April Forecast: Missile Showers & Dog Fights - DFM Release Schedule
(Citizen Star News) - 2014-02-12 - Today's Wingman's Hangar 56 dropped the bombshell that the Dog Fighting Module (DFM) would be unveiled at Pax East and then be available to the community shortly after. (Plans that were explicitly said to be subject to change.)
As eager fans of Star Citizen all know, the module will be our first chance to fly our ships and try out space combat. It is expected to contain networking code to allow coop and player versus player across the net.
Not satisfied with just breaking the much anticipated news, we also got a view of the Vanduul and the learned that the Scythe would be initially be an AI opponent in DFM. The Vanduul Scythe will eventually be player flyable but that will likely take a while beyond this initial drop.
The persistent universe server cluster is also going online this week for internal testing with the DFM.
The first version of the DFM was tentively scheduled for December, but the decision was made to delay or not release that version. It was said to have been meant to provide a fundraising opportunity, a release of the basic combat with the stock Crysis netcode. But between the lack of need to fundraise (far more pledge backing occurred than expected) and the near universally poor reputation of the stock Crysis netcode, the decision was made to jump past that delivery and go full spead ahead to the next one -- to develop a DFM that connected with the Star Citizen Universe Servers, using netcode that was expected to at least the core of what would be released when the game eventually launches.
The community seemed divided in response, some very upset at the perceived delay and others viewing this as an acceleration of the schedule since time should theoretically be saved by not releasing an early version and supporting that while working on the "real thing".
In December it was announced that we'd see this next deliverable "in a couple of months". Schedule pending evaluation in January, which seemed to have happened in or around the development summit held recently.
April strains the definition of a "couple months", but if executed well the community will likely forgive.