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


#7052

It’s never too late


#7053

It’s good. And hilarious.


#7054

Interesting video. I have not been a devoted follower of Star Citizen stuff, nor am I a backer, but I do occasionally read through this forum and look at other news about the game and its associated drama. This was the first time I actually got a look at the more or less current state of things, and it was illuminating.

I can definitely see how enthusiasts and defenders of CIG and the game can continue to shore up their optimism. At one level, the game does look amazing. There are some great examples of fabulous 3D modeling, location/facility design, and scope and scale. There’s high-resolution eye candy and some pretty nifty UI work, in terms of aesthetic, and it all has a very modern and sophisticated look.

On the surface. It’s also clear though that much of this exists in a vacuum, without much in the way of connective tissue or context. Leaving aside the obvious performance issues, there’s a sense of sterility and isolation that has nothing to do with being in space. It’s totally lifeless; it looks and feels like a tech demo, albeit a pretty nifty one. But it looks to mee like something you’d see in the much earlier stages of a project, when they’re doing some proof of concept stuff, rather than live, on-going development. Some of the stuff is too polished for systems that are still being worked on; it shows that effort is going into how things look on YouTube videos rather than on how they actually work. I’d expect, for example, to see a lot more placeholder stuff, more quick and dirty things actually working, but instead it’s all super-polished but mostly static and, if functional, not particularly dynamic or exciting.

And there are other oddities that point out a sort of “uncanny valley” effect. The game look so good in some areas that stuff that isn’t so hot stands out vividly. Blood splatters from a stumble or short fall, in a space suit, in space? Clunky interactions to open doors? Static, nearly immobile NPCs? Total lack it seems of other actual players? And of course the usual falling through floors and all.

To an outsider, this looks like a kick-ass tech demo.

As to the issues raised in the video, I’m surprised neither SidAlpha nor Montoya addressed what I would consider to be the elephant in the room. When talking about ship sales, no one bothered to note that even if you could justify selling ships to keep the homefires burning, you still can’t get around the fact that the “value” of those digital assets is only realized within the context of a game that does not exist yet. That is, when I buy a ship in World of Warships, I get a digital vessel that I can access, equip, and take into combat with other players in a fully realized combat environment. Immediately. Ditto for any other game where you buy digital stuff. Here, though, you pay thousands for a ship that cannot do anything it is supposed to be doing, that in effect is not what you are buying–unless you accept you are buying not a ship, but a promise of a ship, that is, you are speculating, i.e., gambling.

The huge ship packs are only selling “real” stuff if you accept that simply having access to a 3D model is fulfilling the sales contract. And if you agree to that, then God help you because you are going to need it.


#7055

The promise of a ship is not gambling any more than any other kind of promise is – ie a bet with the future that the person making the promise will fulfill their obligations. In that case, all corporate bonds are gambles, as is your next paycheck. But of course a promise from an untrustworthy source is worth nothing, and that’s the real problem here.


#7056

In case you thought the first time that Chris Roberts shamelessly used his kids to peddle ships to gullible backers was a one-off event, think again.

They just appeared in today’s broadcast.


#7057

He’s not done this before?


#7058

No. The first time they did it was last month. I covered that inthis article which I wrote at the time.

Previous to that (as I mentioned in the article), they were babies sitting in the audience with Sandi during the final Kickstarter pledge push in 2012. That was during the time when they were pretending not to know each other. Until I blew the lid off that one in 2015.


#7059

Has there been any word on when Chris Roberts will be taking a position in the Trump administration?


#7060

Quibbles about semantics aside–yes, all of what you describe is, in effect, gambling, sure–the point remains, as you seem to agree–this is not a reasonable promise (or reasonable “gamble”), nor is it being sold as such. You know the terms of your employment, you know the terms of stocks and bonds, but here, you are doing the financial equivalent of, well, buying a pig in a poke.

More importantly, I do think this is a bit different from many other types of promises, in that it’s not being sold as a promise so much as a here and now thing. That’s mostly in the minds of the buyers I think, but certainly CIG is not doing anything to remind people of the ephemeral nature of their purchases…


#7061

The second saddest thing is selling a jpg render of a starship as a substitute for gameplay. But the saddest thing is if the images turn out to be worth more than the ships in game, due to the game not actually launching or being playable.


#7062

Heh, I can foresee a secondary market in ship pictures…


#7063

A backer took them to court - and lost yesterday. My latest on that and other shenanigans.


#7064

Tldr - judge enforced the arbitration clause.


#7065

So pretty much any/all refund chances are over now.


#7066

My latest. Specifically on the refunds and where we go from here


#7067

Looks like all the usual suspects have started to pick this up now


#7068

A thread on why backers stand near-zero chance of ever getting a refund - of any kind


#7069

@ 09:00 Medical JPEG ship sale coming this Friday. A ship for which no game play mechanic exists. More scope creep and technical debt.


#7070

BOOM! CIG rep who spoke with Kotaku, confirmed ANOTHER point I made in my thread regarding TOS arbitration date implications

“His pledges with new money on top of his earlier pledges required him to accept the new Terms of Service.”


#7071

This one is really good.