Star Citizen Development Discussion (Is Derek Smart Right?)

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sham63

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Apr 29, 2010
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I won't speak for everyone, but here's my take. I'm a big proponent of voting with your money. The way most "gamers" these days buy up rehashed ideas year after year, they're voting that mediocre content is okay. This game publishers would never make. They know it's risky and don't want to risk their money. That's fine. Avenues like Kickstarter, Early Access, crowdfunding in general allow customers to make decisions normally left to publishers. "What game looks worth it to me?" Worth it to a publisher is what makes a lot of money. Worth it to a customer is (to me) something new and never done before. People put money into projects like this because publishers won't and they see something they like. It's a risk, but only as large a one as you feel like contributing. Don't want to contribute? I totally understand, and I don't think you should in that case. If it comes to retail, you get another game to buy that hopefully stands out to you and delivers something you enjoy. If it doesn't make it out, you lost nothing.

In my case, my record on crowdfunding games (including early access on Steam) has been largely positive and I enjoy the process of watching it evolve. There are a couple games (both on Steam) that the devs appear to have slapped a "1.0" on the cover and left it unfinished just to keep Steam off their backs. I consider them losses, but the successes have far outweighed them (Kerbal Space Program, Don't Starve, Elite: Dangerous, Everspace). In this case, I already have enough time and enjoyment in what has been produced by this team to be worth the price of admission.
I guess I could see a one time contribution, but it is the selling of ships to
Okay, but for $140 million sure we can get a bit more than that.


That's a fair outlook. One can treat crowd funding games as a hobby like any other. Some people have a spare fifty, some a spare grand or eighteen. It's not my cup of tea, but as long as people invest what they are willing to lose, and understand the stakes, I see nothing wrong with it. The constant promises that the game is right around the corner bothers me though. It may be necessary, but it isn't honest.


There is nothing that says that has to be THE final control scheme. Most people seem to want joystick control, and people have been complaining that it is mouse-based. I think they are probably looking at console ports, since that's where the real money is. (Well, that and marketing, apparently.) I can see mappable controls supporting very complicated controllers, with some people purchasing or building heavily armored ships with auto lock weapons while others go for highly maneuverable fighters for dogfighting.

Honestly, the only viable model I see for a quality game of this scope is MMO, like WOW in space. Gamers pay one hefty lump sum to get the basic game, then pay a recurring fee to support the servers and fund further development. A few times a year, expansion packs come out with new systems. Funding would be a challenge combination of fundraising & presales, initial game sales, monthly charges, expansion packs, and in-game purchases to get better ships. Maybe start with an in-system only mining ship, salvage ship, courier, or freighter so you are limited to one system. Maybe even start limited to one planet - I can see a shuttle-based tutorial, leading into a system navigation tutorial, leading into a stellar ship tutorial. New players could also sign on as crew, but frankly with a brand new game (no established clans) I don't see that working well except perhaps on a mission by mission basis. Too hard to coordinate schedules. Might work as a form of co-op though. The "whales" would be able to skip that phase, not only because they already have stellar ships but also because through the alpha and beta they know the mechanics inside and out.

Frankly my best guess is that this flops harder than Michael Moore on the high dive. But I can see why the promise has raised so much money. It really isn't just another game.
That sounds worse than those f2p and ptw mobile games, or any game that I can recall. The problem I have with that kind of funding model is that you are constantly paying to play the game. I know I am on the older side, but I will not do iap's in full price games. I did some mobile ftp games(like Dead Trigger 2) a few years ago, but I limited myself to about $10. Bought some in game money to advance some weapons etc. That was ok, but now from what I see it is never ending if you want to play and make any advancement. The hundreds and thousands of dollars people pay these games blows my mind. I guess they enjoy it. Just a different mindset than me.
 

werepossum

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Jul 10, 2006
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I guess I could see a one time contribution, but it is the selling of ships to


That sounds worse than those f2p and ptw mobile games, or any game that I can recall. The problem I have with that kind of funding model is that you are constantly paying to play the game. I know I am on the older side, but I will not do iap's in full price games. I did some mobile ftp games(like Dead Trigger 2) a few years ago, but I limited myself to about $10. Bought some in game money to advance some weapons etc. That was ok, but now from what I see it is never ending if you want to play and make any advancement. The hundreds and thousands of dollars people pay these games blows my mind. I guess they enjoy it. Just a different mindset than me.
Any IGPs would certainly have to be handled very cautiously. It would be better to have none at all, I just don't see how Roberts can deliver everything he has promised with any traditional funding method. Moreover, the investors already have the ships while everyone else has to earn them, so the pay to win has already started.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
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Any IGPs would certainly have to be handled very cautiously. It would be better to have none at all, I just don't see how Roberts can deliver everything he has promised with any traditional funding method. Moreover, the investors already have the ships while everyone else has to earn them, so the pay to win has already started.
How do you "win" at Star Citizen? I see the P2W term thrown out a lot when it comes to SC, but no one ever seems to be able to define "win".
 

Mandres

Senior member
Jun 8, 2011
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Well speaking for a consumer point, i have some issues with how CIG is handling the game
...
To me i think tho, 1 is the biggest peeve, which is why i dont support the game.
Its like Blizzard going:
"Hey guys were making WOW2 and need a fundraiser to continue development. Then blizzard saying what if we price a 1000 dollar mount which is a dragon that can hold a gazillion items, ferry around your clan, and have a nuclear laser."

You guys see my point?
Agreed. They're using the same predatory tricks that collectable card and miniature games and F2P MMO game devs use to take advantage of compulsive spending behavior. Next it will be "make a donation for a gift box with a small % chance of a great ship inside!", just watch.

What makes it so interesting is that there isn't even a game here yet. They've raised a hundred million selling just the fantasy of power. At least in f2p MMOs once you've paid you get to go out into the game world and "win" right away. They managed to tap into the same power-lust money machine with just the promise of future reward. I wouldn't have thought that would work.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
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Win = pwn da n00bs with your greatest autism chariot.

The citizens already said they want to to take like 80 hours of grind to get one of these expensive ships. Guess what? Ain't nobody got time for that. Dirty bomb is my most played game and I have 180 hours in it over a year.
 

Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
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Win = pwn da n00bs with your greatest autism chariot.

The citizens already said they want to to take like 80 hours of grind to get one of these expensive ships. Guess what? Ain't nobody got time for that. Dirty bomb is my most played game and I have 180 hours in it over a year.
I have a few hundred in Elite in the last 18 months and almost a thousand in Kerbal Space program over a couple years. 80 hours isn't that much for games these days. The last MMO I played I had around a thousand as well. More than enough time to earn an "autism chariot." (You're so charming, it's clear you look at things objectively.)

Also, to reiterate, in its current state flying a large ship with a single person you will be owned by someone in a single seater. They're not an I Win button.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
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so do you want to have the game be for hardcore people only or do you want to sell 60 million copies? Do you see how you are always at odds with your own reasoning?
 

Skel

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2001
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You're right, my mistake. I mixed up Bethesda and Blizzard. So, to pick a Blizzard game, World of Warcraft is listed as "4-5 years".

GTAV has sold 65 million copies as of 2016. Are you saying they will never reach that level? It sounds like they could have a lot of market out there, even when you factor PC only.
I'd never say never... but I don't see them selling 65 million copies of SQ42 if they remain PC only. As JSt0rm pointed out, most of the people that would buy it already have. I don't think there's another 65 million people waiting to see if it's worth a damn... but never say never.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
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I'd never say never... but I don't see them selling 65 million copies of SQ42 if they remain PC only. As JSt0rm pointed out, most of the people that would buy it already have. I don't think there's another 65 million people waiting to see if it's worth a damn... but never say never.
They could never do 65mill on the pc. Look at the spec of pc needed to run it. How many have that? This game would get creamed on any anandtech benchmark.
 
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Sabrewings

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I'd never say never... but I don't see them selling 65 million copies of SQ42 if they remain PC only. As JSt0rm pointed out, most of the people that would buy it already have. I don't think there's another 65 million people waiting to see if it's worth a damn... but never say never.
Even if they sold another 1.5 million (fairly paltry numbers if they achieve the quality CR and ER looks for and digitally distribute), that's 90 million dollars. Or, if they sell only 400k more (2 million total), that's still 24 million.

I don't accept the "most that would buy it already have" because I see here and elsewhere lots of individuals who haven't due to being opposed to early access or crowd funding. I think they have at least as many to sell as have already sold, but that's my opinion and I only present it as such. We'll all see when it comes out, and I have no problem eating crow when I'm wrong.
 

werepossum

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Jul 10, 2006
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How do you "win" at Star Citizen? I see the P2W term thrown out a lot when it comes to SC, but no one ever seems to be able to define "win".
Winning would be dominating newer players and getting first crack at every system.

Even if they sold another 1.5 million (fairly paltry numbers if they achieve the quality CR and ER looks for and digitally distribute), that's 90 million dollars. Or, if they sell only 400k more (2 million total), that's still 24 million.

I don't accept the "most that would buy it already have" because I see here and elsewhere lots of individuals who haven't due to being opposed to early access or crowd funding. I think they have at least as many to sell as have already sold, but that's my opinion and I only present it as such. We'll all see when it comes out, and I have no problem eating crow when I'm wrong.
I cannot believe that any game can saturate its market in pre-sales. There will always be people who could not afford it, weren't really aware of it, or are fundamentally opposed to buying non-existent software. This game may break the mold with near a million pre-sales, but if it is good, the market will be some multiple of that number. Of course, not every dollar goes to Roberts. Some will wait until it gets cheaper, and to maximize sales he will have to distribute on Steam and such which take around a third minimum IIRC.

Of course, all that depends on the game actually being finished, which I think is far from certain, and on it not being another buggy, disappointing "No Man's Sky" which people decide to maybe try when it gets patched - and hits ten bucks.

Hmm, I wonder if this will be playable on the Phantom console? <BEG>
 

Sabrewings

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Of course, all that depends on the game actually being finished, which I think is far from certain, and on it not being another buggy, disappointing "No Man's Sky" which people decide to maybe try when it gets patched - and hits ten bucks.
At this point, I was referring to Squadron 42. We should see it some time in the first half of this year.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
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We should see it some time in the first half of this year.
oh really? cool. I cant wait.



[As others have said, this is near boarderline baiting. I and the admin staff are allowing this thread as long as it pertains to the game and leaves the baiting / verbal trashing out of it.
Keep on discussion, and refrain from things like this, or i will remove your access to this thread.

Moderator Aigo]
 
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werepossum

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At this point, I was referring to Squadron 42. We should see it some time in the first half of this year.
Really? The only trailers I have seen are a loooong Gary Oldman speech and some very generic and unimpressive footage circa 2012/2013. Have you seen enough to believe that a 20 hour AAA game can be kicked out in ~four months?

If Roberts can turn out a good game with broad appeal in Q1/Q2 2017, that would be great. It would give him a revenue stream to tap for further development. Conversely, a bad game or a game of interest only to those who have already paid would be a net resource drain.
 

JSt0rm

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if he releases anything it wont live up to the hype and the gravy stops flowing. He literally makes more money not releasing anything.
 
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I still don't get the hate. If you've bought request a refund, use your manners too. If you haven't bought either wait which is always a smart strategy or don't buy.
Why are people so obsessed with how much money Chris Roberts has made or how much someone has spent buying ships? Its not your money, don't count it, don't envy it.
Why does it feel so many aren't excited to see a game arrive that requires a substantial system upgrade to play and is something we haven't seen before?
 

werepossum

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I still don't get the hate. If you've bought request a refund, use your manners too. If you haven't bought either wait which is always a smart strategy or don't buy.
Why are people so obsessed with how much money Chris Roberts has made or how much someone has spent buying ships? Its not your money, don't count it, don't envy it.
Why does it feel so many aren't excited to see a game arrive that requires a substantial system upgrade to play and is something we haven't seen before?
I somewhat agree, but the performance of SC and Roberts' success or failure has potentially large implications for gaming in general and crowd funding in particular. SC is controversial both in its scope and its funding, and controversy drives conversation. And if it turns out that $140 million has been bilked from consumers, that should be of interest to everyone.

Personally I am cautiously optimistic even though I really don't see how Roberts delivers what he has promised even on what he has raised. If he utterly fails, perhaps either his work will be picked up and finished by a better funded developer/publisher, or his massive success in fundraising will persuade a more traditional company that space exploration/combat is a viable genre. If he partially succeeds, then his hard core fans at least have something they will want to play. If he massively succeeds, then I will have something I want to play. Since this is not my core gaming interest, I am not an early funder, and gaming is already established as a massively profitable viable industry, I really don't see how I lose by his efforts, win or lose or draw.
 

rivethead

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Jan 16, 2005
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I somewhat agree, but the performance of SC and Roberts' success or failure has potentially large implications for gaming in general and crowd funding in particular. SC is controversial both in its scope and its funding, and controversy drives conversation. And if it turns out that $140 million has been bilked from consumers, that should be of interest to everyone.
I don't think SC's scope is controversial. I also don't think crowd funding a video game is controversial. The amount raised certainly does draw attention to the project. But you can't blame CIG for the funding levels. Sure they created the concept of raising money by promising "ships" for use within the game. But at the end of the day, it was we backers who pushed the "pay" button. So I don't entirely get the focus on CIG.

You want to talk controversy? Let's talk FIG. They're selling investment shares of video game companies with actual cash ROIs based on the units sold. Now that's controversial. How many of your average gamers are financially savvy enough to understand what they're buying/investing in? Now that's scary as hell. Yet no one seems to be focused on that..........
 

Skel

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Apr 11, 2001
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I don't think SC's scope is controversial. I also don't think crowd funding a video game is controversial. The amount raised certainly does draw attention to the project. But you can't blame CIG for the funding levels. Sure they created the concept of raising money by promising "ships" for use within the game. But at the end of the day, it was we backers who pushed the "pay" button. So I don't entirely get the focus on CIG.

You want to talk controversy? Let's talk FIG. They're selling investment shares of video game companies with actual cash ROIs based on the units sold. Now that's controversial. How many of your average gamers are financially savvy enough to understand what they're buying/investing in? Now that's scary as hell. Yet no one seems to be focused on that..........
I had to look up FIG to figure out what this was. I'm not sure how many people even know about it. I do agree that it's worth discussing.. in it's own thread of course.

As for the rest.. I don't agree. CIG is the focus as they're the ones that have been taking in all this money and haven't produced most of the game. While I do agree that there is ownership on the part of the 'backers', CIG does own some of that as well. They are the ones that continue to mine money out of it's user base (and very well done) by making more promises. This becomes a bit controversial as normally one fulfills promises before making more...

The FIG thing is interesting though..
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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OK, this is my first official warning to you guys.

1. Keep the topic to the games.

2. Keep the member baiting out of this thread.

3. Your allowed to disagree with someone, however you are NOT allowed to be cynical / sarcastic / abusive to other members.

If you cant keep your temper and e-peen in check, don't post and move on.

4. Did i mention you can not be sarcastic / cynical at another member, because we will assume no one in this thread has a sense of humor, and will take it offensively, so JUST AVOID IT.

Keep on topic and keep a valid discussion otherwise i will remove access to the violators and do what must be done to keep this thread neutral and balanced.

Moderator Aigomorla.
 
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Fallen Kell

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Oct 9, 1999
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CIG is the focus as they're the ones that have been taking in all this money and haven't produced most of the game.
Still trying to understand what "most of the game" is in your context. The only "stuff" really missing at this point is mainly level design/assets. There will need to be some more work done on the game economy (i.e. NPC interaction with trade and manufacturing), but really that is simple game functions. We havn't received a playable demo yet of some ship component systems, but that is mostly just a content/asset issue more than anything else (engine wise we already use it with weapons/missiles/ammo/shields), which engine support is the hard part. I mean seriously, they can stamp out hundreds of items a day if that was a focus (it isn't because of how simple it is to do).

The hard part of game development is building an engine that is capable of handling all the pieces that are part of the game. We almost have a complete engine at this point in our hands (2.6 alpha is showing FPS combat, combat with vehicles/ships, transition from ship to space to spacestation to ship within a ship, purchasing of items from a vendor, customization/configuration of ships/vehicles, quest/mission system, NPC combat AI, scripted events, triggered events, manipulation of items/objects, interaction with items/objects, etc.... basically all but just a couple of the functional components needed to do everything that CR has stated he wants the game to be able to do...). Game assets like level design (even when the level is the size of a planet/solar system) and items are mostly trivial compared to the work needed on the engine. Once an engine is complete, the rest of things come together very quickly.

So simply counting percentage of things done based on levels and game assets isn't even close to showing completion percentage of a game. Levels and game assets are less than 20-30% of the work needed to make most games (there are exceptions like heavy storyline driven games, or games using an existing engine that is already function complete). A 3D graphics artist/modeler can very easily create a gorgeous ship in a matter of hours, but needs the game engine to then have the functionality to say how that ship moves, operates, is created/destroyed, etc (functions that are all being demo'ed in the current alpha).

Also remember the point of an alpha is to test the functionality, not show off the entire game. CIG might already 100 planets saved off and complete, but from a test function purpose, putting them into the alpha build is pointless as it doesn't test any more core engine functionality than 1 planet does. They also don't need to release an alpha build with lots of planets for stress/scaling testing as they can perform that on their own internally to see how it would stress the backend servers... Again, the point of an alpha is to show and test core functionality, of which you only need 1 or 2 of anything to do so, and there is no point in creating say 100 systems or 500 planets, or 100 ships... you only need 1 of each category of something to test. And even more to the point, the alpha that we are testing is designed to see if players do or think of something that the developers have not already internally come up with (like quickly showing a weapon or combination of things exploits the engine in a way not originally intended, and gaining access to metrics/performance data from a wide variety of PC hardware).
 
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JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
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Also remember the point of an alpha is to test the functionality, not show off the entire game. CIG might already 100 planets saved off and complete, but from a test function purpose, putting them into the alpha build is pointless as it doesn't test any more core engine functionality than 1 planet does.
Alpha
See also: Alpha release
Alpha is the stage when key gameplay functionality is implemented, and assets are partially finished.[153] A game in alpha is feature complete, that is, game is playable and contains all the major features.[154] These features may be further revised based on testing and feedback.[153] Additional small, new features may be added, similarly planned, but unimplemented features may be dropped.[154] Programmers focus mainly on finishing the codebase, rather than implementing additions.[152] Alpha occurs eight to ten months before code release,[153] but this can vary significantly based on the scope of content and assets any given game has.


Star citizen is not feature complete. It is pre-alpha still. You dont even know if the total mix of design choices are fun yet.
 

preslove

Lifer
Sep 10, 2003
16,760
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Alpha
See also: Alpha release
Alpha is the stage when key gameplay functionality is implemented, and assets are partially finished.[153] A game in alpha is feature complete, that is, game is playable and contains all the major features.[154] These features may be further revised based on testing and feedback.[153] Additional small, new features may be added, similarly planned, but unimplemented features may be dropped.[154] Programmers focus mainly on finishing the codebase, rather than implementing additions.[152] Alpha occurs eight to ten months before code release,[153] but this can vary significantly based on the scope of content and assets any given game has.


Star citizen is not feature complete. It is pre-alpha still. You dont even know if the total mix of design choices are fun yet.
Yeah, Star Citizen has not been an Alpha release. It's not in alpha if you're still developing the core gameplay mechanics. It's a pre-alpha [sic] that was pushed out to mollify the suckers that paid them for pictures of space ships, and to get them to sink even more money in a hopeless project.
 
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