Star Citizen: the final nail

Derek Smart explains why he believes Chris Roberts’s statement about a “minimum viable product” is an extinction level event:


of the arguments people are making are relevant. And White Knights,
Shitizens, and Shillizens are doing what they always do: obfuscate,
attack, confuse, distort.

These are what’s relevant; all the points from my latest blog.

The game he originally pitched simply cannot be built once he increased
the scope. Period. All the features already cut out, are evidence of
2) The CryEngine which he chose to build the game with, is
simply not capable of building it. And yes, even though they now have a
custom version of it, that’s more about re-inventing the wheel, than it
is about making sure the wheel is still round. The latter being the
basis of using a core engine from which a custom engine is derived.
3) Following my first July 2015 blog in which I made the statements I said as:

disrespect to anyone, I’m just going to say it: it is my opinion that,
this game, as has been pitched, will never get made. Ever. There
isn’t a single publisher or developer on this planet who could build
this game as pitched, let alone for anything less than $150 million. The original vision which I backed in 2012? Yes, that was totally doable. This new vision? Not a chance.

The technical scope of this game surpasses GTAV, not to mention the likes of Halo. Do you have any idea what those games cost to make and how long they took? Do
you know how many games which cost $50 million to make took almost five
years to release? And they were nowhere in scope as Star Citizen?

He wrote an entire missive and said this:

all know that already; you’ve lived that. You’ve seen Star Citizen
evolve and start to come together. You’ve watched our atoms form
molecules, our modules form a real, playable game (that you can boot up
and play today!). There are people out there who are going to tell you
that this is all a BAD THING. That it’s ‘feature creep’ and we should
make a smaller, less impressive game for the sake of having it out more
quickly or in order to meet artificial deadlines. Now I’ll answer those
claims in one word: Bullshit!

Star Citizen matters
BECAUSE it is big, because it is a bold dream. It is something everyone
else is scared to try. You didn’t back Star Citizen because you want
what you’ve seen before. You’re here and reading this because we are
willing to go big, to do the things that terrify publishers. You’ve
trusted us with your money so we can build a game, not line our pockets.
And we sure as hell didn’t run this campaign so we could put that money
in the bank, guarantee ourselves a profit and turn out some flimsy
replica of a game I’ve made before. You went all in supporting us and
we’ve gone all in making the game. Is Star Citizen today a bigger goal
than I imagined in 2012? Absolutely. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely
not: it’s the whole damn point.

As with all his
previous statements and promises, you can flush this one down the
toilet too. Chris evolved to be more of a salesman, than a game
developer/designer. And a patently dishonest one.
How coincidental is it that – again – shortly after my latest blog dropped, and which I said this:

as I have stated before, Chris being a dreamer, I don’t believe that he
set out to scam gamers. However, the only right thing that he can do
now is to come clean, explain to the backers what he can and cannot do,
what went wrong and how, provide the financials to the backers who are
entitled to it, and stop taking money for a project he knows all too
well that he simply cannot deliver as originally promised.”

He does this latest 104TC in which he reveals that the short-term goal is to deliver a MVP.

really what we’re doing with Star Citizen is we’re working on the game,
adding features for an incredibly ambitious design – I don’t think
there is any other game that is trying to do as much as we’re trying to
do.  So, degree of difficulty 11, not 10.  And, we’ll have what we
determine is a minimum viable product feature list for what you would
call Star Citizen the commercial release which is basically when you
say, “Okay, we’ve gotten to this point and we’ve still got plans to add a
lot more cool stuff and more content and more functionality and more
features…” – Which by the way includes some of the later stretch goals
we have because not all of that is going to be for ‘absolutely right
here’ on the commercial release.  But we’ll have something that we’ll
think, ‘Okay yeah, not everyone can play it but it doesn’t matter – you
can load it up, it plays really well, it’s really stable, there’s lots
of content, there’s lots of fun things to do, different professions,
lots of places to go, we’ve got a really good ecosystem.’  So, when we
get to that point that’s when we would say, “Now it’s not alpha, it’s
not beta, it’s Star Citizen 1.0.

We spent two hours discussing this at Brainstorm a few months ago, and considering the way in which Derek managed to impress even his most inveterate skeptics and haters with his expertise and technical observations during that session, I see absolutely no reason to doubt him now.