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Star Citizen - Fishing for Space Whales


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I was just thinking that Dwarf Fortress has a lot of parellels with Star Citizen. A never-finished game with a mind bogglingly ambitious scope, that (at least until the Steam release) relies a lot on player donations to fund its development. Dwarf Fortress will probably never be finished in the true sense of the word, just when the developers get fed up with it or the money dries up.

 

Of course there the parallels end:

 

- Dwarf Fortress's main game mode was completely playable from very early on and just gets iterated on

- It follows a roadmap where steps on the roadmap actually get implemented

- It has shit graphics so people are 'paying' for gameplay alone

- It has multiple modes like Campaign which actually work

- It doesn't sell promises of features to come as standalone items customers can buy

- It doesn't have a huge team of developers to support and thus have to come up with things to keep them busy

 

What I find interesting is that Dwarf Fortress is niche but you see the same pattern of players who are invested enough in the overall dream to keep the money rolling in. But the difference is that Fortress players have a constant stream of meaningful updates. The longer Dwarf Fortress goes on, the more it gets into crazy minutiae and systems. However I guess the thing is that these all just prop up or add to an already incredibly in-depth and playable core game.

 

I wonder if Star Citizen had taken a much less aggressive approach to monetization, and been honest about it being an ongoing sim project without an definite end, whether people would have been more enthused about supporting it in the same way as Dwarf Fortress fans are. Just happy to contribute to a fascinating, ever-growing virtual world. Because strip all the bullshit away and at its core I appreciate what Star Citizen was envisaged to be originally, I like hearing about all the crazy systems and ambitious things they put in it. Its something I could get behind if they didn't scam people and if they actually delivered a proper core game to build on. 

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I guess the problem is that Star Citizen requires that aggressive level of monetisation - they haven't taken a single model and iterated on it, they've taken a wide-open brief of a space combat simulator that's also a trading simulator, a planetary exploration game, a first person shooter, a base-building game, and an MMO, and where every single aspect of the game is intended to be at or above the standard of the very best games in those individual genres. There's also a lengthy single-player campaign with dozens of expensive actors. That's not something you can build and then iterate on gradually. You need to keep money coming in to build all those assets and systems.

 

Elite: Dangerous is probably the closest thing to what you describe, and that's been a very slow, cautious process of building on the core shooting & trading game that came out in 2014. That's been a success in the sense that it's still being supported and is presumably still a going concern for Frontier. It boggles the mind what Frontier could have done if they'd had the kind of resource that Cloud Imperium did, but then again, they didn't make such rash promises, so they didn't get that level of attention.

 

I wonder what David Braben makes of all this. He probably knows Chris Roberts to a certain degree, given that they're of similar age, were part of the same wave of 8-bit British game development, and both released games on the BBC Micro.

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52 minutes ago, dr_manhattan^ said:

:lol:

 

I mean we didn't get into it, but you did seem to be angling that buying into bitcoin early will let you be the god-kings once the hyperinflationary apocalypse destroys all the fiat currencies and then all the doubters will see, with your big post in the other thread.

 

And that's exactly the kind of thing I mean, these movements that all are about promising people dissatisfied with their life a better alternate life where suddenly they're rich, powerful and/or high-status. Bitcoin, Star Citizen Zombie Apocalypse scenarios, Prepping in general really, even stuff like ye olde cyberpunk Metaverses are all based on the idea of "well I'm a loser now, but in this alternate world I'll get a fresh start and my wealth and status will be based on *this skill or preparation I have*, and then they'll see!" Sad shit that's ripe for grift because the people buying in are doing so for a dream rather than a product.

 

Star Citizen is all about buying expensive space yachts and joining the "one million mile high club", lots of stuff emphasising luxury in videogames where luxury - craftmanship, better materials or comfort - just doesn't exist as a concept. Like that episode of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace where he says he doesn't use subtext and then the episode is clearly about his anxieties over how his own life has gone, the people buying $600 digital superyachts insecurities are on display for everyone to see, and they're the only ones who don't seem to realise that.

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As impressive as it can occasionally look graphically, I’ve yet to see any footage that didn’t look like it was struggling to hit 30fps. It’s always a stutterfest. How badly optimised is the engine when even official footage, presumably demoed on a monster rig, looks like shit. 

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12 hours ago, K said:

Elite: Dangerous is probably the closest thing to what you describe, and that's been a very slow, cautious process of building on the core shooting & trading game that came out in 2014. That's been a success in the sense that it's still being supported and is presumably still a going concern for Frontier. It boggles the mind what Frontier could have done if they'd had the kind of resource that Cloud Imperium did, but then again, they didn't make such rash promises, so they didn't get that level of attention..


 

came here to say this

 

one of my favorite games of all times. 

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10 hours ago, jonamok said:

As impressive as it can occasionally look graphically, I’ve yet to see any footage that didn’t look like it was struggling to hit 30fps. It’s always a stutterfest. How badly optimised is the engine when even official footage, presumably demoed on a monster rig, looks like shit. 

 

After I got my 3070 I decided to reinstall and see how it was. It was the exact same experience I had 3-4 years ago when I had a 2060. It doesn't seem like optimisation is a priority, at all. As in no one is doing any optimisation what so ever. 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Floshenbarnical said:

 

I was born in 1990. I think there's a small handful of people on here younger than me.

 

you're probably the youngest regular, when I first signed up here most people were in their late 20s/early 30s already

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Damned kids, filling up this forum!

 

And don't worry SMD, I remember when I was one of the young ones. Oh, for the days when I was a teenager on here and everyone else seemed to be some variation of old...

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4 hours ago, Wiper said:

Damned kids, filling up this forum!

 

And don't worry SMD, I remember when I was one of the young ones. Oh, for the days when I was a teenager on here and everyone else seemed to be some variation of old...

 

do you still have your hair at least?

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13 hours ago, Wiper said:

One or two follicles remain:

WIN_20211022_23_51_56_Pro.thumb.jpg.9e19e048a6e4738d913c2bd9ae863c70.jpg

 

(I was tempted to grab a magazine to prove the date, but extreme laziness prevented me)

 

that explains the state of your room

 

rllmuk was my first and pretty much only forum, I was 17 or 18 when I joined and was not prepared for the general tone in Off Topic back then. Fortunately unless you're a Tory or the kind of person who refuses to sit near their family in a movie theatre people are pretty laid back these days.

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