Forum Fallout

(Citizen Star News) - by Citizen Ed - 2014-10-24 - Chris Roberts is famed for delivering a fantastic end product but not so strong on "on time and on budget".

So... how are we looking now?

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This "roadmap" above is from CitizenCon Oct 10th, 2014. In the heat of the intoxicating event, and seeing these long awaited milestones within reach... it's easier to miss the sobering fact that this represents a significant delay in deliveries. At first glance, I had assumed that they just hadn't extended the Road Map all the way through 2015, but Chris' comment in 10 for the Chair brought reality into sharp focus.

It's clear that someone has gone through looking at what needs to be done and dumped some cold hard reality on to the estimated schedules. There also also recent efforts to "retool" the production pipelines to make them more efficient. Perhaps if successful, these estimate delivery dates could be beaten for once, although that would be fairly unheard of at CIG.

(Side effect of this has been some loss of beloved personnel, we've already noticed that Chris Olivia has quietly left the company, and there seems to be more of this type of news coming. The Citizen Star is in contact with CIG and tracking this closely.)

(Citizen Star News/Citizen Ed) - 2014-09-17 - On Friday Sept 9th, Arena Commander v0.9, aka Star Citizen Patch 13, at long last was released. To mark the debut of the new racing gameplay maps and mode, the M50 and 350R racing ships were put back on sale. 350R Package was resurrected, minus LTI (Life-Time Insurance) of course, but including the Origin Flightsuit offered in the past. Prices were increased.

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By the end of the day, the flight suit was gone and the ships had gone from permanent additions to the store to a ten day sale (ending Monday, September 22nd).

What happened?

(Citizen Star News) - 2014-09-02 - Ben Lesnick dropped into one of the usual delay driven forum meltdowns with an interesting post about the development, patch, release process:

If you're interested, there's a fair bit of process that goes into this kind of decision and resulting post. (Or, if you're wondering why you get one Comm-Link later in the day rather than up to the minute updates on patches.)

Getting a release patch is sort of like mining spice; the team will work until the last possible minute to make it happen. On a Friday, we might have a release candidate build as late as early afternoon. That build goes to QA for a round of testing. Did it fix the blockers and the critical issues we identified with the previous candidate? Did it introduce any others?

(Citizen Star News) - 2014-08-19 - The long awaited Constellation Variant release was initially extremely well received. Pumping up much enthusiasm and raising nearly $2 Million in funding over it's debut weekend. However, issues with the stat page and details of the ships lead to confusion, which lead to anger, which lead to the dark side of the community. Some purchasers looked over the stats page and where impressed by the Luxury Phoenix's out-of-the-box combat capability, and surprising upgradability (to Class 7 engines!?). Some purchased the expensive and limited ship for combat purposes. Unfortunately the stats page was a result of incorrect merge and was corrected to be only slightly superior to the other ships. Forum Fallout ensued.

The Phoenix is not intended to outclass the other ships of it's line. It has understandably, as a luxury limited edition, upgraded base equipment. Most of which will be purchasable for the other variants. It trades some of it's offensive capability for defense, with it's anti-missile point defense system. The Andromeda should actually have greater offensive potential, not to mention far superior hauling. But as in all things, subject to change as the game develops and ships are balanced against each other.

Designer & CIG Community Lead, Ben Lesnick has announced that anyone who feels they've been hoodwinked into buying the Phoenix may apply for a refund (even on applied ship upgrades) and support has been instructed to grant such requests. He does request some patience, since this will be a manual process and may take a few days to get through the tickets.

PSA From Disco Lando

UPDATED - 2014-06-24: New information has prompted revisions.

(Citizen Star News) - 2014-06-23 - Rumors spread over the weekend concerned about the health of Crytek, the company that develops CryEngine graphics engine code that is used in Cloud Imperium Games' Star Citizen.

Crytek allegedly had a close call recently that could mean trouble in the long run for the company. As reported by GameStar[1], in April they were having trouble making payroll in April. This was characterized as "near bankruptcy". UPDATE - 2014-06-24: Stories continue to surface substantiating GameStar's report, and also revealing that the April payroll may not have been an isolated incident. Particularly this new report from Kotaku seems quite well researched and paints a not so pretty picture of the inner workings of Crytek.

Crytek is said to have worked out a deal for a cash infusion and maybe this is just a bump in the road for them. From the sounds of it, they need to take a good long look at the money they are spending and eliminate waste. (This may imperil the Linux port, but is needed for SteamOS support which still looks pretty important.) Perhaps some look at corporate culture and procedures would be in order given their low glassdoor.com rating.

Crytek has denied the reports[2].