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[Star Citizen - Squadron 42] CEO Chris Roberts adresses concerns on state of the game and roadmap changes

Starfield

Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,940
6,519
905
Note: Chris Roberts replying inside SC's forums is quite rare to non-existent so thats why I decided to post it here as its own thread for people who are interested

Imo this is a must read for people who want to know whats going on behind the curtain at CIG's office's right now.

It's a really good explanation if you ask me (by any means it doesn't justify what is happening with the development right now), however it is still worrysome to see this project taking so much longer than promised/anticipated.

Text:

I shared information on where we are, and why you don't see something you thought you should. Part of my motivation for answering is that I commonly see people assume things that aren't true like the room system not being in the game because one aspect of the system doesn't have the behavior that they think it should. I wanted to give you extra context and information so you (and others in this thread) had a better understanding of what is in, what isn't and why it isn't and what is left to do.

My biggest disappointment with modern internet discourse is that there's a significant amount of cynicism, especially in forum or reddit debates, and a portion of people assume the worst. If a feature is missing, late or buggy it's because the company or the developer lied and or / is incompetent as opposed to the fact that it just took longer and had more problems than the team thought it would when they originally set out to build it. Developers by their very nature are optimistic. You have to be to build things that haven't ever been built before. Otherwise the sheer weight of what is needed to be done can crush you. But being optimistic or not foreseeing issues isn't the same as lying or deliberately misleading people. Everyone at CIG is incredibly passionate about making Star Citizen the most immersive massively multiplayer first person universe sandbox, and everyone works very hard to deliver that. If we could deliver harder, faster, better we would. We get just as frustrated with the time things take. We practice bottom up task estimation where the team implementing the feature breaks it down and gives their estimates of how long it will take them. Management doesn't dictate timelines, we just set priorities for the teams as there are always a lot more things to do at any one time than we have people to do them. We are constantly reviewing and trying to improve our AGILE development process and how we estimate sprints. As the code, feature and content base grows there is more maintenance and support needed for the existing features and content, which can eat into the time a team has for new feature development, meaning you always have the push and pull of current quality of life in a release versus delivering new features and content. The same push and pull exists in the community as there is a strong desire for polished bug free gameplay now but also new features and content, often from the very same people.

Things like Salvage haven't been pushed back on a whim, but because in terms of priority we felt that it would premature to work on Salvage before the iCache and physical damage system is implemented in the game as this fundamentally changes how we manage state, handle damage and debris. So when presented with a priority call to make on resource allocation we deprioritized Salvage in order to build the infrastructure to really make it sing, as opposed to working on a system we will have to refactor when the iCache and new damage system came on line.

We have also decided we wanted to invest more time into the quality of life, performance and stability in Star Citizen as it is actively played every day by tens of thousands of people; on normal days we have an average of over 30,000 different people playing and at the peak during events this year we've hit 100,000 unique accounts playing in one day which is pretty impressive for a game in an early Alpha state. We are on track to have over one million unique players this year. Star Citizen already has the main gameloops of a space sim; cargo hauling, commodity trading, mercenary, pirate, bounty hunting and mining. Just spending time refining and finishing out these would make Star Citizen with all it's detail and fidelity more engrossing than any "finished" space sim you can play today.

We've shown a preview of the new roadmap format ( https://robertsspaceindustries.com/...17727-Star-Citizen-Squadron-42-Roadmap-Update ) that we are working on. Part of the motivation for changing how we share the tasks we are working on and their progress is so the community can get better visibility into the hard choices that we face everyday on the project and see what exactly every team is working on as opposed to just the few tasks we feel comfortable sharing because we think have a high probability to make that quarter. When we make a priority call and move up or add a task there is always something that needs to be pushed back. The new format which tracks our 58 feature and content teams that work on Star Citizen and Squadron 42, will be able to show what each team is working on and if a new initiative like improving the cargo hauling experience gets added you'll see the tasks that get pushed back on the teams that will work on this new initiative. As a point of data these teams can be anywhere from 4 people to over 20 people and of the 58 teams only 11 are exclusively dedicated to Squadron 42 and 12 for Star Citizen and the rest are shared (things like graphics, engine, actor, vehicle, AI, VFX, sound and so on), although a lot of the priorities for things like actor, vehicle and AI are driven by what Squadron needs.

Switching the roadmap format was something that I made a priority for us at the start of the year when it was clear that the current roadmap format wasn't helping, especially as the teams really didn't want to commit until absolutely definitely their feature would make it, which you'll normally only know about six weeks before release, due to the vitriol they would see when a task was pushed back, despite our best efforts to get everyone that looks at the current Road Map to read and acknowledge the caveats ( https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/1-Star-Citizen/info ) which explicitly say some of the tasks are likely to slip. Getting tired of this I felt it would be best for the community to see the same view I and the rest of the senior development management see on Star Citizen and Squadron 42. This won't stop people from disagreeing with our priority calls or how long something takes, but at least it will share the overall picture and people can see exactly what everyone is working on at any moment and how long it is projected to take. They will be able to see it change when it does for us and hopefully appreciate how many people are working really hard to make Star Citizen a game like no other. One of the reasons the new Road Map is taking time because we're building a system that visualizes all this as a top level directly from our JIRA database. We plan to use a more verbose version of the public roadmap for our internal sprint scheduling, so the data you see will be a sanitized version of what we see (we won't share individual developer names and assignments publically for obvious reasons but internally we will see this).

I sense from your reply to me that it's the time taken and priorities that you're frustrated with, as you feel like we're focusing on the wrong things. I can see that point of view, but you're looking at it from the outside without the full knowledge of exactly what it will take, and the order it needs to be done in to deliver the gameplay that will set Star Citizen above everything else. This is the game I've dreamed of my whole life. Now I am in a position to realize it, I am not willing to compromise it's potential because it is taking longer than I originally envisioned. What I will commit to, and what is an internal priority is to improve the current gameplay and quality of life as we go, as Star Citizen is already fun in many ways, even if more buggy and not as stable as I would like, and just finishing off and polishing the basics will make it play as well or better than most other games.

I can promise you the gameplay I described is not a pipe dream, nor will it take 10 to 20 years to deliver. I described systems we either have working, or are working on; we've even shown early versions of some of this like fire on Inside Star Citizen. I can't promise you exactly what quarter it will come together but once the new Road Map web work is done you'll be able to see the teams progress to achieving what I describe in real time.

Thank you for your support and passion over the years. I hope this extra insight was helpful.


source and more info here: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/...atmospheric-room-system-4-years-later/3368356
 
Last edited:

Starfield

Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,940
6,519
905
Big numbers eh?

Whens it out?


this should give you a hint how game development works
 

ultrazilla

Member
Sep 17, 2011
4,259
3,268
1,010
www.scifijapan.com
Note: Chris Roberts replying inside SC's forums is quite rare to non-existent so thats why I decided to post it here as its own thread for people who are interested

Imo this is a must read for people who want to know whats going on behind the curtain at CIG's office's right now.

It's a really good explanation if you ask me (by any means it doesn't justify what is happening with the development right now), however it is still worrysome to see this project taking so much longer than promised/anticipated.

Text:

I shared information on where we are, and why you don't see something you thought you should. Part of my motivation for answering is that I commonly see people assume things that aren't true like the room system not being in the game because one aspect of the system doesn't have the behavior that they think it should. I wanted to give you extra context and information so you (and others in this thread) had a better understanding of what is in, what isn't and why it isn't and what is left to do.

My biggest disappointment with modern internet discourse is that there's a significant amount of cynicism, especially in forum or reddit debates, and a portion of people assume the worst. If a feature is missing, late or buggy it's because the company or the developer lied and or / is incompetent as opposed to the fact that it just took longer and had more problems than the team thought it would when they originally set out to build it. Developers by their very nature are optimistic. You have to be to build things that haven't ever been built before. Otherwise the sheer weight of what is needed to be done can crush you. But being optimistic or not foreseeing issues isn't the same as lying or deliberately misleading people. Everyone at CIG is incredibly passionate about making Star Citizen the most immersive massively multiplayer first person universe sandbox, and everyone works very hard to deliver that. If we could deliver harder, faster, better we would. We get just as frustrated with the time things take. We practice bottom up task estimation where the team implementing the feature breaks it down and gives their estimates of how long it will take them. Management doesn't dictate timelines, we just set priorities for the teams as there are always a lot more things to do at any one time than we have people to do them. We are constantly reviewing and trying to improve our AGILE development process and how we estimate sprints. As the code, feature and content base grows there is more maintenance and support needed for the existing features and content, which can eat into the time a team has for new feature development, meaning you always have the push and pull of current quality of life in a release versus delivering new features and content. The same push and pull exists in the community as there is a strong desire for polished bug free gameplay now but also new features and content, often from the very same people.

Things like Salvage haven't been pushed back on a whim, but because in terms of priority we felt that it would premature to work on Salvage before the iCache and physical damage system is implemented in the game as this fundamentally changes how we manage state, handle damage and debris. So when presented with a priority call to make on resource allocation we deprioritized Salvage in order to build the infrastructure to really make it sing, as opposed to working on a system we will have to refactor when the iCache and new damage system came on line.

We have also decided we wanted to invest more time into the quality of life, performance and stability in Star Citizen as it is actively played every day by tens of thousands of people; on normal days we have an average of over 30,000 different people playing and at the peak during events this year we've hit 100,000 unique accounts playing in one day which is pretty impressive for a game in an early Alpha state. We are on track to have over one million unique players this year. Star Citizen already has the main gameloops of a space sim; cargo hauling, commodity trading, mercenary, pirate, bounty hunting and mining. Just spending time refining and finishing out these would make Star Citizen with all it's detail and fidelity more engrossing than any "finished" space sim you can play today.

We've shown a preview of the new roadmap format ( https://robertsspaceindustries.com/...17727-Star-Citizen-Squadron-42-Roadmap-Update ) that we are working on. Part of the motivation for changing how we share the tasks we are working on and their progress is so the community can get better visibility into the hard choices that we face everyday on the project and see what exactly every team is working on as opposed to just the few tasks we feel comfortable sharing because we think have a high probability to make that quarter. When we make a priority call and move up or add a task there is always something that needs to be pushed back. The new format which tracks our 58 feature and content teams that work on Star Citizen and Squadron 42, will be able to show what each team is working on and if a new initiative like improving the cargo hauling experience gets added you'll see the tasks that get pushed back on the teams that will work on this new initiative. As a point of data these teams can be anywhere from 4 people to over 20 people and of the 58 teams only 11 are exclusively dedicated to Squadron 42 and 12 for Star Citizen and the rest are shared (things like graphics, engine, actor, vehicle, AI, VFX, sound and so on), although a lot of the priorities for things like actor, vehicle and AI are driven by what Squadron needs.

Switching the roadmap format was something that I made a priority for us at the start of the year when it was clear that the current roadmap format wasn't helping, especially as the teams really didn't want to commit until absolutely definitely their feature would make it, which you'll normally only know about six weeks before release, due to the vitriol they would see when a task was pushed back, despite our best efforts to get everyone that looks at the current Road Map to read and acknowledge the caveats ( https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/1-Star-Citizen/info ) which explicitly say some of the tasks are likely to slip. Getting tired of this I felt it would be best for the community to see the same view I and the rest of the senior development management see on Star Citizen and Squadron 42. This won't stop people from disagreeing with our priority calls or how long something takes, but at least it will share the overall picture and people can see exactly what everyone is working on at any moment and how long it is projected to take. They will be able to see it change when it does for us and hopefully appreciate how many people are working really hard to make Star Citizen a game like no other. One of the reasons the new Road Map is taking time because we're building a system that visualizes all this as a top level directly from our JIRA database. We plan to use a more verbose version of the public roadmap for our internal sprint scheduling, so the data you see will be a sanitized version of what we see (we won't share individual developer names and assignments publically for obvious reasons but internally we will see this).

I sense from your reply to me that it's the time taken and priorities that you're frustrated with, as you feel like we're focusing on the wrong things. I can see that point of view, but you're looking at it from the outside without the full knowledge of exactly what it will take, and the order it needs to be done in to deliver the gameplay that will set Star Citizen above everything else. This is the game I've dreamed of my whole life. Now I am in a position to realize it, I am not willing to compromise it's potential because it is taking longer than I originally envisioned. What I will commit to, and what is an internal priority is to improve the current gameplay and quality of life as we go, as Star Citizen is already fun in many ways, even if more buggy and not as stable as I would like, and just finishing off and polishing the basics will make it play as well or better than most other games.

I can promise you the gameplay I described is not a pipe dream, nor will it take 10 to 20 years to deliver. I described systems we either have working, or are working on; we've even shown early versions of some of this like fire on Inside Star Citizen. I can't promise you exactly what quarter it will come together but once the new Road Map web work is done you'll be able to see the teams progress to achieving what I describe in real time.

Thank you for your support and passion over the years. I hope this extra insight was helpful.


source and more info here: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/...atmospheric-room-system-4-years-later/3368356

GET. THE. FUCK. OUT. OF. HERE. CHRIS ROBERTS.

 

ShadowNate

Member
Dec 2, 2013
255
300
570
A reminder that CIG has zero games released. Zero.

And somehow it will release the greatest game ever, when it's good and ready of course, so send them money and buy some ships for the cost of several AAA titles because they are trying.

It's like, the opposite of the scam, eh?
 

ShadowNate

Member
Dec 2, 2013
255
300
570
The fault lies with Chris and his management skills. Pretty much it's his responsibility foremost. He is the main reason this project has huge scope creep and is in development hell in a "early alpha" on year 8 with several missed deadlines for releases.

Who are these people that are offending the developers?

People don't hate on your developers, Chris. Just you.
 

Abriael_GN

Member
Feb 26, 2019
2,026
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630
Italy
twinfinite.net
Star Citizen has genuinely provided me with more enjoyment than 90% of the finished games I purchased over the years it has been in development.

So yeah, I'll stick with it and keep having fun, and laugh at the bitter morons that bash it and its developers without having tried it for a single second. 😎
 
Last edited:

fspm

Member
Jun 11, 2013
2,609
58
565
Only people who don’t understand how shit works complain about a business creating jobs and trying to bring their dream to life. Those of you calling SC a scam don’t know how game development of projects of this scale work.

So stop fucking act like you do.
I know that you can pull huge scale dream outta the ass and then bring it back to life via magic and hard work, just use your own money for that or take a loan in a bank.
Or maybe you don't want to do that cause the dream outta the ass is actually shit and scam.
 

SurprisedPikachu

Gold Member
Feb 16, 2014
918
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915
Earth
I know that you can pull huge scale dream outta the ass and then bring it back to life via magic and hard work, just use your own money for that or take a loan in a bank.
Or maybe you don't want to do that cause the dream outta the ass is actually shit and scam.
How about what people do with their own money is on them and you mind your own business? Thousands of people don't see this as a scam, because they haven't done anything that would indicate that it were so. They release ships that people willingly spend their own money on in anticipation of the release. Think of that shit as a pretty expensive MTX strategy that helps continue development and they don't have to be in debt to some faceless organization who dictates when they release and what they should change to fit the market - e.g. look at EA, and Activision and the developers of those publishers catering to mentally ill people because they're under the delusion it will make them more money.

Seriously, this cult of hating Star Citizen is really annoying.

As a $102 investor back in 2015 and a promise of Squadron 42 within that, I can only conclude I have been scammed... So it's a scam.

$102 doesn't make you an investor. You're merely a backer. You might see it as an investment, but you're not an investor. You have zero stake in the outcome of the game other than helping fund it.
 
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Snake29

Member
Jul 30, 2013
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635
The Netherlands
How about what people do with their own money is on them and you mind your own business? Thousands of people don't see this as a scam, because they haven't done anything that would indicate that it were so. They release ships that people willingly spend their own money on in anticipation of the release. Think of that shit as a pretty expensive MTX strategy that helps continue development and they don't have to be in debt to some faceless organization who dictates when they release and what they should change to fit the market - e.g. look at EA, and Activision and the developers of those publishers catering to mentally ill people because they're under the delusion it will make them more money.

Seriously, this cult of hating Star Citizen is really annoying.



$102 doesn't make you an investor. You're merely a backer. You might see it as an investment, but you're not an investor. You have zero stake in the outcome of the game other than helping fund it.

It annoyed me last couple of years. Now i just laughing at them.
 

Burger

Member
Jun 9, 2004
9,271
533
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41
United Kingdom
Star Citizen already has the main gameloops of a space sim; cargo hauling, commodity trading, mercenary, pirate, bounty hunting and mining. Just spending time refining and finishing out these would make Star Citizen with all it's detail and fidelity more engrossing than any "finished" space sim you can play today.

So not only are the main game loops unfinished and unrefined, but just spending a little bit *more* time fixing those would make it way better than Elite Dangerous, which we don't even consider 'finished' anyway.

Chris Roberts is a nut job.
 

SurprisedPikachu

Gold Member
Feb 16, 2014
918
1,316
915
Earth
It annoyed me last couple of years. Now i just laughing at them.
These people hating on something because of stupid shit like how they're trying to fund development without being beholden to some mega corp is fucking mind boggling. They're just a bunch of entitled snowflakes who think everything should be handed to them especially if they spent money on it. I can understand if they spent money and then they stopped development, or they released without any of the promised features.. but they're still actively working on the game and they're working to show how and why it's taking them so long.
 

diffusionx

Member
Feb 25, 2006
14,565
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1,800
Perfect analogy.

Like Theranos, this is not a scam in the sense that they are pocketing money and not working on anything, it's a scam in that they're all working to deliver on impossible promises made by the person in charge and they can't/won't succeed.

Yes, and this project, much like Theranos, is kept moving because people *want* to believe it. With this game you have thousands of boomers spending their kids' inheritance because they want that spaceman game they dreamed of 30 years ago.

THAT is what Roberts is selling, that dream and hope, not an actual game you drop in and play.
 

Tfault

Member
May 26, 2013
305
34
495
....

$102 doesn't make you an investor. You're merely a backer. You might see it as an investment, but you're not an investor. You have zero stake in the outcome of the game other than helping fund it.

Cough... bullshit .

Hmmm, and there's me thinking I "invested' in a game that had timescales associated with it back then. 5 years later no game, just fancy tech and more promise's. Any you say I have not been scammed., yeah right.