Star Citizen – Interstellar Raiders

Star Citizen – Interstellar Raiders

The road less traveled..

The TL;DR recap on how I got involved in this farce and why I’m going to keep going until the very bitter end.

The gamescom Star Citizen presentation

UPDATE1: Shortly after this post went live, Star Citizen was being demoed at gamescom via live TwitchTV stream. It completely solidified my opinion that this project is not only in trouble, but is never going to be completed as pitched. Pretty much what I said in my original blog back on July 4th weekend.

They were touting large, near-barren AC 2.0 scenes going from 8km and up to 8.7b km space (which is a postage stamp compared to my game worlds btw)  in size, multi-crew ships (which we did back in the 2000s, and which has been working in my latest game for almost two years now; also Star Wars Galaxies had that) with clunky (ok – it’s alpha, I get that) controls – and not much else worthy of note. And even with local networking, and less than eight players, the networking issues were still very evident.

Nothing tangible on the once delayed/canceled Star Marine, nothing to show on Squadron 42. But oh, there’s a largely empty social module which is a great conduit to sell you more crap.

$85m+ and four years later. No “game”.

And he’s claiming to be making a game that’s supposedly “substantially better” than mine? I don’t think so.

UPDATE2: More obfuscation. Yet again. From this PCGamesN interview. “You’re not going to have 50 systems to adventure in, but I think most people are going to have a lot of fun“. Assuming that he’s not referring to the final Star Citizen universe size, do you know what the original Kickstarter pitch was, or the RSI follow-up? Here, let me refresh your memory:

3 million – Citizens with appropriate packages will receive access to the Star Citizen universe with 40 star systems for persistent online play upon release.
4 million – Star Citizen will launch with 50 star systems and feature an additional flyable ship, the Drake Interplanetary Cutlass.
4.5 million – Star Citizen will launch with 60 star systems.
5 million – Star Citizen will launch with 70 star systems.
6 million – Star Citizen will launch with 100 star systems.

UPDATE3: With the GC2015 event over, as I suspected and wrote below, the event comes with a fundraising spike, though the money raised is the lowest raised to date for a post-event fundraiser. Following the Friday reveal event, they raised about $750K between Friday and Saturday. The analysis says no new backers (citizens), but I calculate 2489 new backers between 08/06 – 08/08. Which means it’s mostly the same whales funding the game; and mostly those buying stuff to resell on the Grey market.

And he’s now gone on record with delivery dates in this GC2015 video, in which he states Social Module (end of Aug), Star Marine (end of Sept), Multi-Crew (end of Oct).

I have been refraining from saying anything to Chris about his gamescom comments because I think that he knows by now that a bunch of people are about to bring a world of legal hurt his way for all the shit they’ve pulled over there.

Adding fuel to that already raging fire, probably explains his abrupt pause right when he was about to, again, say something stupid for us to add to an already bulging evidence arsenal.

Then there’s this gem:

I try not to get into any of that. I think people who talk about other people’s work… I don’t know what to say, other than, if someone spent so much energy focusing on their own stuff, maybe people would like their own stuff better. I don’t particularly pay much attention to him because it seems like the more people pay attention to him…

As I said in a recent post, let’s be honest, he would have be several levels of high to call me out in public without anything worthy of note. Which is probably why he stopped short. My blogs alone have probably caused so much angst and consternation, that baiting me would be the path to mutually assured destruction if I re-engaged again.

And I make that MAD reference because I am well aware that engaging in conduct that involves public discourse with another developer, usually has a lot of downsides. You know, like politics and Hollywood. It’s not something that I do. In fact, I’ve never done it before my second blog about this farce because I think it’s disrespectful and poor form.

Chris, in your case however, I made the exception because you’re a *removed some choice descriptors here* who doesn’t care about the people around you, despite the public face you portray to the gullible cult fools who lap up your lies, hypocrisy and deceit. If you cared one bit about the lives you’re about to disrupt, the families you’re about to uproot, when this project fails – as most of us suspect that it will – you would make better choices.

I think at the end of the day the game is gonna speak for itself, the content speaks for itself. There’s plenty of people who say, y’know, you can’t do certain things and I don’t listen to them. Especially, y’know, I mean, you have to listen to people who have actually been able to do stuff and that you respect. That’s not the case [here].”

That’s truly hilarious. I can ignore the jab because I know that you’re under a lot of pressure and not thinking straight. Plus it’s OK to be delusional about one’s own abilities (To wit: I build games. You build promises), even with a straight face. But here’s the thing, if you actually listened to the people who are building this game, you’d be in a better place by now. They’ve told you – time and time again – that it can’t be done. Even the people who built the engine you’re using, have told you the same thing. You chose to ignore them. And now, four years and over $85m+ later, you still don’t have a “game”, while those very talented people, are killing themselves trying to help you make good on lofty goals and promises made. They will fail; simply because they know by now that i) it’s a paycheck ii) you’re not worth saving

You did this.

You lied – again and again – to everyone (including me) who trusted you and had faith that this time, maybe, just maybe, you would actually deliver on lofty goals and promises, instead of crashing and burning (yeah, those of us who were around, remember the EA and Microsoft exits well enough) once failure was imminent. You know, pretty much where you are now, after burning through $85m+ of crowd-funded money, without a “game” to show for it.

Here’s the thing, I’ve made more money in my career, than you will ever get to see, outside of crowd-funding. And seeing as you were flat broke prior to myself and the rest of the people who gave you $85m pretty much helped you get a new roof over your head, new Porsche cars and a mansion – all paid for by crowd-funding (including my $250) money, I’d say that you should be thanking me.

And even though my games aren’t the sort of games that are going to win any awards (actually, that’s not true because Battlecruiser 3000AD won a few back in the day), I am happy in the thought that a) I paid for them b) I didn’t blow (see what I did there?) someone else’s money on my bullshit dreams c) if I quit doing this, I can always, you know, go get a job instead of relying on public handouts. That’s what a sound education, talent and experience give you: a solid plan B.

And unlike you, through all the challenges, the disappointments, the noise and the pain, not once did it occur to me that I should, like a sniveling defeated coward, bail and go find something else to do. Then fail – yet again; only to come running back decades later, pan in hand, to the industry I abandoned and left with the carcasses of games (we still remember Freelancer. &^$%^#*!@ you!) I FAILED to deliver on as promised.

We have a lot of people who work really hard on this, they’re very passionate about making everything possible for people that have backed it. Maybe it’s taking a bit longer than people want it to, but I think it’s going to be really good and it’s also expanded in terms of scope. I’m pretty confident that [none of the backers want] some small limited scope game. And the only person who probably would want that is someone who doesn’t want to have a game that’s significantly better than the one they’re making.

You had every opportunity to make this right; but since you’re used to abject failure, you ignored the end result which would lead to the failure that you’re now facing again.

And while I’m at it, let the record show that, for the second time in as many months, you’ve admitted – on the record – to scope creep. Something that, just last month, July 20th to be exact, you were vehemently denying – again on the record as I wrote over here.

As to that last part, were you high? Aside from the fact that back in 2012 I gave you $250 as part of my contribution, here, let me quote the closing statement in my first blog (the one that started this discourse):

I have come to terms with the fact that, at my age, I will never be able to realize my dreams of building that awesome all-encompassing space and planetary combat game that I envisioned decades ago. And it wasn’t from my lack of trying, let alone expertise.

So I really do hope and pray that RSI can pull this off, because if someone like me, with all my experience and expertise on this very same subject and who has spent half a lifetime trying can’t do it without sacrificing something (visual fidelity, performance, scope etc) in the process, and they, with all this money and star talent can’t do it either, then it’s safe to say that it simply can’t be done. At least not in our lifetime.

So what you’re saying is that, back in Nov 2012 when I funded your project, said and wrote good things about my hopes for it, somehow – even though my own game was already almost two years in the making – I didn’t really want you to succeed with your game because I didn’t want it to be better than mine?

Yes, clearly, you’ve lost it.

Fact is, the only way that Star Citizen is ever going to be “significantly better” than the game I’m making, is if a) someone else – not you – were making it b) you actually have an angel chained in the basement of your mansion, and who is capable of making the impossible come true; since miracles tend to take a little longer.

And we all know that either way, it’s going cost a lot of money to pull off. And you no longer have that. Even so, there’s a big difference between making promises, and actually delivering on same.

You’ve had all this money, and a stellar team, yet, after four years, you still have no game and the much touted “persistent universe” (which btw, I was already building back when you were riding high on Wing Commander) is a pipe dream. Meanwhile, the game you’re probably referring to, Line Of Defense, already had a working persistent universe, back in 2011, and long before I was even $2m in. And I’ve spent a lifetime building those.

So go ahead, tell me again about how your pipedream of a game is going to be so “significantly better” when all you have – after four years and $85m – are two buggy modules. One of which, Arena Commander, even at its peak when a much touted patch was recently released, celebrated an average of less than 2000 players. Out of over 900K backers. That game?

“I think that’s the problem with today and the internet: people that are willing to be keyboard warriors and be loud have a platform they wouldn’t have had in the past. Then of course everyone likes sensationalists and people slinging mud around.”

Chris, what’s amazing to me is that you spent time slinging mud, then complain that the internet gives people the power to sling mud. Given your penchant for backpedaling on cue, this is hardly surprising. But here’s the thing; if you’re going to sling mud, do it the way that I do. Direct. No waffling. No pause. No fear. You know, don’t be a coward. That’s not the mark of a true leader. I’m a leader. You’re just a blundering fool who lost his way too many snorts ago.

Before all this, ahead of my first blog, Interstellar Citizens, after seeing the train wreck that you were turning this project into, as you well know, I reached out to you directly and through common industry peers, trying to get answers and to give you the opportunity to explain to me – a backer and your peer – what was going on, and what you were doing with our money.

Things would have been different. But in typical fashion, and the arrogance that you display in everything you say and do, you chose to ignore it because you were already safe in the thought that you had built a cult of freaking idiots who would fight your public battles for you and against the likes of me. My guess is that you and them never planned to be dealing with someone who isn’t a coward, and who can, you know, actually construct two sentences together without reaching for a dictionary and/or pain medication.

I think the game’s going to speak for itself. I definitely know that what people care about is a good game more than anything else. At the end of the day, if it’s a bit late and it’s great, that’s what counts. If it’s crap and you push it out the door, it’s crap forever.

Really? You had one job.

A job you wanted $20m to do. As I wrote here, in detail, we gave you that.

Then you went crazy; and somehow, with your posse, figured out how you could continue riding the gravy train while finding new and rather inventive ways of getting more money, while NOT delivering on promises already made.

This is not about you. It was never about you. This was about a work product that over 900K people gave you over $85m to build. Nobody gave you money to live out a lavish lifestyle (I don’t even have a cook, and you have a cook!?), blow the money on bullshit, squander most of it on shit that has NOTHING to do with BUILDING A GAME etc

Yes, we know. All of it. And it should come as no surprise to you that in the very near future, all of this is going to come to a head and everyone will see that truly, the emperor had no clothes. And all the people who are pandering to and enabling your bullshit, are going to be first in line to tear you to shreds. That’s the bed you’ve made; and that’s the one you get lay in. I hereby pledge to bring the sheets.

As I wrote earlier, you’ve already been caught waffling about scope creep. In one breath, you are denying it, while in another, you’re admitting it – while blaming the backers for your irresponsible decisions.

And despite your disinformation team’s and White Knight cultists attempts at downplaying it, we are well aware that you have already started scaling back parts of game in more ways that one. And as I wrote here, the SQ42 cut is just one aspect of it. We’re all waiting for the other penny to drop.

You go on and on about accountability, yet dodge the tough questions. Which explains your cagey attitude and avoidance tactics at gamescom this year. You refuse to answer direct questions about this project, what happened to all this money, whether there is even enough (there isn’t) money left to finish this project etc.

Yet, you wonder why your crowd-funding has fallen off a cliff in the past two months.

And it’s about to get a whole lot worse. You wait and see.

Now you’ve blown through $85m and the people with more than two functioning brain cells, know better than to give you ANY more money until you can deliver a substantial part of the game they already gave you $85m to build.

You’re at gamescom. Again. And yet again, you’re going to pull the same shit that you guys do at all of these shows. That being, show some fancy footage specifically designed for the cult to lap up, sell it like it’s actually a work product worthy of note, let alone release worthy, then try to sell more shit for a “game” that DOES NOT YET EXIST AND WHICH BY ALL ACCOUNTS, NEVER WILL.

So after blowing through $85m – and still no game; then knowing that to finish the game will require more money in order to deliver on original promises to backers, you have to keep raising money in order to deliver on that. Without any additional or sufficient money, there is no way in hell you can deliver on the original promise. And you’ve already said just that – on camera, and on the record.

And with that in mind, most of us are still having a hard time trying not to compare all of this to an elaborate Ponzi/Pyramid hybrid scheme. Here is an excerpt from Investopedia:

A Ponzi scheme is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new investors’ funds to pay the earlier backers. One difference between the two schemes is that the Ponzi mastermind gathers all relevant funds from new investors and then distributes them. Pyramid schemes, on the other hand, allow each investor to directly benefit depending on how many new investors are recruited. In this case, the person on the top of the pyramid does not at any point have access to all the money in the system.

Here’s the thing, no matter how this whole thing plays out, the game’s up. Period. End of story.

As I wrote in my Interstellar Justice blog, when your team yanked my RSI account, then tried to LIE about why it was done, you made it clear that you had something to hide, and that I was the last person you wanted poking around in your business. I also warned you that all you did was strengthen my resolve to get to the bottom of this; and that, win, lose or draw, someone – it really doesn’t matter who – was going to get sued before the dust settled on this.

And regardless of who gets sued first, the end result will be the same: we WILL get to the bottom of what you’ve done with all this money, and this project. We will uncover all your lies. We will uncover what happened to every single penny of the $85m you were given to build this game.

You will never – ever – get away with this. And I will make sure of it.

You had one job. And in typical fashion, you blew it. Again.

ps: See the ad that I use as a caption for this piece? That’s a reminder that I’ve been down this road before. That “flair” ad was the brain child of my publishers, Take Two (the old guard), from back in the day when I was a young, Green, game developer out on a limb, and out of his depth, attempting to bring an ambitious project to completion. You can read (see p8) more about those lofty goals here in this Next Generation article from 1998 . That’s what happens when you’re staring at failure in the face, and in an industry that is quicker to remember your failures, than your successes.


119 thoughts on “Star Citizen – Interstellar Raiders

  1. Just as a note about your claim with AC, the leaderboards only show the people who have played multiplayer / competitively. I have been playing AC since it first came out and I’m no where on any of the leaderboards, because I don’t play multi. So I’m sure there are quite a few backers such as myself that are in that same boat. So your numbers don’t necessarily reflect the gaming habits of all backers, nor do they reflect the true number of users of the AC module.
    1. Yes – that’s true. However, the core game is multiplayer, with SQ42 only being the only module touted as being single-player focused.

      1. This is true, but right now the AC multiplayer is exclusively dogfight-based and if there are bakers who do not own a military-class ship they probably know they will get their butts kicked in a small arena with multiple hornets / gladius etc…… So instead of going in with ships designed for other focuses they instead choose to get used to the flight mechanics through the single player methods that are on offer.

        All I’m trying to say, is that you are making a big deal out of some stats that don’t necessarily reflect the community at this time. When AC 2 launches and the population is shown as low then I might think that is something to bring up as a concern, but just pointing out leaderboards for only half of what AC has to offer, when a large majority of SC backers aren’t really into this game just to dogfight seems a bit off the mark in my opinion.

        If you could find statistics for total use of AC through all of it’s iterations then that might be something worth speaking about.

  2. The thing that some of these people don’t understand is that, this is not about me. I mean, seriously, I’m getting hate mail, hate posts in forums, people calling me a troll etc – all the while completely ignoring the content and context of my missives.

    But in attempt to take attention away from the issue, they make it about me. That, in and of itself, is a form of bullying because they try (<—-) to silence you with sheer vitriolic diatribes, threats, accusations etc. Most people who aren't strong enough to withstand that sort of onslaught, disappear, sink into depression etc.

    Also, people expect me to write some politically correct missive as if I'm supposed to be held to some special standard or something. And when I write about my game, on my blog, and use it as a test bed and reference, it's regarded as something that I'm not supposed to do. I mean seriously.

    In that same vein, these are the same people who take an Early Access alpha game, mine, make movies about it, then point and laugh in order to make some silly point. Then, in the same breath, ignore the fact that the two (Hangar, Arena Commander 1.0) Star Citizen modules are a complete buggy mess that, even at the highest peak of the latter, only about 2500 of the over 900K accounts, have *ever* played it, the forums are littered with bug reports, disappointment etc.

    Thing is, it all makes me laugh because I know a hell of a lot more than these nitwits do, and like everything else associated with industry history, I'll be around to have the last laugh long after the dust settles.

    But that's how disinformation works; especially with the way social media is these days. It's easy to discard what's written and said, while being dismissive of the author because that's the best way to ignore the message, take attention away from it, while vilifying the messenger etc.

    I will continue to stand firm on what I've written because, factual or not, I have the right to write about anything I want, without having to cater to some cult's way of thinking. I'm not, and have never been, part of the herd. Which is precisely why in all my years of engaging these anti-social misfits, they've never been able to infect me with their bullshit, let alone silence me with their tripe.

    And anonymity gives them the ability to do this; especially when they have a "target with a face" such as a celebrity, politician, public figure etc. Numerous articles have been written about this very behavior, and expecting people to change this behavior when they have nothing at stake, there is no accountability etc is a fool's errand. And so yes, it continues – and can go on for years.

    I urge you to read some of these choice articles:

    Facing the Challenge of Online Harassment, EFF.ORG

    Why online harassment is still ruining lives, Fast Company, June 2015

    Anonymity on the Internet: The Online Disinhibition Effect,

    The Epidemic of Facelessness, NY Times Feb 2015

    Psychopathic Smear Campaigns, Feb 2014

    What is character assassination?, Feb 2015

  3. “Hope is the first step on a road towards bitter disappointment”.

    The moment the funding for the project shot past 20 million I raised an eye brow and instantly knew it wouldn’t end well. To Mr. Smart, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs and understand where you are coming from. In a way you were able to vocalize much more clearly my misgivings about the state of the current project. I personally think that there must be a voice of dissent in every discussion to balance every topic. This is why I continue to challenge SC supporters whenever I see them. For me, now. I would love to see how CIG can use the CryEngine in a persistent MMO setting with all nuts and bolts attached. I feel a “Hellgate: London” moment washing over me once more. Keep it up sir.

  4. The concept of Citizen worries me more than its actual progress. I can foresee this game become a money sink, you buy ship and buy upgrade and buy service and buy insurance. This sounds to me like a perfect money making scheme, even its not, it will turn into one as time goes on. Given the amount how many fans willing to spend on those fictional ships, I can predict they are going to set these level of spending as standard for this game.
    1. But it’s been a money-making scheme once it blew past the original Kickstarter campaign; which is precisely when they lost their way.

      1. Any way, this game is bound to be a whale focused F2P. I suppose by your logic, everyone backed this project has the right to demand refund for each stretch goal. Especially backers from 2012 and 2013, I don’t think they intended to pay for a sims life in space, they hoped for a good old space shooter with up to date technology. On the other hand I watched a dozen of their videos and that left me wondering how in the world do they deliver such content via a game? Especially for the multi crewed ship and FPS add on. If they are to be part of some MMO universe with every crew and every marine count as 1 player, they going to need way more than ships and shooting galleries, to synchronize those events that supposed to operate on different scale, they will have to build an entire simulated world in not multiple simulated world. As detailed as things prorated in Star Citizen I see no chance of this being made the way Robert proposed, they going to need way more than 83M to invent some kind new engine first, and the engine itself is going to cost more than that. Things getting suspicious in the last 2 years. They keep releasing footages and not the actual software (not a game at this point). For example, if they have FPS module worked as proposed in the footage, why not release it for play testing? Not to mention many of those ships are still just models with no mechanic implemented. There is still no trace of SQ42 single player, as the current situation, I doubt they can put any effort in single player content. A Shame, that is the part that I was expecting, I think most early backers are like that too, they didn’t ask for all the nonsense.
        1. That’s what I’ve been saying since my first blog.

          Also, the issue is that they have so far only build one single social module. Since they are claiming to have over 100 areas to explore, I am sure that they weren’t planning on having the same social/planetside module for everywhere. And the one they have been showing, is the same one for three years now since they first showed a concept of it.

          Since the GC2015 spike where mostly whales bought 1000 exclusive ships @ $350 each (, their funding has tanked ( again.

          And recently they released the AC 1.0 module to the public until Monday, and most people can’t even run it. And those who can run it, see that it’s a broken mess still.

          1. Apparently their merchandise is in full swing too.
            If you take look at one of the images, three different joystick for each fictional ship companies, the implication of this is just too obvious. Not only you spend hundreds on ships, you may also spend another hundreds on a controller that needed to optimally control your already very expansive ship. I never seen any entertainment IP push merchandise before they even publish in its embodied media. Seriously it seems CR is running Star citizen as if its already a Star wars or something.
          2. Hey Smart, just a couple of things.

            The social module is not being tied to just the one location they’ve been showing. ArcCorp, or the first planetside location that you can visit is the first one that they’ve built but they have four other ones that are near completion.

            They have stated that SC will launch with 100 systems, not 100 areas to explore, so they’re not talking about 100 planetside locations, just systems in the universe. Planetside locations are going to be fewer and spread out. The first one that we’ve all seen was hand-crafted, meaning nothing is procedurally generated. They’re already working on procedural generation for planetside locations and planets/systems.

            I’m sure someone has said it already but one of the reasons their funding has “tanked” is because they’ve stopped doing stretch goals, which was why people were pledging. They were voting on those stretch goals with their pledges.

            If you’ve actually seen the AC 1.0 running now you would see that it is not a “broken mess still”. Yes it was a mess when it first launched, but it’s been continually worked on and people are playing it.

            And while were talking about AC I’ll address the comment you’ve made that “only about 2500 of the over 900K accounts, have *ever* played it.” I’m a backer (shocking I know) but I don’t think that in the two years that I’ve been a backer I’ve ever played more than one hour of AC. The reason being that right now it’s not a game, I’m not into dogfighting and I’m waiting until the Persistent Universe is released for testing. And I think this situation has similarities with your own Early Access project Line of Defense and it’s low population. I think you can agree too that your game isn’t a game yet since a lot of features are not enabled and people don’t really want to test a game for fun. They’d rather wait until something more substantial is released or more players log into the game. AC was never meant to be a game, just something to play, or not, until the rest of the other modules or the rest of the game is released.

            Thanks for your time.

            1. Yes, I am aware of the number of systems. Which is why I was saying that if each of those are going to have social/planetside access, that means each one probably will need to be unique or they would have to use the same one (recently shown) for all of them.

              True, AC 1.0 has improved, but not much has changed in the nine months since it’s been out. In fact, most of the people seeing it for the first time this past freeplay weekend, aren’t saying good things about it. Those who are able to run it, are saying the visuals are great – which ofc we already knew.

              And yes, the comment you made about play time is spot on. And in fact, that’s precisely why I mention it because like LOD, there is no “game” there yet.

              You’ve always had reasonable arguments and discussions. 🙂

            2. I wonder if the NPC can help on multi crewed ship. Because if each crew is one player, people cannot guarantee be on line at same time, especially people live in different time zone. Yes they are making progresses, but too slow for their ambition, I looked forward to this game, and the concept they proposed was fantastic, I want to have one of those ship too IF: they show promise of this game working. if this game can be made, it will be one of the best game ever. But the problem is Robert is not a good leader, and CIG need to have some kind of force beating on their back. Why they did not just finish one game, release it and then make a MMO version of that universe, they seem to have all their eggs in one basket. If I was their manager I would concentrate effort on getting SQ24 done first then proceed to whatever vision I have for this franchise, the income from that game can fuel further development. You cant do fund raising forever, as much as I have interested in this game, I just cant keep on donating.
        2. The stretch goals that you see are not being worked on right now, they will come after the game is finished. They are on hold so that they do not interfere with development of the game.

          The people that wanted a “good old space shooter” are getting just that with Squadron 42, which is a stand-alone single player game. And it’s just one part of the two games CIG pitched in their kickstarter campaign. From the start they pitched both a single player game that would come out first and then the MMO Star Citizen.

          If you’ve seen the Gamescom footage then you can easily see how this whole thing will come together. Example: you login and you’re in your hangar, you walk out and you’re planetside with all the shops and stuff. You go back to you hangar, get on your ship and head to space. From there you can explore the system, head for a station or jump to another system. All in first person. All the pieces are working already, they just need polish, and yes a lot of polishing. And Roberts has said that about %90 of the game population will be NPCs, with only about %10 being actual players. Players won’t be running things like shops and things like that, NPCs will do that.

          I think that we’re all in agreement here that right now there is no game, just an on-going project. The reason why no FPS release yet is because Roberts has said that they don’t want to make the same mistake they did with Arena Commander, where it was released and not playable. That’s why the polishing, the re-worked animations, they in-house testing so that when they do release it’ll be a more enjoyable experience.

          If you’ve been to the website then you find lots of information about Squadron 42 and the reason they’re not revealing that much about the actual game yet. It’s a single player game that’s story driven so they don’t want to spoil the story or anything about what goes on in the game. They’ll be revealing more on Sq42 in October for CitizenCon. (If you really want to see what they’re building for Sq42 then just google “star citizen leak” or check out this album:

          And it’s the reason they have three studios, each working on a different aspect of the project. The Manchester studio has been working on Sq42 since day one, not working on anything else but Sq42, so to say that they’re not putting any effort into it without doing some research first is really not fair.

            1. Yeah I’ve read the article, very good piece, unbiased and professional.

              And the Illfonic layoffs thing was bound to happen. Their main project or only project was working on the FPS module, and since it looks like it’s nearing completion I’d say it’s time to move on to other projects that they’ve lined up. Happens all the time in the industry and I’m sure you’ve had to do the same thing. I’m also sure that Roberts will do the same thing at CIG when development starts to wind down.

  5. I don’t agree with your seemingly abrasive blog post, but I respect you because you only care about the facts even if they go against you, and you have the guts to criticize despite everyone else’s opinion.
  6. So, as you’ve recently started quoting Edmund Burke and Winston Churchill (on Twitter): why aren’t you putting a stop to it? You claim do have done extensive research, hired experts (in the “Interstellar Justice” article, iirc), gotten to the point of having a “bulging arsenal of evidence” (quote from above)… And yet you do not take any (concrete and/or legal) action to stop CIG/Chris Roberts in their doing, which according to you is immensely harmful to gaming, the gaming industry, crowdfunding and gamers. That is inconsistent.
    My take on this is: if you actually had evidence of something outright illegal going on at CIG and you don’t use it to stop those illegal doings and maybe even give some of the misled backers an opportunity to save their money, you’re doing exactly what Edmund Burke warned about. You could be a real “white knight”, saving around 900,000 space game enthusiasts from a scam.
    However, if you don’t have evidence of anything illegal going on – and no, delaying a project (especially for more or less sound reasons), even a crowdfunded one, is not illegal – then why raise all this fuss? Because CIG do what literally hundreds of game developers, including big players like Blizzard, Rockstar and Westwood have done: delay the release of a game?

    By the way, very nice new comment section.

    1. My goal is not to “put a stop to anything”. As a backer (I still am btw), I have every right to question the project and everything associated with it. Heck, even if I wasn’t a backer, I still have that right.

      It is not my place to take “concrete” action. That’s up to the authorities and the those looking to make a class action lawsuit if/when it all goes sideways.

      Nobody is saying that delaying a project was illegal; so I have no idea where you’re getting that from.

      What is illegal is promising one thing (the original 2012 promise), getting the money, then not delivering on that promise. It is so illegal that even the FTC has clear guidelines about it for every company, and even more stringent rules for crowd-funded ones.

      As to the quote: Oh c’mon now; people taking the quote literally are responsible for their own feelings; I’m not. It was a contextual quote and doesn’t imply any “evil” doing; but rather “wrong-doing”. It’s just silly that I even have to explain that. 🙂

      ps: yeah, the built-in comment section was getting unwieldy and convoluted; hence the change. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have the built-in formatting tools.

  7. This blog made me aware of Line of Defence and of Star Citizen a couple of week ago. After compairing both game with the material available, I decided to invest my money in only one of them. The decision was based upon two thinks I value: professionality and honesty.
  8. I think through all this noise, the context of my missives are lost.

    This goes beyond how long a game like this will take. It’s about the fact that the original pitch from 2012 could well have been done within that scope, and delivered by the Nov 2014 promised date in the original Kickstarter. Even if he had stuck with that vision – which he clearly didn’t – we would now be looking at a nine month delay right about now. Which in game development terms, is not unheard of. So backers would have expected to have the full “game” right about now.

    However, once he increased the scope, he took this from a promised three (2011 – Nov 2014 promised date) totally doable dev period, to an open-ended one whereby, in recent statements he now claims that by the end of Oct 2015 backers will have hangar + AC 1.0 + Social Module / Planetside + Star Marine (fps) + Multi-Crew ships.

    And there is no way on Earth that, apart from not being a cohesive “game” (just glorified tech demos), that those would be considered completed, let alone a part of a whole game by end of 2015.

    So assuming they do release all those, by Nov 2015, we’re now at the four year mark. Leaving AC 2.0, SQ42 (he never gave a date, but said that they will show/talk about it at Citizencon which is end of Oct) and persistent universe (which in that interview around 8:20 mark) he says will be completed by end of 2016.

    All things being equal, what he’s basically said now is that the “game” will be completed by then end of 2016. Even if you ignore the one year (2011) he said the game was in progress prior to the Oct 2012 Kickstarter, the end of 2016 puts it at the four or five year mark.

    The other issue here, aside from the increased scope of a technologically impossible game – which I still do not believe they will build as being pitched – is that the longer they stretch this out, the more they can keep asking for money. Note also that most of the money they made following the GC2015 reveal event this past Friday, came from selling 1000 ships @ $350 a pop to existing backer whales.

    Then there’s this: Star Citizen PAX East Presentation (March 2015). Go to the 43:00 location.

    1. What did you see in the live multi-crew demo that looked infeasible? I’m going to assume we’ve both played Freelancer. The differences generally boil down to graphical fidelity and being able to walk around in your ship. We’ve seen both of those on display now. Working in the new demo.

      We watched as multiple ships carrying multiple people traveled tens of thousands of miles among the moons of a gas giant in seconds flat. In real time. I saw that with my own eyes, didn’t you? If the traveling between solar bodies at great distance has been done and proven in games such as Freelancer and now even Elite, and the ability to walk around in your ship has now been displayed by Star Citizen, why is it such an enormous leap to see the project as promised come to fruition? That’s where most people have such a hard time with your logic.

      Where’s your incredulity with Elite and it’s upcoming Horizons?, Star Citizen doesn’t even have actual planetary landings for the foreseeable future, nor does it offer procedural generation, but somehow it’s the one that won’t be finished? Why the laser focus on Star Citizen when other games are coming just as close to the Holy Grail? Just trying to understand you Derek.

      1. I have never made any statements about anything other than the buggy hangar and AC 1.0 modules. I have not played the multi-crew. And like everything else that came before, and which they have yet to release, it was just a staged (for the purposes of the show) “tech demo”. So I can’t render an opinion on that.

        Fact is, multiple people in a craft is nothing new. Myself and others have done that for decades. So I have absolutely no idea why it’s even a USP (unique selling point) tbh.

        Aside from that, what we saw were just four (?) people. When you take graphics fidelity, networking, world updates etc into consideration, you quickly see how many ways it could all fall apart.

        NOTE: AC 1.0 is still a buggy mess that hardly anyone (comparing the backer citizens to leaderboard stats) is playing.

        Neither Star Citizen nor Elite Dangerous : Horizons are coming close to – or will ever – approach the Holy Grail. The definition of the Holy Grail is not something to just throw about. It is an all-encompassing vision.

        Star Citizen does not – and will not – have planetary access. No, the Social / Planetside module is not it. And it only has space craft. There is no planetside, no terrain etc. Just internal modules.

        Elite Horizons does not – and will not – have planetary access to any meaningful degree; and they’ve said so. If anything, it will be a single ground vehicle only.

        The Holy Grail of all-encompassing space combat sim includes a lot more than either of two games will ever aspire to. At least not for the foreseeable future.

        When someone builds The Holy Grail that is in my Universal Combat game series, with the visual fidelity of Star Citizen or even Elite Dangerous, then they would have reached the ultimate goal. And that was the point of the Interstellar Citizens missive, and which some people seem to be conveniently ignoring.

        And I don’t have any laser focus on Star Citizen other than to highlight the things I’ve already pointed out; that it’s an $86m disaster-waiting-to-happen and that instead of building the game he promised, he’s blown backer money on feature creep and crap.

        Plus, I backed Elite Dangerous. And they have since delivered as promised. No fuss. No muss.

        1. You jump to conclusions like they are the vanishing bits of high ground in a raging flood. They’ve proven the tech works, but why shouldn’t it be buggy? The game is in development, an open one at that. One would hope they are not going for the Holy Grail as you put it, because doing so would evidently require them to travel into your game to retrieve it, and ostensibly happen upon the crusty old (White?) Knight who would be forced to proclaim that they had chosen poorly for haven gone there in the first place (that actually was a tame and playful insult by the way. You’ve displayed an inability to discern from my pov).

          I’ve seen two completely different angles to your argument. What is it that you actually believe? That the tech doesn’t work, and will never work, or that the tech does work but CR and team have blown through so much of the money that they won’t be able to finish, having always known this? It’s slightly schizophrenic, and the zeal is directionless and blown out of proportion, unless of course you view it through the kaleidoscope of the myriad of business considerations.

          They’ve built a AAA gaming studio employing the industry standard hundreds. They’ve now proven the tech works, and we’ve seen similar tech already in existence as pointed out by both of us, but somehow it won’t work here in this case? Likewise, the suggestion that CR would willingly sabotage his career on the livelihoods of all involved by deliberately blowing money earned so far is a conspiracy theory to put it nicely. Occam’s Razor is apt here.

          “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
          ― Arthur Conan Doyle

          1. Don’t be silly. The tech doesn’t work. There is no evidence that it does. What we’ve seen thus far are mere tech demo proof-of-concept that don’t amount to a cohesive whole that one would call a “game”.

            Heck, even AC 1.0 is still a buggy mess; made worse with even the most recent update. And barely anyone (according to their own leaderboards) are playing it.

            I can’t imagine what would happen once Star Marine + AC 2.0 w/ multi-crew + Social get in the mix. Not to mention that SQ42, though it is supposed to be a stand-alone product, relies on some (if not all) of those parts.

            The all-encompassing Star Citizen “game” that most of us bought into back in 2012 will never be made as per their new direction. I don’t have to keep repeating that. It simply won’t happen.

            1. Do you really think bug fixing is of any priority (other than pleasing the crowd) while the game is still in “alpha” state?
              1. You mean in comparison to all those people making movies of our game that’s in beta and then commenting – and comparing it to SC – as if it were final?

                1. I’m not really sure what all “movies” you are talking about. I’ve been looking for gameplay videos of LOD for a while and can only come up with a select few and they are all within the last 6 months. And almost all of their complaints are that basic things don’t seem to work quite right. Now this being a beta wouldn’t seem to be such a big deal, that should be expected with Early Access, unless of course you read your blog.

                  “Meanwhile, the game you’re probably referring to, Line Of Defense, already had a working persistent universe, back in 2011, and long before I was even $2m in.”

                  “And, this year, we’re about to release an even better one, Line Of Defense. Though it won’t look as pretty, it works, it’s here, and it’s not vaporware.”

                  And you complain about AC not being that popular due to the Leaderboards, and yet when you check LOD leaderboards there aren’t even a top 30 (as it states just below the board that there should be) so then how many people are actually playing?

                  I know this comment probably won’t see the light of day, but I was honestly hoping that there could actually be some gameplay videos of LOD that prove your point, but I can barely seem to find any to start with and those that I do find only seem to back up the Steam reviews.

                  Also you are comparing SC’s modules which are all labeled as Alphas to what you, yourself, have labeled a Beta. And yet I can find millions of gameplay vids of AC, even when they show the ugly side and all the glitches. But I can’t seem to find much for LOD, eventhough I’d love to see what the game actually looks and plays like. (I would really love to help beta test this but as of right now I have no money, so sorry can’t afford the early access, but I keep searching for gameplay vids only to come up with the same handful over and over)

            2. There’s something you are right about, and one of the biggest reasons so many people don’t agree with you. You say that SQ42 relies on some (if not all) of those parts. That is very true; Squadron 42 relies on ALL of those parts. This is also something you didn’t seem to understand in your Something Awful posts, where you said you would scrap the FPS side of the project and focus on Squadron 42.

              The problem with that is that without the FPS component, Squadron 42 doesn’t exist! The whole point is you’re playing a person, not a ship. Even when you’re sitting in your cockpit, other players can see you sitting, can see your character manipulating the joystick and other controls on real time. All with 1 to 1 animations, no camera hi-jinx present in other first person games, no faking animations. I’ve never made a commercially successful game, but I’ve tinkered with engines enough and have been a (non-game) developer long enough to know how much of a MASSIVE pain in the #@% that must have been to work out.

              So the modules are not all individual games that are being pushed out like you keep insinuating. They are core pieces of tech that are being pushed for testing, similar to early access. Arena Commander? Basic physics and ship to ship interaction (mostly shooting, but I saw an awesome video of a Vanduul Scythe stabbing another player’s ship). Star Marine? First person movement and violent interactions. Social? Planetside interactions and non-violent first person movement, not to mention social hub zones. Arena Commander 2.0? The main game experience, which is all three previous modules together in one. Not to mention they already said they are going to use Arena Commander 2.0 to test Persistent Universe systems, like mining, exploration, and scavenging, with different missions. Squadron 42 and Star Citizen speak for themselves.

              Take out one, and the game falls. They lay the solid foundation tech for everything else.

              1. Actually no, that’s not true at all. I am well aware that all these modules are required for a cohesive “whole” and I’ve said that time and time again.

                And I never “insinuated” anything. These are completely separate modules and there is no cohesive “whole” yet which would even remotely constitute the makings of a “game”

                And the reason I am even talking about SQ42 being “separate” is because that’s how it was originally pitched in the Kickstarter campaign. They were pitched as two completely separate games.


                Star Citizen Persistent Universe
                Squadron 42

                Here is my $250 pledge tier:

                $250 reward

                1,509 backers

                REAR ADMIRAL: Finished game for your PC with your top-of-the-line RSI Constellation spaceship ready to fly + 10,000 Galactic Credits + Exclusive access to the Alpha and Beta + Spaceship shaped USB stick with the game and all digital elements + CD of game soundtrack + Fold-up glossy full color map of the game universe + Set of 5 Ship blueprints + 3-inch physical model of your in-game ship + Hardcover copy of ‘The Making of Star Citizen’ including loads of behind the scenes images and info, prelim concept art, development stories + Silver Citizens Card

                Estimated delivery: Nov 2014
                Ships anywhere in the world

            3. It seems that over time there is some confusion as to what your criticism encompasses. Maybe you can clarify.

              For one, it seems that you argue that Star Citizen will not be what you call The Holy Grail – an all encompassing Space-Sim with seamless access to detailed planets alongside with a full fledget simulation of all the vehicles in the universe and the character(s) that fly them. -> Is that correct?

              Then you also seem to say that Star Citizen is going to end in a desaster. To me that would mean that they will never be able to fit the modules they have either published already or promised together into a coherent, fun and mostly bug-free game. –> Is that also correct? And if so can you point out what technical hurdles you think Star Citizen will not be able to master? I feel like you are saying that there are some things that Star Citizen has promised that are either extremely hard or even impossible to achieve with current tech but I don’t have a clear idea of what it is exactly that is. Maybe you can clarify? And sorry if that seems redundant to you because you’ve stated these cases elsewhere already.

        2. Small correction regarding the tech – the “multicrew” demo showed 4 people in one ship, atleast 2 of which went to another ship + 2 escort ships flown by real people getting attacked by a Constellation crewed by 4 people. So we had 10 actual people in 4 seperate ships doing battle. Granted, it was scripted and it was a local LAN, but that requires some damn nifty physics to get that done.

          Even though I’m thoroughly sceptical this game will release any time soon and I’m done giving them money – I don’t think there are any tehnical reasons that “the game can’t be done”. Once they decide (limit) how much will actually go into it.

  9. Even if I get everything you believe in…. which I don’t. I am certainly thinking this game will be released probably 2020 after way more money. But I do believe it can and hopefully will be done.

    But moving on, why become the Donald Trump of gaming. Personally replying to troll’s and other comments alike. Posting some pretty offensive stuff. (I don’t like being called names because I still have some faith in Star citizen) I understand insulting a group is easier than an individual… but i don’t get the hate. For someone who says they will be happy if the game is a success you seem pretty passionate about its coming failure.

    Look, what I am trying to say is stop concentrating on this and move on. To your own games ( I know you say they are amazing and Chris’s games are crap. I have to disagree as I enjoyed wing commander and I have never heard of you before last week. I had to go off reviews for your games). Or just to anything else. Seriously, I don’t think this is healthy, you sound very unhappy and I help you get the help you need.

    See you in the verse…. or not. 🙂

    1. This is not about name calling or “insulting a group”. If you’ve seen the level of vitriol coming from that White Knight camp, it should astonish you. If you have even been to the Star Citizen forum, and read for more than 20 mins, you would see for yourself what everyone is talking about. It is a decidedly toxic community that, akin to a cult, does not tolerate any dissent or any outsider questioning anything. As I type this, we have over 50+ threads (even those which were deleted were already auto-captured and stored) exhibiting this behavior. Here is the latest one.

      When I first wrote this blog, yes, I was pretty upset and said some things; things which, after some thinking, I went back and redacted because they were just a distraction from the main theme of what I wrote. But my disclaimer in my blogs are clear; I don’t write because my writings are going to make the front page of NYT. I write because I am passionate about a lot of things and if you have ever been frustrated by anything to the extent that you just utter some unflattering adjectives, then you’re human.

      The thing here that some people still don’t seem to realize is that none of this has anything to do with CR; which is why I made this clear. It’s about a work product that continues to be built on lies and promises which will affect a lot of people, the industry – and all of us in it. I didn’t start this when I wrote my first blog, weekend of July 4th, because I didn’t have something better to do with my time, or because I wanted to put myself – once again – in the line of fire. I did it because in the months leading to that first article, I had become aware (this industry is a lot smaller than most people realize and most of us are mere six degrees separated from each other) of a lot of absolutely crazy things which were just astounding to me. And all of which pointed to this project being in trouble and likely to be a catastrophic loss.

      And through all of this, the people asking the tough questions don’t have the clout or exposure to make it into the front lines for it to be widespread. For everything that I’ve written (e.g. about financial accountability), if someone just asked CR a simple question “So is all this money going into the project, and what do you have to say about Derek Smart’s accusations that it is not?” we’d have more to go on. However, the media isn’t going to do that; and he’s not likely to answer it because the minute that he does, he goes on the record and his problems will begin.

      As to the Donald Trump comment, I will let that one slide for the sheer humorous value within. But coming from someone writing to me about name calling, I found it particularly amusing. 🙂

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. – Edmund Burke”

      1. Evil? Really? That seems a bit harsh for a group of software and business people, I wouldn’t even pin that on the artists formally known as SOE and now known as Daybreak Game Company. You also seem to be saying a contadictory thing when you are “confident” that this will fail as originally proposed but hope that it will be a success. You wish the game every success because it’s aims are high but imply that the creator’s are evil and only want our money. I think you have surpassed any vitriol that needs to be had over a change in SC’s original proposal’s and the normal behaviour of large groups of individuals that get internet access in tandem with anonymity. Let it go man you have nothing to gain except attention but maybe that is all you want? I really think that is all that will happen by the way, increased exposure of Star Citizen project to the masses (as if it needs anymore) and increased notoriety of your own projects.

        Actually I stand corrected, carry on with what you are doing but are you really serious about that Edmund Burke quote? Really? I shall also take that with a pinch of salt and in the tongue and cheek manner in which I hope it was posted.

        1. So I have to repeat this then:

          As to the quote: Oh c’mon now; people taking the quote literally are responsible for their own feelings; I’m not. It was a contextual quote and doesn’t imply any “evil” doing; but rather “wrong-doing”. It’s just silly that I even have to explain that.

      2. Since my last comment is being held up in quarantine let’s see if this works…

        I think if you took a step backwards and looked at other world events both historic and contemporary then looked at your qoute above in it’s current context then you have stepped way over the line by saying that you are standing up against ‘Evil’ wouldn’t you agree?

          1. Yes, I am the one who is being silly. Honestly I have tried to read your comments in the context that you have placed yourself (as a conscientious naysayer and original participant in the project that is Star Citizen) but this is the most transparent games development project that I have ever witnessed and 87 million is tiny when compared with other AAA productions. What I do agree with however is the blatant “All New, all bright and spangly razzamatazz stars ‘n’stripes sales extravaganza” that is going on. Yes they are bleeding as much cash as possible out of the people who are willing and able (or maybe have more money than sense) to do so. The company has used vast amounts of money to wow people with their shiny new products and tease them with constantly updated digital flying objects in order to increase funding and I see this as more and more obnoxious as time goes by. Yet if you look at what they are making with the money only a fool would deny that there is substance there. Will it be any good when Squadron 42 arrives? Your guess is as good as mine but the framework for a great single player Space Game is there and it looks more and more solid as time goes by. I do not know why people who have followed this project from at least the beginning of Kickstarter can be doubtful that a functioning well designed game will be produced. Again, will it be good? Who knows. It will be 3 years since the kickstarter began in October this year. 3 years is not that long for a big title but for the initial 4 million or so that was raised for SC it would be reasonable to expect a finished product but the big thing to remember is what happened after…the injection of over 80 million dollars since the end of the kickstarter so yes things have changed and deadlines will be stretched as the goals of the game expanded. You talk to me of context and silliness all I am asking you to do is to really look at is the results so far in the appropriate context and then ask yourself “Is this really a con that Chris Roberts can get away with?” I think it is silly to think that this man and the rest of the CIG employees are only trying to sell us vaporware before running off into the sunset with all our cash. It is quite clear to see that they are not only working on a genuine release and decent game but that they have invested their very lives and reputations in it’s completion. So it’s little wonder that one or more of them might get a little ‘tetchy’ when a competitor comes along and says “Your conning everyone out of millions and giving them ashes and empty promises. Unlike my game over here which is almost complete and requires far less of your money”. But hey that’s just my opinion, maybe I am the lone silly little man that can’t see the trees for the wood.
  10. Cheers, mister Smart. This was a fun read.

    It would be neat if an actual game appeared from behind the curtain, but the chances of that do look slim.

    1. I’m not sure if a “game”, is going to emerge from this. I have hopes for SQ42, since it is a stand-alone game in its own right. How it turns out, is another matter entirely.

      As to the all-encompassing Star Citizen “game”, if that ever sees the light of day as they’ve pitched it, that would be an epic miracle, given the hurdles and the money that is required to pull it off and maintain it in the long run.

  11. I am developing a concern and have to agree with your discussions about the game problems. I keep hearing about fidelity in the design process for a fantasy ship with make believe systems.

    I am a 3d design / engineer and I or my co workers do not see what is taking so long on even the 3D ship designs.

    We have personally developed, designed, engineered from concept to manufacture various multi-component devices and do not see what is taking so long. I can assure you that one of those ships is not as complicated as a truck or even a windshield wiper drive assembly. Components that have to work and be able to be manufactured. Our last project involved over 20 sub assemblies with a total part count of over 15,000 individual parts and fasteners. It took us less than 6 months from concept to manufacture with a team of 5 people. But then again we have deadlines and the company has to make a profit. These fantasy ships should be able to be pushed out in a mater of weeks not years. And these real life components have to work in our modeling software before even the first prototype machining and mold making can even be considered.

    Just my 2c and we have thrown cash at the Star Citizen project in hopes of them pulling it off. A lot more than the 90 bucks I heard was the average donation. I was hoping for an updated Wing Commander and maybe a Freelancer type game. But am begining to see that it may not happen.

    1. You see, the issue is that the original game could have been built. It was smaller in scope, self-contained etc. Then they got all this money; and CR lost his mind apparently.

  12. Lengthy reading. So … negative.
    I have seen this before. I know this type of argumentation. Have been there myself. Ended up delivering solutions instead of searching for failure. Project was a success.
    Triangle of project management: time-money-quality.
    Face it. Money is the only real restriction, which – in the end – will have to cut at the time and quality side of things.
    I invite you to lean back, enjoy the show and end up beeing proven wrong.
    Get your stuff together and deliver solutions instead of searching for failure. You can do it, too!
  13. Can’t wait the day Star Citizen will show you that you were wrong !
    In fact even if you are wrong from the beginning, I’m pretty sure you won’t admit it and say more things to destroy the game.
    Pretty sad.

    And after gamescon, don’t you feel alone still thinking it’s a vapor ware ?

    1. I would love to be proven wrong, because then it means that they delivered on promises. Since I don’t think that will happen, we just have to wait and see.

      One side voicing dissent, has no more credibility than the other side voicing support. For me, it’s about neither; but most are too infantile to know the difference, nor do they care. That’s how a cult works.

      1. It strains credibility to suggest that a fifty something year old man who poses for pictures with a pensive steely stare, and a keen fashion sense manifested with a spiffy well suited sports coat, cares more about game playing than game/money making. Business would make a more obvious motivating factor for the level of interest on display, and the age/career level. Especially when the game in question is made by a competitor, and litigation threats are flowing like wine.
        1. I approved this comment, while deleting your other 318 word one talking about me, my high IQ, jealousy etc, rather than discussing the focus of the article, only to illustrate the reason that most of the people trying to squash any Star Citizen dissent are considered toxic to any community and indeed the discussions surrounding this project.

          I have absolutely no idea what you were going for with that, but aside from it being the usual obfuscated rubbish, it speaks volumes to why it’s so hard for some people to discuss the issues about the project.

          1. If you wanted to discuss what was written in the other post, why wouldn’t you display and answer that post? Were you afraid to let your words be scrutinized next to mine?
            1. Because personal attacks and the like, have no place in my blog comments. There are meaningful dissenting opinions right here in the comments which were allowed. They were allowed for those reasons. It’s not hard you know.

              In fact, someone made a 1000+ word commentary about my comparisons to Star Citizen. It was a well-thought out post, but then he ruined it with personal attacks. I didn’t delete it or block the email and IP, like I do others. I just held it in the moderation queue because I was torn about whether to approve it or not. If I approved, then it just sends the wrong message about the type of comments that I am likely to respond to, let alone allow in my blog.

              As I’ve said, I don’t strive to be right because meaningful discourse is a better way. Some people just don’t have those skills.

              I have to quote from something a wise man once posted in a thread whereby someone was complaining about why their commentary was disallowed:

              “Your comment is emblematic of what’s wrong with the Internet: disproportionate outrage coupled with a free and anonymous platform to express it.”

  14. Finally people are realising that CR is not the messiah but may be in fact a ‘very naughty boy’!
    I would just like to ask a few quick follow up questions though Derek. You state that Sandi Gardiner is in fact CR’s wife, but I cannot find proof of this anywhere. If it is true than why would they hide it? You also mention that CR is living a lavish lifestyle of mansions, sports cars, personal chefs, private jets etc. However can you back this up with proof? If not then it is all hearsay. If so then I think a lot more people would be up in arms about the misuse of their money.

    I understand that you may have an insider at CIG who is whistle-blowing on the nepotism and excessive wastes of money and I respect that they must remain anonymous but I need more hard proof of these allegations otherwise it’s just rumor-mongering. Can you provide more substantial proof of these?

    I would also love to know what sort of non disclosure agreements ex employees must sign before they can leave CIG, otherwise why haven’t high profile ex employees (Alex Mayberry & Eric ‘Wingman’ Peterson) come out publicly to shed light on all the suspect stuff going on there?

    1. Yes, there is ample proof that they’re married and have kids. Heck, apparently there are even ex-employees who used to babysit those kids.

      Why they would choose to hide that, is anyone’s guess. Even on their forums, any attempts to get this question answered, are shot down and threads deleted. And rightfully so. It is a personal matter.

      However, from a business and accountability standpoint, that sort of information, especially since she is credited and claims to be the co-creator of the project, who has been caught lying and making dubious claims about her credentials, I think it’s relevant. And in the event of any legal proceeding coming of anything over there, that’s going to play a very big role because that’s the sort of thing that brings entire companies down.

      I already discussed this at length, in a previous comment.

      While this is all considered private, since it’s all funded by public money, the accountability is no different from those preachers who take money from the congregation and spend it on a lavish lifestyles and whatnot. It’s the sort of thing that people need to know. e.g. if you’re spending most of this money on such a lifestyle, instead of putting it into a project, that’s a definite no-no; not only from a legal standpoint, but also from that of the FTC and the backers who have a right to know that the money they pledge is going towards the product. For example, if you need $3m a month to work on the project, but a good portion of that is spent on something else – unrelated to the project – that’s a problem.

      The private jet travel, is third-party sourced (I can’t reveal it) information from someone who knows about it. Actual evidence will be public if there is ever a legal case in which the attorneys (or a bankruptcy trustee), the FTC etc gets a hold of their financials, which would include expenses. That’s pretty much what is playing out even today, with the 2012 collapse of 38 Studios. It’s now 2015.

      Hearsay gets you sued. That’s why I am very careful to only post about things that, if sued, can be proven; since truth is 100% protection against defamation lawsuits.

      I am not going to provide proof of anything because there are legal and other activities (you don’t just march into court. these things take a lot of investigation and planning) playing out that I don’t want to interfere with. So people are free to take this all as rumor-mongering, speculation or whatever; I don’t care. Even if you set that aside and look at it from an accountability point of view, these are questions that every backer should be asking on their own, and not because someone like me sounded the alarm.

      Contractors and employees all have some sort of hiring NDA or which are part of their exit contracts. Any and all legal action (especially from the FTC) trumps that and they will be forced to testify or give a deposition under court-order and/or subpoena. And of course no ex employee or contractor is going to come out and say anything unless compelled to; as that’s just career suicide. Even if RSI implodes. Which is why some do it anon either at, to the media, in forums, to their friends and colleagues etc. The information is out there; you just need to know where to look, and who to ask.

      People aren’t paying attention to how Chris has been acting, what he’s been saying etc during GC2015. The signs are there that he is nervous and cagey about where things are, and the legal implications if they don’t continue delivering on promises.

      For example, just this past Friday, in the YouTube interview I posted earlier, he now – for the first time – gives solid (if you can call it that) dates for some of the modules. This is, I think, is an attempt to show that the product is being worked on, is coming “soonish” etc, in order to get around the accountability issue.

      This despite the fact that NONE of those (Hangar, AC, Star Marine, Social Module, Multi-Crew) comprise of a “game”. They’re all glorified tech demos. If RSI collapsed in Nov, with the Oct release of multi-crew, those disjointed modules are what would be left. Note that there is no firm timeline – yet – for AC 2.0, SQ42 or the persistent universe which is the primary “game”.

      I am going to say it again. There is no way this “game” sees the light of day or if it ever does, in the manner promised. I would stake my career on it.

      People, mostly White Knights, and a few haters who just follow me around to attack me, don’t seem to understand or care about why I started all this during the weekend of July 4th, with that first blog. It has nothing to do with being a competitor (they are not). I backed the game from day one as I tend to do (heck, just this weekend, I backed this other space combat game, Everspace) with games and teams that I want to support. Some pan out, some don’t. As I type this, no less than seven videogame projects I backed, have failed to deliver, or are yet to deliver years later. You don’t see me writing about them. The reason is that they’re not even blips on the radar or in terms of funding. Look how many people wrote about failed projects by industry vets like Tim Shaffer, Peter Molyneaux et al.

      Simply put, when it came to my attention that the tech would never hold up, that the money was being wasted, Chris was up to his old tricks again, and without accountability this game will never see the light of day, a lot of people will lose their money, and if/when it collapses, the long-term ramifications has far reaching consequences etc, I decided to speak up. I knew that doing so would get me attacked, but I didn’t care because I’m sick and tired of the “industry” people (if you look around, without me naming names, you’ll see the list of them) doing stuff like this. It’s just wrong.

      1. “We have proof of where they live, what it costs, their staff (yes, they have a chef), what vehicles they own etc. I would’t put that information in the public domain and get risk getting sued for defamation. It’s a very fine line.

        While this is all considered private, since it’s all funded by public money, the accountability is no different from those preachers who take money from the congregation and spend it on a lavish lifestyles and whatnot. It’s the sort of thing that people need to know. e.g. if you’re spending most of this money on such a lifestyle, instead of putting it into a project, that’s a definite no-no; not only from a legal standpoint, but also from that of the FTC and the backers who have a right to know that the money they pledge is going towards the product. For example, if you need $3m a month to work on the project, but a good portion of that is spent on something else – unrelated to the project – that’s a problem”

        But CR is a rich man and he has all the right of the world to put his earned money where he wants to. As long as he is not taking any money other than his wage out of the project, nothing will ever happen.

        The reason the FTC was involved in the crowdfunding case was:

        “Despite Chevalier’s promises he did not provide the rewards, nor did he provide refunds to his backers. In fact, according to the FTC’s complaint, Chevalier spent most of the money on unrelated personal expenses such as rent, moving himself to Oregon, personal equipment, and licenses for a different project.”

        So if you really think, after this presentation on gamescom, that the FTC will ever do something about the project, your delusional.
        Nothing will happen. Period.

  15. I think Chris Robert has a poor leadership if not a out right scam. There is not way to build a high concept project like this at one shot. If he had some commonsense he would release the Squt42 single player game first, then multi-player, then Squt42 FPS side quest, then MMO, then sell some fancy ship DLC, then proceed to whatever the dream he had for this franchise. imagine instead of selling virtual items, they sells fulling working game and use the income to fund new development. Keep fans getting served right and the franchise will build up. Instead they sell in game item when game is still not in existence, this is very risky investment for the consumer and risky for there reputation. They would taken the correct way if they got money from traditional business practice. Now what I get is this I have no Fxxking idea what r u doing type of thing.
  16. Hi Derek:

    I noticed the following quote from Chris Roberts about multi-crewed ships in SC,

    “”You’re not going to have 50 systems to adventure in, but I think most people are going to have a lot of fun, I’m actually expecting people to make up their own action story arc. So what we’re planning is, we’ll just have different areas you can fly in and visit and do things in, or have some AI that will spawn.”

    The $6MM milestone said the Game launches with 100 star systems. Later in the milestones there are six more systems announced for 106 systems in total. However, as stated above the multi-crew ships will be able to access less than 50 systems. To me, this sounds like this aspect of the game is a tangental bolt-on, where perhaps two multi-crew ships can go beat up on each other, but are not part of the larger game.

    It’d be incredibly disappointing to the pledgers if the coolest, biggest, baddest ships are multi-crewed and required huge “pledges” to acquire are irrelevant to the larger game. I’d guess that most pledgers think that these ships would be fully integrated into the larger game and the PU. Imagine having “pledged’ $400 for an 890Jump and finding it’s utility is limited to a side-pocket module with less than 50 systems.

    CIG’s messaging, representations, setting and managing of expecations, and alignment with stretch goals is a mess. This is game while awesome in its aspirations is in actuality a big rudderless ship. What is your take on the above Chris Roberts quote, regarding the multi-crew ships and their relevance?


    1. Yes, it’s all a mess; and that’s precisely what I was just saying in another comment before yours. Heck, even when he made the comment about the “50 star systems”, a bunch of people, myself included, just assumed that he was talking about the larger game. I mean, why even mention it, even if it’s only for AC 2.0?

      Here’s the thing, what people don’t understand is that the AC universe and SC universe are now looking as if they are going to be, and remain separated. If so, where does SQ42 universe fit in that picture, as it pertains to the persistent universe? Most don’t even know.

      As you said, this whole thing, right from the start, morphed into a money grabbing land rush. Now, they’re selling in-ship modules. I mean seriously, I don’t even know what to say/think anymore.

      1. Also, I noted that Ben Lesnick said on July 8th that with respect to Star Marine, “[W]e are talking about a delay of weeks and not months/years/decades.” It’s now August 8th a full month later. Based upon the Gamescom presentation, I don’t think it pushes out in the next three weeks, holding to the representation of weeks, not months.

        I don’t think it’s intentional, but CIG comes across as a conman telling everyone what they want to hear. They need to think straight and talk straight – and hit a deadline.

        Chris Roberts is a dreamer, and left to his own devices this doesn’t end well. His history proves this. He needs a strong CFO who can manage him by pairing back his dreams to business realities. Maybe he even needs to step down as CEO and become the Chief Creative Officer.

        It couldn’t hurt to centralize operations too, as the Kotaku article mentioned the different modules are quite inconsistent. Tying this together and creating consistent game from all these studious could suck up six months to a year I bet.

        1. In this GC2015 video (in which he was asked to respond to my allegations), he states the following timelines now: Social Module (end of Aug), Star Marine (end of Sept), Multi-Crew (end of Oct)

          They’re currently a little over $86m raised, and going by the backer analysis, they didn’t pickup any new backers during GC2015. Which means that the people who raised the $500K spike during GC2015, are the same whales they’ve always had. And around 250 or so are buying up everything for the Grey market re-sale.

          Thing is that, if you look at the chart, these events are when they make the most money – which is precisely what I said in this blog would happen again. This GC2015 has the lowest earnings of any previous event.

          As I’ve always said, I hope that they can pull it off. Right now, it’s just a glorified tech demo and there is no “game”.

  17. Derek, what do you think is the most difficult feature (technologically speaking) that they want to do?

    Also, I read that people would not be able to complain about the kickstarter funds because it was under the “old” terms and conditions, which they changed recently. So how would this affect the backers when the boat sinks?

    The funds from their own website, with their very shady terms and conditions, basically state they will take your money and do whatever they please with it, without making any promises of content. So how would FTC do anything about it, if people had to agree to those terms and conditions in the first place in order to make a pledge?

    Thanks and keep posting about this Star Citizen subject, I think this will either be the greatest undelivered promise ever made, or we will end up having a very good AAA space game… but this whole nepotism within this company and the 4+ years of development for a crappy tech demo, makes me want to bet that this will be the biggest fail in game history!

    1. The thing is that anyone who pledged via Kickstarter, should be able to ask for a refund. Some have actually been doing that since my first blog hit, but apparently it’s hit or miss. There are many instances (read my blogs for excerpts) where he has admitted to scope creep, extended the original pitch etc. Those are enough to help; though Kickstarter is under no obligation to intervene, sadly. Only the FTC can do that. Which is why I have advised people to just try asking RSI for a refund first. And if that doesn’t work, fill out a report with the FTC. The information on how to do that is at the top of my first blog.

      If the boat does sink, though I don’t expect that it will before they deliver something like SQ42, there is no recourse other than to sue all the officers (CR, his wife, and the lawyer partner) involved.

      In fact, this is precisely what is playing out right now with the 2012 collapse of 38 Studios. Even yesterday, there was a new article about a new settlement that was reached as results of the several lawsuits that came from that, and which led to the bankruptcy of Curt Schilling.

      Because SC is crowd-funded, this is the sort of alarm bell I have been sounding since the July 4th weekend when my first blog hit.

      1. I am not so sure that they will be able to get a refund as the recent events with the now defunct GreedMonger game, who got over $100k in Kickstarter funds, are all out of pocket.

        In fact, Jason Appleton and James Proctor bought themselves personal licences and assets from the Unity store and used for their own side projects that had nothing to do with GreedMonger and now people were officially told by Kickstarter that the money was not refundable.
        And I know people who spent 500-3500 dollars on it and now have nothing! Not even the physical goods that were supposedly untouchable (meaning they would HAVE to deliver).

        So I think the only recourse here is really a lawsuit in order to make people accountable for the money and where it all went.

        Of course this is all a bit of speculation at the moment and to be honest we cannot say 100% that this game will be vapourware, but RSI will definitely get into money problems soon, according to some maths some users posted here.

        Oh, and I just browsed their shop on the website and its ridiculous that even benches and window panels you can buy to customise your ship… of course at a bargain of $35 a pop!

      2. Derek.
        I followed your posts with some interest. In principle I had similar thoughts concerning SC very erarly on when stretchgoals clearly started to exlpode. However, I don’t like the”tone” in your posts very much. Rogerio asked you a direct question above, what the most challenging technical aspect of SC was. Please answer this question. I’m no fan of big words. We need facts not rumors. We need proof not words. We need tech info and not gossip about chefs etc….
        Please do so – If you can. Thx.
  18. I have to say I don’t particularly see the sky as falling. I see the game as delayed, but it will come out mostly as advertised. I backed in 2012, and waiting can be a chore, I admit. How do I put this? I am confident the game will succeed, but also conscious that I may not have a full picture of the situation. Derek, if you think there is something fishy going on here, by all means push forward. I don’t really want to force anyone to use crowd-funded money in a lawsuit (this is what would happen in a crowd-funded game) and hope you can get the answers you seek without resorting to legal methods. I don’t think the management for this game is the best ever, but I also don’t think it is deliberately wasting money.
  19. Mr. Smart,

    In response to your second update “You’re not going to have 50 systems to adventure in, but I think most people are going to have a lot of fun,” Roberts told PCGamesN, Chris is referring to the small number of systems in the Alpha, anywhere from 1 to 3. Chris has made this statement a number of times. It does not mean that Star Citizen the final product will have less than 50 systems.

    I believe the way the article wrote this is ambiguous and requires more context.

    Thank you.


    1. Thanks for pointing that out.

      But I don’t know how relevant that is because back when the original game was pitched, none of this was even an issue worth discussing because we were all pitched a package of goods.

      Also, when I first read that, and referred back to his previous statements (text and videos), I imagined that he was referring to the persistent universe which, according to the leaked maps of an incomplete universe, was pretty much that relative size.

      1. Mr. Smart,

        Thank you for replying to my comment. The link to the “leaked maps” is actually not a leak or the actual star map, it is a group project by some dedicated fans who did their best to piece what the star map could look like based on material released by CIG.

        The actual leaked star map can be found here:

        whose data was taken directly from the leaked torrent not too long ago. As you can see, the number of systems is quite more than 50. Chris has also stated that the total number of landing zones, if that is the correct term, will be in the hundreds, just uner 500 if I remember correctly, but then again I don’t have the greatest memory for details, but my point is the galaxy will be quite large to explore.

        Thank you, X

        1. Thanks. That’s the link I was looking for actually. I had it bookmarked from back when it first appeared, but lost it. And the only link to it, requires login.

          tbh, this sort of “lost in translation” thing is precisely what has plagued this project since the start, and just got worse when they increased the scope. Very few people have a clue wtf is going on anymore.

          ps: And for the sake of fairness, I have already corrected my update 2 accordingly.

  20. Thank you for your Blogpost on that matter. Its very important to show whats wrong with the industry and especially this project. Its good to see that other people are too, suspicious about Star Citizen. I follow the games industry and play videogames for 15 years now – and went to university in that field. You get a feeling for/are able to tell if something isn’t right. I backed early 2013 through the Star Citizen site, since I don’t wanted a Kickstarter account when the original campaing was running. My thoughts: “It’s worth a Try. I liked that guys previous games. Sounds promising. I give him 60$ (the avarage price of a AAA Title here). The worst that can happen is the persistent universe, won’t be good (I don’t like the lose everything part of it, like in EVE). But then at least I have a Triple AAA single player campaign.”

    At that point it was somewhere between 6 and 9mio $ and the goals sounded reasonable. But with each stretchgoal and promise it got more and more unreasonable. (Also at that time it should be released 2015, and we are still not playing any part of it that is speakable of)

    It all started to look suspicious. Ships they didn’t even had a concept or model for got sold. Release Dates got pushed back. SQ42, got split into episodes (with the announcement that later ones should be bought). The release of the Hangar Module. Each time the showed the game in action I thought: “Who made that, das looks (to put it mildly) not very good. A lot of modders could to better.”. It just does not look up to par with what the rest of the industry is doing even at earlier stages in development. Then Arena Commander was released, a mess of broken systems. I was very excited, downloaded it for days (at that time i had only a 256kb/s connection), finally I would get my hands on the flight model, which they advertised before and what sounded really good (Like back in the days of I-War). But it was just terrible, and for my taste still is now, you can’t play it with mouse and keyboard, you can’t play it with Xbox 360 Controller so that it feels right. (I don’t own a Joystick since 8 years, it just wasn’t necessary any more). Since the release of Arena Commander it just got worse. In between the lines, there is a maze of marketing babble which only lead me to the conclusion there is something not right, and they don’t have very much to show for the time and money they have made. Plus the fact that every critic towards the game got talked down and silenced with the killer phrase “It’s still in Development/Alpha, thats normal, it will be better in the final game, it just needs time”, which is just not true.

    After all this I came to the conclusion, that this game would never be made. I wrote off the money invested as a loss a few month ago. Little hope remains it will be released some day.

    Even now there are post on the Offical Site that are just mindboggling crazy:
    They are flying at least 24 people over to us for a presentation and a party afterwards. Are unable to provide food and drink for their party guests, so that the guests have to buy their own (CASH ONLY). And then go on trying to sell those people, their guests even more imaginary ships.

    It is good to see that someone is standing up against them. As a normal user, especially outside of the USA, you can’t do anything against it. Hell no one here was even believing me, although I studied in the field and could back my concerns with examples, that there could be anything wrong with this holy project. Consumer protection would only care if it was a large portion of the community that would feel scammed, and they don’t have a very successful history of dealing with american/international corporations.

    This all needs to be investigated and made public. Even if the money is lost, there has to be consequences for those actions. Your efforts are well worth it and appreciated.

  21. Here’s the “scam” as I see it

    1. Promise the most ambitious game of all time that’s everything to everyone

    2. Build a company with kickstarter funds

    3. Drain your fans of all their money

    4. Spend years and $100,000,000+ building a, hopefully, amazing tech demo

    5. Run out of money and sell the game/company for millions in profit

    6. Retire while someone else decides what promises/features to drop and how to profit off the cult like fans

  22. If this game get released and have all the bells and whistles (or get a +90 score average, just to have some measurement), how will you react?
    1. With glee? You do realize that I am a gamer, right? And that I funded this from the very start?

      There is no shame or dishonor in being wrong. And if I am, then that’s what apologizing and eating crow is for.

      1. You should probably start by apologizing for the incredibly unnecessary vitriolic personal insults you’re throwing around in your blog posts. If you have a problem with Star Citizen’s progress, fine. If you think they’re out of money (why do you think this, anyway?), fine. If you’re upset that they refunded your pledge, fine. But it’s not necessary or called for to sprinkle your arguments with curse words, @#$&(*@#$-style masking, or other such things.

        At the very least, it makes me much less willing to consider your arguments. Your tone makes you sound like an unhinged raving lunatic, and I can’t possibly take them seriously.

      2. I hope so. But I don’t get the feeling you are a ‘gamer’ for this game so to say with your tone and attitude, but that might just be me.

        Thank you for you answer. We will see in a couple of years where we are and who was right I guess.

  23. Hello Mr Smart!

    I had my doubts with SC since it came out on kickstarter. On the other hand, There was Elite Dangerous. then my childhood flashed back into my screen as I play their video campaign. I believed in their team! and now I’m happily flying a frigate class 1 man heavy fighter. My money well spent.

    However, I still cling and hope and RSI will pull their shit together and come up with a playable universe, the one that they promised to their poor backers.

    Until I heard about the noise you made. Yep, I haven’t heard about you blah blah and the games you made blah blah. What got me interested looking you up is the game that you made. The ‘old school’ version of Star Citizen. It kinda make me chuckled when you stated your self that it was buggy. I even watched the gameplay on YT and I should say it’s better than the X3 series in terms of depth and complexity

    Now, Going back to the whole RSI fiasco, I thank you for doing what you did. If you have the resources, Please file and try to settle it in a legal court in order for us to get down to the bottom this. Let him show what he has on his table and If the full game is somehow impossible to achieve (even after with the fucking 85M) because he used up all the funds or he’s just a big con artist, PLEASE TAKE HIM DOWN.

    I’ll back you up with an Battleship Class ANACONDA and let’s nuke his mansion down with a huge plasma accelerator from the orbit.

    With the rage aside, I really do hope that his game comes out. and as for your games, They aren’t really that bad. because your dreams will just be a dream until you tell yourself to live it. keep on chasing the whale Mr Smart, You know it’s going to be possible this time.

    1. Interesting that you mentioned Elite Dangerous.

      Elite Dangerous hit Kickstarter back in Nov. 2012, ended up raising $2.6 million against a predicted production cost of $8 million. Targeted delivery was at Mar.2014, was released to backers around Dec.2013 and the general public in Dec.2014. Total of 9 months behind original forecast, but in the end a finished product was delivered in just over 2 years of development time.

      That last part is the real point: Finished Product Delivered. Whether or not one thinks Elite Dangerous is a masterpiece or a piece of junk, the fact that they produced & delivered the finished product, as advertised (albeit somewhat behind schedule) cannot be denied.

      Now compare that to the whole Star Citizen scenario: Funding began around Oct.2012 – one month before Elite Dangerous. They continued this drive to the tune of over $85 against a predicted production cost of only $10 million. Targeted delivery was Nov.2014 and that date has already been shoved past the 2016 mark.

      So here we have two games, both of which raised money on Kickstarter:

      Elite Dangerous raised barely 25% of the money needed for production (the company footed the rest of the bill from their own pockets), said it would take 2 years, was delayed by 9 months, and in the end released a finished product that did exactly what it said on the box.

      Star Citizen, raised more than eight times their original funding goal, also predicted two years, is also more than 9 months overdue, has responded to this delay by adding more than another year to their development, and in the end has thus far released… a few tech demos.

      This could almost be a “Gallant and Goofus” cartoon.

      Not be construed as biased – Mr.Smart, of all people, should understand the foils of “feature creep.” Most of the negative opinions that have been lain upon the Battlecruiser series could be directly attributed to precisely this problem – trying to cram too much into one game. The difference here being that in BC3000 the sheer mass overwhelms the player. In Star Citizen it’s overwhelming the developers themselves.

      In a sense this could even be said to affect one of the few complaints that I’ve heard about Elite Dangerous: With literally billions of star systems, and only a finite number of humans on this planet to play the game, their game universe is simply too big. A billion stars divided by a couple hundred thousand players turns into an overwhelming sense of isolation, as there would be literally tens of thousands of stars per person playing the game – the odds of ever seeing another player are statistically slim. While that’s not “feature creep” per se it is another example of how a game design (or a feature of it) can simply become so grandoise that it actually hurts the end product. “After enough decimal places, nobody gives a damn.”

      There is one other aspect of Star Citizen’s lofty goals that I’m sure others have noticed but maybe the media hasn’t been paying enough attention to, and that is this: “Will my system run it?” The original game promised – far more limited in scope & ambition – looked like a current generation starfighter sim. Or, to put another way, something that the vast majority of current day PC configurations made of modest parts & with modest budgets, could handle. Yet as more & more crap gets spackled onto this project, well, the bigger the load that the end user’s PC is going to have to carry. More hard drive space, more bandwidth, more RAM, better graphics card, etc. We’ve already seen the hurdle still being faced by developers simply trying to drag the majority public up from 32 bit to 64 bit. What happens if/when the game is finally finished and there’s so much epic crap in it that no one with anything less than a $5000 Alienware rig can even boot it up?

      In other words, what happens when all those people who only pledged $20 or so find out that they can’t actually play the game once it’s done? This is a very real problem, by the way: I used to play a very obscure game called “Battleground Europe/WW2OL” – another game that tried to dream bigger than they could deliver. For literally over a decade players have been begging for new unit types to be added to the game and time & again the developers have to tell them “no” and always for the same reason: Not enough RAM. Not themselves, of course – they could easily add a dozen more new types of tanks, planes and whatnot to the game, server side. The problem is that people still running 32 bit WinXP computers with 516mb video cards could not run such a game client – and that’s exactly what most of their players are using. So until such time as literally everyone in the game runs out and gets a 64 bit system with 8gig+ of RAM everyone is just SOL.

      So again, what happens when Star Citizen gets so much feature bloat that all those low-bidders, the $20 pledge people who don’t have cutting edge systems – because they can’t afford them – can no longer play the game that they’ve already paid for? At that point we can add “Bait and Switch” to their list of sins. What will Mr.Roberts tell these unfortunate peasants who won’t be attending this week’s exclusive auction of $3000 spaceships aboard his private yacht? Call me skeptical, but I don’t think he’s going to give a crap. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing with his current high-roller targeted fundraising.

      1. Von, I have to apologize in advance for not being able to respond in detail to your eloquent and unbiased post. In fact, I read it, clapped, read it again so I could except some of it to respond to. Then I said screw that, clapped some more and decide to just write this reply instead.

        Then decided to back to work on the .05 patch release of Line Of Defense that’s going live within the hour.

        ps: You nailed this (below). In fact, despite my repeated attempts (even in this blog whereby the feature image with the lingerie says it all) to outline this very thing in my blogs (especially the first one), people still forget that I speak from experience in specifically this regard.

        Not be construed as biased – Mr.Smart, of all people, should understand the foils of “feature creep.” Most of the negative opinions that have been lain upon the Battlecruiser series could be directly attributed to precisely this problem – trying to cram too much into one game. The difference here being that in BC3000 the sheer mass overwhelms the player. In Star Citizen it’s overwhelming the developers themselves.

  24. So, I do agree that a project this huge needs to be seen with skeptical eyes and not just as I see it, through my fan boy eyes. It’s a lot of money invested, so no questions there. But, I really don’t understand some of the dung you toss in it’s way. Like, you have never ever thought about your own project Line of Defense, and how how you are handling that?

    “then try to sell more shit for a “game” that DOES NOT YET EXIST AND WHICH BY ALL ACCOUNTS, NEVER WILL.” – I understand you intend to make all of your content exist when the game is done, but people have been able to buy content for your game for a loooong time without being able to play the hole game. Or am I missing something crucial here?

    You first proudly announce that you’ve made more money than he could ever make, then you trash him for making money? Like, in the same sentence. You do see the double standards here right? If you made that much money, someone had to pay for it, right? That’s how you make money.
    But ok, you say his money are “dirty”, meaning that it is money that comes from crowd funding for a game that will never exist. I saw the full presentation yesterday. It actually looks like it’s starting to exist to me. But who am I to judge..

  25. “It’s not something that I do. In fact, I’ve never done it before my second blog about this farce because I think it’s disrespectful and poor form. ”

    I’m glad you are aware of this. You’ve admitted that it makes you look disrespectful. Then why do you do it?

    There are no exceptions. You are a game developer. Even worse, you are a developer AND you have made similar games in the genre. Needless to say, whenever you criticize the Star Citizen project (or more notably another developer directly) and use the attention to promote your own work (making comparisons to your own games, having an unrelated image as the image for your blog post, etc) it makes your intentions questionable. Any exception you make up, makes it look like an excuse to continue this attention grabbing and promoting. Even if this is not the case, it’s difficult not to perceive it this way.

    Here’s the thing, We all get it – you don’t believe in the SC project getting delivered as promised or even at all. You point out the failed goals, the funding, the time spent, the performance issues, etc. Some points are accurate, some are debatable. I’m not disagreeing with what you are saying, you make good points even if I don’t agree on exactly everything. It might be worth to note that I am NOT a backer, I’m simply looking at things objectively.

    This is however irrelevant to my point. You’re blowing this way out of proportion.
    ” If you cared one bit about the lives you’re about to disrupt, the families you’re about to uproot, when this project fails – as most of us suspect that it will – you would make better choices.”

    Regardless of whether or not Chris truly cares about his fans (I’ll take your statement with a grain of salt) it should be noted that in the worst case scenario, the game won’t hold up to standards and out will come a mediocre game something in the tune of the whole DayZ fiasco (something overhyped, preordered, and unfinished). Families will not “uproot”, lives will not be “disrupted” in any way. Chris will lose his credibility, backers would get mad, especially those that invested for larger amounts. They would learn from it and move on. End of story.

    I just don’t get it. Isn’t it quite ironic that the person behind “Sure you’ve waited 7 years for buggy/incomplete Battlecruiser 3000AD” would go on like this? Or am I missing something? Fill me in.

  26. Well Derek to be honest I was pointing from the very beginning many of the concerns you point in your blogs but never the less still I had an impression that somehow CR will menage to pull out the game at the end.Saying this I am not talking about the game majority of the ppl. expecting it to be,for me it’s more like that is going to be at the end just an average mmo arcadish trade space game with bad flight mechanics smaller MP player per instance(maybe up to 20) that many players going to get bored to fast&easy.Even in that case I had to agree with you this game could be the biggest Flop in the recent gaming history ….
  27. “So after blowing through $85m – and still no game”
    Now is in the middle of development, is that hard to understand, start complaining 2017.
    Chris alone may have started the project 4 years ago but when kickstarter was over less than 3 years ago there was not more than 10 developers working on Star Citizen with no studio to work in.
    Take a look at StarWarsTheOldRepublic, “The Times reports the game was created over the span of six years by 800 developers on four continents.”
    Another example: “The Division – E3 2014 Gameplay Demo at Microsoft Press Conference” Estimated delivery time was 2014 first, now it is middle of 2016. Now there is no The Division GAME either but they are working on it.
    “The game he pitched back in 2012, was totally possible.”
    Was it even possible, this was one of my doubts back then and I am happy things take longer time? 32bit Cryengine has mapsize boundaries and flying a spaceship fast covers a lot of maps(glued together i guess) quickly, look at the tiny AC map. I like that they took the time to convert the engine to 64bit. Or was that waste of time?
  28. I thank you for your brutal honesty & courage for displaying that brutal honesty. The gaming industry has long had far too many cheerleaders and not enough critical thinkers who dare to look behind the curtain and ask the sensitive questions that everyone has but no one has the courage to ask with any amount of conviction.

    Almost from the start, I have had suspicions about this game and it’s promises. I am always skeptical of games that make exceptional claims without evidence to back them up. I have no stake in either party in this: I am not a backer of Star Citizen nor am I interested in MMOs such as Line of Defense (although, in complete disclosure, I have bought two of your games in the distant past – Battlecruiser 3000AD & Battlecruiser Millenium, back when video game stores had ample computer game selections).

    The tragedy in all of this is that the consumer ultimately loses – They are paying extensively for a game that presently does not exist, does not exist in the form that they paid for & may never exist in a form that they would find satisfactory. An ancillary concern is the damage done to the concept of crowdfunding: Backers who will ultimately be disappointed will be less likely to endorse future projects irregardless of those projects’ ability to deliver on their projects; Crowdfunding sites will be less likely to host high profile projects that they see as risk-averse because of the potential public relations damage; Game developers will reign in on their ambitions so as to not mimic the traits of ambitious failed projects or will not move forward with their projects at all.

    I sincerely hope that Star Citizen ultimately succeeds and produces a product that meets the proposed scope of the project as it was backed by it’s proponents; That is the best scenario for everyone involved. However, the evidence does not support this scenario at the moment and it is up to those working on Star Citizen to provide adequate evidence that the project is meeting it’s goals. Just as we have the right to ask tough questions to the developers, we must also provide the respect to the developers receiving those tough questions to respond in a manner that they feel both fulfills those questions while not revealing proprietary or privileged information that would be detrimental to their business.

  29. Your map comment is off by a factor of 1000. It wasn’t 8 Million, it was 8 Billion, with a B.
    1. Yeah, I corrected that typo earlier. Dunno what’s going on with the site cache today. I had similar messages about the profanity in the original post, hours after I redacted it. Thanks for pointing it out.

      btw, still a small region, compared to any of my games. Just sayin’ 🙂

      1. See, when you say things like “still a small region, compared to any of my games” it makes it seem like you are latching onto this for your own publicity. That’s why people think that.
        1. Yes, that’s a good point. However, as I’ve said repeatedly, the whole point of the comparisons is to illustrate specifically that this game is being built on a house of cards, fluff and promises which were made, and continue to be broken at every turn. Also, when people start to foolishly compare my game to this, it is hard not to say something about those comparisons.

          1. You do realize that the 8 billion km is simply referring to the size of 1 zone right? Meaning one smaller area of the overall universe?

            And which of your games do you refer to that have larger regions? Just wondering if you could actually back up that statement with real numbers showing us the size of the regions in your games.

            1. Yes, I am aware that he said that. Yes, I’m aware that it’s bullshit to think that it’s “one smaller area”.

              Universal Combat CE 2.0 is free on Steam. This is the entire game universe for that game. Look for the link to the persistent universe on that page.

              If you ever download it, fire up the Tacops computer for the current region. There’s your answer.


          2. Ok I assumed you were speaking of Universal Combat, still haven’t checked to see what the actual numbers are just yet, but thanks for the heads-up that its free on Steam.

            But I do find it odd that you say that LOD shouldn’t be compared to SC because they are different types of games (and I wouldn’t argue with you on that) but then you compare the size of the region in a single player game (UC) to that of a large persistent universe MMO (SC) and gloat as if you had already trumped the large spaces that SC is speaking about. It’s not just the fact that its a big open space, it’s that you can be in that big open space with your friends (both in other ships and manning the turret in the ship your flying). And I applaud you being able to create spaces that large in the game that you did, but I don’t really see a correlation in comparing your single player regions to that of an MMO.

            But that’ s just my two cents.

            1. Yes, I admit, it’s rather confusing when taken out of context. The point of my making that comparison was to outline a few things. The first thing being that the scene sizes were used as part of the on-going comparison between both games, as well as the feature set.

              Also, Universal Combat does have a persistent multiplayer world; though limited to 64 players. It’s not just single-player. In fact, it was horrendous to do, and that’s precisely why beyond the 2009 Collectors Edition, I dropped multiplayer from the series because I would need to go back and redo a lot things with the world in order to support it properly. That’s something that I intend to do after I finish Line Of Defense and move toward rebooting that series with Universal Combat Advanced in the coming years.

  30. Let me begin by saying that I didn’t have the slightest idea who you are, I was linked to your page from the Star Citizen subreddit. I had to google your name to find out which games you helped create and none of the titles except for Battlecruiser 3000AD rang a bell. A closer look at the general perception of all those games are that they are mediocre at best.
    With this in mind I can’t help but feel that some of your anger towards Chris Roberts is fueled by jealousy (and come on, Freelancer wasn’t THAT bad) and that you envy the amount of money he’s been allowed to play with to envision his dream game. I am sure you would like to be in his position.

    Whether you are or aren’t isn’t really that important I guess, what’s important is that you are 100% right when you say that it’s time to hold Chris Roberts accountable. When his kickstarter campaign began I went in for over €1000, which was a substantial amount of my monthly income but hey, the game he pitched to me was worth it and I wanted to see it happen. Space sims were always my favorite games and it was time for a great new one. However, after 3 years the game he’s promising is far away from the one he originally said he needed my money for. With 3 years of development and 86 million dollars I should be playing and enjoying this game already, but in the best case scenario I will be playing a mediocre spinoff in the summer of 2017 that has features that I never really wanted from a space sim. FPS module?? I can play loads of FPS games that do FPS better than Chris Roberts and his team can ever make and I don’t need that in my space sim. Practice my /dance command in a cantina on some alien world in the social module? I can go to a real club and dance and get laid thank you very much. I just want to explore space, other planets, mine asteroids and fire my ship’s weapons at an enemy from time to time. I should be playing this game right now.
    It’s so sad to see other fans rant and rave when they see some footage from the game from the current gamescom and go “Ooooooh, shiny!!!!” without them realizing that they have been scammed just like I have been scammed. Chris Roberts may be the biggest fraud in gaming history and I hope you continue the good fight and put it all out in the open.

    Regards from The Netherlands,

    1. Yes, some people – who don’t know anything about me – will take it as jealousy. Fact it, that’s nothing to do with anything because I think my very first blog made clear my motivations.

      Plus, I funded the game, right off the bat, as I do so many games. I am an avid gamer and collector. I own two game companies, manage teams of people, funded many third-party games and projects etc.

      I also have an extensive gaming library (these pics are from an old library taken back in 2008) that’s now over 30K titles strong; and I own every single space combat game ever made. All of them.

      Which is why the disappointment of this project is very hard to swallow; especially since it could ALL have been avoided.

      Kotaku just posted their unbiased take on today’s presentation and like other media outlets, also echoed pretty much the same things that most of us have been saying.

      This project is a long way off. It’s going to cost way more than $85m (exactly as I said in my first blog) to do anything meaningful at this point; and I don’t personally believe they are ever going to pull it off. And if they survive 2016, it will be a miracle.

    1. Get your own blog, and put any kind of crap you want in it. And while you’re at it, go get a dictionary and look up “censorship” and the context.

      If I choose not to allow shitposting in my blog or social media feed, that’s my call.

      There are comments right here, which only exist because, despite not being in agreement with me – or even flattering – are reasonable enough to be approved. Why? Because I’m not looking for people to “agree” with me. I’ve never been about that, and people who know me, and who have followed my career all these years, know that. I believe in reasonable and engaging discourse, regardless of merit.

      If you can’t join a conversation with reasonable display of courtesy and respect, don’t post. This is my goddamn house, so take that crap to Reddit or the hundreds of other places you can do it at. You simply can’t do it here. Period.

  31. This is like two children fighting. Chris Roberts takes the high ground and is the better man while you, Derek Smart, are kicking and screaming on the ground. You’re embarassing youself sir. Give it a rest, what was impossible 10 years ago can be very much possible today. Do you not understand how progression of technology and computer sciences work?
    1. Your comment was approved for the sheer idiocy contained within. If you actually read the article I was responding to, you wouldn’t have missed the “high ground” you speak of.

  32. i can not say that i like the tone of this post, but thats just me.
    (thx for editing it, much better now)

    im playing line of defence thx to a free code from you and
    also backed star citizen.

    i mean you are building a dynamic battlefield with ground/space combat and fighter jets
    CR on the other hands a combat space sim with trading.
    For me its just not something to compare to each other,

    Even after reading the blog posts, i just dont get why you two fight.
    Is this a thing from the past that boils up?
    Did you guys ever set down to tea and been like
    “i cant stand that guy”?
    Or maybe its because star citizen is made in the “steve jobs” way of things,
    and everybody screams i want it? (the iphone of crowdfunding if you want)

    1. He started it. All I did was write a blog to ask where the money was going, why the scope creep, and where was the game. It went downhill from there.

      The thing that most people are not paying attention to, is the thing that I took quite a bit of time outlining in my first blog: The game he pitched back in 2012, was totally possible. But once the money started rolling in, he got greedy. It’s now $85m from three years ago, the project is four years in, and at their monthly burn rate (which was 500+ people at one point) they now have less funds to build a much bigger game, in a shorter span of time. That’s the problem.

      1. Did… did you really just respond with “he started it”? This is the most childish thing I’ve seen in this stupid dispute so far.
        1. Yes, I did. If you lack a sense of humor, then I don’t expect you to “get” it. Not everything needs a smiley.

          ps: You fools writing nonsense in my comments section, you do realize by now that you’re wasting your time right, and that they are held in a mod queue and just get deleted?

          1. You can understand that it might not come across as a joke when you follow it up with very serious accusations, right? I understand that there is a need for people to be skeptical about this project, but this overall post (profanity redaction notwithstanding) is not portraying you in a mature/level-headed way at all.

            Also, the constant references and comparisons to your game don’t help your cause. I understand that he directly compared his abilities to yours, albeit subtly, but you should try focusing on discussing star citizen as it stands on its own, and whether he’s delivering something worth the money… this “I did this already!!!!” does nothing for your credibility.

            1. Right. But here’s the thing, it’s my blog and I can write whatever the hell I want in it, right?

              As to the “credibility”, my posts have nothing to do with that. I point those out in order to – again – illustrate that even with all that money, and all that talent, there is nothing ground-breaking coming from over there, despite all his claims since 2012. For that kind of money, we all should aim higher.

      2. Thx for the answer,

        so all you have to do is wait and then say i told you so at the end?

        Sound to me like a easy “win”.

        on the other hand, if he makes it, wouldnt that put you in realy bad
        spot to be in? i mean you would be THAT guy who got it all wrong
        and made a fuss about nothing.
        As a dev yourself you will then realy have trouble evading the questions
        in interviews, far beyound your retirement. Not because it matters
        but just because people love drama.
        It would be “the biggest thing” you ever did.
        (besides Battlecrusier, but noone knows about that one anymore)

        Is that realy worth the trouble to take it so close to yourself?
        (If you got more info then others that could stop everything,
        why not save everyone and be a hero?)

        (Also there seems to be a screenshot of the unedited version of the blog, makeing the round)

        1. Yes – I realize that. But I’m pretty confident that I’m right. I’ve been around too long, seen and experience far too much, not to recognize the signs. As I’ve said before, it’s only a matter of time.

      3. RE: It’s now $85m from three years ago, the project is four years in, and at their monthly burn rate (which was 500+ people at one point) they now have less funds to build a much bigger game, in a shorter span of time. That’s the problem.

        Did some quick math. 500 people making an average of $50,000 per year equals $25 million, per year. $25 million divided by 24 (typically 2 checks per month) equals $1 million. CIG needs to make roughly $2 million per month just to meet their salary requirements. This doesn’t include other expenses like rent, utilities, food, company outings, flying, event fees, etc. etc. If I were to guess I would say CIG’s total monthly expenses is $3 million.

        So let us suppose they burned through $20 million so far. This leaves them with $65 million remaining. And let’s suppose they never get another dime and are forced to finish the game on what they currently have. $65 million divided by $3 million equals 22. They literally have 22 months from today to finish their game. That’s June 2017; less than 2 years.

        Yeah. It’s not going to happen.

        1. The math is a lot worse than that. You’re forgetting all the equipment costs, licensing (getting multi-site source license for CryEngine3 is not cheap), what it costs (omg! you have NO idea) to go to these shows, state/fed taxes, legal, office space (they have four studios, and a head office last we checked), contractor (they work with about eight studios at last count) payments.

          According to my sources from back in June, it was estimated that they probably barely had enough cash to get to year end; which would spell trouble if, according to their funding charts – and assuming it’s accurate – they can’t make $3m (the estimate I used in my blogs as well btw) per month.

          As I keep saying, the original game could have been made. He said so around $20m. Here we are.

          And some people, trying to obfuscate the facts, keep saying the game is 2.5 yrs in the making. Which is hilarious to me when in fact, CR went on the record saying that the game was one year in development before the KS. And I know this to be true because I know who the guys are that who worked to put together that first incredible trailer. Then, if you had one year in expenses, then pay yourself back as back pay from KS proceeds, regardless of what stage the project was in during that year, you’ve now pretty much included one year of expenses – and time – to the entire budget.

          Not to mention the fact that they promised the game to be delivered Nov 2014. It’s now Aug 15, and in three months, it would be official one year overdue – and is nowhere near completion.

          And now some in the media are all being cagey and looking at it through proper lenses with skepticism. If anything else, to me, this GC2015 presentation did more harm than good. Kotaku said it best, in their write-up from yesterday.

          I simply don’t understand people calling me jealous. I have no idea what there is to be jealous of. Especially when you consider everything I wrote in my very first Interstellar Citizens blog.

          The biggest issue here, and I said so from day one, is that this was supposed to be the all-encompassing game I’ve been trying to build for decades, but with higher visual fidelity and with high-end tecnologies. Instead, four years and now $86m later, it’s not looking anything like what they pitched back in 2012, has nothing innovative in it, and if it ever sees the light of day in any meaningful form, won’t live up to the hype and/or expectations.

          Let me illustrate a simple Line Of Defense vs Star Citizen comparison for context based on their feature set:

          1. Massive world: No. It’s not that kind of the game. But is still bigger than what is in AC 1.0. And it already has accessible planets. With bases. The IP that the game is based on, has a much larger world from which a small section was carved out for this game. The Battlecruiser/Universal Combat games are the ones that use the entire universe in the IP. Universal Combat CE 2.0 is currently free on Steam for anyone who wants to take a look and see how to do a massive, connected, persistent universe – with space and planets. And since that game is older now, that’s why I’m currently working on a design for a true sequel which I am going to be focused on after Line Of Defense and the Lyrius Expansion for UCCE20 are completed.
          2. Seamless space/planetary sections: Yes. It’s finished. And it works.
          3. Internal areas with localized physics: Yes. It’s finished. And it works. In fact, in addition to the four massive stations, we built a massive multi-deck carrier moving through space.
          4. Multi-Ship: Yes. Aside from the fact that most of the fighters and shuttles are multi-ship, even the vehicles are multi-crew, some with dedicated driver and gunner seats. And we even have an automated transport system of shuttles. All multi-crew.
          5. Space combat: Yes.
          6. Planetary combat: Yes. Infantry, aerial, naval, vehicular
          7. Infantry combat: Yes. In fact, unlike Star Citizens scaled-down Star Marine module, this is not an after-thought; it’s a whole system all by itself with lots and lots of weapons, items etc. And this takes place inside stations, carrier, ships and on planets
          8. Social Hub: LOL! No. Our scenes are so massive – and support more than 20 people – that you can pretty much pick your own area to hang out. In fact, the main deck on any of the four stations, is one central place to hangout. Not to mention that the carrier itself has a dedicated rec/galley area on one of the decks.
          9. Persistent Universe: Uhm, yeah. While they barely just recently got 16 (!) players working in AC 1.0, since day one, our world supported a large number of people in a massive world – no sharding, no instancing. Online 24-7, hop-in, hop-out. No fuss. No muss.
          10. Storyline:No. Aside from the background story driving the game’s premise. It’s not that kind of game. Which is what their Squadron 42 is.

          And if with 500+ people (now down to around 300 as per his July statement which didn’t mention contractors), $86m and over four (to date) years, they can’t even build half the game I’ve spent four years, around twelve people, and less than $12m building, what are they doing? And where has all this money gone?

          So really, I don’t see what there is to be jealous of. Most of us were just expecting a SQ42 type game, with everything that was pitched back in 2012. Not this shoddy disconnected mess they’re peddling.

          1. I believe there would be far less level of concern if all of this didn’t also occur under the shadow of Roberts’ previous “exits” from the industry. I love to cheer and hope and dream for big concept games and, even more importantly, worlds.

            However, all the pieces come together to paint a very difficult financial situation. When one realizes that Roberts’ most defining element as a developer is to demand scale and scope regardless of cost and ability, it gets very difficult to remain positive.

          2. Look I know you may or may not allow this post but here’s hoping. Here we go:

            Massive World: I’ll give you that one. My first rig I ever built was based on Battlecruiser and that universe was huge. Loved that game.
            Seamless Space/Planetary Sections: Yes but only on paper. You’ve yet to actually show any of this working, in game, live.
            Internal Areas With Localized Physics: Yes but again only on paper. You’ve yet to actually show any of this off meanwhile this was actually showed yesterday on the SC multi-crew demo.
            Multi-Ship: I tried the ATS system in LoD and the times that I tried it it just didn’t work. And again we haven’t seen this in-game yet, just on the trailer for the game.
            Space Combat: Yes, but not for LoD, haven’t seen it yet.
            Planetary Combat: Yes, although it’s hard to test this as there are no players to be found on your servers.
            Infantry Combat: If you’d bother to do the research you’d know that Star Marine is just the name of the module, but the actual FPS is part of the game itself. It’s the exact same thing you describe but for SC: it’s a whole system all by itself with lots and lots of weapons, items etc. And this takes place inside stations, carrier, ships and on planets.
            Social Hub: Yes, you’ve got that one, those stations are huge. But again if you’d bother to do the research you’d see that the 20 person limit is only for the Social Module, meaning that the game will not have this limit.
            Persistent Universe: Yes but again, only on paper. The most players that you’ve had online since the launch of LoD on Steam is 116 back in March (source: powered by Steam)
            Storyline: No comparison here.

            And CIG did start with 260 employees since day one, they’ve only reached that number this year. By the of 2013 they had 70, end of 2014 they had 180, and now it’s 260. You keep saying that they haven’t built even half the game but that because they haven’t showed SQ42 yet, which they will in October. And while it’s impressive what you’ve managed with around 12 people, less than $12 million and a huge universe to play in it’s just on the same scale and fidelity as SC. LoD right now is in Early Access with most of it’s features that you’ve listed here only existing on paper or have yet to be seen in-game. Now you say that the game would be coming out later this year but the same was said back in 2012.

            Since the beginning Star Citizen was pitched as two games in the kickstarter pitch video (source:, SQ42 would be the single player game and SC would be the online open world. It’s incorrect to only say that only the SQ42 was expected because since the beginning this was pitched as two games.

            1. I approve ALL posts that have a reasonable argument (like yours) and which aren’t the usual shit-posting, personal attacks or trolling.

              For many – many – years, people who have interacted with me know that I never strive to be right (I simply don’t care about that). It’s just not my personality because there is no growth in that. I believe in reasonable and respectful discourse.

              Because a LOT of people (the younger gen for the most part) are only finding out about me through this SC farce, I even wrote an entire blog primer on precisely that.

              What you wrote, collectively presents a very reasonable argument.

              The fact is that everyone has a different opinion and insight on this SC game; and that’s part of the problem. And that’s squarely Chris’s fault.

              e.g. I do know what Star Marine module is; and it’s no different (in terms of why it exists) from the fps module in my game. Though LOD has infantry, aerial, space, naval, and ground vehicles, they were all different “modules” at one time, and which needed to be developed specifically for the game and each handled differently (e.g. the infantry physics is totally different from aircraft). For example, right now, as you know, we haven’t unlocked any aircraft or vehicles for public testing, though we’ve had them in for years if you’ve seen the screen shots and pre-alpha movies. So basically, the current test iteration of the game, is based on the infantry “module”. And even as I type this, we’re still tweaking that because it still doesn’t feel quite “right” yet.

              As to your comments about “on paper” regarding these:

              Seamless Space/Planetary Sections: I hope you didn’t take that to mean that you could go to space< ->planet seamlessly, you can’t. That’s not what it means. It means that the integration of both environments is seamless. e.g. you can enter the planet that you see in the scene, but you have to use a jump gate. And you can also enter it using an HAIS-MK2 suit from an airlock in a station or the carrier. In SC, ED and such games, that’s not the case because the planets depicted as just 3D models.

              Internal Areas With Localized Physics: If you’ve been in the game (planet, station, carrier, shuttle), then you’ve experienced it.

              Multi-Ship, it works just fine – and we don’t have a single report about it not working. If you are having issues, please open a support ticket.

              Space Combat: there are several images and movies on our website from pre-Alpha and Beta builds. Once we complete the current infantry phase on testing, and we unlock aircraft, that’s what’s there – but better, due to the additional work done since those movies and images.

              Planetary Combat: see below.

              As to your comment about LOD’s online clients, last week I wrote a very lengthy dev blog about that because it’s just strange to me that people keeping citing this, for a game that is PvP and has nothing to do in it yet, gameplay-wise. Also, you have to buy it ($19.99 being the cheapest EA tier), in order to gain access to it; though we give away the F2P Starter Kit keys once in awhile when we want to test something with more people with different systems. For example, during that whole fracas with magazine, I gave keys to a bunch of Germans in order for them to isolate what Ben (the target of the missive) was writing about. We had exceptional feedback, for example this one.

              1. As far as “Star Marine” goes… I recall that CCP Games/EvE Online tried to add “walking in stations” many years ago. After an uncomfortably long development time they did, indeed, finally add the ability for players to have their toons/avatars walk around, by themselves, inside a single room which led to a single hanger where they could stare at their ships.

                Visually, it was impressive. Functionally, it was completely useless. There was no multiplayer interaction and no utilities available in “FPS mode” that did not already exist, and in far more efficient form, in the regular game. It was nothing more than eye-candy. While it is true that eye-candy sells great at demos, it doesn’t do much for already established games.

                In the end, after X amount of time and X dollars spent, they finally got a working system that pretty much everyone simply turned right back off the same day and never used again.

                Now why did this happen? Who knows? I have my own theory, however: Lack of interaction comes to the top of the list. What people wanted was to be able to have their avatars interact with each other outside of their ships. This was not delivered. That is important to note because from that point nothing else they added or could add would make any difference. It is not what people asked for.

                And again, the last part is what matters most: It was not what people asked for. This is something that far too many game developers cannot grasp. They get so wrapped up in their own personal visions of what the game should do and become that they end up leaving their audience – and customers – far behind. Then they wonder why their game fails in the sales department.

                To put it metaphorically, game developers have this rather annoying habit of spending all their time trying to make better & better steaks in a restaurant full of vegetarians. It doesn’t matter how good your steak is – they’re not going to be impressed, they’re not going to eat it, and they’re not going to pay for it.

                So when Mr.Roberts came out and announced this new FPS module being added the game my first thought was “Great! But did anyone actually ask for this? No? Then it will fail.” There is a demographic of people who love space dog-fighting games and there is a demographic of people who love FPS shooters. And yes, there is some overlap… but it’s a small overlap, and anyone who falls outside of that tiny Venn overlap is going to be bored with at least 50% of the contents. Meaning the space fighter jockeys are never going to want to touch the Space Marine module and the FPS kids are not going to care about the space ships.

                So the question is: Would you buy a game in which you are only interested in 50% of the content?

                Interestingly enough, CCP Games/EvE Online did actually learn something from the “walking in stations” failure. When they went to do their own FPS module they made it into an entirely separate game (Dust 514) and sold it exclusively to the console kids. Good marketing, there. The original EvE Online game remained untouched and unaffected by this new game, and even though overlap as possible (“fire support” from orbit, etc) it was entirely possible for the two groups to never interact with each other if they didn’t want to… which is good, because overall they didn’t want to.

                So I have no problem with RSI making a FPS game. What I have a problem with is them making that game a mandatory part of the Star Citizen universe, and worse, making it with funds carved from the hide of the original Star Citizen project. Mr.Roberts should just finish his original project, as promised, and if he wants to make a FPS game afterward then great. If he wants to allow optional overlap with Star Citizen that’s great, too. But it do it afterward.

                There is no shame in learning from one’s more successful peers. Mr.Roberts should take a lesson from CCP Games here and put his FPS game on hold entirely until Star Citizen is 100% complete.

    1. Yes, you are right. And I agree. As I said, I wasn’t going to respond; but I got tired of getting the emails, media requests (all of which I turned down this time) etc.

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