimum.

    Lawsuits are a slow process. Don’t expect to hear anything for a long time. Derek shares what he can, and is working with his attorneys to keep things as public as possible.

    Send in your refund request asap. If you are just a tiny purchase, you have a tiny chance of getting a refund. For folks like me who spent $2,500… totally screwed.

    #1941
    Xionicshockwave
    xionicshockwave
    Participant

    Ok, so I am going to preface this with…I am fairly new to the whole controversy.  I am a backer.  And I sincerely acknowledge that CIG has made several developmental and PR errors with the game.  I just finished reading what took several hours most of the blogs (skipping over the dramatic parts).  And I am considering getting a refund.

    Now that being said I am usually the guy that asks the tough questions but I do so only in the interest of keeping things fact based and examining the heart of the issue.  I do not ask the tough questions for the purpose of intentionally discrediting one side or the other.

    So specifically regarding the blog I wanted to try an organize this in a clear way:

    CIG Not Delivering On Promises:

    I totally agree with you here.  They have not delivered on any of their promises and that quite frankly really hurts their credibility.  This is one of the reasons why I am considering a refund.

    CIG is Mis-Allocating Backer Funds and is At Risk of Failing:

    So this is what confuses me as a fact based skeptic.  I know you firmly believe that they are misallocating funds, and maybe you have some info that I don’t, but to a guy like me I only see that they showing steady (but certainly not timely or fast) results.  Buying a bigger office to fit everyone….etc.  These are not indications of fund misallocation or at risk of failure.  Can you explain why you feel this way?

    Backers Buying JPEG’s for Ships:

    Again, I am not trying to be cynical towards any one side.  But I am not sure what your message is.  I agree that backers are buying pictures of JPEGS and quite frankly I can’t fathom why some would spend so much but its not my money.  I am not sure what the point of this part of the blog is about except for pointing out the fact that there are some fanatical people that aren’t frugal with their money.

    3 Years of Development vs 4 Years of Development

    This is a great point, but one I think needs to be proven and confirmed by facts.  You referenced an article, but after reading the article I didn’t really see where Chris admits that the game has been in full steam development.  I see a guy trying to raise funds to start actual development of the game.

    Anyways I think time will tell once this lawsuit finally gets underway and all the evidence finally gets out.

    #1922
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    Naturally, since pre-Alpha 2.0 was rushed out and continues to be a disaster, you can’t post stuff like this on the official forums without getting abused. And if you post it on the Reddit forum, the same thing happens; plus it gets down-voted to oblivion.

    Now it’s on wide release, more people get to see what they’re paying for and decide for themselves if they think it will ever finish in 2016; let alone ever see the light of day.

    #1921
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    Yeah, we’ve known for a while now that this “citizen” count was bogus. But each time I tweet it, they claim I’m making shit up. We don’t even think the actual user count is over 300K.

    #1916
    Dsmart
    dsmart
    Keymaster

    You are precisely correct. And that’s what most of us have been saying since they prematurely released 2.0 ahead of the anniversary sale.

    #1909
    Diego Pierangeli
    diego pierangeli
    Participant

    I see a common error from a non-developer perspective, the error is : ‘it’s a preview, so bugs are expected’.

    Bugs are not equals at all, there are 0-grade bugs, 1-grade bugs etc etc.

    A 0-grade is a bug that manifest itself when using a functionality as intended and using only that functionality; 1-grade bugs manifests when you use a functionality but only if you have 1 specific case, 2-grade if you must met two specific cases for trigger the bug etc etc (i’m italian, this could be explained better from an english native speaker..).

    0-grade bugs should not be present in the code in any state, because they must be addressed by the developer during its test, 0-grade integration bugs must be identified by the QA and addressed by the developer.

    By my experience 0-grade bugs are released in a software in large quantities when the developer are under pressure and don’t have the time to fully test their code.

    I have not tested the latest alpha 2.0, but i think that login problems or crash after 5 minutes are 0-grade bugs and this could be a sign of a rushed develop cycle.

    #1908
    MDrake SC
    MDrake SC
    Participant

    Time to say the white knight news. Almost a day ago, the white knights successfully suspended the outlook email that helped Derek put together the lawsuit. Those folks are celebrating in their hate reddit. New emails will likely be reported and suspended thanks to their constant monitoring for any dissent.

    Now there are two major foes. CIG is delaying and denying refunds. Customers are shutting down communities that are trying to get refunds.

    It’s insanely sad to see customers slashing at other customers. Cultists want the nonbelievers out and also shut down ways for the nonbelievers to exit. CIG has the zealots doing their work for them. For free.

    It’s just a matter of time until physical violence occurs if someone gets doxxed. Zealots are way too mentally unstable. Human scum is still way too nice to describe these folks. After all, every refund hurts their master’s dream.

    Personally, I want to see them beg for the dream to be saved. Right to the bitter end until the master is bankrupt or sent to prison. Nearly every investor or publisher will just scoff at the idea of a space sim for another decade. Serves those folks right.

    #1907

    Anonymous

    “…Note that they didn’t show any such reel at CitizenCon. And what they showed, were all quick cuts from the same glitchy 2.0 build that’s currently in the PTU.

    To the extent that even hardcore White Knights are pissed (1, 2, 3) about this because, yes, it casts the game in a poor light. But then again, this is now a cash grab. So I’m not sure why anyone is surprised.

    Aside from that, it cost a LOT of money to show that trailer at the award. One more expense (marketing) that’s NOT going into the game as promised.

    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    So in 2 sentences you went from complaining that the trailer looked cheap because it was showing live gameplay on the current test build of the game to saying that it was too expensive.

    Besides that, does anyone here notice the backpedaling going on? First there was no way to build the game, and now that there is a working build that was released specifically for people to help find bugs, you are focusing entirely on the bugs. As if bugs showing up at any point in a game’s development is a sign of impending doom. No, bugs happen when you build a game, as I’m sure you all know.

    As the people on this side of the issue keep pointing at bugs and laughing, CIG keeps releasing new patches nearly every day. Crashes and bugs are getting less and less frequent, while framerate is going up over all. When all you look at is bugs, you get a very skewed perspective of reality. I have been watching people stream the game since the first patch of 2.0 was released, and over the course of 11 patches it has gone from a bug-infested unplayable mess that would crash every 5 minutes, to a respectable test alpha where you can often play for more than an hour without crashing, with bugs less frequent now than ever before. Keep in mind, the ENTIRE point of the alpha being released to the TEST universe is for the testers to cause as many bugs and crashes as possible, so that they can be fixed sooner rather than later.

    Yea, CR’s estimated deadlines are ridiculous, and consistently unrealistically optimistic. If he did have a cocaine problem, that would actually explain a LOT, lol. But if you guys can’t see the progress being made towards star citizen being released, it’s only because you are intentionally not looking. I mean, posting a video of nothing but bugs, but never posting a video of normal gameplay is the most obvious case of selection bias possible. Instead of watching people play the game, you are ONLY willing to watch 5 second snippets of bugs that confirm your bias.
    As for 2.5k$ ships being sold, yea, that’s weird. I would never spend more than 100$ on a game, but I’m also not a very rich person. Some people are rich, and spend insane amounts of money on stupid things like 50,000$ dollar umbrella stands and caviar. Some of those people with enough money to throw thousands at their hobby of choice happen to be fans of the game, and instead of paying a mariachi band to follow them around playing their own personal theme song(or whatever it is rich people do these days), they just donate money to a company and receive a big-ass ship at some point in the future. How rich weirdos spend their money is their choice. I think it’s stupid, but I’m too cheap to spend more than 30 bucks on a joystick.

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