Star Citizen is the Future of PC Gaming, and it's Free to Play this week

If you are a gamer and haven’t heard of Star Citizen, then you might be interested to hear about it… or even play it. With over 1 million people playing it currently, and with it raising almost $94 million for its development, it’s looking to be a very impressive game.

In a nutshell, it has these qualities:

  • open-world
  • seamless transitions
  • space MMO
  • Single player campaign (so something similar to Mass Effect)
  • FPS elements (real-time combat)
  • Multi-crewed spaceships (fly ships with friends or AI)
  • Living economy based on player interaction
    They are currently doing a “free flight” promotion that allows you to try out their space combat module. Here’s how to access it:
    This game is the most crowdfunded anything to ever exist. I think it’s going to be the next big PC game.

If you disagree, then say why. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the game, as I have been following it since it started development in 2012.

Anyone else been following Star Citizen?

Reported.

Why? This is The Game Room and this post is helpful.

Yes. It’s becoming a bit of a joke for selling ships and being nowhere near complete.

I very much hope that Star Citizen is not the future of PC gaming. One, there’s an incredible amount of bloat in the art assets that would make it impossible for me to download it, let alone play it. I would much rather have a game with “good enough” graphics that is relatively lightweight and runs well than one that subscribes to the All The Pixels! mindset. Two, it is the most crowdfunded anything ever. There is obvious appeal to being able to foist all the risk off onto the customer, but as a customer I’d obviously much prefer that they have a working product before they ask me for $100, let alone $1,000.

Hmm? Have the developers burnt through their $90 million already? Time to rope in some more suckers?

$90+ for an in game ship? Is that for real? Pay to win is no way to make an MMO.

Because it’s a spammer trying to get people to use a referral lin

You can just go to the base link and register, though.

A quick search showed that he put up the exact post on Amazon’s forums and it got deleted fairly quickly. He’s just trolling for referral in-game money.

Nor is spam to win.

I actually have Star Citizen (I got a free key with a graphics card purchase). My advice at the moment to anyone looking is to hold back until they actually provide some of the promised features - at the moment, all it currently is is a context-free fly with your spaceship.
I’ll give them one thing - whilst you can pre-buy a bigger ship before the launch, all the ships are promised to be available in game with in-game cash, similar to the new Elite.

And, frankly, I think the arrival of Elite has stolen Star Citizen’s thunder.

Also note that buying an expensive ship doesn’t even let you fly it yet - only a couple of the ships are available to fly currently.

((also, at the very least, those links should be taken out))

Those are the cheap ones. They have ships up to 2500, and packages up to 15000. For a game that does not and seems unlikely to exist.

It’s spam. Try putting the weekly Robert’s Industries e-mail you get into your blocked senders list. I look forward to playing the game, but their marketing is sleazy.

As a professional game developer, I don’t have a good feeling about Star Citizen. I’m obviously not in a position to know about the internals of their development process, but the little bits I’ve heard make me nervous.

For example, a recent article mentioned Roberts staying up late coding. That’s a red flag. The creative lead on a $94 million project should NOT be coding. There are WAY more important things for him to be doing. I’ve been the creative lead on large projects, and there’s no way you can operate as an effective leader if you’re wasting time on line production tasks. That little detail suggests a problem with micromanagement or inexperience with managing a big team.

I also get the feeling that a lot of work is going into promotional materials to keep the cash flowing in. It’s really easy for teams to get trapped in a bad demo cycle where they’re constantly building stuff to promote the game, while neglecting to actually make the game. Again, I don’t have evidence that this is what’s actually happening with Star Citizen, but I’ve seen it happen before and the flash-to-substance ratio of what they’re showing to the public is worrisome.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing implodes next year. Hopefully for everyone who put money in it, I’m wrong. The concept is indeed very cool.

I too worry about the whole demo cycle here.

They should NOT have been so focused on releasing these piecemeal modules. All they’ve done is exacerbate the image of the game as “incomplete”.

Aside from this possible issue, I think the main problem is an image one. Because it’s a crowd sourced game there’s been a huge need to be transparent about development, but maybe the process has become too transparent.

Every arm-chair developer out there can complain and nitpick the process and the current level of progress to death. Imagine if we had this level of insight into… well just about ANY AAA game out there?

We’ve had people like Ken Levine (Bioshock) and many others come out and say, that games are sometimes utter, disastrous messes until mere months before release. But the masses don’t understand that, and they don’t understand how long it takes to make a game of this scale, nor how much money is required.

I think there’s also a weird backlash from the mainstream against a company and a game that didn’t go through the “Regular” publisher channels - couple it with it’s no minced words about it: this is a PC game through and through, and the whole thing appears to rub some people the wrong way.

I’m not sure about this, there have now been some very successful crowd-funded games - Minecraft, Pillars of Eternity, that other one - and they don’t seem to be suffering from this.
I don’t think the backlash against Star Citizen is because it’s a PC game that’s gone through different channels to get published, I think it’s because, as Quartz says above, they are charging a lot of money for something that’s not appeared yet.
Elite: Dangerous has gone from funding to release to nearly the first expansion in less time than Star Citizen has been being built.

I think the main problem is massive overspending leading to a pyramid scheme type business cycle where you need to keep raising money to fulfill previous promises. They seem to be severely mismanaged by someone with a massive ego who simply wasn’t up to the task of delivering a triple A 100 million dollar budget game.

Which is of course something people have also achieved through conventional funding schemes (see Schilling, Curt).

Yea, I don’t think Star Citizen is a scam exactly. The developers appear to be honestly trying to develop a game. They just seem to be over their heads on the game-development side, while at the the same time, the success of their marketing and fundraising seems to have created a sort of self-perpetuating cycle thats become an end in itself.

On the other hand, there seem to be a bunch of people who like buying fake ships for a game that doesn’t, and might never, exist, and are willing to pay a lot of money for them. As hobbies go, that’s kinda weird, but I guess not really any weirder than, say, betting on horse-races or collecting Star Wars merchandise.

So maybe they are delivering a product of sorts, albeit one that’s almost totally imaginary. Sort of like lotto tickets, the actual product you’re buying is actually nothing, but some people have fun imagining how cool it could be if they really get to fly their awesome ship around space/win a million dollars. And that’s what they’re really buying.

I’ve been making games professionally for 20 years. My current job is unfucking fucked projects, so I’m very familiar with normal development chaos.

As I said above, I have no facts to back this up. I don’t know anything about their development practices aside from tiny snippets I’ve read in the press. But my gut instinct is they’re in trouble: Premature focus on making things pretty. Potential micromanagement. Development spread across a large number of remote teams. Lots of money spent on high-priced voice talent.

Also, what they’ve released so far doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that builds toward their MMO goal. 4-player games require a different server architecture than 32-player games, and 32-player games require a different server architecture than 1000-player games. Releasing a dog-fighting module for a small number of players actually hurts them in the long run because it locks them into a variety of decisions (server architecture, data packet structure, poly counts, physics simulation, control mechanics) that won’t scale up to a persistent world. It feels like stopgap to keep backers from freaking out instead of a natural step toward building the game they promised.

The whole thing just smells wrong to me. Maybe they’re super-clever and I’m full of shit. If they do release an amazing game over the next two years I’ll be happy to come back to this thread and admit it.

Is borrowing/stealing $75 million from taxpayers a conventional funding scheme?