Author Topic: Star Citizen - The Game  (Read 77592 times)

Offline dsmart

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Star Citizen - The Game
« on: November 23, 2016, 08:51:19 AM »
    Lets talk about the "game" itself. A lot of backers, even after 4 years of development, keep claiming how innovative it is, does something that no other game does etc. Yet, we who are on the outside looking in, know this to be pure and utter bullshit.

    I once started to write a blog about the game's merits, both in terms of gameplay and tech. But after about 1000 words, it just turned out to be another critical blog that wasn't even worth publishing.

    From time to time I've written short technical and subjective missives such as:


The furor over the "golf radar" - post 4550

Their procedural generation of planetary terrain tech demos - post 4725

The scene sizes & that 64-Bit nonsense - post 1812

The "persistent" universe that's still not persistent - post 1849

How they used Nyx in another procedural planet tech demo - post #2005

The revelation by Brian Chambers who claimed they'd revised CE3 by up to 50% - post 4483

There was that time when Sean Tracy decided to clarify the 64-Bit confusion which backers seemed to be confusing. This is the subject of a recent discussion (see below) between Ben Parry and I.

Status of the 2.6 and 3.0 patches which were due end of this year, and bringing Star Marine as well as "emergent" gameplay - post 4757

The tech demo at GamesCom 2016 - post 4589

The tech demo at CitizenCon 2016 - Shattered Dreams blog

The Star Marine fiasco at 2016 anniversary stream - post 4879

And of course what the end of year fiasco means for the on-going E.L.E. - post 4854

UPDATE: My discussions (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) with Ben Parry one of the rendering programmers on the project. This was sparked by this discussion about the SC world size.



As of Dec 9th, with 2.6 still MIA and 3.0 still a pipe dream, these are the major releases this year since 2.0

v2.0 (patch notes), Dec 12, 2015
v2.1.0, Jan 15, 2016
v2.2.0, March 4, 2016
v2.3.0, March 26, 2016
v2.4.0, June 9, 2016
v2.5.0, Aug 25, 2016
v2.6, Dec 23, 2016

And during this period, these are ALL the Star Marine updates. Yet, here we are, over a year later, and they still can't get it working.

AUGUST 22ND 2015
AUGUST 29TH 2015
SEPTEMBER 19TH 2015
OCTOBER 23RD 2015



Don't forget all what they promised in the 2.6 patch, as per the recently unveiled "schedule" UPDATE: They changed that almost a week later. Like it never happened.

Company sizes as of CitizenCon 2016 (Oct)



Number of known corporate entities associated with the project. Not including all the third-party contractors and companies.




When it's all said and done, amid all the broken feature promises and missed dates, this is what Star Citizen boils down to after 4 years (5 if you count 2011 as per Chris's statements) and $134 million as per the "Star Citizen Alpha 2.5 Features - See what's playable now" page.

I need someone to please explain to me, in simple terms, how ANY of this is ground-breaking, let alone have the ability to "change PC gaming".

What I see is a standard fare game with zero innovation or unique features. Waking up in a wank pod and being in fps mod inside a game is neither new, nor ground-breaking. Aside from my game, right now you can go on Steam and find a number of games such as Angels Fall First that do it. Not to mention COD:IW, the upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda.

Who sees a $134 million "game" here? And if they do, what exactly is the "draw" and USP (Unique Selling Point)?





















[/list]
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 03:30:17 PM by dsmart »
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

Offline JohnGorno

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 03:14:06 PM »
I think people see a game in development. Beyond that, I can't think of a game that has the features SC combined into one seamless game.

There is no MMO space sim with first person where you can walk around on every ship while it flies with thousands of miles per hours through a system, have a fire fight on board whilst other ships try to blast holes in it from the outside. I mean, maybe there is one, but I guess I have missed that. :psyduck:

Offline Newbest

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 03:29:52 PM »
The draw of Star Citizen is the freedom from time constraints CIG has and the unique selling point is the fidelity at which the final game will execute its features. While games in the past have created similar products CIG has embarked upon the creation of this type of game at an elevated level. Kick starting this project was the best way to create the game CIG envisioned and with all development that vision changes when you are getting it done. Looking at perhaps one of the best open world games made, Rockstar defined what happens when the developer is not tied to a rigid production schedule and what can happen if you wait until you get right before you release. CIG is executing their production in the same way with the added bonus of communicating while they do this. The fact that they are not settling for just good enough is another draw for this game. Rather that pushing out a rushed product they are truly attempting to release the best of what can be. Regarding their current development time CIG is only in year 4 of what is normally a 5 year cycle on average to produce a new IP. A six year cycle for the development of this game should be expected because of what they are attempting. As well the successive years will bring accelerated production as key feature are created and the heavy lifting is winding down. Now it is completely understandable that this game might not be for everyone but to suggest that CIG is somehow complicit in some scam is about as believable as Elvis still being alive.

So to tl:dr
Draw, unencumbered schedule. USP, fidelity of scope.

Edit. Phone grammars.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 03:35:07 PM by Newbest »

Offline Kyrt

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 04:00:48 PM »
I think people see a game in development. Beyond that, I can't think of a game that has the features SC combined into one seamless game.

There is no MMO space sim with first person where you can walk around on every ship while it flies with thousands of miles per hours through a system, have a fire fight on board whilst other ships try to blast holes in it from the outside. I mean, maybe there is one, but I guess I have missed that. :psyduck:

Fine and dandy.

Great.

Good.

Fast forward to 2019 when SC is released and Elite also has FPS and boarding actions and the ability to walk around ships and stations.

Where is the innovation?

Elite has flaws but Frontier took the pathway of releasing a MVP and are building upon it. They have ambitious plans and so far they have delivered. And even when I think their releases don't add much to the game...as with multi crew...I still see the advantages of following through simply because of what such features mean for future development.

SC IMO will also have a MVP release. CIG will build upon it and add new features.

But I look at what Frontier have given us with a few million dollars and I see what CIG have produced with a few tens of millions.

And i have to ask....what is CIG spending their money on?

I don't believe there is a scam as some would say.
I think CIG are earnestly developing the game.
I think ship sales are a nice way to reward investors...without actually making them investors. A neat way to get people to part with their money for an instant reward as opposed to a need to actually deliver a profit.

But looking at what has been delivered so far?

What is SC doing that is so much better than anything else in a similar vein?

Offline dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 04:12:45 PM »
I think people see a game in development. Beyond that, I can't think of a game that has the features SC combined into one seamless game.

There is no MMO space sim with first person where you can walk around on every ship while it flies with thousands of miles per hours through a system, have a fire fight on board whilst other ships try to blast holes in it from the outside. I mean, maybe there is one, but I guess I have missed that. :psyduck:

Well none of those things are actually working atm. And thus far, there is no indication that they will be. That's the point.

Also, have you played Angels Fall First? No? It's on Steam Early Access. Try it.
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

Offline dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 04:13:47 PM »
The draw of Star Citizen is the freedom from time constraints CIG has and the unique selling point is the fidelity at which the final game will execute its features. While games in the past have created similar products CIG has embarked upon the creation of this type of game at an elevated level. Kick starting this project was the best way to create the game CIG envisioned and with all development that vision changes when you are getting it done. Looking at perhaps one of the best open world games made, Rockstar defined what happens when the developer is not tied to a rigid production schedule and what can happen if you wait until you get right before you release. CIG is executing their production in the same way with the added bonus of communicating while they do this. The fact that they are not settling for just good enough is another draw for this game. Rather that pushing out a rushed product they are truly attempting to release the best of what can be. Regarding their current development time CIG is only in year 4 of what is normally a 5 year cycle on average to produce a new IP. A six year cycle for the development of this game should be expected because of what they are attempting. As well the successive years will bring accelerated production as key feature are created and the heavy lifting is winding down. Now it is completely understandable that this game might not be for everyone but to suggest that CIG is somehow complicit in some scam is about as believable as Elvis still being alive.

So to tl:dr
Draw, unencumbered schedule. USP, fidelity of scope.

Edit. Phone grammars.

uhm, how does any of the above relate to a "game" and the subject of my missive?
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

Offline dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 04:14:58 PM »
I think people see a game in development. Beyond that, I can't think of a game that has the features SC combined into one seamless game.

There is no MMO space sim with first person where you can walk around on every ship while it flies with thousands of miles per hours through a system, have a fire fight on board whilst other ships try to blast holes in it from the outside. I mean, maybe there is one, but I guess I have missed that. :psyduck:

But looking at what has been delivered so far?

What is SC doing that is so much better than anything else in a similar vein?

Precisely. And this is the question that most of these guys can't seem to be able to answer.
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

Offline Scruffpuff

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2016, 04:41:39 PM »
I think some of the disconnect is with people who are either a) new to the project, or b) casual observers.  They look at the site, they look up Chris's history (but only scratching the surface, oh look, he made Wing Commander, I heard of that), they read some gamer articles, and the natural conclusion, even a logical one, is "OK this game looks good, and it is in development.  4 years is fine, it will probably take longer.)

Can we really expect the casual observer to understand what's really happening at CIG?  What Chris's actual game development history and credentials reveal?  Can we expect the average person to know, just by looking, how badly this studio has been approaching the project?  How much money has been blown by filming millions of dollars of motion capture before the game engine is working?  Failing to even know what anyone will DO in this game before making tons of ships to sell?  The fact that there's no flight model or working anything?  And over 100 other little factoids that reveal that this isn't actually a development studio - it's a cargo cult.

The average person reads articles, sees screenshots, and assumes what 99% of the planet assumes - a developer is working on a game.  They simply look at what actual game developers and publishers are doing, and use that template to extrapolate what they think will happen with CIG.

CIG's business model relies on this mistake occurring indefinitely.  Once they release anything concrete, people will see this project for what it really is.  Then the real fun begins.

Offline JohnGorno

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 05:06:17 PM »
I think people see a game in development. Beyond that, I can't think of a game that has the features SC combined into one seamless game.

There is no MMO space sim with first person where you can walk around on every ship while it flies with thousands of miles per hours through a system, have a fire fight on board whilst other ships try to blast holes in it from the outside. I mean, maybe there is one, but I guess I have missed that. :psyduck:

Well none of those things are actually working atm. And thus far, there is no indication that they will be. That's the point.

Also, have you played Angels Fall First? No? It's on Steam Early Access. Try it.

You asked what people see in it. I answered you that: A game in on going development. You can agree to this fact or not. And so far they managed to get *something* done. Some people are okay with that progress, some are not.

Regarding AFF: Yes. It looks like a great game. But it's not an MMO. It's a mixup between Battlefield and Planetside 2. And not what Star Citizen promises as a whole. Like the others said there have been games that did what SC promises. Just not cramped into a single seamless expierence.

Offline Dementropy

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2016, 06:21:44 PM »
Star Citizen cannot be released. Not anytime soon. That would be the worst thing that could happen to the project and to backers. In it's current state, there are promises and "ongoing development." There's nothing groundbreaking other than timelines and how many times they've had to go back to the drawing board. Oh, and funding - but that's unnecessary, as they've stated they have enough to finish the game as promised (though I forget which "as promised" scope that included).

If SC gets released, then it will be measured against other games, and will have the uphill battle of selling to an as-yet untapped audience to make up for the cost of production.

Star Citizen's current and ongoing success is fueling theorycrafting through future promises without delivering on the credit generated for past ones.

Offline dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2016, 06:31:31 PM »
I think people see a game in development. Beyond that, I can't think of a game that has the features SC combined into one seamless game.

There is no MMO space sim with first person where you can walk around on every ship while it flies with thousands of miles per hours through a system, have a fire fight on board whilst other ships try to blast holes in it from the outside. I mean, maybe there is one, but I guess I have missed that. :psyduck:

Well none of those things are actually working atm. And thus far, there is no indication that they will be. That's the point.

Also, have you played Angels Fall First? No? It's on Steam Early Access. Try it.

You asked what people see in it. I answered you that: A game in on going development. You can agree to this fact or not. And so far they managed to get *something* done. Some people are okay with that progress, some are not.

Regarding AFF: Yes. It looks like a great game. But it's not an MMO. It's a mixup between Battlefield and Planetside 2. And not what Star Citizen promises as a whole. Like the others said there have been games that did what SC promises. Just not cramped into a single seamless expierence.

Star Citizen isn't an MMO either, is it?
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

Offline Newbest

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2016, 06:36:12 PM »
uhm, how does any of the above relate to a "game" and the subject of my missive?

The end of your missive stated:

Who sees a $134 million "game" here? And if they do, what exactly is the "draw" and USP (Unique Selling Point)?

I answered what was asked.

Would you not like to be in the position to have a large sum of capital and the ability to build a team to see your vision realized?

And again I will state somewhat differently what the Unique Selling Point is, a game people want to play that contains systems crafted to create a fun game.

Do you truly believe that the entirety of CIG is a fabricated company that is in no way building a game? That the money they have acquired is not going towards the creation of said game?

Derek you of all people have been on the end of having to answer to publishers. You have seen the effects of a company hell bent on releasing a game no matter what the current state it is in. SC is a game that has managed to avoid the unenviable position of having to answer to publisher. You have to admit that is the best place to be when making a game. No one wants Johnny Corporate telling you to put a turtle in the game because his son loves turtles.

I do think they are making a game and its selling point is the scale at which it is being developed. Yes there are many systems, yes they are incomplete but the game as a whole is incomplete.

And you know that it is possible to knit game components together when developing. They do not all have to take part in the same branch, it has been done in the industry forever.

This game will take time but it will be good because the people making the game are as passionate as you about making games and they truly want to build a glorious game.

Offline Scruffpuff

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 07:14:50 PM »
I'd like to welcome Newbest - and differentiate this forum from an echo chamber like Reddit in doing so.  Respectful discourse is best.

Newbest - nobody thinks the production companies are fake.  Obviously they're staffed with passionate people who want to make this game reality.  The disconnect is only in one place - Chris.  Aside from Wing Commander (a game made so long ago it shipped on 5.25" floppy disks) his history is mixed at best.  Once he milked the good will out of his original franchise, he ran everything else into the ground.  Even Freelancer, his last reasonable foray into gaming, had to be taken from him and released by a real production company.  That was in 2000 - 16 years ago.

Since that time Chris has not been in the gaming industry, and has not learned anything during his absence.  Now that he's back, he's literally reinventing and rediscovering almost two decades of gaming lessons first hand, not because gaming best practices have failed to evolve, but because he doesn't think any game developers over a near 20 year period have anything to teach him.

That arrogance led him to commit an extraordinary amount of his backer money into lavish offices in 4 countries across the world, filling them with the accumulated bric-a-brac that actual development companies, such as Blizzard, had to earn over decades of hard work and actual produced, shipped, and commercially successful products and IPs.  He skipped all that and went straight for the appearance of success.  CIG, as an entity, has no games to its name, shipped or otherwise.

There is no documentation or plan for what the actual game systems are, but instead, what we have are nothing more than potential game assets, that Chris, being out of the industry for too long and refusing to listen to people who know more than him, thinks will plug together like Lego bricks and a game will pop out.  The engine is a Frankenstein's monster of garbled code that's barely holding at the seams.  Rather than being the typical state of a pre-alpha, CIG's engine, in contrast, gets weaker and more prone to catastrophic failure with every patch.

Chris, in short, has no idea how to turn the ideas in his head into the game he's promised.  He knows where he wants to be, but has no idea how to get there.  That makes him an inappropriate steward of backer cash.  Regardless of whether or not he came up with the idea, whether or not he's the visionary, all that is secondary - if he can't turn that vision into reality, and hand the reins of development and leadership to a competent individual and retain a position as lead designer, rather than CIG godhead, it's extraordinarily unlikely that Star Citizen can fulfill its potential.

Consider other large companies and how close they can come to the edge of oblivion based on leadership decisions.  Netflix was doing great, and with one bad decision, nearly ceased to exist overnight.  Fortunately in their case they course-corrected in time.  And Netflix had a product.  How many bad decisions can CIG make, back to back, and stay in business, when they have yet to design a business model built on residual income?

So you see it's not really a question of "is it real, is it a great idea, is it visionary" etc. - sure, it's all of those things.  Nearly everyone here is and/or was a backer of this project for the same reasons the most diehard fan bought in.  But there comes a time when you have to think - is Chris actually qualified to be calling all the shots, and micromanaging this down to the shoelaces on the spaceman models, with his track record?  Is it that important, even if it's "his idea", to let him crash and burn if that's his tendency?

Remember, it's not his money.  We might know that, but I don't think Chris Roberts knows that.  Or cares.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 07:16:32 PM by Scruffpuff »

Offline concern

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2016, 07:18:26 PM »
No one wants Johnny Corporate telling you to put a turtle in the game because his son loves turtles.

Instead we have Chris Roberts putting his son's turtles into the game.

Offline Bio-Mujahid

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Re: Star Citizen - The Game
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2016, 08:25:27 PM »
I think people see a game in development. Beyond that, I can't think of a game that has the features SC combined into one seamless game.

There is no MMO space sim with first person where you can walk around on every ship while it flies with thousands of miles per hours through a system, have a fire fight on board whilst other ships try to blast holes in it from the outside. I mean, maybe there is one, but I guess I have missed that. :psyduck:

I fail to see the MMO side in star citizen. Crashes when 5 people connect.... how is this an MMO!