Star Citizen Dev Responds to Criticisms, Announces Plans to Share Internal Timelines

Star Citizen Dev Responds to Criticisms, Announces Plans to Share Internal Timelines

Star Citizen has been in development for a long, long time now, as the original Kickstarter campaign began in October 2012. Pieces of the game have been released, but the full thing isn’t out yet. The game has grown in scope over the years, so the initial target release dates have come and gone. In a frank and candid blog post today, director Chris Roberts announced a major change for how the studio will communicate release dates, namely that the studio will share “target” dates that could change.

“Whether or not to share this kind of information has been a long running debate among the team here at Cloud Imperium Games,” Roberts said. “Target dates are not release dates, and everything you see will shift at some point, sometimes slightly and sometimes wildly. The danger in doing this has always been that casual observers will not understand this, that there will be an outcry about delays every time we update the page.

“We’ve taken stock, thought through everything and decided that, while that is a risk, above all we trust the community that has given us so much support,” he added. “The community that has let us focus our passions on this incredible project. You have allowed us to take this journey, you have tracked and followed so much of how game development works… and now we think it is right to further part the curtain and share with you our production process.”

Beginning with Star Citizen Alpha 2.6, Cloud Imperium will share its internal development schedule on a weekly basis. “These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs with a few exceptions: the individual developer names assigned to the tasks will be omitted (for obvious reasons), we’ll remove the JIRA details and we’ll modify the technical wording to make it readable for a wider audience, but otherwise, when something changes, slips or is completed, you will know,” Roberts went on to say.

Here is a sample of what the production chart will look like:

Star Citizen Dev Responds to Criticisms, Announces Plans to Share Internal Timelines

This schedule will be permanently posted on the Roberts Space Industries website; additionally, the developer will provide updates every week with a new “snapshot” of its internal schedule.

“We take the process of production very seriously and spend a lot of time on improving our ability in this area,” Roberts added. “Our worldwide Production Team is twenty-five strong and they are the backbone that drives our development forward. They work closely with developers to break down and create tasks, chase up task completion daily, update their respective team’s schedules, encourage and strengthen open communication by organizing meetings, agendas, and creating action items to help push the project forward day by day. The Production Team has many collective years with some of the biggest developers, publishers and games. They are like the rest of the CIG team, world class.”

Also in the blog post, Roberts spoke about how the studio has “take a lot of flak” over the years for pushing Star Citizen’s timeline further into the future.

“But the simple fact is that game development, especially game development on the scale of Star Citizen, is complicated. If you talk to any developer that works on large titles they will tell you that schedules, especially early in the development cycle, move all the time,” he said. “Most people never see this because a publisher won’t announce a project publicly until it is very far along; normally at least in Alpha, with all the technology and gameplay R&D completed. Even then, the timelines can be unpredictable as can be seen in the delays on big name titles from publishers.”

“Open development does have its drawbacks,” he added. “Not everyone understands the process or how difficult it can be. We have always tried to be open and share our progress. We refactored Around the Verse to focus more on developers showing and talking about their work to help give insight into the process. Our monthly reports have more information than any monthly report I had to do for Electronic Arts or Microsoft when at Origin or Digital Anvil.”

Star Citizen fans should really read the full blog post here from Roberts.

As alluded to, not everyone has been thrilled with Star Citizen’s delays. One backer recently received a refund after complaining to California’s Attorney General

Star Citizen Video Previews Origin Spaceships

Star Citizen Video Previews Origin Spaceships

Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries have slowly been releasing new promotional videos for Star Citizen as they continue to move toward the next alpha release for the ambitious, crowd-funded space simulator.

DualShockers spotted the latest promo video for the game, which covers the Origin space vessels. There’s a video just under two minutes long that give you a quick look at the sleek transports. Check it out below.

The majority of the video consists of the fake version of Jeremy Clarkson talking up the M50 from the fictional in-game manufacturer, Origin.

The imperfect teeth and wind-creased wrinkles across the face of the aging enthusiast highlights the detail they’re putting into Star Citizen. It’s definitely not realism achieved, but it looks about par the course for most game’s CG sequences. Amid the talk and the banter about the high-tech ship and the things that you can do it, we get a brief look at the 350i stationed in the background on the hardwood floors like a trophy worn on the raised palms of a premiere league champion.

The 85x – amidst a haze of smoke and giant billboards lined along a convention center in the backdrop – looks like a sleek sports car on a showroom floor. The bright lights from the convention center bounce off the glossy, curved plates like the lights reflecting off the shiny botox-forehead of a celebrity accepting an award on stage.

The graphics, as usual, look gorgeous.

There’s no arguing that the game has the visuals nailed down tight. Now they just need to get the persistent universe situated, the procedurally generated planets optimized, and more of those quests finished.

It’s been a slow road toward the finish line, but the developers have been inching their way toward completing various alpha builds.

Up next, they’ve promised that the Star Marine FPS module will be due at some point in the near future. So we’ll how long that takes before it arrives fo

Star Citizen’s production schedule made public

Star Citizen’s production schedule made public

The makers of Star Citizen will make their production schedule public in a show of transparency, four years into a $131 million, crowdfunded project which shows no signs of a completion date, much less one by the end of this year.

In a lengthy note to donors, Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts said the schedule for Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 will be shared on a weekly basis with the public. This page breaks out production schedules for the Star Marine and Arena Commander modules; the technology/systems, content and UI teams, and the Mega Map stretch goal, with bullet-point notes on where they stand.

Notably, the production schedule for Squadron 42, the single-player campaign, is not among them. That long anticipated module, originally expected in the fall of 2015, was not even shown at CitizenCon in October. There is no timeline on when the campaign, which stars Mark Hamill and Gillian Anderson, will be shown or made available to backers.

Star Citizen’s production schedule made public

“As you know we’ve not been keen to give hard dates on the project after the initial set of dates which we had estimated when the project was a lot smaller in scope,” Roberts wrote. He insisted that any dates he’d given for the completion of a module or the release of a beta were rough guidelines only, “but unfortunately some people often tend to forget the qualifiers and treated my comments nonetheless as a promise.”

At this point in Star Citizen’s development, though, he and a development team of 377 across four internal studios felt it was appropriate to share the schedules with the more than 1.6 million individuals who have given to Star Citizen’s campaign, a record-setter in video games development and crowdfunding as a whole.

“These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs with a few exceptions,” Roberts said. Individual developer names will be removed for privacy purposes, technical wording will be rewritten to make it understandable to non-developers and the JIRA project tracking details will be omitted. “But otherwise, when something changes, slips or is completed, you will know,” Roberts wrote.

The ambitious, sprawling space epic led by Roberts, the creator of the Wing Commander space combat simulation series, has published an alpha (currently version 2.5.0) but the repeated delays of modules and features along the way to that have made some backers restless. Some have demanded and received refunds.

Roberts said sharing deadlines and completion goal dates seemed to divide Star Citizen’s community between one group upset that the game is continually portrayed as delayed, and another that wonders why a date would be shared if developers aren’t solidly assured it is attainable.

“We have taken a lot of flak over the last couple of years for the extending timeline of Star Citizen, but the simple fact is that game development, especially game development on the scale of Star Citizen, is complicated,” Roberts wrote. “If you talk to any developer that works on large titles they will tell you that schedules, especially early in the development cycle, move all the time. Most people never see this because a publisher won’t announce a project publicly until it is very far along; normally at least in Alpha, with all the technology and gameplay R&D completed.”

Star Citizen, of course, has no publisher and was announced with practically nothing built at all, in the form of a $2.1 million Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2012. Its crowdfunding has continued since, largely through the very lucrative sale of in-game spaceships.

My last day in Star Citizen in the free fly event

My last day in Star Citizen in the free fly event

– How the open world space battle will actually look like?

I tried to google it, but could not find any info (maybe there is just I could not find it, in that case please link it here)

The reason why I ask it:
In first place SC grabbed my attention when it was announced since it used to be an open world never seen virtual universe.
Most of us have a vision due to the mentioned description as an epic adventure.
It’s always exciting when an adventure based on challenges, so the free aim space and inland fight system is really my taste. Actually I can not stand tab target games. I already played a few open world, free aim MMO games so I know well that no matter how complex the questing layer will be, how complex contents the world will hold, the fighting ground always will be a cardinal gaming space. If you explore you do it for a reason, the goal probably will have ingame value, so others will try to hunt you down. If you mine, salvage…whatever game content you will play out you always have to prepare for battle.
PK players will lurking around mineable asteroid field
PK players will looking for to board your exploration ship and stole the gathered data
PK players will looking for your salvaging ships cargo
They will try to loot your science ship’s gardens, laboratories…
Loot you if you will try to play out the merchant role
So basically every even act will be spiced with space combat.

If I walk around in the existing space stations I can imagine my upcoming adventures… If I enter the broken satellite to handle the daily mission I exactly smell the atmosphere of SC that I imagined when it grabbed my interest… But when I do “dogfights” the dimension that SC builded up with it’s unique and chiseled atmosphere crashes to parts in a second. There is one exception: when I turn into 3. person view and I do not use “select target” (T) so I do not see the ship computer or the aim compensation circles, the “select” circles around the ships that makes ship painting, real hiding using asteroids, objects makes a non existing content. In first person dogfight view we not just losing these above mentioned super fun contents, but it’s absolutely overwrites the extremely detailed and well done space environment and also ship visuals.

My last day in Star Citizen in the free fly event

In my opinion:
– real hiding mechanics
– matter of ship coloring
– snaking mechanics
all would be super fun and actually a have to in the world of SC known what it will offer and how it fulfill the visuals, the look of it.

Of course, it’s a space mmo, so would be funny to do not have radars BUT! Also would be funny to do not have technical solutions to disable radar signals : )
I can imagine just one radar: the 3D one at our frant monitor, but no target selection circles that light up true objects, no aim helper movement compensation signs, just the front radar that would lose the object if an asteroid covers it out and the pure crosshair. Of course under this system the hitbox of the missiles should be a bit bigger (not too much, but a little bit bigger) Dog fighting arenas still can exist for e-sport lovers as raceing. Yea, I mentioned e-sport, since it’s clear like sky for me, that at the moment we have 2 totally separated concept, 2 totally separated games:

– e-sport games as dogfight arenas and racing
– Star Citizen alpha an upcoming epic open world space adventure with inland and space actions

And I do not even wanna mentioning that dogfight arenas + racing is for joystick users since SC the open world MMO is for classic mouse+keyboard users.

I honestly hope that the dogfight space combat style will be somehow separated from SC the mmo (due to the mentioned above reasons) and it will hold the real atmosphere of Star Citizen and in the same time keeping the free aiming system.

Star Citizen Updated Vanduul Fighter Shown Off

Star Citizen Updated Vanduul Fighter Shown Off

Star Citizen’s artists have released a stunning trailer for an updated version of the Vanduul Scythe fighter.

The Vanduul is one of the alien races in Star Citizen. Standing at approximately seven foot tall they are slightly different to the average human but the Scythe will be adaptable for human flight. The Scythe was the first alien ship to be seen in Star Citizen making its debut back in the original Kickstarter video.

The ship has been made using the new Physically Based Rendering system with new details being added to the original model. The team has spent time recently expanding the look and feel of the Vanduul race and this has directly affected the new details.

Revealed on episode 56 of Wingman’s Hanger, a weekly update web-show, by Star Citizen’s Chief Visual Officer the new detailed Scythe certainly went down well with fans. Here is the sneak peak trailer of the Scyther!

Star Citizen : Free Fly! A Weekend Warrior’s Thoughts

Star Citizen : Free Fly! A Weekend Warrior's Thoughts

Hello all, so I recently joined up for the free fly. I’ve been itching to try Star Citizen since the Free Fly I missed back in July, when I’d only just started really researching the game. Since then I’ve been itching for another try.

Well, now having tried it, I’m going to try and keep the review as brief as I can. There’s a -ton- I want to talk about, but frankly it’s such an early Alpha that I only want to cover ideas and concepts rather than anything to do with performance or bugs.

-Generic missions. I got to try some of the standard leveling up/standard missions, namely repairing uplinks, defending Kareah, and probe quests. They’re acceptable for what they are, but as they are, they lack that feeling of “living, breathing universe” that SC is going for. One of Tessa’s missions for instance involves saving pilots under attack and finding distress beacons, but once you’ve finished them, that’s it, you get the reward and it’s over. If I had to make a major change to these generics, it would be to add a post-quest effect; one of the pilots you save during one of the missions says “thanks, I hope I can pay you back someday” – well, what if she did? If I ever get into another fighting mission further down the line, could I have a generic fighter show up and say “you helped me/my friend out earlier over in [x solar system], let me give you a hand.”

Star Citizen : Free Fly! A Weekend Warrior's Thoughts

-Group questing. One of the things I was noticing when doing uplink and probe missions is that, when more players showed up, more pirates showed up. However, only one person ever got the money from repairing an uplink, even though we all contributed. It’s kind of fun being able to 2-man these, but the second person needs a little credit! We all just fought off our share of pirates, we should all get a cut.

-Uplinks. They’re a nice little generic mission for newcomers to get some quick money off of, but they don’t feel like they fit in the “living, breathing universe” idea. For one, they break down all the time and for no reason; this is obviously because you need to give players something to do, but it is a little silly. I know it’s a minor thing, but I’d prefer if the quest said “pirates have implanted a jammer on our uplink; eliminate it”, and if the quest is left alone long enough, the quest evolves into “pirates have taken over our uplink and shut down our defenses in that area; eliminate the pirates and reactivate our uplink.” Same task, but higher difficulty and better rewards if an uplink is left alone for too long. It also makes more sense than ‘maintenance’. As well, active Uplinks should spawn security, making them difficult to travel to for real pirates; pirate players may want to shut them down so less security shows up?

Minor cases of taste, but in a game as ambitious as Star Citizen, I want to feel like the things I do to at least act like they have an impact.

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Star Citizen: Alpha 2.5 is LIVE!

Star Citizen: Alpha 2.5 is LIVE!

Roberts Space Industries is a spacecraft manufacturer within the persistent-world game “Star Citizen” and its companion single-player spaceflight sim, “Squadron 42.” RSI is also your portal for information, updates, and purchases of your very own spacecraft with which to trade, plunder, and protect the citizens of Star Citizen.

The original SQ42 trailer is massively dated compared to now. Look at the F7A, then look at the updated F7A mark2 that chris smith recently showed off it looks insanely different. Also look at the sneak peek of the new Bengal super carrier it will be bigger than the one in the SQ42 video and vastly improved on the inside to. Star citizen is what it looks like for real. Wait until you see the new SQ42 trailer which im betting will be at citizencon. It will annihilate the original one.

The best way to try it out is once you’re disconnected from the server .. Gonna try it out tonight with my i7/GTX980/16GbRam and share the results, because for me while playing online I only get around 20/30 FPS and even lower on the new GrimHex station –”

SC will not use traditional server methods, they will use digital cloud based servers, achieving far faster results in terms of latency / positional accuracy than conventional server hosting methods. That being said, currently im not sure if they are using standard hardware servers (-wouldn’t be surprised for pre release) or the cloud system in 2.5.

Google is “onboard” in assisting the development of the cloud servers, as far as i know these servers will actually be Google facility’s. The cloud system they aim to use in the final release is supposed to be “pioneering” for the MMO industry.

Changing graphical settings does essentially nothing to performance, so if the game would be “playable enough” you might as well set things to high. You’ll get a prettier game without losing much or any performance because something else (netcode) is munching your frames, not the visuals. Your PC can handle those.

Just check out the FPS in Arena Commander. Youtuber by the name of BoredGamer also has a guide on somewhat better performance but it did fuckall for me since my PC can handle the graphics ezpz even with inefficient settings. Might do more for you, so there’s that as suggestion.

Starcraft, the new battlefield for AI research – starcitizenhelp.net

Google’s Deepmind have announced that the next game they will try to conquer is Blizzard’s very own Starcraft II

Back in March 2016, we witnessed a landmark in AI technology and a glimpse of the future when Google’s flagship AI defeated one of the world’s best Go players Kim Se Dol.

At the time of the contest, it was thought artificial intelligence was more than 10 years away from competing with the very best of the ancient Chinese game of Go, a game much more difficult than AI’s previous triumph, Chess. However Deepmind, the department in charge of Google’s deep-learning research, defeated one of the game’s greatest players easily, taking a 4-1 victory over a multiple-time world champion.

Now, looking to the future, Deepmind have chosen the next arena in which the battle of man vs machine will be fought, and that is Starcraft II. An unprecedented challenge, Starcraft II presents a huge number of difficulties for the program, such as opponents hiding information and the real-time action of the game, but Deepmind aren’t deterred and are looking for you to help them achieve the colossal task of training a computer to defeat some of the world’s best Starcraft players.

Deepmind use a method called ‘deep learning’ to train their AI to learn strategy games, this involves showing the program hundreds of thousands of matches and telling it the result of each one, over time the program begins to understand which action will lead to a stronger position and which will lead to a weaker one. For games like chess or go it’s a relatively simple idea, the board is static and it’s easier to adjust your actions based on your opponent’s move. As starcraft is a dynamic game, with both players moving and planning in real time, it presents a new hurdle for Google’s Deepmind to overcome.

Research is planning to begin during the first quarter of 2017.


Want to help further this research?

Just play! Deep learning relies on having a huge number of high quality replays to constantly show the program what it should be doing, so the more you play, the more you contribute to supplying the Google AI with helpful material to study.

Blizzard have also announced an API that can be used for creating this kind of program, so hobbyists or researchers can use this to toy around with making their own Robotic Bonjwa.

For full details you can check out the article posted on Deepmind’s website announcing their plans to take on the best of the best at the world’s most difficult game.

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Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 Trailer Unveiled At The Game Awards

Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 Trailer Unveiled At The Game Awards

At The Game Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Cloud Imperium has released the official launch trailer for Star Citizen Alpha 2.0.

Cloud Imperium’s CEO Chris Roberts and actor Mark Hamill, who is set to star as one of the characters of Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 singleplayer campaign, unveiled the official trailer for Star Citizen Alpha 2.0. They confirmed that all of the footage used in the trailer had been “captured in-game from live play sessions” a phenomenal feat when you see the quality that is on show.