Star Citizen - Chris Roberts, lots of spaceship porn, lots of promises

Why on earth? That makes no sense! If there’s a scenario where you don’t need to “mesh servers” its when the servers are managing separate solar systems!

Wat.

Honestly, I’m totally making that up about the Kraken. That said, just trying to render it in the current technology would not be efficient. I’m sure it would impact frame rate for everyone nearby.

As for why you need server meshing as a prerequisite for new systems, I’d need to go look into it in more detail. But I believe (and could be wrong) the general reason is that traveling through a jump point is a server transfer. CiG can’t afford to / does not want to add more bandaid or throwaway technology to handle it. It would only be adding to the technological debt that will need to be paid when later rewriting that same handover to work with server meshing. That technology is going to be a fundamental layer of the whole persistent universe and managing everything in it.

It’s late though. I should have a look later this week to find out if more has been said on the topic.

/thread.

“Server meshing” is not some “super revolutionary tech” - it’s been implemented in a large number of MMOs already, some implementations going back decades. It’s a solved problem. It shouldn’t take this long for CIG to implement it, unless 1) they’re fighting the engine to try to implement it, 2) they haven’t thought it necessary until they figured it was, 3) they are not allocating enough resources to developing that, or they’re having to stop/rewrite it often due to changes in other places, or 4) they’re trying to do something that just isn’t possible (like tracking a too large number of objects and then trying to transfer them between servers) or feasible in a cost-effective way.

You’d think server meshing would be a priority in a game that’s supposed to be an MMO-like “universe”, if you’re concerned about the actual game and not in selling virtual assets. The fact that it wasn’t for a long time shows how rudderless the whole project is in many ways, when you think of it as a game project.

Agreed. I never said otherwise. They released a technical video on the design last week at CitizenCon which contains what you would expect. Actually interesting if you are into technical design.

My (limited!) understanding is that it is an issue purely because of technical debt. Starting with the previous engine where it wasn’t a thing, then building all those alpha systems in top of it. Now, they need to switch everything to support it, while still constantly adding features. So I think it’s potentially a mix of fighting the engine, aligning development pipelines and the technical debt they have accrued.

If I were a Dev on that project, I would likely be swearing a lot. :)

And yes, the fact that they are struggling with it now shows how mis-prioritised the project has been (focusing on the flashy stuff).

I know. It wasn’t a reply aimed at you, just a general comment, since I’m a software developer myself and I have a lot of issues with Star Citizen from the software development and project management points of view. I also resent the way SIC often uses technobabble as smoke curtains, and some people will just repeat them ad nauseum, assuming they are revolutionary tech when they are really not.

There are plenty of revolutionary tech out there - EVE Online, for instance, had thousands of people on a single server they created by modifying Python to work stackless, in a way that was completely innovative for the time - but nothing in Star Citizen is that. They have some compelling implementations - their atmosphere shaders and transitions are pretty impressive - but apart from some aspects of the “visual” part of the project, nothing is particularly impressive from a tech standpoint.

Yeah, I am too. And judging by your previous post, our understanding of why it’s all such a mess aligns pretty well.

I do think other systems are interesting (like Quantum, planet tech, …), but they are in some ways reinventing the wheel.

So they aren’t revolutionary. The bringing of all of those together and the scope (from on foot to capital ships with everything in between at the same level of detail) of the simulation end up being pretty unique, IMO. Assuming they ever all work in concert.

I’d add to the list:
5) Can’t retain higher skilled employees.

I’ve been enjoying Katie Byrnes’ videos from the time she joined SC as a high ranked Elite Commander to try it out. She is very much into both space and Arma style squad based ground combat. And she has now released a review of her experience after 4 months.

To start off, I think it’s fair to say that Star Citizen has an image issue. These were her expectations going in (mentioned right after the video intro):

“I was expecting very limited gameplay. In the Elite community, especially on the Frontier forums, mentioning SC is considered kind of a joke.

The forum community regards SC as a tech demo and is vehemently opposed to its funding model.

Ultimately, within a significant portion of the Elite community, SC is just seen as a scam.

I was expecting a great deal of bugs too.”

If you want to find out how those expectations were met, what she liked and didn’t (and there are indeed things she doesn’t like), you can have a watch here:

I agree. However, you have to admit that’s how gamers generally are. As long as a game starts off on the wrong foot, it’s difficult to change the general consensus once people pick sides and dig in.

That’s how a scam works. He promised what he couldn’t deliver. Got the money. Increased the scope. Still didn’t deliver. Then kept on promising. Still didn’t deliver - 7 yrs later.

That’s because when it comes to gamers, there usually isn’t one.

I’m waiting for the full game promised.

What he said.

Nah. I don’t even pay attention to this project as I used to. At least not since what I wrote about in 2015 - and got vilified for - came to pass.

It will never - ever - be the project they promised. Not even close. Not ever. And certainly not the $400M they’ve burned on it. Worst case scenario, backers get a $500M game that could’ve been made for $20M by a competent team.

I built that already. It took 2.5 yrs and less than 2M. And it works. It’s not rocket science - if you know what you’re doing, and not working on legacy spaghetti code.

That shouldn’t matter because you can’t please everyone. We’re all gamers and we’re tribal to an unhealthy degree. It’s why I don’t deride backers who still believe. I just laugh at them for being gullible and naive.

Literally none of that is true. It was a scam right from the start.

It’s actually over $350M now. The funding chart doesn’t take into account the millions in private investments (which went into the founders pockets)

It’s a pipe dream. I’ve written tomes about it.

The work started in 2011. The KS was in 2012, a year later - according to croberts who promised two games for 2014. We’re in 2021.

And this is him - on Oct 19, 2012, saying dev was already a year in at the time that video was made.

You have stated that you expect to have an Alpha up and going in about 12 months, with a beta roughly 10 months after that and then launch. For a game of this size and scope, do you think you can really be done in the next two years?

Really it is all about constant iteration from launch. The whole idea is to be constantly updating. It isn’t like the old days where you had to have everything and the kitchen sink in at launch because you weren’t going to come back to it for awhile. We’re already one year in - another two years puts us at 3 total which is ideal. Any more and things would begin to get stale.

Still not a game. It’s a glorified, $400M proof-of-concept. Nothing wrong with that though.

^What he said.

Mostly true. But here’s the thing, how did they get bottlenecked into this when in fact they - right off the bat - presented a game with a massive universe? Unless they weren’t ever planning on actually doing it.

Please please port this game to Intellivision Amico.

Well all right, let’s say ten years then. Long time, but still a ways short of fifteen.

Hiya Derek,

Hope you are keeping well. You are mellowing in your old age. Or I am. Apart from the scam bit, I agree with most of what you said. :)

Oh yes. I mentioned that too under the video: “Apparently, preproduction started in 2010 and production (for the crowdfunding demo) in 2011.”

So while next Citizen Con is considered the 10 year anniversary, it’s fair to say it will have been in active development for 11 years by then.

If they don’t have a target date (my rough estimate was Q1 2023) for server meshing by then, I’ll get “a tad fidgety”. I still think they intend to deliver it though.

See @davehemke. I told you. :)

They’ve been talking about server meshing (or, to be more precise, about the other changes needed to make server meshing possible) since 2015, and I can’t see how it would need 6 years to implement, even less 8, so there’s enough reason by now to be a “tad fidgety”.

She considers Star Citizen Alpha better than Elite Dangerous full game with expansions?

Heretic!

Anyway, the “things I like” section of the video makes it very clear to me that

  1. I am still glad this game is in development
  2. I hope Squadron 42 will actually be released someday
  3. There is no other game like this on the market
  4. I am glad I didn’t spend any money on it yet

Well, according to the YouTube thumbnail, she is an ELITE CMDR, so I’m sure she knows what she’s talking about.

-Tom

I know you made a funny. But there is context.

An Elite Commander is simply a ship owner in Elite. It’s like calling someone a ship captain. Lots of Elite players have got CMDR next to their player name. When she started making her SC videos, she used the title “An Elite CMDR plays…” to indicate where she came from.

The review was the final video of her transition to focusing on Star Citizen. You will not see that title anymore. Her channel is now called “Star Citizen: Kate (and Will)

As for whether she knows what she is talking about, she was top of the Elite leaderboards for the Thargoid War missions and created tutorials for the game. She is a respected player in that community. But yeah, the title sounds odd and boastful.

I think those are 4 excellent conclusions!

I pledged to the KS for Squadron 42. The Persistent Universe was an afterthought for me. I thought it might be cool to play a Privateer like character there for a while. Maybe.

And here I am, playing the PU Alpha 9 years later. You made the reasonable choice.

So an ELITE CMDR is anyone who’s ever played Elite, even if they never got out of the tutorial? Most games just call those “players”. :)

-Tom, ELITE CMDR