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[Column] Star Citizen: Commoditizing the Development Process

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Comments

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon

     Yep why ever actually release the game if one can keep making millions hand over foot for promises and some design effort? If anything releasing the game will kill the cash cow as then the game may not bring in as much money and actually has to stand or fall on its own against player  expectations (many of which tend to be unrealistic and hyped).

       I generally like the kickstarter idea but gamers maybe setting themselves up for failure here. The star citizen Devs have to be smart enough to know that currently the best thing they can do is keep milking the cash cow by setting new goals and cautiously and slowly developing the game. After all they can always tell players they are delaying because they want to make the game better and players that are heavily invested will generally eat it up hook line and sinker.

      Hell if Chris Robert invested even half of what they've gotten so far from kickstarted and continued to while milking stretch goals for say 3-4 more years they'd have a self funding game that with luck could pay their bills for forever (Barring economic collapses etc)

  • FaulknerFaulkner Hutchinson, MNPosts: 111Member

    I hope everyone realizes the scope of this game and the fact they want to do it right!!!

    They are making not only developing a Single Player Game (ON the lines of what a normal Xbox, PS3/4 Game would be, and then on top of that a persistent universe.

    They also just opened a new studio in England and littarally just moved their Austin Offices over the Holiday.  They have about 4 main offices working on the various parts of the game and many sub offices.  If anyone watches the weekly podcast video, they go to the different offices and show what they are working on.

    Please read this for why they decided to delay dogfighting:  https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/13432-Letter-From-The-Chairman-On-Dogfighting

    Also, it needs to be repeated,  folks are voluntarily giving them money, as many of us believe and are wanting a Decent Space Sim/MMORPG

    It puts them in a position like Blizzard or Square Enix, where they can dictate when things are released, not rushed, no investors telling them what to do!!

     

    There is my 2 Cents.

     

    Cheers,

     

     

     

  • LydarSynnLydarSynn Jonestown, ALPosts: 182Member
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

     

    Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

     

    I totally agree. This is a brilliant and legal scheme. The fact that it is legal is best part. You are 100% correct about Roberts though. I never heard of him in connection with film. Apparently, he flopped at it. Like many people who try to make their own movies with their own money, he was probably nearly broke when he decided to call it quits. Of course, it is a smart move to go back to what you are known for and now he is now clearly not broke even though no one has played this game.

    It is unlikely the game can possibly live up to expectations but really what does Roberts care? He has already made a small fortune.

     
     
     
  • FoeHammerJTFoeHammerJT Broken Arrow, OKPosts: 148Member
    Originally posted by LydarSynn
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

     

    Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

     

    I totally agree. This is a brilliant and legal scheme. The fact that it is legal is best part. You are 100% correct about Roberts though. I never heard of him in connection with film. Apparently, he flopped at it. Like many people who try to make their own movies with their own money, he was probably nearly broke when he decided to call it quits. Of course, it is a smart move to go back to what you are known for and now he is now clearly not broke even though no one has played this game.

    It is unlikely the game can possibly live up to expectations but really what does Roberts care? He has already made a small fortune.

     
     
     

    I don't think people and gamers fully understand the potential to get robbed. There is no legal liability for this.

    In most scams, Ponzi investment schemes and other confidence games, the victims "willingly" part with their money. They still end up being illegal. This much money will bring the tricksters eventually. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out over the next 18-24 months. I fully believe by the end of 2015 we will have a verdict on Kickstarter, either revolutionizing the gaming industry or becoming one of its biggest embarrassments.

  • screecwescreecwe New York, NYPosts: 109Member
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

     

    Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

     

    Erm...his movies were pretty good. Lord of War, Lucky Number Slevin, The Jacket, Punisher.

  • JakdstripperJakdstripper logan lake, BCPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    there is just too much of this game that is still very very vague.

    Yes, so Roberts did a few good single player games 10 years ago....that doesn't make him an mmo expert. He is very vague about the game, but very clear about how you can spend your money.....I just don't like it.

    call me suspicious, but I like to know what I'm buying. Until I get a clear idea of what Roberts is making, my wallet doesn't come out of my pants.

     

     
  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,416Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by screecwe
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

     

    Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

     

    Erm...his movies were pretty good. Lord of War, Lucky Number Slevin, The Jacket, Punisher.

    Sorry, this means I am not going to take movie suggestions from you.... ;)    Good luck organizing the Chris Roberts film festival.

     

    What's worse (for Hollywood) is that his films pretty much did not make a profit.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • SybnalSybnal nunavit, NWPosts: 261Member

    Seems like a decent deal to me.  You get alpha,beta access and the game for less than it will cost when it's done. Unless I'm misunderstanding something.   It's not as if RSI is going to take the money and run. A game will be made.  I liked all the other games he's done and I've spent money on worse things I'm sure.

    For the people that don't want to back it there is always the option of uhh..not backing it.  Wait for it to come out, watch all the reviews and let's plays, then buy it or not...easy. 

     

  • FoeHammerJTFoeHammerJT Broken Arrow, OKPosts: 148Member
    Originally posted by Sybnal

    Seems like a decent deal to me.  You get alpha,beta access and the game for less than it will cost when it's done. Unless I'm misunderstanding something.   It's not as if RSI is going to take the money and run. A game will be made.  I liked all the other games he's done and I've spent money on worse things I'm sure.

    For the people that don't want to back it there is always the option of uhh..not backing it.  Wait for it to come out, watch all the reviews and let's plays, then buy it or not...easy. 

     

    The issue for me isn't Chris Roberts cutting and running. Its the fact that we're seeing so much of the content chopped up and monetized. Game developers and others will notice this success and take heed.

     

    Why make a whole game and only get 60 bucks for it?

     

    When you could chop it up into pieces and sell each of the 100 pieces for 10 bucks. That way someone that wants the whole enchilada ponied up 1,000 dollars, and they feel like they got "exclusives" and "special awards". So now not only did they spend a bunch more, they are ENJOYED IT.

     

    Its genius, it will catch on, and it will slowly but inexorably creep into many other game designs down the road.

     

    In 10 years I fully believe people will regret letting this happen..( And I contributed to the game initially because I liked its promise. Now I'm left looking at a bunch of ships I'd like to earn in game, but cant, because instead they cost more of my hard earned cash instead...)

  • FoeHammerJTFoeHammerJT Broken Arrow, OKPosts: 148Member
    Originally posted by Sybnal

    Seems like a decent deal to me.  You get alpha,beta access and the game for less than it will cost when it's done. Unless I'm misunderstanding something.   It's not as if RSI is going to take the money and run. A game will be made.  I liked all the other games he's done and I've spent money on worse things I'm sure.

    For the people that don't want to back it there is always the option of uhh..not backing it.  Wait for it to come out, watch all the reviews and let's plays, then buy it or not...easy. 

     

    The issue for me isn't Chris Roberts cutting and running. Its the fact that we're seeing so much of the content chopped up and monetized. Game developers and others will notice this success and take heed.

     

    Why make a whole game and only get 60 bucks for it?

     

    When you could chop it up into pieces and sell each of the 100 pieces for 10 bucks. That way someone that wants the whole enchilada ponied up 1,000 dollars, and they feel like they got "exclusives" and "special awards". So now not only did they spend a bunch more, they are ENJOYED IT.

     

    Its genius, it will catch on, and it will slowly but inexorably creep into many other game designs down the road.

     

    In 10 years I fully believe people will regret letting this happen..( And I contributed to the game initially because I liked its promise. Now I'm left looking at a bunch of ships I'd like to earn in game, but cant, because instead they cost more of my hard earned cash instead...)

  • Shoko_LiedShoko_Lied -, WAPosts: 2,080Member Uncommon
    Gonna be the first AAA game from kickstarter most likely. Unless something goes terribly wrong.
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus BaatorPosts: 1,113Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by denshing
    ............. Unless something goes terribly wrong.

    Hmm will it live up to the hype...cause most mmo do right? especially of late.

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  • PieMonsterPieMonster Wheathampstead, HertsPosts: 5Member

    I've backed SC to the tune of about £150, but regret it. Wont spend a penny more there now.

    Not because of SC per se, but because its triggered every man and his dog to pre-release games at pre-alpha, most of which will never see light of day as a quality game. And the message it gives every developer is imo not good for the industry.

    After all, as a developer if you get much of your money up front why spend most of that cash at the back end of the production cycle.. easy to double margins without all the costs and risks of longevity. Sucks for end game potential eh?

    Any gamer starved this Xmas for a good new AAA title probably bought a few alpha titles via Steam or so (loads of zombie survival games!). I'd bet most won't reach full production and wouldn't even have got onto the radar otherwise. Many are charging MORE than they plan to charge retail.

    In this case it will be interesting to see just how much Chris Roberts puts back into the game, and how much he puts in his pockets.... once funded, its his call - not the gamers who are paying for it.

    I think we need to remember that development companies are a business, and they are not there for the 'Love of the Game', even if some of the programmers who work there are.

  • rygard49rygard49 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 975Member

    This "kickstart" campaign crossed the line from honest desire to make a great game, to honest desire to make as much money as they can from their supporters. People have actually paid for in game insurance on virtual ships that don't yet exist.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,941Member Uncommon

    "A fool and his money..." etc.etc.

     

  • HytekHytek SkaevingePosts: 55Member Uncommon
    [mod edit]

    Kickstarter is not about fundraising amongst investors looking to make returns on an investment. It is about backing a project to help ensure its development AND hereby getting one or more copies of the finished product.

    If you don't like the product or the entity trying to kickstart it then don't back it. Ridiculing existing backers, massively generalizing the gaming industry, and coming up with conspiracy theories about what is "really" happening with SC is completely out of line and uncalled for. Shame on you!

    I have found in my lifetime, that the beauty of hating stupid people is, that it crosses all racial boundaries.

  • kragekrage Miami, FLPosts: 419Member

    Yeah I don't get the sky is falling fear people have about kickstarting projects.

    You donate as much or as little as you can, if at all.

    You get some form of perk, like you get 1st edition products, bonuses, etc.

    You get to help make something you are interested get some money that is not expected to be returned as an investment, which in turn generally reduces cash grabbing to repay loans. investors, or meet the "bottom line" for profits.

    Its voluntary

    Most projects let their funders contribute to the projects development.

     

    I mean even in a worst case scenario, you donate and then the project fails to live up to expectations, or they run with the money? First if it doesnt live up to expectations, its the same as any other product you would've purchased that didnt live up to your expectations...except with crowdfunding there is more transparency so you can have reasonable expectation management.

    If you are worried about a company doing a cash grab, I will guarantee that any high value crowdfunding project will at least attempt to launch if not the SEC or other regulatory bodies or enforcement agencies will come down on them so fast it will make their heads spin. 

     

    So yeah I just don't see the doom and gloom in crowdfunding considering all of that.

    image
  • GramisGramis Piatra NeamtPosts: 99Member
    If they launch a product worth 10m on a 37m crowd funding or whatever the hell the total funding will be by launch day it ll still be a scam. Yeah saying "you voluntarly donate as little as you can/want" sounds good if you are looking at things from an individual point of view. If you look at the picture it should at least give you some pause to think. Fact is as things are now it looks more like a money grab than actual game development is happening. Development delays, shiny pics with ships, cool cgi trailers with ships new fund raising goals rinse and repeat. Looks and smells like a scam to me.
    And its a shame really cos if this will crash and burn so will any chances of getting decent games though crowd funding (unless something that properly monitors and regulates development on crowd funded projects apears).
  • ArtalisArtalis Reno, NVPosts: 17Member Common

    Those who are calling 'scam' really need to do their homework before slinging accusations.

    The developers for Star Citizen (INCLUDING Chris Roberts) are working their collective butts off. 

    They have the most transparency to their supporters of any game development staff ever and show/explain exactly what they are doing with the money.

    People are chipping in extra money in order to make sure the amazing game Chris describes actually gets made and doesn't die on the vine. It matters to them, they want to see that potential realized.  Some people just have extra cash to spend. If it's worth it to them to chip in extra, good for them.

    After doing my research I'm also confident that this game is going to be made and will meet my expectations.  I got my Avenger package and I'm happy with my contribution. 

    I spent more than that on the Aion Collectors Edition pre-order, and that went free to play...so yeah.

  • GramisGramis Piatra NeamtPosts: 99Member
    I m not against crowd funded projects, what i am against tho is some people sporting a cash cow menthality. And that doesnt help anyone in the gaming comunity on the contrary only fuels the greed of some game producers and leaves the rest of us with half baked products that are either gonna crash and burn or will take months/years to get to a playable state.
    Looking at the past (recent past actually - think x rebirth that also looked great in presentations) the bigger the hype the bigger the chances it ll be a flop.
    Now, as i said i do hope this will succed and be a great game but the fact that some ppl will believe pretty much everything that is thrown at them and in turn will fork more and more w/o asking for palpable results is vexing at best. You might argue kickstarter doesnt turn you into an investor but, the fact of the matter is that it does. Might not be a monetary reward but you deserve to get a game with a quality equal to the total amount pledged.
  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    I am not impressed.  I gave them a few hundred bucks in kickstarer.   So far all we have is a hanger I can walk around, a console I can interact with, and my ships I can walk in. So far there is no ability to launch, or push any other buttons. 

    I would have though with all the cash they say we got pouring in, that we would be a lot further along in the development that what they are.  I got to say the interface is clunky at best. 

     

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by erictlewis

    I am not impressed.  I gave them a few hundred bucks in kickstarer.   So far all we have is a hanger I can walk around, a console I can interact with, and my ships I can walk in. So far there is no ability to launch, or push any other buttons. 

    I would have though with all the cash they say we got pouring in, that we would be a lot further along in the development that what they are.  I got to say the interface is clunky at best. 

     

    And that is exactly my point. They have 36+ million already and the game has been fully funded since Oct. 8, 2013. Fully funded meaning the game is essentially paid for with all the features they announced via stretch goals. And all they have released was a website and a hanger mod 5 months ago. Even after being in development for 3 years. I just feel they are stringing this process along as much as they can because there is no shortage of ships, add-ons and packages being released. The latest being the Cutlass at $115 and the subscriptions to watch them via video.

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • screecwescreecwe New York, NYPosts: 109Member
    Originally posted by Ramonski7
    And that is exactly my point. They have 36+ million already and the game has been fully funded since Oct. 8, 2013. Fully funded meaning the game is essentially paid for with all the features they announced via stretch goals. And all they have released was a website and a hanger mod 5 months ago. Even after being in development for 3 years. I just feel they are stringing this process along as much as they can because there is no shortage of ships, add-ons and packages being released. The latest being the Cutlass at $115 and the subscriptions to watch them via video.

     

     

    Where do you get that it has been in development for 3 years? He started working on it, largely by himself and Rob irving for a year prior to the kickstarter in October of 2012. You can only do so much with 2 people. October 2011- January 2014 =/= 3 years. Check your math.

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by screecwe
    Originally posted by Ramonski7
    And that is exactly my point. They have 36+ million already and the game has been fully funded since Oct. 8, 2013. Fully funded meaning the game is essentially paid for with all the features they announced via stretch goals. And all they have released was a website and a hanger mod 5 months ago. Even after being in development for 3 years. I just feel they are stringing this process along as much as they can because there is no shortage of ships, add-ons and packages being released. The latest being the Cutlass at $115 and the subscriptions to watch them via video.

     

     

    Where do you get that it has been in development for 3 years? He started working on it, largely by himself and Rob irving for a year prior to the kickstarter in October of 2012. You can only do so much with 2 people. October 2011- January 2014 =/= 3 years. Check your math.

    Ok so maybe it hasn't been exactly 3 years but it still doesn't change the fact that this game could have been released in 2014 like I stated before. And if you need proof look no further than the man himself at GDC Oct. 10, 2012:

     

    A crowd funding site has been posted at www.robertsspaceindustries.com to help raise the necessary funds for completing development of the project. "Our purpose today," said Roberts, "is to allow our fans to join us in this process early. It will likely be another two years before the full product is ready for release, but early backers will be able to play a version of the game a year from now."

     

    So with that in mind, two years from Oct. 10, 2012 would put release at 4th quarter 2014. And a version of the game (I'm thinking alpha for backers) at 4th quarter 2013. Now I'd see if he ran into some crowdfunding bumps, but if you recall, SC had no such problems finding funding. Like I said, stringing it along...

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • screecwescreecwe New York, NYPosts: 109Member
    Originally posted by Ramonski7
    Originally posted by screecwe
    Originally posted by Ramonski7
    And that is exactly my point. They have 36+ million already and the game has been fully funded since Oct. 8, 2013. Fully funded meaning the game is essentially paid for with all the features they announced via stretch goals. And all they have released was a website and a hanger mod 5 months ago. Even after being in development for 3 years. I just feel they are stringing this process along as much as they can because there is no shortage of ships, add-ons and packages being released. The latest being the Cutlass at $115 and the subscriptions to watch them via video.

     

     

    Where do you get that it has been in development for 3 years? He started working on it, largely by himself and Rob irving for a year prior to the kickstarter in October of 2012. You can only do so much with 2 people. October 2011- January 2014 =/= 3 years. Check your math.

    Ok so maybe it hasn't been exactly 3 years but it still doesn't change the fact that this game could have been released in 2014 like I stated before. And if you need proof look no further than the man himself at GDC Oct. 10, 2012:

     

    A crowd funding site has been posted at www.robertsspaceindustries.com to help raise the necessary funds for completing development of the project. "Our purpose today," said Roberts, "is to allow our fans to join us in this process early. It will likely be another two years before the full product is ready for release, but early backers will be able to play a version of the game a year from now."

     

    So with that in mind, two years from Oct. 10, 2012 would put release at 4th quarter 2014. And a version of the game (I'm thinking alpha for backers) at 4th quarter 2013. Now I'd see if he ran into some crowdfunding bumps, but if you recall, SC had no such problems finding funding. Like I said, stringing it along...

     

     

    That's a general statement. It's not an exact release date. CIG has stated over and over again that they don't have hard dates for anything, because they want to stay flexible. That's one of the perks of not having a publisher forcing release of an unfinished product. When you say you're gonna be somewhere "in a couple hours", I doubt you show up at 120 minutes on the dot. 

    It sounds to me like you're looking for a reason to complain.

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