The (48) Million Dollar Game: Star Citizen

The amount of money Star Citizen has made is getting slightly embarrassing now. It’s more than various small nations’ GDP. You could buy about five and a half tanks with it, or most of an ICBM. It’s roughly 1000 times the average yearly wage of someone living in the UK. A big pile of cash, essentially, sourced from 500,000 folk at an average of just under $100 a pop. Now Chris Roberts has announced what the plan is for the 50 million mark – Alien Languages. I’ve delved into the labyrinthine mess that is Star Citizen’s website to dig out the current state of the project as best I can. Onwards, comrades, to glory.

Roberts talks about how they’re planning to “return to our tradition of stretch goals that improve the core game.” Presumably this is in opposition to the latest stretch goals of an in-game purchasable house-plant and a commercial for one of the ships. Yes, that’s right, the 48 million dollar mark meant that one of the spaceships that doesn’t exist in the game that isn’t finished yet will have a commercial made for it. Another one, that is. Anyway, the alien languages are planned to be developed in consort with linguistic experts so they can be “distinctive and realistic.” Swish.

Meanwhile, a dev update from the end of June detailed what each of the three studios and nigh-infinite freelancers working on the game have been up to. It’s mostly patching the Arena Commander dogfighting module that was released last month, with the important bits being netcode, button configuration customisation and HUD upgrades. Others are still in the preliminary stages of other parts of the massive scope of the full Star Citizen project. They won’t even talk about who the First-Person Shooter team is yet, though they’re still in the very preliminary stages. It’s an absolutely humongous post, so give it a scroll if you have the time.

Based on the front-page donation tracker, it won’t be long until the next milestone. Funding is still trucking away at around two million dollars a month, with about fifty thousand raised just yesterday. This all comes from the store of course, an equally maze-like construction. The base game plus access to Arena Commander will run you $35 or €28. The sky’s the limit beyond that however, with everything from monthly magazine subscriptions to ship skins and real-life clothing badges on sale.

It is a bit … odd, to say the least, that there are so many willing to pay so much for additional content in a game that does not exist yet. I’ve picked up a collector’s edition or two in my time, but only from companies I trust making franchises I love – and never at the kind of prices Star Citizen is charging for individual ships. Kickstarter and Early Access are in the business of selling fantasies, but this is selling insurance for that fantasy, a house in that fantasy, before it exists. I’m surprised people are comfortable with that, even after years of space-game starvation.


Top comments

  1. DClark says:

    As someone who's given Star Citizen $320usd so far I have to stress that I didn't give them my money to get the ships I have, I gave them the money because I want a new AAA space sim and I believe Chris Roberts can once again deliver the goods.

    For anyone who wants value out of their purchase I'd suggest buying one of the Aurora game packages ($30 to $45) and not worry about the bigger, more expensive ships - you'll be able to earn credits through gameplay to buy them in-game once you've amassed your fortune trading, smuggling, bounty hunting, or through piracy.
  1. melnificent says:

    Or 8 Steve Austins.

  2. DarkLiberator says:

    Lately though their stretch goals have been kinda less ambitious or more useless probably to avoid to feature creep, though the 50 million stretch goal is a big one, and no doubt we’ll reach it at some point.

    Just kinda annoyed gotta wait till 2016 before the game is done, assuming it doesn’t get delayed because it probably will. I’ll be old by then. Limit Theory and Elite also looking forward to.

    • Baines says:

      All these stretch goals have to be delaying the game.

      It doesn’t help that it looks like Roberts is more interested in raising/making more money than in actually delivering the game that he’s promised to create.

    • *Junon says:

      If they wanted to avoid stretching themselves thin by devising more and more trivial stretch goals to fulfill, they could I dunno, stop their infinite funding campaign like virtually every other crowdfunded game does? Or at the very least just do not come up with a new wrinkle at all, so that they can get to brass tacks and make the game instead of ceaselessly selling it. This is where I’ll be told that they’ve actually delivered quite a lot and the dev team is right where the roadmap should have them etc etc but I’m more describing the perception I have of all of this rampant funding and marketing.

      It really does start to feel a little dishonest or underhanded at this point. Alien fucking languages? This is what the push to fifty million fucking dollars is for? To turn their Huttese into Klingon? Who cares, really? On the other hand, I visit another forum with two users that have proudly bought in for almost six grand between the two of them. People like that are probably the ones that care.

      If I could do it all over, I’d back E:D instead without a second though. It’s certainly won my mindshare at this point.

      • krimhorn says:

        Actually, they are between 6 and 8 moths behind their originally stated schedule. What’s unknown is why they are behind. Was it that they simply estimated too aggressive of a schedule or was it that they are already suffering from feature creep. According to their original timeline sometime in the June-August 2014 timeframe they should have been releasing the SC Beta but they delivered the multiplayer Alpha about six months behind the original schedule.

        This November was supposed to be when the Squadron 42 single player released but from the last I’d heard that’s been pushed off until Spring 2015 and will be an episodic release.

        • borkbork says:

          To be fair, S42 was more or less always intended to be episodic. Only thing that would’ve kept it to a single release would’ve been lack of funding..

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Just remember game delays are nothing new. They have happened since the beginning of video games and 8 months is hardly a catastrophe. Also Arena Commander being 8 months behind does NOT mean that all of it is 8 months behind. They are working on the game concurrently, it wasn’t like their entire dev team was working on Arena Commander just so impatient people could play an unfinished game THEN started working on the rest of it. People don’t seem to understand division of labour in big projects like this.
          It’s like the guy saying
          “so that they can get to brass tacks and make the game instead of ceaselessly selling it”
          You do understand that the people responsible for marketing the game don’t also have the job of developing it right? They aren’t mutually exclusive, one doesn’t detract from the other. Development would continue at the same pace regardless of how much their marketing people “ceaselessly sell” the game.

          People just need to be patient and stop bitching about delays, let them make and finish the game properly. All of these AAA games being rushed out due to publisher deadlines are released buggy and unfinished and people bitch like crazy, a game gets delayed to ensure it is a quality product……..and people bitch like crazy, what the fuck do you people want?

    • MarkOwl says:

      Maybe we are witnessing birth of new Ponzi scheme: game funding scheme!

      Sound familiar?
      Ponzi schemes sometimes commence operations as legitimate investment vehicles, such as hedge funds. For example, a hedge fund can degenerate into a Ponzi scheme if it unexpectedly loses money (or simply fails to legitimately earn the returns promised and/or thought to be expected) and the promoters, instead of admitting their failure to meet expectations, fabricate false returns and, if necessary, produce fraudulent audit reports.

      from link to

  3. GernauMorat says:

    Seems dodgy to me; however good luck to them, but I will believe it when I see it.

    • P.Funk says:

      Whats dodgy about it? They wrote an actual Klingon language for Star Trek III. Believe me, I own the dictionary, got a little bird of prey on the cover and everything.

      Creating languages isn’t that crazy you know, its been done.

      • HauntedQuiche says:

        I think its less the “alien language” thing that looks dodgy and more…. the entire game.

        What if they create all of these features, put the game together in a completely bug-free and smoothly executed way and then…. it just isn’t very fun? That does happen, you know. Especially with anything as ambitious as this.

  4. Tegiminis says:

    The forums are especially bad. Roleplaying for a game that doesn’t exist plus a healthy dose of rampant misogyny and bigotry. It’s a weird microcosm comprised of the sort of angry, entitled gaming nerd that everyone should avoid being.

    Everyone with any sense has long since jumped ship (hah) to Elite: Dangerous, Limit Theory, Kinetic Void, Starpoint Gemini 2, or the countless other actually functional space sims.

    Here’s hoping Star Citizen turns into a functional, fun space sim. That hope is in continual decline, but it’s still there.

    • Sleepy Will says:

      What’s wrong with playing a roleplaying game in the forums?

      • Tegiminis says:

        It’s a little weird roleplaying about mechanics that aren’t in the game and have never been confirmed. It’s extra weird when you wield that roleplaying like a club over other people based on meta-game paranoia (see: the insane response from various RP entities to goons).

        • Scrote says:

          Have links to any of the juicier examples? It’s always fun to read madness.

          • Tegiminis says:

            The only one I have offhand is where somebody proposed adding rape to the game “to make it more realistic.” It should go without saying, but the following link is trigger warning: discussion of sexual violence.

            link to

            As for the goons thing, there was some massive private conversation involving the entire org structure of goons and some other RP organization that had some guy roleplaying about how he was gonna “wipe out goons.” There was a big hubbub about it. Quite funny!

          • Maxheadroom says:

            You see the “I want space sex” debate come up quite a lot in the name of “realisim”.

            Tax returns and laundry are realistic too, dont see any polls crying for that

          • SuicideKing says:



          • Maxheadroom says:

            Pretty much this.

            Whether or not the great Chris Roberts can deliver on half of these promises or not, Star Citizen is looking increasingly like a game I’ll primarily be playing offline

          • P.Funk says:

            Oh come on max, the world is full of numpties, do you never go shopping? Do you never go to the bar? You telling me some douchebag is sitting at a table on the far side with his douchebag friends and that will stop you from enjoying yourself on the other side of it with your sensible eloquent cadre of enlightened genteels?

            Sometimes I think single player gamers indulge in being agoraphobes who overindulge in whining about how obnoxious people are. I wonder if half of Aristophanes lost plays were about douchebags runing the forum by being douchebags in public.

          • SuicideKing says:

            @P.Funk: Well sometimes yes, other people can be obnoxious enough to ruin your day.

          • JWTiberius says:

            @tegiminis Holy shit I can’t stand people who do this trigger warning bs go back to tumblr please.
            worst part is you were also talking about misogyny, i bet you love anita sarkeesian

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      I’m enjoying Elite, but i still look forward to SC.

      Longer development. Both games started with just a ship that shot stuff at other stuff. Elite is progressing faster and thus shown other stuff that will also be shown by SC some day.

      Elite was also considered “vaporware” before it started releasing stuff. The same people probably preordered AC:M too, because “what they saw” looked good.

      Gamers at large aren’t really known for their foresight, don’t join that crowd.

      • Tegiminis says:

        After learning about all of the clusterfuckery surround Chris Roberts’ development of games (specifically WC3/4, where he didn’t actually do anything of note, and Freelancer, where he was kicked off so the game would actually be finished), and how he handles things, I honestly don’t know why anybody trusts him to make a good game.

        The guy is basically the Derek Smart of AAA games, minus Smart’s aggressively antagonistic attitude.

        • FD says:

          I was just coming to post about the similarities between SC and Battlecruiser 3000AD. Both games promise basically a fully functional simulation of all aspects of space simulation without any real indication of how they are going to make effectively 2-3 full games.

          I put down $30 back during the kickstarter, basically out of respect for what Chris Roberts has done but by now I have a feeling the eventual end point isn’t going to be much better than BC 3K.

          • Mr Coot says:

            Mm. Yes. Vintage watcher of vapourware from the 90s onwards, here. I’m afraid Mr Smart’s Battlecruiser 3000AD is foremost in my mind, also. They haven’t really got much to show for 48 million smackeroos. I wish them well. Another space game would be nice. But this is one kickstarter I am not supporting. [Ed. Just removed a bit that might be misconstrued]

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          I guess your points CAN make sense from a SINGLE point of view.

        • Arglebargle says:

          Talked recently to my friend who worked on Wing Commander 1, and he told me the great vision for the game was ‘I just played a LucasArts WWII fighter game: How about we do that, in Space?’ That was it. My distaste for Star Citizen comes directly from my distrust of Chris Roberts, having talked to numerous folks who worked with him in various projects. Now, perhaps he has changed in the last 15 years (mostly spent in Hollywood as a producer — Hmn…), or perhaps he’s still the ‘narcistic egomaniac’ as described.

          Star Citizen may turn out to be an okay, or even a good game. But it will be due to the hard work of the many designers working on it. Roberts’ overweening vainglory is just an additional problem for them to deal with. He’s a modern PT Barnum, with a caveat: I’m pretty sure Barnum knew he was a huckster selling snake oil. Roberts believes his own press.

          • P.Funk says:

            Eames was a bit of a narcissistic egomaniac, but I woudn’t want to live in a world without his chair.

          • Arglebargle says:

            I prefer Jacobsen’s Egg chair, but different seats for different seats….

            Eames was at least a good designer, yes? No one I know who worked with Roberts levels that claim at him. Better project manager than Garriott, yes, but that’s a pretty low bar.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      I have doubts many people jumped ship to Kinetic Void, which is still barely even functional.

      • Tegiminis says:

        I was mostly just listing off Elite-likes. Replace Kinetic Void with X3: Terran Conflict, Drifter, Galaxy on Fire 2, or whatever your favorite may be~

    • gabrielonuris says:

      I’ve jumped ship to X3: Terran Conflict and Evochron Mercenary. Both are completely done games and I’m not disapointed of my choices.

    • Tegiminis says:

      I don’t really know how to respond to this. You seem too invested in Star Citizen. I’m gonna try my best, though.

      Elite is just one game in a huge list of good games that do what StarCit does, but better and sooner. It’s ultimately replaceable, but it’s an easy comparison, because both kickstarters wrapped up around the same time and they have similar aesthetics.

      Having played Star Citizen: everything about it is a complete clusterfuck. The flight mechanics are terrible, controls are awful, multiplayer is broken, and their entire organization shows systemic signs of mismanagement. That’s not really defendable.

      I want to love Star Citizen. I desperately do. They are making it so hard.

    • Taidan says:

      FYI Derbefrier, the person posting this is directly connected to the people who were trying to troll CIG earlier in the year with the largely made-up “Lauresh” incident, and should thus be considered a troll.

      If you read between the lines of their complaint, (the line about response to Goons…” and note the use of the same link which their group was bandying around last time as an example of the “misogynism” that happens on the SC forums (a link to a thread that was actually deleted by CIG moderators a number of months ago, but has somehow just been used again anyway), the aims of this person should become clear.

      • Distec says:

        Dude, it is wwwaaaaayyyyy too early for the “grrr goons” shit.

        Do tell, what is his aim? To infiltrate your game and harvest tears he can haul back to The Mittani’s throne?

        • Taidan says:

          Your double-bluff has failed.

          You have revealed The Plan, and soon your people will come to take you away to deliver unto you terrible retribution.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I haven’t jumped ship from any of those games, to any of those games yet. Why? BECAUSE THEY AREN’T FUCKING OUT YET. Jesus what is wrong with people that they feel the need to choose sides with upcoming games. Just wait until the damn things are released, if they are good play them, this isn’t football, you don’t have to pick a team. This constant circle jerk that you just proved exists is way more pathetic than any amount of roleplaying on forums.

  5. ramirezfm says:

    As much as I would love to play this game, or what I think this game could be, I think it will never happen. Yes, the plans are nice and all, but I just don’t see it happening. And it also amuses me that people pay huge amount of monies for a promise, or a sticker for a promise.

    • Nihilim says:

      Oh its happening, whether you like it or not or wish it would go away, its happening. The fact that so many people are upset it is happening is what makes me laugh. This game is going to be completed and when it is completed it will be a thing to behold.

      • JWTiberius says:

        ~No one is upset about it, dude. They’re just not buying into the hype. Remember how amazing wildstar was gonna be? remember how Proteus was gonna re-define the god-game genre? Remember how Thief was gonna be a thief game? Yeah, okay.

        • Nihilim says:

          I was never invested or wanted to play Wildstar. Nor was I wanting to play Thief, just didn’t interest me. None of those games have the backing or money before release like Star Citizen has. Chris Roberts didn’t start this saying he was going to reinvent the wheel. What Chris Roberts said was he wants to make the best damn space sim ever and to bring back what pc gaming is all about. He wants to push what is possible graphically in this genre and so far I think the game is looking fantastic. Anyone comparing a game that is pre Alpha and showing its ugly bugs to any game that is at the tail end of its Beta needs to rethink their comparison process.

      • Tegiminis says:

        You are mistaking bemusement and mirth for “upset.” Nobody cares if you donated a million dollars to Star Citizen, or whatever.

  6. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I understand they want to make money! I really do! I applaud their success, but now they have enough money to build a real-world starfighter carrier they might want to consider concentrating on finishing the game so people who buy stuff can see if it’s a game that is worth buying stuff for.

    If it’s good, they have years to churn out in-game furry dice and haemorrhoid cushions based on the quality of their game, not solely on marketing. Until then it is looking like the ad-man’s wet dream: A self-propelled money-making machine that gets free publicity because it is making so much money, which makes it more money.

    Bah, I hate being cynical.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      I do think everything EXCEPT the game is of the highest quality. Their ship ads and their website are top notch.

    • Koozer says:

      Come now Smingleigh, where would we be without a regular dose of healthy distrust and disdain of our fellow (wo)man? Personally the day has not truly begun until I have made at least three snarky comments.

    • Somerled says:

      I personally don’t care about what it’s making or where it’s heading. My small payment wasn’t large enough to warrant panty-twisting.

      I am very curious about how much has been spent out of the $48m pile. What of that was spent on marketing, concept art, meetings to decide new stretch goals? How much is left? Are they using it to meet the goals they set?

    • Snow Mandalorian says:

      Man, your comment summarizes everything I think about this game.

      Just focus on the damn base game, fucking make that as good as it can possibly be, then release tons of DLC if you so want. Every time I see a new “feature” added I just cringe and think “goddammit, this is never gonna get finished if you don’t just stick with a defined set of goals, focus on those, and *then* start thinking about adding more shit.”

      • LionsPhil says:

        Ah, the Dwarf Fortress development model.

      • Nihilim says:

        You do realize the features he is revealing are probably features that have already been in the works for some time now. It isn’t like they just funded it and are now going forward with it, a lot of these “stretch goals” are goals they have already identified some time ago and are only now revealing to the public.

  7. Dr_Barnowl says:

    I have to say I’m liking the Elite beta far more then the Star Citizen one.

    I tried playing Arena Commander but the flight model was terrible. It might be technically wonderful, and realistic, n’all, but the fly-by-wire was dreadful, I just ended up chasing gauges and fishtailing the whole time.

    I’m not actually surprised. One of the announcements shortly before it was released was to the effect of “Hey, we started using proper version control practice for the beta!” …. which tells me that their engineering discipline is haphazard at best. Having seen the vast number of problems they have (with some admirable honesty) screened in vlogs, the E4 demo, and listed on their website, I’m guessing they have problems. It feels like too many cooks, using too many ingredients (all those stretch goals….)

    Elite on the other hand is coming from a company with a long history of making uninspiring games but with a professional engineering attitude. From what I hear, all their releases have had a certain amount of polish in terms of feel – and the betas are immense fun, and don’t fly like your ship is suspended in a cat’s cradle of rubber bands.

    But what Robert’s is *very* good at is glitz, you just have to look at his past history. Star Citizen has many, many shinies, and works hard to present them well. The game client is very pretty, as is all of their promotional material.

    • Tegiminis says:

      I dunno if it’s fair to label David Braben’s work as “uninspiring.” It IS inspiring. It quite literally inspired an entire genre! (Elite-likes)

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Frontier made mostly uninspired stuff before doing Elite: Dangerous though. You have to go back pretty far to find something that isn’t a licensed game or a farmed out game.

    • BoMbY says:

      There are definitely more people liking the general direction of the flight model, than not.

      And comparing an early alpha version of a small part of a game, with an almost feature complete beta version of another game is kinda stupid.

      • Zenicetus says:

        The fact that even a minority of people are finding fault with the flight model is still interesting, I think.

        This isn’t high-level aerodynamic modeling we’re talking about here. It’s basic physics in a gravity-free, air-free environment, with some constraints related to the “game” aspects, like speed caps (unless they’ve removed them). It should be easy to get right, with good feel in combat. That’s why cockpit-level space games were some of the earliest popular games on PC’s back in the day, long before we got anything realistic in air combat games. Maybe it’s just a result of trying to adapt the licensed CryEngine instead of doing an in-house flight model from scratch?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          The flight model is divisive because it’s trying to be realistic and thus:

          1) Unlike Elite, yawing is not artificially nerfed, nor is pivoting on your vector, which is incredibly simple with some decent thrusters, like KSP can attest. Elite does this for gameplay reasons, which is commendable, but not necessarily what some people would want.

          2) Understanding how the flight assist work is key: every thruster is simulated, their positioning, power and pivoted angle all matter in respect with the ship’s total mass and center of mass. You can’t control 8 thrusters separately, so an AI will do that for you. Different AI modes will interpret your inputs differently and behave in their own way, some will let you “drift” more, others will try to force you in a G-safe environment. Obviously, the AI will have to try to compensate the lack of a destroyed thruster too, which gives depth to the handling and the damage model.

          You can’t make a “realistic” flight sim without the ability to rotate fast on the spot. This is a truth that Elite had to confront. They chose the simplistic “nerf some movements” route whereas SC made it’s life far more complicated. Success for SC will only come with the creation of more interesting flight assists mode, alongside with harder to master ones.

          It can be done because the whole simulation is already correctly in place and the physics model is fully newtonian. If it doesn’t feel right to you it’s only because the flight assist modes currently implemented are not interesting enough, which is something they’re all fully aware in CIG’s HQ.

          • Zenicetus says:

            Here we go again. Are there arbitrary caps on top speed? If there are, then it’s not fully Newtonian. Not even close.

            I’m not sure how Elite is handling that either, but at least one game in the past (I-War 2) had the kind of flight assist that made very high speeds workable in a space game.

          • Taidan says:

            Realism for the flight model, yet with “lasers” that move at the speed of a paintball, thus requiring every gun to be gimbaled and for your crosshairs to be directly over the enemy ship for the computer to calculate a firing solution.

            That’s the one thing that I really hope they sort out. The flight model I can see working, but the design issues around the weapon systems need a lot of work. Kinda alarming considering they were apparently ready in time for last Xmas, and it was the netcode we were waiting on.

          • Zenicetus says:

            This wouldn’t be the first space game with slow lasers, but I’m surprised they’re modeling it this way and still calling it a Laser, given the “realism” hype elsewhere.I like my Lasers and similar energy weapons to be proper instantaneous hull-slicing beams, not simulated WW2 pew pew. Even a mass driver/railgun would be pretty damned fast, compared to what you see in most space games.

            BTW, has either Elite:D or SC managed to explain in the background lore, why ships aren’t just firing nukes at each other? The US Air Force had the Air-2 Genie 1.5kT air-to-air missile in service back in 1958. I guess they forgot how to do that in the future.

          • zal says:

            I have to ask, if you were making a combat capable space craft with a limited number of thrusters, why would you want them spaced evenly on your ship in a way that allows you to pitch/yaw/lateral evenly in any direction. wouldn’t make more sense to capitalize on rotation and give you very focused pitched/yaw/lateral groupings?

            I’d rather have a ship capable of slamming me sideways at 6g per second than one that can drift me in any of 6 directions at only 1g per second. same with yaw/pitch.

            With a setup placing all of your thrusters on say the top/bottom, but with vectoring to allow a 180 shift to facilitate 100% thrust from every thruster on lateral movements, I’d think you’d be able to strafe/and vector/shift rings around a similar ship thats positioning its thrusters all over the ship meaning many of the thrusters are providing only a gradient of their full thrust potential in a maneuver.

            Can you manually reposition thrusters? are they planning on releasing any non uniform vectoring ships? it’d be tougher to control, but I imagine the performance yields would make it worth it. and give people the “my ship yaws better than it pitches” they’re crying for.

          • Taidan says:

            The hands-down best book I’ve ever read concerning the reality of future space combat is…


            The “Aliens: Colonial Marine Technical Manual” from 1995. From what I remember of it, the section on the tactics of ship-to-ship warfare is probably the best written bit of theory-crafting about what combat in space would actually be like.

            Translating that kind of combat into a videogame would not make for the kind of exciting gameplay that these guys are aiming for. You’d never actually see another ship with the naked eye, for a start… (Although I’d wager that a great, tense, barely-graphical game could be made of it, in the spirit of some older submarine sims that used to be popular. Get on it, Devs!)

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Zenicetus, you’re perfectly showing WHY it’s so hard to understand for some people that the physics are correct.

            While you’re right that in a vacuum costant thrusting should speed you up indefinitely, you’re still completely ignoring what the fly by wire actually does.

            To put that simple: the main thruster doesn’t output much power once a certain speed is reached, enough for maneuvering thruster to counter it’s force and disallow you to keep going faster.

            So, the gameplay design might try to pull you away from what you’d expect from a full newtonian flight model, but it doesn’t change the fact the the underlying physics are still decently correct. There will be “cooler” modes down the line but the intention to limit your max speed during combat will not go away. Not your cup of tea, that’s perfectly ok, but not a physics inaccuracy either.

            Elite handles this in the very same way, no more no less. It doesn’t have a simulation of separate thrusters and the model itself is simpler, especially with damaged thrusters, yet it looks more complex simply because it’s made hard to control with flight assist “off” and you have to manually counter thrust. Bear in mind that even in Elite’s case the ship is still interpreting your inputs, even in that mode, as you’re not controlling each single thruster, it simply is exercising less control over your orders which is something that can easily be implemented in SC too.

            Oh and Zal, my example of 8 thrusters was just that, an example. Aside from the fact that most ship have a least a good part of them gimballed, there’s also one alien ship that has no main thrusters at all, while instead having an array of small thrusters everywhere that can fire in groups ( or not ) depending on the maneuver.

            That’s the fun part: since the basics are covered, they can enjoy some good fun with actual ship’s engineering, which is part of the reason why people are so invested in their creations in the first place.

            And really guys, just because they want some more realism on a single portion of the whole design, it doesn’t mean they have to adhere to that rule on everything else. Both SC and E:D are prioritizing different things and none of them is trying to be KSP with weapons.

          • Zenicetus says:

            While you’re right that in a vacuum costant thrusting should speed you up indefinitely, you’re still completely ignoring what the fly by wire actually does.

            To put that simple: the main thruster doesn’t output much power once a certain speed is reached, enough for maneuvering thruster to counter it’s force and disallow you to keep going faster.

            No, this is still not a description of Newtonian flight. Unless the main thruster *shuts down completely,* there will be a constant increase in velocity. Even if it’s “not outputting much power” your speed will increase. This is basic stuff, school boy physics.

            What is happening here, is that the game developer has decided to arbitrarily cap the maximum speeds to keep ships close together for the WW2 combat effect, instead of allowing the player (and AI ships) to decide when to terminate a burn and thrust in a different direction.

            Further, if different ship models have different caps on their maximum speed (do they?), then it’s just a way to differentiate “faster” and “slower” ships in a completely unrealistic way, instead of differences in ability to accelerate.

            If we’re actually respecting Newton (let alone the more interesting Einsteinian stuff, which NOBODY ever touches in space combat games), then the differences between combat ships in space should be all about power to accelerate and decelerate, period, with no arbitrary speed limits. If my ship accelerates faster than yours, either because the engine is stronger or it’s pushing less mass, then I go faster than you do. It’s simple. But that doesn’t fit everyone’s concept of space combat-as-WW2, and only a game like I-War 2 managed to exploit it and make it work.

            BTW, consider this criticism aimed at Elite:D too, if it works the same way with arbitrary, capped-off speed limits.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Are you out of your mind? You even quoted my sentence: if the main thruster gets weak enough, the other thrusters can counter it’s force, opposite application of the same force can’t really create additional acceleration.

            If the thrusters assigned to the “retro” action need to operate differently because you need to make some different maneuver, the main thruster gets cut even more, eventually down to zero.

            No matter how you twist it, all the thrusters can operate in concert with different angles and power outputs to create a certain desired sum. If you think the flight model suck, it’s because you don’t like the current flight assist modes or the game design as a whole.

            They want capped speeds and differences mostly found in acceleration/deceleration/maneuvering at large, it’s their design ( and ED’s too ). You find it horrible, THAT’S FINE, but you can’t say it’s unreleastic if HOW they achieve it makes sense.

            You can say it’s inefficient, that you’re wasting fuel, that is the most horrible design in the history of gaming, but i’m mostly arguing that it can be done with proper physics, even if it’s stupid.

            Edit: ninja edits.

          • Zenicetus says:

            Why on Earth (or Space) would any intelligent designer of a combat ship waste power by having thrusters firing in opposing directions at the same time?

            The reason it works this way is only to put a cap on the maximum speed. And I suppose, sell ships that are “faster” or “slower” in terms of their maximum speed caps, instead of their ability to accelerate and pull G’s. It’s an arbitrary conceit for gameplay reasons, nothing to do with a full Newtonian flight model.

          • Zenicetus says:

            Look, what I’m trying to get at here (responding to the edit above), is that it’s inaccurate and even disingenuous to say that a game has a “fully Newtonian flight model” when the speeds are capped-off arbitrarily. It doesn’t matter if the methods used to explain the cap are realistic (if horribly inefficient). It’s the cap that isn’t realistic. And it damn sure isn’t “Newtonian” to fly that way.

            Words matter.

            If we’re going to call this a “Newtonian” flight model for a space game, then that invalidates years of common understand of what that term means. We can disagree about what we like or don’t like in games, but we don’t get to make up our own personal definitions of terms like that.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            You said it yourself, it’s something incredibly stupid that only a very dumb spaceship engineer would do. Yet it would work, it would be physically possible, if ridiculously stupid.

            ED has different speeds for different ships, SC we yet don’t know. We know it’s capped, it SEEMS the cap will be the same and only acceleration will change. But even different speeds would be physically correct, you just need different ships manufacturers to design a certain model in order to start cutting the main and retroing at a set amount of speed.

            The point is that while the flight model doesn’t follow the Newtonian flavor to the fullest, it’s only because the ship’s system don’t want to allow that, but the physics are still newtonian, and you’ll be able to observe that in ANYTHING else EXCEPT the speed cap.

            This is all i’m saying. It’s physically correct. You can call it stupid, but not incorrect.

            As you said, words matter, and even if i as a lifeguard use a 200 meters pole to slap you once you get too far in the sea, it still doesn’t change the fact that you still ARE in the sea and you’re still part of that physics system.

            And no, that cap is not just “physically explained”, the cap is actually PERFORMED in game as a result of simulated thrusters action. That’s why it’s a little bit of an issue to balance this game, what if the “retro” thrusters get destroyed and the main thruster doesn’t? The ship should start behaving as you want, but then they probably will turn off the main or something, even if for that brief moment of freedom before the main shuts down you might have accumulated an extra 50 m/s or so.

            That would be cool, and the simulation could cover it too.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            To put that simple: the main thruster doesn’t output much power once a certain speed is reached, enough for maneuvering thruster to counter it’s force and disallow you to keep going faster.

            Are you out of your mind? You even quoted my sentence: if the main thruster gets weak enough, the other thrusters can counter it’s force, opposite application of the same force can’t really create additional acceleration.

            What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense. A thruster’s power does not change depending on the speed of the ship it’s attached to. I haven’t played the game, so I’m not entirely sure what the argument is about, but if your position is based on that idea, you really ought to rethink the rest of it.

            My best guess is that you’re confused about the effects of relativity, where as an object approaches lightspeed, it takes more and more energy to further increase its speed by a given amount. (I may have said that wrong, as I’m not a physicist.) But that doesn’t mean that thrusters mounted in the opposite direction become more powerful, and in any case you’d only see effects like that after weeks of continuous thrust, not in a combat maneuvering environment.

          • Zenicetus says:

            @Phasma Felis:
            No, I don’t think he’s saying it’s a relativistic effect. The speeds are nowhere near that fast. It’s like WW2 prop fighter combat or Star Wars, where you’re in spitting distance and can make tight turns to get on someone’s tail.

            Apparently this game caps your ship’s maximum speed by having an onboard system that starts firing a forward thruster to “brake” your ship and counteract the main engine (at the rear) when you go “too fast,” so there is an arbitrary maximum velocity for every ship in the game. And he’s saying that it’s legitimate to call that a “Newtonian flight model.” See the first post that started this, above.

            For my part, I’m saying that’s a perversion of the term “Newtonian flight model” as used in PC space games and simulations since the dawn of time, for flight models that don’t arbitrarily cap off the speed. Which has appeared in a few games — an earlier Elite game, I-War 2, and non-combat sims like Kerbal and Orbiter. That term “Newtonian” means something specific when it’s applied as a description of flight models in a game.

            BTW, I understand why many developers of games like this use a speed cap, to keep ships close and the combat “exciting.” But those developers and their supporters shouldn’t be calling it a “Newtonian flight model.” Because it ain’t that.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        I’m not saying the max theoretical power output gets reduced for some weird scientific reasons, i’m only saying that the ship’s computer is limiting the “throttle” given to the main once it reaches the desired speed, while using other thrusters as needed to stop the further increase of speed.

        I might have worded that incorrectly or unclearly, but i pretty much doubt you couldn’t understand the point given how much i further iterated on it, but you probably were a bit too focused in trying to look smart.

  8. DClark says:

    As someone who’s given Star Citizen $320usd so far I have to stress that I didn’t give them my money to get the ships I have, I gave them the money because I want a new AAA space sim and I believe Chris Roberts can once again deliver the goods.

    For anyone who wants value out of their purchase I’d suggest buying one of the Aurora game packages ($30 to $45) and not worry about the bigger, more expensive ships – you’ll be able to earn credits through gameplay to buy them in-game once you’ve amassed your fortune trading, smuggling, bounty hunting, or through piracy.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ben Barrett says:

      Highlighted this just because it’s interesting to hear from someone who has dropped a little more on it than the simple stuff. What did you choose to buy, just another ship?

      Genuinely wanting to contribute to the project is probably more common than I think, but I wonder if it will lead to feeling more investment (and therefore more disappointed in problems, more elated with successes) than someone who just viewed it as pre-ordering.

      • DClark says:

        I’ve got a Freelancer (which I upgraded to the MIS version), an Origin 350R, and an Aurora LN. The first two are for me while the Aurora LN I bought so that if my nephew is interested in the game closer to release I have a game package that I can give to him.

        I don’t consider it an investment – it’s just entertainment to me. I’ve dropped $100 on EQ Landmark and $250 on a lifetime sub to The Secret World (recently I haven’t been online there as much as I want, but it’s an excellent game). Heck, recently I even dropped $130 on Comixology in one pop for digital comics.

        I don’t even want to try to add up the five years of Everquest subscription or four and a half years of City of Heroes, but I enjoyed those games a lot so I got my money’s worth.

      • 2Ben says:

        The fact is, all the time spent in fora, in guilds, discussing this, arguing that, drooling and comparing different ships, or different versions of one ship, is pretty nice in and for itself. I also spent about $300 (Freelancer + MIS, Aurora LX, Avenger, i325a, all LTI) and well, the ratio time-of-enjoyment / cost is quite reasonable compared to so many popular $60 / 6h gameplay shooters.
        You can say, the Hangar is a marketing genius coup. Walking around and inspecting your ships and imagining the rest really does the trick and loosen your wallet :)

    • MisterFurious says:

      And what if he doesn’t deliver? What if the game comes out and it’s a piece of crap?

      • Shadow says:

        Unlikely. And even if it happened, at worst it’ll be like buying a console and realizing that kind of gaming (or the platform in particular), to put it lightly, is not for you. It’s not like $300 is anyone’s life savings.

        Personally, I chipped in with 100-something for the Colonel package. The Hornet’s a bonus: I mainly want to see a grand return of the space simulator genre.

        • Jexiah8bit says:

          If I was going to spend over $300 on something, it would have to be damn worth it. For some people, that is there life savings.

      • DClark says:

        If he doesn’t deliver a game I enjoy then I don’t get my money’s worth. I got value and enjoyment out of his earlier games so I’m willing to give money up front as goodwill with the knowledge that even if it tanks, at worse it’ll be a wash when adding up the value/enjoyment of all his games.

        It’s the same thing with me for CDProjekt RED and The Witcher franchise. I loved The Witcher so when The Witcher 2 came up I preordered it from GOG. It was released and I enjoyed it as much or more than the original, so the day The Witcher 3 came up for preorder I put down my money even though it’s not going to be released until February 2015. CDProjekt RED has earned my trust and when Cyberpunk 2077 comes up for preorder I’ll probably get it as well. Until they make a misstep they’ll have my trust.

        Conversely Bioware is a company who’s games I used to preorder and over the years I do believe I’ve got more than my money’s worth from their games, but their missteps have used up my faith and trust so now I treat them like any other company releasing a game.

    • Love Albatross says:

      “Chris Roberts can once again deliver the goods.”

      Has everybody forgotten Freelancer? It was worked on for five years and released without the big headline feature of a ‘living universe’ or whatever the fuck it was (and a load of other stuff, IIRC). Roberts bailed on the project before it finished.

      If by “deliver the goods” you mean “release a game missing major features from the original proposal years later than expected” then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

      • DClark says:

        I’m more of a Wing Commander fan myself and I enjoyed those games, so yes he did deliver the goods.

        As for what Freelancer was and wasn’t, it sounds like you’re laying no blame at Microsoft’s feet. You can blame Chris Roberts for selling Digital Anvil, but after the purchase it was Microsoft who decided what would and wouldn’t be cut from Freelancer.

        • Love Albatross says:

          I’m laying the blame at Roberts’ feet. He was the one who came up with the excessively ambitious concepts, hyped it up and then sold to Microsoft and ran when there was no cash left. What was MS supposed to do? They’d just bought up a company with a game that either needed to be released soon with a reduced feature set or have a lot more investment to meet the original idea. Simple business decision.

          Maybe Star Citizen will actually be released. But it will almost certainly be delayed and likely missing many features. That a contingent of fans are treating Roberts like the One True God of space games is sad, especially after seeing the state of what little has been released.

  9. Wytefang says:

    Starting to get the strong feeling that this will be one of the single most over-promised/under-delivered games, ever. First the change to a more MMO-style game (meh) and then that awful and embarrassing dogfight demo – It was so laughably bad that I almost thought it was meant to be a joke or something and they’d walk over and go, “Okay, here’s the REAL demo – we were just joking about the other one.”

    Far more intrigued by Elite: Dangerous at this point.

  10. Chuckleluck says:

    That game is either a disappointment or a never-ending hype train. I still have hope Roberts and co. can make it (I only have $30 riding on it though), but I don’t want to think about it. I’ll go back to playing my other games and be pleasantly surprised/mildly disappointed when it releases/crashes and burns.

  11. jpm224 says:

    I think Chris Roberts is going to come out of this one looking something of a charlatan.

  12. Premium User Badge

    kororas says:

    I’m sorry to bust peoples bubbles but in the history of game development I cannot possibly see how this game is going to meet all requirements in the timescales they are suggesting. It just doesn’t work. Doesn’t matter how much money you throw at it, it boils down to management/organisation and time. I can be pretty damn certain that at least the time aspect will give.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      Yeah, that’s exaclty my thoughts since the beggining of this Star Citizen thing… I was considering backing it until I heard of some stretch goals. C’mon, I know big games can be done, but I simply can’t believe in everything I read about this space sim; this Chris Roberts sounds more like a fake prophet than a game developer. Not even after it gets released, IF it ever gets released, I think I would play it. Why? Because I just can’t believe it will deliver HALF of what it is promising, and the other half will be so bugged and ugly, that it will be a chore to play.

      • GameQB11 says:

        I’ll still play it no matter what as long as its decent. I still feel as though he’s being a bit dishonest about what his team KNOWS they can deliver

  13. bit.bat says:

    Even if all promised features are added and the game ticks all the feature boxes, what if the game is just not a good game? I dont mean that this would be done in a malicious “we already have the money so we dont care” kind of way, but rather that it takes the road that most creative endeavours take which is mediocrity at best despite the best efforts of the creators. Even talented people make terrible things.

  14. elhisai says:

    I’ve backed Star Citizen at the minimum level to get a digital copy of it, I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t read some article on this very website. I’m not checking every week the progress but once in a while I read the dev posts and it seems a lot is being done… like other kickstarters I know it might fail too, like others I worry a bit they won’t deliver everything they said they would.
    But really don’t understand how all the good spirit and hopes around this game from both RPS writers and commentors turned to open skepticism, mockery and bashing, just because it keeps making money.
    More money usually means more chance the project will succeed. More ambition means more features.
    Of course they might fail but that goes with every kickstarter, it seems the only reason you guys have to piss on star citizen is because they got more money but look competitor X looks better right now which means nothing : a bigger project may take more time to deliver and anywa they have plenty of time now to fix things
    They haven’t stolen this money, they aren’t trying to scam anybody, they’re trying to make something great and luckily they manage to have people believe in them. We’ll see what will come out of it, but I don’t see the point in hoping it will fail just because it’s the one with big ideas and big money

    • Seboss says:

      They’re not scamming anyone, but the amount and scale of features they promised to raise such money is just frivolous. I have a hard time believing a ragtime band of developers scattered around the world working on an ever expanding project can succeed where many well oiled AAA MMO developers failed miserably for a decade, on much less ambitious projects even! And I don’t believe throwing millions upon millions of dollars at this project will make it more likely to succeed either, quite the opposite considering the ridiculous feature creep it’s been (and still is) going through.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        One of the biggest arguments against SC is “feature creep”, which breeds from misinformation. Follow the project closely and you’ll soon enough know how much of that stuff is planned to happen in various steps, not unlike what ED is doing, or how the team is well aware of how they’ll have to instance some of this and limit some of that.

        The community is the worst part, they have no idea what is feasible or they simply don’t care, they believe this game will answer EVERYTHING and so they will be disappointed.

        The problem is that such idiots are giving the whole project the wrong vibe when summed to CR’s eagerness and the super budget.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      You’re making too much sense, stop it.

    • MisterFurious says:

      “More money usually means more chance the project will succeed. More ambition means more features.”

      Actually, when you look at both the movie and video game industry, more money usually means more of a bloated mess that doesn’t work, whereas less money usually promotes more creativity and a stronger desire to get the thing done.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Not really, it’s just that projects with such a high budget are usually supposed to end up as your usual blockbuster, let alone the fact that a tremendous amount of that money goes to marketing.

        Bigger companies use more money because they have more money, and they have more money because they make stuff that sells to the majority of people, and the majority of people… well, you got the idea.

        I’m not saying that SC will be perfect or that it can’t fail, i’m merely pointing out that it’s using so much money with a wildly different purpose. Random example: the money that went into GTA5 actually served a good purpose, and it was spent by a company that believes in quality and inspiration, not in spending trillions licensing stuff for the next FIFA.

    • Stupoider says:

      “More money usually means more chance the project will succeed”

      Has this ever been the case? You can look at something like the The Fellowship of the Ring where the budget wasn’t as extraordinary as the following films in the trilogy, but FOTR stands out as the best.

      And then you only have to look at special effects moneysinks such as John Carter or The Lone Ranger to see that a higher budget doesn’t immunize a project from turning into a stinker. Countless first time directors have been whisked into directing big budget films that have ultimately failed, despite the director’s talent and promise.

      Star Citizen was going to succeed when it met its very first stretch goal, all that needed to be delivered was a great, solid space simulation. Yet as the budget climbs, so too do expectations, and as feature creep begins to take hold the game will become more and more unfocused, culminating in a big mess of ideas that lack any synergy.

      So no, throwing money at stuff isn’t a guarantee of success. In fact I would argue that a lot of the time it is detrimental to production.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        All the examples of flawed project with huge budgets always lead to cash-ins aimed at the lowest common denominator.

        The very first Star Wars had a huge budget BUT also a great vision behind it, and it worked.

        • Stupoider says:

          The third Star Wars film has an even bigger budget and was terrible.

          Not to mention the prequels….

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Because they all lacked that special something.

            I’m not saying that money is the key, just that the examples used against that notion are a little flawed. Off course the basis needs to be covered. A big budget is only a plus, obviously, i’m just saying that it can be a huge one, and arguing against the fact that the only thing going for SC is money.

          • Sleepy Will says:

            The “special something” was people who said no to Lucas

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            OK then, let’s hope CR will also have people that say no to him.

            At least this time around it won’t be Microsoft calling the shot and releasing Freelancer as it was.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ben Barrett says:

        Return of the King and Two Towers are MILES better than Fellowship.


        • Solidstate89 says:

          Yup, pretty much. Also, there’s the old adage; correlation doesn’t equal causation.

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          I’m with the OP, Fellowship was the only one where Jackson’s ego came second to actually adapting the damn book

    • schlusenbach says:

      Most people want them to succeed, I sure do. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that the complexity of what Roberts promises will break the developers’ neck. And in that light the way they are still selling those promises is more and more looking like a shady scheme to milk their customers. I mean, they’re selling virtual fish for the aquarium in your space ship, ffs. That is sad and that is why people lost their good spirit.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      More money usually means more chance the project will succeed.


  15. RaveTurned says:

    However the game turns out, I reckon the eventual post-mortem of the project is going to make fascinating reading.

  16. BoMbY says:

    Not a good article. Way too much biased by the personal opinion of the author, or maybe just envy? The half sentence “but only from companies I trust making franchises I love” already says enough …

    • Premium User Badge

      Ben Barrett says:

      Would you like me to give someone else’s opinion?

    • Distec says:

      We’re talking about a game that is offering digital trees for stretch goals and considers fake languages to be part of the “core”.

      I think the tone is acceptable.

      • derbefrier says:

        maybe from the outside looking in but if you have followed the game closely you would know that there was a poll asking backers if we wanted to continue stretch goals not to long ago. The backers wanted more stretch goals in spite of Roberts plainly saying in that post he was against it as he felt that had gone on long enough and they were basically out of ideas for anything substantial but said they would do as the backers wanted in this case. There have been multiple polls asking if they wanted to stop the funding drive completely but again the backers wanted more so they gave it. All of this is because of the backers and CIG has honored thoer word that they would listen to our fedback on this matter and they have,.

        • Distec says:

          I’m aware they polled it. That also tells me that one’s customers are not necessarily the best judges, and you’re not beholden to the million things they ask for. That would run in conflict with getting more money, though.

          So it’s not just Chris Roberts promising the moon and overextending development. The other half of this equation is what looks to me like backers throwing money into a pit in pursuit of “dream game”. Honestly, I would not even expect a AAA studio to deliver on this, even if they were untethered from publisher demands and allowed full creative control.

          The sum result is a situation that looks not just a little ridiculous. Especially when that other kickstarted space game has gotten by with less and has put out a remarkably competent showing.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      haha, envy, really?

  17. subedii says:

    Star Citizen’s ever increasing moneypot feels so weird to me now. I pretty much backed it purely for the Singleplayer, which we’ve heard almost nothing about (and hey, I’m OK with that), but is making ridiculous amounts of money because everyone’s piling on for an MMO that I feel like I _ought_ to be interested in but I’m not.

    That said, one thing did give me a more hopeful spin on that. The quality of the ship trailers has been pretty consistently amazing so far. So if the “Wing Commander” style SP campaign is made up of stuff of that kind of quality, then they’re already well on the way to impressing me.

    • kaffis says:

      This. And if you follow the news from it, they do talk about the single player from time to time, just not in a lot of details because they don’t want to spoil the story. Foundry 42 (the Manchester office) fills their monthly reports with what they’re working on, with the single player campaign dominating (or assisting on universal systems that are currently gating their ability to work on/test portions of the single player campaign, as has been the case lately with the DFM) the entries.

  18. Wedge says:

    This is going to be one of the greatest senior citizen scams of all time.

    • jpm224 says:

      “What great taste! Can you tell me the name of your lucky granddaughter who’ll be receiving this? No? Well that’s alright, can you tell me your credit card number?”

    • GameQB11 says:

      underrated comment

  19. 88GJS88 says:

    I’m not massively fussed by this game regardless, but I certainly don’t see any reason why you’d go charging in with more money at this point even if you were. The game is either going to come out eventually, or disappear up it’s own black hole – either way, $50-$100 from me isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference to them now.

  20. Velthaertirden says:

    Second article on a space game with alien languages and no mention of Captain Blood? Well, I’ll fix that:

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      It turns out I still have a bunch of neurons dedicated to interpreting UPCOMS glyphs.
      [ME] [LAUGH] [LAUGH] [LAUGH]

    • Zenicetus says:

      That game was so weird. I loved it.

    • Emeraude says:

      That game is one of the two reasons why I ended up majoring in linguistics.

      And yes, really weird. Which is what made it lovely.

  21. InternetBatman says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to call it a scam, but I don’t see the point in bringing it up in general until they have more to show for it.

  22. eminus says:

    bask in the glory of the PC Elite Master Race! Hail to Star Citizen! lol

  23. Turkey says:

    Jeez. A lot of people care how other people spend their money, I guess.

  24. Solidstate89 says:

    I’m all for a healthy sense of criticism. I think that kind of attitude will go far in terms of “not getting lost in the limelight” so to speak when either discussing or backing this game. But every comments section on these gaming news sites (including this one) seem to be full of people who are just waiting, even hoping this game will fail.

    I know it’s a rather common human trait, but it’s rather depressing nonetheless to see such schadenfreude-esque attitude surrounding such an ambitious project. As a backer I am obviously hoping they succeed, but I’m also not going to wish other competing game projects fail; just because.

    • 0positivo says:

      This. I’m starting to think it would rather be a good idea to ignore anything that RPS (or other specific sites) write about SC. There’s nothing but negativity and opinionism, and it’s getting really tiring

      And to think that up until recently I though very highly of RPS. But a serie of bad calls (and this whole “we really don’t like SC, but the barely functional EVE is awesome” affair) really is making me look for somewhere else to get my daily fix of videogamey information

  25. cylentstorm says:

    Hey, I hope that it works out. Looks like a big mess right now, but I definitely don’t want to see it become another X:Rebirth–crushed under the weight of its own ambition.

    The recent revival of the space sim warms my geeky little heart, but I have to say that there is only one that holds my eye. It seems to be less “simulation” and more “exploration”–so No Man’s Sky has sucked me in to its vortex, even though it’s release is fairly far off, as well. (My birthday, 2015…)

  26. Wauffles says:

    shame it feels like shit to fly around in lmao

  27. derbefrier says:

    I have fiven probably around 300 bucks to this game. More than i ever dreamed of spending on a game past and present. I never buy special editions or anything but I really wanted this game to be made. I started with a modest pledge package and then upgraded over the courseof a month to the constellation package(the multicrew ship for the uninitiated). I have my doubts about how certain parts of the game will pan out but I can say with confidence it will be a good game and that was only solidified with the release of Arena Commander.

    I know some people dont like the flight model because its radically different from the space sims of old with the simplified atmospheric model(planes in space is how most people refer to it) and prefer dogfights to play out more like they would in a world war 2 sim but I love it. Its very rough right now, this being its first implementation and still lacking many features and control issues but I think once they get the remaiing features in( such lateral G’s, a more nuanced fly by wire system, and the all important ship customization) things will improve greatly. I love how each ship isnt just faster or slower in regards to speed and turning ability but handles and feels differently. like the difference between a cheap car or a high performance one. IT really gives the ships thier own personality.

    Whlie progress is slower than i had hoped I am pretty happy so far. I knew when i backed that this was a project that was risky and prone to issues but while 300 bucks isnt chump change its nothing i’ll lose my shit over if things go bad with the game and the rewards if it turns out even decent will last decades.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Hey, for $150, I can give you the same thing you’ve gotten from Star Citizen. Better get in on the ground floor, because next week the price is going to $200.

      • derbefrier says:


        • subedii says:

          He’s trying to be witty by saying you’re easily conned. Or something.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            That’s E:D’s premium beta price before the package gets removed on 29th july for good.

            Or something.

  28. mikmanner says:

    Hang on… so Chris Roberts is saying that it costs $2 million to develop fake alien languages?

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Thanks for confirming the fact that people will never understand the abstract nature of stretch goals.

      Hell, most people will stop at the term “abstract”.

      • mikmanner says:

        Fair point, I’ve been looking at it like Kickstarter stretch goals ‘for this much money we can do x’ etc. If it’s more if an incentive thing then I get it

  29. PopeRatzo says:

    The amount of money Star Citizen has made is getting slightly embarassing now.

    The embarrassing part is that it made the money without releasing, you know, a game.

    It’s funny how you guys really think this game is ever going to be released.

    • 65 says:

      Why wouldn’t it be?
      You can plainly see the progress they’ve made.

    • JenkNekro says:

      Yeah it’s not like people are playing multiplayer right now. Oh wait.

  30. 65 says:

    I backed this for the singleplayer as I have a feeling this will turn out to be another Online Bastardry Simulator.
    35€ feels more than enough for that.

  31. Jclooth says:

    So I backed this during the original kickstarter at whatever the lowest lvl to actually receive a copy of the game was at the time (30 squid i think). At the time I saw it as a way of showing my support for what looked like a really ambitious and exciting project which might well turn into a cool game I could play one day…

    At the time it didn’t really bother me that you got access to better ships the more money you pledged because it was sort of implied that they would be replaced pretty quickly by stuff you’s earn by playing the game and be more like a badge of honor like ‘check out how much I helped’!

    Two aspects of the way this whole thing has played out since then have really rubbed me up the wrong way and made me kind of regret my initial support.

    First of all the fact that they kept taking money after the first round of crowd funding. I feel like they should have hit (or surpassed) the goals they set in the first place and then used that show of support to secure more traditional funding. As it stands they are getting away with taking money from people for a product that might never materialise… it’s not like you can get a refund if it doesn’t happen because its a ‘donation’, right?

    Second’v’ly the fact that people can keep buying ships seems to go against the spirit in which the game was originally pitched. Either these ships and ingame items will be really good and useful (which annoys me) or they will be how those first rewards were pitched and become redundant really quickly (which is really bad for all those people spending all that money).

    It’s all just starting to feel like a bit of a ridiculous scam, which makes me sad.

    On the other hand, they sent me a credit card with JCloth printed on it, so maybe it’s all fine.

    • JenkNekro says:

      They posted a poll when they reached self-publishing funding levels asking whether they should stop allowing people to purchase items to fund the game, people overwhelmingly said yes. They also asked whether they should just stop with the stretch goals altogether since they were basically openly out of ideas, people said no, thus the weird stretch goals.

  32. Chaz says:

    It’s funny how Elite Dangerous keeps getting flack for the price of entry to its beta. Yet Star Citizen gets barley a murmur of dissent for selling in game items that don’t yet exist for the kinds of prices that’d make Braben blush.

    I backed SC at a basic level when it first reared its head. I hope some thing does come of it, even if only half the feature list makes it in.

    I see comparisons made between Chris Roberts and Derek Smart. Roberts need not worry about having to turn up here to provide a counter blast to every negative post. His legion of rabid fans seem to have that side of things already covered for him.

    • 0positivo says:

      I don’t know about you, but I see nothing but flack in game journalism around here

      It’s like they hope it fails or something. It’s really getting old, fast

  33. JenkNekro says:

    “They won’t even talk about who the First-Person Shooter team is yet”

    I just googled “star citizen fps team” and their identity was the first god damn result – it’s Illfonic, the people who made the excellent Nexuiz. But I’m used to RPS putting zero effort into SC articles.

  34. gremlich says:

    Seriously? They paid this guy to write a well informed article? Or is this just his rant because he doesn’t know any better.

    What CIG has done is no different from the pledge drives you see on PBS channels in the US.

    You “vote” for your favorite show (in our case “Star Citizen”) at a given funding level and they (CIG in our case) gifts you with an item commensurate in value to that which you have contributed (yes, contributed as in donated). So, instead of a CD/DVD or a book, we get ships. No different. If you believe it is, well, ……. sorry for you.

    The writer of this article CLEARLY does not understand that we are NOT buying ships — We are FUNDING CIG to make a game and they are Gifting us ships for our help in allowing them to do so. Just as any Publishing company might do, only we do not get any control over how CIG does their job and we have NO expectation of monetary recompense – we just want the game. Additionally, look at CIG’s marketing outlay – very VERY low compared to any other current or future game out there.

  35. KK42 says:

    Wow, the misinformation and lack of research that went into this “report” are sadly comical.

    Here are just a few of the boneheaded mistakes:

    1. There are no “magazine subscriptions”. Jump Point (what I have to assume the author is referring to) is a monthly collection of development information shared on-line in PDF format, and is part of a larger subscription pledge model. Of course, someone with no understanding, someone who did zero research, would assume it was a “magazine subscription”. I’ve got it – let’s have THIS GUY write a ”knowledgeable” article on the subject! (Wow, RPS – do you have editors and copy reviewers??)

    2. The suggestion that a second commercial for the Retaliator was being made is patently false; in fact, he goes on to link a commercial for AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SHIP. Top notch journalistic integrity can’t be built any better than this ….

    I am ashamed at this point to do something I have historically taken for granted; and that is, defend Rock Paper Shotgun. You guys should be ashamed. You don’t have to agree or like or understand what is happening with SC, but you DO have a responsibility to not publish SH!T. This time, you missed…

    Get it together, or risk being turned into an internet joke, guys ….

    • Harlander says:

      (Wow, RPS – do you have editors and copy reviewers??)

      Probably not, I mean, it’s a blog, not a newspaper.

  36. wodin says:

    I’m no comfortable at all with this insurance scam..I mean game mechanic. Insurance in real life is bad enough.

    I can’ t count how many times I have died in previous space sims whilst esp when learning. Now with SC you die once unless you pay insurance you lose your ship..effectively taking the main feature of the game away. A joke.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      How else will they disincentivise dying? If you want to learn how to play the game, do it in the single player.

  37. racccoon says:

    Really how dumb are we carry on like this is beyond stupid.

    I think the realization of this is… ITS FREE MONEY!! with No REFUNDS. NO INVESTMENT. NO CONTROL.
    They could if they wanted to just pack up and live it up.
    There no law in gaming this needs a stewards inquiry.
    why are we so dumb. lol

  38. Caelinus says:

    The money they raise is not going to make the game good or bad. Money is just a resource, its what they do with that money that is important.

    What makes a game good is a strong design idea executed well. The reason many have begun to lose faith in Star Citizen is because it appears to lack focus, and looks like it is promising the impossible. And if the history of gaming is any guide, if it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

    I am going to call it the “Molyneux Effect.” There is a strong personality at the head of SC in Chris Roberts, and due to things that he accomplished in the past people are ready to believe that he can do the impossible. But Roberts, like Molyneux, has a history of overpromising. The truth is, if it was an unknown lead designer, or someone with a little less charisma, the promises made by the SC team would look absolutely ridiculous. And that goes double for their method of funding.

    They may succeed. I hope they do. I would love a game made out of pure fabric of hopes and dreams as much as anyone, but until they have something to actually show us, I will remain skeptical.

  39. Nihilim says:

  40. BobbyDylan says:

    RPS, leave CIG alone!


  41. statistx says:

    Kickstarter, Early Access, Funding, supporting the developement….that all is ok…I won’t fight against people that feel it justified to pay a games price before the game is released. I did that with some games myself.

    Are you fucking kidding me? How is that justified? It’s not that they have to get material or a team to program each ship uniquely…they just need to copy past code which also probably happens automatically through the software…

    I have to stop now, got headache from facepalming.

  42. dmoe says:

    Feature Creep: The Game

  43. Archang3ll says:

    I never knew that so many people cared how other people spend/spent their OWN money.

    To the writer of this article – you do realize that there is more to Star Citizen than how much development funds it has raised. Yet that’s all some of these so-called media sites seem to talk about. So you can’t navigate the site. Boo frickin’ hoo. That sounds more like a personal problem than any fault of C.I.G.

    So by the article’s own writer’s words – it’s ok to support a game from a company you trust. Hmmmm… interesting. Could it be possibly that maybe 500,000 people just trust Chris Roberts. You know the guy that’s proven time and time again he KNOWS how to make a good game. Does that FACT not count for anything in your weak assessment? That you would make such an asinine comment shows your level of maturity and professionalism.

    And I really don’t give hoot whether you post my comment or not. Clowns indeed.

    • statistx says:

      Well, the issue is not how others spend their money, but how those other peoples money spending behaviour shapes the game market.
      Why is the gaming industry flooded with DLC or Ingame purchases? Cause other people buy it.
      Why are early access games more and more in the way that they charge more than the retail price, instead of doing it like minecraft and charge you LESS for supporting early? Cause people still bought planetary anihilation at 80 bucks or something.

  44. specialsymbol says:

    It’s because people don’t understand what Star Citizen will be.

    When I backed it was said it will be Privateer – but bigger, better, with more believable economy.
    I didn’t think someone else wanted this, but I did – so I put in some serious (for a game) amount of money.

    Most people who back today think it will be something like Second World mixed with the Sims, set in a WoW-type world in space with Eve online economy mechanics – just more “realistic”. They don’t realize that it was intended to be a game. They strongly believe that they need to buy those ships now, because they expect that it’s some sort of an investment, that prices will rise when the game is out.

    I don’t really know what I pledged for anymore.
    If it’s going to be an economy simulator that simulates capitalism (those with the biggest pocket win, because they can hire people who work and fight for them) I’m out of there.
    If I need to grind for weeks just to pay for arbitrary money sinks to keep “the economy stable”, which for most people means: secures their investment, I’m out of there.
    If I need to play for a year to afford a bigger ship, I’m out of there.