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Star Citizen - Fishing for Space Whales


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A question that's far too complex to answer in one paragraph, but what's taking so long? Besides mismanagement, are they scrapping everything they worked on the moment some new hardware/engine is announced? That's exactly what kept Duke Nukem Forever from being released for years and years.

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5 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

I think their ambition outstrips their talent by a significant margin.

If that is the case and I have no reason to believe it is not, by now they should have come up with something playable right? As far as I know, they already severely reduced almost every aspect of it.

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8 minutes ago, df0 said:

If that is the case and I have no reason to believe it is not, by now they should have come up with something playable right? As far as I know, they already severely reduced almost every aspect of it.

 

Which is really strange because a few years back they were saying it was basically done. Had some guy saying he'd played through all the missions and it was amazing - just needed the last little bit of polish.

 

I wonder what happened!?

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1 minute ago, Lying Cat said:

 

Which is really strange because a few years back they were saying it was basically done. Had some guy saying he'd played through all the missions and it was amazing - just needed the last little bit of polish.

 

I wonder what happened!?

 

Your first name.

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43 minutes ago, df0 said:

A question that's far too complex to answer in one paragraph, but what's taking so long? Besides mismanagement, are they scrapping everything they worked on the moment some new hardware/engine is announced? That's exactly what kept Duke Nukem Forever from being released for years and years.

I don't believe it's a content creation issue, they have the amount of staff. And they're the lead project on the newest Lumberyard advert so I doubt an engine change is going on.

 

I think it's most likely just pure perfectionism. The fact they're now citing games that came out this year as quality touchstones for SQ42 means they've probably got fuck all finished, just constantly iterating on some vertical slice without ever getting into proper production. It'll never ship.

 

They could finish the PU eventually, but by then Elite will have feature parity, because they understood you make a giant space game by finishing things, not by trying to build it all at the same time.

 

I think they've been quietly selling more and more of the company to external investors to fund things.

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On 13/07/2015 at 09:59, Lorfarius said:

And they just delayed the FPS module didn't they? I can understand why some people are starting to think there's something dodgy going on.

 

5 years ago.. where has my life gone? :lol: And yep you loon, there was def something dodgy going on.

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They literally promised everything during the height of the funding craze. Every crazy idea you can come up with was suggested and subsequently promised. No matter how crazy or unachievable. So they're setting out to make a game that incorporates every single feature of every game ever made plus a shitload more on top. 

 

Either they knew they never would be able to deliver and didn't care, or they're actually that dumb and thought it would be achievable. 

 

At this point they're either desperately trying to make *something* that at least remotely resembles what they promised or just cashing as much as they can before cashing out.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

At this point they're either desperately trying to make *something* that at least remotely resembles what they promised or just cashing as much as they can before cashing out.

There's a small army of really talented people on this, and I've no doubt they're delivering their best. The problem will be organisational, Roberts hasn't worked on a game project in decades, and a successfully finished one longer than that.

 

I think long term they'll call in the administrators, the IP will go off to some new company that will hire up the talent, and Roberts will cry himself to sleep on his giant bed made of money.

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4 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

The problem will be organisational, Roberts hasn't worked on a game project in decades, and a successfully finished one longer than that.

Indeed. And I have no doubt that he is also the reason they went full-on feature bloat like no game ever before. 

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15 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Indeed. And I have no doubt that he is also the reason they went full-on feature bloat like no game ever before. 

It's not like he didn't do it when he was on Strike Commander and Freelancer. Probably reigned in on the first one and he was removed from the latter.

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4 minutes ago, RipePlums said:

I always avoided commenting on this because it should be patently obvious to anyone with a modicum of software development experience that no, it's never getting finished.

 

It's probably not a scam per se, at least it wasn't initially. It's a clear (IMO) case of someone with very very poor project management skills thinking that the fun part of design (the "wouldn't it be cool if..." bit) is the entirety, when in reality the day-to-day solving of problems (much more boring) is where the real meat lies. Problem is, that's no fun, and requires actual experience and skills, something which the management of Star Citizen clearly lacks.

 

Now they're further down the line, it's creeping more into Actual Scam territory. Give it a few more years and the lawyers (paid for by the backers) will have successfully found a way to wrap things up without actually delivering or being liable for the money. There'll be outrage (short lived - just wait for the new shiny to arrive and it's all forgotten), followed by some retrospectives from the usual Youtubers, and that will be that. Something else will appear in due course, promising much the same nonsense, and people will fall for it again. Cest la vie.

This right here is right on the money imo. Exactly how I believe it started out, how it evolved into scam as they were painting themselves into an increasingly impossible corner with every ambitious promise made, and at some point they either consciously or unconsciously decided to carry on business as usual and keep raking in crowdfunding once it became clear that the game they envisioned was basically impossible to make. Once that realization creeped up in them they could - and maybe ethically speaking, should - have called it quits. Instead they doubled down and from that point onwards you can call it a bona fide scam.

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Chris Roberts must be the worst possible person to have broken the world record for crowdfunding for a videogame - all that money, and no oversight. I don't personally think it's a scam or a pyramid scheme or anything, it just feels like this is what inevitably happens if your design ethos is to make a game that encompasses everything from deep space combat between battleships to hand to hand combat between two people on the surface of a planet, and everything in between. And also does all of those things in more detail and with more cutting edge visuals than games that just do one of those elements. Also, people keep giving you more money, so there's never enough pressure to stop realising the dream and make something you can actually release.

 

Like, I remember that article from years ago which said that Roberts played The Order: 1886 and liked the bits where you could pointlessly twist around objects around to show off the hyper-real wood and leather textures, and wanted the in-game items in Star Citizen to be done to the same level of fidelity without realising that doing something in a linear third person shooter is a bit different to doing it in a universal universe simulator. Not everything can be cutting edge.

 

It'd be interesting to just keep giving Roberts money to see what happens, you'd probably end up with something like Devs.

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21 minutes ago, RipePlums said:

I always avoided commenting on this because it should be patently obvious to anyone with a modicum of software development experience that no, it's never getting finished.

 

It's probably not a scam per se, at least it wasn't initially. It's a clear (IMO) case of someone with very very poor project management skills thinking that the fun part of design (the "wouldn't it be cool if..." bit) is the entirety, when in reality the day-to-day solving of problems (much more boring) is where the real meat lies. Problem is, that's no fun, and requires actual experience and skills, something which the management of Star Citizen clearly lacks.

 

Now they're further down the line, it's creeping more into Actual Scam territory. Give it a few more years and the lawyers (paid for by the backers) will have successfully found a way to wrap things up without actually delivering or being liable for the money. There'll be outrage (short lived - just wait for the new shiny to arrive and it's all forgotten), followed by some retrospectives from the usual Youtubers, and that will be that. Something else will appear in due course, promising much the same nonsense, and people will fall for it again. Cest la vie.

 

Would you even need lawyers to wrap everything up? If they just ran out of money, I wouldn't have thought the backers would have much recourse - they tried to develop the game, it was too ambitious, and they eventually ran out of road. That's what happens with failed Kickstarters generally. This is obviously an extreme case, but are developers legally obliged to deliver a game that they get funded on Kickstarter? I assume they're legally obliged to make a good faith attempt to do so, but I imagine it would be pretty hard to prove Cloud Imperium didn't do that.

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8 minutes ago, K said:

 

Would you even need lawyers to wrap everything up? If they just ran out of money, I wouldn't have thought the backers would have much recourse - they tried to develop the game, it was too ambitious, and they eventually ran out of road. That's what happens with failed Kickstarters generally. This is obviously an extreme case, but are developers legally obliged to deliver a game that they get funded on Kickstarter? I assume they're legally obliged to make a good faith attempt to do so, but I imagine it would be pretty hard to prove Cloud Imperium didn't do that.

It started out as a Kickstarter game. Iirc there's no guarantee for a kickstarter-backed game to ever appear. You're not buying the finished product, but donating funds for its development. I think.

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Apparently they struggle with the concept of "disapproval". Like, the usual process with this sort of stuff is that somebody will come up with some sort of concept, somebody will approve it, the concept is then worked on, finished and shipped. Apparently at any point an idea can have it's approval withdrawn, regardless of how much work has been put into it. This lends credence to the idea that they just thumbs up any old thing and then when they realise that it's clashing directly with other features or it unachievable it just gets yanked, which can then further impact other concepts and projects which went ahead on the basis that the first thing was in fact a thing.

 

I remember reading about that some time ago.

 

That and the fact that Crobberts is a ludicrous micromanager and nothing less than absolute perfection is allowed. Apparently one of the issues they've got is air inside of spaceships. Obviously if a hole happens the air will want to get outside which is fine, but they're trying to simulate oxygen levels in various parts of the ship by mechanically modelling the flow and pressure of the air in the ship, when anyone half-sane would have just abstracted that away. The upshot of this is that because this wasn't always a thing they were going to do, lots of ships need to be remodelled to have air vents and shit.

It's mad.

edit - but despite all this perfection, they still get super basic stuff wrong. A recent video saw a ship crash head on with another, nose to nose, and the people on the bridge area were thrown backwards rather than forwards. It doesn't matter and nobody cares, but you wonder why they obsess over the super tiny details like compartment to compartment air flow when they miss super-obvious stuff like what happens to you when the thing you're in stops very suddenly.

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3 minutes ago, K said:

That's what happens with failed Kickstarters generally. This is obviously an extreme case, but are developers legally obliged to deliver a game that they get funded on Kickstarter? I assume they're legally obliged to make a good faith attempt to do so, but I imagine it would be pretty hard to prove Cloud Imperium didn't do that.

 

Laws came in to cover it after the Kickstarting boom. They're legally required to provide what they promised or it's fraud, just like in other business situations, those high profile Kickstarter failures got the creators dragged into court and millions out of pocket in judgements, which they didn't have.

 

But this has a labyrinthine legal structure, including dozens of different shell companies, they've been protecting themselves with "we don't own you shit" boilerplate for years, and Chris put the mansion he got out of it into a trust so it couldn't be touched by any legal means anyway.

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Just now, Mr. Gerbik said:

It started out as a Kickstarter game. Irc there's no guarantee for a kickstarter-backed game to ever appear. You're not buying the finished product, but donating funds for its development. I think.

 

That's what I thought. It's like all crowdfunding - if you fund it, you're accepting the risk that the company might fail / development hits an unstoppable obstacle / the offices burn down with all the employees inside / a pandemic fucks the global economy, etc. 

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2 minutes ago, RubberJohnny said:

No, that hasn't been true since like 2016, at least as far as the US is concerned.

 

Are you sure? There's inherent risk in crowdfunding. What laws are you talking about? Fraud is one thing, but a company might not deliver on everything in their initial proposal for any number of reasons - presumably it's not automatically fraud if you promise, say, one feature out of about twenty in a game, and the person leading on that bit leaves the company and nobody can understand his insane spaghetti mess of code, and they don't have enough money left to hire anyone else to sort it out.

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