Screenshot: Star Citizen
Star Citizen, a game in development for over a decade and which has raised over $400 million in funding, is far from over. Not even close. And while work continues on the game, recent changes to how the studio communicates its progress to fans haven’t really helped matters.
In 2020, we reported on a change made by Cloud Imperium Games regarding the type of information they shared with backers and fans.. It was the institution of a new “roadmap” system, a way for the team to outline what they were working on for the game, and roughly when players might expect to be able to try them. (the game, although far from finished, exists in a roughly playable state that is constantly being updated).
This change came after fans became unhappy with the previous system. Now, after “six quarters” of the new system, it’s also scrapped, with CIG deciding that because video game development exists in a very fluid state, maybe fans need to know less about what they are working on, in case what they are working on ends up being terrible/broken/doesn’t fit the rest of the game. So from now on only the things the team is working on immediately, and which are the next things to add to the working game, will be disclosed to fans.
It’s a smart move when viewed in a vacuum. Development is hell, and most of the time it’s for the best that fans don’t have full access to the vast vistas of hell. Just because some devs want something in a game doesn’t mean they can always get it, or that it should be, and gamers should never have expected spit ideas to become final features. But even the smartest moves can be undone if conveyed in an extremely stupid way.
In a long blog post explaining the removal of the existing roadmap systemthere’s a passage that rightly bothers long-time fans (emphasis mine):
Looking back, after living with this new public roadmap for the last 6 quarters, we realized it was a mistake. He paid too much attention to features that had a high probability of moving. It has become very clear to us that despite our best efforts to communicate the fluidity of development, and that features that are sincerely not to be relied upon as marked as tentative, the general direction of many of our most avid players has continued to get them to interpret anything. on the Release view as a promise. We want to acknowledge that not all of you saw it that way; many took our new direction and words to heart and understood exactly what we were trying to convey. But there is still a very vocal contingent of roadmap watchers who see the projections as promises. And their continued noise every time we change deliverables has become a distraction both internally at CIG and within our community, as well as to potential Star Citizen fans who sidestep our open development communications.
Holy shit. I know working with a video game community at the best of times can be a trying experience, and working with the same one for a decade must be especially frustrating, but you can’t say that part out loud! That’s what you tell yourself on a Friday afternoon after you finish and need to let off steam with colleagues over a beer or tea, not in an article that will be read by millions of people !
Fans, many of whom paid for this game a decade ago, and who have only been held back by the team’s constant promises of what’s to come, are understandably a little upset about this! Here is the subreddit of the game, for example:
And here are the main topics of the game’s official forums:
Screenshot: CIG Forums
They are right to be upset! I was excited about this game for maybe the first two years, and fell off shortly after when I realized it was a dumpster fire. For those who stayed ten years, through it all, to be called a “distraction”? It sucks. Even more so when the message blames them for scaring off potential future backers instead of, you know, the fact that this game and its project management are complete fire.
Article source https://kotaku.com/star-citizen-delay-delayed-cloud-imperium-games-chris-r-1848477590