Star Citizen – Year Four

Main Star Citizen – Year Four

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  • #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.

    #1779

    dsmart
    Keymaster

    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.

    #1777

    Mick Buckles
    Participant

    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.

    #1776

    Some Dude
    Participant

    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.

    #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?

    #1774

    dsmart
    Keymaster

    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.

    #1767

    dsmart
    Keymaster

    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.

    #1766

    Robert McGovern
    Participant

    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.

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