Calling All Devs
-The Hull C is done art wise but the game engine can’t deal with the physics inherent in the design, the game doesn’t support docking ships, the cargo system currently can’t deal with the cargo volumes the ship would carry, and the universe doesn’t support the gameplay envisioned for this ship. So Soon™.
-CIG is working on the formula for the number of stops ships need to make to cross a star system. Currently CIG is looking at multiple pit stops for small ships and capital ships likely being able to warp between two planets in the same system without stopping to refuel. Wow, that just sounds so fun.
-Flight and combat code tweaks are in progress to fix some errors that people are getting very upset about on the forums. CIG’s effective answer is that they’ve got some fixes coming now and some fixes coming over the coming year.
-The ability to filter mined materials so that your cargo space is not used by junk materials, a feature advertised for the current mining ship, is not in development. Improving planetary mining and asteroid mining are in development but advanced features such as being able to throw inert materials out of your ore hopper will need to be reviewed for future development.
Around the Verse
-CIG begins this week by touting about the amazing FPS event where the same team as last week created a forced scenario where they all shot eachother; includes footage of FPS with hitching, bad gunplay, and general mediocrity.
-Next section of amazing player created content was a mining contest. Won’t bore you more words about this.
-New footage of CIG’s “scramble race” gameplay where players compete to collect the most checkpoint markers, it’s a no rules death race but since half the vehicles ingame have no weapons systems the footage actually just shows cars trying to ineffectually ram eachother before being rendered pointless by the faster and actually armed hover bikes.
-Good news for Arena Commander fans, all ~10 of them that remain, there will soon be an ingame UI to rent ships. Yes CIG thought this was important for some reason…
-More work going into making derelict ships look prettier.
-Some footage of the early stages of the 300 series redesign.
-Some stuff about sound effects, fairly neat stuff but not world changing stuff.
-CIG has started working on a courier parcel drop off box, it’s the a gameplay trope thing of having a single place you can just drop off your parcel rather than having to seek out NPCs that then may or may not detect the parcel being put in front of them like the current implementation.
-Concept art for a subway system and some early work on a low rent apartment for pilots. Woot, we Second Life now.
Reverse the Verse
-Watch CIG’s lore team fill an hour of video time by talking about lore shit about a incomplete game while playing said game.
-That’s me telling you to watch it, because I sure as fuck am not wasting my time watching it.
Production Schedule Update (Alt link)
I delayed this entire post for a few days hoping CIG would have further clarification on this post as this production update was supposedly released early, on accident.
No update has been forthcoming for a few days so unless something changes this is the projected roadmap for the next year of Star Citizen’s… development.
-3.3- Q3 of 2018
-Work on ships system degradation through wear and tear from usage has begun.
-Work on general mission modularity and general racing removed from schedule. Broken down to items below.
-Scramble races, checkpoint based race, added.
-Improved Retrieval and Delivery missions added. Go to A, get thing, bring to B.
-FPS combat missions added.
-Asteroid mining added.
-Planetary mining improvements added.
-Scanning improvements added.
-Transit Systems added. Subways or something for one of the larger planets coming with 3.3.
-Ingame UI for equipment rentals for Arena Commander and Star Marine added.
-Group system improvements added.
-Improvements to manned and remote turrets added. Note: This has been on the last few patches as well.
-No fly zones added.
-Item kiosk and shopping improvements added.
-Service (job) beacon improvements delayed until 3.4.
–Repair bots delayed until 3.6.
–All repair mechanics delayed until 3.5.
–All refuelling mechanics delayed until 3.5.
–All salvage mechanics delayed until 3.5.
–Escort type gameplay moved to 3.4.
–Networking Cloud tech moved to 3.6.
-VOIP and Face Animation Tech work started, at 12% completion.
-FPS combat AI removed from listing, broken down into limited subtasks.
-Network entity streaming task completed, no movement on other tasks for this week. Sitting at wide range of completion percentages.
-The Planet of Hurston and samll rest stop stations, is still sitting at 60% completion.
-3.4- Q4 of 2018
-No progress from previous weeks, now contains some delayed features and core tech from 3.3.
-Land claim gameplay delayed to 3.6. No red text for this because… well did any of you really give a shit about this.
-3.5- Q1 of 2019
-Contains salvage, repair, and refuelling mechanics delayed from 3.3.
–Refining,part of mining, delayed until 3.6.
–CommArray Revamp, delayed until 3.6.
–Liquid/Gas Harvesting, delayed until 3.6.
–Extended Cargo Mechanics, delayed until 3.6.
–Data Running gameplay/missions, delayed until 3.6.
–Long range scanning, delayed until 3.6.
–FPS Combat AI styles, delayed until 3.6.
–Flight Combat Styles, delayed until 3.6.
-3.6- Q2 of 2019 New!
-This patch is literally just built out of all the delayed material from the previous patches.
-Seriously, there’s no multicrew or anything here, it’s just CIG’s old 3.X patch ambitions from 2016 stretched into 2019.
-CIG is currently balancing travel between planets in the same system, right now it looks like small ships will need to make multiple fuel stops and capital ships will probably be able to cross a star system without having to stop.
-The large Hull series of cargo haulers won’t be appearing any time soon as the game engine can’t handle them, their docking mechanics aren’t developed yet, and the gameplay can’t handle them. Art is done though.
-CIG is working on equipment decay so items will wear out and begin to malfunction, this is important for some reason.
-All significant new game mechanics for 2017 2018 are now delayed until 2019, CIG will use the remainder of 2018 to polish what was added this year as well as deal with further delays that are going to come up.
The Salty Rant – You know it, you learned to live with it.
So when I started this series many months ago I figured I’d be detailing the features that went missing over the year and generally be setting up a thread that was safe from the revisionist history of the SC community group think that erases all the little things that go missing from development every year and rationalizes the current state of affairs. (The snarky update thread was just a nice format to also keep us up on the news)
I expected a few issues, maybe a mechanic slipping back a patch, not the total delay of nearly all the core mechanical lifeblood of Star Citizen into 2019, where it will be delayed even further in all likelihood.
If this schedule remains accurate I see little reason to bother with routine updates, we’ve effectively entered into another forgettable year of Star Citizen’s glacial development and quarterly summaries of the projects progress could probably be put into a TL;DR format of a few lines of text.
In short; there’s little point in me maintaining a thread showing the winding history of a year of development when CIG will just delay entire segments of the game for nearly a year, shortly before their supposed release, and is showing signs of deep developmental issues that would be apparent even with just an occasional summary.
The Star Citizen community remains strong in their ideological fortress of rationalizations and is currently pushing the message that the delays are just going to make sure the game is good, along with the typical “good games take X years to make, and “relax guys, it’s an alpha”.
You’ll note the dissent in the comments and the fact that support seems to be a bit lacking from some of the more typically staunch supporters (if you knew the names of a few of the fanboy regulars).
There’s enough support there that I don’t see CIG packing up shop any time soon, but I say that in the sort of way I say that I don’t see CCP/Eve packing up shop any time soon.
CIG is running an expensive operation and interest in their constantly delayed product is faltering, at some point funding is going to decline past a point where CIG’s marketing tactics are able to make up for shortfalls, and we’ll see a CCP style round of layoffs and “refocussing on core development” or something similar.
That’s probably a year or two off though, assuming CIG kept some financial reserves in place, there’s enough data to take a stab at what CIG’s rough operating costs are but not enough to know how much the SQ42 actors and studio depleted their earlier savings.
If CIG get Squadron 42 out in a working state that sells well in the next few years, or start developing Star Citizen into a product more than a handful of people would enjoy then that forecast will change, but right now I can’t see CIG getting to dawdle through the next five years the way they have frittered away the past five years.
Or hopefully this entire schedule is just a giant fuck up and CIG realizes it can deliver more than one significant gameplay mechanic a year.