Calling All Devs
-The FPS weapon attachment system is present in the backend but the UI system isn’t present to allow players to swap components. On the backlog.
-The system for tuning and upgrading ship modules is not present. On the backlog.
-At about 7:00 there’s an answer about piracy versus griefing and security. The answer implies an Eve-like system of risk versus reward with high security space, pockets of semi-secure space, and full on lawless territory.
Unfortunately the answer doesn’t provide any details of how this will be implemented and is simply an talk about aspirations.
One detail dropped was that players can petition other players if they’re being griefed repeatedly but only if the griefer is preventing another party from playing the game and has no ingame justification for their actions.
-3.2 saw all the ship weapons redone to work with Item System 2.0, this will assist the developers in rebalancing weapons in future.
Around the Verse
-CIG is working on full player control of movement so your character will no longer take time to stop, start, and turn during basic FPS movement.
-Lots of talk about making the animations prettier (again), an alien rocket launcher FPS gun, metal tearing for damage special effects, alien armor, and yet more shots of the junkyard biome art for one of the planets (this one has been used every week for months now).
Reverse the Verse – Has Chris Roberts giving long winded answers, luckily the weather outside is fairly crap so I’ll put the extra hour in to watching this.
-CIG now has just a little over 500 staff now.
-Star Citizen is intended to provide a full range of career options “similar to real life” so everything from bounty hunting to farming is intended to be supported.
-Mining in 3.2 is intended to be a demonstration of CIG’s commitment to providing playable features even though it is missing a lot of content and early in development. (I had to paraphrase here)
-Chris is happy with what CIG has done with mining given the time constraints and they have plans to fill it out later.
-3.2 has gone to 50 players per sever but hopes are to have this go higher next patch. (Please remember this gets stated nearly every patch)
-The player group system came so late in development as CIG had to chose where to apply limited resources, they don’t have the capacity to develop new features while improving older features and clearing bugs.
-Chris goes on a bit of a rant about community members characterizing CIG as incompetent for complaining about missing features and CIG’s decision making process on deliverable content.
-Chris thinks that the majority of the community is fine with content being delayed if needed and it’s just a vocal minority that is complaining about developmental issues.
-Chris points out that it’s easier for CIG to listen to complaints about issues if complainants supply their own proposed solutions.
-Chris states that Object Container Streaming as well as some of the netcode is essential for 3.3, without it the patch is not viable unless people have computers with 32gb of ram.
-Object Container Streaming and other features would make the Idris viable but it won’t be released for 3.3 or 3.4 as the ship needs to be reworked from being a SQ42 set into a viable multiplayer ship.
-Chris would like to be alive by the time CIG completes more star systems so they’re working on better tools to allow a moon to be turned around in a week rather than months.
-Chris again states that despite having 500 people that’s never enough to tackle the number of things they need and better tools, efficiencies, and reuse of art assets will be needed.
-Chris “isn’t going to lie to you and say the game is going to be done in a year or two”.
-The AI side of things has gone slower than expected due to the size of the level spaces in the game and the need for the AI to cope with the large environment, multifaceted combat, and acting needs of the game.
-CIG only has three AI programmers, would like to hire more.
-CIC would also like to hire more UI artists/programmers as apparently workflow in this area is an issue as well.
-Chris wants to get the AI and animation fluidity up to the standards of future contenders like The Last of Us 2.
-AI compainions/crew are probably off in 2019 but not ready to put on the roadmap.
-The Squadron 42 roadmap that was supposed to be released this year will not be released this year as the production team is not comfortable with presenting a development timetable as the schedule would still be too susceptible to change (AKA: it’s a long ways off).
-Chris states that if he’d known it would take this long to develop elements of SQ42 he may not have committed to the level of fidelity they have.
-Proceeds to talk about how long Cyberpunk 2077 has been in development (announced in 2012) with stops to redesign it and all sorts of delays. (Yes Chris, but 2077 didn’t take 180 million in crowdfunding while constantly telling people big things would be coming next year for years on end.)
-On the schedule again, some items are still in long term planning so hence the inability to deliver a refined schedule.
-Chris admits he’s overly optimistic with his timelines due to optimism and creative nature.
-The Around the Verse show will be cut down and divided into separate shows so that more casual viewers can watch and new followers can get into Star Citizen, longer and more in depth shows will be done every few weeks.
Not much movement worth reporting, 3.3 suddenly saw movement on developing the essential Object Container Streaming it needs but it’s not nearly complete yet and host of other components need development in parallel.
One of Star Citizens founding developers opened a community discussion about the IFCS flight system, something that’s been sucking fairly hard for a while now but has efforts into making it better.
Good news is that it’s seeing significant work, bad news is that it sounds like it still needs significant work.
Then a few days later he (John Pritchett) announced he was departing the project.
Ben Lesnick, the huge dude that hosted some of the shows, has also moved away from the studios and is working remotely. Link to partial information.
Not exactly “the sky is falling” but a shame to see that the project has been running for so long that a lot of the older developers are moving on.
Lot of non-answers in the early shows for this week, CIG is trying to get the FPS movement working better and seems to have the right idea.
The last show of the week had Chris Roberts answering questions, he’s fairly upbeat and optimistic in tone but when I summarize the answers here it’s actually not going to paint a very rosy picture so be aware of the difference in tone with the following.
-CIG has expanded to just a bit over 500 staff.
-There are major developmental resource shortages to tackle all the items needed across even shorter term time frames so large numbers of key things needed for both the single player and MMO components will not even be nearing release until next year. Decisions are having to be made about what to prioritize.
-Chris Roberts stated that he “isn’t going to lie” and say the game will be done in a year or two.
-Squadron 42 will not release this year, nor will it publish the production schedule talked about at the end of 2017 as the schedule is too unpredictable for now and the production team doesn’t have confidence about putting forward a reliable schedule. Some elements of SQ42 may still in fact be in longer term planning, depending on what that means coming from Chris.
-Chris is happy with what CIG produced with 3.2 given the time constraints and CIG will further expand on the basic gameplay of mining and other systems with future patches.
-Chris agrees with what some of the community has pointed out, the game is dead in the water until Object Container Streaming is implemented.
A Salty Star Citizen’s TL;DR Of Bitter Reality
I’m having to re-evaluate Chris Roberts, because after this show I don’t think the guy is a liar.
Now I’m starting to think the guy is just so delusionally optimistic that he’s partially detached from reality.
He spent an entire show being very positive and breezing over some shockingly major issues with development.
We’re six years in and on some level he’s aware of how behind everything is, and how far off delivery of a basic game is, but at the same time he’s talking about chasing the cool features of other leading edge games with a development team that is years from delivery of a viable product under the current workload.
I’m also unsure what to make of his passive-aggressive attitude with the upset portions of the community, he’s stating that he’s aware that he’s issued dates and then blown them consistently yet at the same time he seems to be fine trivializing concerns and equating the project delays to other games that didn’t spend years falsely hying their fanbases and asking for more money.