This is it, Star Citizen is really a “thing” with the launch of Arena Commander. After a few days delay it’s time to flip on that helmet and leave that hangar once and for all.
Chris Roberts hit the RSI site and posted a lengthy update on this initial version and the “future of open development” in which he addresses some of the criticism from backers about missed deadlines.
“As soon as we had an internal target that we were hopeful of making, we shared it with you, with the caveat “if everything goes according to plan.” In ordinary development, such dates would never be shared with the public. Publishers take these dates from their teams and build in large lead times. And even then, unforeseen issues can still arise that cause further delays. But we view you, the community, as part of the team. We know how keen you are to get your hands on Arena Commander and so we’ve decided to share our current projections with you.”
“My question to you is: should we continue to do this? I’m given pause not by internal criticism from frustrated backers who really just want to get into space (which we completely understand!) but by sensationalistic headlines that imply we’re not working hard or that the game is some sort of scam. I can assure you that the whole team is committed to making the best game possible, so it is disheartening when our attempts at transparency are used against us to paint a negative picture of this amazing project.”
All of us at IncGamers back games from time to time and I have to admit I find it perplexing why some gamers get upset when deadlines are missed due to unforeseen circumstances. As long as the product arrives and it’s of good quality then there’s no problem surely? Cloud Imperium have missed quite a few deadlines but they have at least kept everyone in the loop. Transparency is good, right?
This is version v0.8 so it’s still early days but there are some v0.9 notes which outlines their plans for the next release:
- Improved client and multiplayer server stability
- General performance optimizations and fixes for hardware specific issues discovered during community testing
- Audio improvements with additional SFX, music, mix, and improvements to the dynamic music system
- Improvements to the HUD to better differentiate the manufacturers, improve ITTS, and add mouse control functionality
- Additional character animations to add immersion to the cockpit and resolve outstanding animation issues
- Further flight model upgrades to better handle unique thruster power combinations and refine the control of each ship
- Additional ship, weapon, item, and thruster tuning to improve the balance of Arena Commander based on community testing
- New multiplayer game mode for public testing along with AI improvements and updates to Vanduul Swarm.
- Hangar bug fixing along with enhanced visuals and animations.
- Cockpit polish with improved damage effects and more dynamic lighting that responds to gameplay events and ship status.
- Some additional weapons and items for use with Arena Commander.
- Update player breathing sound effects and responses to incoming impulses and g-forces
Chris Roberts wrapped up his post with some final thoughts.
“I hope you all enjoy Arena Commander V0.8. I’m very proud of what the team has achieved with all of their hard work. Despite being pre-alpha and a build that’s earlier than anything I’ve ever shared with the public before, I think it looks spectacular and that it’s a great foundation to build on. There will be many updates over the coming months adding features and content — We’re going to be adding in all the ships you pledged for… and plenty you haven’t seen yet. There will be new game modes, environments and equipment. We’re going to work on performance, stability and improve the technology: the loading screens you see today won’t be present in the finished game!”
I’ll be hopping in later today to see what this first version is like.