- November 18, 2015 at 10:18 am#1765
- September 3, 2016 at 10:25 am #4393
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.
- November 20, 2015 at 6:01 am #1797
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.
- December 6, 2015 at 8:20 am #1873
- November 20, 2015 at 6:12 am #1798
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…….
- November 20, 2015 at 6:39 am #1799
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.
- November 20, 2015 at 10:29 am #1800
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.
- November 20, 2015 at 6:35 pm #1803
@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.
- November 20, 2015 at 6:43 pm #1805
- November 21, 2015 at 11:16 am #1810
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.
- November 22, 2015 at 7:19 am #1812
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
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.
- July 4, 2016 at 7:59 pm #4084
Yup, totally called it. So someone in the PU managed to reach the edge of the game world.
- November 28, 2015 at 9:50 am #1849
Some more thoughts on the Persistent Universe and whether or not the game is in fact an MMO. Read more about how I think they’ve partitioned the world to fit within their zones + instancing architecture.
First of all, right now, there is nothing persistent about 2.0. Nothing.
These are the facts:
Chris flat out said it wasn’t an MMO, right off the start.
2012 Kickstarter FAQ: Is Star Citizen an MMO?
No! Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series. The game will include the option for private servers, like Freelancer, and will offer plenty of opportunities for players who are interested in modding the content. Unlike many games, none of these aspects is an afterthought: they all combine to form the core of the Star Citizen experience.
2012 (pre-Kickstarter) RSI website pitch. Navy wings are made of Gold
Star Citizen brings the visceral action of piloting interstellar craft through combat and exploration to a new generation of gamers at a level of fidelity never before seen. At its core Star Citizen is a destination, not a one-off story. It’s a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. Pick up jobs as a smuggler, pirate, merchant, bounty hunter, or enlist as a pilot, protecting the borders from outside threats. I’ve always wanted to create one cohesive universe that encompasses everything that made Wing Commander and Privateer / Freelancer special. A huge sandbox with a complex and deep lore allowing players to explore or play in whatever capacity they wish.
Playable offline or online, co-op with friends, you sign up for a tour of duty with the UEE fleet, manning the front lines, protecting settlements from Vanduul warbands.
If you distinguish yourself in combat, you might be invited to join the legendary 42nd Squadron. Much like the French Foreign Legion of old, they can always be found in the toughest areas of operation and always snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, regardless of the odds.
Upon completion of your tour you’ll re-enter the persistent Star Citizen universe with some credits in your pocket and Citizenship to help you make your way. But in the universe of Star Citizen when one conflict ends, another is just around the corner. You’ll have opportunity to spend more time with your squadron mates as additional Campaigns are released as part of the content update plan.
RSI Forum comment Nov 2014 (<— ironic)
We have chosen Google Compute for our initial cloud implementation as we think its the best combination of power, price and flexibility. We are attempting to build a dynamic server system where local nodes can be spun up to handle the hi-fidelity server “instances” in areas that would help reduce the ping for people that are matched together.
Arena Commander is our test bed for this. When you join a multiplayer match you are currently connected to a game server by the matchmaking service. This server eventually will spin up on demand in an appropriate location to the people that the match maker has put together.
In the PU as you travel around a Star System (or jump from one to another) every time you come out of “warp” (or jump) you’ll be handed off to one of these server instances that will be spun up on demand taking into account where the people that have been contextually matched together are playing from. As we’re first prototyping / building on Google Compute this will naturally happen where there are Google Compute data centers. With some extra work we can fold other Linux Server Cloud providers into the matchmaking and server management. But it doesn’t make sense to do this before we’ve even finished the base system on Google Compute. Right now we spin up a fixed number of servers in the Google NA data center for the current multiplayer. One of the ongoing engineering tasks is to make this dynamic based on demand and then at different data centers around the world. Once this happens we would be ready to expand it to other cloud server providers if need be.
Then it became an MMO. Just like that. Why? Probably because the experienced engineers made it clear to Chris (who has no knowledge or experience building MMO games – ever) that his bullshit “dream” couldn’t be built without the architecture of an MMO.
About the game – Experience a first person universe
More than a space combat sim, more than a first person shooter and more than an MMO: Star Citizen is the First Person Universe that will allow for unlimited gameplay.
Then there was this: CHRIS ROBERTS ON MULTIPLAYER, SINGLE PLAYER AND INSTANCING
One thing I don’t like about most MMO structures is the fragmentation of the player base between these “shards”. If you had joined much later than a friend of yours, there may not be room on his world instance anymore and you have to join another parallel one and so cannot play together. This is one of the nice things about the Eve Online design – everyone plays in the same universe.
Despite the above message, it’s precisely what the heck is going on right now in 2.0 and there is no persistence in that PU. None.
And everything you read in that above missive, is pure and utter bullshit. They haven’t built any of it, have no hopes (or the tech) of building it.
And until then, my guess is that it’s going to remain a sharded, instanced world, bereft of anything remotely cohesive, massive, let alone persistent. In other words, a glorified instancing game in which you and a group of friends (12-16 atm) exist in your own pocket universe and doing basic stuff and none of what has been promised in a persistent world.
I think some of the confusion comes with the vocabulary, traditional instances are “copies” of an area which a small subset of players inhabit – reducing things like network lag etc. However this does also limit the player experience as not everyone is truly a part of the same world at the same moment. In our case we would like achieve the highest concurrency we can while still making the game playable. To that end we are approaching instances both in this traditional way as well as working on some newer ideas. If we look at it traditionally, an instance of an “area” like planetary orbit will have a maximum number of player slots, the logic of the Generic Instance Manager (GIM) will handle things like assuring that friends/parties as well as adversaries, factions, skill levels, and other attributes are all taken into account to place people into these instances. This will work in conjunction with a “Galaxy” server which simulates the universe to determine the likelihood of “encounters” or the population currently in orbit of a planet and stages the instances.
To speak to the newer ideas, and your question of “can I see through other instances?”, if you think about an instance as described above than I would say you would not “see” into another instance, it Is essentially a copy of the same area of space (parallel world of sorts) – however this does not mean that an instance is limited to one actual “server”. So for example (these are just example numbers not hard facts) if a server can support 20 people and another 10 people (through GIM or “Galaxy” logic) need to be added to that instance; a 2nd server would be spun up thus allowing a current total of 30 people in that instance shared across 2 servers (a missile object fired by any person in that instance could be seen and interacted with by any other person). This could theoretically be scaled continually, however there will most likely be rendering and network limitations at some point, let’s say that number was 100 players. So you would have 5 “servers” capable of supporting 20 players each make up a single 100 person “instance” – players can seamlessly move from server to server behind the scenes and be unaware.
This is not that same as changing instances though, which could be another set of 5 servers with another 100 people in a copy of that same area. In that specific moment the 100 players in Instance A will not see the 100 players in Instance B, though imagine 2 ships in Instance A and 1 ship from Instance B fly away from that planet towards the same open space, at some point those 3 ships will be “moved” out of their planetary orbit instances and perhaps have an encounter in a Battle Instance that was initiated around them, so you really can’t think of the different “instances” as fixed, they are not like realms, where only a subset of players exist. They are quite fluid and constantly being updated and refined by the GIM and Galaxy services.
On the slightly more technical side, depending on the contents of an instance it could be that it will be scaled differently than another instance, 10 Carriers in a single instance may cap itself to 70 players across 5 servers instead of the 100 in my above example. There are a vast array of metrics that go into determining these things, from both in-game stats as well as hardware wise like cpu and mem limitations. New technologies like containerization and the zoning system will help us spin up servers faster and allow for the seamless backend mentioned.
It is important to note that much of this is in development by many different teams and the final application and usage could vary from this roadmap. While not directly addressing each point you ask hopefully this gives you some insight into the instance system.
And this mixed message is part of the on-going engineering problems they’ve had and is not unlike all the other development missteps whereby stuff gets done, ripped out, redone etc. Rinse. Repeat.
I am going to say it again. There is no way on this God’s Earth that they can build the game they pitched and promised. Not as a sharded instance, nor as a persistent world MMO.
And note that here we are in Nov 2015 and in 2.0 they still can’t get more than 12 clients in any “instance”. For a game that’s supposedly launching in 2016, there is still no evidence of anything persistent about the world. Let alone half the shit they promised.
Thing is, MMOs can be instanced while still be persistent.
For those of you who can’t grasp the concept, here is a well-written and very relevant primers:
- November 23, 2015 at 3:27 am #1819
Is this the same method Blizzard is using for their World of Warcraft no-loading world? Segmenting. I’m particularly interested in how do they achieve the solution where you don’t even feel the streaming, especially when interacting with multiple users across the map.
The way I presume it is done is that each interactive set of characters/players/npcs/environment-elements is enclosed into a cube of its own space and with a single origin; the engine takes interacting entities and uses a single origin for those to have “small value calculations” due to small distances.
Now, if that is true, how would such a solution handle chained interactions? By using a zoned cube for every different set of interacting entities and doing multiple calculations depending on interacting members?
For example (a 2D representation) if this is the line representing a map and |s are characters:
We’re going to need 1 box for the first two and calc their interaction in a local space, second box for the next 3 and next two (farthest away) or one big for the whole rest… In case 2nd and 3rd can’t interact… but what if they can… how does, e.g. a projectile, is calculated when it goes through different zones? Recalc for every new zone it enters? What when it is in the same time in two zones (transition period)?
- November 23, 2015 at 6:05 am #1820
@tonci I don’t know how Blizzard handles it. All games will handle it different since it is game/design specific.
We’re going to need 1 box for the first two and calc their interaction in a local space, second box for the next 3 and next two (farthest away) or one big for the whole rest… In case 2nd and 3rd can’t interact… but what if they can… how does, e.g. a projectile, is calculated when it goes through different zones? Recalc for every new zone it enters? What when it is in the same time in two zones (transition period)?
You just described the problem right there.
Here is a better analogy:
Imagine having a box split in two. You are on one side and someone is on the other. Your “zone” is loaded while the other is not. This means that you won’t know about anything going on over on the other side. So if you fired a weapon at the other person, nothing happens. Even if both zones were loaded, it would still take some serious crap to get everything in sync.
- November 23, 2015 at 4:18 pm #1827
Is there a well know solution, aside from “a fix” that logarithmic z is? I’m an engineer, but I’m not an expert on 3D graphics; I’m pretty green in the modern 3D (only a year now, my work dates back to GL 1.0 and DX8 age where things were simple).
What puzzles me is, how in Y2015 CIG can’t get the flight model correctly, while 15 years ago Volition did it just fine with FreeSpace 2 (nobody would find it bad today even) and then Independence War/2 did great newtonian model also 14 years ago. Where did Chris f.up?!
Truth be told, I never really got that vision of going CryEngine for a space sim…
- January 23, 2016 at 8:59 am #2249
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.
- December 13, 2015 at 5:27 pm #1941
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.
- December 13, 2015 at 5:46 pm #1942
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.
- December 14, 2015 at 5:02 am #1943
@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”.
- December 14, 2015 at 9:05 am #1948
“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.
- December 14, 2015 at 7:49 am #1947
- December 14, 2015 at 6:06 am #1944
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…
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.
- December 14, 2015 at 7:40 am #1946
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.
- December 16, 2015 at 4:46 pm #1986
Sorry for the delayed response but I have been Christmas shopping lol.
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.
- December 16, 2015 at 5:12 pm #1987
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.
- December 16, 2015 at 7:44 pm #1988
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.
- December 17, 2015 at 10:09 am #2000
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.
- December 16, 2015 at 11:56 pm #1989
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.”
- December 12, 2015 at 7:39 am #1922
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.
- December 11, 2015 at 3:06 am #1908
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.
- December 10, 2015 at 2:19 pm #1905
It would seem than the UEE fleet number that appears in the rsi site is NOT the real number of backers, but the numbers of ships that people have bought. So the real number of backers (with paid accounts) is a lot lower than thought.
Found it on the elite forums
- December 12, 2015 at 7:25 am #1921
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.
- December 10, 2015 at 2:26 pm #1906
Welcome to the party. I am happy to say that waiting for someone else to post it worked out.
And the image itself…
CIG is just amazing. Folks are still giving their life savings to a helluva nasty marketing machine.
- December 10, 2015 at 8:50 am #1904
The white knights did something drastic I hear. Hopefully you deal with those folks pronto. Also caught your post about an 11.
Nothing more sad than to see a scam progressing thanks to stupid customers. Star Citizen is the nigerian prince of the decade.
- December 7, 2015 at 4:50 am #1874
- December 6, 2015 at 7:41 am #1872
Star Citizen. 4yrs + $100m + 500 people later. Now in pre-Alpha-Alpha 2.0. Coming in 2016 <— LOL!!
- December 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm #1863
Again scam practises.
This is the second time in a short time they officially advertise and sell something that is NOT available to everyone . ( 1st iteration beeing the scam referal program ).
Then poor attempt from CIG at “explaining” it.
They love to come to us with unfortunate bugs and such that they have no idea where it comes from (lol).
Meanwhile on the forums, they (edit : the backers) are trying to ask and understand. They still don’t get it but at least they interogate themselve about.
- December 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm #1865
- December 4, 2015 at 4:34 pm #1867
You can’t fix stupid.
But I think we are way past stupid. The english language needs new words to describe these folks.
- December 4, 2015 at 6:12 pm #1868
I don’t believe anything they say. I think it was deliberate because the awards gave them a platform to reach more people. So they took the opportunity to do it.
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.
ps: So that happened. More and more people bailing.
- December 10, 2015 at 2:43 pm #1907
“…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.
- December 11, 2015 at 4:05 am #1909
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.
- December 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm #1916
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.
- December 5, 2015 at 6:07 am #1870
Lets be honest here:
CIG has never hit a deadline ever and never kept a single promise. Yet once again the do the same thing this time to most likely the largest audience the game has seen.
This is beyond incompetence now, now we are into malice. They could have hedged their wording because of every past failure but they didnt.
You are correct now Dman that this is gone beyond everything to wring every last little penny a person has out of them before they get disgusted and go away.
And now I love the white knights saying it only brought in $2200 bucks so no biggie. Want to bet the cost of the ad and the time to create it was extravagant?
- December 6, 2015 at 6:37 am #1871
@blix The reason it didn’t bring money is because a) only the whales are funding this train-wreck now b) they just had two back-to-back funding events (CitizenCon, Anniversary) which drained their wallets. Heck, even then, they didn’t even get 15K new “citizens” during the anniversary.
So if they thought that this broadcast was going to rope in new suckers, they were sadly mistaken. They have already peaked. Which is why they released 2.0 in such a shoddy manner. Just as I predicted and said that they would. If the whales stop giving them money, the project is screwed.
This is another reason why they are rushing to get SQ42 out the door in some fashion. Unfortunately for them, over 700K people are already entitled to that game via their on-going backing. There is hardly any room to grow.
2016 is going to be very interesting indeed; and anyone who still has money in this game, come 2016, might as well kiss it goodbye.
- December 5, 2015 at 1:40 am #1869
Opportunity… Is it true that Crash Roberts has a cocaine problem? Or just a rumor? I bet no one can disclose or confirm it though… would be a nice thing to know. Lawsuit and defamation fodder keeps secrets hidden. Then NDAs keep the costs of that trailer hidden too…
But yeah, that was one amazing wasted opportunity. I know it was deliberate… but to take such a risk… screw up, then backtrack in public… is stupid. I love how desperate they are.
Derek putting pressure with his inside sources and lawsuits… being rich enough to pay for a lawsuit… Customers rebelling and revolting. White knights bickering and betraying… The possibility of Sandi shaming Chris in private…
No one would have seen this coming back in 2012. Crash Roberts is da man for epic opportunity. We can expect more great things from a man that was sued $8 million by Kevin Costner.
- December 2, 2015 at 1:15 am #1859
Is there anything about the lawsuit you can share about?
Are there any ways that can be publicly disclosed to increase chances of getting a refund?
CIG is handling refunds in 2 ways based on what I’ve found. Small refunds around $40-$500 are given easily if they are within some automatic refund process with a payment service. Refunds that can’t be auto refunded will be asked to send the remains to some send money payment service like Paypal. Large refunds that have both automated refunds and send money pieces will be left in half baked CIG limbo where the auto refund is done and the send money is ignored. This is where older backers who want out are being screwed over.
CIG may not have been a scam at the beginning but they sure are doing scammy things now. I bet a lot of people need help with getting their refunds.
I pointed out last time that refunds are now coming from a RSI International Limited. It’s obvious that CIG is reading what we post here.
- December 2, 2015 at 2:11 pm #1860
@MDrake lots of things going on that I simply can’t talk about publicly. The Nov 30th deadline has come and gone; and they haven’t satisfied the requirements of the original ToS.
And yeah, we are aware of what they’re doing wrt refunds because we are still getting emails about this sent to [email protected]
All I can say at this point is that if you know of anyone still having difficulties getting refunds, please give them that email address.
I will keep you all posted once I have something that I can publicly share.
- December 4, 2015 at 1:52 am #1862
We were talking about the nastiness of getting a refund and once we started dropping the names of customer service folks assigned to help us, things began to hit and click.
Remember the CIG Employee’s Perspective forum topic that showed up after the Escapist article? The CIG employees that jumped to defend Roberts and Sandi? The employees that willingly rushed to protect their scam lord were Kraiklyn_CIG, Mike-CIG, pixelpicker or Patrick, Allie_C. At least 3 of these folks work in customer service, and are the same ones that have screwed people out of their refunds.
I think Patrick pixelpicker is the forum lead moderator and might be someone high up in CS. An extremely dangerous person to have to deal with.
Some employees may be scared shitless of making Roberts or Sandi mad but others will defend them bitterly. The ones that do defend bitterly are in CS and wielding the power to shit and screw folks over. Things are shit beyond FUBAR for everyone that want out.
The refund amount and the CIG folks you are assigned will determine your refund chances.
Derek, I think this is worth tweeting to see the feedback.
- December 4, 2015 at 2:09 pm #1864
Have you got any news from your refund?
Might you try selling on reddit to the cultists. Not only they’d love to buy your pledges but you’d get more money than refund.
- December 4, 2015 at 4:31 pm #1866
@ lir big
Thanks for checking up on me. But nope. I’m screwed.
No one is assigned to my ticket. Not surprised since I am $2,500 and CIG has no money to spare. I get all the generic “refund request in our queue” or “you have not been forgotten” messages from various CS folks. The gray market is crashing and it’s no surprise. Derek is living up to his promises which is a lot better than Crash Roberts. Lawsuits are slow, a process and all I can do is wait.
At least I can sit by and watch Ben trip up. Good show there folks.
- December 1, 2015 at 5:47 am #1858
Star Citizen is not being ported to DX12. Words fail me…
While you were sleeping, news broke that the folks over at the Star Citizen camp were in the process of porting the entire custom engine (built on top of CryEngine3)…to DX12.
Seriously. This news broke over night; and I’m still stumped.
This for a game which, by all accounts and going from the recently rushed 2.0 pre-Alpha release, is so far off that only the whales still putting money into it have any hopes that they will ever see a game.
$100m (triple-A title budget) crowd-funded, and over 4 years later, nothing but a glorified proof-of-concept tech demo exists.
My guess is that, if they survive 2016, the next big piece of news is that the game is going to be ported to Xbox One.
Not to mention the fact that this article confirms my suspicion that this is still a 32-Bit game with zones. NOT a seamless 64-Bit universe as has been pitched. It’s all right there on p6. And that has **very** serious implications for the game and those who are expecting a seamless universe as has been pitched.
I mentioned that here last week.
At this point, nothing further needs to be said. I’m just going to watch what comes next.
- November 28, 2015 at 10:16 am #1850
I was curious to see if anyone had any more information on the ‘Z fighting’ or jittering mentioned earlier in the month. I am very curious about the tech behind the large world and how it was pulled together, and was curious if anything else turned up that corroborated the 32*2 thoughts, or possible some other kind of work around. I was watching a video earlier today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyWijRL9VfA of the most recent patch (c? d?) and I can’t tell if they have done something clever with the shaders and shadowmaps to mask the issues, or if I just am not noticing the problems.
- November 28, 2015 at 11:11 am #1851
Graphics issues are easy to fix; so I’m sure that if you are no longer seeing those anomalies, that they are actively fixing them. Though I don’t see any such notation in the 2.0 patch notes thus far. Could be they don’t deem them important enough to list.
- November 28, 2015 at 11:35 am #1852
Thanks for the response! I initially had the same thought as in your other post that the glitches were a result of issues with the large world conversion, or that they were a ‘sign’ they had fudged some of the implementation, and therefore it would be a tough thing to mask with graphical fixes – especially the jittering of the player character which seemed to get progressively worse as the ‘time in game’ went on.
I will keep watching videos (or streams are probably best to catch it as it happens) – but do you think it should get worse based on distance from a ‘game object’ like a station or planet? By my understanding, they could have set planet/station locations, and then the player location would be relative to that. If they have made a full conversion to 64 bit, I hope an industry mag or blog is able to get a close look at how they did it!
- November 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm #1853
I don’t believe they’ve done it. And there won’t be anything ground-breaking about it for any mag to write about since some of us have already done it years ago.
I just watched a stream which showed the same problems with jittering (not to be confused with z-fighting) issues and similar precision related issues.
- November 28, 2015 at 1:33 am #1847
I am also a backer of Star Citizen but luckily I only invested USD 65. I am also very suspicious about the whole project.
What I dont understand is why you always repeat that the development started 4 years ago and that 500+ people are working on it. From what I know that is not true. Maybe you should be more precise with these statements.
Even if the prototype was in development for one year starting 2011, it doesnt make much sense to add it to the whole development time. And the whole year 2013, when less than 50 people were working on it, shouldnt be added either. I would say Star Citizen is in development for 2,5 years (middle of 2013 till end of 2015) with a staff of 150 people.
- November 28, 2015 at 9:42 am #1848
Sorry no, that’s not how that works. The prototype (proof-of-concept) stages all took time, money etc. So yeah, it’s 4 yrs. You don’t just ignore that, throw out the time, effort, money – just because you can.
That never – ever – happens in reality. That’s like saying when you’re about to build a house, the time taken to find the land, get the permits, draw up the architectural plans etc, should all be discarded because they are of no relevance to when they started the construction.
Chris himself has gone on the record as saying that “development” started in 2011. His words. Nobody made that up.
Also, here is a statement from Ben Lesnick back in Dec 2014.
“One important note: the footage you see in the trailer is in-engine, not pre-rendered! Chris put together a live Star Citizen demo for the announcement at GDC Next. Chris created the Squadron 42 demo by himself over the course of a year or so, with support from his old friends where needed (especially for the art, as the demo needed three ship exterior models, internals for the Bengal and one cockpit.)
This was not a game, or even something that would become a game – it was a proof of concept to show investors (and then the public) that the CryEngine could be adopted for the game we wanted to make. There was no privately funded game development period with different investors. We had investors lined up to support the project IF we could hit the crowd funding goals… but not before. There were no development studios or producers or schedules or network engineers or 3D artists or anything of that nature working on Star Citizen before the end of the campaign in November, 2012.
As for the overall speed of development today – we’ll always do our best to show you how it’s going. To be honest, I came in thinking exactly the same thing: how are we going to do these ten thousand things and finish what we’ve promised? Martin Galway explained it to me best: making a game is a lot like a roller coaster… it feels like you’re going up and up and up forever, seeming to have a minimal return. But that’s because the first half of the experience is building the systems that let the ride down happen. There’s a point in the development cycle where we hit the top and suddenly you see how the production team has plotted all the pieces to start coming together. I think we’re near the top of the coaster now – for the first time, I can look at the pieces and absolutely understand how Star Citizen happens.”
So, it’s either 4 or 3 years, depending on who is counting. And if they paid themselves for the work prior to Nov 2012 as has been rumored, then it’s all the more relevant to count that 1 year.
And from the original 2012 Kickstarter page:
We are aiming for a AAA game experience. But depending on the funding levels reached, we may have to limit the experience for the initially released game version. Nonetheless, Chris Roberts and his teams have shown consistently that they are able to develop epic story-based games. Even with our very limited self-funding we have been able to do already a lot of work which is why we can show you not just concept art and a cinematic trailer, but an extensive demo of actual game play. So, we are confident that even with limited means we will be able to deliver an amazing experience.
“We’re already one year in – another two years puts us at 3 total which is ideal“
And the 500 head count is a number that Chris himself has already quoted numerous times. Many have come and gone, and right now that count, across four locations, is around 300 people. Just because there are less people now, doesn’t negate the work that those who have since left, had done.
- November 27, 2015 at 3:56 pm #1845
The truth about Star Citizen 2.0 premature release
This is what I said on Nov 2nd ahead of the Star Citizen anniversary sale..
- I don’t believe that there will be anything tangible in the upcoming AC 2.0. And by the time the dust settles, everyone will be wondering why it’s not AC 1.47 (or whatever)
- I believe that they will try to get that 2.0 build out in the PTU in time for the anniversary sale on or before 11/26.
- That 2.0 build won’t i) have fps (aka Star Marine) in it ii) have anything “persistent” about it iii) have anything previously promised (see below) in it
- Probably won’t support any new ships. And if it does, there will be maybe one multi-crew ship (still trying to find out which one is the likely candidate)
And whatever they release as 2.0 is purely designed as more smoke and mirrors to show “progress”. So it will be a buggy mess in PTU until well into 2016. Lest you forget, AC is still a buggy mess. And whatever it is they currently have in the PTU is best not even discussed. Remember, they still can’t even get buggies to work right.
Going into 2016, we’ll be dealing with v2.0x builds; all of which will remain in the same buggy state that the current v1.xx builds are in.
Four years. $94m+. 500+ people. Still talking pre-Alpha. And no game in sight
2016 is the mad rush to get a scaled down version of EP1 of SQ42 out. Depending on how much they want to cut, it probably won’t happen. Which is why they are currently hiring more people at Foundry 42 because all bets are now being placed on SQ42.
In the latest Around The Verse E 2.08
“You guys have seen this already, we’re up to about 15000 players right now. BugSmashers are hard at work fixing the various crashes and lag spikes and issues you discover. It has been an incredible process though. 2.0 is ***working exactly as we imagined it***, people were getting in there and seeing how Star Citizen works, it’s all coming together. There’s the FPS, there’s the multi crew combat, there’s all sorts of parts everyone’s been waiting for, it’s a great experience for us, we feel good here” – Ben Lesnick
…then there’s this exchange…
SG: Yes of course 2.0 has been on the PTU since our anniversary livestream.
BL: Yes! I know people look to us and say you planned that but it was touch and go all the way but I think Sandi had to threaten Erin Roberts at one point perhaps.
BL: But they got it out to the first 1000 during the livestream and we’ve been ramping up since then. The stream itself was a great success. It was three hours with Chris, Erin and the rest of the team. If you have not had a chance, go back and check it out, lots of new Star Citizen content in there.
[Sandi and ben laughs]
BL: Sorry it’s my serious face!!
Someone put it best, so I’ll just quote the whole thing:
“I found it interesting in the latest “Around the Verse” that Ben basically said Sandi outright demanded Erin release the Baby PU as is — and Sandi confirmed the characterization.
This actually is illuminating for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it suggests power dynamics that are quite difficult to see from our cheap seats. Though their account can be read as semi-humorous– it’s easy to believe this is somewhat representative of their dynamic– that Sandi (Chris’ wife / VP of Marketing) ultimately has the authority to tell Erin (Chris’ brother / Executive Producer) what to do.
That it should NOT be this way is obvious– Erin as Executive Producer, one with a longer term track record of gaming success than his brother (and a history of saving his own brother’s arse)– shouldn’t be pushed around by a VP of Marketing or his brother’s wife.
But it also prompts question– why? Why was Sandi demanding Erin release it- despite his implied reservations.
The answer seems pretty clear– Sandi knew that prospects of the entire Anniversary Sale without the Baby PU would be pretty grim. And for Sandi– there is not other priority or consideration beyond the continued extraction of wealth from the pockets of the Sperg Militant.
Fixing customer service– so they stop having 4+ week trouble ticket queues?
“Screw it– that would mean hiring more people. Let the current employees suffer with never ending backlogs and pissed off backers, and let the backers think that lengthy delays are actually normal rather than a complete embarrassment…”
Fixing our slow-as-hell, pathetically subpar and disorganized China-based merchandising / shipping operation so the fans can get stuff more quickly?
“Screw it– who cares if it takes a month to deliver things, and our shipper loses loads of inventory often, and fans who get broken / misprinted / subpar merch end up having to wait 3-5 weeks to get through the support queue, after waiting just as long for delivery, whereupon they’ll wait yet another month to get a replacement? Let them think China is actually a brilliant solution delivering higher quality stuff than America or Europe can match and it’s worth the wait. Because that means we can squeeze even more bucks out of their sperg asses.”
For Sandi, the only measure of CIG’s success is cash in the bank and furnishings in the Santa Monica office (and surely the Roberts home / life). Screw quality of support, product, or game or workplace experience. Keep the money rolling in at all costs. Everyone else — backers, employees, other offices — can suck it”.
- November 23, 2015 at 6:09 am #1821
Seeing the condition in which they recently released 2.0 in, I wanted to just paste this post I made back in August when the social/planetside module was first released. It seems even more relevant now since by all accounts, this 2.0 pre-Alpha release is going to be in this broken unfixed state for many months to come. And assuming they even survive 2016, I don’t see how this game – in it’s entirety and with everything promised – ever go Beta in 2016.
So they have released the first pass of the social/planetside module in the recent 1.2 update which, amid cries of foul, went live to all backers, not just those selected for participation in the PTU (Public Test Universe).
Here is the release announcement by Tony Zurovec (He’s in charge of the Persistent Universe. Yes, he’s a fantastic developer who joined CIG a little over a year ago).
Yes, I have played it since it was in the PTU.
It looks outstanding! But as I’ve stated before, I don’t believe that anyone is going to be arguing about the visual fidelity of this game. So I’m not going to waste my time on that. As I’ve always said, they have a team of stellar content creators and developers who are stretching CryEngine3 to its full potential.
From the standpoint of a game developer and engineer, an avid gamer and ex-backer (FYI. I am no longer an official backer. My office received a check directly from Ortwin via FEDEX yesterday. More on this in another blog due out next week; and in which I will post an image of the check, showing the 08/24 check date etc) of this project, I am very disappointed in this release.
Why? I hear you ask.
Simple. They are doing precisely what I predicted that they would do, now that all this noise that we’re all making has thrown this project, and its creators into the “wtf is going on!? spotlight, garnered the attention of the Feds via the many reports etc.
“As far as this project is concerned, from my observation and experience, it is my opinion that if they ever ship a completed Star Citizen game, that is true to the “vision” they have been selling, it will be a game that could have been made in four years for $20m.
Instead, with all this resource waste due to bad project management, scope creep, wasteful and improper spending etc, they would have blown through $86m+ and with zero accounting for where the money went. But hey, they shipped something, right? But since I don’t believe that the game – as pitched – will ever see the light of day, backers are going lose, no matter how this ends.
Here is the crucial problem with this. The minute they deliver a “game” that fits the framework they have described, regardless of how buggy or incomplete it is, the legal hurdle of accountability becomes harder to get over.
For example. You pay me $100 to build you a quality box. Then through delays you start getting irate, forcing me to deliver or face legal consequences. The end result is that I’m going to build you a flimsy box for $10. Now you have a box. I get to keep $90.
You now have to decide whether or not it’s worth coming after me for building you a cheap flimsy box.
How many times haven’t you ordered something online, received it, then had to return it because the quality or operation was not as expected? That’s what we’re facing here if we don’t push for accountability. Except in this regard, you won’t be able to return it; nor will you be able to get a refund.
Unless there is fraud and/or criminal conduct uncovered, they will get away with it; walking away with millions of dollars either through unjust enrichment, or spent foolishly in order to keep up appearances.”
Having seen what they released a few days ago as the social/planetside module, there is no doubt in my mind that precisely what I said above, is what they’re doing now.
This module was in no way, shape or form ready for release. Yet they released it in order to – for the first time – make a deadline in order to “silence” critics like me in an effort to show that stuff is coming.
I am just shocked that $88m+, 500+ people and four years later, backers to date, only have three largely buggy and incomplete modules, with network code that is still incredibly sub-par.
And no, they didn’t meet this end of Aug deadline as many seem to think, and which White Knights are rejoicing over. This module is vastly incomplete, contains glaring bugs etc and there is no way on this God’s Earth that anyone can tell me that they didn’t know about these bugs ahead of the release, seeing how obvious they are.
Worse still, they have to build 800 of these things. At first, it was 100. It’s now Aug 2015 and the 1st one – right out of the gate – is this beautiful, incomplete mess.
And CR says the game will be complete by end of 2016.
Take a look at the epic looking Nyx Landing Zone video (https://vimeo.com/137655209). Yet another example of how spectacular this game looks.
Now look again. See that chugging? Those are some of the performance issues that they’re going to be facing. And this is just one client in this “level”. Imagine what’s going to happen with 4, let alone 24 (or whatever client count they’re shooting for these days) clients in here at that visual fidelity level.
Oh, and as I understand it, this is just a flyby landing zone. So yeah, all this work for what amounts to a glorified landing cut-scene in the social/planetside module. Most are going to skip it once the novelty wears off.
And let’s not even get into the performance issues.
Anyway, here’s the thing. We already saw this ArCorp level at GC2015 a month ago. And we know now that it was staged because the experience (from my play through and from other reviews) we saw then, is totally different from what they have now released.
Let me explain staged:
“In dev speak, the term “staged” means to have been designed and executed specifically for a different purpose other than that which would be experienced by a user.
In this regard, even by the directions that CR was giving which in and of itself is part of the “staging” process, it was easy to see that the team of players only flowed the way they did because there was a director (in this case, Chris) in charge.
Also, we saw the same client/user “sprinting” (actually is “positional rubberbanding”) in the 1.2 PTU just now released, that we saw a month ago in that demo. And of course, we didn’t see people falling through the world, clipping into geometry etc. Pretty much, most of what is in this user review of the 1.2 PTU wasn’t evident (at least not clearly) in that presentation.
Finally, if you looked at the recent dev update, you will see references to merging code from the Gamescon build. That means they had a special build for that event and which was not part of the current dev pipeline.
So no, that presentation was not indicative of the actual experience that a gamer would have. And that’s now evident in the 1.2 PTU which contains those same assets, levels etc. That’s why I say it is “staged”.”
Aside from that, back in a Forbes interview (the same one in which he said the game would cost $20m to finish) from May 2013, CR claimed that this social/planetside module would be finished and playable in 2014, with the full game being ready for delivery by the end of 2014.
It’s now end of Aug 2015.
Which means that it is now over a year and a half late. You can actually chart this yourself, even if you ignore the interviews themselves. In fact, here is an RSI forum thread from Feb 2014 asking about the release of this module which was scheduled for March 2014.
Like AC 1.0 which was released in a similar fashion, and almost a year later is still buggy for the most part, this social/planetside module is also incomplete and buggy. Which, from what I’ve seen, means that there is a very good chance that it could take several months for it to get into any decent working and complete state.
So once they release what I believe is also going to be a half-baked Star Marine and SQ42 (Episode 1) and whatever the heck they think (my guess is that they’re going to peddle it as AC 2.0 / Multi-Ship) is the PU, that box mentioned above will be their delivery vehicle for the “vision 2.0” game.
Hangar, Arena Commander, Social/Planetside, Star Marine, SQ 42, Persistent Universe (derived from AC 2.0 w/ multi-ship)
At that point, regardless of the quality, they would have “delivered” on Chris’ vision 2.0, thus reducing their liability. You know why? Because there is a big difference between these two:
i) non-delivery for something you’ve taken money for
This one keeps them open to a lawsuit. More disastrous is that it subjects them to the invasive prying eyes of the Feds (especially the FTC and the FBI) for so many reasons that when the attorneys ran me through the list a couple of weeks ago in a strategy meeting, I was astonished. In fact, while I was focusing on the FTC, I had no idea that any part of this would even fall under the purview of the FBI.
ii) delivery of something – anything – that has no guarantee of performance
This one can get them out of a lawsuit, and possibly the invasive prying eyes of the Feds.
However, as we have seen with lawsuits against game companies such as Sony, Sega et al, companies can still be sued if they are perceived to have intentionally shipped a shoddy product, false advertising a product etc. So depending on who would decide to pursue this, the risks are still there. Especially given the numerous statements that CR has made over the years about this project’s schedule, scope, funding etc, which are collectively going to make it a slam dunk to get this one in front of a judge if they end up shipping a rushed and shoddy product.
The end result is that, if they “deliver”, backers are going to end up with a shoddy mess that took five (assuming they survive 2016, which at this rate, I have no reason to believe that they will) and $88m+ to develop.
There are those White Knights already crying foul saying that they were forced (well doh!) to release this in order to silence critics (fuck Derek Smart!), that they met (uhm, no they didn’t) a milestone release etc.
This is all just the usual noise.
And they’re not saying:
“Hey hang on! Why is this, after almost two year delay, STILL IN THIS CONDITION!!?”
While I continue to applaud the stellar development teams who are doing everything that they can to create Chris’s over-ambitious vision 2.0 pipe-dream funded by other people’s money and with zero accountability, I am still holding him 100% accountable for the disaster that is now unfolding in full public view due to the direction that he has taken this project.
While I have nothing against ambition, the fact remains that if you make promises to backers, then break them, you should be open about it and hold yourself accountable rather than making excuses.
And part of that “openness” means showing backers i) how their money has and is being spent ii) why they should continue giving money and putting faith in the project
I still believe that this project is FUBAR. And it saddens me to say it. I simply do not see how, from what we’ve seen thus far and what I know, they could ever hope to deliver on promises made for this “vision 2.0” game; let alone meet the expectations of those who funded an $88m+ epic dream of a game.
At this point, I don’t even need to sue them because for all intent and purposes, I should just sit back and wait.
- November 25, 2015 at 11:49 am #1839
They say Goons ruin everything. But one put together this guidance on how to get a Star Citizen refund. Do it.
- November 26, 2015 at 8:35 am #1841
It seems they removed it.
- November 27, 2015 at 9:15 am #1842
They removed the other refund link from both TinyPic as well as UltraIMG. So now I’m hosting it.
- November 27, 2015 at 2:07 pm #1843
Well I must say I had thought of number 1)*, but wanted to play fair and went through refund request.
But I would greatly advise anyone who can’t get refund to use this method. Even if it means screwing up people, at least you can try to sell the white knights, since we all know reddit is their stronghold.
- November 25, 2015 at 11:39 am #1838
“But here’s the thing, I didn’t see or play any of this. Squadron 42 seems to still be very much in the early stages of development, and I wasn’t shown a working build. Everything I saw was in the CryEngine editor or described verbally by one of the developers.”
It’s now Dec 2015 and they claim (it’s bullshit) that it’s coming out next year.
- November 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm #1844
I wonder what he’s seen from the editor . I also wonder since when it’s been in the editor. Anyway that doesn’t seem much reading at his conclusion.
By the way wasn’t The Escapist publicly invited by CR himself to visit the studios? (aka response ‘letter’ , at the end ) . I’m sure CR did nothing of the sort afterward, but I’d sure like to know if TE kept investigating about CIG . Future will tell.
- November 25, 2015 at 11:25 am #1837
The Star Citizen financial waste continues:
For those of us keeping track of this inbound train wreck, some have been compiling all the stuff seen in videos of the new Santa Monica location (the one rumored to have a $20K cappuccino machine).
This one is new. It’s from the latest broadcast. See this pic? http://i.imgur.com/CnDy9MC.jpg
That lamp alone cost this much:
1) SPUTNIK FILAMENT FLOOR LAMP: $595
2) VINTAGE SQUIRREL-CAGE TUBE FILAMENT BULB ($9×12 bulbs): $108
TOTAL (without tax): $703 https://goo.gl/HqLPS0
For a floor lamp.
And others have been cataloging this sort of thing from various new videos. Take a wild guess what those work tables (with the casters) in the background cost. e.g. the chair and desk are from there. The wing desk costs $2,500.
So much for this:
“As a crowd funded project, Star Citizen’s scope is based directly on the support provided by our backers. Money pledged goes directly to the game’s development.”
Found here: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/funding-goals
- November 27, 2015 at 4:37 pm #1846
- November 25, 2015 at 7:04 am #1833
The Ill-Fated Star Marine Module
Back in Aug when I said that the Star Marine “module” had in fact been canceled, they denied it; and White Knight extremists went on the attack.
Enhanced Mission Design for Squadron 42 – The team at Foundry 42 has big plans for Squadron 42, and we’re going to provide extra funding to make it a true spiritual successor to Wing Commander! Squadron 42 can go above and beyond anything you’ve seen before. From opening with an epic battle instead of a training patrol to missions that seamlessly combine boarding and space combat, we aim to put you right into the action! Additional funding will let the team realize this, with enhanced mission design and more resources and animations to enhance fidelity.
First person combat on select lawless planets. Don’t just battle on space stations and platforms… take the fight to the ground!
Arena mode: The next generation of Wing Commander’s TrainSim allows pilots to test out their combat skills against friends or strangers in a simulation. Gain valuable combat experience without the downside of losing your ship in the game universe! Place bets on competitions across the galaxy.
Enhanced boarding options: melee combat, heavy weapons, zero gravity simulation, suit HUD options and EVA combat.
Ship boarding – learn more about how Star Citizen will allow players to conduct boarding operations.
FPS gameplay style was introduced right off the bat and added in various forms via stretch goals.
Like changing “Arena” to “Arena Commander”, Chris himself tagged the FPS module as “Star Marine”.
And like Arena commander’s ships, flight dynamics etc, everything SM was to be in the PU as well as SQ42.
The Star Marine module was only as “independent” as Arena Commander in terms of it being used as a testbed.
According to in-game lore, Star Marine was developed by InterDimension Software. It can be accessed from the Sim pod located in every player’s hangar.
…and this update was made on Oct 3rd, 2015.
Below you will find the weekly list of changes, updates, fixes and issues. We’re getting very close to release; those that remember the early days of Arena Commander will remember how frustrating it was that last minute blockers continued to pop up… and the same is true here. It’s part of the process, for sure, but a part we’ll be happy to be done with very soon.
In closing, it’s been another week of solid progress. We get closer and closer to putting this into your hands. I hope to have a video for you next week detailing one of the major blockers that’s kept Star Marine out of your hands thus far, including the solution we’re in the process of implementing even as I write this.
At that was merely three weeks before Chris announced at CitizenCon that Star Marine was no longer going to be released as a stand alone module, but that it would be a component of the Star Citizen Persistent Universe.
This was June 2015: Star Marine: Bringing crowd-funding to a gun fight
As we’ve seen in the 2.0 pre-Alpha, the same shit that was shown before, is what’s actually in there now. None of the new stuff they claimed they were working on appears to be in it. In fact, last I checked, they haven’t even mentioned anything about FPS in these 2.0 updates, let alone “Star Marine”. And it’s apparently still in the production schedule.
Star Marine, as we knew it, is dead.
- November 25, 2015 at 7:28 am #1834
Your claim that ‘Star Marine’ is scrapped and “dead” are incorrect. You appear to be inferring they plan to never release it, instead drop the mechanics into PU. True, everything will get dropped in the PU at some point, but the ‘Star Marine’ module is still coming as a separate entity from the PU. Evidence by discussion of it on the latest ’10 for the Producers’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo85N7P5UeQ#). This question was answered after the live stream, and suggests that they still have plans that include it.
It will be the same as AC, a VR game inside of Star Citizen, primarily functioning as a test bed for design and mechanics.
- November 25, 2015 at 7:53 am #1835
I never made such a claim, nor did I infer it. Please read my post again. There will be FPS; just not in the stand-alone form that Star Marine was originally designed to be. It has been canceled. By Chris. At CitizenCon.
I never said anything about FPS being canceled.
Star Marine, as a stand-alone module, has been canceled. There’s no argument about that.
- November 24, 2015 at 11:42 pm #1831
One of my contacts got back to me and has small info about Ortwin showing up in payment histories. They claim to be only in the USA and have only bought stuff from RSI from the USA. They went through their payment history and noticed Ortwin came up a lot. CIG followed by Ortwin and this history goes for a bit of time before going back to CIG.
Would this info be useful if you are still considering a class action lawsuit? They do not know if the info is useful or just another list of Ortwin related purchases with dates before they switch back to CIG. Where should I tell them to send it if you think it’s useful? If they do not get their refund, they have an interest in joining your lawsuit and I’ve already sent them the info in How to Obtain Relief and outlook email.
I wonder just how many CIG has screwed over in the refund storm… It’s gonna be pretty bad for the folks that sent in their refunds months ago and got nowhere. Hell, I don’t know what to do. Is it true that Sandi is the human resources or customer service boss? She may be the one to pick and choose who gets refunded and screwed.
- November 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm #1830
Oh I just learned that if you want to have NPCs manning certain points on your ship… you going to have to pay RL cash for each NPC.
- November 23, 2015 at 3:06 am #1818
So something occurred to me a while ago. At this point, they’ve sold so many uberships to whales that even if, by some miracle, they managed to deliver the entire 2.0 multiplayer game universe that they promised the entire game will still die horribly. Not right away, mind you – it would take a year or so – but in the end, it would die. Why? For that, we need to look at a different game, one done right, that being EvE Online.
In EvE Online you can, as with dang near any MMO, spend real money for game money. However, their developers (CCP Games) made a clever move a few years ago and moved RMT into their own offices, legitimized it, and started pocketing the money themselves (they call this “PLEX” – look it up if you’re interested). You can then take that game currency, go out and buy yourself the biggest, baddest, most unstoppable Titan class doomships in the game. You can kit it out, go on a rampage, and laugh manically from your newly purchased throne… for about five minutes, at which point Goonswarm will hot-drop in “numbers do not go that high” amount of ships right on top of you and nuke your precious doomship into flaming pixels in about thirty seconds flat. Your pilot will respawn. Your ship won’t.
That’s the important thing in EvE. No matter how much of a badass you are, no matter how big & fancy the ship your flying, you can still be taken down. And when that ship goes down it stays down. So yes, you can pull out your credit card and buy your way into the big shiny, but how long you last there is another story entirely. You can always slip, fall, and end up slogging next to the rest of the proles in a single day. Nothing last forever in EvE, unless you never leave your hanger.
So now you’ve got SC and the whales, gobbling up uberships as fast as CIG can dream them up. Naturally, in the age old appeal to blatant power-gaming & ego stroking, every one of these new ships that comes out is designed to kill every previous ship that came before it. It’s an absurd level of blatant power creep, and in a game that hasn’t even come out yet. But wait, it gets better, because CIG has also been offering new whale packages that take this from the tolerable EvE level of slight annoyance at wallet-warriors to outright anger: They’re offering lifetime insurance.
And in that one swoop they’ve broken the game irrevocably. Why? Because now when that whale buys spends ten grand on a unstoppable ubership, it’s forever. When Goonswarm shows up and blows them into flaming pixels it’s not just the pilot who’s going to respawn as if nothing ever happened. He’s going to get his ship back, too. How many times? All the times. Over & over unto infinity. It doesn’t matter if you park five hundred gankers outside their station running combat bot macros 24/7 and blow him up sixty four times a day. He will just keep coming back. That whale has just won Star Citizen… and has done so using nothing more than his wallet. You can’t beat him. No matter how good you are, no matter how many friends you bring, no matter how hard you try or persistent your personal jihad, you will lose simply because he will outlast you in his immortal ship that, by the way, you will never fly because you’re not made of money.
There is a saying: “Goons ruin everything.” I’m not a Goon, but I’ve encountered them. I don’t like them, but I respect them, because I know what they’re really doing. Goons don’t actually break games. Rather, the go into a game and find all of the game’s flaws, weaknesses, crap rules & poor design choices. Then they exploit the crap out of them. Why? To be jerks? Partly, but also to expose these problems. When one guy exploits something the devs can ignore it. When a thousand people exploit something together, as a team, record it to video and post it on YouTube… now it’s something the devs can’t ignore. Now they have to fix the problem. Goon logic is like this: Annoying pothole on your street? Fill it with garbage, rebar, broken glass & old tires, and then set it on fire. Crude? Rude? Disgusting? Sure. But see if the city doesn’t come out and fix that hole within one day. Just watch.
But immortal uberships? Not even Goons can fix/break that problem. So here is what you’re going to end up, even if the game is finished:
First month = Hundreds of thousands of people swarming to the game, so many that a few whales in uberships are hardly noticed… except for the endless “duel me noob” that is spammed into every chat channel approximately ever two seconds. Some of them form guilds/clans/companies and set out to the frontier to build up their thing.
Second month = Players begin to notice that there are a few groups that seem to be shooting to the top of the food chain rather quickly. Upon investigation, it is obvious that the whale are exploiting their immortal uberships to bolster their team’s assets while crushing opposition via however many suicide attacks as it takes, because why not? Resentment begins.
Sixth month = The only viable, competitive group entities left are those run by whales. Likewise, the power of those groups can be directly measured in how many immortal, whale uberships they can bring to bear. The more the better. “Not millionaires need not apply” becomes the new running joke in SC.
One year = Now that word has gotten around that the whales are gods of the game, immortal, unstoppable Highlanders, everyone who can’t (or won’t) throw in new car money into the game has given up and gone home.
Past one year = The empty chasm of space is occasionally still visited by the occasional new player, lured in by ease of the games new “FTP” offer on Steam. They normally last about two minutes into the game until they’re discovered, hunted down and exterminated by level five billion pilots flying diamond encrusted battleships made out of gold that go from zero to sixty in a proton fart, can out-maneuver a hummingbird on meth and are covered in 16′ gatling cannons, then called “noobs” over chat right before they log out, uninstall and never look back. Silently, the lonely whale drifts among the nebula, wondering why he has no friends… as he reads today’s desperate plea from CR to raise the $2.5 million it will apparently take to keep the server running for another month.
Sad and bored, the whale reaches for his wallet once again…
- November 24, 2015 at 5:31 am #1828
@von Neely I’m a ten year plus veteran of eve online I love the game and the company, what you’ve put is a misrepresentation of facts/reality, In EVE if you wallet warrior your way to a titan or super as a new player you have to buy the character to use it too. It is literally the only class(supercapital)that isn’t coverable by insurance which as a vet or player you know the reason its not insurable is because they aren’t dockable.
Goons and most other entities in EVE have SRP programs that replace losses for pilots regardless of ship(includes supers) class as well as the platinum insurance available on literally every other ship in the game meaning you only lose the fit on the ship(can be very expensive) Plexes killed a lot of rmt in EVE (this is why killing the greymarket is good business from CIG). But their biggest other use is to pay the fee for character transfers of which there are literally hundreds if not thousands a week
GoonSwarms rise to power in EVE was through use of noob ships “blotting out the sun” was the motto of Goons on their rise to power when or if this game releases don’t kid yourself that both Goons and reddit/Test wont be buying in their droves to get dominance over each other and crushing or converting every organisation of power along the way IF OR WHEN THE GAME RELEASES THIS WILL HAPPEN check SA for goons future participation if you think it wont, I have been a GOON(Sponsored by an SA buddy) and i’ve fought GOONS, never in a bloc war just for lols.
I can give you a counter for your LTI and shit has killed future game potential because if they lower the overall damage of base ship weapons making them unsuitable for PVP (ie EVE noobships) give market variants that don’t get insurance but take a few missions or some luck with salvage(if it happens) to get hold of or people can buy 5000 rec for ten dollars and buy a ships worth, arbitrary numbers btw, as long as they are achievable with a grind and not cash only stops P2W and raises money from whales same as a lot of other F2P games, as an EVE player you know what I’m saying can be adapted to fit another game ,its what makes EVE/CCP awesome.
EVE online has 400 000 or so subs at the minute all paying 20ish dollars a month, even plexes have to be bought originally for rl moneys i believe this gives EVE an annual turnover of 108 mill usd,in gaming terms this is a tiny player base but if you do the maths that it gives a very impressive cash flow, servers and running costs last time I read btw were something like 29 million a year meaning if they stopped making stupid shit like Dust514 and WOD they would have a fabulous profit for a tiny playerbase and there are ways for companies to mimic what CCP do. That’s what a dedicated playerbase gets you, how can you see the future and know for a fact CIG money men can’t copy some parts of this for future funding?
1) This is only a sidenote on if or when they get the game out, I guarantee neither
2) Attack the argument not the grammar
3) My opinion is based on ten years a player of EVE , 5 years a lowsec pirate, 1 year a WH dweller and 1 year in Goons the rest of my evetime I wasted on trying different lifestyles
- November 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm #1856
I played EvE for several years as well. Your monologue about Goon strategy is valid, and I don’t see it contradicting anything that I said earlier: Their primary weapon is vast numbers and the organization that allows for actual teamwork even with such vast numbers in play. I am not contesting this – I said the same thing myself, so I’m unsure what you meant to prove by repeating it more verbosely.
Here is the only question/argument I could find in your reply: “That’s what a dedicated playerbase gets you, how can you see the future and know for a fact CIG money men can’t copy some parts of this for future funding?”
That is a good question. If CIG was smart they would certainly rip-off a lot of EvE’s ideas (no shame in that, it’s how the Roman Empire got built, after all). Yet I don’t see them doing that because CR’s ego/”grand vision” won’t allow for external influences. The classic “it’s not a good idea unless I came up with it” fallacy.
Furthermore, at this point it would not matter if they did start stealing ideas from EvE because, as I stated before, they’ve already crossed the point of no return. The “lifetime ship insurance” automatically creates a infinite power gap between those whom have it and those who do not. To use a metaphor, imagine a single hornet. Now imagine that this hornet is immortal – if struck down, it will rise again like “Wolverine” from the “X-Men.” That hornet decides to attack, let’s say, a gorilla. It stings the gorilla. The gorilla squashes it. Hornet comes back, stings the gorilla again. Gorilla squashes the hornet again. Hornet comes back, stings the gorilla again. Repeat this as many times as needed until the gorilla is dead. The hornet then flies away triumphant.
“Lifetime ship insurance” is a game breaker and it’s already in the game. What’s worse is that it’s something that is bought with real money. This is not only bad because it’s obvious pay-to-win, it’s horrifyingly bad because they can’t ever take it back. If they ever realized/accepted that this was a bad idea & tried to cancel it, what would happen? At the very least they’d have to refund all the money that they made from selling that particular item (see the entire rest of this blog for why that won’t happen). At the worst they’d have to refund the money and vex those same backers enough that they backed out completely – which would lead to more refund requests and more bad publicity from the burned whales.
CIG has trapped themselves pretty bad with that. Yes, they might be able to survive pay-to-win ships if they adopted EvE’s “no refunds upon death” policy, but then whales would stop buying them. Yes, there are lunatics in EvE who will pay $1000+ of real cash to get into a Titan. They have whales of their own, but they’re not entirely funded by whales. Meaning if all the people who sell PLEX for shiny new ships were to suddenly quit the game itself would survive. CCP are not dependent on PLEX/whales/legitimized RMT. CIG, on the other hand, are entirely dependent on the sale of spaceship pictures. To risk losing sales for any reason – even good, logical reasons like “not breaking the entire game” – isn’t an option for CIG even if they wanted to.
And they don’t want to.
- December 1, 2015 at 12:52 am #1857
I like Eve. I was there from the start and 3 years in.
Chris Roberts is not really a multiplayer game designer – at least not the way the Eve devs were. I think the pvp aspect mainly. I dont think CR can adopt Eve principles easily because he will never truly understand them. He’s mainly a pve guy and his focus and talent is immersion.
Star Citizen can never be about the grind for more stuff. Many things will sabotage this. 2 major things are the funding scheme as you just stated but also the fundamental game design. Grinders dont want immersion. They dont want to spend minutes walking into and out from a ship or looking at the scenery og listening to a sound of the virtual world the are in. They want to earn isk (or whatever their goal is) fast and effective.
I dont know if Star Citizen will be made. If it is made I dont know if it will be a succes because its doing something new or if people will only play it for 3-6 months (which in my book would be a fiasco in game design).
Can we play a game for +1 year because we like to be immersed in the world it offers? I dont know. We do know that the “grind and reward” game setup works but I really dont see a way that SC can count on this as a driving factor to keep players interested.
You could also argue that there is no reason for SC to be like mmo games we already know (then it could just as well be made using traditional development and funding methods). Its an experiement and I’m in for 40$ – no more no less 🙂
- November 23, 2015 at 6:32 am #1822
Absolutely. And this is precisely why most people already recognize it as P2W as well.
But I wouldn’t worry too much though. The game is probably never getting finished. So worrying about that at this point is probably premature.
- November 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm #1817
Been an avid supporter of SC for well over a year now and have spent over 1k on this game.
I was in the same boat with all the other SC cultists. I’d defend it without a second thought. Striking down anything slightly negative like most of the asshats in the forums do. Derek Smart was just a guy who wanted attention in my eyes. That went on up until these past few months. I soon realized that DS was in fact correct with most of his whistle blows. CIG’s business model has become ever more corrupt and showing signs of needing money more than ever. They’re going back on their word to the point that they don’t care about the player’s happiness at all. They only care about making money and will only change something if it’s negatively effecting their cash flow.
Like with the recent 2.0 release. They stated that 1000 players who have been using the Issue Council moderately would get access to play the release. How the hell were we suppose to know if these people were actually getting to play the 2.0 like they stated? They could give the access to anyone they wanted and say that it was because they used IC when several players saying they haven’t once used IC are getting the sign up emails. The horrible buggy shit that is the 2.0 update began popping up on CIG’s forums. Everyone instantly began defending it by saying it was a glorified stress test. So if this was true then why did they make damn sure that every SC twitch streamer got access. Because publicity means MONEY.
It’s all slowly beginning to show. They spending more and more money and they’re having a hard time keeping up. So they’ve resorted to making money in anyway possible. Hell you can tell this whole game is a scam due to the fact they haven’t stated how they plan on keeping this game afloat after the PU release. Some members of CIG have hinted around at a P2W model but honestly fuck that.
So fuck you CIG and to everyone else stop spending money on this game. Jpeg ships are not worth thousands of dollars. No matter what the CIG cult tells you. Hold on to your money until (or if) the actual game comes out.
- November 23, 2015 at 7:30 am #1823
Hey and welcome aboard mate.
I know the feeling , went through it couple of months ago.
I hope you will ask and get a refund . These thieves deserve nothing more.
- November 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm #1825
Yeah about those…
This is just a quick update to let you all know that we still have your refund request in our queues and that we have spent some extra time today implementing some updates that should make it a little easier and faster to respond and take necessary actions.
Please note that refunds are still very involved and can take considerable time to process.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
That will take some while.
- November 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm #1826
I found this image of a refund.
Roberts Space Industries International Limited on November 23rd. Oh hey, his refund was a tiny $250. No shit CIG are ignoring large refunds like my $2,500.
Nice to know the fine folks at CIG do read the blogs and maybe the forums too.
- November 24, 2015 at 6:58 am #1829
I confirm, the refund I got came from RSi Int as well. I can provide links if needed
- November 22, 2015 at 11:38 am #1813
Only place to post peeves without getting bombarded, so here goes: The PTU. Back in 2012–there were 200,000 Alpha slots available. Nevermind that 200,000 alpha testers is batshit crazy. Fast forward a few stretch goals and another 50K alpha slots are added. A whopping 250K alpha testers. Many at the time doubted the wisdom of having a quarter of a million “testers”–the noise ratio would simply be too high. 250K seems more like stress test numbers than alpha.
But hey that was 2012 and 2013. Before there was anything to test/play. Fast forward to 2015, and here we sit–brand new, playable tech released and only a handful get access? Apparently, there are multiple levels of “Alpha” tester. Subscribers, streamers, “upstanding” community members tend to be the Alphas of the alpha testers. Give to the more vocal. Stomp those that complain as being impatient and childish. Can’t think of a better way to build a cohesive community…
I shudder at the community if this game ever does see the light of day as a single server MMO. Several large, all powerful groups run by slightly (ok, severely) unbalanced folks consumed by the game… Sign me up!
- November 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm #1815
Yup. And the reason they’ve been “stagger” releasing it is because they know they will get flooded with tech support issues, it will chew up a ton of very expensive server bandwidth – and too many people will experience all these issues and add to the noise.
Last I checked, they had up to 16K in the PTU 2.0 now.
- November 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm #1816
Tech support issues… Yeah, more questions about this ship is too shiny. The seat is too low. The fish tank is too reflective.. Can we buy more fish to support SC? Why is this strut here?
And server bandwidth… Chris loves his constant 20-30 GB patches. Just one reason people are not playing.
More excuses for them to ignore refund emails. They have still ignored mine for $2,500. Maybe a few Completionists scared em to hell with their refund emails?
Some of us just want our refund, and leave. The white knights want that too. Except CIG is not refunding people. I am sure that only small refunds are given.
- November 19, 2015 at 3:24 pm #1791
Can I ask why you just blocked me on twitter? We’ve gone back and forth a few times about SC and LOD, and it’s always been civil. I think you make some valid points that are (unfortunately for everybody) obfuscated by some of your more… impassioned… discourses. You made a comment about the number of players in an SC 2.0 instance, and I questioned the number of players in LOD. This was not a personal attack by a white knight. It was a valid, objective measure of the standards you hold others to and how it relates to the standards to which you hold yourself.
So, I ask again, why did you block me on twitter? It doesn’t seem to jive with your typical “I’m open to rational disagreements” narrative. Seems like you’re just blocking anybody that dissents.
- November 19, 2015 at 6:53 pm #1792
It happens sometimes in TweetDeck that when you click to block someone, if it’s scrolling, you end up blocking the wrong person. I ONLY ever block people who are rude to me or who make personal attacks. If you look in my feed right now, there is a lot of open debates with various people and nobody is blocked. The same respectful debates we have here in the blog discussions.
Also sometimes my media person (who has access to my social media accounts) may block someone if they are not familiar with them or if they think they’re being rude or trolling (only I get to troll in my feed).
So tell me your Twitter handle and I’ll look into it and unblock if everything looks OK. If you don’t want to provide your Twitter handle in public, just email me directly to dsmart at live dot com
- November 19, 2015 at 2:52 pm #1790
2.0 just announced. Just an FYI.
- November 18, 2015 at 5:46 pm #1776
If Star Citizen is going to crash and crash hard, this is a real tragedy because this doesn’t just affect RSI and their backers:
-Large crowdfunded projects in the future will receive extra levels of scrutiny, causing even ones with talented, responsible folks behind it to fail
-If there wasn’t enough gamer rage against devs and publishers nowadays, this will surely ratchet it up to 11
-Potential investors for big-budget games might decide to put their money elsewhere
-Investors and backers will start requiring more transparency, which probably isn’t a bad thing, but too much could cause studios to burn a lot of time and money providing it
-Depending on if RSI declares bankruptcy or not, and whether or not backers can get refunds, you can expect legislation down the road that could make life more difficult for crowdfunded projects
Don’t get me wrong, I would love nothing more then to buy a finished version of Squadron 42 and relive some of those fond memories I have from the space-sim heydey, but if this what they have to show for their time and money thus far, I don’t see a way out unless they sell their assets and IP to a studio that is capable of seeing a more scaled-down game to completion.
- November 19, 2015 at 4:55 am #1782
“-Investors and backers will start requiring more transparency, which probably isn’t a bad thing, but too much could cause studios to burn a lot of time and money providing it”
Actually not. All it takes is put few livestream webcams and weekly reports, forum comunication and honesty.
No need for the whole “10 questions to xxxx” and other useless features (aka cit-game-etc-con) that show nothing, that cost huge money and that CIG is precisly doing.
- November 19, 2015 at 6:15 am #1783
I think for folks who are kicking in a modest amount of money for a project, I would agree that some livestreams, weekly reports and forum updates would be sufficient. The Webcam idea might be a little too Orwellian for some, but hey you never know.
What I mean by “Investor and backers” are firms and individuals that have substantially more money involved in a game’s production and are expecting more than just a copy of the game, some chachkies and DLC i.e. a share in the profits. Typically these larger entities want to see financial reporting and production input that is normally kept private and it takes time and energy to secure these types of communications.
- November 19, 2015 at 11:32 am #1785
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).
- November 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm #1779
Yes – and that’s just a small portion of the long term ramifications that it will have when it all collapses. All the warning signs are there.
- November 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm #1775
in your blog, you state, Arena Commander. A dogfighting app that, even after 18 months is buggy, sub-par and has very few players (out of over 700K backers)
Arena Commander is more than just Dog Fighting. I race almost every day in it. A game which I can play with multiple people, and hone my skills as a pilot flying through rings to become one of the fastest out there. I earn points in the form of REC, and these in game points, can be used to buy, in game ships/ unlock them, for a short period of time. I can only get better by honing my skills at flying through the rings.
I can stream my races, and have garnered a few viewers which helped me out with some hints and tips on what to do. The community helps out and gives advice. My question is, how is this not a game? Sure it’s not the WHOLE game we want, but it’s still something right?
- November 18, 2015 at 6:35 pm #1778
Of course it’s something. And I don’t begrudge the few people who find value in it. That’s not what my blogs are about. If you’re happy with a bunch of broken, half-baked modules, that’s fine. Nobody is going to fault you for that. Same as how nobody gets to tell another person how to spend their money, if they choose to buy JPEG ships for a game that, for all intent and purposes, will never see the light of day.
And if the project collapses tomorrow, and you’re happy with what you’ve got from the three modules, that’s all good too.
It’s all about context and I have never professed to speak for anyone, let alone everyone. But judging by the number of people asking for and getting refunds, or who are still waiting for their refunds, my guess is that I’m not alone in my assessment of this project.
- November 18, 2015 at 7:13 pm #1780
It’s all about context and I have never professed to speak for anyone, let alone everyone. But judging by the number of people asking for and getting refunds, or how are still waiting for their refunds, my guess is that I’m not alone in my assessment of this project.
I’m confused how you state WE, but then say you don’t speak for anyone.
In July, after I heard rumblings about the project being in trouble, I decided to do some research, talk to industry contacts etc. The picture was bleak; so I decided to write about it in order to bring awareness to what was going on. That first blog, Interstellar Citizens, was then picked up by the media.
Here you speak in the 1st person, you are doing research, WE aren’t doing research you are.. but then you say that WE crowd funded something, and that WE need to pay attention.
You also say,
To make things worse, in this past October’s CitizenCon event, Chris Roberts, despite previously going on the record as saying the game will be completed and delivered in 2016, stated that he was no longer giving backers delivery schedules for the project. And just like that, what little accountability for this $95m project was left, went out the window. It all translates to: “We’ve got your money, f*ck you very much, we don’t owe you shit”
How is this not speaking for somebody else? I am trying to understand the train of thoughts here, not call you out or anything. It’s hard to communicate solely through text, but I might be reading more into what you are typing, but given the words, WE and I, or Translates to, I have very little to go off.
- November 18, 2015 at 5:17 pm #1774
One of the Star Citizen investors (not a backer, a genuine investor in the company) managed to pull his money out of the project. He made a celebratory video. It’s hilarious. Watch.
- November 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm #1766
The financial records should be made available, I agree. I disagree that all of the spending has been wasteful, we honestly can say that either which way until we get those records. I think MoCap does fit in with SQ42, it was always likely to be the next evolution from the stuff Chris had done previously in Wing Commander.
Three years isn’t a long time to be making a game, yes the modules they do have out at this point should be more solid than they are; that said if they hadn’t been doing open development we wouldn’t have seen any of that yet. (That said, the “soons” are more than tiresome now). You know this yourself, LoD is now in its 4th year, going into its 5th soon, and you aren’t quite done with it either.
Some of the things you have ago at CR for, you have equally done yourself (taking a long time, trashing your own game engine in 2011, reworking the game assets as they targeted the old engine, selling TAK packs with items that aren’t nessecarily in the game yet but will be). It doesn’t seem fairly balanced.
To make things worse, in October’s CitizenCon event, Chris Roberts, despite previously going on the record as saying the game will be completed and delivered in 2016, stated that he was no longer giving backers delivery schedules for the project. And just like that, what little accountability for this $95m project was left, went out the window. It all translates to: “We’ve got your money, fuck you very much, we don’t owe you shit”
To be fair to Chris, I believe its more an acknowledgement that they keep saying “soon” and keep missing their deadlines, so its better and more honest to say they’ll deliver when then can.
- November 18, 2015 at 3:14 pm #1767
I didn’t say that all the spending has been wasteful though. And my point about the MoCap is that they’ve had no less then four attempts at it. But only someone keeping track, would know that. We’re tracking everything.
The SC vs LOD argument never made sense before, and it doesn’t make sense even now. At it’s peak, over 500 people have worked on SC over this period. And with $95m raised. How exactly does that compare to an indie dev team and it’s expenditure? And why do we always seem to arrive right back here at this nonsensical and irrelevant comparison?
FYI those TAKs you’re trying to compare to JPEG ships, bear no relevance to anything. The game is free. We use the TAK and Starter Kit as purchase to get into the Early Access phase. And it’s a one time purchase with no strings attached. We don’t sell individual items or the item shop would have been activated by now and items sold from there.
Plus, nobody cares how long they think it takes to develop a game. They care about promises made and which were either broken, or turned out to be flat out lies.
That aside from the fact that this is about SC, and not LOD.
And no, it’s not better to be honest and say they’ll deliver. Every single project manager knows that you must have a delivery and completion schedule. The reason that he did this is because it’s painfully clear that they don’t believe this game – as promised – will ever see the light of day. And it was right there during CitizenCon that, after months of denying (my reports that the fps module was on indefinite hold), he admitted that it was no longer being released as planned, but was instead going to be rolled into either 2.0 or the PU.
- November 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm #1777
I’m going to ignore the LOD vs SC because it’s a ridiculous thing to continuously bring up. They’re not comparable projects and never will be.
I didn’t say that all the spending has been wasteful though. And my point about the MoCap is that they’ve had no less then four attempts at it. But only someone keeping track, would know that. We’re tracking everything.
Source please. Additionally, multiple takes at large swaths of a technically challenging project is not a sign of failure, or even unusual if you’re trying to maintain a certain bar of quality.
Plus, nobody cares how long they think it takes to develop a game. They care about promises made and which were either broken, or turned out to be flat out lies.
I may look at all upcoming projects from a more cynical view, but I assume everyone is lying to me all the time. I can’t think of a single game project that has ever delivered exactly what they initially promised, and the end result is almost universally okay. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but even those Molyneux full on fantasy life simulators just ended up being reasonably fun games. Were we disappointed? Momentarily, but then you learn to push your expectations back. We’re not spoiled children, we can clean ourselves up and move on.
I’ve always had trouble understanding your argument that they failed to deliver the 1.0 vision. They put out their teaser video and got an enthusiastic response, then built further interest by putting out some reasonable (some not) stretch goals. These goals take the game from something that can be easily done with what currently exists to what you’ve deemed impossible, but isn’t this what Kickstarter is for? Why would anyone crowdfund the same kind of recycled, ported garbage that’s been pushed down on PC gamers for the last couple of years?
Putting money into something that does not exist is always a risk. You have to weigh whether or not you’re comfortable with the idea of something never existing, and how much you’re willing to risk to help it exist in some way. If it doesn’t come to fruition, then oh well. You pick yourself up, and say goodbye to the amount of money that you decided was inconsequential enough to piss away on an idea.
And no, it’s not better to be honest and say they’ll deliver. Every single project manager knows that you must have a delivery and completion schedule. The reason that he did this is because it’s painfully clear that they don’t believe this game – as promised – will ever see the light of day.
Every single project manager also knows that a large project consists of a large amount of small projects that also consist of smaller projects that also consist of general daily tasks. Even a fully agile shop is dependent on other aspects of a project coming together at some point before they can move forward, so you build estimates on estimates and come away with something that is almost never even close to right. It’s a mistake to ever make those estimates public. A mistake on estimation is almost guaranteed and when it’s compounded you end up with a nightmare deadline that you’ll never reach.
The only mistake they made was by promising we would see specific items in a specific state on a specific date. It’s a dumb mistake to make, and it’s understandable that people would get frustrated at some point. I don’t see how rectifying it is an admission that the game can be made.
And it was right there during CitizenCon that, after months of denying (my reports that the fps module was on indefinite hold), he admitted that it was no longer being released as planned, but was instead going to be rolled into either 2.0 or the PU.
This is not true. You could have at least said “And now they’re telling us that Star Marine will come out after 2.0. Star Marine is not coming out at all. Ever.”
Then at least you wouldn’t be lying.
- November 19, 2015 at 8:50 pm #1795
Here is what I’ve been predicting all month long ahead of this:
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