Star Citizen - identity crisis - still doesn't know what it is...

six years down the line, and (while No Man's Sky is suddenly looking full-bodied and finished and proper) Star Citizen from CIG with ten times the number of devs in L.A., Texas, Frankfurt and Wilmslow is languishing in FIH or first-iteration hell.

FIH means all its current gaming features implemented to first-functionality level. Nothing seems to have been thought out further than this initial two-week sprint-task solution. No integration of systems. No grand overscheme to dictate variety and flavour of gaming experience. No unity of galactic vision or play style.


Six years down the toilet, not only is Star Citizen lacking a REAL DESIGN PROTOTYPE for interplanetary travel and trading (they're just hoping it all works when they plug it in) there's a more serious issue of IDENTITY CRISIS. Six years down the design and production path, Star Citizen is struggling with fundamental design choices that should have, could have, been made years ago. And it has to start making them, or it can never make a game of this idea. Star Citizen needs a spring clean.

MainStream or SimGeek:
currently, the control system seems to heavily pander to the geeky hotas or flight-sim crowd. Who has such a crazy set up? Nobody. What a real mainstream game like Star Citizen needs is a simple 2D mouse-spherical-surface THRUST-based (not launched from Space Carrier i.e. SPEED-based) control system for all driven items in the game, be that your character or space ship or golf buggy.

Manual or Thinky:
You can look at a button and interact with that button without touching it, "What the hell are you doing?" Why is there a button if you're not gonna touch it? Buttons are for TOUCHING. This means player animation and positional/aligmnment code to put your player character in the right place to play the Touch Button anim. Either take out the buttons or button-ise everything so that you can PHYSICALLY INTERACT with the game on a far-higher level than this lazy two-option solution. I don't like Thinky, when it could be, should be, Touchy. Or vice versa...

Hierarchy or Gravity:
When you 'land' your character on a ship or 'land' your ship in a moon's atmosphere, the game plays a clever hierarchy trick on you. It ADDS YOU TO THE STRUCTURE of the thing you're 'land'ing on. You're a part of that hierarchy, like a dead-man's hand is part of a quivering Frankenstein monster. Real space or atmospheric flight mechanics can only come about once 'calculated gravity' hits the game, but then this is something else to add to an already stuffed project that's testing even the best system beyond its limits. Why should a tiny one-man ship have a gravity-laden cargo hold? Makes no sense.

Storyline or Sandbox:
Right now we're waiting to see how Squadron 42 (the story military version) comes out to see how that will dictate how the Star Citizen player interacts with assets in the 'verse. But they won't say it, they won't say, "Star Citizen is a story-driven-sim with the player logging into the world as a guest," if they say that, at least they will have stated their design intention. Star Citizen won't be a sandbox, it'll be a pop-into-story multi-player universe. The civilian follow-up to Squadron 42. Will there be Military Conscription of the Civilian Players during their time in the 'verse?

I personally wanted my AI_spaceship to be my Star Citizen-sandbox gaming buddy - the sub-Reddit shot that idea to shit. LOL. But I know this 'verse-guide entity who knows more about your sandbox game than you "would be great" in the same way that the horse in westerns is the gunslinger's best friend. And evidence shows that no thought at all has been given to this. None.

My old producer in games used to say, "You can't just throw people at a game," and this might be what we're seeing here. It'll never feel finished. It'll never release. Without a massive overhaul of systems, design, input, HUD, interface, physics, galactic travel. It just won't because it won't ever stick together as a final vision. It'll always be a by-word for shat-on-the-fence gaming. Sorry, Chris Roberts needs to bravely unify his game vision into one 'verse and/or stand down and let someone else make a mainstream game from the elements he's gathered thus far using LumberYard aka CryEngine.

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