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    Star Citizen

    Game » consists of 3 releases. Released Nov 11, 2021

    A first-person space combat flight simulation inspired by the Wing Commander series of games.

    Star Citizen and the No Good, Very Long, Development

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    FinalDasa

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    #1 FinalDasa  Moderator

    Despite raising $100+ million in crowd funding, Star Citizen continues to be unfinished. What exactly is taking so long? Kotaku UK investigated for 7 months to find out.

    There's a LOT to unpack from that article and no summary can fit into a neat, little, paragraph. A lot of the problems came from the set up of Star Citizen's multiple studios, and lack of communication and structure between them. People are working furiously but the game has no internal release date.

    Are you still interested in Star Citizen? Has this become an incredible failure? Would you buy a video game ship for $$$?

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    deactivated-5ba16609964d9

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    Star Citizen is one of those things that has fascinated me endlessly. Not the game but the development cycle depending on who you ask the game is right on track after a few delays or is a burning tire fire of misspent funds and massive egos. I get why sites like Giant Bomb are avoiding this hornets nest until we either get a game or the studio implodes as for right now it's all speculation and hearsay.

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    bigsocrates

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    Star Citizen is a great example of learning to walk before you run. Yes Chris Roberts is experienced as a game developer, but he hasn't exactly made a lot of stuff recently and he hadn't made anything with this studio structure. He should have started small and built up, but instead he decided to make an 'everything simulator' and predictably got bogged down in unclear priorities and integration problems.

    I hope Star Citizen eventually works out, and if it's good I'd absolutely buy a ship to play it (It's just another FTP model more or less, I wouldn't spend hundreds or thousands at first, of course) but it's hard to see this ending well. Eventually funding will dry up and they seem unable to break the game up into discrete shippable modules (I know they've released some stuff, but it's a tiny subset of the promised features.) Too bad.

    I think Elite Dangerous doesn't get enough credit for actually setting achievable goals and shipping the game in purchasable functional chunks. As No Man's Sky and Star Citizen show, it's too easy to promise the moon with this type of game, only to deliver a piece of cheese, if you deliver anything at all.

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    Mirado

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    #4  Edited By Mirado

    I give the SC devs credit for the amount of communication they've had with the community; weekly videos, tons of posts on their website, and so on. It's the main reason why, even after they've overshot their target goal by years (although I backed the game knowing full well that they'd never hit their release date, so perhaps that keeps my outrage to a minimum), I still am hopeful that things are going alright. Maybe not as intended and certainly not difficulty free (as the above article demonstrates), but alright.

    Full disclosure: I bought a video game space ship. Not a crazy one, but I wanted to see the early alpha stuff as it rolled out so I bought a package that included both that and a video game space ship. No, the alpha access hasn't been worth it; too early, too unoptimized, too feature bare (yeah, exactly what you'd expect from an alpha, so I only have myself to blame). I am still interested in playing SC and think it can (not will) be a good game at the end of it all, and I am not ready to call it a failure until it actually fails.

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    MillaJ

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    I've always been interested in Star Citizen from a distance. It's a space game, a potentially cool one, so that's enough to pull me. I'm not invested though, so its ultimate fate won't upset me much. I can't call it a total failure until it comes out or is completely killed. And, no, I wouldn't pre-order a ship. I'm not generally into early-access things. Actually, I don't think I've ever spent money in an in-game store. Not that I never will, I just don't really like the concept.

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    haxdax

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    I kept my distance for a while. Really loved the idea but I didn't want to follow it for so many years. I learned there was a free alpha over gamescom and I tried it out. I have a nvidia 760 and it ran pretty terribly. Terribly. I understand they probably wont optimize the game until launch but jesus it ran like shit. Also there was practically nothing to do in it. Still very interested to see what becomes of it. But I don't want to try it or really watch anything about it until its finished.

    And good lord the fact that you could spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on a virtual ship which you can't fly for several years is so ridiculous. Its insane. WHAT

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    GERALTITUDE

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    To be honest as soon as this game was announced, based on their aspirations, I instantly thought OK, SEE YOU IN A DECADE.

    Not surprised at all, or disappointed, or even disheartened by the supposed "long time". Setting up this studio overnight and going from 0 to 1 billion was bound to have huge challenges. Haven't bought a ship or anything but curious about this game, and looking forward to playing whatever it is when it "launches".

    I haven't read the article yet but why do people call it a failure? If they haven't run out of money than whatever I guess. Let them keep working. I thought folks were pretty impressed by the recent trailers? No?

    Makes me wonder: what are the BEST games that took the LONGEST time to make?

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    Mirado

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    #8  Edited By Mirado

    @geraltitude said:

    To be honest as soon as this game was announced, based on their aspirations, I instantly thought OK, SEE YOU IN A DECADE.

    This is exactly what I did. I took a look at the assets they had in their pitch, and the technical details they were sharing at the time, and I immediately thought "This is Crysis but five times as bad. We won't have the tech to run this thing properly for years." The scope of the thing, the polygon counts they wanted to push, all the features that they wanted to add...it was never going to be possible in 2014. Hell, it might not be possible in 2017. Just look at the face tech:

    Loading Video...

    Now imagine that level of fidelity across all characters in a setting which is also calculating ship velocities and handling AI routines and so on and so on. I'm not sure if they're aiming for this level of fidelity in the multiplayer component, but if they are, it's twice as nuts. If they actually plan on delivering what they are promising here, it'd be insane. Can they do it? Time will tell, but I never believed they had a chance of pulling this off back in 2014. They shouldn't have even said that they were trying to hit a ridiculous date like that.

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    deactivated-5ba16609964d9

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    My thoughts on Star Citizen have been both I hope they pull it off and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

    That Kotaku UK article is a must read and a great piece and surprisingly matter of fact without little to no bias that I could find. Also the Kotaku UK website layout is so much better than the American one. It's night and day how much better Kotaku UK is to its Yankee counterpart.

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    deactivated-58a3c9b2cc154

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    “It started to become clear that deadlines weren't going to get hit in other studios.” This is puzzling to me. The whole point of a deadline is you either make it, or you're dead. Why is the video game industry an exception to this? What's the point of setting a deadline if you don't actually need to make it?

    DEVELOPER: "Um, Mr. Roberts, we aren't going to make the deadline. We need another year."

    CHRIS ROBERTS: "Wow that sucks, but alright. Get back to me in a year."

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    Shindig

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    Sounds like they're not drawing a line in the sand of where their ambitions and reality should meet. The worst kind of development hell probably comes from taking so long new tech becomes available or new ambitions pop in to mind. It'd be like if you never gave Hideo Kojima a budget, a deadline and an age rating.

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    ajamafalous

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    Makes me wonder: what are the BEST games that took the LONGEST time to make?

    I'd be interested in what people can come up with if you want to break this question out into its own thread

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    Shivoa

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    #13  Edited By Shivoa
    @geraltitude said:

    Makes me wonder: what are the BEST games that took the LONGEST time to make?

    I want to say HL2 but I guess 6 years isn't that long (games just started taking longer so it was somewhat different to HL1, which was released 2 years after Valve was founded) for the era. It was long but not unheard-of-long weird. But that does make me think of Team Fortress 2. A decade of development there, even if you ignore the development of the game after public release into something quite different to the first version. That's something you can play today that's very much not the thing they started working on 17 years ago as a sequel to a Quake mod (although if we include ongoing development then MMOs clearly will win that battle with stuff like WoW - I rolled my first character over 15 years ago now and that was when the game was already a long time in development).

    Speaking of Blizzard, Diablo III was an 11 year development process and (at least after they patched the look system) that was very well received.

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    KogX

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    No matter what people will look at whatever Star Citizen ends up as. It is a fairly AAA game budget,although not as nearly as large as the biggest ones, and I think we will all see what kind of project can come out of something so niche and not beholden to the general market.

    I am worried about he sustainability of it though. After the release how will they sustain themselves, they already have a small but large amount of people playing a very large amount of money for the game and this is a very niche game.

    Duke Nukem Forever had a creator with a very large vision for the game and could not make anything good out of it even with millions and years invested into it. I can't help but feel Star Citizen is edging toward that path. The recent No Man Sky and Mighty Number 9 mess does not make this look better but Star Citizen is looking to shape up better then those project.

    Also being basically an Early Access game I am worried about the missed deadlines, not a bad thing but does not help being hope to the project. Prison Architect had strict monthly goals for their game and fleshed out a fairly good game out of it.

    No matter what I just want to see what will come out of this game.

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    Hayt

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    As someone who paid 30 bucks to get what was initially pitched as a follow up to Freelancer/Wing Commander I am very interested to see how much of a game I receive in the end. I feel like I will end up with the lowest tier of starter package for an MMO I have no interest in playing.

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    FinalDasa

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    #16 FinalDasa  Moderator

    @hayt said:

    As someone who paid 30 bucks to get what was initially pitched as a follow up to Freelancer/Wing Commander I am very interested to see how much of a game I receive in the end. I feel like I will end up with the lowest tier of starter package for an MMO I have no interest in playing.

    What is that game right now? Is it a demo, or just a very light space sim?

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    Hayt

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    #17  Edited By Hayt

    @finaldasa: I haven't downloaded updates in well over 6 months because I am just waiting it out. Last time I played it had a dogfighting mode with other players and a racing mode also with other players. Both seemed cool but very much in a "here is what flying and shooting will be like" but not too much to do. Based on the hundreds of unread emails I have they've added a lot since then.

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    conmulligan

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    #18  Edited By conmulligan

    @finaldasa said:

    What is that game right now? Is it a demo, or just a very light space sim?

    It's a little bit of both? There are a bunch of different modules that are basically just vertical slices of various game systems, but most of them are relatively fleshed out as demos go.

    There's the Hanger Module which, appropriately, gives you a customisable hanger that allows to you to view and mess around with your ships. Then you have Arena Commander, also known as the Dogfighting Module, which is a single and multi-player space fighting sim that features a bunch of modes and ships. This is by far the most developed aspect of Star Citizen as it features a reasonable amount of content, a well realised flight model and it's relatively bug free. Finally, there's the Persistent Universe Module, which is a very narrow slice of what the final game purports to offer. It's got bits of all of the above along with missions, random encounters, first person combat, social spaces, NPC vendors and character customisation all in one section of one star system.

    Coming soon is Star Marine, a multiplayer first-person shooter, and next year should see the first part of Squadron 42 land, which is a single-player only, story-driven game set in the Star Citizen universe.

    And people say this shit is confusing.

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    veektarius

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    I've been so skeptical about Star Citizen that I never took the time to learn what it promised, because it would only be that much smoke.

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    OpusOfTheMagnum

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    How long has the game been in development? Considering the scope of the project it seems surprising that so many are concerned by the pace of released content.

    I'm not saying that the project is being managed perfectly or even all that well I just feel like there's too much we don't know as outsiders from the industry and just as much we can't know given the nature of the beast at hand. We all know that developing in "Early Access" is awkward and brings new challenges but we don't seem to acknowledge that in our stances on projects like this.

    I'm definitely concerned with the feature creep issues but it seems that stuff has been curbed fpr the most part. Especially as the tech for the structure they want to provide starts to come together like with the recent reveal of planets and the like, I'm mot as on edge as a lot of people.

    Remember, games like GTA take years and years and years of development and often have severe management issues behind them, but they still turn out to be quite good.

    Personally I put a bit of money into the project so I could follow it casually and wait to see what comes of it. I won't feel betrayed if it all falls apart some day, because I feel the ride along the way will be interesting enough on its own.

    Time will tell I suppose.

    I haven't read into this yet, as a disclosure, I just feel people are too sure of their positions on the project without the right amount of context and big picture comprehension. I'll read this later for sure and maybe it'll change my views on the matter a bit.

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    Giantstalker

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    If you haven't already, set some time aside to check out the Gamescom trailer from a month back. The project has clearly had some issues - I imagine just about anything of this scale does, to vary degrees - but they're making steady, demonstrable progress. For those who don't want to scout out an hour long video, they show off a mission including first-person shooting and landing on a planet. The tech is impressive as ever:

    Loading Video...

    The Kotaku article seems informative but perhaps a bit misleading in a doom-and-gloom sort of way.

    Of course people laid off or frustrated from the project are going to seem overly harsh towards it... and of course Chris Roberts is going to try to downplay anything wrong... where's the non-anonymous middle ground? In the absence of this, seems like the writer leaned a bit into the negative angle of the story. And yes, I backed the game with a $90 pledge...

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    ArtisanBreads

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    #22  Edited By ArtisanBreads

    @geraltitude: I totally agree. Frankly I think some have a weird axe to grind with this game. As soon as you see what they're going for of course it's going to take a long ass time. That new Elite has taken long to make it to where it is at this point and it's not nearly as ambitious as what Star Citizen is going for.

    I don't like their pricing model either but hell if they are delivering on what they claim and are aiming for (and the game has looked badass lately when they've shown it) there are people so into that type of game that they don't mind paying more than regular releases. People don't go as far to shit on games that exploit "whales" or anything. I think the coverage for this game is pretty lame most places. Even here on GB when it came up last time, which is unfortunate.

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    onarum

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    @giantstalker: no offense, but anyone sensible should have learned by now that trailers cannot be trusted whatsoever.

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    Assumedkilla

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    Didn't it start funding in 2012? Four plus years of development doesn't seem like an insanely long time. It's not like they took the money and went dark - some parts are playable for people and they show gameplay demos. No Man's Sky always seemed like BS to me and it turned out to be so, I don't get that feeling at all from Star Citizen.

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    VipeR

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    I think with a game of this scope, it will have a much longer development time. This isn't anything new, there are plenty of games (great ones) that had a development time longer than 3 years. The difference is that we've been able to follow it from its conception, whereas most other games you hear that it exists when the majority of time has past in its development. I think it makes the game feel longer to come out than it otherwise would. From what we've seen from demos and behind the scene videos, I think they've come far enough for the game to be legit. From the little I've played of it, the foundation is very solid, and I'm loving how they've build the engine.

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    OurSin_360

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    From the little ive seen the game could end up being the most ambitious thing ever created. I think for all the stuff they are trying to do its no wonder its taking so long, honestly i would retail release the space part now and just add the on foot stuff later. The demos make it all look pretty amazing though but i havent tried any of the free fly weeks yet. Also if they are taking money imo the game is already out, early access and paid alphas are bullshit and exist only as excuses for quality.

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    fisk0

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    #27  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

    @hayt said:

    As someone who paid 30 bucks to get what was initially pitched as a follow up to Freelancer/Wing Commander I am very interested to see how much of a game I receive in the end. I feel like I will end up with the lowest tier of starter package for an MMO I have no interest in playing.

    Yeah, that's exactly my feeling on it. All I ever wanted was a new story based space sim like the old Wing Commander games (or Mass Effect for that matter). Fairly linear with a few story forks like there used to be, I don't need nor really want this massive jack-of-all-trades MMOFPS thing they seem to be working on now. Hell, I don't even get why they're apparently wasting a lot of time, money and resources on capturing the actor's facial expressions when they could just turn a camera on them and make it FMV like in the old games, thus making something that avoids the whole uncanny valley thing, is less resource intensive and certainly wouldn't be as hard to implement.

    I think I backed it at around the $50 level, so if it turns out awful or not released at all, I haven't lost all that much on it either way.

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    Xeiphyer

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    They've been good with continual updates on their website and newsletter and I fully expected this game to take 8 years or something when I first bought into it, so I can't say I'm surprised at its continued state of being unfinished.

    I will say that they have recently (and finally) put out a lot of playable content that is very good and of a high quality, so at least its not vaporware. Getting a taste of what they're creating is enough for me to go on mostly ignoring the game for a few more years until its complete (or it implodes).

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    amafi

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    @onarum said:

    @giantstalker: no offense, but anyone sensible should have learned by now that trailers cannot be trusted whatsoever.

    Someone playing an hour of the game live is a trailer now? Language changes quick, I can't keep up.

    2.5 is out now, hopefully 3.0 will be up for download in not too long, then you will be able to play that trailer for yourself. I understand being skeptical, but a lot of it comes off as needlessly negative.

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    sammo21

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    I think people need to stop worrying about this, daily. most people wanted to hate this game just because of the amount of money its made and the free publicity it garnered (buttholes like Derek Smart and others). I think people need to sit back and let them finish the game. Will it take a while? Sure, but I have more confidence in Star Citizen than I do, say, Destiny 2.

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    vaportra1l

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    Not to sound like a fanboy or anything, but the current game now makes the original trailer look like a 360 game from 2005. I think the biggest difference is with Star Citizen it's all out in the open and the public is seeing how the sausage is made. The rumors with Destiny is that it took 10 or so years to come to fruition after multiple scrappings and revamps. Also think about Overwatch and how that was originally going to be the new Blizzard MMO.

    I was worried about the game and whether or not it would even amount to anything, however in this past year it has improved by leaps and bounds and you can start to see what they're going for. It kinda makes sense after you read that article now too, since they have all of these ex-Crytek devs now working on the engine for them.

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    amafi

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    @vaportra1l: The funniest thing to me about the change in scope of the game from the original pitch to now that is NEVER mentioned in any article about it is how they had a vote for the backers, and the backers voted to release later and make a different game. Never seen it mentioned, not once.

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    stackboy

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    I have well and truly given up on crowdfunding for games. Now I just wait until the final product is out.

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    deactivated-5ba16609964d9

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    @stackboy said:

    I have well and truly given up on crowdfunding for games. Now I just wait until the final product is out.

    To be fair crowdfunding was meant for a way to help out someone's creative endeavor by tossing them a few bucks because you believed in what they were doing. Now it's being treated by quite a few people as pre-ordering a product. It is not and never will be.

    Worse comes to worse and God forbid and Chris Roberts decides this whole Star Citizen thing isn't working and closes shop then I assume he is under no legal obligation to return the money that has been crowd funded. Star Citizen shutting down might set up some interesting legal precedences but I really don't want to see it happen. I again really hope it doesn't happen and I don't think it will.

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    Zirilius

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    #35  Edited By Zirilius

    I don't have any real expectations for this game despite it looking very pretty it's a huge bummer that Squadron 42 is delayed. What that means for a game that doesn't have a firm release date is beyond me. I just know that the longer they don't mention this game coming to actual market the less I want to give them any kind of money. Keep giving me the free fly weekends though!

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    ArtisanBreads

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    #36  Edited By ArtisanBreads

    The new footage for the game also looks fucking awesome. Hope they keep taking their time with this one.

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    salad10203

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    Bought one game in early access: DayZ and have since vowed to never do it again.

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    mordukai

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    Despite raising $100+ million in crowd funding, Star Citizen continues to be unfinished. What exactly is taking so long? Kotaku UK investigated for 7 months to find out.

    There's a LOT to unpack from that article and no summary can fit into a neat, little, paragraph.

    I can pack it into one sentence.

    The inmates are running the asylum.

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    Do_The_Manta_Ray

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    @salad10203: Same here, though in my case, the game I purchased was Divine Divinity, and boy, did that pay off.

    And despite all of this, I'm somehow not worried about Star Citizen. Very much a project that the makers seem incredibly invested in. They'll keep working on it until they get it right. And by the looks of the game so far, I'd say the potential's there and then some. Now, I don't have the slightest bit of proof to back these claims up, I'm just trusting my gut.

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    Zirilius

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    #40  Edited By Zirilius

    @do_the_manta_ray said:

    @salad10203: Same here, though in my case, the game I purchased was Divine Divinity, and boy, did that pay off.

    And despite all of this, I'm somehow not worried about Star Citizen. Very much a project that the makers seem incredibly invested in. They'll keep working on it until they get it right. And by the looks of the game so far, I'd say the potential's there and then some. Now, I don't have the slightest bit of proof to back these claims up, I'm just trusting my gut.

    I don't know when the next one will be but check out the free fly weekends. That way you get first hand experience on it but be warned the tutorial is prone to massive frame rate drops (unless they fixed it in the last 4 months). The normal game runs smooth as silk though.

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    Dray2k

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    I'm anticipating this game and I can absolutely understand the ups-and-downs of developing such a huge project.

    This game got announced in 2012, I'm pretty sure that estimating an release in 2018 seems fair. Making games is hard, making games with this level of detail is so much harder. And anticipating 5 years for such game isn't much considering a lot of games in development take 3+ years of active development time to show off some great stuff. I don't understand why people are saying that this game will never finish.

    I've seen the most recent trailer footage thats 30 minutes long. I'd say if you still not sure why this game takes quite a long development time, it may help to get an understanding on why creating such a ambitious game can have impactful downside effectzs. The trailer video is part of the CitizenCon 2016 video and at the end of that video they sort of show of on how the hype video was made which is pretty interesting stuff and worth a look if you enjoy people explaining a bit of tech. They've been pretty transparent with the stuff they're doing.

    I haven't backed the game nor have I played it, but from anything I've seen so far this sure does seem to be seriously good once it is fully out.

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    onarum

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    I gotta say, after this last gameplay trailer went up I went and downloaded the alpha again, and now I'm a believer.

    It looks great (even though right now it runs like crap), and plays great, if they can pull this off it'll be truly amazing.

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    Do_The_Manta_Ray

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    @dray2k: Sandworms! Sandworms, sandworms, saaandworms! I'll have more to say once I calm down, though that might take a while.

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    ripelivejam

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    @dray2k: Sandworms! Sandworms, sandworms, saaandworms! I'll have more to say once I calm down, though that might take a while.

    Don't worry, they won't be in the finished game ;)

    this kind of snark is usually below me, but i couldn't resist the low hanging fruit

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    Do_The_Manta_Ray

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