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Star Citizen Development Discussion (Is Derek Smart Right?)

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Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
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I was questioning myself the same thing, but i don't have a clue about coding...

I was questioning myself one more thing. If starengine is so custom made, how can it be so similar with lumberjack engine? -.-
StarEngine is not so similar to Lumberyard. Lumberyard is very similar to the version of CryEngine StarEngine branched off from. So, you just prepare a differential patch and apply the changes.

See the engineer I provided a quote from above.
 
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Skel

Diamond Member
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This is why saying "they switched engines" inaccurately describes what has happened. I'll break it down. StarEngine was based off CryEngine 3.7 with some cherry picked 3.8 updates. Lumberyard is also based off CryEngine 3.7 with some custom tools, a few updates, and integration to things like Amazon Web Services. StarEngine has been using Google cloud services (competing with AWS) for a while now (to a pretty decent expense).

Aside from price Google's could services have a large disadvantage if you want to build your globally available online video game - servers that are only physically based in the US. AWS has global server clusters with high speed datalinks between them, bypassing some country's issues with internet connectivity (Australia for example). AWS will allow worldwide players to connect to a server semi-locally and use AWS's high speed dedicated links to interconnect with the rest of the servers that will be running CIG's gameplay server software. Currently non-US players (especially those across the Pacific) have not so great latencies due to having to connect with US based servers at Google.

So, it's nothing that their engine wasn't "doing" before that they are throwing out. By adding Lumberyard's AWS integration to StarEngine, they now have access to those resources. They also have engineers at Amazon that will be helping them migrate their gameplay servers (already done) and make future improvements as SC evolves. AWS is free for smaller projects and more competitively priced than Google on larger projects. It's also almost a certainty that CIG got a good deal on using AWS for slapping "Lumberyard" on their splash screen.

I feel I've had to say this next sentence a lot on this subject, but I'll say it again for clarity: They have not switched engines. All of the work they did before is still there. The only bits that have been "thrown out" would be how they were interfacing with Google's could services since the different companies utilize different APIs and architectures. They have taken the AWS integration code (which is a module within CryEngine's structure) and dropped it in place of what they had before for interfacing with Google. I'm sure there's an interfacing module between the two to do any API translation required, but it's unlikely since AWS already uses CryEngine for Lumberyard and would be used to its built in calls.

Instead of switching engines, they changed web services providers. Lumberyard has other components they're interested in as well, supposedly integrated Twitch support.

I hope that was clear. Nothing was thrown away except Google.



Engineers helping design scalable server software to work on a complex cloud infrastructure. Amazon has invested a lot in that arena (something Crytek never did, so CIG has been on their own thus far; also Amazon has spent more than CIG have taken in on developing AWS, around 2400 employees and billions spent). Their expertise will be invaluable to what CIG are trying to do. AWS has pretty good off-the-shelf cloud server software, but it's not intended to do what CIG are building. Amazon's engineers will be helping with that side of it (server side) while CIG continue to manage the core CryEngine code they've been working with and building for years.
I'm going to say "fair enough" as I don't quite understand all the underpinnings and what's changed vs what they're putting together. It would be helpful if CIG put out a list of things needed by LY but I get why they don't. One thing I'm puzzled about.. is this the first MMOish game that's attempting to use someone else's server farms? I've always been under the impression that the resource requirements for these kind of games is intense and that's why all the ones I've ever known of have all in house stuff.. and they're still split up. Is there a game on this scale that I'm forgetting/missing? If it's a case where they're attempting to use AWS for this scale and that's the parts that LY is being used for, it makes more sense.

Aside from what CR says on RSI and CIG devs say on Reddit as well as my experience with CryEngine and Lumberyard, no proof at all. What proof do you have otherwise?



See above.

Edit: Ok, want more specifics? From Ben Parry, a former Frontier dev now working for CIG in the UK.

In the future it'd be helpful (at least for me) if you'd also provide a link to these kind of posts. A screen shot could be changed, before that door opens: I really am NOT saying that's here. I believe you, you've not lied to me as far as I'll ever know on this topic, so I doubt you'd start now. It would be nice to read more and get a better context though. I'd also like to nip any shade being thrown, most importantly we're constantly asking for links from other people in the thread. Everyone should follow the same format.The topic is very interesting to me, and I'd like to see what else is being said.
 
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Sabrewings

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Jun 27, 2015
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I'm going to say "fair enough" as I don't quite understand all the underpinnings and what's changed vs what they're putting together. It would be helpful if CIG put out a list of things needed by LY but I get why they don't. One thing I'm puzzled about.. is this the first MMOish game that's attempting to use someone else's server farms? I've always been under the impression that the resource requirements for these kind of games is intense and that's why all the ones I've ever known of have all in house stuff.. and they're still split up. Is there a game on this scale that I'm forgetting/missing? If it's a case where they're attempting to use AWS for this scale and that's the parts that LY is being used for, it makes more sense.
CIG are unique in how they're developing the server management. They won't have separate "servers" per say. They're even trying to avoid any instancing of any kind, but we'll see how successful that is. What they're trying to develop is a system that dynamically zones the world space into sections individual server virtual machines can handle. This zone might be may millions of cubic kilometers if there aren't many people there, or it might be a few square kilometers of a landing zone if a lot of people are there. It's dynamically sized, and the servers will be dynamically spun up and retired as needed (virtual machine instances). This sort of setup requires a robust cloud infrastructure, and Google and Amazon are great places to go for that sort of architecture. Amazon more so, and now they've made that switch.

In the future it'd be helpful (at least for me) if you'd also provide a link to these kind of posts. A screen shot could be changed, before that door opens: I really am NOT saying that's here. I believe you, you've not lied to me as far as I'll ever know on this topic, so I doubt you'd start now. It would be nice to read more and get a better context though. I'd also like to nip any shade being thrown, most importantly we're constantly asking for links from other people in the thread. Everyone should follow the same format.The topic is very interesting to me, and I'd like to see what else is being said.
I can do that. I linked the previous quotes by CR and a dev on Reddit, but I forgot that not everyone knows what Frontier's forums look like and can easily reference it. Here is where Ben Parry says the link I posted above.

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/259596-The-Star-Citizen-Thread-v5?p=4933326&viewfull=1#post4933326

That link was posted by someone else and I just used it for convenience. I encourage you to look up the rest of his posts as he's quite knowledgeable. He used to work for Frontier and now works for CIG as a graphics engineer. That thread is pretty salty though. He is a patient man.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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So over the past 4 years they didnt do a bunch of custom complex work to make starengine? A engine that has so much custom code its barely cryengine anymore?
over the last 4 years the narrative from the citizen as to why it was taking so long was because of all this custom stuff done to the engine. And in the blink of an eye you guys re-posture and say its easy to merge these things. I mean for real. This highlights everything wrong with this project.
So I will state this, as it is fairly obvious that you have no programming or development background. You see, when you develop code, you use a piece of software called a source control management system (SCM). The SCM keeps track of the original code from the very first version, and all the changes that have been made to it (not just the changes made, but the pieces, bits that are all needed to be changed at the same time, as well as comments and information about those changes such as why the change was made). You see, with all that information, you can easily roll-back and forward changes. You can branch the code into various independent systems which might have code conflicts (i.e. two teams working on the same function), and you can merge branches together to see what is truly conflicting code (i.e. a single line of code that has two different methods of operating).

Now, if you havn't already realized that with the functionality that all basic software developers have at their fingers for everyday work, you should have just realized that you can easily take another branch of an engine, (i.e. the lumberjack branch of CryEngine) and merge changes you have made to a different branch (i.e. StarEngine). Can there be conflicts? Sure. Will there be conflicts? Unknown. You and I don't have enough information about that unless we had the source code and tried to merge the branches together. It is exactly as has been stated, there doesn't appear to be any lost functionality so far in 2.6. And since the work has already been completed, it didn't take more than a couple months to have done (since it is obviously already been done).
 

Sabrewings

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Jun 27, 2015
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And since the work has already been completed, it didn't take more than a couple months to have done (since it is obviously already been done).
If we are to take the official announcement on its word, it only took a couple engineers a few days.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
27,399
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So I guess everything is great and moving along exactly as planned.

So what are our guesses on 3.0 release?
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,663
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So I guess everything is great and moving along exactly as planned.
So far seems like it.

I'm sorry that I seem to always come down on you. It is simply that I do personally have a background in software development and actually do understand the work that has happened, has been made, and still needs to be made. I also am just tired of seeing posts and huge discussions about something that is a trivial change as though the sky is falling or the world is coming to an end. I'm sorry you don't have an understanding of how software development works, and thus don't know what is trivial or not, but as such, I would hope you would either learn a bit about it before spouting off on something you don't have knowledge of as though you are an expert and mislead everyone who reads your posts and might mistake you for someone who knows what they are speaking about.
 

Red Storm

Lifer
Oct 2, 2005
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I was being somewhat sarcastic. Vaporware in the gaming industry would be a game announced, showed off some, but nobody ever got to actually play, so there's no proof that it's an actual game in the works. Star Citizen has a playable alpha that's come a long way, it's definitely not vaporware. Incomplete, but not vaporware.
 

Artorias

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Feb 8, 2014
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The king of vaporware is HL:EP3(it actually has some concept art), and how in the world SC can be called vapourware is beyond me.
 

Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
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Derek Smart :
Star Citizen – Irreconcilable Differences

http://dereksmart.com/2016/12/star-citizen-irreconcilable-differences/
Lol, what a mess of half formed ideas and BS. He's as predictable as he is off his rocker. Not a single shred of any evidence to back his claims, aside from referencing his own word salads. Last I checked you can't use a circular reference as proof.

Here's a succinct synopsis and more will be appearing in that thread as the day goes on.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DerekSmart/comments/5kq48g/my_latest_indepth_blog_about_star_citizens_recent/dbpqvtz
 

Sabrewings

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Skel

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Towards the bottom of that page you linked Parry edited his post and added this..

I totally get that there are reasons for people, and people in this thread, to dislike CIG or Star Citizen. Most are touchy territory that I don't touch. But fictitious technical problems shouldn't be among them.
I still don't know what they did to start incorporating Lumberyard into their stuff, but from what this guy sounds like it's not as bad as some detractors lead us to believe. The downside to not understanding all they've done (or how a lot of it works) is you don't know if it's really an issue or not. I do think that the fact that they've been working on Lumberyard for a while now (according to what I've seen from CIG, please correct if wrong) goes against the "open development" they continue to claim they have. It's not worth the pitchforks and torches, but it does bring shade to how honest they really are about things.

I did come across this article from Kotaku entitled "The 24 year feud that has dogged Star Citizen" (apologies if it's already been posted, but I hadn't seen it in this thread at least) that goes into details on some of the non-tech issues around the game. Most importantly, it goes into details on DS, his history and why he might not be the best person to be speaking up. It isn't the nicest piece on SC either, as it also talks about others who were banned and the other issues.. it's interesting though for the history of DS (for those that don't know) if nothing else. It seems to have come out back in July so some of the info in it is outdated.. like when they mention Star Marine isn't out yet.. which is kinda is.. in alpha at least. Like I said though, the history part of the players brings some things in to perspective. Though I should also point out.. that just because DS has a ..flair for the self promoting, doesn't mean he's always wrong.

Link
 

Sabrewings

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Jun 27, 2015
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Towards the bottom of that page you linked Parry edited his post and added this..
He has a point. There's enough for people to get their panties wound up about without making up technical issues.

I do think that the fact that they've been working on Lumberyard for a while now (according to what I've seen from CIG, please correct if wrong)
It could be semantics, but I do want to point out that everything we've been told or heard so far is that they weren't working on it for a while. They had been "looking into it" for a while which meant talking with Amazon and analyzing their products.

The actual transition only took a few days of work by a couple engineers. It would've been nice to know about it from further down the pipeline, but perhaps they weren't sure how the transition would go. They did say they had a fairly large "announcement" to go with 2.6. Doesn't really satisfy the open development line, but there it is. To be fair, they said they'd be the most open gaming project to date, and I personally feel they have been. I'm willing to change my mind in the face of more openly developed projects. However, most open to date does not mean completely open, and I'm fine with that.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
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This doesn't look good. They completed(actually not completed) one game mechanic...5 years. 5 more x 5 = 25 years... Do you get walking stick when you order Star Citizen game?
lol Yes . . . for an extra $100 . . . and it's virtual . . . and it has a Sharper Image watermark . . .

Derek Smart needs to get laid...
That seems . . . unlikely.

Okay, in 22 pages I've learned that Chris Roberts is a freakin' marketing genius, even if he sucks at making video games. In four years (or six years to the ironically named Mr. Smart, dating from the original company's founding) and raising record amounts of money he has produced a crappy generic FPS game (that he paid someone else to build), made some alpha spaceships that you can fly inside a hanger, gone from claiming he's creating his own licensable engine to adopting Amazon's, made some really crappy adverts, had his project officially declared vapor ware, and shown as evidence of progress some stolen stock art with his wife crudely superimposed, and his investors are generally pretty happy. Dude should seriously be looking at running for President in 2020.

Maybe he will finally deliver a product that his investors (or their descendents) can play. And maybe it will be yuuuge. Until that happens or he folds, as long as his investors are relatively satisfied I fail to see why it's such a big deal to people who aren't giving him money.

Just read an older post by Roberts claiming that for every scene shot, every actor had one to three cameras on his/her face plus fifty capturing their motions. (Is there maybe a new definition of 'camera' that I missed?) Frankly I worry that burning cash at that rate may collapse into another sun.
 
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JSt0rm

Lifer
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he will fold. He cant sustain 500 employees on 4 studios around the world forever. Unless the whales can give enough milk but I doubt that will happen.
 
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Skel

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He has a point. There's enough for people to get their panties wound up about without making up technical issues.



It could be semantics, but I do want to point out that everything we've been told or heard so far is that they weren't working on it for a while. They had been "looking into it" for a while which meant talking with Amazon and analyzing their products.

The actual transition only took a few days of work by a couple engineers. It would've been nice to know about it from further down the pipeline, but perhaps they weren't sure how the transition would go. They did say they had a fairly large "announcement" to go with 2.6. Doesn't really satisfy the open development line, but there it is. To be fair, they said they'd be the most open gaming project to date, and I personally feel they have been. I'm willing to change my mind in the face of more openly developed projects. However, most open to date does not mean completely open, and I'm fine with that.
From what I've read on the forum you've linked to, there's a huge question on what they've actually done with LY. There's quite a few people that seem to think those "2 engineers" have done so far is just update screens with the LY logos. No clue how true that is, but as I've said before, until they get a list of what they've dumped from the OG Crytek for LY I can't tell if I should care.. honestly until there is a actual reason to care, I'm going with what Parry said, there's more interesting things to talk about.

lol Yes . . . for an extra $100 . . . and it's virtual . . . and it has a Sharper Image watermark . . .


That seems . . . unlikely.

Okay, in 22 pages I've learned that Chris Roberts is a freakin' marketing genius, even if he sucks at making video games. In four years (or six years to the ironically named Mr. Smart, dating from the original company's founding) and raising record amounts of money he has produced a crappy generic FPS game (that he paid someone else to build), made some alpha spaceships that you can fly inside a hanger, gone from claiming he's creating his own licensable engine to adopting Amazon's, made some really crappy adverts, had his project officially declared vapor ware, and shown as evidence of progress some stolen stock art with his wife crudely superimposed, and his investors are generally pretty happy. Dude should seriously be looking at running for President in 2020.

Maybe he will finally deliver a product that his investors (or their descendents) can play. And maybe it will be yuuuge. Until that happens or he folds, as long as his investors are relatively satisfied I fail to see why it's such a big deal to people who aren't giving him money.

Just read an older post by Roberts claiming that for every scene shot, every actor had one to three cameras on his/her face plus fifty capturing their motions. (Is there maybe a new definition of 'camera' that I missed?) Frankly I worry that burning cash at that rate may collapse into another sun.
One thing I can and will never take away is CR and crew's ability to make a shit-ton (tech term ;) ) out of very little but promises. It's a skill that shouldn't be dismissed, nor should he be shamed for having it.. not following through and screwing up due dates however..

DS continues to entertain.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DerekSmart/comments/5kyirg/derek_smart_on_twitteri_wrote_an_update_section/dbrk6df

Ben Parry correcting his "missive" really triggered him.
One thing that I did pull from the Smart Blog (which, man that guy must be paid by the word) is this image.



How true is this? I don't touch Alpha's as a general rule as I either get cranky by the lack of progress of them or I get burned out on the game before it's released. I did notice today that I got spun around a bit on what's being worked on when/where. (it could be the pain killers as I'm post surgery) I This pic (again, please correct where I'm wrong) is hte heart of the game, you'd think more resources would be put into it. At the very least, a more solid timetable on them would be presented. I could be making something out of nothing, I freely admit, but this game has more money than almost any (I'm really hard pressed to think or find a game that has more money put into it) game before it, so the idea we're this far out with this little to show for it does make me scratch my head. I'm also confused how they'll finish all this unless they've banked most of that money. It really doesn't appear (with the exception of ships.. which is what they keep hocking to make money, so I get why they continue to work on those) the rest of these tasks are going to be minor.
 

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