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Why Star Citizen will be a complete disaster: Opinion Article

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The bigger problem, in my opinion, has been that they kept telling us soon, when they probably already knew it won't be that soon. Starting this year they started saying, things will come together, we're seven months in and we've seen nothing of that.

While Chris was in London, it always sounded like Star Marine was just around the corner. Then he came back, wrote his letter and it was basically nothing new, but it was clear that the release wasn't close.

They were teasing us too much and now got the payback for it. I think that's why there's always the argument that they are not openly communicating with us.

The content they deliver is fine, but it's not always about quantity. The most qualitative article is the monthly report, also sometimes a bit technical. The "10 for" are nice, but more of a insight look. ATV recently lost quality. It was introduced as an insight look, but there was almost no content the last couple of shows if they wouldn't have added ship shape. The first segment is a recap of last week and for me obviously wasted time to watch it.

The leak helped to calm the waves a bit, or at least delayed it until Chris was finished with the performance capture shoot. For a long time the backers also saw what CIG has been working on and not only read about it and sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

They can't show us everything, because they don't want to spoil SQ42, but they should stop with the teasing, because it's getting tiresome to read things like "soon" or "this is really awesome"

 

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I think getting too far into Star Marine for its own sake will derail this conversation-though they are definitely related.  

Its a double edged sword.  By delaying Star Marine, they encourage the haters, like Derek Smart.  By delivering a substandard product NOW (even though this is an Alpha!), they run the risk of destroying themselves because people will not accept that it is just an early test module, and instead assume it is the permanent release.

This happens with every ship, module, feature, fact, or mere rumor-all are construed by the uninformed that they are in their final release versions.  It is nonsensical, but it is the result of their funding model.

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Talking about Star Marine can *kind of* be a derailment in this topic, like the answer derails a math problem.  When SM drops, module passes will get sold and people will start having fun testing new features.  Then, CIG can start selling suits of armor like they sell ships and pledges will go back up.  Since armor should be less expensive than ships, but also take far less time to create, that can help them slow down pumping out new ships so they can finish other stuff.

Star Marine is the answer to half the drama in the SC community.  The other half is composed entirely of input device debates.

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By delaying Star Marine, they encourage the haters, like Derek Smart.  By delivering a substandard product NOW (even though this is an Alpha!), they run the risk of destroying themselves because people will not accept that it is just an early test module, and instead assume it is the permanent release.

I think the huge wave of "early access" games have broken the PC gaming community to an extent. Entirely too many "indie" games sell as early access and then take what seems like forever to receive any updates that are note worthy. That expectation certainly carries over to SC as well. Most unfortunate.

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@Captain Underpants can you give me a shout, would love to get Goonrathi quote for a TheMittani.com article :)

I hope you got my response via reddit.

As far as the topic at hand goes, we have not seen the last of Derek Smart. When the limelight dims, he will set himself on fire if needed.

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Game Dev Derek Smart (Again) Responds To A Negative Review By Making Vague Legal Threats And Banning Commenters

from the celebrating-18-years-of-bad-reactions dept

There are many ways to handle criticism well, and none of those ways include lawsuit threats or deleting comments. This almost always results in a previously localized event becoming the focus of widespread coverage and commentary. Instead of only a few people knowing how lousy your product/service is, everyone knows. It's a phenomenon whose name scarcely needs repeating here at Techdirt. 

Despite this well-known effect, some people continue to feel that blustering thuggishness will somehow make the problems go away, as is the case with the game developer whose recent attempts to rub out a negative review quickly spiraled out of control. (via Adam Steinbaugh

The game developer is Derek Smart, one who has never shown much interest in damage control. Smart's problems with negative reviews go back at least as far as 1996, when public discourse ran through AOL, CompuServe and Usenet. Negative reviews of Smart's insanely ambitious "Battlecruiser 3000" prompted what has been declared the "longest running flamewar" in Usenet history. Smart made tons of promises about the game (which had been in development since 1989), many of which failed to materialize in the finished product. Disappointed reviewers expressed their disappointment and Derek Smart (among many, many other things) expressed a desire to sue them

In 2004, Something Awful poked the (somewhat dormant) hornet's nest with its "Completely Libelous Review of Universal Combat," a game the reviewer admitted to not having played and which opened with this memorable sentence:

Universal Combat is one of the first games produced solely for sex offenders.
Needless to say, the hornet's nest responded by poking at SA's own hornet's nest. This poke arrived in the form of another (somewhat veiled) lawsuit threat, albeit one prefaced with the phrase, "I get parody," before heading off in a direction that suggested Smart didn't actually get parody.
And there is parody and then their is libel. Stating as fact that I was convicted of bank fraud, is NOT funny - and I can 100% guarantee you, is not within the legal guidelines of fair use parody…

 



Look, I know some of you think you're above the law because you are on the net, but I never have and never will take legal action against ANYONE in the media. But if you bastards make me set an example, it won't be a good one. And trust me - I don't think any of you have enough pennies to rub together to outspend me. So whatever you do, don't test my resolve. I'm NOT taking this shit anymore.
Smart asked for the correction of the bank fraud assertion and received this in reply from "Dr. Richard Kyanka, PhD."
Dear Doctor Smart,

 



As per your request, I have changed the offending remark.

 



"When he was convicted of bank fraud in 1994"

 



has been altered to:

 



"When he was convicted of bank fraud and raping an entire petting zoo in 1994"

 



I hope this is satisfactory.
So there's that. Nearly 20 years down the road from his one-man assault on Usenet, not much has changed. A gamer recently published a review of Smart's "Defense Tactics." Overall, the review isn't terribly negative but it does point out that the game is short, shallow and most crucially, has severely broken controls. It does highlight other aspects, but in the end, the reviewer points out its not worth the $25 Smart's asking for it

That's when everything started going haywire. Smart banned this reviewer from his dev forum, followed by flagging the full review as "abusive." This prompted the reviewer to add bunch of links to Smart's apparent burial of negative comments (via the deletion of posts and banning accounts) at his section of the Steam forums. 

Smart then penned a lengthy response to the heat he was taking, which immediately got off on the wrong foot by suggesting that gamer reviewers suffered from an outsized sense of entitlement. During the extra-long read, Smart dropped a small hint about what he felt the corrective actionshould be.
The forum mob mentality is the bane of internet forums and is the primary reason why, across the internet various content providers are taking steps to curb (you can't prevent haters from hating or people from behaving badly) this behavior as best they can. So much so that many a lawsuit has been filed against some people who went too far.
The reviewer on the receiving end of Smart's unhappiness also grabbed a screenshot of another comment Smart had made, which suggested he was serious about using the legal system to shut down criticism. (That original post has apparently since been altered or deleted.) 
 
4aoy4ks.png

The non-specific legal threat reads as follows:
Whether it is a lawsuit or just a discovery engagement to find the misfit behind the anon mask, I will pursue as I have done on several occasions -- and prevailed.
At this point, it's tough to say how much this will affect the public's perception of Derek Smart. 17 years of actively arguing with critics in public forums tends to leave a lasting impression. Smart'shas often stated he doesn't care what the public thinks, but his actions prove otherwise. As far as damage control goes, he's apparently never found anything but scorched earth to be a useful tactic. 

What's bizarre about Smart's defensiveness is that the review is not a simplistic bashing. It highlights what the reviewer found enjoyable or innovative about the game, but in the end the reviewer felt the game was too short (and the controls too broken) for it to be worth the premium price Smart was demanding. This isn't the sort of thing that should lead to multiple defensive posts from a developer, much less the indiscriminate banning/deleting of comments and commenters. 

While this situation will likely only solidify Smart's antagonistic relationship with the public, it is having an adverse affect on his latest game. Steam's "tag" system has been used to tag the game with such colorful phrases as "Diva Game Dev" and "Overpriced Port of a Mobile Game." 

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Being a first time pledger and having "invested" quite some money in the project, what scares me is that it seems that pledging rate is now sinking while the answer of CIG to the whines of the community are always the same.

So - somehow and somewhere - they actually committed some errors with the community. RSI must face this truth in order to succeed in managing the issues with its customers. But they seem just going on telling "everithing is ok". This attitude is what really concerns me now.

In my opinion the greatest error - besides some broken promieses - was that in the last months they put out too many (sometimes overpriced) "just on paper" ships concepts sales while not putting out some more (even not finished or not polished) contents. People that spent (sometimes a lot of) money on those concept expected something and so, when Star Marine was put on hold, the mumbles exploded on forums. Mr Smart - whose track record seems to show that he's a professional forum troll - knew it and threw gasoline on the fire in the perfect (for him) moment. His ban was therefore a total mistake since it drew much more attention on the thing. The correct answer was: "Mr Smart, thanks for your criticism. Actually we would be happy if the FTC will inspect our business, so it will be confirmed officialy that we are working hard in order to build the game and that we are hiding nothing to our community. So, please, go to the FTC and do what you deem to be right". Problem solved and Mr. Smart claims "burned" in one second. 

Fact is that, for some months, there have been some clues of the community concerns: some posts (in particular when the Vanguard concept was sold) complained that SC - with all those "costly" concept sales with no new content - was walking a dangerous path. CIG ignored the clues and now they have only one thing to do: answer the doubts of the commiunity, rather than with bans and post, just with facts.

If the community will not see something "real" within the end of the year, I fear that RSI could find itself actually in a difficult situation under a financiary point of view because, at that point, the pledges could drop even more dramatically.

What CIG should realize first is that the usual arguments that had been used till now to control the whine are simply ineffective from now on: "it's alfa", "you are only a pledger", "we are delaying to make the thing really cool" won't solve any problem in the future. Only facts will. 

So, please, CIG - for the sake of my pledge (and of other pledgers and of the game) - start listening to the whiners (which is not me) and spit out some kind of "real" content within the end of the year. Or my pledge (and your business) will actually risk to end as a hole in the water.

Edited by Metternich70

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Metternich70, I do understand your concern, please consider that the "content" production ( Star Marines, 2.0 and so on) and the ship concept  creation are not from the same resource pool and they require totally different skill sets, you can't just move people from one sector to another.

There will be a time where you will see very few concept sales at some point most probably, since the concept phase is the first that is exausted on a production chain for ships.

Besides that, it would be absurd to thank Mr. Smart for his criticism because he offers almost none really, they're mostly rants and links to LOD, grossly inaccurate sentences and "it's like this because I say so", without going in to the " I order you to step down from your position".

I still think CIG is on track, the task in absurdely complex, but to win back the sceptics they just need to get out SM, as soon as that's happens people will regain faith.

Edited by Riley Egret

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Metternich70, I do understand your concern, please consider that the "content" production ( Star Marines, 2.0 and so on) and the ship concept  creation are not from the same resource pool and they require totally different skill sets, you can't just move prople from one sector to another.

There will be a time where you will see very few concept sales at some point most probably, since the concept phase is the first that is exausted on a production chain for ships.

Besides that, it would be absurd to thank Mr. Smart for his criticism because he offers almost none really, they're mostly rants and links to LOD, grossly inaccurate sentences and "it's like this because I say so", without going in to the " I order you to step down from your position".

I still think CIG is on track, the task in absurdely complex, but to win back the sceptics they just need to get out SM, as soon as that's happens people will regain faith.

it's not absurd in my view, since it would have been a (ironical) real "slap in the face" for mr. Smart, that, at that point, would have had no argument for its reply. This just considering that, if he wants to file a complaint to FTC, he can do it, banned or not.

Edited by Metternich70

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So - somehow and somewhere - they actually committed some errors with the community. RSI must face this truth in order to succeed in managing the issues with its customers. But they seem just going on telling "everithing is ok". This attitude is what really concerns me now.

If the community will not see something "real" within the end of the year, I fear that RSI could find itself actually in a difficult situation under a financiary point of view because, at that point, the pledges could drop even more dramatically.

Yes. The release delays of the modules have impacted CIG image. But right now, the backers concerns are more emotional than rational.
Lets face it. The community just wants content no matter what, even disregarding the bigger picture.
And on top of that. We do like to discuss. We do like to create drama. We're emotional beings that just love a great soap opera.

Each week we get an update from each studio working on SC detailing what they've been working on.
They give interviews and answer to community questions every single week. 
We all know they are building the game. 
The strange thing in all the drama is that everyone seems to agree that they will eventually release the modules.

No one seems to doubt that. Yes, some people doubt they will be able to deliver the game as promised. But somehow no one doubts they'll be able to release the individual modules. 
Fact is if CIG, has to release the modules even later, it doesn't really matter. If they release the modules in September or October. if they have to push the game release date even further as long as they show us something, people will continue to wait. 

Does anyone have any doubt that they are going to release something? I think everyone believes they will. And when they do, all of the sudden they win some extra time to continue building the game. 
This has been the pattern up until now. 

Same has happen in other projects that have taken longer to build than expected.
PIllars of Eternity and Broken Age just to name a few.

Right now, some people are concerned and that is healthy, but there is also a lot of drama.

Here is the thing and it seems that as much as Ben tries to explain it, no one seems to be hearing.
We have a community event in just three weeks. 
It is always the same. CIG events are similar to what game companies do when they want to show investors their project progress.
CIG showcases a vertical slice of the project and explains to the community where they are at the moment. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_slice

They do it. Investors are happy and they head to the RSI site to spend more money. 

Look. You know what might happen?
We may get a cool demo at Gamescom. And CIG may use that momentum to release one of the modules shortly after.

All of the sudden we have SC backers going from skepticism to excitement yet again. 

But that excitement is not going to build the game. If CIG needs more time they will delay the game further no matter how the community feels about it. 
Because don't forget the end goal here. And that is to release a final product.  Not some module that will just appease the skeptics.

And as for going out of money.
So. They have hundreds of developers. $85 Million that even with this much slower rate they are still getting from $500.000  to $1 Millon each month.
That is about $90 Million by the end of the year.  Not far from the $100 Million CR predicted it could reach by the end of the year.
Consider that in 2016 they will continue to receive funding. At $90 Million they will already be the third most expensive MMO ever built.
Only SWTOR and Destiny surpass that . 

But even if CIG needs some extra $20 Million or whatever to build the game, do you think they will have an issue getting that money from some investors? 
IF they have to go that path they would loose some freedom and profit from the game sales since they will have to share it with a partner, but still it would an awesome business deal for any publisher or VC. After all, by then it will be a  game that is almost finished, almost fully funded and just needs some final push.

If this project fails, it fails because the final game simply isn't fun.
Not because of lack of resources. 

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the truth, and root of all this, is we have been played too many times in the past. gamers have been beaten and shoved around like stray dogs. like an abused animal, we are hesitant to trust, or attach ourselves. too many games have been promised that never delivered, or fell short. like a beaten dog, we cower at the prospect of reward. we expect it to turn sour in our mouths, even without reason to believe so. the industry made us this way, and it is not our fault to question, or be untrusting. looking back, the song and dance has played on star citizen. any small length of time is deemed proof that the food is poisoned, or we will be disappointed once again. everytime we have thought that, chris roberts produces results. remember before ac. remember before the hangar. each time the naysayers said it wouldn't happen... yet it did. look at how foolish those who said the hangar module would never happen looks now. open your eyes to how the trolls laugh when they said ac wouldn't appear... knowing it would. is this how you wish to remember your alpha, and beta days ? cowering in the corner in fear of if the naysayers words were true ? how will you feel when the fps releases, and everyone looks to you, who cried it wouldn't happen ? or you doubted, because it did not happen in a time frame that you expect ?  games take a long time to develop, and the more complex, the harder to build. you have to come to terms with that. you have to understand that you want the impossible, and you are demanding it. you are forcing chris to rush a game that shouldn't be rushed. nothing he is doing as far as informing you, does he actually have to do. in fact, it is slowing him down. the petty cries for instant gratification is slowing down build times, and draining development funds. i hope you are happy, you self-entitled wretches. i don't get my vibrating heart shaped swag bed..... because those funds went you your  " around the verse ". 

 

 

i still love you guys though... you make me annoyed, but you're cute as kittens when you do

Edited by Aleaf

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There is no better way to gain some perspective on SC development than to look at other projects.

I Was just watching the Double Fine Adventure documentary and some articles from the time when Pillars of Eternity got delayed.

Deja vu.

Look at the articles bellow.
Reading the comment section in some of this articles is fun :)

When Pillars Of Eternity got delayed: 
I love the first article

http://thebitpulse.com/2014/02/obsidians-pillars-of-eternity-ambiguity-delay-raise-eyebrows/

While Obsidian is currently sitting on a gigantic pile of crowdsourced cash, the company’s isometric RPG Project Eternity won’t be hitting its original April 2014 release goal. Staying vague about the game’s length and content, Obsidian is already talking sequels.

After a tight-lipped interview with Eurogamer, the company officially announced a “winter 2014″ release date.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/02/pillars-of-eternity-delayed

Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive have delayed fantasy RPG Pillars of Eternity to early 2015, despite earlier this year being "confident" that the game would be wrapped up by the year's end.

This is its second delay; Pillars had already been delayed till "late 2014" from its original estimated release window of spring 2014.

http://www.polygon.com/2014/2/8/5393310/pillars-of-eternity-delayed-from-spring-release

Pillars of Eternity, will not launch in the first half of 2014 due to its substantial size, project lead Josh Sawyer recently told Eurogamer.

"We got almost four-times as much money and that's a much bigger game, and that doesn't mean that immediately we just dump four-times as many people on it and it also gets done in April,"

 


Or Broken Age Broken Promises:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/03/double-fine-kickstarter-debacle/

Essentially, whatever money given to Kickstarter projects is a donation -- sure, you're being promised something in return, but there's no legally binding contract guaranteeing you'll actually get it. Of course, the approximately 90,000 people affected by Double Fine's decision may feel differently about buying future games by the studio, to say nothing of whether they'll back a Kickstarter project ever again


They mention the community reaction when they had to delay Broken Age and when they delayed their internal alpha in the documentary video

https://youtu.be/junQ2cvB4Tw?t=2076

Or Divinity Origial Sin. 

http://www.polygon.com/2014/2/24/5443972/divinity-original-sin-delayed-again-spring-2014

So is Kickstarter feedback the new development hell? Its been delayed twice which has definitely happened to a lot of games but shouldn’t there come a point where a developer just needs to release it. If everything got delayed due to consumer feedback then nothing would ever get released.

Or Torment :

http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&boardid=1&threadid=152357&id=946665
Yes the comment bellow is for Torment. Not Star Citizen. 

 

"I don't buy that as an excuse.

Stretch goals aren't part of the initial pitch, so the people that contributed before stretch goals were posted, are screwed, if there is a huge addition to development time.

Stretch goals shouldn't be so lofty in the first place, that they add large amounts of development time. They're chasing "dollars / more backers" for minor features, yet encumber themselves exponentially. (Which probably equates to costing more than they collected for the feature).

It's stupidity.... from a business perspective."

 
To sum up:

There are so many crowdfunded projects that have suffered delays. That had their internal releases pushed. 
Almost every project that was able to secure large sums of money, was able to release the game.  But almost never on time.

And in almost every project, the community had a similar reaction to delays. 


All those concerns went away when the final game was released. 

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a638173/pillars-of-eternity-review-round-up-the-baldurs-gate-3-we-never-got.html#~piN6lOFdi99LSQ

Pillars is remarkable. It achieves and surpasses its mission to be a 'refresh' of a style of game which died out long-ago, shortly after providing a blueprint for those which superseded it. Had the men and women at Obsidian succeeded only in making something which appealed to old-time fans of the genre, they could have called it a job well done. But they've gone one better - Pillars of Eternity is modern, while evoking the past."

 
SC is no different than any other project. It suffers delays. Mistakes are made and all that. There is no point in having an emotional reaction to that.
We just need to keep our focus on the end goal. Continue to do some healthy pressure but without entering into the rage reaction some people show whenever the project suffers delays.

 

 

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It just struck me that Derek Smart is like North Korea (DPRK).

When the world is involved elsewhere on the planet and not paying any attention to the DPRK, the Hermit Kingdom does something to bring attention back - usually something that makes you go "Really?'.

We are again all talking about @dsmart, albiet, not in a complementary way. And he doesn't care. Another sign of a sociopathic narcissist. (can I throw megalomaniac in there, too?)

Random  game to discuss re: failure: Daikatana

Edited by Gremlich

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@FoxChard Truly fantastic, cheers. :D 

Concerning all this recent thread hoopla, @Comet said it best (IMO). CIG doesn't and won't suffer from financial problems, not for a while yet. The moment Gamescom hits, the moment modules hit, the moment another concept sale hits, they'll get large influxes of cash. And wait until PU beta, ho-ly will they sell some products!

With this KS talk: CIG could've gone the route of "thanks for the cash, now STFU until we're done Kay thanks bye," but they didn't. There are and will be delays, but really, they're still releasing (non-playable) content. Like has been said before, only an extreme minority truly doubts that CIG will release Star Citizen, we're simply starved for content. CIG has yet to do anything to warrant critical concern. 

Derek Smart. Nah, they were right to ban him. They stated their reason, nipped potential legal concerns in the bud, and get to wipe their hands clean. Smart will continue throwing his tantrum, but it would legally impact the project, and that was the concern. PR will sort itself out, especially considering that backers and potential backers who don't avidly follow SC's production probably won't even encounter Smart or his work. 

It's coming, slowly but surely. 

PS. Yeah, @Comet, having been a Pillars of Eternity backer, this is completely familiar, and probably why I'm still nonchalant. It's superfluous drama, as I've repeated in thread over and over again. *shrug* Thanks for the info, good forum-ing. :D 

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I'd just like to throw this out there... if you are having a hard time waiting for FPS or AC2.0, go and play Divinity: Original Sin. IMO it's the BEST** isometric RPG to come out since Fallout 1/2. Wastelands 2 was good, but there's just something about Divinity not holding your hand through it's quests that really appealed and appeals.

 

** No I didn't play Pillars. WL2 and D:OS were plenty to keep me sated - currently on my 2nd playthrough of D:OS.

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      2. Speaking of recent articles, a multi-part “several month long” investigation article into CIG was released by Kotaku UK just before CitizenCon. With Kotaku being one of the most viewed gaming “news” outlets, and given the negative press that has stalked Star Citizen in the past, it would make sense that CIG would want to set aside part of the convention to “set the record straight via facts”. Glaring errors in the article, such as incorrect length of time of development, to the number of offices and staff were key parts that the Kotaku - and other - gaming articles got wrong. Setting this record straight not only would help CIG address the errors, but also serve as official responses in the public record for the future.
       
      3. Acknowledging the community is an absolute necessity. CIG has very little in the way of marketing or advertising outside of the actions of the fans. From Twitch streamers to digital radio, Star Citizen has grown largely on the back of the fans’ word of mouth, and very little from things like short advertisements for Comcast or partnerships with AMD and Intel. To not acknowledge this and devote some time to giving facetime to the community and some of the streamers would be tantamount to blatantly ignoring their biggest fans and advocates who have helped them grow to the level of unbeatable in crowdfunding.
       
      4. Finally, CIG has done segments of this nature before. While they haven’t been quite as LONG as before, or featured as many members of the community, they still have a precedent for having this as a standard part of the program.
       
      When we take these factors together it appears that while the pre-show was inundated with “fluff”, all of it has a fairly legitimate purpose. What most people appear to question is the length of time, which was definitely much longer than previous ones. There is a probable explanation for this, but it will be discussed later in this article. Now, let’s take a look at the community side of things and the “Spectrum” reveal.
       
      Is this Discord or what?
      As CIG surprised everyone with the reveal of Orgs 2.x, now known as “Spectrum”, one of the most common observations from viewers and attendees was something to the effect of, “Isn’t this Discord?” Turbulent outlined the revamps of the Orgs system and the way that the community would be able to interact and communicate with each other through RSI, but the reactions were mixed. Much of the material shown looked very much like a mishmash of Discord, Twitter, and Facebook, with a huge emphasis on the front end of the new tool. There was very little said about any improvements to organization management aspects of the tool, and none of the criticisms of the current Orgs system were addressed in any way. *(See Special Note)
      To be fair, this is the first iteration of what is supposed to be an evolving system. It’s designed to make good on the “mobile ap” stretch goal, integrate voice and text into the RSI site and systems.  Future iterations are supposed to allow a user a large amount of capability for managing their in-game even when they aren’t logged in, much in the way Assassin’s Creed IV allowed people to manage their pirate fleets even when not playing the game. However, none of this actually addresses the flaws with the current systems.
      That being said, this entire segment of the presentation seemed a bit half-done. The presenters seemed underprepared and the information provided would’ve had a better place in an ATV or RTV video. It hurt the overall flow of the presentation, and for an audience online and in-house of over 30,000 people, it dampened the enthusiasm quite a bit for the upcoming segments of the presentation. Even the “plan for the game” segment generated muted enthusiasm from viewers and audience members alike.
       
      The plan!
      After a rousing reaction to the “Militia Mobilization Initiative” sale trailer, and the varying to negative reactions to SQ42 segment that will be discussed later, Chris Roberts began discussing the future of the Star Citizen development cycle. There was a generally positive, thought muted, reaction from viewers and audience members alike when the reveal plan for the future iterations of 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and 4.0 were unveiled. While specific sections related to Mining, the Banu Merchantman, and a few others seemed quite positive, the previous two segments had really dampened a lot of the enthusiasm at this CitizenCon.
      A lack of a schedule of release for the different iterations, as well as a non-release date for 2.6 also added to the dampening of enthusiasm. However, the audience and many viewers kept positive attitudes and listened eagerly to Chris Roberts explain the different phases and what they would bring to backers before finally getting to the big reveal of the night, 3.0 v2.
       
      HOLY PROCEDURAL PLANET, BATMAN!
      The beginning of the presentation seemed very scripted and staged, but given that it was meant to showcase planet-sized procedural generation of detailed environments, that was to be expected. People cheered and laughed as the camera passed a man on a mountain top who shouted, “Happy CitizenCon!” Gasps of awe and cheers were audible as the detailed procedural lighting and environments, ones to rival most pre-crafted AAA games began to come into view. The dynamic weather system awed this author the most, as detailed clouds, storms, and weather systems were shown from first a space-eye view, and then carried through as the camera and Constellation navigated the air. The reveal of the rover, and the subsequent sequences showcasing the size, space, and detail of the procedural environment were breathtaking. Sequences of combat, and the reveal of the massive alien at the end were amazing.
       
      The feat that CIG has made with procedural generation and planets is astounding and CIG should be celebrated for it. They only began experimenting with procedural generation in the last two years, and they have come up with planetary-scale procedural generation including plants, trees, terrain variations, weather patterns, lighting patterns, and more in levels of detail that are unparalleled so far. People have no idea what it takes to make something like that work and work well, and because of recent “procedurally generated” games that have been real flops, a lot of people don’t put much thought into the achievement and the effort that it takes to get something like what CIG revealed for 3.0 v2. It also doesn’t help that this seemed like just a furthering of the same content that was shown at Gamescom, so the attitude of “seen it” abounded throughout much of the community. This reveal, while it was unbelievably awesome and deserved a much better response, was given a very lukewarm reception because CIG fumbled in a very, very big way with Squadron 42, and they will need to figure out what they need to do to fix the mess they put themselves into.
       
      The great disappointment.
       
      The elephant in the room has been left until last for a reason. The Squadron 42 segment and delay cast a huge wet blanket upon the entire event. CIG had spent the last months building up the hype for Squadron 42. It was implied and stated by multiple CIG staff, including Chris Roberts, that Gamescom was for the Persistent Universe, and CitizenCon would be for Squadron 42. The reality was, not only would there no Squadron 42 reveals, there would also be confirmation that delays for Squadron 42 were no longer rumors. While a delay has been rumored about for several months, the fact that CIG chose their signature event to announce the delay, after having built up hype specifically for Squadron 42 in the weeks and months prior to CitizenCon, was a one-two punch that many backers are still reeling from. Not since the days of the Arena Commander delay has there been such a level of distress from backers.
       
      It didn’t need to be this way, and it most likely wasn’t meant to be this way. Everything leading up to CitizenCon was aiming toward a Squadron 42 reveal of some sort. Even the commercial for the Militia Mobilization Initiative fit into the theme of Squadron 42. Whether the reveal would be coupled with a delay was not an unexpected outcome, but to have nothing more than a couple of slides in the middle of a largely lackluster presentation was a slap in the face for many backers. It didn’t feel right, and it didn’t seem right whatsoever to have had so much of a build-up to such a crashing disappointment.
       
      The following is speculation, but educated speculation. What is most likely the case is that CIG planned everything as the hype led backers to believe. Squadron 42 was going to be showcased at CitizenCon, and it was going to be the follow-up explosive reveal to capitalize upon the positive-leaning press and the massive hype that Gamescom brought to CIG. Unfortunately, something went wrong with Squadron 42 to the point where it was most likely determined that CIG needed to revert to a “Plan B” scenario. Everything, from the over-long fluff content, to the out-of-place Turbulent presentation, to the odd pacing of the different segments, to the jarring and disjointed way the delay announcement was handled all point to this being a last-second change to a well-crafted event. Unfortunately, that’s not the part about this entire affair that is the most disheartening for backers.
       
      What has disheartened backers the most is that CIG, despite the community’s past showing of how understanding and forgiving that it could be, didn’t communicate with the backers. In a time where the gaming world is still reeling from the massive disappointment that was “No Man’s Sky”, and with Hello Games complete silence on the matter of the speedy rise and fall of its over-hyped game, gamers are leery when developers over-hype and then don’t deliver. CIG would have had a much better reception to the entire event had they communicated early on about the challenges and problems that Squadron 42 was facing. Choosing to use CitizenCon as the place to announce a delay to the very part of the game that was supposed to be the event’s showcase was a massive misstep on the part of CIG and their PR department. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that CIG’s PR has been less than adequate, and it sadly won’t be the last, but that doesn’t help backers who are feeling put out by the way that everything was handled for this event. Even with this disappointment though, there is hope for the future.
       
      The future is...SoonTM.
       
      While there are many valid and understandable reasons for the ups and downs experienced by CIG regarding this CitizenCon, it’s pretty clear that this was a missed opportunity in many ways. It was a missed opportunity for CIG to maximize their hype levels for the game, while also showcasing their oft-touted transparency by revealing before CitizenCon that the main event would not feature Squadron 42 as its centerpiece. This was an avoidable PR mess, yes, but we backers still have been shown more than we could’ve dreamed would be possible all those years ago. Disappointment is understandable, but not the levels of vitriol that are being seen on some sites. Chris Roberts has stated we will see more on Squadron 42, 2.6, and 3.0 before the end of the year, and CIG will very likely deliver on that soon.
       
      That being said, the community needs to understand one fundamental fact: Chris Roberts has a vision for this huge and ambitious game that leads to a game done right. This is his legacy, and he will do everything in his power to see it successful. The achievements in technology and gameplay showcased at Gamescom and Citizencon that CIG have reached are leaps and bounds above what we were expecting when we first backed this project. These achievements are all thanks to we backers’ belief and continued support in the project. As we pass the fourth anniversary of the beginning of this incredible journey, don’t get stuck on a PR mishap and disappointing convention; instead, celebrate that we’re one year closer to living our dreams of space exploration and adventure that this game will deliver!



       
      Special Note: This author was a part of a feedback group for Turbulent following the release of Orgs 1.0 and 1.5. The organization I am a part of, as well as several other large organizations were asked to provide feedback, criticisms, and suggestions to Turbulent on what we would like, want, and needed. An overwhelming amount of the feedback expressed an urgent need for management tools to allow for easier managing of large numbers of members, and additions of ranks or roles, modifications of permissions beyond the limited values shown, as well as a list of things that were less urgent. After submitting that feedback, we never heard from Turbulent again, and attempts to reach out to Turbulent were met with silence.
       
      Sorry about the weird spacing folks, copy-paste did weird things...
    • By Zhane
      Hey guys. I wrote a thing. It's about Star Citizen. I'd love it if you read it, it's posted over on The Base's website: http://radio.starcitizenbase.com/star-citizens-unexpected-space-opera-an-editorial/
      Thanks.
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