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The End Game - Derek Smart


DarkOne
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Just read Derek Smart's lengthy blog post here:

http://www.dereksmart.com/2015/10/star-citizen-the-endgame/

This actually wasn't a bad read when you read this first from the Escapist that was written this week http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/features/14715-CIG-Employees-Talk-Star-Citizen-and-the-State-of-the-Company

Looks like people are actually looking into how the kickstarter and funding money is being spent and Derek does bring up a decent point. They have what 4 offices and 200+ employees and I am sure each one is near or possibly more than 100k a yr, just simple math that is 20mil a year just in salary and that's not counting equipment, rent, licensing, tradeshows and other services. And with the recent talk of lay-offs that happened at CIG it makes you think did they party too much with the money?

I have always been a fan of Chris Roberts and his games, but if some of this is true I will pretty upset.

Your thoughts on this.... make sure you read all this stuff. 🙂


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Pinback
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See they have gone for the lawyers just hope they are using their own money and not the games money.


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Cruisin1500
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Derek Smart should invest his time and energy on something noble, like fighting some great injustice in his own country.

 

At the end of the day, people choose to do with their own money what they want to do. I myself invested over 400 into SC. Because I believe in the hope of such a game. Is it risky? Sure. But in the end. The only thing you have to invest in SC is 30 or 40 dollars to get access to the game as it is now. You don't need to pre-pay for some fancy ship.

 

I haven't even downloaded or played SC since the 'hangar' module. I haven't played arena commander, nor the social module. Every now and then I look at the news releases or an art sneak peak. The game is going to take long, since he's chosen to do it all at once. Unlike Elite, who IMO is doing it much better.

 

Have no illusions, this game probably started full development in late 2013. He first had to build a studio/s and hire people. It was a true kick starter, and not a kick finish. Derek Smart has back his money. Name a DS game you ever played for more than 2 hours?

 

Maybe some of the article is true, maybe none of it, in the end CR could only be convicted have trying to execute such a big idea all at once. Also I find it draining on resources, and time consuming that they spend so much time on little things. Obsessing over little things hurts you in the end. They've spent like a year re-doing animations. And the last several months, merging a different code branch, because they separated the code branch for a gamescon demo.


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xeoncat
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As for me, I never paid much attention to SC, fortunately I never had any money to back it at the time, and chose to ignore everything. I played an early demo of the arena commander and wasn't impressed at all. The graphics were pretty, but nothing else stands out. Every time I see videos or pictures, nothing really stands out to me as a AAA multi-million dollar game. It's not a case of where the money is or isn't going, I think the people making decisions are just inexperienced or rusty and the game is coming across as soulless. With such a giant PR machine they could have risked going to new and bolder things, but they're not, they just want everything that already is, eve, elite, star wars, galactica, etc, it's a mess imho.


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LeoCeballos
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This manufactured drama surrounding Star Citizen frankly really upsets me. I'm a software developer, and my own little space game is hosted here. I've been working at it for years; almost all my weekends, my late nights; its what I want to do more than anything. However, real life gets in the way, so sometimes I go dark. I'm working; always, always working for very little monetary gain, but yes, development slows (like for example during this week when I had to pull one literal all-nighter (15mins sleep) and one 15 hour work day). So I understand when people get upset and complain that development is slow. It frustrates me probably a lot more than it does them. But I take the criticism in stride. When the game gets criticized for whatever reason (the graphics, the controls, etc) it hurts, but I take it to heart and try to make things better. But one guy came to my Google Play page, and called it a con. Boom. A con. Like the thousands of dollars which I could have made doing other business freelance projects, or the time with my family and friends that I've sacrificed is actually some secret plan to make money; some malicious thing I concocted because I am a bad, bad person.  

And you know what? It was there, up on top, for any other buyers to see. One guy, who had no idea what he was talking about, caused me serious damage just because he was feeling testy that day. The fact that there was zero truth to what he said meant nothing; he could damage me just the same. It is a lot harder to develop a game than take cheap shots at one, I guarantee you that. 

When I look at Derek Smarts little ant-SC campaign, I see more of the same. He doesn't have to be right to damage the game. PINBACK, of COURSE they are using backer money for the lawyers. Its a company, the backer money is their capital...that is the whole point of crowdfunding. Do you think they are calling their Cousin Vinny? Even if its all lies, DS is damaging the game; he's damaging the developer's morale and costing them... costing the backers money. And yes, they *have* to engage him, otherwise DS can seriously hurt them just by typing lies; new backers and investors are scared off, just as the anonymous reviewer saying my game was a con hurt me. His behavior towards another developer is disgustingly unprofessional. Is HE a developer or not? If he's making a game, shouldn't he be a bit too busy to spend his time spreading gossip? Frankly I don't even care as much about SC anymore. They are working hard; anyone with more than ten minutes worth of game development experience can see that, but I have other games to play (and a game to make) in the meantime. 

And the SC team may well fail They may fail, or the game may not be that great; they may fall short because they are not good enough, or because they were too ambitious, etc. These are all things that happen ALL the time to many developers, despite their best intentions. It happens to musicians, to artists, to movie directors, to novelists, to anyone who attempts a great creative endeavor. Its sad when it does, but its not really something you get angry about. Frustrated maybe. But this, if the game fails because CR had the Albatross that is Derek Smart around his neck, then that will be a real tragedy. Nothing that he's doing is in any way helpful to anyone other than Derek Smart. 

And yes, I've read all about Smart's so-called sources, his inside information and all that BS. I've dealt with enough "office politics" in my day not to trust any single one of his so-called "sources" even if they weren't anonymous. Bah. I have zero respect for the man as a developer, and less than that as a human being. In the end the game will speak for itself; one way or another. But the whole thing disgusts me. I feel like I need to go take a shower every time I hear about it.  Even if he is 100% right, he's doing this completely wrong; he's turned it into a circus for his own gain, not to "help" or "protect" anyone; there are far better ways to do that. 

Meh. I'm going to shut up now and get back to developing. And I think DS should really do the same. 


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Phaserlight
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I've been watching Star Citizen unfold with some interest, merely from a business perspective.  The campaign was gaining traction just as my M.B.A. program was entering full swing, and crowdfunding was something that really wasn't covered in my curriculum other than a cursory nod (it was still a pretty new thing in 2012).  We were more concerned with Capital Asset Pricing Models and the like... more traditional investing options.

 

I'm told crowdfunding isn't even an investment, which is weird... because these businesses sure aren't charities.  SC has the double jeopardy factor going as the vast majority of the funds were donated via a private website with no external oversight or regulation whatsoever.

 

As far as the game goes... it sure looks pretty.


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Pyros
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I'm a SC backer. Sub #20k on the forum, so as you can guess, an early backer. Never bothered to even download the hangar, and not the other stuff neither. Have a few posts on SC forums, mostly about Elite :p. Which I seldomly played - but will play when it is ready to be played by me (Horizons + VR). All this just to say I'm a singularly patient person - or, to be more precise, have a ton of other stuff to do and games to play.

 

SC was a phenomenal KS success. Much more than ED. SC was extremely well marketed. Too bad their development strategy and quality is doubtful, while the game was being hyped to edsel like levels - not all due to active CIG behavior. I've seen fanboys posting so many unrealistic things about the game ("no more RNG - precise computation of every bullet") that I cannot help but feel that either there will be massive disappointments or massive denial. Or quite a lot of both.  Another thing I'm not particularly fan in SC is the PTW style and the excessive rule of cool (ramming spaceships? really???).

 

What I expect: I expect a game to be launched sooner or later (2017) with excellent presentation and acting. Gamewise nice detailed ships with great graphics. A great game? Well, a good one, but great... no

 

I'm not sure if CR will be the one leading development to the end though. 

 

What I really fear is what a possible SC failure will mean to KS/crowfunding in general and space indie games in particular. Fortunately some games are successful - decently so - like ED. But other are facing difficulties (SC / limit Theory). But SC is such a big elephant it can cause lots of waves.

 

On Derek Smart - damn he is getting old - I remember him from old BC days, and while he aged (what, I also????) he seems not to have changed: always an axe to grind.


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Pyros
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I've been watching Star Citizen unfold with some interest, merely from a business perspective.  The campaign was gaining traction just as my M.B.A. program was entering full swing, and crowdfunding was something that really wasn't covered in my curriculum other than a cursory nod (it was still a pretty new thing in 2012).  We were more concerned with Capital Asset Pricing Models and the like... more traditional investing options.

 

I'm told crowdfunding isn't even an investment, which is weird... because these businesses sure aren't charities.  SC has the double jeopardy factor going as the vast majority of the funds were donated via a private website with no external oversight or regulation whatsoever.

 

As far as the game goes... it sure looks pretty.

 

 

It is not an investment because your possible return is limited to the reward set at the start, regardless of the project post KS succeeds spectacularly (e.g. Oculus) or fails completely. Its much more like a very early pre-order.

 

If it were investments, with shareholder rights, the legal issues would be quite challenging. 


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ExpandingMan
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I for one continue to be impressed with most of what they show.  Arena Commander isn't there yet, but the basics seem right, I think they understand what they need to do.  To me SC still seems like it stands a better chance of coming closer to what I am looking for in a space-sim than any other contemporary game.  The level of detail on the ships continue to impress, you just can't find that kind of fidelity elsewhere.

 

I do think they are digging themselves a grave with the way they are promoting it, though.  There are a lot of people out there who will claim their intermediate and end results are shit no matter what, and I think Cloud Imperium's over-the-top self-promotion is largely to blame for that.


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Anonymous
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i hate to point it out, ok i don't, but even before derek posted and the earlier vets jumping ship, the two crappily optimized tech demos, i felt that there was something very wrong with star citizen. i hoped that I was wrong but when derek posted that blog entry, unfortunately I knew that I was correct.

 

now it's looking even worse than I had imagined, and I'm a backer for several hundred, kissing it goodbye, but I guess that's what happens when you allow little children to run things.


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ExpandingMan
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now it's looking even worse than I had imagined, and I'm a backer for several hundred, kissing it goodbye, but I guess that's what happens when you allow little children to run things.

Don't you think you're jumping the gun, more than just a little?


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Anonymous
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Don't you think you're jumping the gun, more than just a little?

nope, not at all given the uber shit quality tech demoes.

 

[EDIT]

That said I was NEVER a Derek hater.  He DID FINISH his games, and I had fun with them.  OTOH Wing Commander, meh never wanted that as it was a fucking tedious grind.  Privateer OTOH was fun, open world sand box... which is WHAT Star Citizen was ORIGINALLY sold as before chrissy has his brain farts and revisions...

 

Elite: Dangerous suffered the same shit although they realized their lack offunds and need to deliver SOMETHING beforehand unlike chrissy who apparently lives in some fucking fantasyland that continously pays a large paychecks...

 

Bastard delivers anything halfway decent I'll be ASTOUNDED.

[/EDIT]

 

[EDIT2]

...and as a backer with money in, if Derek can't do the forensics, I'll offer myself and go in paying with him.  Why? Derek's FINISHED games that I've had fun with. Chrissy's running around spending money like water turning out shit.

 

People ARE jumping ship,and not just nobodies, but the people the he sold this shithole with.

 

There's just no way around it, this train is plowing into a dead end full hype ahead.

[/EDIT2]


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Pinback
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I woulds say that the single biggest problem has been the feature creep as they have gained more money they have have been adding more and more and hence it's going to take more time.

 

What people tend to forget about SC is that they were not an already formed games developer, studio and will have had to set everything up before they could start on the game itself.

 

I think it also worth pointing out that crowd funding anything is a gamble as you are gambling on an individual or a team doing, and having the ability to do what they say. i know I have been burned a couple of times, but generally it been a very positive experience seeing games come from a concept to a fully realised game. 


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ExpandingMan
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nope, not at all given the uber shit quality tech demoes.

Out of curiosity, what is shit about them?  They are certainly buggy (though, generally not game-breakingly so).  The HUD looks pretty terrible.  The physics simulation and damage model are certainly impressive.  The level of detail on the ships is certainly far higher than I've seen elsewhere.  The flight model needs tuning, but the basics are there ESPECIALLY considering it's a rigid body simulation (and thus much harder to tune).  I'm not saying that these are necessarily the makings of a great game, but I'm certainly not seeing a reason to completely write them off yet.


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 Anonymous
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Why? Derek's FINISHED games that I've had fun with.

 

 

Which one?


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