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Inside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen

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  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited September 2016
    Vrika said:
    I think Star Citizen has a good chance of getting more than $200 million crowdfunding money.

    I don't think that will be enough to complete the game to the point where enough people would be playing to support further development.
    That's too hard to know currently. Depending on the revenue and popularity...

    World of Tanks is generating far reports this year go 35-37M a month! That game alone made from January to April 2016 more money than the entirety of SC's crowdfund during all these years. Well it might just be F2P games able to generate more revenue than B2P.


    Who knows how popularity and implementation going to work out for them as they move forward, because it only reached part of the total audience it can, just compare 500K paying backers (pretty much unique copies sold) to Elite Dangerous that had sold way over 1Million unique copies.
  • RenoakuRenoaku Member EpicPosts: 3,124
    edited September 2016
    The game will likely either be vaporware or nowhere what they were talking about making to begin with (38 Studios) again just a different way of the money rather than Loans?

    Like I just don't expect a lot from the game anymore.
  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619
    I am more concerned over the monitization model.  Very little has been said and what has been said is constantly reversed.  The fans say that ships wont sell for real money when the game launches but I dont believe that.  If ships are selling in the cash shop, what about ship weapons and FPS weapons and armor?  As rabid as the fan base is, Chris could turn this into a serious P2W game while losing two thirds of the players and he would still rake in millions each month. 

    Only time will tell...
    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited September 2016
    Talonsin said:
    I am more concerned over the monitization model.  Very little has been said and what has been said is constantly reversed.  The fans say that ships wont sell for real money when the game launches but I dont believe that.  If ships are selling in the cash shop, what about ship weapons and FPS weapons and armor?  As rabid as the fan base is, Chris could turn this into a serious P2W game while losing two thirds of the players and he would still rake in millions each month. 

    Only time will tell...
    What has been reversed? The statements confirmed what was already revealed that is the monetization model for this game have been re-confirmed several times, recently as well.

    Can you show me where what has been said, info pretty much 3 years old now has been reversed or contradicted by them?

    Chris back on 2013 used the example of World of Tanks to justify currency transactions. And hey World of Tanks is one ginormous success in the industry on this matter.
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,967
    Talonsin said:
    I am more concerned over the monitization model.  Very little has been said and what has been said is constantly reversed.  The fans say that ships wont sell for real money when the game launches but I dont believe that.  If ships are selling in the cash shop, what about ship weapons and FPS weapons and armor?  As rabid as the fan base is, Chris could turn this into a serious P2W game while losing two thirds of the players and he would still rake in millions each month. 

    Only time will tell...
    With a lot of players having already spent thousands of dollars on the game it's already a serious P2W game.  People say it will be balanced at launch but someone starting out owning a fleet of ships is going to be way ahead of someone working to own ships one at a time.

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Member RarePosts: 2,838
    Erillion said:
    Good read, summarizing the pro's and con's. Not anything new in the article, but presented in a less biased, less-clickbait way than many other articles.

    It confirms my own impression that the restructuring under Erin Roberts has greatly halped and improved CIG in the last 1.5 years.


    Have fun

    Anything that gets Chris out of the loop is a big plus.....

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

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Member RarePosts: 2,838
    MaxBacon said:
    cheyane said:
    Given the very large scope and designs of this game it is quite inevitable they will suffer setbacks and problems. I think any game undertaking the type of tasks this game is doing will suffer but you have to cut them some slack however I suppose the money raising methods go a long way to how much criticism and scrutiny they are receiving. 
    Yes pretty much agreed.  You know... people keep telling that it is impossible and they can NOT do it. CIG have on my opinion shown us enough to prove that they are managing to achieve things people have been naysaying about since 2012.

    I don't believe a SC to be 100% of what was ever promised it wanted to be is going to be achieved. But that they are very well able to deliver one amazing looking game fun to play, i'm sure they do and if I have that I have what i bought SC for. :)


    No it's not really anything massively new but it condenses a whole load of stuff into one article with an actual timeline as opposed to selectively picking quotes from various people at various times to possibly build a narrative. 

    I just think these sort of articles are interesting to read, the pros and cons of various decisions and how they can have knock-on effects much further along in development etc. It certainly helps that the tone of the article is quite neutral as well.

    I'm more leaning on articles like this, very well written and learns towards attempting to give a depth to this matter. Because on my opinion what matters is not that they did mistakes and did suffer setbacks, what really matters is that they react and learn from them to ensure situations like SM do never happen again.


    If 'react and learn' were true, Roberts probably wouldn't be making the same mistakes he's been noted for since his days at Origin.

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

  • AethaerynAethaeryn Member RarePosts: 3,102
    MaxBacon said:
    But at the end I don't think this is anything new, is it? It doesn't go towards the present yet what happened in the past, and information that to some extent it was already around.


    No it's not really anything massively new but it condenses a whole load of stuff into one article with an actual timeline as opposed to selectively picking quotes from various people at various times to possibly build a narrative.

    I just think these sort of articles are interesting to read, the pros and cons of various decisions and how they can have knock-on effects much further along in development etc. It certainly helps that the tone of the article is quite neutral as well.

    They help me keep up by checking in once in awhile for sure.  I can't read through the drama and research everything to see who is twisting what.  This helps get a feel for things in a manageable way.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited September 2016
    If 'react and learn' were true, Roberts probably wouldn't be making the same mistakes he's been noted for since his days at Origin.
    There's been clear and visible reaction that changed the development around. Since Erin took the lead and the company was restructured.

    The most visible change was the outsourcing contracts being terminated, starting with Illfonic and moving development of those areas of the game in-doors.

    The other one was done earlier but it took a while to provide visible results during this year was the Germany office setup and continuous expansion, tasked with projects to resolve the noticeable technical debt back then.
  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    azarhal said:
    The article claim the game has been in development for 5 years, except that none of the studios developing the game existed 5 years ago nor was there any crowdfunding money to make it until one year later... If they mean development as "since the moment Chris started to put his idea on paper" than most games spend over 5+ years in development too, if not more. For example, Obsidian Entertainment "soon" to release Tyranny game is based on a game concept that the company first pitched in 2006.

    Also, everything that happened to Star Citizen development, I have seen monthly at my workplace for the last 9 years (I make software).

    Feature creeps: that's a never ending trend, but we got better at pushing back dates now when stuff get added.

    Delays: 50% because of having deadline before even knowing what to do,  50% because of setbacks (missing hardware for tests, delay elsewhere in the production chain, etc). We rarely do overtime (usually only for PR reasons with clients). 

    Last minute design change: all the time (and more often then not a few days before the delivery date and sometimes after the delivery date). At some point we required client to sign the design doc so they couldn't come back on it, but it appears they don't care.

    Conflicting doc: When we have docs, we usually have more than one version of it that don't say the same thing. This lead QA to open recursive bugs: you fix it to match one doc and QA open a bug to say it should be like the other doc and you fix it to match the other doc and QA open a bug saying it should be like the first one. But "no doc" is worst.

    Dealing with the base tech choice: I resume this to the choice you make is always bad, because nothing will ever be customizable the way you want it to be.

    Crap outsourcing: I think we rewrote everything they did by now (we stopped that 3 years ago) and only hire on-site contractors now (we still rewrite their stuff all the time).

    Multi-office development issues: Somewhat better now that all software development is done in one office, but QA is in a different timezone and this impact productivity a lot.

    Internal strife: Conflict of personality, design conflict and multi-office "them vs us" issues are all still very present.
    Now that is one cluster of crap you gotta put up with.  Makes you wonder how in the heck they make any money when they lose so much at the same time.

    As far as the Star Marine delay thing is concerned.  How does a company stay in business when they are capable of screwing up this bad?  Kool aid anyone?
    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619
    MaxBacon said:
    Talonsin said:
    I am more concerned over the monitization model.  Very little has been said and what has been said is constantly reversed.  The fans say that ships wont sell for real money when the game launches but I dont believe that.  If ships are selling in the cash shop, what about ship weapons and FPS weapons and armor?  As rabid as the fan base is, Chris could turn this into a serious P2W game while losing two thirds of the players and he would still rake in millions each month. 

    Only time will tell...
    What has been reversed?
    1. Stretch goals will not delay the games release (2013)
    2. SQ42 will have Co-Op
    3. Lifetime insurance was going away
    4. Limited Edition ships would not be sold again
    5. Star Marine would launch in weeks not months or years
    6. ToS saying backers would get a refund if the game does not launch
    7. Chris Roberts saying he did not want a ridiculous sized team of 300 to 400 employees
    8. The game would have a real-world, per month currency cap

    Those are just off the top of my head.
    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited September 2016
    Talonsin said:
    Those are just off the top of my head.
    Uh, what are you on about??

    Allow me quote you "I am more concerned over the monitization model. Very little has been said and what has been said is constantly reversed."

    So when I asked that I think I was implied it was about the monetization model, because that's what you were talking about.
  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    I like the bit about Star Marine and how things went wrong. I think it's really interesting to see how these things occur, why they occur, what gets done about them etc and hearing from people directly involved as opposed to those claiming Illfonic did this, Illfonic did that, Illfonic did a poor job blah blah blah. Great informative article in my opinion.

    In short, no one person was in a position to spot deviation before it became too severe. This wasted months of work and necessitated months more to correct the problem. Illfonic worked on Star Marine for nearly two years, but production issues like the one above have meant that nothing it worked on has been released, and much of what it did create has been rewritten by CIG.



    Bro don't drink the kool aid.  You telling me that they 90% created a fps game without using the correct assets?  Not 1 person thought to tell Chris that the assets were changed and they should IDK maybe call the other studio and let them know?  So they didn't have any internet conferences every week to discuss anything either?   Did they not know they were working on the same game or what here?  And during those conferences noone mentions the fact that assets are being changed and the other person never spoke up or was sleeping and didn't say HEY we need you to upload the new ones over so we can change it.

    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • azarhalazarhal Member RarePosts: 1,398
    edited September 2016
    filmoret said:
    azarhal said:
    The article claim the game has been in development for 5 years, except that none of the studios developing the game existed 5 years ago nor was there any crowdfunding money to make it until one year later... If they mean development as "since the moment Chris started to put his idea on paper" than most games spend over 5+ years in development too, if not more. For example, Obsidian Entertainment "soon" to release Tyranny game is based on a game concept that the company first pitched in 2006.

    Also, everything that happened to Star Citizen development, I have seen monthly at my workplace for the last 9 years (I make software).

    Feature creeps: that's a never ending trend, but we got better at pushing back dates now when stuff get added.

    Delays: 50% because of having deadline before even knowing what to do,  50% because of setbacks (missing hardware for tests, delay elsewhere in the production chain, etc). We rarely do overtime (usually only for PR reasons with clients). 

    Last minute design change: all the time (and more often then not a few days before the delivery date and sometimes after the delivery date). At some point we required client to sign the design doc so they couldn't come back on it, but it appears they don't care.

    Conflicting doc: When we have docs, we usually have more than one version of it that don't say the same thing. This lead QA to open recursive bugs: you fix it to match one doc and QA open a bug to say it should be like the other doc and you fix it to match the other doc and QA open a bug saying it should be like the first one. But "no doc" is worst.

    Dealing with the base tech choice: I resume this to the choice you make is always bad, because nothing will ever be customizable the way you want it to be.

    Crap outsourcing: I think we rewrote everything they did by now (we stopped that 3 years ago) and only hire on-site contractors now (we still rewrite their stuff all the time).

    Multi-office development issues: Somewhat better now that all software development is done in one office, but QA is in a different timezone and this impact productivity a lot.

    Internal strife: Conflict of personality, design conflict and multi-office "them vs us" issues are all still very present.
    Now that is one cluster of crap you gotta put up with.  Makes you wonder how in the heck they make any money when they lose so much at the same time.

    As far as the Star Marine delay thing is concerned.  How does a company stay in business when they are capable of screwing up this bad?  Kool aid anyone?
    It got better, somewhat, my current project is kinda a trainwreck, lol...and from experience with having to work with other companies on project, we aren't the worst off out there.
  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Member EpicPosts: 3,967
    I think anybody with 2 eyes can realize how amazing Star Citizen (or whatever the modules are called) can be... but also see how much of a cluster bomb it's setting up to be.

    That's where the contention comes from. The "faithful" vs the rightfully skeptical.

    I'd rather skepticism and being wrong as my worst case scenario.
    "As far as the forum code of conduct, I would think it's a bit outdated and in need of a refre *CLOSED*" 

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    filmoret said:
    So they didn't have any internet conferences every week to discuss anything either?   Did they not know they were working on the same game or what here? 
    That's quite obvious, the outsourced company's work was not overseen correctly and miscommunication did the rest, if there was too much individualism and not enough overseeing of the work being done.

    SM was not developed on the same builds as the main game, the realization of the issue happened late when the time was of merging codebases, or somewhere around that.
  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619
    MaxBacon said:
    Talonsin said:
    Those are just off the top of my head.
    Uh, what are you on about??

    Allow me quote you "I am more concerned over the monitization model. Very little has been said and what has been said is constantly reversed."

    So when I asked that I think I was implied it was about the monetization model, because that's what you were talking about.
    I said based on previous information that has been reversed, we can not really be sure the little informaiton we have on the monitization model will not also change.  Then you asked what has been reversed and I answered.

    You said, it would be like World of Tanks which allows you to buy tanks but both you and Erillion have also said that once the game goes live, they would no longer sell ships for real money.  If they wont sell ships, what will they sell?  Can you explain what the monitization model is?
    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited September 2016
    Talonsin said:
    I said based on previous information that has been reversed, we can not really be sure the little informaiton we have on the monitization model will not also change.  Then you asked what has been reversed and I answered.

    You said, it would be like World of Tanks which allows you to buy tanks but both you and Erillion have also said that once the game goes live, they would no longer sell ships for real money.  If they wont sell ships, what will they sell?  Can you explain what the monitization model is?
    And I said the model has been re-confirmed several times through the years. 

    The biggest set income (after purchase) is currency, they don't need at ALL to sell ships after launch when you buy the currency you buy the ships with in-game, to some extent. And if that is not enough they'll likely increase the limits each account is meant to have on it. If they already have one announced and current system that can have the same effect I don't see the need. What is known since 2013.
  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619
    MaxBacon said:
    Talonsin said:
    I said based on previous information that has been reversed, we can not really be sure the little informaiton we have on the monitization model will not also change.  Then you asked what has been reversed and I answered.

    You said, it would be like World of Tanks which allows you to buy tanks but both you and Erillion have also said that once the game goes live, they would no longer sell ships for real money.  If they wont sell ships, what will they sell?  Can you explain what the monitization model is?
    And I said the model has been re-confirmed several times through the years. 

    The biggest set income (after purchase) is currency, they don't need at ALL to sell ships after launch when you buy the currency you buy the ships with in-game, to some extent. And if that is not enough they'll likely increase the limits each account is meant to have on it. If they already have one announced and current system that can have the same effect I don't see the need. What is known since 2013.
    So basically I can use real money to buy ingame currency which can be used to buy ships and possibly ship weapons in the game when it launches? 
    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited September 2016
    Talonsin said:
    So basically I can use real money to buy ingame currency which can be used to buy ships and possibly ship weapons in the game when it launches? 
    Yeah pretty much. Currency is a wide thing, it's for everything: from ships to hangars, crew, gear, parts, weapons (and possibly even trading currency between players)... all for what you'll ever need currency for on the game. So on my opinion at least that it will have one wider appeal as the microtransaction that it is.
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,229
    Talonsin said:
     Can you explain what the monitization model is?
    Ship skins

    Temporary tune up kits (nothing too extreme)

    basic ship modules

    Mission discs for the solo campaign Squadron 42   (not only military related)

    Decorative flair items

    In game money for real world money (although i guess that 1 $ = 1000 UEC conversion rate won't be used much ... one can get 1000 UEC in game within minutes, even now)

    Starter ship packages (currently: Aurora or Mustang)  for those that want to join after launch day.

    etc.

    You find similar posts here in this subforum explaining the monitization by the dozen - and YOU were in those threads. So I assume you asking for it was just another rhetorical question .....



    Have fun

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread Member EpicPosts: 7,140
    Talonsin said:
    MaxBacon said:
    Talonsin said:
    I said based on previous information that has been reversed, we can not really be sure the little informaiton we have on the monitization model will not also change.  Then you asked what has been reversed and I answered.

    You said, it would be like World of Tanks which allows you to buy tanks but both you and Erillion have also said that once the game goes live, they would no longer sell ships for real money.  If they wont sell ships, what will they sell?  Can you explain what the monitization model is?
    And I said the model has been re-confirmed several times through the years. 

    The biggest set income (after purchase) is currency, they don't need at ALL to sell ships after launch when you buy the currency you buy the ships with in-game, to some extent. And if that is not enough they'll likely increase the limits each account is meant to have on it. If they already have one announced and current system that can have the same effect I don't see the need. What is known since 2013.
    So basically I can use real money to buy ingame currency which can be used to buy ships and possibly ship weapons in the game when it launches? 
    You can literally buy in game currency with real cash straight up. It is the very definition of traditional P2W. And if someone wants to disagree by typing a couple of paragraphs that talk about how no one should care because it doesn't affect them, that's fine. But most people know that when you are in a game where people can be killed by each other, there are real advantages to being able to generate incredible amounts of resources (credits) through real world money. You can call it what you like, but to me at least, it is the epitome of P2W.

    I'm not saying that there is something inherently wrong with P2W, I'm just calling it what it is. I honestly think that P2W should lose some of the negative stigma so that we can start discussing these genres in an honest way.
  • OriphusOriphus Member UncommonPosts: 467
    Ah, the endless rivers of tears and 'concern' from people who have no intention of playing Star Citizen to enjoy it. As for the article, game still going ahead? yes? cool. Interesting to note that these forums were pretty quiet for a while, last time I saw them this busy with QQ was just before Gamescon! 2 weeks until Citizen Con now, looking forward to it :)  
    :)
    "Trump is a blunt force, all-American, laser-guided middle finger to everything and everyone in Washington, D.C." - Wayne Allyn Root 
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,229
    You can literally buy in game currency with real cash straight up. It is the very definition of traditional P2W.
    Yes. 1 $ for 1000 UEC.

    In typical space games people have a few millions in game money after weeks.  Billions after months. Trillions after years. There are even articles about this in the gaming press.

    Do you really believe someone will bother with a 1:1000 conversion rate when you can get 1000 UEC in game within minutes even now ?

    Or that having another 1000 UEC has ANY effect on your chance to "WIN" in a game that has no winning conditions. Its a sandbox. There is no "end of round - lets tally who won" in Star Citizen.  Its a twitch skill based game ... if you suck at flying and shooting, no amount of real world money will keep you from getting fragged by more skilled opponents.


    Have fun

  • winghaven1winghaven1 Member RarePosts: 714
    Erillion said:
    You can literally buy in game currency with real cash straight up. It is the very definition of traditional P2W.
    Yes. 1 $ for 1000 UEC.

    In typical space games people have a few millions in game money after weeks.  Billions after months. Trillions after years. There are even articles about this in the gaming press.

    Do you really believe someone will bother with a 1:1000 conversion rate when you can get 1000 UEC in game within minutes even now ?

    Or that having another 1000 UEC has ANY effect on your chance to "WIN" in a game that has no winning conditions. Its a sandbox. There is no "end of round - lets tally who won" in Star Citizen.  Its a twitch skill based game ... if you suck at flying and shooting, no amount of real world money will keep you from getting fragged by more skilled opponents.


    Have fun

    Better ships. Better equipment. Costs money. It gives an advantage. As much as it can be about skill, it also has a complex system for armor and ships which vary a lot. I don't think it's right to defend this obvious money-milking feature unless you want this in every video game.
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