Star Citizen – SERIOUSLY

continuing my ‘intriguing’ web series of pulling old draft posts from the grave and completing them whether they are relevant or not (this one is! (I think)). This one I started in January – naught 6 months old!

39M in funding? (43.5 at the time of this draft necro..) That’s crazy. Nuts, even. I don’t spend a lot of time on Kickstarter and I have supported a total of two projects. One, Camelot Unchained, has less to do with the faith in Jacobs to be in charge (again) but more for nostalgia’s sake. DAOC was my game for many years. I honestly have some faith, but not a ton.

The second was supporting Tesh. I try to be a supportive community member and this one also had the added bonus of getting something cool for being supportive. To be truthful though, I probably wouldn’t have supported the tinker dice on the dice alone. That isn’t to put the project down one bit! I’m just saying for me, Tesh was the driving factor to support. If I loved cool dice that may have been the factor. Regardless – Star Citizen is a clear voice of the people on a game a lot of people have asked for for a long time.

I loved the Wing Commander series and also Privateer. While not related, I also very much enjoyed the X-Wing fighter series. So I definitely have a space ace kind of vibe going on here. This naturally had me do a lot of research on the upcoming title and I am intrigued  – DEFINITELY intrigued. But, like many kickstarters the stretch goals are starting to lose me. I have so much distrust in big name designers making their comeback.

sorry – couldn’t resist!

The constant fundraising is as well. I know you can never have enough money when developing games but just looking at their main web page with the contests, video shoots, etc. etc. it seems as though they are becoming a professional money-raising organization as much as a game design one. More game making, less fundraising, ok? The good news is that their stretch goals stop at 45,000,000 and we’ll see if they add more after that. The bad *feeling* to me is how much of the money they have already raised has been used to raise more money versus making the game? I’m not saying that isn’t smart, but perhaps they should run a new Kickstarter for the PR side of the game. (note:joking/sarcasm – I know promotion (often shameless) is a huge part of gaming. I also know that it is a necessary evil to help push the box sales. I think the mandate is already clear here though.)

Chances are that answer is zero money “wasted” on promotion, and since it is a self-published title that they are working on from a legendary game designer (Chris Roberts) this money is critical for the whole process. I have been pretty tough on Brad McQuaid in the past and every other former rockstar designer (Jacobs, Garriott) who tried to make triumphant returns on their name alone have failed pretty good. This is Mr. Roberts’ kick at the can and with the freedom he has from the rounds of fundraising he won’t have a publisher/external pressure/zombies to blame if he fails.

Of course, and with the other famous designers, I want him to succeed. I was an early Tabula Rasa tester and thought it had a chance to be a niche success – but Rockstar Game Designers don’t do niche! I beta tested Vanguard but saw the chinks early although I held hope. Bhagpuss still heralds the game as one of his faves. I made a now silly prediction that Warhammer Online would get and hold 1,000,000 subscribers based on the beta experience. I still think it would have hit that if they preserved what made the beta experience awesome, but that turned out to be impossible. The irony of that prior linked article about the 1,000,000 subs is talking about Copernicus and how perhaps Curt Shilling could be uninfluenced by the market and actually build a game for gamers.  Yet another example of a Rockstar Style CEO/Designer and a huge flop.

I need to stop predicting while I am ahead. Wait, I’ve never been ahead on my predictions. I just need to stop.

Chris Roberts is the face of the space gaming and exploration and while he has been gone from gaming for quite some time (for the most part) before Star Citizen, he is the last standing hero designer with a shot at a repeat. I am going to watch in quiet anticipation from the sidelines on this one.

Help us Obi-Chris-Wan-Roberts, you’re our only hope.

36 Comments

  1. Mehlan

    I have hope….but I’ve grown frustrated with the repetitive delays to the ‘dfm’ module’s release. What was initially told/sold to the community as a 2 month delay, is rapidly approaching 6 months… what was supposed to be the latest ‘release’ estimate/guesstimate, has become ‘tune in Friday for the release date’. On top of this, it appears they had no ‘release plan’ back in December…and it was only last couple weeks they started to think how they were going to ‘let people in’.

    Reply
  2. Isey (Post author)

    OK I don’t feel so bad for being cynical now. I’d still prefer it if it was delivering on all cylinders =)

    Reply
  3. mehlan

    Lol, don’t feel bad at all. 🙂 I believe if you say your going to give a date, live up to it..if you can’t you better have a good explanation and apology, and bust your hump to pull it off next time. I like his ideas, I have hope for the project but I think someone needs to take CR back behind the woodshed for an educational session. Ex: At the pax reveal, CR on stage first gives a release estimate of ‘next week or so’, then less than a minute later says something to the effect of the next month. That comes across to me, as guessing…an ‘estimate’ should come after some real in-depth review of where things stand.
    Now they recently hired some guy from blizzard…Alex Mayberry as an executive producer, so maybe he can put some organization to the place…and a leash on CR.

    …I think my, real concern is CR will delay too many things, too many times and the project will run out of $ and/or steam to reach completion.

    Reply
  4. mehlan

    Well the tentative release date…came and went… however they’re now giving a daily bug-status report and claiming the delay is a matter of days, not weeks. Though their return the user of ‘very soon’ is disconcerting…

    Reply
  5. Isey (Post author)

    I’m going to ride your coat tails on this one Mehlan. Keep me updated =)

    Reply
  6. mehlan

    nothing really to keep updated about… 6 months in, and they backtracked and release a single player version, again waves of npc pilots. It took..an approximate 2 weeks before they started the mp ‘roll out’. One of my points of contention in regards to this, is one would think… that back before the original pending release ‘december’, they would have a plan. Yet it was early june, we find out they were trying to figure out HOW to ‘stagger’ the release access…
    Now, we’re almost to august….and they’ve granted access to 200k users. Add some, patch it, dump more in…break it, fix it. Irregular communication updates… stuff like ‘early next week’, Monday, Tuesday, weds.. no information update.

    This is one of those, check in on occasion then forget about it for a couple months and check were it stands.

    Reply
  7. Isey (Post author)

    So my complaints are true? They seem to be better at raising money than making a game? =)

    Reply
  8. Mehlan

    Guess ultimately time will tell… Things look pretty, and there seems to be a fair amount of write/re-write.. My hangar has changed, my two ships.. look nicer.. but it’s still trainers, variants still havent been added.
    That makes 10 months since the original ‘delay’ announcement… 8 months beyond CR’s guesstimate of a 2 month delay.

    I think, in time they can pull it off…of course the question is going to be how much will actually make release…and how late will that actual release be.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      your patience is amazing, lol. I just heard they hit another milestone of 55M of funding. I am not touching it early. Crazy how good at fundraising they are though!!

      Reply
  9. Mehlan

    I check the forums maybe once a month now… it’ll come once it comes. Do on occasion poke @ the diehard fanboys when I stumble across one.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      Let me know if you actually get some hands on =) I’m dying to know if it is just another money raise =)

      Reply
  10. Pingback: Too Big to NOT Fail? | I HAS PC

  11. Mehlan

    Well it’s Feb 2016 and what has Chris Roberts accomplished so far?

    108+ mil in money collection…

    a bare-bones non-persistent ‘mini’ universe, amusing referred to as the ‘mini pu’ (mini, persistent universe), Maybe 1/2 of the ships are in a flyable state, and it’s still missing most of the mechanics/systems they claim their going to implement.
    About the only thing CIG/Chris has been consistently reliable on… is missing target dates or ‘guesstimates’ on when something with become available to the general user base.

    As I post this, they’ve been hyping the latest ‘patch’ that should be going to the-test universe.. Well they were hyping it, but they’ve back off after taking over a week trying and failing to produce a patch stable enough to go to the test-system. This of course AFTER having telling backers 1> The patch would go to the system mid-month, 2> That they would be producing a solid ‘patch’ to users every month.

    Summary at this point, the project seems the be a clusterfark of mismanagement and inability to produce anything on a timely manner.

    Reply
  12. Isey

    Yeah, I was one of the early people to draw alarm to how big and unwieldy the fundraising program was (notice, I’m not really calling it game development right now. It’s still all fundraising).

    This would eclispe 38 studios if they can’t/won’t/ do not deliver. =)

    Reply
  13. Mehlan

    Patch finally went to the public test server on 2-22, but they changed it back to invite only…
    Their up to 2.2c, no ‘new’ invites.
    End of Dec, they had stated they were going to a monthly patch..supposedly the test patch going to test server middle of every month.
    Obviously they’ve already blown that…talk is at least a week before it goes from test to live.

    # of people complaining about the quality/lack of communication is growing.

    Reply
  14. Mehlan

    …and because I’m bored, patch is still on the public test server, with limited access. That’s a over a week back and forth to Q&A before getting to test, and likely 2 weeks + on the test server trying to get it ‘stable’ enough to go to the ‘live’ alpha server.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      HA! – Well, tbh, I am actually looking forward to playing it… in 2020? =P

      Reply
      1. Mehlan

        2020 might be a reasonable date….

        Amusingly the latest ‘patch’ also has a change to the ToS, removing the 18 month guesstimate for release and changing it to ‘If CIG fails to produce’ yadada…

        In what has become true Cr/CIG fashion… at the beginning of the year, they made a comment of changing how they were doing things and were aiming for a patch a month schedule, starting with 2.1 (next month would be .2 etc).
        True to their real nature, 2.4 was released to the general populace of ‘backers’ in june.
        Yup six months in, and they’ve gotten 4 updates out. As part of this ‘progress’ they have gone from the process of internal build -> Test Server -> public server, to internal build-> private/restricted access test server, complete with NDA->ptu-public server.
        Now 2.4 is being hailed as ‘huge’ update,and 6 months after the ‘mini-persistent universe was created… the mini-persistent universe now, actually has ‘persistence’.
        They finally created a ‘test-currency’ for people to use rather than ‘real money’
        The original ships which has been slated for ‘rework’ for years now apparently going to be..replaced with ‘new models’. Yup, the development has taken long enough the original ships are already outdated while the ‘game’ if you will, is still in, for all intents and purposes, a pre-alpha/alpha state…

        Reply
        1. Isey

          Amazing. Looking forward to the 2025 release!

          Reply
  15. Mehlan

    …and here I am with another update. 🙂

    Well how do I start? How about, after being a member on the CGI forums for 3 years I finally got my first ban on their forums.
    Amusingly, it was not for telling someone they have their head shoved so far up their arse that they can see their tonsils… n, I got flagged and thus banned for the following…

    1> it was for asking someone, if ‘natural ability’ has nothing to do with “skill”, to explain savant syndrome
    2> challenging some others, objecting to a potential change in the flight model to…record themselves staying within 150-450 meters of a ship they were fighting.

    The current combat in the flight model is more akin to one of the jet combat sims of the past, or where the
    Now to the ‘state’ of Star Citizen…

    There still is no ‘vertical slice’ to the mmo-apsect,also known as the ‘persistent universe’.
    Cig started off the year stating they intended to release one patch a month. As of 10-6-2016, the most recent patch was 2.5… reputedly 2.6 was to drop to the ptu ‘soon’,
    However so far there has been no word of this happening and talk is of a 2.5.1, flight model changes in which they are reputedly wanting to reduce flight speeds and change weapon ranges etc.
    Ship combat now, is more akin to the old modern jet sims…in which you spent more time looking, chasing and jousting a small dot on your screen. Yet what has been talked about for years, are detailed damage states. Component systems, which can take damage impacting flight characteristics and being able to disable and board ‘enemy’ craft.

    CIG went to Gamescon, gave some pretty little shows etc… stated that 2.6 would contain the FPS part ‘Star Marine’ and that ‘3.0’, which they demo’d would be coming before the end of the year. 3.0 demonstrated atmospheric entry/planetary landing and some fps aspects.
    SQ42, the ‘singleplayer’ object was unadressed….backers told to look to Citizencon (oct, 9) for an update. Now keep in mind, last year when they produced the demo/trailer for Sq42 the end of the video states 2016.
    Latest interview.. they’ll have all the assets together by then end of the year, but don’t know if they;ll have time to pollish it before the end of the year. (Pollish is CIG speak for Internal beta testing).

    Time will tell, but so far it’s not moving anywhere very quickly….

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      You are a peach. I don’t think I have ever been banned from a forums =) This is bordering on the really silly side… still! Will either be the best game ever made or the worst letdown.

      Reply
  16. Mehlan

    A peach? Lol. Disqus thankfully lacks for said moderation, so it’s not like I don’t ever get to….uhm express myself.

    CitizenCon was the 9th.. The big ‘news’ everyone was waiting on, was an update on the status of Squadron 42. SQ42, is the ‘solo player’ ‘game’ that CIG had created a ‘trailer’ which had ‘2016’ plastered all over it. At gamescon, no information was provided and backers were told to look at exciting ‘news’ regarding SQ with a ‘demo’ video of the first mission @ Citizencon.
    CC opened late, hours spent on various from of suckup and retread of history…eventually they came to SQ42. A static screen showing a list of current ‘blockers’, some short rambling from Chris amounting to, that the ‘demo’ was not ready and they HOPED to have it ‘ready’ to show by the end of the year, thus the ‘game’ itself was not ready with no estimate of release.

    Of course, the various magazine etc wrote various articles on this.. of which a few used titles stating SQ42 had been delayed indefinitely. As one would expect, a horde of rabid fans descended forth clad in their shiny white armor… below is an exchange with one.
    .
    ==========================================================================

    Mike Simpson • This article is click bait. Its about as indefinitely delayed as the next grand theft auto game or elder scrolls game… Its just getting a lot of attention because they are openly posting their development, both hurdles and breakthroughs. Are you being paid by the major publishers that would lose money if this business model became a sustainable thing?

    Ulric -> Mike Simpson • Ok what’s the release date for SQ42, what’s the release date for the ‘mmo’ aspect of start citizen?

    Mike Simpson -> Ulric • The answer is when its done if you were confused

    Ulric -> Mike Simpson •…and both SQ42 & SC had ‘release’ dates prior, thus the term ‘indefinite delay’ is applicable.

    Mike Simpson -> Ulric• Ohhh I see your logic… Its like your brain is on an indefinite hiatus.

    Ulric -> Mike Simpson • No, I think the problem is that you’re suffering from a severe case of cranial-rectal inversion. Normally the treatment for CRI would be to hold your breath until you hear a loud pop.
    In your case however, it appears that a more…radical treatment is in order. Unfortunately I’m not sure there’s a vehicle or mechanical device that could produce sufficient torque.

    Mike Simpson -> Ulric •
    Cool story bro, can you tell it again?

    Ulric -> Mike Simpson • ^ and this people, is why pets and stray animals should be spayed/neutered.

    Mike Simpson -> Ulric • Another cool story! Also lol @ you thinking anyone cares about our exchange enough to need your advise on pets

    Reply
  17. Isey (Post author)

    You are still a peach to me, LOL!. Part of me wonders how interesting the internet would blow up if this game is never released.. and all those millions down the toilet… would be a spectacular sight indeed!

    Reply
    1. Mehlan

      You’re not the only one who wonders that. 🙂

      Here we are a bit over a month later, no news on SQ42 and neither 2.6 ‘Star Marine’ nor 3.0 have made an appearance.

      At gamescon Cr was talking a ‘hopeful’ release of 2.3 by Dec 18… now according to their ‘internal timeline’ they’re ‘hoping’ to get 2.6 out by Dec.

      Chris recently made this comment again…

      “As you know we’ve not been keen to give hard dates on the project after the initial set of dates which we had estimated when the project was a lot smaller in scope,” Roberts wrote. He insisted that any dates he’d given for the completion of a module or the release of a beta were rough guidelines only, “but unfortunately some people often tend to forget the qualifiers and treated my comments nonetheless as a promise.”

      ..now back in July 2015 he made this statement

      “As you all know we are shy of announcing firm dates for module releases until they are in the Public Test Universe (PTU) as it’s hard to predict exact dates in open development, especially in the stages that still involve R&D, unless you build in large time buffers. We have been burned by this multiple times before so I have heeded all your wishes to not give out dates until we are sure.”

      We all know you run into snags, but when you are repeatedly off your eta’s by several months at a time (3-6+ months), I don’t think you can legitimately put it off as ‘some people forgetting the qualifiers’, particularly when you do things like put up a trailer with dates in huge numbers @ the beginning and the end of it.

      Reply
  18. Isey (Post author)

    Yeah, you need to get better at setting dates. Maybe they have already run out of money….

    Reply
  19. Mehlan

    Rofl, yes another random ‘Star Citizen’ status update…

    It’s Dec 16 and ‘2.6’ “star marine” still isn’t live… as of this moment, they opened the test server up to ‘subscribers’, but the version on the tester server is a functional crippled version… and it appears a 3rd of the functions that were supposed to be in this patch have been removed.

    A far cry from ‘2.6 and 3.0 by the end of the year’.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      This is basically your column and I am so glad you keep it updated. I actually really want to play this game, but I am not buying early. Came close a few times but it’s becoming a bit of a joke now, the (non) development.

      Too much sizzle, no steak.

      Reply
      1. Mehlan

        It’s the old Wendy’s commercial, “Where’s the Beef” 🙂

        Reply
  20. Mehlan

    ..and here we are again, rapidly approaching ‘Gamescon 2017’. The relevance? Well, it was Gamescon 2016 that Chris announced ‘3.0’, the patch that would introduce planetary landings. That’s right, the first ‘step’ of the game of seamless transitions.
    It was a mere 3 months after this, that Chris would step on stage talking about their big end of the year release, 3.0 and the hope of releasing it before December the 19th (and of course, let’s not forget the SQ42 trailer and web page with 2016 plastered on it).
    So as Gamescon 2017 steadily marches ever closer… where do we find SC/SQ42? The ‘jesus patch’, 3.0 still languishes in ‘development’. The latest ‘schedule’ update, of this ‘open development’ project has yet to reach the hands of the NDA bound ‘evocati’ test group, with a projected ‘release’ of August 21st to 25th.

    According to Chris, 2017 should have contained 3.1-3.3… a ‘cadence’ of a ‘major patch’ every 3 months, Reality has been a pair of ‘bug fix’ related patches this year, the sq42 ‘page’ changed from ‘2016’ to ‘2017’ and…well naught much else other than videos and talk about progress that has yet to make it to the ‘live’ server.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      And yet… people believe! This is one of those titles that I want to suceeed but have growing doubts it ever will. And I was a naysayer early =P

      Reply
  21. Mehlan

    Lol ‘release date’ for 3.0 is now early September…

    Def smart move on your part mon. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      I hate being right!

      Reply
  22. Mehlan

    …and here come’s citizenCON 2017, where does SC stand?

    In the same cloud of smoke and bullshyte as the last several years.
    First, the 2017 has been removed from the SQ42 ‘page’ with no date… SQ42, which for months Chris insisted would be ready by EoY 2016, went from ‘greybox or better’ @ the end of 2016 to ‘between whitebox and greybox’ @ gamecson 2017.
    There will be nothing in regards to Squadron 42 at citizencon, the focus instead will be the ‘3.0’ patch, that in August of 2016 Chris also ‘hoped’ to release before EoY… ‘Fans’ will be “treated” to a Dec livestream of a ‘roadmap for Squadron 42
    . How this is a treat, I dunno as anyone watching this knows that a Drunk with vertigo after a 4 gallon bender of hooch can drive a straighter line than Chris can ‘follow’ his own ‘roadmaps’.
    Back to 3.0 though, 10 months ‘late’ it’s finally reached their ‘evocati’ test group… and it likely to languish there another 2-3 weeks. In all likelihood this ‘jesus’ patch is likely to go live between Dec 2017 & Feb 2018…
    When they announced 3.0 they claimed this year would have major patch every 2.5-3 months, and it’s questionable if they’ll even get one out.

    Chris should be embarrassed as hell and apologizing left and right…not following the trend of frior & molyneaux.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      Funny thing is he is defending their design road map and lashing out out at people who are calling him and his team out right now. he seems to think that a 2020 release date was the plan all along.. (I mean, text and quotes are ALL LIES!)

      It is very good for comic relief now. Glad I didn’t invest and sorry to read your visible frustration!!

      Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      Soul has long been sold, my friend.

      Reply

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