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Star Citizen - Fishing for Space Whales


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I remember reading about Smart getting a pasting on the primitive message boards of the 1990s for claiming that the asteroids in his game had AI. His argument didn't seem all that unreasonable - he seemed to be saying that the asteroids followed rules that governed their behaviour in the game, which seemed like AI to me - but boy oh boy, was he angry about it.

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Hahaha, you mean not many people here know about the amazing clusterfuck that is Star Citizen? It's incredible, it's raised the kind of money from insane fuckwits that you or I can only dream about, they're blowing hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) on non-existent internet spaceships/funding Chris Roberts' cocaine habit, it's the funniest goddamn thing. They think they're getting a first person Eve-meets-Star Wars-with-a-little-bit-of-Star-Trek where they can fly any ship, board any space station, land on any planet. What they're actually getting is taken for a fucking ride but good luck getting them ever to accept it.

Fun Fact: they're struggling with huge chunks of the game but they've managed to make sure that the spaceships have usable toilets. Priorities, man.

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On 12/07/2015 at 9:37 PM, Mr. Gerbik said:

He got this.

He's good with green and reaching out to grey?

On 13/07/2015 at 6:15 PM, K said:

I remember reading about Smart getting a pasting on the primitive message boards of the 1990s for claiming that the asteroids in his game had AI. His argument didn't seem all that unreasonable - he seemed to be saying that the asteroids followed rules that governed their behaviour in the game, which seemed like AI to me - but boy oh boy, was he angry about it.

It's the difference between asteroids that react in tandem with players' actions via a ton of functions, and asteroids that analyse players' actions and evolve against them.

if ship_direction == x:

asteroids_direction = x

elif ship_direction == -x:

asteroids_direction = -x

If you turned that into proper code, the asteroids would follow the horizontal direction of your ship. AI, yes, but it's bloody rudimentary. Based on your tendencies to that point, genuine AI might correctly predict your heading and cut you off. Games are always ahead of you - they read your inputs before every response, so they just randomise their reactions between punishes and mistakes according to difficulty. As Deep Blue's Murray Campbell said, no formula exists for intuition. Although intuition is the subconscious selection of a reaction from our previous experiences, so with enough computational power some basic AI is possible. So long as the parameters are narrow enough.

Pseudo-AI can do a really convincing job, but it's wirework. A really sweet randomiser isn't AI. Destructible environments have allowed devs to be clever with preemptive AI - somewhat independent of the player's position, if not their armoury - because they can tie their reactive-AI triggers to scenery as well as the player.

My definition of actual AI would be code with the ability to overwrite itself permanently, rather than overwriting itself per-instance and defaulting. Skynet looms when it starts writing its own classes.

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There's a tone to his writing that puts one in mind of a person who shall not be named. I'm trying to wade through the thing now but it's tough going. It's rambling and unfocused and infused with a large amount of "I'm really important so listen to me"


It's quite funny. It reads exactly like one of Voldy's articles. Right down to the large amounts of "I've done this. I've done that"

As I said in a recent podcast, I knew that, going in, once I released this, that they were going to make this about Derek Smart, in a bid to deflect attention away from the crux of the matter. But knowing that it may end up in litigation, or me giving expert testimony to the court, the Feds etc, we decided to get ahead of that when I wrote and released this, Gaming Urban Legend, blog yesterday. It just brings everyone up to speed about my industry shenanigans, experience, qualifications etc, and saves a lot of time
A lot of the combatants in this war that’s now in progress, don’t really know who I am. They know nothing about my industry tenure, my accomplishments, my experience, my credentials etc. They’re looking at it if I were some drama queen looking for attention. This despite the fact that, over the years, I have built, pretty much, a vastly more advanced game, in the same genre that Chris and co are apparently having trouble building. And, this year, we’re about to release an even better one,Line Of Defense. Though it won’t look as pretty, it works, it’s here, and it’s not vaporware

The game they are trying to build, I’ve actually built similar before. Like over two decades ago. The last one I did like that, Universal Combat CE, is currently FREE on Steam. It’s a very complex game, that has a specific target audience. It’s got a massive persistent universe, space combat, aerial combat, ground vehicles, first person infantry, exceptional AI etc.

And then right at the end he gets to the point with "our" (The backers) list of demands

As backers of this project, here is our list of demands:

  1. disclose the full detailed (private jet travel? we want to see it) P&L accounting (money in off-shore bank accounts? we want to know about them) for every crowd-funded dime that has been raised and spent on this project. Allow an independent forensics accountant, hired by backers, to come and do an audit. This is standard practice in developer-publisher relationships. So you know how that works.
  2. disclose the true state of the project in terms of what is expected to be delivered, and when. Allow an independent Executive Producer, hired by backers, to come and do a project review in order to get anaccurate picture of the game state, so we know when it is likely to see the light of day – if ever
  3. disclose the true timeline for the project’s completion. As per the above.
  4. setup a page offering refunds to all those who REQUEST it. The TOS is going to be the first thing attacked in any lawsuit. It is not likely to survive a legal challenge. Plus, the FTC will trump all that crap anyway, so there is that.
  5. admit, in no uncertain terms, and apologize that the scope of the project has changed since the original $2.1m kickstarter crowd-funding campaign
  6. halt all further crowd-funding activities until a sizable part of the game – as originally pitched in 2012 – has been delivered to backers who have paid for it. In other words, STOP selling virtual items and taking money for vaporware
  7. address the nepotism issues associated with the hiring of unqualified family members to head key parts of this crowd-funded project. In this regard, explain the benefits of a) promoting your brother to an Executive Producer position, as opposed to hiring someone (like the departed Alex Mayberry) who has the experience to match the job. Also what new benefits (pay raise, shares etc) he now has access to, for going into that position b) hiring someone, allegedly your wife, to a position that she is seemingly not qualified to hold. And why a more experienced executive wasn’t put in this position. Especially since that dept has people, with more experience and qualifications to do the job. Instead, they get to answer to her; and naturally, she gets paid more, as per the position.

And there were last minute developments this morning too

UPDATE 07/14: This article was written last week, on 07/10, and was awaiting legal approval before posting. During that time, I had shared it with various media personnel, as well as some industry friends. Earlier this evening, I sent out a tweetthat the article was going live. Then when making my final email pass for the evening, I noticed an email had come in from Kickstarter, advising me that RSI had processed a $250 refund for my pledge. While I was pondering that, I got another email from RSI confirming it. I don’t know what this means, but I will speak with legal in the morning to figure it out.
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Ramblings of a mad man. You can sort of see the point he's trying to make but it's littered with "I did things better ages ago even though it doesn't look as good". It's a bit like the guys behind Giana Sisters claiming their game is better than Super Mario Bros then threatening legal action.

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The few bits of valid criticisms and questions he puts forth hidden among the mad ramblings are nothing but extremely obvious observations of the entire Star Citizen project. It's over-ambitious you say? No shit. Unlikely to live up to the ridiculous expectations of the fans? No shit.

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Is there any legal reason - either under the Kicstarter T&Cs or statutory law somewhere - for the people making this game to accede to any of his demands?

My understanding is that basically backers have no legal protections but is that correct?

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They talked about this in a recent Giantbombcast. I think the only obligation a Kickstarter project has is once it finishes the project it has to provide the rewards it promised. That`s it. It doesn`t even have to finish the project.

Also wasn`t only a couple of million raised via Kickstarter anyway? The rest being donated by other ways

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