Kotaku UK on Star Citizen

CaitSeith

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Dalisclock said:
Yeah, I'm still not seeing anything to persuade me that the release of SC is not going to be an epic crash and burn that will make No Man's Sky look like a firecracker.

I really don't want that to be the case, but this is all looking very familar to other Epic fails.

Edited for a proper context
I do. Currently the SC following comes from people actually playing SC playing the demos , and saying if it's good or bad (which is a particularly big difference from other Epic fails). NMS's following before release came from pure distilled hype and speculation. The only way for it to crash and burn even at NMS level would be to be cancelled (or be acquired by EA or something).

Edited after research.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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There's definitely a cultish feeling to the SC community. I'm hoping it turns out well, but I also feel that there's no way it can live up to the promise. How much it doesn't live up to, I can't say, but its never going to hit all the notes CIG has promised.
 

Dalisclock

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CaitSeith said:
Dalisclock said:
Yeah, I'm still not seeing anything to persuade me that the release of SC is not going to be an epic crash and burn that will make No Man's Sky look like a firecracker.

I really don't want that to be the case, but this is all looking very familar to other Epic fails.

Edited for a proper context
I do. Currently the SC following comes from people actually playing SC playing the demos , and saying if it's good or bad (which is a particularly big difference from other Epic fails). NMS's following before release came from pure distilled hype and speculation. The only way for it to crash and burn even at NMS level would be to be cancelled (or be acquired by EA or something).

Edited after research.
Sure there is. With all the time and money spent developing, one could surmise the people who are really interested in it have already invested and are owed a copy of the game. Which leads to the question: If it fails to meet expectations for "Best everything ever!", who is going to actually purchase it? Because at some point you need to expand beyond your initial fan-base as far as sales are concerned, especially with something this resource intensive. Server farms cost money you know and there are only so many whales you can milk.

So while the SC brigade may love it no matter how it turns out, everyone else may look at it and go "It's been done better elsewhere" and just give it a pass.

Or it just ends up being less then the sum of it's parts, like so many other things *COUGHSPORECOUGH*.
 

Strazdas

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Roberts sounds like he genuinely want it to work but he bit far more than he can chew and he does not accept no for an answer. Looks like we got another No Mans Citizen.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Wow...who has the disposable income to drop on imaginary, unfinished, unexplained, unusable assets? It's a damn barely functional video game! $2500 can get you a lot of real world, helpful, even potentially lifesaving stuff! I honestly think that is ballsy enough a move on CIG's part that leaves little room for interpretation and seems very disrespectful to their fanbase.
It's unnecessary greed and contempt. And lifetime insurance?? Oh deary me. I do not understand why people would buy into that shoddy business practice, especially when the developers clearly are financially comfortable anyway. So many bad decisions. It's like an orgy of idiots.
Didn't realise the Escapist article caused such a stir. Oops. Oh well. Criticism is a necessary tazer to the nipples of complacency. I do hope these developers aren't spending too much of their charitable earnings and time on censoring any negative voices that dare speak. That would be a huge crying shame for backers that care where their money goes.

At this point, I would highly recommend they bite the bullet and release smaller, multiple games able to withstand realistic ambitions instead, just connect them loosely somehow. Kinda shady how they change the T&C though. That's what is know in scientific circles as "a dick move," sonny-jim. It appears the relationship between backers and CIG is really starting to resemble an abusive one, where the "dick moves" become so regular that the people accept it as the norm.
 

CaitSeith

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Dalisclock said:
CaitSeith said:
Dalisclock said:
Yeah, I'm still not seeing anything to persuade me that the release of SC is not going to be an epic crash and burn that will make No Man's Sky look like a firecracker.

I really don't want that to be the case, but this is all looking very familar to other Epic fails.

Edited for a proper context
I do. Currently the SC following comes from people actually playing SC playing the demos , and saying if it's good or bad (which is a particularly big difference from other Epic fails). NMS's following before release came from pure distilled hype and speculation. The only way for it to crash and burn even at NMS level would be to be cancelled (or be acquired by EA or something).

Edited after research.
Sure there is. With all the time and money spent developing, one could surmise the people who are really interested in it have already invested and are owed a copy of the game. Which leads to the question: If it fails to meet expectations for "Best everything ever!", who is going to actually purchase it? Because at some point you need to expand beyond your initial fan-base as far as sales are concerned, especially with something this resource intensive. Server farms cost money you know and there are only so many whales you can milk.

So while the SC brigade may love it no matter how it turns out, everyone else may look at it and go "It's been done better elsewhere" and just give it a pass.

Or it just ends up being less then the sum of it's parts, like so many other things *COUGHSPORECOUGH*.
Of course those expectations need to exist in the first place. And though I'm sure a lot of people has them (even after all these articles), it's nowhere as many as with NMS. But, yeah, flopping as Spore is a much more likely possibility than either fulfilling the expectations or being NMS again.
 

Mangod

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Read the second article, and... wow, those comments.

I can't speak for everyone else but, in regards to Squadron 42, when a game (and not even the full game, but what is essentially an expand-alone) gets delayed for two years, I begin to consider it vapor-ware.
 

RedDeadFred

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2500 bucks for a thing that doesn't even exist yet. I suppose if these people are well off, this wouldn't mean much. Having said that, why the fuck does CIG get a mostly free pass for this kind of shit? It's an MMO, and the devs are selling advantages to players for the start of the game. It's like when EA sold the best gun in the game for Battlefront as a preorder bonus. It's apparently the last gun you unlock through normal play, so the people who got it way before everyone else had unfair advantages. That's nothing compared to this where you're blatantly separating your player base by those who have a good amount of disposable income and those who don't. It wouldn't surprise me if the average player who simply buys the game and doesn't know anything about playing the market could never feasibly earn one of these huge ships in game. That's fine because not every player should be able to buy these huge ships (if everyone had one, nobody would be around to crew them -something that sound horrifically boring btw, but that's a whole other thing), but what's not fine is that they've already set apart the haves and the have-nots. If EA did this, they'd be justifiably blasted over it, yet CIG does it and all they get are some disgruntled grumbles because they're making the "best game ever."

I realize the above practice has been going on for some time, but I never actually looked at it. I honestly thought they were selling cosmetically different ships that had the same stats as other.
 

PainInTheAssInternet

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At this point, I wonder if the quality of the finished product will matter at all. There already exists two distinct groups. One that won't hear anything other than this game being the greatest betrayal humanity has ever recorded since the assassination of Julius Caesar and another that won't hear anything other than this is humanity's single greatest achievement since the agricultural revolution.

That all being said, gaming has a long sordid history of studios promising the moon and delivering ground rocks. Many here are making comparisons to Randy Pitchford and his company's work on Duke Nukem Forever and Colonial Marines, but it puts me more in mind of John Romero on Daikatana or George Broussard on Duke Nukem Forever. People who are overconfident in their abilities and it's that arrogance that forms the core of all the issues in development.
 

natenate95

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RedDeadFred said:
2500 bucks for a thing that doesn't even exist yet. I suppose if these people are well off, this wouldn't mean much. Having said that, why the fuck does CIG get a mostly free pass for this kind of shit? It's an MMO, and the devs are selling advantages to players for the start of the game. It's like when EA sold the best gun in the game for Battlefront as a preorder bonus. It's apparently the last gun you unlock through normal play, so the people who got it way before everyone else had unfair advantages. That's nothing compared to this where you're blatantly separating your player base by those who have a good amount of disposable income and those who don't. It wouldn't surprise me if the average player who simply buys the game and doesn't know anything about playing the market could never feasibly earn one of these huge ships in game. That's fine because not every player should be able to buy these huge ships (if everyone had one, nobody would be around to crew them -something that sound horrifically boring btw, but that's a whole other thing), but what's not fine is that they've already set apart the haves and the have-nots. If EA did this, they'd be justifiably blasted over it, yet CIG does it and all they get are some disgruntled grumbles because they're making the "best game ever."

I realize the above practice has been going on for some time, but I never actually looked at it. I honestly thought they were selling cosmetically different ships that had the same stats as other.

They're not selling advantage, owning a ship that costs 2000$ doesn't suddenly invalidate others in other ships including starter ships. This is the laziest version of the p2w argument, without research or interest, and entirely glosses over how ships mechanically function, their role within the game and the interaction of players in the PU. You don't suddenly win the game owning an expensive ship, that just isn't how these games work, ie owning a Revenant in eve means nothing.
 

RedDeadFred

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natenate95 said:
RedDeadFred said:
2500 bucks for a thing that doesn't even exist yet. I suppose if these people are well off, this wouldn't mean much. Having said that, why the fuck does CIG get a mostly free pass for this kind of shit? It's an MMO, and the devs are selling advantages to players for the start of the game. It's like when EA sold the best gun in the game for Battlefront as a preorder bonus. It's apparently the last gun you unlock through normal play, so the people who got it way before everyone else had unfair advantages. That's nothing compared to this where you're blatantly separating your player base by those who have a good amount of disposable income and those who don't. It wouldn't surprise me if the average player who simply buys the game and doesn't know anything about playing the market could never feasibly earn one of these huge ships in game. That's fine because not every player should be able to buy these huge ships (if everyone had one, nobody would be around to crew them -something that sound horrifically boring btw, but that's a whole other thing), but what's not fine is that they've already set apart the haves and the have-nots. If EA did this, they'd be justifiably blasted over it, yet CIG does it and all they get are some disgruntled grumbles because they're making the "best game ever."

I realize the above practice has been going on for some time, but I never actually looked at it. I honestly thought they were selling cosmetically different ships that had the same stats as other.

They're not selling advantage, owning a ship that costs 2000$ doesn't suddenly invalidate others in other ships including starter ships. This is the laziest version of the p2w argument, without research or interest, and entirely glosses over how ships mechanically function, their role within the game and the interaction of players in the PU. You don't suddenly win the game owning an expensive ship, that just isn't how these games work, ie owning a Revenant in eve means nothing.
I would assume you'd be able to make a bigger impact on the game world as the owner of a huge ship with tons of firepower than in a tiny one. If you don't want to call it an advantage (we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one), I still find it incredibly shady that they're selling people a game experience that the vast majority of players will never get to experience. They're not earning their way up to this in game, they're just handing over money to essentially be able to do more with the game than other players. I understand that the game isn't just I have bigger guns so I win. It's about living a life in this digital universe. Where the advantage part comes in is that if a player wants to play the game as the commander of a massive ship, they have to go through the likely extremely long journey of getting there. These players who just forked over their money are getting that right off the bat. It's essentially giving them a head start on playing the game how they want. They're paying for the privellage to experience the game in a way that only an extremely small portion of the game's community will get to.

Now you could say that maybe these kinds of huge, complex ships won't actually be all that hard to get in game. If that's the case, than it's kind of a gigantic middle finger to the people who paid the premium up front. So you're either selling an almost exclusive experience, or you're telling your biggest supporters that their money didn't actually amount to much.

It just baffles me that people could apologize for a company doing this when companies like Blizzard rightfully get flak for selling limited time boxes in Overwatch that only contain cosmetic items.

Edit: And again, I didn't say pay to win, I said pay for an advantage.
 

bastardofmelbourne

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I haven't actually read anything about Star Citizen before, so these articles are really interesting. I played the shit out of Freelancer when I was a kid. I can see why people got pumped up about it.

Based off the first article, it seems like their problems are a combination of picking the wrong game engine, outsourcing development to contractors of varying quality, and choosing an indefinite donation website instead of a limited Kickstarter campaign.

That last point is the most interesting to me. Because, on the face of it, having a website with a donation system set up seems way better than Kickstarter, which lasts a set period and then ends. That way, people can still donate after that set period.

But here, it seems to have vastly overcomplicated the project. Rather than getting a few million dollars in a 30-day timespan, then building the game with that budget to those expectations, they've had a budget that just keeps constantly climbing as people with a sunk cost donate more and more over time. And that actually hampers game development; as the budget climbs and the mission statement gets larger and larger, development gets overburdened in ways they couldn't have expected at the start.

With game development you really need to set the budget and the timetable at the start and stick to it, because it's far too easy to just keep adding features and over-engineering until you've burned through all your money. I don't think Roberts is maliciously mismanaging the funds at all; I think this is just an Apocalypse Now situation. They have too much money and too much time, and little by little, they're going insane.

(That said, Apocalypse Now is one of the greatest films of all time. So maybe this story will have a happy ending.)
 

Mangod

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bastardofmelbourne said:
I haven't actually read anything about Star Citizen before, so these articles are really interesting. I played the shit out of Freelancer when I was a kid. I can see why people got pumped up about it.

Based off the first article, it seems like their problems are a combination of picking the wrong game engine, outsourcing development to contractors of varying quality, and choosing an indefinite donation website instead of a limited Kickstarter campaign.

That last point is the most interesting to me. Because, on the face of it, having a website with a donation system set up seems way better than Kickstarter, which lasts a set period and then ends. That way, people can still donate after that set period.

But here, it seems to have vastly overcomplicated the project. Rather than getting a few million dollars in a 30-day timespan, then building the game with that budget to those expectations, they've had a budget that just keeps constantly climbing as people with a sunk cost donate more and more over time. And that actually hampers game development; as the budget climbs and the mission statement gets larger and larger, development gets overburdened in ways they couldn't have expected at the start.

With game development you really need to set the budget and the timetable at the start and stick to it, because it's far too easy to just keep adding features and over-engineering until you've burned through all your money. I don't think Roberts is maliciously mismanaging the funds at all; I think this is just an Apocalypse Now situation. They have too much money and too much time, and little by little, they're going insane.

(That said, Apocalypse Now is one of the greatest films of all time. So maybe this story will have a happy ending.)
Funny you should mention Apocalypse Now, since C. Roberts does make the comparison himself about an earlier game of his.

Kotaku UK said:
Thanks to Wing Commander's blockbusting success, Roberts had more leeway with game publishers. In 1991, he made the decision to delay his (now long-forgotten) Strike Commander. It wasn?t until three years later that he allowed Origin to publish the game. In a letter included with the manual, Roberts compared himself to one of history?s most important film directors:

Chris Roberts said:
"Recently, I watched the film Heart of Darkness, which chronicled the tremendous struggles that Francis Ford Coppola went through in creating Apocalypse Now. In many ways, the creation of Strike Commander has helped me identify with his plight? In the spirit of wanting it all, we set out to design a game that would have more realism than the best flight simulator, better storytelling, more fun and more accessibility than Wing Commander, and the best sound effects, music and graphics of any game ever created. Our biggest mistake was thinking that we could achieve all of this in a single year. Our biggest setback was the realisation that it would take more than two. And now, a little humbler, we?ve reached the end of our long and arduous journey. We look at Strike Commander and see a game that every member of the team can say, "yes, It was two years of hell, but at the end of it we"ve created something that is very special and I'm proud of it."
Which just makes me wonder how much of Star Citizen's budget has been blown on Philippino drugs at this point.
 

Michael Navas

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I remember thnking right off the bat it was kinda odd they decided to use Cryengine for a massive space simulation. One has to wonder if the should've at least waited for UE4, if not just tailor it to their needs. They might have even had a complete workable build by now even if they got a much later initial start on it.
 

Michael Navas

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Part 3 is up, mercifully shorter than the rest:

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2016/09/28/who-are-the-star-citizen-superbackers-2
 

Michael Navas

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Part 4 is up, with the crown example of what the problems so far amounted to in practice:

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2016/09/29/what-happened-to-star-marine-star-citizens-missing-module
 

Michael Navas

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When you think of it, five years isn't a whole lot of time for a project this massive, especially when they had to rework a lot of code. Compare it to something like GTA which comes out about every five years, has top notch support and practically unlimited funding for making a fraction of a fraction of what's in SC. Outside of designing the map, most of a GTA game's budget goes into production values, cutscenes, music licensing, marketing, etc. Even if SC ends up surpassing GTAV's budget by the time it's in a generally "finished" state, it won't matter because it will likely be the greatest achievement in game development.
 

Michael Navas

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http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-02-01-gta-v-dev-costs-over-USD137-million-says-analyst

Not a flattering comparson.
 

RedDeadFred

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Gotta say, that video they show at the end of the article makes the FPS portion look pretty great. Seems like they've overcome a lot and are moving in the right direction. They've still got a ton to do, and I'm not convince the thing will released in the few years nor with all of the lofty promises, but what they're showing does look very nice. Obviously that's a controlled environment, but it looks a lot better than an earlier FPS demo I remember seeing.
 

Mangod

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hanselthecaretaker said:
When you think of it, five years isn't a whole lot of time for a project this massive, especially when they had to rework a lot of code. Compare it to something like GTA which comes out about every five years, has top notch support and practically unlimited funding for making a fraction of a fraction of what's in SC. Outside of designing the map, most of a GTA game's budget goes into production values, cutscenes, music licensing, marketing, etc. Even if SC ends up surpassing GTAV's budget by the time it's in a generally "finished" state, it won't matter because it will likely be the greatest achievement in game development.
That's something to keep in mind, though - "[GTA V] has top notch support and practically unlimited funding for making a fraction of a fraction of what's in SC." If people are worried that SC might crash and burn, it's because it's trying to do more than any other game in history, yet it doesn't have an "unlimited" cashflow to support it.