Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delayed to Early 2014

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Star Citizen Dogfighting Module Delayed to Early 2014

Star Citizen screen

Things are going so smashingly well for Star Citizen that Chris Roberts has decided to delay the dogfighting module that was scheduled to come out this month.

It would appear that Star Citizen has become a victim of its own success. As Chris Roberts explained in the latest Letter From the Chairman, the initial idea was to release an early build of the game's multiplayer dogfighting component in order to drum up interest and attract investors, but that plan didn't take into account the possibility that the whole thing would be entirely crowd-funded.

Now that it is, and at a level beyond anything the team expected, that strategy seems both unnecessary half-baked compared to the vastly expanded scope of the game. Thus, RSI was left with two choices: "Either fork development and spend time building something that would involve throwing away work in order to meet the December deadline and deliver something that wouldn't have the level of polish I'm happy with, or stay on course to build something that would lead directly into the finished game."

"As time has progressed I've become more nervous taking the down and dirty route with the initial dogfighting build, especially as our numbers grow," Roberts wrote. "So rather than force the team to crunch through the holidays chasing something 'good enough,' I am going to make the tough choice to delay the dogfighting module for a couple of months to allow us to take our time and deliver something special."

The Roberts Space Industries team is planning a two-hour livestream at 9 am PST on December 20 to show off the dogfighting work in progress. An update to the hangar that will add "fun new functionality" will also be released by the end of this week.

Source: Roberts Space Industries

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In other words, "We raised so much money, we don't have to release anything, follow any schedule, or stick to any promises we may have made."

Twenty-eight million dollars plus for some 3D models and a virtual hanger. Good job.

So the guy that talks down on consoles (as the people that would buy them by default) has raised so much money and then suddenly decides to delay part of the game a la Peter molyneux?.

Even though I'm not interested in the game at all (not much for space sims and certainly not for Chris being involved), delaying even further does not always mean it's going to 100% perfect/better when it comes to the games industry.

I'm also going to take ponder how long it takes till someone in this thread feels the need to defend Chris (It would be totally hypocritical given the history of bitching against delays in the past) for delaying the dogfighting section even though he has plenty of money and the team capable of working on it.

MinionJoe:
In other words, "We raised so much money, we don't have to release anything, follow any schedule, or stick to any promises we may have made."

Twenty-eight million dollars plus for some 3D models and a virtual hanger. Good job.

All the more reason to delay it. If they release the dogfighting part of the game in an unfinished state people are just going to get all upset and yell about how much money this game made and that it should be better, despite it being in beta. It sounds silly, sure, but this kind of thing happens all the time with early access games where it gets judged as if it was in a finished state. Better to delay it and release it when it's amazing rather than hand people a sub-par disappointing version of it now.

I'm not surprised. It's been over a year and they haven't even gotten past the concept stage and some 3D models to do a simple pre-alpha dogfight module with some AI

Ah, the bitchening has begun. I'm going to go out on a limb (not really) and guess that most of the complaints will be along the lines of "Just throw money at it!!" even though history has shown time and again that money is not the ultimate guarantee of success. Aliens: Colonial Marines is rumored to have cost upwards of $40M and possibly as high as $60M

Would be interesting to know how many people who complain are actually backers as opposed to those who just don't like Chris Roberts, and then cross-reference how many actually have significant experience working on a project this ambitious.

It's not even "just" an unfinished state, they would have had to put quite some effort into reworking the CryEngine's netcode to work with the dogfighting module; work that would have been entirely scrapped once the actual server backend is finished.

From what I have heard, people over on the RSI forums are actually in favor of waiting for the proper system to be up and running.

It's almost like Chris is trying to create a Magnum Opus and doesn't want to fuck it up. It's almost like every giant crowdfunded game has the same thing happen. Anyone else remember Broken Age? You know, that game that was supposed to come out in October of last year?

I've sunk $735 into this project, so obviously I'm going to be biased. And of course, I am worried that it's going to fall flat on its face. That's the inherent risk with any of the projects.

But, as someone who has crowdfunded over 70 different projects for a total over $8000, I'm fairly confident that RSI will pull it off. I've only been burned a few times, and so far Star Citizen isn't showing any of the same signs that the bad projects do.

People seem to forget just how much work goes into a project like this. Especially when you look at the scale of everything and the quality level they're trying to achieve. When projects swell up to this size delays are inevitable. When you start adding in more features and polish, it's impossible for a project to meet its original deadlines.

for once im hoping im wrong. this rang really loud warning bells when first announced due to all the claims so i havent backed it but honestly i really really want to be wrong. if they can pull off what they promise.. hell even half of it then it will be an incredible game but im still taking a wait and see approach with them,

so far elite dangerous is looking like the one to watch

Gilbert Estrada:

Would be interesting to know how many people who complain are actually backers as opposed to those who just don't like Chris Roberts, and then cross-reference how many actually have significant experience working on a project this ambitious.

I used to play the Wing Commander series, so I've no negative opinion of Chris Roberts. But neither am I a backer for Star Citizen.

I just see a lot of people pumping funds into a promise. It's not even a tech demo, at this point. Star Citizen has nothing but some fluff and 3D models to show after a year of development.

My main beef is with Kickstarter being used to generate interest-free loans with nothing substantial completed beforehand.

MinionJoe:
In other words, "We raised so much money, we don't have to release anything, follow any schedule, or stick to any promises we may have made."

Twenty-eight million dollars plus for some 3D models and a virtual hanger. Good job.

$34 million. And the fact they raised so much and did not need a publisher is exactly what gives them the freedom to place quality over speed. Had they signed on a money grubbing publisher, they would be getting hammered to cut corners to meet deadlines vs. complete the product and experience they aim to present.

I don't mind one bit waiting a little longer to get something much better. It is a lesson that is currently gnawing on EA's stock price thanks to the mad dash to meet next gen console release with BF4 and if a lot more game companies were willing to do this (a nod to watchdogs) then the overall state of gaming would be far better than it is right now.

The simple reality is that getting a lot more money and expanding your goals is going to make a project take longer - period. Even if the only delay is staffing (unlikely), that's still going to be a delay.

Sewa_Yunga:
It's not even "just" an unfinished state, they would have had to put quite some effort into reworking the CryEngine's netcode to work with the dogfighting module; work that would have been entirely scrapped once the actual server backend is finished.

From what I have heard, people over on the RSI forums are actually in favor of waiting for the proper system to be up and running.

The people over at RSI Forums are in favor of ANYthing Chris Roberts announces. You won't hear them complain loudly. They invested a shit-ton of money. They want this to succeed.

For me, this is just another sign that the game will burn on release (regardless of actual quality).

Meh. I helped kickstart SC, but as it bloats financially, I grow concerned that it will suffer lethal feature creep. I mean, I hope it doesn't, but if history is any indicator, SC is not panning out as a future success story.

Most of my interest as a result has shifted over to Elite: Dangerous.

This was more of a demo, right? Sounds like a demo.

Doesn't really seem like as much of a concern as the budget management, really.

MinionJoe:

Gilbert Estrada:

Would be interesting to know how many people who complain are actually backers as opposed to those who just don't like Chris Roberts, and then cross-reference how many actually have significant experience working on a project this ambitious.

I used to play the Wing Commander series, so I've no negative opinion of Chris Roberts. But neither am I a backer for Star Citizen.

I just see a lot of people pumping funds into a promise. It's not even a tech demo, at this point. Star Citizen has nothing but some fluff and 3D models to show after a year of development.

My main beef is with Kickstarter being used to generate interest-free loans with nothing substantial completed beforehand.

If your beef is with Kickstarter then why attack Star Citizen and Chris Roberts? He didn't invent Kickstarter or crowdfunding, and the idea of giving something up in the short term for the CHANCE of greater return in the future (whether it be physical, financial, or even just psychological) is hardly new.

It would probably help if you stop thinking of Kickstarter as "interest-free loans" since that's not what they're doing. They're really grants, where there is no promise or guarantee of a return, and it's made clear that this is the risk the funding parties are taking.

Is it possible that nothing will ever come of this? Yes. But anyone who jumps onto this project without understanding that they may never see anything in return for their money is a fool, and I have no sympathy for them.

Ah the fickleness of the gaming community strikes again.

"I'll throw hundreds of [insert local currency] into this to show my approval but if I see even one tiny thing I don't agree with, then it's the worst idea ever and everybody involved should be locked up in Alcatraz."

Here's a crazy idea; sit back, keep an eye on what looks cool but don't become emotionally (or financially) invested in it and enjoy gaming. It's not life or death.

weirdguy:
This was more of a demo, right? Sounds like a demo.

Doesn't really seem like as much of a concern as the budget management, really.

Essentially. It's supposed to be a demo/beta/whatever of (as the name implies) the ship-to-ship combat.

It sounds like what happened is that it was originally planned to push out to keep/gain interest in the game, but thanks to having their full budget already, they decided not to put the extra effort into the surrounding infrastructure to get it released in that state. If I'm reading between the lines correctly, it's mostly a matter of "hey, we're gonna release the actual final-product version instead of the stand alone thing we were planning on".

Agayek:

weirdguy:
This was more of a demo, right? Sounds like a demo.

Doesn't really seem like as much of a concern as the budget management, really.

Essentially. It's supposed to be a demo/beta/whatever of (as the name implies) the ship-to-ship combat.

It sounds like what happened is that it was originally planned to push out to keep/gain interest in the game, but thanks to having their full budget already, they decided not to put the extra effort into the surrounding infrastructure to get it released in that state. If I'm reading between the lines correctly, it's mostly a matter of "hey, we're gonna release the actual final-product version instead of the stand alone thing we were planning on".

^this.... He is just skipping to the next step in the project plan. Instead of releasing a "concept" demo, they are moving to the next stage directly and if you look at the time he indicated "early 2014" that is earlier than the late 2014 date for the playable version in alpha state.

MinionJoe:
In other words, "We raised so much money, we don't have to release anything, follow any schedule, or stick to any promises we may have made."

Twenty-eight million dollars plus for some 3D models and a virtual hanger. Good job.

You're not making much sense m8

The more money they raise, the bigger the project is going to be, and the longer development is going to take.

Game development doesn't have a fuel tank that you can pour money into to make a bar labeled "progress" increase.

I have no problem with them delaying. As long as it means a game that runs more or less as it should do by the end of the development process, and not some roughshod shitfest that we get treated with time and time again, I'll be a happy man.

"It's done when it's done"

As someone who has backed this with a significant chunk of cash, I say, "good!" CIG should take the time they need. We all knew from the start there would be delays and dates would slip. That is inevitable in a project like this. The whole point of crowdfunding Star Citizen is that CIG are not beholden to publishers and their artificial, profit-oriented timelines. Little pieces along the way like the hangar module and the dogfighting alpha are nice and all, but I backed for the Best Damn Space Sim Ever. This is essentially THE game I have been waiting for ever since I started gaming three decades ago and my only concern is that it is done RIGHT.

I have put $120 into this game (45 for kickstarter and 75 for Avenger+Lifetime Insurance) and am not bothered by this but the absolute shitfest that is MWO does indeed fill me with some trepidation.

It's amazing how stupid some people are, it's like they forget about games like KOTOR 2 and Rome 2.

I'd gladly wait any amount of time for the game to released in a decent state.

Saulkar:
I have put $120 into this game (45 for kickstarter and 75 for Avenger+Lifetime Insurance) and am not bothered by this but the absolute shitfest that is MWO does indeed fill me with some trepidation.

What has mechwarrior online got to do with the price of fish? (I would guess at the server issues with that game)

gunny1993:

Saulkar:
I have put $120 into this game (45 for kickstarter and 75 for Avenger+Lifetime Insurance) and am not bothered by this but the absolute shitfest that is MWO does indeed fill me with some trepidation.

What has mechwarrior online got to do with the price of fish? (I would guess at the server issues with that game)

I will leave you some links to read at your leisure as it is a long and ugly story.

http://loadeddicecast.blogspot.ca/2013/08/what-happened-to-mechwarrior-online.html
http://gamerant.com/mechwarrior-online-launch-trailer/
http://www.gamefront.com/mechwarrior-online-forum-ragesplosion/
http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/132638-3rd-person-an-update-and-apology-feedback-thread/
http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/article/the-hardcore-mechwarrior-online-community-is-in-open-revolt
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/12/15/free-to-play-mechwarrior-online-offends-players-with-500-golden-mechs/

It was two years of being jerked around by devs who were not only incompetent but despised their core base, the ones that made the game possible in the first place.

Saulkar:

gunny1993:

Saulkar:
I have put $120 into this game (45 for kickstarter and 75 for Avenger+Lifetime Insurance) and am not bothered by this but the absolute shitfest that is MWO does indeed fill me with some trepidation.

What has mechwarrior online got to do with the price of fish? (I would guess at the server issues with that game)

I will leave you some links to read at your leisure as it is a long and ugly story.

http://loadeddicecast.blogspot.ca/2013/08/what-happened-to-mechwarrior-online.html
http://gamerant.com/mechwarrior-online-launch-trailer/
http://www.gamefront.com/mechwarrior-online-forum-ragesplosion/
http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/132638-3rd-person-an-update-and-apology-feedback-thread/
http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/article/the-hardcore-mechwarrior-online-community-is-in-open-revolt
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/12/15/free-to-play-mechwarrior-online-offends-players-with-500-golden-mechs/

It was two years of being jerked around by devs who were not only incompetent but despised their core base, the ones that made the game possible in the first place.

Damn, shame about that, and not going to lie, there's always the possibility that that could happen to SC

But tbh, for the game they're making I think the 100GBP I've donated is a worthy risk.

Never spend/lend/donate money you're not prepared to lose.

And if it works ... we prove that devs are no longer needed in the AAA industry, a glorious gamble if there ever was one.

gunny1993:

Saulkar:

gunny1993:

What has mechwarrior online got to do with the price of fish? (I would guess at the server issues with that game)

I will leave you some links to read at your leisure as it is a long and ugly story.

http://loadeddicecast.blogspot.ca/2013/08/what-happened-to-mechwarrior-online.html
http://gamerant.com/mechwarrior-online-launch-trailer/
http://www.gamefront.com/mechwarrior-online-forum-ragesplosion/
http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/132638-3rd-person-an-update-and-apology-feedback-thread/
http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/article/the-hardcore-mechwarrior-online-community-is-in-open-revolt
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/12/15/free-to-play-mechwarrior-online-offends-players-with-500-golden-mechs/

It was two years of being jerked around by devs who were not only incompetent but despised their core base, the ones that made the game possible in the first place.

Damn, shame about that, and not going to lie, there's always the possibility that that could happen to SC

But tbh, for the game they're making I think the 100GBP I've donated is a worthy risk.

Never spend/lend/donate money you're not prepared to lose.

And if it works ... we prove that devs are no longer needed in the AAA industry, a glorious gamble if there ever was one.

There is actually a very much alive thread on RSI, of which I have somewhat contributed, that discuss this very issue.

You can take a look at it if you want.

https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/discussion/41992/is-mwo-a-warning-sign-of-what-is-to-transpire-here#latest

Ultimately if Star Citizen does fail then I cannot see myself backing any other projects for a long time but if it does then indeed succeed it will be a happy moment and possibly leading to public funding being a viable option for niche games.

Chalk the writter (gonna writ) strikes again. The reason was that Chris didn't want to use Crytek's already existing net code, rather design his own. You'd think that in an article like this you'd manage to properly communicate why.

Or is this entire article supposed to flamebait, send people spiraling into conspiracy theories and~

....oh.

NKRevan:

The people over at RSI Forums are in favor of ANYthing Chris Roberts announces. You won't hear them complain loudly.

To be fair, they were in favor of waiting when they were first presented with the dilemma, before Chris even decided on a course of action.

They invested a shit-ton of money. They want this to succeed.

Of course they do. That's why they're in favor of waiting for a proper multiplayer system instead of telling RSI to literally waste money (by having staff work on systems that wont be used in the final game), only so they could get a bit of pre-alpha gameplay a little sooner.

While I grumbled a bit when watch_dogs was pushed back, I was willing to wait if that's what it takes to get the end result to an ideal state. Feel the same about this.

Saulkar:
It was two years of being jerked around by devs who were not only incompetent but despised their core base, the ones that made the game possible in the first place.

It's definitely very possible that Star Citizen will end up like that, but considering how transparent CIG has been about development so far, plus the general feel I get of their interactions with the community, I think it's a baseless worry. The devs not caring/being actively antagonistic does not strike me as a particularly big issue.

That said, I am more than a little worried about how much the scope of the game has expanded since the beginning of the campaign, and how well CIG can deal with feature creep, but I haven't seen any of the disaster signs (read: poorly thought out ideas being pushed as the next big thing, adding new features without a good explanation for why and how it ties into existing features, etc) for it just yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't become a problem, but I'm also keeping an eye on development progress updates every step of the way.

Rob Robson:
Chalk the writter (gonna writ) strikes again. The reason was that Chris didn't want to use Crytek's already existing net code, rather design his own. You'd think that in an article like this you'd manage to properly communicate why.

Or is this entire article supposed to flamebait, send people spiraling into conspiracy theories and~

....oh.

Heh, I forgot all about that. I was just talking about MWO with someone else and you only need to look as far as that game in order to not only see how crappy CE3's internal networking is but how much patchwork is needed to work overtop of it in order to get (un)reasonable results.

Agayek:

Saulkar:
It was two years of being jerked around by devs who were not only incompetent but despised their core base, the ones that made the game possible in the first place.

It's definitely very possible that Star Citizen will end up like that, but considering how transparent CIG has been about development so far, plus the general feel I get of their interactions with the community, I think it's a baseless worry. The devs not caring/being actively antagonistic does not strike me as a particularly big issue.

I am more than a little worried about how much the scope of the game has expanded since the beginning of the campaign, and how well CIG can deal with feature creep, but I haven't seen any of the disaster signs (read: poorly thought out ideas being pushed as the next big thing, adding new features without a good explanation for why and how it ties into existing features, etc) for it just yet.

Ultimately the only worries that I have come from my experience with MWO and little else. Chris Roberts' track record as so far has done much to raise my confidence over the past year.

Man, developers just can't win with some people. Delay the game's release(or in this case just a milestone) and people prophesize doom. Rush to meet a(in this case self-declared) deadline, and people complain about any shortcomings and tell you that you should have taken more time.

Personally, I'll take a good game over a rushed one.

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