Star Citizen - friend or foe - vote of no confidence

Cappy Corny

Star Citizen still has NO IDEA WHAT IT IS after six years of game development.


Chris Roberts has all this stuff in his head and vaguely describes this stuff as 'the best damn space sim ever' and it can never get there. There is no game, yet, there's just a story episode (Squadron 42) and a 'verse episode (Star Citizen) that might or might not be story-based. It's certainly supposed to be first-person when the current pre-alpha is allowing the player to play in third person. There's not even a traditional BETA-LIST of content the producer and the game publisher have agreed to start culling, assuming an agreed publication date for the game. There is no beta-list of content, yet, for either of these products. There is no publisher for either of these products. Nor any agreed publication date for either of these products.

Star Citizen is rogue with a Capital-R. Or a capital-C if you're following CIG's economic 'selling dirt to the backers' business model. Truth be told, Chris Roberts should have concentrated on making his World War II Flight Sim in Space, and not gone money-crazy with 'all the lovely possibilities' of $200, 000,000 in the bank from private donations. He's supposed to be making a modular interactive product, not a universe. Two very different beasts. And it's all about 'tone' in many ways, "What is the TONE of Star Citizen?" and cleanliness of design.

  • Friend or Foe: missing this scale-target vital scan mechanism - just dump the scaling code from TargetHUD into real-world coordinates.
  • Mouse-thrust: a thrust-sphere has a flat (mouse-able) surface; scroll = scale thrust vector. Dead easy control system for ALL VEHICLES or modes of movement.
  • Touch-world: ladders, buttons, switches, should be usable, now. It's not that fucking hard to implement.
  • Spring Clean Overdue: kill Star Map. Kill ThinkyInterface. Kill canned ship-entry anims from the Scramble Animation Set of Squadron 42.
  • Add Newtonian Physics: and quit just hierarchying the player into nested gravity groups.

Nobody knows what Star Citizen is trying to be, "A thing that tries to be all things to all people will be nothing to nobody." unquote. Sure, Chris knows this, but he's got himself backed into a corner. He was supposed to be bringing out Star Citizen as a series of playable modules that would clunk together and foster the Opening of the Verse. This goes way back, and it was a good tactic. He wanted to 'build the verse' in bite-sized chunks and he could have done it with Star Marine and Arena Commander as a starting point. But all his ideas were arcadey i.e. 1990s gameplay, or fun. And there's nothing wrong with that it's just that, somewhere down the line, Chris decided to go down the Hellion-like space-sim'ulator route, attempting to make a game (a 'verse) that was all about component management and hardcore F-19-styled visual overlays.

IT DOESN'T WORK as an interactive product set in space where 'inertia drives are essential' where planetary take-off and landing is essential via a Thruster-based flight model. It doesn't work, Star Citizen was always designed as a fun little Space Carrier-launched WW2 flight-sim title, where you didn't have to fight gravity. There was no gravity in the original spec for Star Citizen... Now, it's a sprawling behemoth, a beast that needs reigning in. And nobody kows how to suitably translate Chris's (new (everyman)) vision into a decent game. Space-simulator? It's not even a decent Ladder Simulator, six years down the production line. Duality is rife in the design and implementation of the vision. The view is clogged with all sorts of nonsense like struts and unreadable HUD. Pay to win, anathema to gaming fun is the norm. Star Citizen needs a total re-think as to 'what it thinks it is'.

If Star Citizen's supposed to be a geeky anal space-sim i.e. not a fun arcadey space experience where all players create content for the econo-physics sandbox or a GAME TO CATER TO ALL PLAYERS, why is the control system so geeky and anal and hotas and many-configs? Why isn't it just roll the mouse across the surface of a sphere THRUST system already, for every mode of flight. From the largest star cruiser down to the walking space-suited tradesman, bountyhunter, trader, scientist, explorer, soldier..... spy. Why isn't the interface STANDARDISED after six years of dev-time? So that ANYONE can hop in and play the game, without the geek-ness necessary to find how to a, b, c from the blindingly confusing controls menu? Why isn't there a dead simple SCALE DESTINATIONS IN THE CIEW FRUSTRUM feature yet, six years down the hose pipe of money donations?

What is it Chris, what is Star Citizen supposed to be, now?


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