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After a lot of silence on the part of CIG once again there has been *something* poking the hornets nest in Manchester. Picked this up from a game devs meet and greet,
This I have been unable to verify despite my best efforts:
Some workers are currently tight lipped in regard to ongoing work of the project which is obvious but for a different reason. They are trying to discover leaks which are apparently unrelated to Derek Smart rather information leaking from the studio on their ongoing work. Not too sure what they mean by unrelated, this apparently ties in to their customer service team. It has been speculated their management team is merely suffering from paranoia and likely jumping at ghosts for whatever reason. From the sounds of it they are trying to prevent future leaks rather than deal with information already out there.
This I can confirm as somewhat genuine, although I am still skeptical:
Some developers have been asked informally not to attend game developer events outside of CIG or to have contact to other people in the industry, other game studios without approval from management. This seems to tie to the point above from a different source which offers some small amount credibility. To me it sounds more like a cult than a UK company.
These are genuine after speaking to third parties at a few of the meet and greets, and another company:
They are attempting recruitment drives again in Manchester, sadly they have managed to piss off some recruitment agencies in the process over constantly changing requirements, long delays at responding to possible hires, odd informal background checks on new hires to verify they are who they say they are, odd reference requirements for positions which are driving one recruitment agency half mad. Along with arbitrary requirements on possible hires which change last minute, sometimes it takes CIG 2 weeks to respond.
Some other local companies are upset and unhappy that CIG got a large part of the funding pie from the local council. It seems they stumped up more money than they should have from the local government which meant other companies did not get an equal or entirely their share. This is in reference to CIG creating UK jobs and business which some other local game development studios are understandably upset over.
Sounded like the bitter taste of the red pill coming though listening to the video and I think you’re right – it sounds like frustration at coming to a realisation.
As an outsider (not backed the game) still unable to comprehend this level of fanatical support, worse still it appears to be getting worse with the dedicated fans. The changes to TOS, refund policy, CS policy as becoming bigger signs of attention and seems to be drawing in media attention – which in turn is making the fans worse.
Everything seems quiet around the Manchester office these days, not many of their employees are even involved with local IT or game development groups or forums. Would speculate that it sounds like an enforced policy or maybe an unwritten rule not to talk outside the company or associate with “other” game studios or development houses, but who knows with CIG getting increasingly paranoid?
That makes no sense. They referring to a database schema? …
Database schema changes when changing ships at a guess? Although that would be VERY bad.
Unless they are being billed for database transactions (more transactions = more costs) which would make more sense.
4) Is troubling. Just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, it does.
Sounds very managerially specific too, also the 9 votes it has is also oddly specific considering when it was posted.
A good point raised by one of the goons:
It’s also worth noting if they are spending time and effort on trying to manipulate, discredit 0r twist what we are saying then that is time they are not spending on the game.
It is a futile effort at this point but rather than spending time and resources (staff time) on Derek / SC controversy / collectively “us” wouldn’t it be more productive to use this time in fixing the engine or working on the actual game?
Priorities at this point seem to be out the proverbial window, or rather the horse has bolted and is in the next field would be a more fitting analogy.
It seems strange that after negative controversy they want to keep digging, wasting people’s time in the process.
It is worth pointing out that whilst we are finding out things and coming together and confirming tibits of information that there is a risk if we don’t confirm what we’re hearing – it could make things worse for us by accepting faux information as fact. Ideally verify your sources and if it sounds too off the wall (then again what doesn’t at CIG these days?) then they may be a reason someone has told you information. Rather to look a gift horse in the mouth than to assume false information is true.
Let me explain:
It had went silent at CIG Manchester and now have suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree. However I am concious some of things I’m hearing are contradicting themselves over current employee conditions and especially mentioning he whom shall not be named in the office (Hi Derek!). Now since I managed to dodge a bullet and not working for CIG and can’t directly confirm what I’m hearing. I am aware they are trying to discredit anyone associated with their idealistic vision of Star Citizen which gives us a moment of pause.
Effectively they are trying to push false information our way to see if we pick up on it and repeat it as fact (rather than stating it’s what we heard but can’t confirm it). At the moment it seems prudent to air on the side of caution.
If anything it proves there is something to be worried about within the project as a whole. Recommend we’re all cautious in this regard.
For the moment I don’t think we can accurately predict when the project is going to “die”, by the supporters definition of “die”. Here in lies the problem that whilst the industry at large is getting clued up rather rapidly we should add, how can the fans or supporters know it’s dead if they keep on handing over money? Thus prolonging the life cycle and of some really dealings in the UK government and local councils with job creation funds effectively paying a private company to create UK jobs and for council funding, which they CAN legally do but at the moment they are taking on large risk because they will have to justify how that money is spent thus creating a longer cycle of where everything is up in the air. If that money leaves the UK or has found to have left to the US or German studio then that is a risk they are taking on.
The biggest problem is waking people up from this cycle, at the moment if you are seen as a detractor you are automatically seen as a Derek Smart shill. Fair enough I post on your forums and do agree, but an agreement on an opinion of a subject doesn’t automatically agree with everything said and done. Some of the things I’ve witnessed are pretty toxic, any mention of Derek Smart seems to be a firestarter for any supporter of the game. It has got a lot worse recently and is getting very personal and aggressive to anyone that speaks up.
More recently things have went quiet around their UK offices, we still have some of their staff applying for jobs time to time but they no longer even reach the interview stage with my company. The only feedback we now get is when they do something very stupid with their staff and the staff speak within their circles about it which eventually reaches every company within a large radius. Sometimes silence is good, in this case it’s either catastrophic or a sign of major changes.
Whilst it is argued amongst their fans that “you don’t understand game development”, “this is alpha”, “this is pre-alpha”, “this is a tech demo”, etc it seems to me those in the same industry do have a right to speak up and say it’s not. In fact I would argue that this is definitely not game development as I know it, agile or not – this is a mess. Whilst I may not agree with all Derek Smart’s methods I believe him to be making a lot more sense than CIG and the supporters, and fans. Some of the arguments they are making currently are just beyond any logical reason. My personal feelings and experiences with CIG aside, I still don’t understand why people are investing so much into this game and such a die hard fan base that is really starting to resemble a cult for some time now. I would say such “dedication” is dangerous and resembles an ideology.
My hope that when it does finally end one way or another that it is not as explosive as it appears to be. I have nasty feelings some of the more dedicated fans may be unable to accept loss of the game and become a threat to themselves or others.
Without trying to rant on what he said and be a bit constructive:
“It is a fundamental part of that, because we’re restructuring some of the way that entities are set up – so we’re changing it completely from the way it was done in the old CryEngine to be a very component-based setup, much more logical, and we’re only really serializing data that we need to serialize rather than big globs of data and it’s not nearly as, I guess, fixed as the old system was. Because the old system was really built for small, 16 player or 8 player, multiplayer games”
– Whilst improvements are nice, there is an admission here that on the lower level there is some serious underlying issues with the engine / code. Serializing data is not necessarily what I would go with but it is at least an acknowledgement of the issues with the engine and their current architecture. There are pressing issues is this regard that require priority.
“…one of the reasons why people see desync issues now, and maybe some precision issues is the actual server when it’s under load is running at actually quite a low framerate, even compared to clients… And partly that was because the server on the physics step was running at a much slower framerate than the client so we’re working on things to make all that better, it’s a work-in-progress, it will take a little while to get going but once it does, it will be better and there will be a lot more people in the instances and we’ll be moving smoothly.”
– So they admit the server has a framerate, sort of headless version of the cry engine as I’ve mentioned previously. Will give them their dues I never expected that admission as most backend server engineers scratch their heads and ask “why does a server NEED a framerate or a high framerate to get client physics working?”. It’s an admission on their part but that’s not how a game server SHOULD work. It will be a tough nut for them to crack, not impossible to fix but still require some serious dedication and engineering time. If it was done correctly at the start before implementation in planning then it wouldn’t be an issue now.
“I wish we had more members of the network team, we have essentially about 4 engineers that work on the game server network side and then we have another 3 that working in the backend services side. But if any of you out there are network engineers and wanna work on a really ambitious game, let us know, because we’ve had open positions for this for quite a while.”
– There is reasons why they are still open. Why did they also amend the job descriptions based on what was posted here – specifically my posts on service bus? Also why would anyone work as a network engineer or server specialist for the wages they are offering? Maybe they cannot recruit the talent at that range? They are unsure to what they exactly need therefore don’t know whom to hire?
“We’re always looking for good people because the things that we need is networkers, there’s a big need for us on the engineering side, AI is a big need and physics – if there’s any physics geniuses out there but if you talk to anyone in the game business, those are all the areas that are it’s genuinely hard to find people.”
– Probably the most negative comment to write but worth appending his statement with “as long as they don’t have accented English” based upon my experience.
“We’re moving along and it’s going to be pretty cool when it’s all said and done, cause it’s basically building a system, I’ve talked about it before, that the next generation of how you build these online cloud-driven systems, so we can distribute it across many servers and process more than you would in traditional single-server setups.”
– Another admission here, now best bet would be for them to do at least a multi-tenanted server short term on much beefier hardware with nginx or similar sitting in front acting as LB using iphash then look at getting those instances talking to each other properly (via service bus or a proper messaging system). Likely to fall upon deaf ears but worth mentioning.