Star Citizen Development Discussion (Is Derek Smart Right?)

Dannar26

Senior member
Mar 13, 2012
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EDIT: Thread title

I realize that there is already one Star Citizen thread. When discussing the development team's progress it seemed things got heated pretty quickly, almost like a political debate. It detracted from actually discussing the game itself.

Maybe we can discuss the development aspects of CIG here? A thread like this was suggested before, but I have not been able to find anything similar through searches. I'm hoping this wont end up getting closed.

For what it's worth, I am a fan of Star Citizen, and want to see it successfully launch. I'm a small time backer with my little Aurora that I purchased back in early 2014. I have been following things along here and there, and I've played arena commander a bit in the past. It was fun to play, and much more modernized to the point where playing Freespace seemed a chore.

While it's obvious that DS has a personal vendetta here, I don't know if we can continue to ignore the lack of progress SC as made. For awhile I was firmly in the "So what if it's delayed -- use all the time you need to make a superior game!" camp. Now I'm not so sure.

The Chris Roberts that DS describes sounds like a corrupt politician with endless amounts of taxpayer money. He's given sweet jobs to friends and family, because reasons, and doesn't seem to be keeping anybody accountable. Personally, I'm fine with waiting for a great game. But if all that's happening is that we're providing a good time for Chris and Co while they maybe make a game...well...I'm not down with that.

I can't comment on the actual coding aspect. I'm not a programmer. I also know that games spend a lot of time in development that we, the end users, never see. Given the very public nature of SC, this has changed. But given all that lazer-like focus, wouldn't you think they'd be a bit more productive than they're being?

Another problem CIG has is that others have definitely taken notice of the popularity of SC, and are making games that may challenge it. And while there's room in my heart, er, hard drive for more than one space game, one can't help but wonder if CIG is going to show up with too little too late.

I know he's often touted as being a troll, but do you think Derek Smart is on the money about Star Citizen now?
 
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Sabrewings

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There was a fairly good series put out by Kotaku UK that covered the project's mis-steps in the early days, changes in direction, then re commitment to doing things right from the ground up and moving forward from there. It includes a lot of insider interviews, including with CR himself. I recommend you read it and then see how you feel.
 

KMFJD

Lifer
Aug 11, 2005
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I'm waiting until it releases, i really hope it's everything they are pitching but i have my doubts. Can't stand Derek Smart though.
 

rivethead

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Jan 16, 2005
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Dannar26....I'm in a very similar position. I was highly doubtful of the project in 2013. I cautiously decided to back in May 2014 with my Aurora package. I got to meet Chris Roberts at SxSW in 2015 and I felt better about the project. In person, his passion for the project is contagious.

But I have serious doubts about some of the business practices. First, I don't trust his spouse. Don't get me wrong, I think Sandi is amazing at her job. Who else could raise $140 million from nothing? She did it. But I feel like there's a conflict of interest there....I feel like she really would prefer to be an actress and not a VP of Marketing for a gaming company. And I think Chris appeased/asppeases her by putting her in SQ42 and building movie studios for weekly shows (featuring her) in the hopes of advancing her career. I'm totally fine with the hire of his brother Erin. That dude has a proven track record of game development success (his track record is actually much better than Chris' to be honest). Don't know about any other family member hires.

Secondly, they're increasingly going back against their word. The most recent being the cash discount on the Hornet (selling it for the lowest price ever). They say one thing and do another. This is starting to spill over into game design too. This game was originally pitched as an easy to pick up, hard to master space sim. But design decisions are starting to be seen and it's looking more like it'll be a space arcade game (or better stated, a space sim with less sim elements than we were originally led to believe). Which isn't necessarily surprising. Lots of kickstarter games don't end up being what was pitched. The difference this time is the money involved....$140 million magnifies all deviations from marketing pitch.

Regarding progress, I'm not really that concerned. Yes, there has been a lot of rework. Everything we've seen and heard seems to indicate that development was not done efficiently and there were many costly mistakes made (communication with Ilfonic being the biggie....read the Kotaku article Sabrwings mentions). But I don think there has not been progress...it's just mostly under-the-hood stuff thus far. Should we have seen more at this point? It's hard to answer that question because.....they're trying to build a game with mechanics that have never been attempted before.

I do think there is a risk that they'll show up too little too late to the gaming market. But this is where technology can save them. IF they can do some of the ground-breaking things they've talked about, then they should be successful. While other publisher-backed games might be able to beat them to market, I'm not sure they're willing to fund the R&D needed to build these features. The only way to "catch up" is to steal the IP from CIG (which, given how bad CIG seems to be at keeping tech under control, wouldn't be that hard).

So this is my rant. I'm not impatient. I'm still a CIG fan. I remain cautiously optimistic that good video games will be delivered.
 
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Red Storm

Lifer
Oct 2, 2005
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To answer your question, no Derek Smart is not right. The man is delusional, literally a crazy person.

Also I don't know of any other game that can "challenge" Star Citizen. Haven't seen any other dev/game aiming as high as CIG. If there is, I'd love to know about it.

I am an original backer of Star Citizen, I backed within the first few days of the kickstarter (at one point I had close to a thousand dollars put into the game, but I have sold off stuff for a hefty profit and currently have ~$60 invested). Never once have I doubted the game. I knew it would get hit with delay after delay, that is the one thing I expected for certain with a project like this. These guys are (very publicly) making a game in a way that hasn't been done before. If anyone was ever going to make that "dream game", to me it is CIG. I don't doubt the game will be done, it's just a matter of when. And personally, I am fine waiting.
 
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SLU Aequitas

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Jul 13, 2007
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Hahahahahahaha...no.

Seriously, anyone who knows who Derek smart is (hint, it rhymes with "roll") knows he has a reputation for making ridiculous claims and has been insanely jealous over successful space sims and their devs (Freespace, for example).

Go google his games, look at the joke that is line of defense, and you'll understand why he's the last person you should listen to.

For the record: https://m.reddit.com/r/DerekSmart/comments/4yfyi2/drama_megathread_2016_revision/

That being said, I third the suggestion on reading through the kotaku development article, and really just following sc's development in general. It's really interesting just from a project management and communications standpoint.
 

TechBoyJK

Lifer
Oct 17, 2002
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Derek's a crazy person that much like a broken clock, is going to be right sometimes.

I feel sorry for him and I wouldn't wish his mentality on anyone.

But he lies, and he's abrasive about it, so I find him to be a nuisance because he causes threads like this.
 

Chipopo

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Dec 7, 2016
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While I don't doubt that CIG will ultimately produce "something", I have serious doubts about whether they are the triple-A studio that I believed them to be at the start of this venture. The work they've put out and the way they communicate with the backers is sloppy, uncoordinated, and unprofessional. They talk a big game but have done little to demonstrate they have the competence to really pull it together the way Rockstar, Naughty Dog, and Blizzard can (dev houses they compare themselves to frequently), and they are setting expectations just as high if not higher than those studios. CIG is heavy on marketing and light on substance, and because of all the money tied up in the project it makes me think things could end badly for everyone involved.

As for Derek Smart, he's a troll who has found the perfect bait to sustain him for a long time. But that doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong. A number of my friends have gotten refunds because they see the writing on the wall, and I would recommend the same for anyone who is not comfortable with under-delivery.
 

SLU Aequitas

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Jul 13, 2007
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While I don't doubt that CIG will ultimately produce "something", I have serious doubts about whether they are the triple-A studio that I believed them to be at the start of this venture. The work they've put out and the way they communicate with the backers is sloppy, uncoordinated, and unprofessional. They talk a big game but have done little to demonstrate they have the competence to really pull it together the way Rockstar, Naughty Dog, and Blizzard can (dev houses they compare themselves to frequently), and they are setting expectations just as high if not higher than those studios. CIG is heavy on marketing and light on substance, and because of all the money tied up in the project it makes me think things could end badly for everyone involved.

As for Derek Smart, he's a troll who has found the perfect bait to sustain him for a long time. But that doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong. A number of my friends have gotten refunds because they see the writing on the wall, and I would recommend the same for anyone who is not comfortable with under-delivery.
Unprofessional? They've had the greatest and most open communication with us backers out of any large studio that I'm aware of. Comparing their communication to Blizzard is just plain odd?

As for substance, we have 3 (soon to be 4) alpha pieces and countless behind the scene dev access videos. I've backed multiple dev studios, and no one has come close (note: not that they need to, I've just enjoyed CIG's and CR's open approach).

Not sure what writing you're seeing on the wall?

That being said, if you (or family/friends/etc) are worried about your contribution, by all means pull out. Wait for the released product. No one is going to hold that against you. I'm personally happy to have helped back this product, and the revival of the space genre and the time and fun I've had playing just the alpha so far has been well worth the money, and I have the liquidity and income to allow me to sustain the loss of my pledge if they did somehow ever went belly up :)

Finally, see my earlier reddit link. Derek has absolutely been wrong the vast majority of the time (and when he's right, it has generally been because CR/CIG already released the info (i.e. no longer a prediction).

EDIT: Also, welcome to the forums. Glad you joined us for this thread :)
 

Chipopo

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Dec 7, 2016
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EDIT: Also, welcome to the forums. Glad you joined us for this thread :)
Thanks!

This GamesWatchDog post summarizes alot of my feelings in terms of how they communicate:

In the case of Star Citizen, the release dates have been pushed back year on year, from 2014 to 2015 to 2016 to 2017, and almost always at the last possible moment. The most recent example is CIG's Gamescom presentation this August, which showcased an impressive list of features and optimizations. At the end of the presentation Chris Roberts, the head of CIG, stated that they are aiming for the end of 2016. Sales for Star Citizen quickly spiked after the presentation, but subsequent information about 3.0 has been limited. More recently (only 3 months from the Gamescom presentation), it's been revealed that they haven't even finished shooting the motion capture for the release, which means we still have quite a while to wait. Virtually no one in the community believes 3.0 will make its 2016 date. Yet there has been no official statement from CIG that the timetables have not been adjusted.
They put alot of superficial marketing fluff into their weekly videos, but when it comes to details that actually matter, they keep their backers in the dark. CIG likes to present things as all roses....until they can no longer keep up the facade. They overhype their fanbase without really knowing themselves whether they can actually deliver. This isn't a matter of delays btw - delays are fine - it's a matter of how they communicate and hyperbolize that's unprofessional.

This relates to the issue of whether CIG has actually demonstrated that they deserve the confidence their backers have put in them to deliver the game. The current alpha can barely sustain its 24 player limit, and they're aiming for 1000s of players and a universe of content within the next year. Let's be real about it; if they can pull it off it's going to be years from now, not months. At some point you start to earn peoples skepticism when you keep trying to sell them on miracles.
 

DaveSimmons

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Aug 12, 2001
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These are two separate questions:

Is Derek Smart right? No, never. He makes Peter Molyneux seem like a restrained purveyor of reasonable expectations.

Will Star Citizen succeed? I have no idea. I hope so, but I have not put any money into it and I have no emotional investment either. If they release some fun games that I want to play then I'll open my wallet.
 
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rivethead

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Jan 16, 2005
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Thanks!

This GamesWatchDog post summarizes alot of my feelings in terms of how they communicate:



They put alot of superficial marketing fluff into their weekly videos, but when it comes to details that actually matter, they keep their backers in the dark. CIG likes to present things as all roses....until they can no longer keep up the facade. They overhype their fanbase without really knowing themselves whether they can actually deliver. This isn't a matter of delays btw - delays are fine - it's a matter of how they communicate and hyperbolize that's unprofessional.

This relates to the issue of whether CIG has actually demonstrated that they deserve the confidence their backers have put in them to deliver the game. The current alpha can barely sustain its 24 player limit, and they're aiming for 1000s of players and a universe of content within the next year. Let's be real about it; if they can pull it off it's going to be years from now, not months. At some point you start to earn peoples skepticism when you keep trying to sell them on miracles.
I agree that a LOT of marketing creeps into their videos. The root cause of this (my speculation) is that the community team (Jared and Tyler) report to Sandi Gardiner, VP of Marketing. If they instead reported to Erin Roberts (in charge of production), the community content would be more production-based.....which is really what the community wants. Details on the how and why. If I were a subscriber, I'd feel a bit cheated as subscriber money is really subsidizing a marketing budget not funding a communication activity. Yes CIG is really, really bad at communication. Logical Chimp on the CIG forums as an excellent point on this. IF CIG had maintained the community manager/backer ratio they had when the kickstarter was done, we'd have over 15 community managers. Instead, we're down to two. CIG simply does not care that much about communicating with the backers (Why should they? We keep throwing millions of dollars at them any way).

But I don't think CIG overhype their fanbase. I think the fanbase does that all on their own. Yes, if CIG communicated better they could control that. But I'm not sure it's worth the effort. Hype is gonna hype. Fan boys gonna fan boy.

And yes, the end result is years away. However, in the meantime, we do get to test and experience the alpha content. Which can be entertaining.
 

TechBoyJK

Lifer
Oct 17, 2002
16,701
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Seriously guys, this might be Derek Smart himself making this post. Nobody cares about DS, and he's known for using fake accounts and his few deluded minions into drumming up hate on social media.

"Is Derek Smart right" by an account with a few posts. And the only user that's basically shitting on CIG has 2 posts.

I say lock thread.
 

clok1966

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Jul 6, 2004
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I hate to get into this, skip the DS part, and just get back to SC the game, how long will we have to wait? I could care less if i can "test" it, if its tested for 6 years that just means its going to be dated looking when it releases, not a huge deal if its a great game. I kickstarted and feel a bit miffed (not as bad as a few other kickstarters i joined, there are many that where pure bunk). It wasn't suppose to be YEARS away, it wasn't supposed to be split games, I payed for one game that appeared i would have in a couple of years (i know there where no promises, but there was innuendo, which i can agree, that is on me for taking it for what i thought it would be). Things change, all games can be delayed, some for long periods. The one problem with games delayed over and over, almost all are dated looking and don't live up to the hype. Note i said "ALMOST ALL" and did not say ALL. This could still all work out, but I must admit I cant see this game living up to the hype, but till its released, who knows, but is anybody going to remember these question 5 years from now when it releases in 3 parts? Yes i added a part, if it went from 1 to 2, why not 3 in the next few years? me i feel a bit suckered right now, its possible I wont when it releases, but it sure appears when it does I will have forgot any hype i had.
 

TechBoyJK

Lifer
Oct 17, 2002
16,701
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I hate to get into this, skip the DS part, and just get back to SC the game, how long will we have to wait? I could care less if i can "test" it, if its tested for 6 years that just means its going to be dated looking when it releases, not a huge deal if its a great game. I kickstarted and feel a bit miffed (not as bad as a few other kickstarters i joined, there are many that where pure bunk). It wasn't suppose to be YEARS away, it wasn't supposed to be split games, I payed for one game that appeared i would have in a couple of years (i know there where no promises, but there was innuendo, which i can agree, that is on me for taking it for what i thought it would be). Things change, all games can be delayed, some for long periods. The one problem with games delayed over and over, almost all are dated looking and don't live up to the hype. Note i said "ALMOST ALL" and did not say ALL. This could still all work out, but I must admit I cant see this game living up to the hype, but till its released, who knows, but is anybody going to remember these question 5 years from now when it releases in 3 parts? Yes i added a part, if it went from 1 to 2, why not 3 in the next few years? me i feel a bit suckered right now, its possible I wont when it releases, but it sure appears when it does I will have forgot any hype i had.
I mean.. if you're not following along, you might think this. Have you been following along?

To suggest it's going to look dated when it's clearly the most ambitious game out there shows a bit of a disconnect between the project and your perspective of it.

And it's not like development is taking 'a long time'. They're actually moving quite quickly compared to other games. GTA5, FFXV, etc. all have taken much longer.
 

TechBoyJK

Lifer
Oct 17, 2002
16,701
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What's up with all these low post users coming out of the wood work and showing the 'derek smart' concern troll perspective?
 

SharpHawk

Member
Jan 6, 2012
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I don't have any money tied up in this project so I don't care one way or another. I'd already gotten burned on other pre-orders and kickstarter projects by the time this was announced so there was no chance they were getting any money out of me. It'd be nice to have another game that justifies my purchase of an expensive joystick (not that I regret replaying Freespace 1/2 with it), but I'll settle for another episode of No Man's Sky-style drama if it comes to that. I am hoping that it will be either an amazing success or a complete disaster, a merely mediocre game is my least wanted outcome.

What's up with all these low post users coming out of the wood work and showing the 'derek smart' concern troll perspective?
Newer users probably haven't drank the kool aid like some of the older ones. One in particular ;)
 

Harabec

Golden Member
Oct 15, 2005
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Meh. I've followed SC since way back, looking at videos every few months. If you do that, instead of trying to look up daily updates, you'll see quite a lot has been done so far and it looks great.
 

[DHT]Osiris

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Dec 15, 2015
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Not to mention that designing games/engines really does take a long time. I'm sure if ID software's development system was similarly open, it would look damn near identical during the late 90's - 2000's.
 

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