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https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/forum/3/thread/citizencon-streaming

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CITIZENCON bonuses

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Yesterday at 11:30 pm
Thanks CIG, which gives an opportunity to get bonuses for those who can not come to CITIZENCON

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Christopher Roberts@croberts68

CitizenCon Streaming

 
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Yesterday at 11:50 pm
Events
I don't post often but this is a case where I will break that rule.

Why?

Because there seems to be a lot of vitriol and outrage that is unfairly directed towards Community and Marketing .

If you're upset, you should be upset at me.

Because this was my idea.

Let me give you some context.

This year's CitizenCon is much bigger than last years, with two separate stages and tracks. We did this because we felt the format we tested last year was a success and because of this we wanted to expand it to allow more people to attend and provide more opportunities to hear from and interact with the devs.

With a venue and planned attendance three times the CitizenCon in Frankfurt, with more panels (so more devs needing to travel) , more food and drink options for everyone the proposed budget for this year's CitizenCon was almost double last years. And this was without any video coverage, let alone streaming of the second stage, and a plan to just stream the opening keynote from the main stage. 

Yes, you read that right, the original plan didn't have any plan for streaming anything beyond the opening keynote. There was not even video archiving of the second stage due the additional costs of getting a second video crew for that stage. Even then there was some debate as to whether it was truly worth it to spend a chunk of change to stream the opening keynote for 90 minutes when we're always in a foot race to compress it as a high-quality video and post to YouTube as quickly as possible after the demo so people can enjoy a HD Video as opposed to a crappy re-post of a Twitch Stream. 

While we get a nice viewership from streaming by far the most views is always through YouTube as the resulting press coverage links to it, whether its via our official channel or in the case we aren't quick enough someone else's re-posting of our stream. In terms of showing off Star Citizen, getting a high quality video up on YouTube is always our top priority. While everyone else is having a celebratory drink or mingling after the show the video team is locked away cleaning up a cut to post online, often staying up to 2am and past to do this. Which is why there was an argument to just let the attendees see it live and everyone else an hour or so later as a nice high-quality video.

Of course, me being me, wanted more. 

I felt if we were bothering to put these panels on with all our top developers we should record all of it for the community to see. And if we were recording all of it then couldn't we also stream it all for the community members that were interested? And since we constantly get criticized for our home-brew approach to videography and streaming, let's bring in a specialist company that can handle multiple simultaneous stages, cameras and streams.

Now of course this doesn't help with the budget because what I just asked about adds a low six figure amount to the cost of the event. We really try to spend the money we raise on game development not community content or events. For that we use our subscriptions and try to defray the costs with sponsors like Intel last year.

Since we originally announced CitizenCon for this year in Austin there's been multiple threads about digital passes for those that can't make it to Austin midweek, I thought let's take a leaf out of Blizzard's book and have a digital pass to allow people to virtually be there for all the presentations and the money for these passes would help offset the not inconsiderable increase in costs that I was asking for because I wanted to do it better for all of you. It was a gamble because we're committing to the increased costs without knowing how many people would take us up on it but I decided we would take the gamble this year and if it doesn't pan out we'll write it up to experience and not be as ambitious in our video and live stream goals next year.

Because we do use subscription revenue for Community Content and Events we felt that subscribers should get the streaming perk for free as it is their contribution that pays for our video shows as well as other forms of community content and engagement. Also, because concierge level backers have contributed far more than anyone could expect to help us build the crazy dream that is Star Citizen I felt they should also be included (not unlike we early PTU access as a perk)

The plan is to record all presentations at a high quality, edit and post them to YouTube as we go, with the Keynote being up as soon as possible after it finished, and the other panels going out over the following days (you got to give the video team some time; we're talking 10 hours of finished content!) 

Nothing was ever planned to be pay-walled or withheld form the community, and honestly I like the idea of most people seeing the presentations in their own time as a high quality video rather than a stream of potentially questionable quality. The live-stream aspect was always intended for the most ardent community members that want to see it live as it unfolds but can't make it to the event to be there in person.

We're not likely to cover the costs of the additional coverage and live-streaming but I felt we should be fiscally responsible and try to defray at least some of additional costs, which is how the current plan came to be.

We debated back and forth about whether we want to stream the keynote and closing for everyone, and have the rest require a streaming pass or require a streaming pass for all. We ended up coming down on the side of the pass for all, mostly for our ability to deliver a high quality video to everyone in short order and control the message and coordinate any press from the opening or closing. If we can give game sites a link to a video and guarantee that they will all get it at the same time we don't have to worry about different sites all trying to preempt each other, some linking to our stream, some linking to someone's YouTube re-post. 

What we didn't anticipate is how dearly some of you value watching the main CitizenCon presentation live.

I get that some of you may not be considering these nuances when you're whipping out your pitchforks, which is why I thought it would help to detail our thought process and decision process. We're always trying to give you more, at a better quality, sometimes that requires us to charge for things that we haven't in the past.

But I get that some of you could feel that you've lost something that you've had previously, and you are not a true Star Citizen fan unless you've sat through an awkward live-stream with crashes and technical glitches, so we will have the opening keynote and my closing available for everyone that has a Star Citizen account, no digital pass required, with the other sessions requiring a digital pass to see live (and remember you'll be able to see these at your leisure, no restrictions a few days later)

I just don't want to see threads about how we shouldn't live-stream and just post a polished video afterwards (because that has never happened! /s)

Peace,

-Chris

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I don't give a damn about their justification. 

They tried to put it all behind a paywall and got enourmous backlash.

Did they ask for the community opinion?

No.

Dont they have enough data that shows people are interested in watching the  presentation?

Yes they do.

There was no Gamescom presentation this year. So CitizenCon is what everyone is waiting for and they know it.

This is the point where enough is enough.

 

 

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I'll admit, when I saw that I couldn't watch initially live without forking over $20, I was a bit peeved.  But in all honesty, this is all happening (mostly) while I'm working my day job and couldn't watch anyways, so in the end I'd be likely watching after the event.  

As Chris mentioned in his letter, there was a lot of backlash because of the decision, even if it was a good choice to cover the camera crews.  My thought?  Get the game out, then charge for the livestream :)

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The paywall thing is extremely bad of course especially as they make millions during a CitCon month anyway. That said if the event itself is good and the content is good they might make everyone able to forget about it and be happy again for a short time. And then it goes back to normal painful waiting for anything relevant to happen.

 

Most interesting part of the whole year for me could be that panel:

The Principles of Light

Building the NEW Star Citizen flight experience

that said it can also be just a bunch of lofty intentions without a bone behind it

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Allright, if CR said from the start that keynote+ending were free, half this backlash wouldn't have happened.

That being said, putting your sale stunt beyind a paywall is a very....... peculiar idea, if you get what I mean.

If for some reason this year sale goes meh, it's going to be a powder keg.

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I'm sure any content concerning the sale of ships won't be behind a paywall. And they'll have plenty of cool marketing videos for it.

This comes at a very bad time for me as someone who pledged back in 2012.

Specially now after seeing what CD Projekt Red was able to pull of with Cyberpunk.  A game that is still ways off, started pre production after Star Citizen, but that the dev was able to showcase loads of different systems  in a relatively polished form. 

I expect a lot more from CIG this year. SQ 42 should be far more finished then Cyberpunk. They should have no problem showcasing a big part of the game without any issues by now.

 

 

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Taking bets on how long while the delay be on the day :D.

Edit: also it's only 10 for  this "goodie bag" and 10 for the live stream. However, beyond that there is nothing that will stop them from upping the live stream AFTER.

And CD Projekt Red had it since june/july.

 

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After all these years there was no excuse to pull out something like this.  
It was a clear money grab as they also prohibited others from livestreaming the event.

You just need to look at the numbers. Taking into consideration streams from previous CitizenCon and that there were no limitations they had hundreds of thousands of people watching. 

They would have gotten easily $1 Million+.

This wasn't just about covering the costs of the event, streaming and so on.

Well, the backlash is obvious and Chris has now completely retracted from charging.

UPDATE:


After sleeping on this, I am going to chalk this one up to experience.

We're going to cut back on the live-streaming crew / costs but have both stages streamed for anyone with a Star Citizen user account.

Star Citizen Content Creators are welcome to rebroadcast our stream live.

If you would like to support the additional costs of streaming all the presentations, you can support the show by purchasing the CitizenCon digital goodies package (Imperators still get this as their October flair)

This damage could have easily been avoided and for me it has left a clear mark. 

 

 

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As much as I love Chris and CIG, and as much as I can understand the reasoning behind the initial choice of how to stream it (and its subsequent retraction), I have to say that it was a beyond tone-deaf choice, that showed little knowledge of what backers have come to expect. It further verifies to me that CIG leadership are being increasingly isolated away from the larger community by the staff whose job it is to help CIG leadership understand the pulse of the community. I had this impression when I went to CIG LA last August, and when I talked to CR and Sandi privately. I get the feeling that the "community relations" staff, instead of doing their jobs in communicating accurate pulses on the community's overall direction, instead only provide rose-colored-glasses reports. I began to notice this disconnect when DiscoLando began to take over more of the community stuff, and I've seen in worsen since some of the staff that didn't agree with the Community Team leadership have since left. 

I'm still psyched for the game and love CR, CIG, and everything inbetween, but I'm more and more pessimistic about CIG being able to make good calls related to the community...not because the leadership is out of the loop, but because the team in charge of providing the leadership with REAL information is hell-bent on hiding any negatives from CR and the other leadership. This could be due to the whole doxxing crap with DS and the Escapist articles and such, and fair enough, CIG and Sandi specifically, went through hell back then...but that doesn't excuse staff for purposely minimizing negatives on the part of community reaction.

Overall, I'm glad that CR backed down on this, but I honestly think it's time for CIG Marketing to get an anonymous focus group hired so they can have their marketing ideas run by people who can tell them,"Yeah, no, fucked up idea, change now."

As for @Comet, I wouldn't take it so hard, bud. There are a lot of things on their plate, and this was a "ooops" of epic proportions. I'd more be happy that they realized their mistake, and then hope that they learned to not make it in the future.

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13 hours ago, Chimaera said:

I have to say that it was a beyond tone-deaf choice

I submit that like most Businessmen at his level, he doesn't think he needs to listen to anybody else.

Couple that with the fact that as a code monkey he's really a terrible businessman. THAT should suggest why he's tone-deaf.

He should just be the titular head of the company - the idea guy. Let someone with a business degree(s?) RUN the company as appropriate for CIG without let things runaway from them, like this last faux paux.

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I think enough years have past for stunts like this to continue to happen. 
I still have a hard time to accept how can anyone announce a 2016 release date and require not one, not two, but most likely 3 or more years to deliver.

Next CitizenCon CIG will show their "Road to Release" plan. Let's  see what comes out of it. 

But people are getting old waiting for the game (any game) while CIG continues to raise money anyway they can. 

At this pace we'll be playing Cyberpunk 2077 way before SQ42 or Star Citizen is released. 

 

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9 hours ago, radoorid said:

@VoA is this true about Mark Hamill?....

You may want to reread that second line about Mark Hamill appearing at Citizencon: "..in a 1:1 scale Gladius with hydraulic articulating arms simulating the g-forces and voice acting his text at the same time, all on 4k 60fps, no bugs, super smooth." In other words, it was just part of someone's rant about charging for the livestream.

My take on this month's SC "Scandal" is that it was just Chris wanting to do a bigger and better event than last year without Intel sponsorship and this seemed like a way to fund that goal, especially if he wants to announce release information. Subsequent events may not be as large in scope because of this.

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23 hours ago, Comet said:

2016 release date and require not one, not two, but most likely 3 or more years to deliver.

When you have a business providing applications on the scale of a video game of this magnitude - without ever have done it before, then you can complain. CIG has overloaded its collective ass, for sure, but, its development is well within the time it has taken several other AAA games of less magnitude. Doesn't matter what they said their expected dates are. 

Planetside 2 - first "indications" that it was being developed was 2009 - this suggests that they had probably been working on the sequel just after Planetside was released, in 2003 or within 3 years of release. This gives planetside 2 about 7 years in dev for release in 2012.

Grand Theft Auto V took more than 5 years to develop AND the studio had a library of assets to speed development along.

https://www.quora.com/How-long-does-it-take-to-create-a-game

CIG started active development with 5-6 people in 2012. It is now almost 6 years since. I think they're doing about right considering what they started from. And with two games at that..

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@Gremlich one´s word must have some value or else it's hard to finish anything.

AAA game development is indeed extremely hard and software development is a reality I know well.
But one's credentials means little and you need only look at the awful example that is Derek Smart.

I've defended CIG over and over again on the topic of delays. 
But 6 years have passed and there seems to still be a lot of work to do.  Too much given the amount of time that has passed. 

Even the most complex AAA games don't take decades to develop.
When they do, like in the case of Duke Nukem Forever, something is usually wrong.

I'm hopeful that in the upcoming CitizenCon they'll have some really good news at least when it comes to SQ42 completion. 

I really hope the game development is far more advanced then what they have shown us. But I though the same during last CitizenCon when they showed an amazing yet very unpolished SQ42 vertical slice.

I don't think anyone wants SQ42 or SC to be a Mass Effect Andromeda or Assasin's Creed Unity fiasco.

So it is important to put CIG on the spot instead of giving them the illusion that they have an infinite amount of time to develop a dream game that is never finished and is never playable in a polished form.

 

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1 hour ago, Comet said:

I've defended CIG over and over again on the topic of delays. 
But 6 years have passed and there seems to still be a lot of work to do.  Too much given the amount of time that has passed. 

Ah..... Alpha 3.2.2 is actually a lot better with more playable content than many games.   It doesn't mean there is not a lot more development to come but look at what CIG has done including the 100+ ships created so far.   I am very please and actually think "scope creep" - with this game is a "good thing."   I usually only play 1 maybe up to 3 games at any one time for a period of a decade or so......  I like the goals set and I do think they are achievable and I am happy with the PU to date and AC and Star Marine.

What throws your argument right out the window is the likelihood that S42 is right around the corner (most likely) - I don't see a later release date for it beyond 2019.   After its release all those Devs will then focus on the PU and eveyone will be thrilled to play S42 and all this criticism will go out the window.   Is CIG and SC perfect - no but they sure are awesome :)

 

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8 hours ago, VoA said:

What throws your argument right out the window is the likelihood that S42 is right around the corner (most likely) - I don't see a later release date for it beyond 2019.   

 

I hope that as well. But my argument is still the same.

- Their word has weight and must count for something. Or else we are just giving people false expectation.

- Given the time that has passed and the money raised CIG needs to be more in touch with their investors, delivering more and asking less.

Don't you agree?

If SQ 42 is near completion as pointed out, they won't have a problem comiting to a 2019 release date.

What will be your stance if at CitizenCon they don't announce a SQ 42 release date?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Comet said:

If SQ 42 is near completion as pointed out, they won't have a problem comiting to a 2019 release date.

I don't see CIG giving any release dates for SQ42 until the Crytek lawsuit is over. One of the key aspects of that lawsuit is the claim that CIG is breaching contract and copyright by making that game without the use or acknowledgement of Cryengine. However, since the game has not yet been released or put in any form of public testing, CIG can safely and legally say that the game is still in development, which weakens the claims by Crytek. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me if we would have had SQ42 released this year if it wasn't for that pointless moneygrab of a lawsuit. 

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