Tony Zurovec: Quantum, Quasar, and Virtual AI

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spacegg

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Just in case someone missed this interesting and informatic video. It explains well why so many people are very interested in upcoming techs and features using them.

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spacegg

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This all reminds me of X-series but just much more complex, detailed and versatile. A new dynamic event should start soon so we should see yet another set of improvements included in.

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Gundato

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From skimming though: That is a lot of buzz words to do what other games have been doing for years in a much more expensive way. So... Star Citizen

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spacegg

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@gundato said:

From skimming though: That is a lot of buzz words to do what other games have been doing for years in a much more expensive way. So... Star Citizen

The closest game comes to my mind is X4: Foundations. Of course it is only a single player game and much much more simpler game in general.

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Gundato

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#5  Edited By Gundato

@spacegg: Just out of curiosity, which of those features are you thinking only exists in X4?

Dynamic inventories across a system/galaxy: Basically every elite game since x2 has done this. NMS might be the only modern one that doesn't and I am sure they'll add it eventually

Resource analysis to control ambient AI: Frigging Oblivion did this. Put an apple down and someone will grab it when they are hungry. That is how you murder fools.

Rendering AI at different fidelities based upon their proximity to players: I think even a lot of the bigger RTSes ended up doing that over the years? But it is also basically a requirement of the 4x genre and more modern grand strategy games that can get away with it. This was ALSO in x2 and led to many a headache when the dice rolls made the khaak more powerful than they should have been.

Like pretty much everything Star Citizen marketing does: These are pretty foundational concepts that are just being reinvented to varying degrees and given baby's first TED talk over it.

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spacegg

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@gundato: X4 came into mind because it has simulated universe (out-of-screen), AI players, dynamic inventories and production lines, ability to walk around space ships and space stations (introduced in X Rebirth), etc. Despite all the problems Egosoft/X-series has been able to create a game world that feels living and breathing unlike most of the other games.

As you listed plenty of games and genres in your post, Star Citizen is aiming to have all those and much more in one single MMO game. As far as I know there is no other project or game like it and that is what in my opinion makes Star Citizen the most interesting project at the moment.

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Gundato

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@spacegg:

So now it is less amazing technology that everyone wants and more that they put a bunch of mundane stuff into a single bucket?

Because the end result of that (dynamic economy impacted by player actions and world events, NPCs interact based on resource availability, rendering AI at different fidelities based on if anyone is around) is all done in Elite Dangerous. The approach is a bit different but the scale is also orders of magnitude different.

Also, while writing this I realized that Mount&Blade DOES do all of that exactly right down to having villages send out caravans for trading. Which reminds me I should reinstall Bannerlord...

That is why I pointed out that none of this is new. Maybe SC fans are excited for the upcoming youtubes but game devs and the like aren't because none of this is new. All of this has been around for ages and games can use them if they want. The only difference tends to be implementation and there are a LOT of reasons why the way SC tends to implement things is suboptimal and expensive. But that is a different hype thread.

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TurtleFish

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@spacegg said:

As you listed plenty of games and genres in your post, Star Citizen is aiming to have all those and much more in one single MMO game. As far as I know there is no other project or game like it and that is what in my opinion makes Star Citizen the most interesting project at the moment.

I totally agree with you that it's one of the most interesting projects out there. I've been waiting for a finished version of Squadron 42 from day one (ten years ago!). The problem is though, at some point, it's no longer about demos, roadmaps, alphas, betas etc. - they need to publish something and say "This is our game."

Dreams are fine, but, until you ship, they're just dreams.

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spacegg

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@gundato: Those features doesn't have to be anything new or not seen in other games and genres before. I have never seen backers or people in community to make such a claims. Why backers are so interested is that all these features are in a single MMO game and it is interesting to see them being integrated to Star Citizen patch by patch. As long as there is no other project like Star Citizen I don't see reasons not to support abd being excited about it.

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Gundato

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#10  Edited By Gundato

@spacegg: Ah. So now the constraint is that this is exciting and new technology because it is a bunch of stuff that has been around for literally decades but now it is in an MMO format!

Also: Star Citizen is not an MMO and many of the things that result in games like ED using a simplified/lower update rate implementation of a lot of the dynamic economy stuff is specifically because of the constraints when you have to deal with a bunch of different shards and a lot of players (many of which are playing in SP mode).

Like, I am fine with folk getting hype as it were. But this is like every other star citizen presentation where they reinvent the wheel in an overly convoluted way and people act as though other games don't exist in the interest of praising them. It is perfectly fine to riff on other games. Just show those developers the respect of acknowledging they exist rather than pretending they don't.

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spacegg

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@turtlefish: It is problematic situation. They are not able to integrate tons of features into game until they have required core techs done and integrated first. Since SQ42 and PU shares lots of techs it applies both of them. I would like them share vertical slices of SQ42 more often than they have done so far. Otherwise I can't say much about SQ42 since it is not the project I'm much interested in.
I guess you are more interesting in SQ42 than Star Citizen PU?

What comes to development time it is still me pretty hard to say if the pace of development is slow, fast or something from between. Whatever is the development time I'm much more concerned that they start to cut the corners and would release typical AAA game. I'm much more interested to wait instead.

Fortunately they are publishing PU alpha versions backers to test. An enormous and ambitious project with alpha versions to be tested keeps me interested about the project and especially when I'm not aware of other project like it. Backers are eagerly waiting for core techs mentioned in OP and some others and hopefully they would be able to integrate some of them this year.

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spacegg

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@gundato: "... people act as though other games don't exist in the interest of praising them. It is perfectly fine to riff on other games. Just show those developers the respect of acknowledging they exist rather than pretending they don't."

Where have I or some other person done that? What I'm seeing is people getting excited to get an experience they don't get by playing other games - in a one single game. I don't see anyone bashing other games or developers.

These development videos are just for backers to be able to follow the development. There is nothing too much new information for backers in them since they have talked and demoed these features and tools for some time already. It is still interesting to follow how they evolve and get used in the current test versions.

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Gundato

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#13  Edited By Gundato

@spacegg: The thread is about amazing new technology and why people are excited. I pointed out that this is NOT new technology and somehow we shifted to all of that in a single game (which already exists and is called Elite Dangerous or basically every single elite game that is not NMS if you squint a bit or Mount&Blade if you insist on fine book keeping of assets) then shifted to being about MMos and is now about just a single game again that once again ignores Mount&Blade (and I think Battle Brothers may also do a lot of this? Not sure on the economy aspect)

These development videos are to encourage backers to do exactly what you do. Run around getting hype and talking about all the new star citizen stuff that is mostly just their implementation of some pretty standard concepts. All in the interest of calling SC innovative and amazing

So, again: If you wanna get hype, have fun. But please don't act like this is new stuff because it really isn't and plenty of other games already do it. Although, thanks for reminding me that M&B is straight up weird in how it does a lot of stuff. But by presenting this as new tech and acting like no other game has managed to bundle it all together you are just being really disrespectful to all the cool games in a pretty awesome genre.

Other games that come to mind as probably implementing decent chunks, if not all of it:

Freeman Guerilla Warfare

I think the second SPace Pirates and Zombies?

Battle Brothers

I think the plan is for Stoneshard to do it?

And probably a lot more that I don't even know about

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razorblade79

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Tony Zurovec should instead use some of that sweet sc money and make a new offbrand Crusader game instead of working on the offbrand wing commander / privateer. But good that he is working on games again, maybe that means there is still hope.

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spacegg

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#15  Edited By spacegg

@gundato: As I wrote in OP I take this thread as a informatic and interesting video about techs they have been working on, how those techs has evolved, how they have been used and how they will change Star Citizen. Dynamic events is one example what we have experienced recently and new iteration coming in form of "Ninetails Lockdown".

I look forward to have more games with similar experiences as in Star Citizen. E3 was very discouraging (again), but hopefully we will hear and get hands on other similar kind of projects soon.

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Shindig

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I was going to ask if there was enough content in Star Citizen to make it feel justifiably a game. I think this thread's answered that.

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spacegg

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@shindig: Well, it has enough content to backers been able enjoy it for hundreds/thousands of hours. Still, it is very much in alpha stage, tons of features and core techs are missing and they are resetting progress time to time. I treat it as a project I play test to report bugs and can enjoy while doing that.

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jaqen_hghar

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As an original backer from 2013 (I just checked) this just pisses me off more. Or, it would if I gave a damn about this game anymore. I was promised an open universe to fly around in, doing combat, trading or exploration. Cool ships, the ability to walk around and all around just live like a space captain. Either playing alone or with others. And there would be a singleplayer campaign.

Well, games like X4, No Man's Sky and Elite Dangerous have managed to come out, do great and maybe flare out in a blaze of bugs (Elite) before this game is even close to finished. There are several upcoming games to scratch the same itch.

Talk of implementing these systems would be very exciting. If I ever thought the game would come out. And I don't think that will happen. One day the gullible backers will close their wallets. We will get a sob story about how "they where so close to realizing their dream, but people just didn't believe in them enough" and that will be that.

So be excited all you want, get as much fun out of it as you can. Just don't spend more money on it.

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spacegg

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@jaqen_hghar: I personally think release dates and development times are irrelevant if the games are not what I want to have. As much I like games like X4: Foundations, Elite Dangerous, Avorion, In The Black, Starbase, etc. IMO, they are not alternatives for Star Citizen. Those games are not scratching the same itch and I think that's one of the main reasons why Star Citizen still has so strong support.

I have spent about $45 so far - about half the amount I have spent to Elite Dangerous. Still, I have many times more hours and have had more fun with Star Citizen. E:D is a great game in its own ways.

Despite everything, this is great times for space games in general. Many different types of games to play and many more coming.

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Gundato

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@jaqen_hghar: Hey now, "flare out in a blaze of bugs" is a bit harsh for Elite. More "become a smouldering tire fire of bugs"

In all seriousness: The odyssey launch is BAD. But they are working on fixing the actual technical issues in time for the console release later this year and then it is just back to normal ED with a much better planet gen system and (hopefully) the ability to use space legs for the Dynamic Events (GASP! Star Citizen didn't invent those either?!?!!?) like when stations get hit. It still isn't really a game (so it has that in common...) but if you just want to do some space trucking it is still amazing.

But yeah. If Squadron 42 ever comes out I will definitely grab my login out of my password manager. But is it Chorvus that looks like a more story driven Everspace and might scratch the itch? And I think there are a few more procedural generated wing commander-likes that I need to check out (should look up their names and if they have demos this week).

But it is kind of nice that even as ED and SC struggle to realize their Visions in their own ways, it is increasingly not important that they do.

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jaqen_hghar

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@gundato: Yeah, to be honest, I haven't played Elite for quite some time. It became slightly a chore to get out the HOTAS, and then I did the mistake of trying it in VR. So now I am waiting for myself to forget how awesome it is in VR, and for them to fix their bugs. I am following the updates, and it seems they just need to work a lot to make it playable again for a lot of people. But once that is done I will jump back in. Space trucking in that game is so relaxing, and really cool.

Chorus seems interesting, as well as Everspace 2. They are doing some sort of update on X4: Foundations that seems neat. I know I saw at least one game that seemed even more like Elite and SC, but I can't find it again. Too many games to keep track of.
Starbase seems pretty neat. Just a shame about the MMO-ness of it all. I don't come to these games for the multiplayer, I just want to be a space trucker/captain on my own.

@spacegg said:

Despite everything, this is great times for space games in general. Many different types of games to play and many more coming.

@gundato said:

But it is kind of nice that even as ED and SC struggle to realize their Visions in their own ways, it is increasingly not important that they do.

You are both right about that! Exciting times for space-based games.

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spacegg

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#22  Edited By spacegg
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Shindig

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#23  Edited By Shindig

@spacegg said:

@shindig: Well, it has enough content to backers been able enjoy it for hundreds/thousands of hours. Still, it is very much in alpha stage, tons of features and core techs are missing and they are resetting progress time to time. I treat it as a project I play test to report bugs and can enjoy while doing that.

I mean, that's good to hear but, let's say I was to put $45 down on the starter pack. Could I conceivably play something comparable to a full-length game. I know there's a lot of stuff to unpack with that sentence but would I get my $45's worth?

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spacegg

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@shindig: Yes for many, but I strongly encourage not make a pledge before giving it a try during free fly events first. If it feels good then maybe pledge $45 and even then you have to remember that thing may change drastically between patches ... sometimes worse especially in performance and stability sense.

Just wait and play other space games meanwhile, if the project is not that big a deal.

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Shindig

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Thanks for the advice. Curiosity might get the better of me, one day.

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spacegg

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#26  Edited By spacegg

Alright, the full episode is now online. Xenothreat makes an comeback and Ninetails Lockdown is going to be the next new dynamic event ... oh, and "Jumptown 2" mentioned which probably makes many PvP players happy.

Sprint report goes through some interesting upcoming features to look forward.

Overall it looks like there are more and more things to have fun with and help to test them out.

Loading Video...

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TurtleFish

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@spacegg: Kinda hate resurrecting a dead thread, but I noticed you did ask a question (I don't haunt the forums regularly) -- yes, Squadron 42 was going to be my jam. Well, at least as presented back in 2012 to 2012 me -- I don't know if I would actually care that much in 2021.

What comes to development time it is still me pretty hard to say if the pace of development is slow, fast or something from between. Whatever is the development time I'm much more concerned that they start to cut the corners and would release typical AAA game. I'm much more interested to wait instead.

I'm a software developer (not games, I'm more of a back end tools/devops guy), but I've seen enough projects and talked enough shop to know that, at least IMHO, development on this game is glacial. Even ignoring the changing feature sets issue, the problem is that they're developing slower than the pace of technological and methodological change -- they're racing a finish line that's constantly receding into the distance.

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TheRealTurk

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@turtlefish: I mean, it's kind of telling that the "roadmap" they posted is literally just a big Gantt chart. I note they left themselves enough room to extend it all the way to Q4 2023.

I don't know whether I should find that pathetic or whether I should applaud their honesty.

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spacegg

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@turtlefish: The thread is relevant and will become even more so when next dynamic event starts. It is one way to see how techs Tony was talking about has improved. PU Alpha 3.14 is hopefully going to move wider testing end of this week.

The changed scope was unfortunate for those backers who wanted much more simpler Wing Commander type of game. Hopefully all those who got disappointed has asked refund.

I'm a software developer myself as well. Mostly on embedded side but have started to do some backend stuff as well.

There are few reasons why I'm personally not able to estimate the pace of the development. They are developing game engine, required tools and techs while working on a single player game (3 episodes) and an MMO. The scope of these games are something I have not seen been done elsewhere which makes estimating harder.
It is not uncommon to see big developers working on single player games 3-4 years even they have development teams, infrastructure, solid codebase, etc. ready from earlier projects. MMO may take even longer.
Also, I don't have any idea what is happening in their repositories. We just know they have not been able to integrated many things because some core techs are not ready yet. How much stuff they have in repos is impossible to know.

Roadmap - Progress Tracker

Roadmap - Release View

If some developer is able to do games like Star Citizen PU and SQ42 faster and with much smaller budget that would be great. Unfortunately so far it has not happened and there doesn't seem to be projects like those ...

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Gundato

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@spacegg: Basically every live game and modern MMO is that scope. Varying levels of "massive" multiplayer (I could once again point out that Star Citizen is not an MMO but whatever) along with increasingly a required narrative heavy SP campaign.

Also: 3-4 years versus 11 years. But yeah, never seen that scope before I guess.

----

And I think the issue isn't even that things are moving at a glacial rate. We have had a few "inside star citizen" articles from kotaku et al that have basically painted it as kind of an abusive and poorly managed environment where a lot of stuff is scrapped and there is a LOT of unnecesasry micromanagement from Roberts et al. Last I checked in it sounded like a bit of nepotism with his brother (who actually was a successful video game producer in the past two decades) was taking charge but with how the SC team handled the texas shitshow it still sounds like a mess.

And it definitely doesn't help that the diehards keep insisting that nothing like this has ever existed (even though it has) and, as mentioned, that their rate of development isn't even keeping up with the rate of technological advances in the industry.

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spacegg

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#31  Edited By spacegg

@gundato: Star Citizen PU has described as MMO and I don't see a problem to do so. Why it shouldn't be called as Massively Multiplayer Online game?

I would be interested to play a game with similar scope which Star Citizen is targetting. I don't know any so maybe you could help me a little and list couple of them?

Sure, I'm familiar with Kotaku's, Forbes', "90 days tops", and many other "insightful" articles and writings ...

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Kunakai

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@spacegg: I'm not sure why you're surprised many are sceptical of SC at this point. Last I checked they were changing to a third game engine while still discussing basic gameplay mechanisms. Last time I played (during a free weekend), the AI systems didn't have basic functionality. No animation, interaction or VO. Some vehicles seemed to work but the flight model felt far from fun or interesting.

Granted, it'll be a revolutionary product if they ever manage to release anything close to the promised vision but until we have that in hand there's little to no reason to get excited about anything anyone has to say.

In so far as the Kotaku article goes, it seemed more insightful than anything coming from Roberts and Co back then and still seems largely applicable now.

I hope in a few years I'll be eating my words but until then I've fully exhausted any enthusiasm for SC's promises (We've seen what such promises amount to in regards to Cyberpunk/NMS not necessarily bad games but a far cry from the revolutionary product many expected). Game development is difficult and many features marketed prior to release can be dropped.

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Gundato

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@kunakai: Will it be revolutionary though?

At this point, all three of the major elite games (E:D, NMS, and SC) have space legs and seamless-ish space/atmo. They all have space stations to varying degrees. I guess SC has more on-ship space legs?

But SC's live game aspect is just a live game and not even a particularly good one at this point. It is incredibly grindy and going to suffer from how the early access monetization scheme was set up.

And as much as I still want 42, that was never going to be revolutionary. It was going to just be something really nice that most other studios have stopped making.

Which I think is still the problem like @turtlefish said: SC's development is slower than the tech and game design advancements over the past decade. It is going to feel REALLY dated if it ever releases.

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spacegg

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#34  Edited By spacegg

@kunakai:

I'm not surprised that many are sceptical of Star Citizen. I'm sceptical about few things like how server meshing will eventually work but I'm not worried about them. I'm much more concerned about the fact that the game will have lots of hand holding and not going to be as "hardcore" I would like it to be; steep learning curve, very difficult to master, complex game mechanisms, etc. What they are doing is probably much better for the project but personally I would like them going different direction.

Star Citizen community is very critical but for the different reasons than "game media". While community are expressing their worries and concerns about gameplay and game mechanisms the game media is concentraiting to make "tabloid articles". I'm personally interested about the game itself and not interested to figure out which parts of these articles/writings are true and why should I even care.

Flight model is one topic that has been debated from beginning of the project. It is and will be dividing the community. Many prefers how flying was in Alpha 2.6 but I'm one of them who likes the current much better. I would like thrusters be less powerful but I acknowledge it could affect negatively to dogfighting. I like the model itself but not necessary about the used values but of course still many more features will be added and tuning/balancing made.

IFCS and Flight Physics

Community is waiting for features like iCache and server meshing so server tick rate would get higher, "fix" the AI and many other things, add other features and content, etc. It is unfortunate that there are many things they have worked a lot are broken because of some core techs are not being integrated yet. Monthly reports gives more details information about those features among many other things.

Currently there is no many games in development I'm interested much other than Star Citizen. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Starfield were only remotely interesting games in E3, In The Black, Mechajammer, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous and few others.

If there would be projects which would give me an experience Star Citizen is going towards I would definitely be interested. I'm not aware about such a projects and that's why SC is the project I'm looking forward most.

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Gundato

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@spacegg: Look, real talk? It is fine to be hype for something. It is "fine" to try to look past flaws in creators you like (to a degree)

But please be incredibly careful once you start dismissing well researched (and even corroborated by Roberts himself...) articles as "tabloids" because they push a narrative you don't like. That is one step removed from calling things "Fake News" and is an incredibly dangerous place to be in.

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spacegg

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@gundato: I don't call them fake news but I can't take all information I read as a pure facts especially if there is no way to check the sources myself. There has been enough articles far from well researched that has definitely affected credibility of many writers and sites.
Also, I'm not interested about articles that are covering some people's personal lives either, I'm interested about the project itself. It is always interesting to read about the projects no matter if it is negative or positive information and if there is a way to know the information is based on facts.

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Kunakai

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@spacegg: You're only inviting disappointment by holding such high expectations for a game which isn't yet released.

If you're looking for a space game with a steep learning curve I'd recommend KSP. It has the benefit of playability.

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Gundato

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@kunakai: Heh. KSP being a good example of a game where you need to try to look past the flaws of the creators since apparently Squad was kind of an exploitative hellhole to work in and KSP2 is a different kind of mess.

Also, it is a very different (but awesome) genre.

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spacegg

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@kunakai: I'm testing Star Citizen almost daily and follow its development and discussion around it relatively closely, so I know already that it will have some aspects I do/will dislike.

I do have KSP and I really like it. Fortunately there are still games made which has more steep learning curve; KSP, Dwarf Fortress, some MUDs, grand strategy genre, etc.

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@spacegg said:

It is not uncommon to see big developers working on single player games 3-4 years even they have development teams, infrastructure, solid codebase, etc. ready from earlier projects. MMO may take even longer.

That's the concern right there. You're right, there have been successful projects in the 3-5 year time span. But anything longer than that you've got a problem because you're now at a point where technology is going faster than your coding.

For example, when development started back in 2010, the high end target environment would have been Windows 7/8, Direct X 11, GTX 580, Intel i7-39xx CPU . After 11 years of development, now your target environment is Windows 10, Direct X 12, GTX 3080, AMD Ryzen 9. Both are PC baselines, but, the latter is far different from the former.

Or to use an analogy, this is like starting to write a game on the PS3 (and that lovely Cell processor), constantly changing it to deal with the improvements with the PS4, and then expecting to release it as world class software on the PS5, being better than stuff that was written from scratch to be PS5 optimized. Since you've done embedded programming, you're even more sensitive to hardware/firmware changes than the average coder - you know how even a small change can have massive impact. Crossing generations is hard, crossing generations and still being cutting edge is crazy hard.

Now, I'm not saying it's impossible -- but we know for sure they've changed engines, they've changed developers, they've changed their scope and design and feature set, and they've missed entire technological generations. Those are not signs of a well-managed project, which makes what they're trying to do even harder.

Then you cross-reference a list of games by development time - sure some decent games have spent a ton of time in development hell and came out the other side, but there's also a ton of flaming wreckage. (DNF, looking at you.) And, I can't find an example where a game has been in continuous development for 11+ years, and then released -- most examples I found the publisher either restarted development after some hiatus during development, or the project itself just disappeared.

Don't get me wrong, I don't take any pleasure in watching things fail. I really do hope you, and the other Star Citizen backers who are still on the bandwagon get something that's at least close to what they're looking for. And Cloud Imperium does have cash, which can cover a multitude of sins.

But, honestly? At this point, I think it's more a matter of faith than anything else -- and, in my experience, software engineering doesn't work well if faith is the primary tool in your toolbox.

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spacegg

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@turtlefish:

Star Citizen will probably be partially outdated and especially graphically, but I personally think that's a minor concern. You could use UE5 and all its features in NMS and it still wouldn't be Star Citizen. One could say Dwarf Fortress looks awful but IMO it is still hard to find a better game. "Star Engine" has been and is under continuous development and I do have faith it will be good enough graphically (+physics, etc.) as well. Btw. Star Citizen will use Vulkan and switch could happen pretty soon.

I have seen amazing UE5 tech demos and I would love to see someone using it in a project similar to SQ42 and Star Citizen PU.

It is kind of easy to have a dream and faith since because we are able to keep testing development version and follow the development. Also, because there is no alternatives in sight all one can do is wait :). The worst thing what could happen is that CIG would start to cut corners and release the game before it is as they have envisioned.

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bigsocrates

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@spacegg: No. The worst thing that could happen is that CIG runs out of money and the project never gets completed. And that's an actual, real, risk with a project that has sprawled on as long as this one has and has seen so many setbacks.

So far CIG has managed to keep drawing in new investment and has not burned through all their cash, and I actually believe that Chris Roberts wants to finish this game so as long as they can keep generating cash development will continue. But if the graphics continue to fall further behind and if development keeps sprawling onward with no version of the game that's actually fun for most people to play (I.E. a version with functional AI and other systems that feels like a somewhat finished video game) it's quite possible that the money could dry up.

Now maybe that never happens. Maybe current users are invested enough that they will keep buying ships and funding development indefinitely. Many worse boondoggles have lasted longer, and at least Star Citizen is just a poorly managed video game project and not some kind of actual cult, but some projects like these do fall apart eventually and never get finished.

Any argument that this is a well-managed project is, quite frankly, absurd. They have moved the goal posts and missed dates so many times that nobody should have any faith in basically anything they say. They are many, many, years behind on delivering on their promises, and the things they do deliver are half finished or poorly integrated or just not very good.

Maybe this all comes together in the end. Stranger things have happened. It's not literally impossible. But unless someone comes in who can set reasonable goals and get people to hit those goals I don't think it's likely. I think it just sprawls on indefinitely or it dies. And that's the worst outcome for the backers. Not that they get a game that's not as grand as what they envisioned but that they never get an actually finished game at all.

No Man's Sky is not as ambitious as Star Citizen, but it showed how to build a game like this. Make a foundation that works and then keep adding features and bolting systems and stuff on. That's obviously how Star Citizen should have done it. A functional base game that's complete in and of itself, and then additional features over time. The same way basically every good MMO has been developed.

Instead Star Citizen insists on building all its systems at once and most of them never get finished and they keep adding new stuff and new ideas and it's an unholy mess, and there's no reason to think that's actually going to change any time soon.

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spacegg

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@bigsocrates: It is definitely possible that they are never able to release either of games, altough I think SQ42 is already financially secured.
Some articles, after careful research, has said many years ago that the project will end soon because lack of money. Fortunately, they were wrong.

I disagree that NMS way of development would have been right way for Star Citizen as well. At least as long as backers are enjoying development versions, the project goes forward as well as it has so far and the project will have such a strong support, to me it is hard to say they have done a wrong decision. Of course if the development ends or/and NMS will be a game Star Citizen is aiming for, then I have definitely being wrong.

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bigsocrates

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@spacegg: There is no such thing as a game being financially secured because there's no limit to the amount of money you can spend/waste on a video game. That's why you need good project management, which CIG definitely does not have. That's not to say that Squadron 42 will never come out, I don't know if it will, but it's very possible for them to run out of money.

Most Star Citizen backers have stopped following the game, and it's only a small core of backers who are actually playing it regularly. This is a very small community, though many have invested a lot of money into the game.

If it had launched like No Man's Sky then a lot more people would have played it, and some would have enjoyed it, some not, and some would dip back in when there were updates, some wouldn't, and new people would come along to try out the game because it is and always has been a functional game that anyone can play and experience.

The Star Citizen community consists of basically two groups. Ultra hardcore people who just like messing around with the broken current state of the game because they like the flight model or whatever (a small group.) People who fantasize about what the game will be like when it is ultimately finished and enjoy the process of anticipating how amazing it's going to be when it all comes together and how they're going to be like royalty in this huge MMO because of all the ships and stuff they've bought (a somewhat larger group.)

The point is not that No Man's Sky is going to be as ambitious as Star Citizen. It won't be, and never was. It was made for a fraction of the budget by a tiny team. But No Man's Sky is a functional video game and Star Citizen is not. And Star Citizen could still have made a functional video game of smaller scope and then expanded that scope over time instead of trying to build it all at once.

It's like the Star Citizen team is trying to build a skyscraper by working on all the stories at once, instead of building the foundation and then adding stories above it over time. They're like "We're working really hard on the 64th story!" Meanwhile the foundation hasn't even been fully poured.

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spacegg

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@bigsocrates: What CIG has been/is working on is the foundation; 64-bit engine, (S)SOCS, iCache, server meshing, Quantum, required tools, etc.

First they released very bare bone version which has then grew up with new (core) features and content and which eventually (hopefully) becomes a game they have envisioned. Again, with Alpha 3.14 the feature set grows bigger. To me it looks like their decision of the develop model has clearly worked so far.

The community is still very small but avg. ~30,000 daily players is enough to give them valuable feedback and help on development.

I don't know what would have happened if they have chosen a different route. I'm just glad where we are now and concentrate what is coming in near future.

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bigsocrates

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@spacegg: You can't possibly actually believe that their development model has worked so far. They've missed all their projected dates and 9 years after they started they still don't have a full working game. Chris Roberts' initial pitch was, in fact, to build a functional game and add stuff to it over time.

Instead what they've done is delay everything, release a bunch of very early alpha stuff that doesn't have basic features, and explain it all away by saying that they're expanding the scope and that this is the biggest game ever made things take time etc... That's not what was pitched to early backers and even if you like the broken, partially complete version that's out there now, it is by no means what they should have produced after 9 years and literally hundreds of millions of dollars.

It's one thing to say that you like the current state of the game and are optimistic about its future. It's another to say "their decision of the develop model has clearly worked so far." This thing was supposed to be out and in a somewhat finished state in 2014.

This is why Star Citizen fans sometimes sound like they are in a cult. They say things that are obviously, objectively, inaccurate. You can say you enjoy the current state of the game and are hopeful about its future without pretending that its development so far has been smooth when by CID's own projections it has not.

Compare it to something like Grand Theft Auto V Online. That launched in 2013 with relatively few features but added a lot over time, and it's wildly successful and incredibly popular. Again, it's a different game, and obviously it has a brand name, but it's very possible to launch a game that's a polished but limited experience and then expand it into a grander vision. That's not what CID did.

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spacegg

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@bigsocrates: I'm one of those who likes that they abandoned an original idea and grew up the scope much larger. As we know they have had big growing pains and not met many goals they have set. Still, I rather wait and play the game they have envisioned than play the game they originally planned.

The current version is not all what they have done so far but what they have included on that particular test version. They are not able to include many features and content before certain core features are being integrated.

CIG did release an alpha version of a very bare bone version with very limited features first. After that they have integrated more and more features and content into it. Yes, I think this model has worked well so far. They have solid support, they are able to develop two huge projects at the same time and backers has got test versions to test. To me it looks like it has worked well for CIG and it has worked well for me personally.

Once Squadron 42 episode 1 is released then it is easier to make comparisons to other games like GTA V Online. Then CIG has already went though growing pains, they have development teams, infrastucture, technologies, tools and solid base to make a new game (episode 2) just like GTA V Online had.

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Kemuri07

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@spacegg: CIG did release an alpha version of a very bare bone version with very limited features first. After that they have integrated more and more features and content into it. Yes, I think this model has worked well so far. They have solid support, they are able to develop two huge projects at the same time and backers has got test versions to test. To me it looks like it has worked well for CIG and it has worked well for me personally.

Has it though? It's a game that hasn't been released. And despite all of the money being poured into it, clearly doesn't look finished. You need a foundation first and make sure that foundation is solid before adding in a bunch of stuff. Like GTA V online had a solid foundation, and from that foundation they were able to grow it into the mega successful game it is now.

If this were any other game, this would have been cancelled years ago. The only reason why it continues to stay alive is because are still willing to drop money on the promises of "what it could be" rather than what it is. So long as the dream stays alive than SC can remain in its own bubble. That dream dies the moment they release a beta version because then it can't rely on the "but we're in alpha" excuse.

like socrates said, the problem isn't that fans like the game; it's that they seem to operate in a completely different reality in which SC is this ambitious, successful game that is making all the right moves and that anyone who says otherwise either don't anything about game development or are just haters. LIke, I've straight of seen SC acolytes accuse actual game developers that they don't know anything about gaming. It doesn't ever occur to them that the amount of time and emotional support they've poured into SC could ever blind them on the possibility that SC is merely a couple steps away of being a disaster.

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spacegg

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@kemuri07:

Has it though? It's a game that hasn't been released. And despite all of the money being poured into it, clearly doesn't look finished. You need a foundation first and make sure that foundation is solid before adding in a bunch of stuff. Like GTA V online had a solid foundation, and from that foundation they were able to grow it into the mega successful game it is now.

GTA series has a long history and the foundation has been built all that time. CIG doesn't have that luxury and they have to built the foundation first which is exactly what they have been doing. Of course they are not just waiting for those core features/foundation to get ready and to be integrated but they are working on all other aspects of the game meanwhile. Unfortunately because of mentioned limitations they are not able to integrate all their work in test versions yet. Sometimes they have needed to remove things so they can put something new stuff for testing instead.
Monthly Reports are interesting read and Roadmap shows team by team what they are currently working on.

I don't know what they should do differently ...

If this were any other game, this would have been cancelled years ago. The only reason why it continues to stay alive is because are still willing to drop money on the promises of "what it could be" rather than what it is.

That's how crowdfunded projects works although I'm sure there are already many backers/supporters who likes the game already since they are testing/playing the game daily. Why not to support project which you like. I'm testing it almost daily and enjoy doing it - bug reports etc. is one way of support the project as well.

like socrates said, the problem isn't that fans like the game; it's that they seem to operate in a completely different reality in which SC is this ambitious, successful game that is making all the right moves and that anyone who says otherwise either don't anything about game development or are just haters.

In my experience the backers and community behaves very differently. They are testing alpha versions and they experience from tiny to game breaking issues pretty much every single game session (for example so called "30k" problem). There are plenty of debates going on every single day about all aspects of the project. Lots of feedback is being given to CIG by playing, bug reports, sending them messages and by discussing with developers directly. This is exactly the behavior how it should be and how it fortunately is.

It can be also being said that as we have seen there are people "outside" of the community/backers who are writing about the project or calling the project as "Scam Citizen" and calls developers as incompetent, crooks or attack them in very personal level. This has been continuing for years.

The project needs critical and constructive feedback which is fortunately gets a lot from backers/supporters and from testers during free flight times. The "open development" has worked for them although it has many negative side effects.

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Gundato

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#50  Edited By Gundato

@spacegg:

Just to see if I can follow that thought process: Because GTAO was part of an established franchise (ignoring Roberts being associated with Wing Commander which helped sell the shit out of squadron 42 and the KS) they can do an iterative process but SC can't?

And as for what the dev team could do differently: Folk have been saying it for years. Release a vertical slice and iterate on that (like NMS and ED did). Don't go back to square one repeatedly and need to disable features because they can't integrate it. And, once you have a target to integrate things TO it becomes a lot easier to avoid breaking everything.

That is what basically all successful crowdfunded projects that don't have infinite money from RMTs do.

As for the rest of that "No true scotsman" rant: I am a backer who still wants Squadron 42. I am not calling the game a scam (but I wouldn't be surprised to find out there was some money laundering going on...) but I do think it has an incredibly dysfunctional development process and that all signs point to mismanagement. Do I not get to count as a backer then?

Aside from that: You keep saying the development is working for them when it clearly isn't. It has taken 11 years to STILL not deliver on what they promised and you yourself acknowledge they need to repeatedly scrap things and can't even integrate all the things they are working on. That is not "working".