Stars Amongst The Stars In Star Citizen

Hollywood actors including Harry Potter‘s Gary Oldman, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back‘s Mark Hamill, Sliders‘ John Rhys-Davies, Volume‘s Andy Serkis, Eastenders‘ Craig Fairbrass, and GILLIAN CHUFFING ANDERSON are lending their voices and faces to Squardron 42, the single-player side of Star Citizen [official site].

Creator Chris Roberts’s years in Hollywood may not have produced much of note, but his crowdfunded space ’em up has let him pull together a pret-ty swish cast. Fresh from his debut at the CitizenCon shindig over the weekend, here’s an eerie virtual Gary Oldman spouting jingoism as a space-American:

Yes, but what about Gillian Anderson? The teases.

I still don’t understand the time, effort, and money that goes into recreating real people’s faces with fancy technology and lots of dots when the end result is deep in the uncanny valley. The Witcher 3‘s faces aren’t motion capture but its characters look so much more alive and subtle. I’m sure that took loads of work, but I can’t imagine a Hollywood cast is cheap either, and Star Citizen’s ongoing development is running off selling imaginary ships (a new one’s up now for $170, by the way – only for a few days, to stir up panic purchases).

Squadron 42 is to be a single-player campaign starring a rookie pilot aboard a vast capital ship, split between social-y ship side, spaceship pew-pew, and on-foot FPS action. It’s due next year, but CitizenCon showed a bit of a work-in-progress version with a live demo. Bafflingly, a fair bit of their video footage of that is recorded off screens over the audience’s shoulders like a leaked Avengers trailer:

Also at CitizenCon was a bit of Star Citizen’s alpha 2.0. Developers Cloud Imperium Games whipped together the following video with gameplay snippets, which mostly look a bit dull and janky except for the neat bit where the player is pottering about the bridge of a ship their pal is piloting:

The full CitizenCon presentation is also archived, if you want to see the whole shebang in full livery:

169 Comments

  1. DarkLiberator says:

    Agent Scully and Luke Skywalker? Yays. John Rhys-Davies as well? Seems like a bit of a Wing Commander reunion. G

    I must say that speech is hilariously cheesy and over the top. The facial tech also looks insane. Though I think he might need a bit more body language, kinda jarring to see a highly detailed face and he doesn’t really seem to convey it with movement.

    I’ve been somewhat worried about this project, but its definitely making progress. I don’t expect to see everything in the game probably till 2016/2017ish, which sounds like a normal 4-5 dev cycle.

    • tomimt says:

      The facial tech is indeed pretty awesome stuff. And apparently in realtime as well. I still don’t know if the game is going the be good or not, but at least they’re pushing tech forward. A lot of people have been wondering where the money has gone and this S42 trailer does answers at part to that question.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      They do full motion capture of the entire body. They have a video or two posted on their YT page showing as much. One of them is an interview with Gary Oldman which I kind of got bored of halfway through, however the one funny bit in there is about the fact that apparently he can’t say “Admiral Bishop.” It shows him in his MOCAP suit failing the line over and over until he just drops “Adrmial” and just says “Bishop.”

      However it’s all done on a mock ship bridge, with a “console” and a “captain’s chair and the whole shebang.

      • DarkLiberator says:

        Yeah, I just watched their “Behind the Scenes of Squadron 42”, the motion capture looked pretty impressive. I’m guessing that sort of thing is very time consuming.

        On a sidenote, I can’t believe RPS missed out on mentioning Mark Strong.

  2. trjp says:

    Ah – Gillian Anderson – you know those famous people you find interesting and attractive will eventually do something crass and drive you away but she lasted so long without doing that!

    Then she came out as a PETA supporter – PETA are crazy people who kill animals just to spite their former owners – NOT that!!

    Let’s hope that was just a blip eh – not her first foray into games either I don’t think?

    • PoulWrist says:

      Seeing as how she starred in the X-Files games, I’d say no :p

      Also apparently voiced the computer in Hellbender.

    • frightlever says:

      She co-starred in a film with Danny Dyer, so it’s not like she hadn’t already taken a tumble off her pedestal.

    • bill says:

      They actually seem to have a pretty rational approach to euthanizing animals. I don’t know if i’d agree with them on it, but it seems a bit more nuanced than “PETA enjoy killing animals”.

      Either way, I’d imagine that most people who support PETA do so based on a simple view of their basic goal, rather than a detailed analysis and 100% endorsement of their every action.
      So you can probably keep liking her… I doubt she’s that much into animal murder.

      • Cederic says:

        PETA stole peta.org from its original owners, and I can not forgive them for that.

        They’re evil and wrong, and so are their supporters.

    • thedosbox says:

      Then she came out as a PETA supporter – PETA are crazy people who kill animals just to spite their former owners – NOT that!!

      Out of context, misleading hyperbole. I thought I was reading facebook when I saw this comment.

      Not going to link it as some of the imagery might upset people, but the blog on euthanization at peta dot org provides proper context on their approach for dealing with abused and neglected animals.

    • GWOP says:

      Talking of voice acting and animals, I was rather fond of her as Moro in Princess Mononoke.

      • Solidstate89 says:

        I had no idea she did VA work for Princess Mononoke. That’s fantastic. Hell, it wasn’t until years later that I realized that Patrick Stewart and Mark Hammil also did work; in Nausicaa.

        • GWOP says:

          Huh. I have never looked closely at the voice cast of Nausicaa either.

    • SpakAttack says:

      Fuck man – go learn what really happens instead of spouting inane propaganda?

    • bonuswavepilot says:

      Yeeeeah…. PETA I think sometimes miss the mark in how they sell themselves, but claiming they euthanise “just to spite their former owners” is nonsense.

  3. DarkLiberator says:

    I can’t seem to edit my post, was going to add, if RPS you are reading this, apparently they’re releasing a direct feed 1080p60 video of the Morrow Tour on Tuesday in case you are wondering why there’s only the grainy stream version. I am mystified why during the middle of a livestream they decided to show the crowd instead of the game itself.

    I wonder if they’ll keep the shining white teeth man or the ghost walker in the upcoming video heh.

  4. DarkFenix says:

    On the one hand, they’ve got some actors who have proven really good for voicework. On the other hand, they’ve got to be [i]really[/i] expensive.

    Still, the new ship is going to be very nice for me, think I’ll pick an extra up to sell for profit later. Should put my Star Citizen expenditure firmly into profit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Der Zeitgeist says:

      Reselling nonexisting virtual spaceships in a nonexisting game for profit. We really do live in interesting times.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        It’s the south star bubble. Buy low, but be sure to sell before the crash…

    • Nick Savage says:

      Yeah, the actors are expensive. I know the $5m stretch goal said they were going to use big name actors, but I wasn’t expecting this many.

      So long as they have enough left in the bank though, it can only be a good thing. The ship sales are weird, but it’s a nice way to fund the ludicrously expensive costs of a AAA indie game.

      I also thought the Alpha demo was a bit dull. However, I don’t think it was intended as a high action cinematic. It carefully covers some of the technical achievements and other little features to date – i.e. localised ship physics, ‘large world’ in cryengine, seamless transitions with no loading screens, FPS elements, quick repair mechanics, EVAs etc. The problem is, stitching them all together felt a little soulless. The station interiors were almost entirely devoid of content.

      Overall though, it’s the mechanics and engineering that they’ve been working on. They can put more effort into the ‘hustle and bustle’ and character of the game later.

      • Premium User Badge

        Der Zeitgeist says:

        Well, it’s a tech demo. A quite impressive one, admittedly.

        The problem is, no one has any idea what a lot of the actual gameplay will be like, because most of that currently exists only on paper or in the collecive shared dreams of the backers. Nevertheless, there are people putting in hundreds or even thousands of dollars for spaceships, when they don’t even know how these will work in the context of the actual game.

        I can only stand back and marvel at the sheer craziness of this whole scheme. :-)

        • Nick Savage says:

          It is a little… nuts.

          But hey, all the best things in life are.

        • Longtree says:

          Most people just get a simple game package for around 50 dollars. You don’t ever need to spend more as everything will be available with in-game currency when the time comes. In a large population there’ll always be few big earners who don’t mind paying a lot more. Beware of sensationalist articles that just want your clicks ;-)

          • Nick Savage says:

            Yeah, agree there. Some of the money people have spent is nuts *to me*. To them, it could be small change. Most backers have paid the normal price for crowdfunding a decent game.

            I’m not all that sure why it’s perceived as bonkers. It’s just getting the funding it needs. It may succeed, or may fail. It’s just a game, but people seem to care WAY too much one way or another. They seem to be putting the work in, which is all that matters to me.

    • shde2e says:

      Is anyone else getting Double Fine flashbacks?
      The production of Star Citizen has always seemed a little bit too good to be true, and this isn’t helping things.

      • Longtree says:

        I hope they pull it off. They’ll have managed to kick the big publisher dependency that’s ruining the industry – Another COD clone anyone ?

  5. mikmanner says:

    What a boring video.

    WOW Gary Oldman

    What’s he on about?

  6. Bull0 says:

    He’s doing a haggard old man voice but he’s been drawn fairly youthful, and it’s jarring. Cool stuff though, those are some of the best CG ears I’ve ever seen.

    • DarkLiberator says:

      I agree its jarring, though to be somewhat fair, not everyone has a voice that “matches” what they look like. I don’t think that’s Oldman’s normal voice though I have no idea what it does sound like, since he’s portrayed so many characters.

      I suppose they could age him up a little to make it less jarring?

  7. bill says:

    “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back‘s Mark Hamill”

    Heh.

  8. Elliot Lannigan says:

    Holy crap. I was indifferent to and bemused by this game before but after seeing that virtual Oldman video I think I might actively hate it now. This is what people poured $90 million plus into? It feels like a Call of Duty MMO in space. I don’t normally go out of my way to make negative comments about things I don’t like but UGH that left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Y’know, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to have a failed Hollywood director be in charge of a big budget cinematic game production?

    • Premium User Badge

      Der Zeitgeist says:

      Well, it’s Chris Roberts, what were people expecting? He came back from the mid-90s with the same old scripts, character ideas and storylines, and people gave him 90 million dollars. Only this time with no accountability whatsoever.

      This should be interesting.

      • badirontree says:

        92 million and going :D
        Also wait for the single player game to come out before saying the story sucks… lol

        • Elliot Lannigan says:

          Any story with a scene like that automatically sucks from the point of view of what I like to see in my space fiction. Unless it turns out it was a propaganda reel from the story’s villains :D It’s just sooo cheesy and nauseatingly hoo-rah Murica-in-space and that rather delicious musical cue deserves to be playing over something that doesn’t make a mockery of it!

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            Setting it up as straight forward as this can only mean there are grey moral areas to come. Probably these “vanduul” are just trying to settle in the near-abandoned human systems because they’re fleeing some sort of disaster in their home systems and the powers that be are using the resulting tensions as an excuse to profit from a huge war. That’s what my gut tells me but it would be somewhat disappointing as it’s almost identical to the plot of Wing Commander IV (where I think the inspiration for that assembly room setting comes from anyway)

          • DarkLiberator says:

            The plot has been described by Roberts as a Heart of Darkness style tale, where the opening is all jingoism and post 9/11 patriot act style speeches to hit back at the enemy, before it descends into something much more fucked up. Whether it actually delivers on that remains to be seen of course.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            Also, declining Imperial power faced with waves of migration from a people called the “Vanduul” who are accused of being destructive userpers… Well that sounds original.

          • badirontree says:

            I bet he will use this war to be an Emperor like Ceasar :P

          • derbefrier says:

            Yeah and the story is supposed to mirror the fall of the roman empire

          • Stellar Duck says:

            “The plot has been described by Roberts as a Heart of Darkness style tale, where the opening is all jingoism and post 9/11 patriot act style speeches to hit back at the enemy, before it descends into something much more fucked up. Whether it actually delivers on that remains to be seen of course.”

            What the hell? Has he even read Heart of Darkness?

            That’s… not at all anything like Heart of Darkness. That sounds like what people who never read it think it’s about.

            Saying Heart of Darkness is about jingoism and then it goes bad is like saying Moby-Dick is about how to cope with life after losing a limb.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            Yeah, I’m assuming he’s talking about Marlow’s initially simplistic perspective on colonization, versus “the horror” that is eventually exposed.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            So the comparison intended here is that what starts off as a straight forward thing (which a clear moral imperative) descends into chaos. Not so much that the themes explored while doing so are the same as Conrad’s. Although questioning imperialism is probably intended, you can’t really equate nationalistic jingoism with exploitation by a colonizing power. If Star Citizen is meant to be like heart of darkness then only one side would have the spaceships :)

      • ffordesoon says:

        I think people forget Wing Commander was cheesy as hell, and about as subtle and nuanced as a Punch and Judy routine. It strikes me as rather unwise to expect more than a bombastic, pulpy romp. In this one aspect, at least, Wing Commander was actually a direct precursor to the CoDs of the world.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Pretty much. This is Chris trying to exercise the Wing Commander movie demons.

      Judging form that script, those demons aren’t even breaking a sweat tho.

  9. Underwhelmed says:

    People still pledging money to this are insane. After 3 years, all they had to show at the con were non-interactive demos, a power point presentation, the announcement of a new premium ship, a multi-level marketing program for referrals. And the crowning moment? a couple minutes of a video showing a broken FPS game, in which players were never actually shown firing their weapons at each other because, guess what, that isn’t implemented yet.

    This project is a joke, and if it ever releases, it isn’t going to be in any state approaching what is being promised at this point.

    • derbefrier says:

      Non interactive? Wtf are you smoking. The star citizen 2.0 demo was played live. All those people you saw sitting around computers were actually playing the game.

      if your gonna hate at least have the Decency to be right.

  10. Krazen says:

    I get the distinct impression that even if SC does eventually get released everyone’s reactions are going to vary between underwhelmed to very disappointed.

    • DarkLiberator says:

      With a million backers, I have no doubt someone is going to get disappointed. Its a foregone conclusion by now.

      • Premium User Badge

        Der Zeitgeist says:

        I’m expecting the final game could actually be pretty mediocre. The accumulated rage from disappointed fans however will probably release enough negative energy to power a medium sized city for a year.

        • DarkLiberator says:

          I have no doubt it’ll be entertaining to watch that. Me on the other hand, I backed the most basic package, and already feel like I got my money’s worth. I’m here for the ride, to see if it crashes/burn or succeeds.

        • alms says:

          Wait, isn’t negative energy supposed to black out a medium sized city etc etc?

    • grimdanfango says:

      I get the distinct impression that if it’s ever released, reactions from backers will be a fervent, religious denial of any naysaying… they’ll literally re-write their own subconscious to justify to themselves the money they’ve poured into it.
      Of course, everyone elses reaction will be unfiltered scorn.
      It’s going to be the internet hate war to end all internet hate wars! *All* reviewers will receive death threats.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        So what you’re saying is, they might enjoy it but they’ll be /wrong/ for doing so.

        • grimdanfango says:

          Not at all. I’m just saying that people often go to great psychological lengths to avoid buyers remorse. For some people, that drive is going to be immense in the case of Star Citizen. Even if they enjoy it, chances are in a lot of people’s cases, it’s going to take a major leap to justify to themselves that what they’re playing was worth the money they poured in, and that will manifest in very aggressively attempting to shut down any discussion about the game being less significant than the second coming of Christ :-)

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Perhaps; people do the same with things they are emotionally invested in too, not just financially. People are complicated.

            I’m not sure whether it really matters why someone might enjoy it. Emotional/financial investment may be a factor for many people but that doesn’t nullify their actual enjoyment.

            Ultimately, if they’re having a good time, that can only be a good thing surely.

          • alms says:

            “the shutting down” Actually it’s already happening. You’re probably just not talking to the <cough>right people.

      • macc says:

        On the other hand you could say. If it releases and it turns out to be good, you guys will still say it’s going to be shit.

        • derbefrier says:

          its interesting that, in that entire conversation, not one of them even considered that people might like the game because its fun.

  11. Luminolza says:

    I still have no idea what Star Citizen is trying to be, other than expensive.

    • TheOx129 says:

      At this juncture, I think it’s just a vehicle for Chris Roberts to further indulge in his Hollywood fantasies, as though his previous failures in the arena weren’t enough to completely dissuade him of the notion.

      Alternatively, he saw the opportunity to make Freelancer 2 – without all the big bad publisher interference – once the cash started rolling in. Of course, when you realize the only reason Freelancer ever got released was because Microsoft applied pressure and Roberts was forced into a consulting role (he’s an incessant micromanager; read about his nitpicking of the Kilrathi in the WC movie to give you an idea of degree), it doesn’t bode well for Star Citizen, which has the exact opposite problem: a cadre of adoring fans who eat up everything and don’t hold his feet to the fire.

      It’s not even necessarily the scale of the project I’m skeptical of (the consensus seems to be “it’s massive, but doable with a AAA budget”), it’s Roberts’s abilities as a project manager without any sort of oversight.

  12. elderman says:

    With Sophie Wu and Harry Treadaway in the cast list, LAMDA class of 2006 is seriously overrepresented in the space future!

  13. DailyFrankPeter says:

    Uh, oh… dream hollywood cast joins the list of unfinished groundbreaking features, along with promising space battles, proof-of-concept social interactions, theoretically richest choice of careers, rich to-come customisation, player-driven economy with no players yet, and others. I do hope Chris Rogers managed to get some mates-rates on the acting.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Actually the economy will be driven little by the players, this isn’t like EVE. In the Star Citizen PU the population of players vs NPCs is something like 1:10 or 1:15. You can partake in the economic process, but it is far from player driven.

  14. FeedFilter says:

    Their demo video looked terrible: when it aired live it was outright atrocious. But way more strangely, it also looked like a significant downgrade from the FPS video they showed at CitizenCon 2014.

    And now they decided not to give release dates, again? Here’s a link to their slide from CitizenCon 2014 with their projected rollout map. Things slip, sure… but of the 2015 items here, they’re 1 for 5. link to i.imgur.com

    Seriously, I’m sure this could end up being an awesome game, but they need an executive producer that’s empowered to set some limits on what’s getting worked on. CR doesn’t seem willing to do so.

    • DailyFrankPeter says:

      *Roberts

    • Love Albatross says:

      “But way more strangely, it also looked like a significant downgrade from the FPS video they showed at CitizenCon 2014.”

      No one really seems to be talking about it but the impression I get is that they’ve had to dump a lot of the work they did up to this point in order to get things to function. They dropped a lot of contractors a while back and recently put out a reorganisation announcement. Reading between the lines I’d say they couldn’t get the game to come together when it was separate parts being built by a wide array of teams, and have had to start again in some areas.

      Could be a sensible move, but who knows how much time and money has been wasted in the process? There’s other stuff too, like how they’re currently having trouble getting guns to shoot straight. In an engine made famous by an FPS and with developers who worked at the company which made said engine. If I was a backer and into this for serious money I’d be asking for a refund and waiting for a proper release. It’s concerning that they appear to be quite disorganised and inexperienced with everything they do.

  15. derbefrier says:

    FYI everything you saw is still a WIP. The scene with Oldman isn’t finished. This was just showing what they have gotten done so far.

    I thought everything looked great personally.

  16. Philopoemen says:

    I for one look forward to the Star Citizen movie – as it seems more feasible than SC in its stated form atm.

  17. Jokerme says:

    It’s sad to see that Gary Oldman’s name will be associated with the gaming history’s biggest failure forever. He is a really good actor.

    Yes, I will continue my open hostility towards Star Citizen until the day it gloriously fails in front of the whole world. There should be a limit to blindly throwing away money.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      You know Schadenfreude isn’t supposed to a life philosophy, right?

      • TrixX says:

        It’s going to be so fun watching so many hats get eaten when SC ships :)

    • tomimt says:

      Will your life become empty if the SC ends up being a decent game? Not bad, not greatest ever, but even a decent one?

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      “There should be a limit to blindly throwing away money.”

      Where were you when that guy gave $100m to SETI?

      • GWOP says:

        We should judge those people who spend a lot of money (meaning the money they acquired goes back into the economy) a whole lot less than those who squirrel away vast amounts of their wealth as liquid assets in some offshore account.

    • VOAD says:

      So you will have a long life because it is going to be released in 2016 (end of course not january). If that give a goal in oyur life, good for you.

  18. rollermint says:

    Every Star Citizen reveal or announcement seems to be populated by mostly 2 extreme sides, the fervent almost religious backers and the negative nancies who cannot see an iota of good from Star Citizen.

    • chewbaccasdad says:

      Agreed. With that said, I’m 100% neutral and not a backer or anything, but don’t think I’ve paid this much attention to an in-development game before. I’m fascinated to see how it turns out.

    • Uhuru N'Uru says:

      As a backer I’m not fervant or religeous (I’m an Athiest), However, they’re does seem to be a hell of a lot of inaccuracies and misinformation and always made by, the Publisher backed traditional media.

      Here’s my view.
      Whatever the original plans may have been, the unprecedented success of CIG’s Crowdfunding campaign, which contrary to almost every sites reports, had already raised over $2 million before the KickStarter even started, Which started at the urging of those backers, when KickStarter Hype was raging hot. By the end both methods had jointly raised over $6 Million. Sites credit all $6 Million to Kickstarter, when only around $3 Million would be likely due to the KickStarter alone, at best.

      Afterwards with the agreement and encouragement of the vast majority of those existing backers, CIG went all out for 100% crowdfunding of a AAA title. When I backed SC that total was at $40 Million and the game was essentially funded.
      Now it’s at $90 Million and every time CIG show the latest work the total explodes. In the 2 days since CitizenCon another $2 Million has been added, despite the Escapists controversial article.

      With almost a Million backers, it’s clear to see that the average is about $90, which is a great price for both the single player game (whether the Trilogy or just part 1) and the Persistant Universe.
      The reality is the vast majority of backers have the basic Aurora ship package and many guilds buy the big stuff as a group.

      I spent $125 on a Freelancer in Jan 2014 plus a $20 upgrade to the Explorer variant about 10 month later, above average to be sure but I didn’t buy that ship at all.

      Crowdfunded Game
      I and others have collectively invested in a project, only if that project is fully released, will I receive any profit.
      If it fails I will lose my investment and only in the case of deliberate fraud, will I have any cause to complain.

      Investing is a risk and crowdfunding is investment.
      The reward for a conventional investment is some form of profit, a financial return.
      The standard reward for a Crowdfunded game is simply the full release of a potential great game and a copy to play is my entire return (Stake and Profit), a unique experience is my ultimate reward.

      Star Citizen may never reach Final Release, however much backers want it. If that happens, I’m OK losing my money, as that’s the risk and I was willing to take that risk.
      What’s more, due to the open developement, I can clearly see CIG are giving this game their best efforts, I have no doubt all the money backed is spent on the game and that’s all I can actually expect of them.
      Has there been some mismanagement and dead ends along the way? Damn right, but that’s always true in any Company this large, so it’s basically irrelevant.

      Do I care if provisional dates are missed?
      Hell no. I crowdfund to keep the games I want to see, out of the AAA Publishers grasp.
      I don’t want the game on 11/11/11 simply because it’s a cool date to choose, but the games a buggy Skyrim mess and Bethesda are much better than most AAA Publishers out there.

      I want the game when it’s finished and not before, especially not because some early roadmap gave an outdated estimate.

      I don’t want publishers to keep ruining games and dragging franchises past their natural end. Yearly repeats of the same basic AC/COD etc., with a couple of mods added.

      CD Projekt Red are the only Dev Studio free of Publisher interferance. CIG can join them with my help , along with a million like minded gamers. That’s worth waiting for and worth risking my $145 on.

      Crowdfund with spare cash only
      The one thing I would always say, before you back any game, through any form of crowdfunding.
      Treat that money as forever lost from day one.
      It should never return to you, whether the Game is released or not.
      To get that money back, requires an deliberate attempt to defraud all backers. If that happens you made a poor judgement call and are still partially responsible.
      Invest wisely and then have no regrets, whatever happens.

      • Sir_Brizz says:

        LOL. This 716 word essay definitely doesn’t make you look zealous to the least degree.

        • derbefrier says:

          are you new to RPS? long thoughtful replies of this length are not uncommon.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            They are, but phrases like ‘Publisher backed media’ rings seven hundred red bells, leading me to think that despite his assurances to the contrary, the guy was indeed a bit of a zealot.

            I’m also concerned by the capitalization of Publisher and Gamer and the idea he has that CDPR is free of publisher influence. They’re not.

        • Karomsir says:

          Well he is trying to keep himself civil in the face of an ocean of jaded cynism and an overblown gloating bandwagon. Sure let’s stamp the guy as a zealot for expressing his opinion in a normal way and attack the one sentence of the 50 that can be attacked, because you are right, therefore he can’t be!

  19. Risingson says:

    You know, back when I watched the Wing Commander movie, I felt like there were a lot of fans wanting to bury Chris Roberts alive for just doing the same thing he did with the games: classic movie cues in a space opera narrative. Now all the Wing Commander games narratives are seen with condescendence while the “choose-your-own-adventure-look-a-child-dies!” games are praised forever as intelligent. People should definitively read more and watch more movies.

    BTW, Gillian Anderson. She has not stopped working, in tv or movies. She was featured in the wonderful Terence Davies adaptation of “The House of Mirth” and in quite a few great series and miniseries. And now she looks as beautiful as ever.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      She was excellent in the Hannibal TV series as well, which in my opinion, is probably the most unheard of great show in the last 5-10 years.

      • GWOP says:

        Almost every single Hannibal episode made me wonder – how are they allowed to show this on TV?

        I can’t even be mad at NBC, because they gave us three seasons of scenes like a man having his body broken into the shape of a heart, only to unfurl, bent over backwards, and blossom into a nightmarish stag.

        • Solidstate89 says:

          It was absolutely amazing what they were able to get away with on a network channel like NBC. And the cinematography was nothing short of incredible.

          If I didn’t know better I’d swear it was from Netflix, HBO, or Showtime.

          • GWOP says:

            It was such a strange show. A bizarre blend of high brow philosophy and low brow horror, with a heady mix of dark comedy and joyous wordplay thrown in.

            I’m glad the show could at least bow out gracefully. Can’t wait for Fuller’s American Gods adaptation.

  20. 2helix4u says:

    Have there been any articles about the ongoing legal drama between Escapist and Star Citizen? It’s strange to see nobody reporting on it since its a juicy story whatever your opinion on imaginary games.

    • chewbaccasdad says:

      Wasn’t one of the contentions in the Escapist hatchet-job article that CR was blowing huge chunks of the budget (beyond the stretch goal) on courting and hiring big name actors?

      This doesn’t exactly do much to dispel that claim…

      • DarkLiberator says:

        There was the 5 million stretch goal that was specifically about hiring big name actors. Its been hinted for awhile by Roberts that we’ll get at least one favorite from Wing Commander as well (which we did).

        • chewbaccasdad says:

          Oh, I know there was a stretch goal for it, but the Escapist article suggested that excess budget was being spent on the actors. With Hamill, Oldman, Anderson and more signed up, it seems reasonable to wonder if this claim was partway factual.

          Of course, it’s not exactly smoking gun stuff, given the massive stretch goal for precisely this purpose.

          • DarkLiberator says:

            True, true. Oldman I could maybe see being expensive (though he has done video games before, CoD if I remember correctly), though Hamil and Rhys-Davies have a history with Roberts, not sure what their pay would be. Now, normally this is just voice acting, but they also have to do motion capture, and I have no doubt that by itself is expensive.

            I think they did an extra stretch goal just for a motion capture studio itself.

          • Love Albatross says:

            Disclaimer: Derek Smart is an egomaniac and rarely does anything of substance or note beyond making a lot of noise. He’s got a reputation for being a shit stirrer for a reason.

            That said…he’s very obviously got a source or two inside CIG. He’s revealed a lot of information that’s proven to be accurate, and the reaction from CIG suggests it is legitimate info too. He’s predicted firings/resignations. Details of the presentation they did on Saturday. Changes to the progress and direction of the game.

            Unfortunately for CIG that lends some credence to the more outrageous rumours that have come about. Those might be all bs, but no matter what anyone says he has not been proven wrong about everything.

            “I think they did an extra stretch goal just for a motion capture studio itself.”

            They did. They built their own motion capture studio for facial movements. But they also hired Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium for several months. In fact they hired it for about the same time as it took to do the work on Avatar. I do not imagine that was cheap.

      • 2helix4u says:

        That and getting hollywood actors to not only do VA but forming your own motion cap studio with Andy Serkis to get hollywood actors to literally act out all their own mocap which is definition of profligate.

        Well and that he wasn’t the best person to run this which Chris inadvertantly confirms in his frankly bizzare response to Escapist. It really is a treat to read and seems like the kind of thing RPS would find funny. link to robertsspaceindustries.com

        • chewbaccasdad says:

          Yeah, I read the Escapist article and thought ‘Hmmm, that seems like a lot of unsubstantiated piffle’, why is everyone so wound up? Figured that CIG would ignore it. And then came Roberts’ reply – lots and lots of talking where he really said nothing. I was surprised he rose to it, tbh. And that he started off by attacking the author of the article was a bit childish.

          If what he is saying is true, and he wants to outmanouevre the detractors, he could have chose a better method.

          • 2helix4u says:

            Thats pretty much my experience.
            There’s also the part where he says “If you know anything about real legal discourse you would know that it stays behind closed doors. You don’t publish this kind of communication as it will prejudice any possible case. ”
            Then a couple days later publishes a legal threat to the Escapist on the Star Citizen website even though their Chris’ previous response ended with an olive branch extended to them, its mad.

          • Philopoemen says:

            Derek Smart Mk II

      • Dante80 says:

        Could someone give a rough quote for how much hiring a hollywood actor cast, hiring imaginarium, shooting for 66 days and producing 10 hours of END footage (and more 120 hours of footage in general) would cost?

        • Marblecake says:

          Heh, didn’t see your comment. So…yeah, I gave my rough estimate concerning the actors. Cost for the Imaginarium is anybody’s guess, though I’d be surprised if it’s more than $10k per day. The actual crew (according to what I could find after some quick googling) would probably also cost up to $10k per day total.
          Production of the footage is a more difficult thing to guess, seeing how production of the assets etc. not only benefits the footage but the game itself, since everything happens in-engine.

          All in all, I believe that the entire process would not cost more than $10 million. However, even if it was $15 million I wouldn’t consider that to be out of proportion.

      • Marblecake says:

        Define “huge chunks”. If by that you mean a ninth at most, then yes.
        Gary Oldman was paid $3 million for his part in The Dark Knight, arguably one of the biggest blockbusters he was in. Now, just supposing that CIG overpaid him by 100% and gave him $6 million, that would still leave enough to pay all the others without scratching the $10 million mark.

    • VOAD says:

      In fact TheEscapist has said they will continue to investigate. translate: we completly messed up, being unprofessional and know we are trying make our job and try to get real proof of so called “former employee” and “revelations”… Good luck to them.
      I will be very interested to know how many of those 9 anonymous are first: real and second: trustable.

      • 2helix4u says:

        Personally I took it the opposite way, they said that there was more that they didn’t publish and also that more sources came forward after they published. I doubt this is the last article from them on the subject.

        I’d like to see RPS weigh in, all the sites reporting on Citizen Con just reposted the vids rather than notice that the plans for SC Alpha 2 basically mean they’re indefinitly delaying any actual releases since he didn’t give a release date for it and it rolls up the existing modules.

  21. Sene says:

    I just hope if this thing bombs, it doesn’t drag too much innovation and investment in future industry projects down with it.

    • pepperfez says:

      I’m afraid a lot of the damage is already done. Whatever happens, they’ve already shown that massively over-promising and embracing feature creep are as much winning funding strategies as they are losing development strategies. Even if Star Citizen pulls it off, any number of other projects that decide to imitate its campaign pitch will fail because of it.

  22. anHorse says:

    I’m not saying the game won’t come out or that it won’t be good when it comes out (we’ll have to wait and see for that)

    But who the fuck is buying digital ships at this point into the development process?

    • rollermint says:

      People who understands that this is an indie production that doesnt have a mega publisher to fund its development and provide resources.

      Look i dont back it either since ive been let down my some MMO preorders in the past but i can understand why MANY people want to see this game succeed. There is really no need to be condescending to people who choose to support this, its their money after all.

      • Buggery says:

        They already have an enormous operating budget though? If you take off the marketing budget from most games, you’d find a fair amount of AAA budget titles spend a lot less on development.

        If you’re going to suggest that the scope of the project requires yet more money, then perhaps CIG would do well to plop out a finished segment of the game (like an actual product, not a dumpy hangar explorer and a janky shooter which I have indeed played) to get sales instead of panhandling for more millions of untraceable “development” that seems to be expanding infinitely without producing anything tangible?

      • fish99 says:

        And why would they need a publisher to fund development and provide resources when they’re crowd/investor funded to the tune of $92M? That’s many times what Elite Dangerous cost to make.

        The term indie loses all meaning when you have a budget that large.

  23. cfifth says:

    Yeah, I watched the CitCon live stream and it only reinforced my decision to get a refund for my preorder. They must really be hurting for cash, since it’s been only 18 days since I’ve asked and they have yet to respond. #NotAScam #NotACult

    • Uhuru N'Uru says:

      1st you haven’t Pre-Ordered you’ve backed a project with Crowdfunding. You are an Investor and have no legal right to a refund at all, barring actual fraud.
      However you may get one Next Year as CIG have offered them,after a certain date. Likely only afer Sqandron 42 part 1 is released.

      2nd in the two days since the CitizenCon a further $2 Million has beeen backed

      • Sir_Brizz says:

        Kickstarter is VERY emphatic that you are not investing. You get no return on the money you put in. You are basically purchasing a set of goods, which are the items you are promised in the campaign at your pledge level. From this perspective, you really are pre-ordering. Pre-ordering something that has as good a chance of not existing or sucking as it does of being a great purchase.

      • cfifth says:

        Not true. They’ve changed the text on the Squadron 42 page to specifically say “Pre-Order”.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          As someone who managed wrangle a refund out of David Braben (and what a pain in the arse that turned out to be), I wish you the best of luck!

  24. Viggo says:

    Author seems to have it in for Star Citizen.

    Any ideas why?

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      Because it is a bad game with horrible flight mechanics. They lied to us and said it would be controller agnostic but for now and as far as most can tell, forever, they plan on making mouse + keyboard the ultimate method to fight in space with.

      Interactive mode is ruining the game. It is one button, one hand, point click tablet game easy mode.

      Elite Dangerous Close Quarters Combat is ridiculously more fun than Arena Commander.

      • derbefrier says:

        This is objectively false. Controls while not perfect are not that bad as far as balance.

        For those that don’t know there’s a small portion of the community that doesn’t play the game but will sing from the rooftops how bad the controls are because their flight Sim expirience doesn’t transfer over to a game like star citizen and their egos can’t handle getting smoked by a mouse and keyboard player.

        • Mr_Blastman says:

          Fanboi alert! Fanboi alert! Ignore his lies.

          • Mr_Blastman says:

            Oh… and just for the sake of clarity…

            It doesn’t matter what the mouse users or the joystick users say, want or think. What matters is what was pitched to the backers through the kickstarter and subsequent fundraising.

            What was pitched?

            1. Controller Agnostic Game–All controllers will be equal and perform equally as well.

            2. This is not Freelancer 2. This is a Wing Commander-like sequel and will PLAY like a Wing Commander-like sequel.

            What do we have?

            1. Mouse is superior with interactive mode.

            2. Freelancer in space.

            Folks, that is all that matters. And for the record, we have been lied to as backers.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            What an incredible counter-argument you have there. It’s like you really have nothing to back you up.

          • TrixX says:

            I see the problem here, you must be related to Tufao, Manzes or jcrg99 ;)

      • macc says:

        The controls are actually good now. Only the thrusters vs main thruster balancing needs work.

      • VOAD says:

        ED is out since more than a year officially released and SC is in development. Why people do not get the concept of Alpha? is it so hard to get? AC is not a game, this is to test and give feedback, nothing more.

        • Mr_Blastman says:

          You build a game around the core mechanics, you don’t build them into a game. Elite STARTED with the core flight mechanics and it took them a year and a half to nail them down.

          Arena Commander has been around for almost two years and the mechanics are awful.

          • TrixX says:

            Well lets have a look at those flight mechanics which are based off actual physics and thruster positioning as well as mass, inertia, thrust vector and travel vector to name just a few of the variables.

            Next up we have a game still in alpha with balance passes still being doing on all aspects of flight mechanics which won’t be polished and considered finished until the game releases as a finished product.

            Seems like your arguments against it’s mechanics are a little premature ;)

      • Longtree says:

        I strongly disagree. The flight mechanics are simulation-like. Think Battle Star Galactica style combat. It’s fantastic in my opinion.

    • macc says:

      Yeah RPS and its followers don’t really like Star Citizen. That’s pretty clear eh.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I don’t think it’s that simple. There are probably many here on RPS like me, whose attitude is one part healthy skepticism, and one part willingness to buy the game, if it turns out to be something I’d want to play.

        For me that would be just Squadron 42, because I have zero interest in a multiplayer game world. But I’ll buy into that part of the game if it’s good.

        Meanwhile, the healthy skepticism side of me keeps raising its eyebrow now and then, which doesn’t mean I’m completely prejudiced against the game. I think it’s a normal reaction, considering the way this is playing out over time.

        • ffordesoon says:

          Precisely this. It seems kind of insane to act as if anyone skeptical of Star Citizen wants it to crash and burn. I think we would all like to play the game Chris Roberts is promising. Given the pie-in-the-sky nature of that game, however, skepticism is a natural and healthy reaction.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            It seems kind of insane to act as if anyone skeptical of Star Citizen wants it to crash and burn.

            Uhhh…scroll up. Or down. There’s plenty of comments here that are espousing just that.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            @solidstate89 But Mace originally said “RPS and its followers,” which is talking about more than the handful of commenters on this page that managed to get your panties into a bunch. The replies to that are saying “I, and many others, are skeptical, not haters.”

            You’re either failing to consider the context for what you’re replying to, or suggesting that a dozen people in a comments section are a good representation of the thousands and thousands of people that visit this site.

            Either one would be stupid.

  25. Mr_Blastman says:

    What a waste of money.

  26. Generico says:

    Really looks like they put a lot of effort into that Gary Oldman speech about a thing I don’t give a single f*** about. Pretty stark contrast with the gameplay demo that looks like it was thrown together by 2 guys over the weekend.

    You really can’t blame anyone for thinking starcitizen is the next Duke Nukem Forever, considering the apparent disparity between the effort and polish of the non-gameplay trailers versus the actual gameplay.

  27. Rath says:

    If I hadn’t been explicitly informed that it was Gary Oldman, I’d have assumed someone had tried very hard to model Bruce Boxleitner.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      On that note, I want a Babylon 5 game. Not a space shooting game but a conversation game. Lot’s of politics and what not. No guns.

  28. SuicideKing says:

    I just realised that I don’t care about either Elite or Star Citizen at the moment – I really just want to play something FreeSpace-esque, thus Squadron 42.

    Of course, I’ll get Limit Theory because the man behind it has ridiculous amounts of talent.

    • ironman Tetsuo says:

      Has there been any news on Limit Theory recently? I only follow his YouTube channel and he hasn’t uploaded in ages. I heard something about him needing a bit of space (pardon me) from Development, I hope he’s ok, LT looked awesome and I loved his update videos

      • SuicideKing says:

        Well yeah, he had some issues, said he was okay and would resume development, and it’ll be done when it’s done. Haven’t checked the LT forums in a while, so don’t know exactly.

      • bonuswavepilot says:

        Yeah it looks like he has got through the worst of it, and has changed his work practices to something less likely to drive him mad in future. (ie. he actually is working from an office now, and with reasonably hours, rather than from a spare room with every spare waking moment)

    • Sir_Brizz says:

      I definitely want somehting Freespace-esque, but SQ42 doesn’t look like it will be that. It has too much “hub” and not enough action.

  29. Zenicetus says:

    I know big-name actors was a stretch goal so it can’t be criticized as such, but do a majority of gamers actually enjoy seeing the increasingly realistic physical representation of actors in games? To me it just seems weird and immersion-breaking to be walking down a space station corridor and suddenly bump into Mark Hamill, who then starts talking to me.

    And yes, I know it’s partly a Wing Commander legacy thing, but it felt weird even back when I was playing Wing Commander. Well, at least CR will realize his big dream of directing another movie here.

    • fish99 says:

      Agree, I don’t see the point in making virutal characters that look like famous actors. It doesn’t add anything to the game. I’d rather they were just doing voice work, and preferably not sounding like themselves either. For instance Mark Hamill’s excellent Joker in the Arkham games.

  30. Carlos Danger says:

    “Gary Oldman spouting jingoism as a space-American” what inane tripe from a dim-witted proglodyte. I wish I was surprised but this is all they are left with these days.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Is “dim-witted proglodyte” meant to suggest that there is some sort of “progressive” bias in Alice’s brief description? Because A) RPS doesn’t just have a history of leaning left on the issues within its remit, but is quite open about it, and B) how in God’s name is that little excerpt an inaccurate descrption of the clip? Oldman has an American accent, and as for the “jingoism” bit, well, let’s look at the definition of jingoism, shall we?

      What comes up when I type “jingoism definition” into Google is “extreme patriotism, especially in the form of warlike or aggressive foreign policy.” The subsequent results say similar things – Dictionary.com says “extreme and emotional nationalism, […] often characterized by aggressive foreign policy, and an eagerness to wage war.” Merriam-Webster, meanwhile, calls it “the feelings and beliefs of people who think that their country is always right and who are in favor of aggressive acts against other countries.”

      “Jingoism” is a derogatory term, and you might disagree with taking a derogatory view of hawkish foreign policy, but I defy you to watch that clip and tell me with a straight face that the man calling for open war against a foreign power by spouting emotionally charged rhetoric with little substance is not being jingoistic. One commenter above even said the explicit intent is to tell a Heart Of Darkness-style tale, one that starts out in jingoistic territory before laying bare the absurdity of jingoism. So, you know, if you’re that concerned about “proglodytes” critiquing the use of hard power as an acceptable tool for accomplishing foreign-policy goals, you might want to get mad at Chris Roberts and his writers first.

      • Solidstate89 says:

        Jingoistic or not, until we actually know more about how the story actually unfolds, it’s not actually ridiculous. The Vanduul are enemies to every known civilized race (not just the humans) and they have destroyed a dozen or so human colonies for seemingly no reason. They don’t even take them to colonize for themselves; they just wipe out all life on it and claim as their territory.

        Now, could there be something more to it than just mindless acts of genocide against humanity? Probably, as Chris has hinted so often. But with the information that we have know, the “war-like” rhetoric is completely in line, especially with (again, with what we know) the Vanduul started this shit by wiping out human colonies.

      • Carlos Danger says:

        Little hint, giving dictionary definitions does nothing but show a lack of an actual argument. I am not sure how you can consider a speech in reaction to continued acts of aggression as jingoistic just is another notch in the “derp” stick.

      • Whiskey says:

        “Oldman has an American accent!” Well he is an american actor, but it’s a game about a fictional universe. Where humanity has gotten past the things holding it back and have ventured into space…

        I think when you play a game/or watch a show so far set from real life, you have to drop the connotations/semiotics of things like accents or it ruins the essence of the fiction. I mean I don’t see all the characters in Starcraft as just a bunch of Americans, doing their woo-merica thing and they all pretty much have southern accents. The characters are defined by their roles in their own fictional universe. So unless they say the UEE is space america and everyone on Earth is American it doesn’t really work.

        • Llewyn says:

          The Only Living Boy in New Cross.

          He’s an American-based actor, not an American actor.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Ah, I know people get carried away with praising the authenticity of Gary Oldman’s American accents, but I’m still pretty sure that’s meant to be some flavour of American.

  31. Rymdkejsaren says:

    “Harry Potter’s Gary Oldman”

    This is trolling, right?

    • alms says:

      You are that me from a parallel universe in which I lack the wisdom to finish reading that paragraph before hitting the Opinion Away! button.

  32. alms says:

    The speech video is really quite disconcerting, like it looks realistic enough that I can’t help but notice everything’s that missing and my brain expects to be there, in all the wrong, moments.

    Uncanny valley conjures something a little different for me but I guess it’s only fair to use that expression in this instance.

  33. Arglebargle says:

    If you understand that Chris Roberts is something of a narcissistic eqomaniac, a lot of these doings will make a lot more sense.

    I’ve talked to ten former Origin co-workers of his over the last two years: None of them have much more than a smidgen of respect for him, professionally or personally.

  34. Frank says:

    Hey, don’t diss Sliders. It is in the running for my favorite thing with him in it.

  35. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    That certainly is a gary old man. I like some of the spontaneous incidental gesturing from the other characters in the guided tour (adds a bit more flavour than seeing the same cycled gestures repeat all the time) but I have to agree the performance capture never quite feels right. Definitely prefer the slightly more stylized and less uncanny handcrafted facial animation of say Witcher 3 or Uncharted.

    Still, it’s all WIP and it looks neat as a demo of where they’re going with the story campaign.

  36. Simon_Scott says:

    On the tour video, I think they need to either tone down the background noise, or give the actors some background noise to speak over. No way would Scotty be talking at normal volume. Find myself, as usual, hoping that the voice work is temporary.

    Also, the establishing shots and music seem worryingly pedestrian. I’d somehow have expected the wealthier, Hollywoodier developers to maybe have that stuff down, when really it felt like… um… it was honouring its heritage – early 90s budget FMV. Here’s a ship hanging in space – there’s no way for you to make sense of it. That’s the trouble with the standard progression from extreme long establishing shots closing in finally on the human level is that in space you kind of want to go the other way round – start with the human and build up to the massive scales involved with the ships and ting. It’s a mistake you see fan video makers do over and over – “look! I can do big spaceships! Let’s look at big spaceships for a while! We’ll get to my mates dressed as Stormtroopers in fifteen minutes or so.”

    There’s a bit in the Oldman speech video where we are treated to a close-up of the drone camera for no readily apparent reason other than “look! A drone camera!”. My first response to the video as a whole was “Oh, it’s a cut scene.” If we’re going to have cut scenes at all, I want to be thinking “Oh, it’s almost like a movie.”

  37. KreissV says:

    I want a space game so very badly. And with the space sim hype coming back from the 2000s, my heart is in my throat with excitement. And yet everything that is released seems more focused on cashing in on the hype rather than delivering a proper game.

    X rebirth crashed and burned (Say all you want about the updates, I have the game and its the gameplay itself that blows)

    Elite: Dangerous looks good, plays well, but in the end it’s obvious they released a good-but-empty flight sim. I’ll sure they’ll populate it, but it’s still dishonest about being a ‘full game’ If anything, this will probably be what i end up getting because in the end, they fulfilled their promises. A good dogfighting game. They weren’t promising Star Citizen, which brings us to:

    Star Citizen: Oof. Where to even begin. I want to believe, I really do, but with this guy’s track record and how the game’s been going so far. I’m losing hope, I haven’t backed simply because I’d rather not be disappointed. Christ it looks disappointing. With 92 Millions dollars funding, you’d expect a lot more. And yet we’ve seen some lousy modules and a lot of bold claims. And before I get ripped to shreds by a lot of backers, let me say that I want to believe, and you can defend Star citizen by saying “Oh they fixed the modules! It’s good now!” Sure, but with 92 MILLION dollars and 3 years of development, we need more.

    Give the Limit Theory guy 92 MILLION DOLLARS (A LOT OF MONEY, IN CASE YOU WEREN’T AWARE.) And he’d have the damn game out within a year.

    And the ships, selling ships before the game is out. I am so confused about this. It’s like if the Witcher 3 was in development, and they sold swords you could look at and swing. And that’s all you had for 3 years, after backing up to 170 dollars.

    I don’t understand. And I blame crowdfunding and early access.
    There’s a reason why publishers exist, to make sure you can and are delivering a worthwhile project before they fund you, instead of just randomly throwing money at a tree and hoping it becomes an F-15 Jet.