Star Citizen 2.0’s Big Problems & Bigger Improvements

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas a game. Maybe not a lot, actually, but certainly a little. Star Citizen [official site] 2.0, as the latest alpha update calls itself, is out now and tries to expand the scope of the long-in-the-making, $100 million space game in addition to improving its core fight’n’flight aspect. So the big question is: is now the time to give Chris Robert’s record-breaking comeback a try if you’re not someone who’s already backed it?

Star Citizen 2.0 is an enormous improvement and there’s so many more reasons for optimism, but the answer’s still no, I’m afraid. With the important qualification “unless you particularly want to see this particular videogame evolve and get to try out new features as and when they’re released rather than all at once.” 2.0 makes some sizeable leaps from the state of arrested development the public builds of Star Citizen have been in for around a year, but there’s no escaping that you’re playing a very, very early version of the game with most of its bells, whistles and mechanics still absent.

There are also all sorts of technical problems. Foremost of those is that performance is diabolical. I’m averaging 20 frames per second at 1080p on a GTX 970 for me, no matter which official settings I use. User-modified INI files can get me to 30, but it still regularly drops as low as 15, and much of it looks awful, particularly textures – if I want it to be playable, it looks a bit Quake III much of the time.

Fine, it’s an alpha, those things will almost certainly improve over time, but above and beyond anything this needs a proper graphics settings menu, not simply Low/Medium/High/Very High. Or maybe stereotypes are true and most people who backed Star Citizen really are crazy-rich, so they’re all running triple-SLI Titan Blacks and don’t have this problem. I am not one of those, and so I feel a little nauseous from treacly and jerky framerates. I genuinely couldn’t play this for long.

Sadly, there are dozens of other minor technical and to some extent design issues which are getting in the way even when I do have a bearable framerate. It crashes quite a bit, I sometimes hit an “all instances full, please try again later” message in the persistent universe aspect and there are crazy clipping errors when I get in and out of my ship. At one point I briefly wound up inside someone else’s ship even though it was supposed to be mine; it took off into space with me awkwardly pogoing around inside the cabin, then simply disappeared entirely and left me floating in space.

It’s not impossible this is an actual feature – i.e. you can board ships but get left behind when they hyper-jump – but mixed in with the general animation and clipping mayhem around ship-boarding, it’s hard to say. I’ve also found myself barred from entering my own ship, which in one instance resulted in my being stranded on a distant space station despite standing right next to my craft. I was forced to suicide or restart to get out of that one.

These are, all being well, transitory problems, and only to be expected from an alpha build, even if it is calling itself 2.0. Arguably a more fundamental problems is the enormous amount of downtime that results from its simulation first/play second mentality – I really don’t need to very slowly cycle through a de-pressurisation chamber every time I want to walk over to my ship. I don’t need to watch the slowly open the doors and then the slower climb up the ladder animation every time I want to get into the ship. The slow wake-up-in-your-shoebox-sized-room process when I start a game (which I must every time I load it up in its current state) is now driving me spare. Ordering my ship from a computer terminal then working out exactly where the landing pad it’s on is this time is becoming extremely wearisome.

On the other hand, all this stuff is charming, it’s part of the fantasy, and it’s been meticulously created to look and feel fairly convincing. I wouldn’t not have it there, because it’s all part of what this game is trying to do, but I’d appreciate a few ways to shortcut around it when I’m in a hurry or simply don’t feel like seeing the same airlock animation for the three hundredth time. I don’t really know what the answer is there, and I’m sure there’d be outrage if all these bells and whistles of spacefaring life were excised.

I’m building to why there’s real reason for optimism, honest. I just want to get all the Buts! out the way first.

Combat and flight doesn’t feel quite as mechanical and unsatisfying as in earlier builds: there’s a noticeable improvement. The physics that has gone into it is beyond me, but it certainly feels more there now, the gap between it and Elite Dangerous in that respect now narrowing. Sadly I don’t feel the same awe, the same “ohmygod in space” thrill that I get from Elite, but it’s very hard to say if this is down to the controls, the physics, the art style, the sound design, the performance or some combination of the lot.

Hopefully time and under-the-hood improvements will sort that out, but no guarantees as yet. More positively, it seems to involve less downtime and waiting around than Elite – landing gear sorts itself out, jumps between planets are quicker and involve fewer steps – but so far it’s a small universe and that may change.

I should also acknowledge that my experience in terms of fight’n’flight excitement is hamstrung quite a bit by having a very overtly shitty starting spaceship, and I’m deeply frustrated by its slow speed and lousy pew-pew entry-level lasers. In a faster, better-armed ship I’m almost certain I’d feel more excited that I do right now, and in that we get into the issues around whether SC’s big-money microtransacted ships is good thing/bad thing.

I’m not going to go much into that stuff at this point, other than to say I can feel the strong temptation to go out and spend more money in order to have a better time, and that does make me feel uncomfortable. Of course, further down the line it will become more feasible to go out and earn a better ship in-game, but right now it’s pay or suck it up.

Terrible performance, tons of bugs, only adequate flight/fight feel: so why am I so much more positive about Star Citizen than I ever have been before. Well, because, for the first time, it’s now visibly a platform for the game to come rather than a few disparate, proof of concept elements.

In Star Citizen 2.0, you can wake up on a space station, order up a spaceship, get into it, fly off into space, hyperspace over to another station, land, get out, walk around (or jet around in low-gravity), maybe even shoot some guys. At no point during that will you ever see a loading screen. It’s seamless. It’s there.

Space. All yours.

Sure, it’s a bit rickety, no individual element is yet gosh-wow and the framerate’s on the floor, but it’s got the foundations of you-as-spaceman down. There’s a platform it can build a universe on top of. You can fly to assorted spacestations for repairs, and in time you’ll be able to wander around the shops at them too, there are minor missions to take on, and there is partial freedom to attack anyone else you encounter.

Star Citizen’s all-important persistent universe module has had its big bang, and given time we’ll see real life in it. OK, there’s an argument to be made that, with all that money, perhaps we should have been at this point a whole lot earlier, but it’s a huge step on from the proof-of-concepty Arena Commander dogfight module we’ve been stuck with for quite some time.

It feels like there’s a game waiting to happen now. There’s so much work to be done, especially if it’s to live up to that $100m in banked revenue, but pyramid scheme fears can now begin to dissipate (depending, of course, on quite how crucial expensive additional spaceship purchases turn out to be in the long run).

I can’t say whether it’s going to be a groundbreaking space game, because there simply isn’t much in it yet. But I also can’t say that it won’t be, and that’s important. It has, for instance, modelled an impressively large space station city, which reminds me a little of Deus Ex, filled with imposing architecture and shops-in-waiting, and currently populated by tens of players with exactly the same face, all hoping around in confusion.

There’s not really anything to do there yet, but they’ve made the place, and it’s an appealing place for sure. The idea that one day I’ll land here after a challenging series of fights, go for a wander and a restock on foot and feel like I’m home is delightful.

Don’t buy it yet, though. Not unless you want to see the sausage getting made. It’s not ready – but one day in the not-dramatically-distant future, I believe it will be ready.

143 Comments

  1. metric day says:

    This video says it all about Star Citizen, Chris Roberts, and how many more years it’ll take to get a playable game:

    • mauzao9 says:

      No it doesn’t says it all, the game is far more stable than what’s shown on the video really, he gone derp mode if a pc crash on the start and a crash in a few minutes. I can easily reach hours on play sessions these days, with the 2.1 patch to hit next week far planned addressing part of the performance issues.

      • metric day says:

        It’s also a very funny video. He looks very, very stoned. I suppose that helps with the vision thing.

        • mauzao9 says:

          Developers playing their own games are known for be… awful at them. He derped out his chat on that video with the F10, then the HOTAs were plugged correctly, he was just herp-derp mode. It starts bad from the start if you notice he yells his account password! :D

          • metric day says:

            The extent to which he looks completely unfamiliar with his own project is staggering. If that gives you confidence, good luck!

          • mauzao9 says:

            To be fair, the issues he faces with a PC Crash, HOTA’s unplugged and a full instance that were most of the video are not related to he being unfamiliar to his own game project. Not at all. That’s part of the SC Livestream experience, has tradition goes. :)

            What inspires me confidence, is the actual release, play trough it, see the direction the game is taking, and i like what i see.

          • metric day says:

            I think 2.0 was awful. It crashes constantly, the multicrew isn’t well thought out at all, the FPS is still MIA, the flight model STILL stinks, and HOTAS support is abysmal. That and failing to implement VR support or even plan for it properly with the UI/HUD/camera moves adds up my trying to get a refund. They’ve been wasting my time for weeks on that front and a broken tech demo with no atmospheric flight model or inertia of their PG tech isn’t quite the same. CIG if you’re reading this, please honor your Kickstarter promises and provide refunds since we’re well past the promised delivery date.

          • TheOx129 says:

            I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t caught more flak for his rather harsh critiques of the chat interface in the livestream. It looked like a perfectly serviceable chat window to me, but it apparently is the worst thing ever and needs to die according to Chris.

            More worryingly, it 1) suggests that Chris had no idea what the chat interface looked like until *now*, and 2) for some reason, he thought it was appropriate and not at all unprofessional to engage in a rather harsh dressing down of the chat design while on a livestream.

            It was pretty funny to see his general lack of enthusiasm when Ben suggested he play the game, though.

          • mauzao9 says:

            @metric If you want a refund from the KS original backers, feel free to ask for one if 2.0 is that awful and bad for you. For me, it’s one alpha, and it very well shows it is one. Things like the Flight Model are opinion based, there’s people who like it, there’s people who don’t like it. It’s game development, and this game is one, it’s not a scam, it’s not vaporware, it’s a game under development. It’s certainly taking longer to deliver, but it’s undeniable that it’s progressing, and as long it keeps doing so on a regular basis on updates over 2.0, i’m more than happy to wait for it.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Hubris is Chris Roberts’ middle name.

            Historical evidence points to a long and bumpy ride….

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            @mauzao9

            So much time passed in uncertainty that my big pledge started to feel… Heavy. I can confirm that refunds are possible, i really felt the pressure and i finally got one, luckily even earning money as i initially paid as an euro citizen against a weak dollar ( 2 years ago ) and got all back when it was stronger.

            I’m going to get back though, i’ll just go for a smaller pledge as i could no longer look at my huge pledge with a calm soul. i really wish people won’t try to abuse the refund system though, as CIG support really is great and they really don’t deserve a staggering mass of people acting on a whim.

        • goodhustler says:

          I hope you get your refund. we don’t want people like you in the game.

          • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

            That is both harsh and rude. If he is being truthful and is in fact a backer, then I would say he has every right to be pissed that this game’s development is dragging on the way it is. For a game to make 100million, that means it has both a significant amount of resources and a bloody good incentive for the devs to pull their fingers out their asses and deliver what they are promising.

            If any other industry operated this way, the people would be rightly pissed off; but right now it seems to be fashionable to behave in a snarky way towards people who complain about having their wallets shrunk for a service which they are promised. Like it or not, crowdfunding has a lot in common with paying taxes, which means you own the development process, and have every right to be poking around and asking questions.

            We all did with Peter Molyneux; he only asked for 1/200th of the sum SC is looking for, and the whole world saw fit to assassinate his character and ruin his career.

          • Uhuru N'Uru says:

            Frankly I’m A backer and like most, think SC is not currently the “Game”, even 2.0.
            The Game isn’t released yet, whole sections are incomplete.
            It is another limited alpha and needs more work.
            CIG could fail to make a game at all or take twice as long as up to now.
            I have one expectation, that CIG try to make the game, a finished game.
            Remember, though the they are making a full single player game and the online game.

    • katscan says:

      LOL That has to be one of the funniest/worst game demo live streams I have ever seen. At first I thought it was an amateur reviewer until I realized it was the company’s own event. As someone put, the level of unfamiliarity with his own project is shocking. As is the B level production value with inappropriate voice overs, etc. Glad they showed a pre-rendered video at the end to make it all better, LOL

      • Chalky says:

        Yeah, it’s really astonishing that they apparently didn’t feel the need to do any preparation for this demonstration at all.

        I’d say don’t put any money towards this over funded and extremely questionably monetized game until it’s released and we know what we’re getting into.

        Never forget that the developers think that it’s acceptable to sell people £1500 “microtransaction” space ships. What sort of game is going to have that as a feature? Is it one you’re going to want to play?

        Wait for release, don’t let the marketing talk and “in engine” footage fool you.

      • metric day says:

        It’s so bizarre, like something the Found Footage Festival guys would highlight. I love the flop sweat he breaks out into towards the end as the HOTAS support shows it’s reaaal quality. At this point I was cackling. Whose idea was it that the boss should humiliate himself live? Ben Lesnick? Another reason amateurs shouldn’t call the shots.

        • derbefrier says:

          whats your problem with HOTAS support? its worked fine for at least 6 months. what hardware are you using?

      • Neobone says:

        Chris Roberts is one of the worst players which i have ever seen.
        It has nothing to do with the game.
        You must see the Wing Commander live stream some month ago, it was very painful to see how he plays one of the best space games of all time.
        But you must not be a good player to create an awesome game.
        You must not be a good sniper to develop the best sniper rifle in the world, heck the most airplane developers have never flight an airplane.

      • merbert says:

        Good sweet divine Jesus…..that was, unquestionably, the most toe curlingly AWFUL, presentation / demo given by a CEO I’ve ever seen.

        ALL the above comments have been borne out in their incredulous disbelief that this paunchy plonker is at the helm.

        He is to SC what Jose Mourinho was to Chelsea.

    • racccoon says:

      Lol what a scream, Mr.podge, a guy sitting on 100million of free dosh! has a crazy bombed out joystick and many other types of controlling sticks and other shit he spent your money on, that know one else can afford, but him, thx to all the mugs out there we still got a broken game and we can make shit videos of nothingness. He can also sweat, show inexperience and look totally like a the dumbest newb on downers. lol What a fruitcake Chris Roberts is & his followers, he should & probably is.. creating a cult religion of uselessness..
      Someone has to re edit this video make him look even stupider. its the biggest laugh ever..

    • Blackcompany says:

      No, this absolutely DOES say it all.

      Honestly, if I worked for this guy right now, I would spend more time focusing on my resume than my job…

    • Reapy says:

      Ouch on that video. It’s funny how his staff just seems really nervous around him, it makes me think behind closed doors this guy is a nightmare to work with.

      It is nice to see some structure coming around in the game, I hope they can start to clean it up. I think people are being a bit harsh on the 100 million deal, money does not instantly equal ‘awesome product’. It just means you can buy a crapload of middleware and employees, though if you can’t helm the shim properly…and software is HARD, no amount of money will buy you a good game… see curt shilling.

      Most games are pretty ugly until they get farther along, I do hope they are able to put this whole thing together, there really is no reason for me to want to see them fail, short of their atrocious pricing schemes. Then again, I have 0 dollars invested in this so, eh, good luck star citizen.

      • miscu says:

        judging by some of the scathing “never ever work here” reviews on the company’s glassdoor page, you would probably be right on that assumption

    • Wertymk says:

      Eww. It smells like the cult of DS in here.

    • goodhustler says:

      the author sounds like a console peasant. hates the fact you have to physically get in your ship. Go play COD you idiot and stop wasting our time writing idiotic articles.

      • Marblecake says:

        Your choice of words is embarassing. Alec is a wonderful writer and I quite enjoy his outside takes on Star Citizen. The mere fact that it gets a fair shake is great.

        If you need to insult people, do it somewhere else.

      • rabbit says:

        is … is this a joke?

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      teije says:

      What possessed them to allow release of that video? It is hilariously inept and was a great laugh to watch. I have no opinion on the actual game, since I haven’t read much about it, but that is the worst gaming video I have ever seen.

      It desperately needs some basic editing, he mutters inaudibly throughout, seems unhappy and embarrassed the whole time, slams the chat system, they obviously didn’t do any preparation beforehand and generally its a total cock-up. There’s only about 1 minute of actual pertinent content in there.

      Maybe it’s a parody, illustrating what not to do in a “sneak peek” video? That actually makes more sense.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Yep, it’s so embarrassing (and potentially brand-damaging) that it’s hard to believe it went through normal channels for YouTube release. I’d suspect it was posted by a disgruntled employee, except for the way CR acknowledges that it’s a live chat during the clip. Maybe it’s just an astonishing lack of self-awareness.

  2. neurolite says:

    Just a heads up. Without spending any money you can rent ships in the rental store using credits earned by playing arena commander. You can rent weapons too. And all of it can be carried into the 2.0 PU just not intuitively. If you want to equip things on a ship you need to do it in your hanger then go to the PU from there. You’re right though it’s much more fun once you grab a better ship to fight in. The rental costs are less than 5 hours of AC for some of the better ships (hornet, cutlass)

    • amcathlan says:

      You do realize nobody wants to hear this right? All they want is to bitch and moan about…well….whatever. Whatever the pet peeve.

  3. mauzao9 says:

    Also for who didn’t saw, the new trailer yesterday demoing the PG Planet Tech they have been working on this year: link to youtube.com

  4. Zenicetus says:

    Alec, regarding the feel of flying the ship (which after all, should be central to this game), what are you using for controls? Gamepad or joystick?

    And the more general question of how is the level of support for HOTAS controls and TrackIR in SC these days?

    I’m sure there is an argument to be made that you shouldn’t *have* to invest in that to enjoy the game, but many players naturally attracted to this type of thing will already own the gear. And compared to the cost of some of these ships, the cost of a HOTAS/head tracker is bupkis anyway.

    • mauzao9 says:

      Better, 2.0 made a jump from unplayable to playable and fun for people using controller and HOTAs, of course it’s one improvement, not one, “it’s all perfect now” kind of update.

    • mR.Waffles says:

      The 2.0 release broke Track IR support. The ship’s flight is still wonky, unstable, and generally all over the place. Your mileage may vary as they sort out new thrust values for the new model. Unfortunately, my experience playing with HOTAS so far as been just as bad as usual. The new jerk mechanic (thruster spool up) may improve conditions over time, but currently jerk time on counter thrust means small motions overshoot your target while trying to rest.

      The wobbly flight mechanics are mitigated some by using “interactive mode” aka Freelancer/StarConflict mouse control where ship control is abstracted by an aim layer (ship’s vector “chases” the mouse). This mode is controversial and in my opinion causes the game to suffer because when coupled with gimbal weapons it prioritizes zero order accuracy over first order flight.

      There’s a lot of wonk in this post and I apologize, but the short version is do not spend your money yet.

    • Marblecake says:

      I use twin joysticks and it feels absolutely amazing. The stick on the right I use for yaw and pitch, the one on the left for strafing up and down. Roll is on a thumb button on the right stick, throttle buttons are on the left stick. It just feels like such a natural setup for their flight system.

  5. Xenotone says:

    It’s definitely encouraging and hopefully the mindless hate will die off now. Still feels a long way off, but we have Elite so that isn’t a problem.

    • anHorse says:

      For those who just can’t wait to be let down ;)

      Seriously though I hope these space games eventually become great but it looks like we’re still years off that

    • MisterFurious says:

      Mindless hate? I think the fanboys are the mindless ones.

  6. DevilishEggs says:

    Just throw a space skybox on DCS: A-10C and be done with it.

    More seriously, I can only really get excited about the singleplayer at this point. Which could be really darn awesome, to have a fun singleplayer space sim with missions and drama and everything. The multiplayer just seems so fractured and like the novelty would wear off after a hot minute, so far.

    And I’m generally smugly optimistic about Star Citizen. What’s happening??

    • JS says:

      No, Star Citizen is not DCS in space. If you’re looking for that level of simulation, there is a game in development called Rogue System.

  7. Light Cavalry says:

    Just thought I’d mention, the performance issues aren’t caused by your rig being not powerful enough. Even people with triple Titan X’s have these issues. Allegedly they’re all server side issues that they’re working on.

    • mauzao9 says:

      Yup exactly forgot to mention, who loads the map on Off-line mode (hacking files) gets with that GPU pretty much 50-60 Stable Frames.

      So once they hit on the server issues, the performance will make the whole thing so much enjoyable. :)

    • Apocalypse says:

      At the other hand I get solid 30 to 45 fps right now on a single cheap R9 290. Max settings.

      • Marblecake says:

        I get a solid 30 fps on a GTX760 on low.
        I apparently lied in the other thread, I thought my settings were medium. Anyway, even on low it’s mind-bogglingly beautiful.

  8. Ethaor says:

    And the Naysayers shall Nay away

    • SomeDuder says:

      Well, there’s naysayers and then there’s people like Mauzo who’ll defend it bitterly. Then when the game comes out in 2021, he’ll be a bitter forum poster grumbling at anyone and anything.

      Never stop posting!

      • Ethaor says:

        ^^ that’s true, extremes are never good. That’s the consequence of passion though, quite inevitable.

  9. welverin says:

    Alec, you mentioned the feel of the flight and fighting aren’t where Elite is, but how long did it take Elite to get there? Did they have it nailed down early on, or did it take them a while?

    • metric day says:

      Judge for yourself, look at youtube videos of the E:D alpha. They nailed it out of the gate. It’s not NORMAL for a flight sim to go on 4 years and STILL not have a reasonable flight model.

      • iainl says:

        Elite’s flight model was incredible out of the gate that was the public announcement. But “Elite 4” got fiddled with by Frontier staff for something like a decade or more, on and off.

        Still, it’s very much one of those things that are about feel, rather than a fortune’s worth of art assets, so it’s not really something you can fix by throwing money at it.

        • metric day says:

          You should count E:D’s production from 1984 on so it’s easier to dismiss how much better organized, planned, and project-managed a professional game studio that has shipped games for decades is than a man who hasn’t shipped a game since the 90s.

      • Wertymk says:

        4 years is lies. It’s been in active development for around 2-3 years. Before then it was just Chris and a few guys making plans, not developing the game actively. Also hi Derek.

      • goodhustler says:

        SC flight model is far better than ED, what on earth are you drinking?

        • Sandepande says:

          No it isn’t.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            I think, technically, E:D is orders of magnitude more polished, but I don’t know if ‘better’ is the right word as both being complete they’ll handle ships somewhat differently.

        • rabbit says:

          first time i’ve heard that one

    • Morcane says:

      They nailed it at alpha 1.

    • tomimt says:

      It’s not entirely fair to compare Elite’s flight model to SC model as far development time goes, as to my understanding Elite was in a sort of a soft development mode for years before it entered into the phase they presented in Kickstarter, so they already had good partitions of the galaxy system and the flight systems thought out.

      • metric day says:

        It’s entirely fair. They nailed the fun and gameplay first instead of redoing art assets multiple times and wasting 4 years without coming up with fundamental game design documents.

        • Wertymk says:

          Elite was in development for MORE than 4 years BEFORE the first alpha.

          • EhexT says:

            If you count basic design work and off-hour programming “working on the game” then SC was in development at least as long as Elite before the announcement. Chris is on record as having tinkered with SC for years.

            The old “Elite has been in actual development for years before being announced” is an absurd myth.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Frontier had the flight model working smoothly with respect to frame rates and controls in Alpha, but there was a period of tweaking during the Beta period where they adjusted some of the parameters. There was some controversy during that period on the forums, because not everyone liked the changes.

      Originally it had pretty close to full 6DOF movement during combat. Then they decided they didn’t like people making full use of that, especially the tactic of reverse thrusters while firing forwards. So they heavily nerfed the speed you could reach to the rear and with lateral translation compared to forward speed. After much complaining, they lightened up on the nerf, but you still can’t fly in reverse or laterally as fast as you can forwards (at least last time I flew it, which was a while ago). The lead FM designer is on record saying he wanted people fighting while flying forwards. I think that was a mistake, because space combat *should* feel different than air combat, but there ‘ya go.

      At any rate, on release day the flight model was solid in terms of what they wanted it to be, the frame rates are fine (barring connection issues), and it works well with HOTAS controls, TrackIR, and the Rift VR.

  10. Faults says:

    It’s still… very, very janky, but that sense of scale you get when you step outside onto the dock is really impressive. It could be freaking awful when it releases, but I’ll forever be just a little bit in love with the visual design.

  11. Hyena Grin says:

    The only perspective I can take on this game is that the entire project has been a mess. It’s been a wild misappropriation of funds. The various microtransactions have been exploitative and unreasonable. There’s no way around that, and it was never a question of whether the game would eventually get made.

    If the game turns out to be good, I will probably play it. I am still skeptical about the longterm prospects, because if it takes 100 million dollars to put together this, I can’t see the process getting much better. They seem to be literally fueling the furnaces of their studios with dollar bills, and they still have a long way to go. How many more two-thousand dollar virtual ships will they need to sell before there’s a game that’s even as worth playing as the comparatively cheap to produce Elite?

    There’s no win for anyone here, really. Throwing unreasonable amounts of money at a project until it finally stands on two feet is not proof that it was all worth it. ‘Throw more money at it’ is never reasonable.

    They’ve got a long way to go before they can prove to me that there’s something here worth investing in. So far the value of invested dollars to present product is looking incredibly poor. We’ll see if that turns around.

    • metric day says:

      I just wish they’d refund my money like I asked. If they come out with a game in 2019 or something, I’ll pick it up if it’s well reviewed. But they have abused trust and delivered broken garbage and scope creep for years now. At least it’s an entertaining spectacle to observe, almost everything that can go wrong – does. And what a cast of characters! Some of them look like homeless guys dragged in off the street, throw in the failed movie star ambitions of a never-was and you have the best soap opera in games right now.

      • wikidd says:

        I asked them for a refund too, on account of them not delivering by the promised date and their own terms of service saying they would refund what they could in event of non delivery by November 2015. They’ve since changed their TOS, but that’s what it said last time I gave them money. They promised in their TOS of their own free will to do refunds a few years ago, and now that date has been and gone they are reneging on that promise! That’s why I dont have any faith in this project anymore. Nobody made them stick that refund promise in their TOS.

        They claimed that I’m not entitled to one because the 14 day window expired. I’m currently arguing that the 14 day window in the EU only applies when they have actually delivered the service promised, and in any case the refund guarantee they stuck of their own free will in their contract is better than the statutory minimum terms. I’m probably going to end up filing a small claim using the Court Service Money Claim Online. They have a company and office in Manchester, so I can serve them there. It’s actually pretty cheap to do relative to the amount I gave them. I think £35 or £25 for the claim v $200 in ship pledges and Kickstarter. For the record I ended up giving a roughly similar amount to ED (about £110 I think), but at least in that case I now I have a great game I can play with all future expansions free (Horizons is awesome!).

        If your pledge is worth it, you could consider going the small claims route too!

        • Berious says:

          Speak to your bank first. You can almost certainly chargeback the transaction on account of them not delivering the game as promised by end of 2014. It’s east and free, you can chargeback debit or credit card transactions.

    • blacksun_redux says:

      Hi Derek Smart! How’s it going? Not so good huh? By the way, they haven’t spent 100mil to get the current Alpha demo. And furthermore, they have lots done that’s not implemented in the yet. Not to mention the groundbreaking achievements thus far. (Localized gravity on moving ships, 64 bit precision, the damadge model.. the list goes on). Go back to your little troll house silly little troll!

      • jrodman says:

        64bit precision is groundbreaking?

        • 2Ben says:

          For CryEngine yes.

          • jrodman says:

            Oh this means 64 bit precision in the video card graphic’s stack rendering system.

            I was thinking “geez, we’ve had 64 bit floats since the 80s”.

          • jrodman says:

            Hmm, no digging further, I was reading someone else’s error apparently.

            This is just in-memory cpu-relevant float data. CryEngine really hardcoded itself to single precision? How strange.

          • shocked says:

            @jrodman: the graphic cards work internally only with 32bit precision, so there’s no reason for engines to use 64bit. Also 64bit comes with some overhead, since it basically duplicates the amount of data that needs to be handled and loaded from RAM.

          • Razumen says:

            Saying there’s no reason for an engine to be 64-bit is a pretty BS statement, it allows for greater precision (and thus larger areas) as well as increased memory access.

          • shocked says:

            No, it’s not BS. 32bit gives you millimeter precision in a 10km³ cube. 64bit gives you millimeter precision in our solar system (and a bit more). Yeah, it’s nice to have larger precision, but basically the only games that need this precision are space games. Openworld titles with large areas need level streaming anyway since RAM is limited and when you stream you can reposition the origin and are not limited by single precision.

            So, 64bit needs more space and bandwidth, it’s slower to process, the graphics cards don’t use it internally and there is only a very limited range of games that actually would profit from using double precision. That’s not BS, that’s the reason why no modern engine uses 64bit internally (apart from some space engines).

          • Razumen says:

            If you wanna be that picky about it yes, there’s a difference between the two, but pretty much all new game engines support 64bit anyways. Ashes of the Singularity for example is designed specifically to take advantage of it, and that’s “only” and RTS game.

            Still, the fact they went and added full 64bit precision is still a big feat.

          • shocked says:

            > pretty much all new game engines support 64bit anyways

            Unreal, Unity, CryEngine, Frostbyte, etc. all use 32bit. There’s not one widely used engine that supports double precision datatypes.

          • Razumen says:

            I’m talking about 64bit executables. Unity moved to 64bit a year ago. Unreal supports 64 bit as well. Pretty much EVERY modern engine requires it in order to access more than 4GB of ram. Fallout4 is a recent example of an engine that finally moved to 64bit. Sure, they might not USE full 64bit precision, but they can all support it.

      • EhexT says:

        Nothing you’re listing is groundbreaking. DCS games have had more accurate damage models for years. 64 bit precision is been done before and Angels Fall First (among others, they’re hardly the only ones either) have had localized gravity on moving ships 5 years ago.

    • bill says:

      100 million dollars is a rather small budget for the kind of game they are attempting.

      I have no idea if the game will be good, but it doesn’t seem very fair to call them out on misappropriating funds based on an impressive but buggy early alpha.

  12. ironman Tetsuo says:

    I’m really looking forward to the single player but I can’t help but feel it’s going to turn out to be like ARMA but in space. Big ideas and great fun if you put in some effort and don some blinkers but ultimately ; really bloody janky

  13. Sonny Bonds - Lytton PD says:

    the framerate issue at the beginning of the article is re-awakening long repressed feelings of dread when I tried to play wing commander 2 on my POS machine back in the 90s. broke my little heart that it was basically unplayable.

  14. derbefrier says:

    just to throw some stuff out there

    frame rate issues seem to be server side. people who have done the single player work around say they get great FPS playing offline and i have personally experienced this when 2.0 went live. as i was a ptu tester i didnt have to download the whole thing and got in immediately and was rocking 50-60 fps until the servers got loaded. its very unoptimized right now but it will get better.

    The flight model had a new mechanic refered to as “jerk” added to it. this is quite literally the first time its been in the game so its very unpolished. when asked why things seemed so messed up one of the devs said they did it on purpose because they didnt have time to properly test and balance all the changes, and they wanted to let it in the wild and get player feedback.

    yeah the game is buggy as fuck but what you guys need to understand is this didn’t sit in internal testing for 6 months they literally got it “playable” and pushed it out the door. arena commander was in a similar state when it was released but if anyone has played it recently they know its pretty stable and relatively bug free and lots of fun if arena combat is your thing. this is an alpha in the truest sense of the word, things like graphics settings are low priority and as per dev response is on purpose so they have a baseline to monitor performance with ( making thier jobs easier).

    this is a pretty damning read but taken into context its not nearly as bad as it sounds.

  15. zat0ichi says:

    I want this to be good but…

  16. smisk says:

    Played this for awhile last night and was pretty amazed despite the janky-ness. This game does scale like nothing I’ve ever played.
    The best moment was flying around in an asteroid field near a moon, then switching to cruise mode for a few seconds to get out of it. After slowing down I turned around and could see the entire moon and asteroid field a dozen km away I’d been in only moments before. Definitely the best version of space I’ve seen in a game.
    This release feels like a huge leap forward for Star Citizen and it can only get better from here.

  17. JS says:

    No, Star Citizen is NOT “long-in-the-making”. What most people doesn’t seem to understand (and professional game critics/writers really should know better), is that if SC had been developed by a studio controlled by one of the major profit seeking game publishers, we would have had virtually zero information about it in this very early stage, much less having a playable version available.

    The fact that the SC development is uniquely transparent may make it feel like the development is unusually slow, and is falling behind schedule, but it most certainly is not. The development is progressing quite well, considering the huge scope of the finished product. And the fact that we are getting such a wealth of information about the process, instead of just months and years of silence, is quite unprecedented. It’s too bad that so few people seem to understand this.

    • Marblecake says:

      This.

    • metric day says:

      It’s been four years by Chris Roberts’ own count, and other people are starting to notice all he has to show for it is:

      link to venturebeat.com

      • Wertymk says:

        The project has existed for 4 years yes, but hasn’t been actively developed for that long.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      I don’t have a horse in this race, but SC2’s development isn’t “uniquely transparent”, and such openness isn’t unprecedented. It’s an early access game, just like 90% of the games being made today. I can load up the Starbound site and find out what they’ve been working on this week too.

      If you’re excited for SC2, that’s great! More power to you. That said, you should be aware that your language suggests that you’re looking at the game through rose-coloured glasses. You may want to scale back your trust in Roberts a little bit, or risk setting yourself up for disappointment.

      • derbefrier says:

        if you think what they have been doing is standard early access stuff you havent been paying attention.

        3 shows a week ( 10 for the chairmen, around the verse and reverse the verse, short and sweet weekly updates, long and informative monthly updates, lore articles, Q\A sessions, live dev interaction on things like dischord and this isnt even counting the usual stuff like forum interaction. I have been a part of few EA games and the “usual” is maybe a small update every week if your lucky this going far above and beyond that.

      • blacksun_redux says:

        It’s one of the most transparent and documented development processes in gaming history. My glasses are clear. Perhaps yours are a bit dim?

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          Not clear enough, since you’re trying to refute a point I didn’t make. Read closely and you’ll see that I didn’t say that SC2’s development is opaque – I said that it’s not unique in having an publicly visible development process. Lots of early-access devs go to great lengths to be open and transparent about their goals and progress. The OP was arguing that SC2 is somehow unique in that regard, which suggests that he’s not looking at the situation objectively.

      • macc says:

        It is actually very transparant. When testing this on the PTU we were in Daily contact with devs over Discord chat. Weekly updates, monthly updates.. But it’s only transparant for who takes the time to read it.

    • Stevostin says:

      I am no expert on video game production but it fits with other observation I made. Great game take years and years. A game as ambitious as SC, I’d expect 7 years to see it happen easily. That’s just what it took to make Fallout 4. I don’t understand how people expect SC to come any faster than that.

  18. radarhead says:

    Its broken, it runs at 5ps when you are near a space station, it is straight up horrid on foot. However you CANNOT help but feel like your seeing the start of something that just hasn’t been done before. The moment you step out on to the outside of station, it is absolutely awe inspiring. Everything you do, as broken as it is just sends little electric jolts to the bits of my brain that makes me feel like they might get lost in the infinite abyss of possibility….
    If this game gets finished. Shit.

  19. Jokerme says:

    This game is taking too long to fail. They should admit they won’t be able to finish it already. This game impossible to make.

    When they are done what backers get will be half broken Eve Online and I’m sure some will still defend it.

  20. aircool says:

    The actual game is just a front. With all that money, he’s making a real spaceship.

  21. Zenicetus says:

    Somewhere in an alternate reality, there is a Star Citizen project where CR and the backers decided to call it quits at 50 million, and make a fun multiplayer game in a handcrafted galaxy without all the FPS fluff.

    And in that same alternate reality, DB and Frontier decided to make Elite:D as a singleplayer game, so they’d be forced to think about providing more meaningful content for flying around in that procedurally generated galaxy.

    Unfortunately, I’m stuck here in this reality with two games that I should enjoy, based on my gaming history and love of flight/space sims. But neither one is grabbing me because they’ve both spun off in directions that try to satisfy too many different people.

    • JMartinni says:

      They should definitely make a fun multiplayer game in a handcrafted galaxy. But why would calling it quit at a certain amount of money and leaving out FPS completely make it a better game? I probably wouldn’t have backed the crowdfunding campaign in 2012 if they had left that out.

      • jrodman says:

        Answer: In any creative endeavour, focus is paramount when the goal is quality or completion.

        Rider: Your stance supports the point of the post you replied to.

      • Zenicetus says:

        “But why would calling it quit at a certain amount of money and leaving out FPS completely make it a better game?”

        Because some of us just want a modern iteration of a game where we’re in the cockpit of a spaceship and having fun in that environment. That used to be a thing, you know.

        (cue geezer alert)

        • Marblecake says:

          And some of us want a game that pushes the boundaries of the possible, that lets us do things no other game has done before.
          Some if us want THE game, the one they dreamed of since they flew their first attack on the Death Star. The game that allows them to land on this Death Star, get out and savotage it from the inside. The game that let’s your ship be boarded and have you fight off the boarders. The game that lets you be the captain of a ship or just a part of the crew. And that has all of this in one game and one universe.

          I can get games that focus on one specific part any day. This is what publishers do. But crowdfunding feeds off of dreams and this is the biggest one around. That’s why I backed. I want to see the dream come true.
          As Braben said on the Frontier forums: “It is frustrating to see some of the criticism of Star Citizen online. We should applaud when someone tries something that is hard, that hasn’t been done, not discourage them.”

          • jrodman says:

            I salute those attempt difficult challenges.

            I don’t those who simply lack focus.

          • Hidoshi says:

            As Braben said on the Frontier forums: “It is frustrating to see some of the criticism of Star Citizen online. We should applaud when someone tries something that is hard, that hasn’t been done, not discourage them.”
            Ah, I can remember someone trying something that is hard or having a lot of awesome ideas. He was called Peter Molyneux. Remember that guy who got burned by the public for everything he did? Godus was quite transparant.
            But for his game people didn’t spend 100 milion, so there were less rose-colored people to defend him.

      • mavrik says:

        Because at some point a game project must transition from “omg, let’s throw this feature we just made up in!” into a polish phase where implemented mechanics are polished (and removed if they don’t work!) and balanced to provide enjoyment.

        What we see in SC is scope creep which killed a lot of promising projects – and endless march of new and new features which are never properly polished and balanced to provide a coherent and fun experience.

        Unfortunately, the last polish phase of any project is usually by far the least fun so most community driven projects never complete it.

        • Marblecake says:

          The scope grew with the available funds. Yes, a lot of games buckled under the load of scope creep but it’s important to note that none of those games had the frankly insane amounts of money SC has.
          The game was ambitious from the very start, but when the dough avalanche came rolling in the devs realized that they could go bigger. And the money kept flowing because many people want that bigger game. This of course increased the time needed to finish the game. To claim that they should have released something more stable by now is rally rather unfair, considering that there wasn’t some secret phase where a lot of development got done. No, we’ve been witnessing the making of this game since the very beginning, which was in 2012. So even if we say “hey, it’s almost 2016, that’s almost 4 years!”, demanding a fonished game would still not be fair. Fallout 4 took much more time, was built on existing lore, engine and code. CIG has practically had to rewrite the entire CryEngine. All I ask is to give the project a fair shake. If we don’t see it coming into sharper focus by the end of 2016, I’ll give you your lack of focus. Until then, I’ll remain very much optimistic. Not because I backed, but because I love the idea of a game with such a huge scope.

  22. simontifik says:

    I’ve had very little interest in SC or ED for that matter. Flying spaceships just isn’t my jam. But this article has piqued my interest. I quite like the idea of playing the Star Tourist, hitching rides on others ships, seeing the universe, occasionally shooting other spacemen with my space rifle. There might be something in Star Citizen after all.

    • Marblecake says:

      A friend of mine launched the alpha for the first time yesterday. We spent almost two hours only walking around. We went out to the landing pads on Port Olisar, high in orbit above the planet Crusader. He approached the edge of a pad and looked out into the emptiness of space. Then asked “I wonder if…” and walked off the pad. And floated away. Started laughing. Then we explored the entire space station while floating around it.

  23. Ericusson says:

    100 millions
    Microtransa…
    Remembered it forever lost any appeal or glimmer long time ago.

  24. JMartinni says:

    I should also acknowledge that my experience in terms of fight’n’flight excitement is hamstrung quite a bit by having a very overtly shitty starting spaceship, and I’m deeply frustrated by its slow speed and lousy pew-pew entry-level lasers. In a faster, better-armed ship I’m almost certain I’d feel more excited that I do right now, and in that we get into the issues around whether SC’s big-money microtransacted ships is good thing/bad thing.

    I’m not going to go much into that stuff at this point, other than to say I can feel the strong temptation to go out and spend more money in order to have a better time, and that does make me feel uncomfortable. Of course, further down the line it will become more feasible to go out and earn a better ship in-game, but right now it’s pay or suck it up.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think your post is overall quite reasonable. But this part reads as if you don’t actually understand the intricacies of the ships yet and why a smaller, more inexpensive cargo hauler starter ship can be very attractive not just depending on your play style later in the final release but even in combat situations that are the mainstay of the limited gameplay in the Alpha so far. And when you look at the expansive gameplay that is envisioned for the full game this whole argument that smaller, cheaper ships are worse in every regard (you basically want to say it resembles pay to win without actually saying it) is completely moot even if the balancing isn’t 100% ‘right’. Every ship will have a purpose, you have to strike a balance between costs and returns with all of them and skill is paramount at the end of the day. Even in this early alpha where a lot of that gameplay is still missing with the right strategy and some skill the starter ships are playable without major issues, some of them even exceed more expensive ships in certain regards. Down the line better ship components, component tuning, different gameplay styles and mission/environment specific requirements for ships should make this ‘issue’ completely irrelevant. I understand why general P2W allegations rub people the wrong way but a bit of thought put into it will show up why it’s unlikely going to be an issue.

    Also, together with the previous complaints about ‘tedious’ simulation stuff it strikes me as if you’d be more comfortable with an action arcade space shooter with little depth and little skill required. That’s just my takeaway from this post but that’s also just not what the game aims to be. There will be no auto-aim, no quick respawn, no automatic ammunition/consumables restocking, no auto-heal and so on either in the final game so having skipable entity interactions makes no sense in a more simulation-heavy MMO like this.

    I think all of these negatives mentioned should be fixed in due time (performance above all else is something every backer is aware of and they obviously need to fix, animation fidelity/speed/variety are constantly adjusted), aren’t a problem at all or are totally subjective to the gamer and the specific situation.

    Overall not a bad post but with a bit more thought and research put into it I don’t think half of these negatives would’ve made it in. But it is interesting to hear what you think about the game in it’s current state. And props for trying to make balanced coverage of the game, that’s kinda rare.

    • JMartinni says:

      Ah bollocks. I messed the quotation code up. The first two paragraphs are a quote from Alec’s post.

      • amblingalong says:

        Christ, I backed Star Citizen when it was still on Kickstarter and even I think you’re being ridiculous. In the *current game*, a $30 Aurora is vastly less powerful than a $160 Super Hornet, or Gladius, or even Avenger. Yes, when the *final* PU comes out you’ll be able to buy these ships with in-game resources, which is exactly what the article wrote:

        Of course, further down the line it will become more feasible to go out and earn a better ship in-game, but right now it’s pay or suck it up.

        So your response is to first claim the author ‘doesn’t understand the intricacies of the ships’ because it doesn’t take into consideration the potential uses for cheaper ships in the final game. In other words, you don’t have anything substantive to disagree with, it just drives you crazy that someone said something even mildly negative after Star Citizen and you have to find a way to insult them. So that’s how we get to:

        Also, together with the previous complaints about ‘tedious’ simulation stuff it strikes me as if you’d be more comfortable with an action arcade space shooter with little depth and little skill required.

        The author literally acknowledged that some people found ‘realistic’ aspects like long entry animations and such immersive, and stated that he personally found them to be annoying and time-consuming. Based on that, you think he wants a game with less skill? Explain for me, please, how the degree to which a game requires skill is correlated with the length of time spent waiting for airlocks to cycle?

        People like you are the ones who give everyone else playing this game a bad name. Going on the warpath any time someone says something slightly negative is totally unhelpful.

        • JMartinni says:

          Yeah easy to say when you yourself can’t be arsed to read my comment properly.

      • EhexT says:

        It absolutely is Pay 2 Win. Here I’ll prove it to you with some easy to grasp examples:
        Bad Pilot in a top end ship fights mediocre pilot on a cheap one. Person that paid more wins.

        Here’s another and this is really the only test of P2W that you’ll ever need:
        2 players of EQUAL skill, one of them has paid more real money, the other has not. Guess which one wins. It’s the one who’s paid more real money. You can’t get more clear cut pay 2 win than that.

        • Razumen says:

          You won’t be able to outright buy ships with real money after the game launches. Sure those that paid extra before will have an advantage, but it will get smaller quickly, and they’ll still have to pay costs to arm their ships, refuel, etc.

          • EhexT says:

            So will those that didn’t buy ships. Except those that didn’t buy ships will pay more. People can claim “it will be better in the indeterminate future” (nevermind that CIG is on record as saying they’ll sell UEC for real money, which is defacto the same as selling the ships just with an extra transaction in the middle) all they want, but the fact it is now it’s entirely pay to win, and even in the indeterminate future it’s still pay-to-have-a-massive-advantage.

    • amblingalong says:

      I mean, Alex literally wrote “In THE ALPHA flying a crappy ship is less fun than a more powerful one, because it’s slow and has weak weapons, though in the final game you’ll be able to buy better ships with in-game currency” and you responded “well, you don’t understand the intricacies of the game, because IN THE FINAL GAME cheap ships will have more uses.” So in other words, you were insulting and than proceeded to demonstrate you didn’t even read (or less flatteringly, couldn’t understand) the actual text you block-quoted.

      If you really think I’m wrong, jump into your Aurora with your two default M3As, I’ll jump into my mono-boat Hornet F7C-M with six OS6s, and we’ll play a couple rounds of Arena Commander.

      • zxcasdqwecat says:

        There’s only one way to solve this. You must kung fu fight.

  25. macc says:

    Performance problems are mainly server side issues at the moment, so even triple Titan SLI won’t give you very good performance. It’s not your hardware.

  26. dorobo says:

    I wonder if people will just jump straight to things like valkyrie and VR not waiting for these things to finalize.

    • Marblecake says:

      I don’t think they will. Or rather, I certainly won’t. Not because Valkyrie might be a bad game, it actually looks kind of fun, but because it’s an entirely different proposition. It looks to be a quick “hop in, hop out” kid of game, while SC (and probably E:D, haven’t played it) go for long form immersion. Both games want you invested in their universe and living different roles. Valkyrie is a straight up dogfighter. Added to that, all three games will have vastly different flight systems. From what I’ve seen, Valkyrie seems like a more traditional fighter game while SC and E:D are going for varying degrees of 6DoF.
      Each will have their place, I don’t think any of ’em can be a replacement for the others.

  27. Pogs says:

    I’d love to see SC succeed and come to fruition but it just looks like a expensive train wreck in the making. People seem to chuck money at it in hope. This is just exploiting people’s hope for a game like this and Kick Starter should be held liable in this sham. It’s bordering on fraud.

  28. Unsheep says:

    Visually the game looks absolutely stunning. It is still in Alpha so of-course it will be buggy.

    Considering the scope of the game $100 million is not that much, especially compared to games of much smaller size and scope, like GTA V and Destiny. Destiny cost twice as much to make and started development around the same time as this game. The same goes for Star Wars The Old Republic.

    • EhexT says:

      Those budgets include marketing. SC’s does not.

      • Marblecake says:

        Actually, they don’t. There’s a nice wikipedia page that lists all those games and their respective development costs, excluding marketing costs. However, I’m pretty sure we’ll be at 150m by the time 2016 ends.

  29. Det. Bullock says:

    I just wonder why they have to implement pseudo-newtonian physics like it was some sort of realistic simulator instead of a “movie starfighter” simulator (there is a free realistic space simulator and of course it requires a lot of practice even for getting off the ground).
    Also the fact that in Elite (I couldn’t really tell if it was the same in SC from the videos) the craft seems to control like ina regular flightsim rather than a speace sim is really odd to me: there is a reason in older spacesims the X axis is used for yawing instead of rolling, in space you don’t have a horizon so you could make your attack run on that Star Destroyer upside down and nothing really would change so taking aim at your targets is more important and the few cases when rolling was useful was in evasive manouvers (pitching up and down while rolling was the standard for evading missile locks and turbo lasers in Tie Fighter) and sometimes while entering hangars (as some games required you to be aligned with the hangar bay) but really nothing else, no twistable stick or pedals were necessary, usually a command to convert the X axis bound to the second button of the stick did fine.
    Hell, I almost got insulted by some guy when I mentioned that I was buying a CH Combatstick as my new joystick because I wanted something built to last and being primarily into old-fashioned spacesims I didn’t need a rudder (or a throttle for that matter, a keyboard is fine for speed as these games all have presets and match speed keys and I don’t have the space for a throttle).

    • Zenicetus says:

      The Elite:D developers decided they wanted the ships to fly more like airplanes, it’s that’s simple.

      Movement in the yaw axis is heavily damped so it’s only useful for making small corrections when docking or mining. It’s not much use when flying or fighting.

      In combat, you’re supposed to do what an aircraft does in a dogfight, which is roll towards the bandit and pull back on the stick. Other potential tactics like lateral translation (strafing sideways or up/down), or reverse movement are also damped compared to forward flight, but not as much as the yaw axis.

      None of this makes any sense in a spaceship which should have full 6DoF movement, but that’s how it is. It’s not the worst “space” flight model I’ve ever seen, but I think it was a wasted opportunity not to adopt a Newtonian-with-flight-assist model like the Independence War 2 game. For me, that was the best compromise that still felt like flying in space.

      I don’t know how any of this compares to Star Citizen since I haven’t flown that one.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        I never got into I-war, I tried the demo for the first one but I remember having a hard time either figuring out the controls or making the game work (I think it worked only the first time then refused to run when I returned to it for some weird video card issue but I don’t remember much) and later I tried the demo for the sequel and I remember nothing but failing a dialogue check or something like that and getting destroyed, I don’t even remember why I didn’t go past that part.

        The closest I got to playing something “newtonian” was the slide function in Tachyon: The Fringe which essentially locked your ship on its current trajectory while allowing to turn and shoot (nice for when you were being followed), and the first spacesim with some sort of “thrusters” for strafing was one of the X games (I forget which) and I never found either ability particularly helpful, while I’m not a fan of of newtonian physiscs I find having to manouver a spaceship like a plane is kinda silly, both X-wing and Tie Fighter didn’t do that.

        • Det. Bullock says:

          ARGH, freudian slip, I wanted to say “X-wing and Wing Commander” instead of “X-wing and Tie Fighter”.

      • EhexT says:

        “None of this makes any sense in a spaceship which should have full 6DoF movement, but that’s how it is. ”

        That’s not exactly true. The acceleration speeds of the various directions in a 6DoF environment are still going to be affected by the shape of the spaceship and the placement and strenght of the thrusters. Being in space does not magically make all your directions equally powerful. Elite ships are simply built in a way that has weak yawing thrust and strong roll and this actually works out with the thrusters as placed – Elite cheats about as much as SC does (on the ships that work properly that is). They just built their ships in a different way (one that gets them the flight model they want).

        The one place they do cheat is the dynamic max speed cap that is variable depending on vector relative to ship facing. Although SC also has an artificial max speed cap (several even). There’s nothing wrong with those if it makes gameplay better, and it usually does.

        • Zenicetus says:

          “Being in space does not magically make all your directions equally powerful.”

          Of course not. But it was intentionally designed this way. The question is why? Why would anyone design a space fighter in a way that didn’t allow equal maneuvering thrust on all 6 axes when you’re not just flying forward at maximum speed on the main engine? Why would one axis like yaw be gimped like that? And why would reverse thrust be weaker than lateral thrusters?

          It makes zero sense for zero G maneuvering. It only makes sense if you want to straight-jacket the player into flying and fighting a certain way, and more like an airplane in atmosphere.

  30. jonfitt says:

    I played the PTU test version a few weeks ago which is largely the same as this public release. It was my first experience with the game and left me feeling like it’s a good first step (that probably should have been done a long time ago), but it’s a long way from being playable.
    The framerate dropped so low that it nearly made me barf, and I clipped through and got stuck in my own ship and couldn’t fly it. This is the alpha we needed to see way back before the money started snowballing. It sets the scene for the long road to a game.

  31. jonny486 says:

    At sign up, use Referral code;

    STAR-C63C-HHKL

    To get 5,000 UEC (That’s $5 worth of in-game currency) for free if you buy any package :)

  32. Killzone64 says:

    These articles dtill dont get it with the ships… you arent paying for the ship your donating money to the developmemt process and getting stuff in return. You get those ships to start with in the finished game. Star citizen is NOT a MMO, the plan is to have large lobby multiplayer in a universe populated with ai. You can also play offline or coop with freinds. Then you also get a second game with star citizen called squadron 42 . Which is basically the singleplayer campaign with structured missions (star citizen is open world). Squadrom 42 is supposed to be deployed in missions, first one is due quarter one 2016.

    Also…. to the people complaining about how long its taking, go and try to make your own game and then take another look. They are pumping out new festures and fixing bugs at a very rapid pace. It s cool to be part of the bug testing process and helping the devs polish this game. Its true that this updste feelsmore likean alpha but id rather have fun breaking the game rather than playing an unfinished showcase for a bit and getting bored. I have been part of a couple different modding communitys and i have a general understanding of how much work goes into this stuff, its a lot btw, and im impressed with what is here so far and intrigued by what is to come later on

    • rabbit says:

      is that like when you’re at an unlicensed show and you don’t buy the beer, you chip in for a raffle ticket to help raise funds & it just always happens to win you a beer?

      • Hitchslapped says:

        The difference is that you won’t be able to earn free beer by watching the show.

        If you wanna be the biggest shark in the tank during the testing phase that’s fine by me. Spend 1000$ and finance the game for me. All those ships will be available for in-game money once the game is released so where’s the problem. I haven’t checked the exact price but the game costs about 40$ or something like that. This get’s you a starter ship, the singleplayer campaign and a multiplayer game without monthly costs. Maybe people should stop complaining about feeling a little underpowered during some alpha tests and just practice a little patience

  33. rabbit says:

    the fuck is his deal with the chat interface? i really don’t get the problem.

  34. hungrycookpot says:

    I truly hope they don’t dumb down the simulation aspects of the game to make it more streamlined. Entering your ship thru a pressure chamber and waking up in your cabin are some awesome immersive features imo and just what i want out of this game.