The latest development update from Chris Roberts for Star Citizen brings news that the Star Citizen FPS module which is now known as Star Marine has been delayed.
Chris Roberts has been busy working on motion capture for the upcoming Squadron 42 single player campaign portion of Star Citizen here in the UK and it sounds like it’s going well, but it’s not good news for backers who were looking forward to the FPS module. In this latest update Roberts writes:
“The tl;dr is that we feel the current build doesn’t feel like it lives up to the standards we’ve want to achieve with Star Citizen. There are several issues that will need additional time in order to deliver the first iteration of the gameplay we want you to experience. The challenges facing the FPS launch are a mix of technical blockers and gameplay issues. The most significant technical hurdle faced today is the networking backend. After attempting to work with the legacy code, we decided that we needed to drop some of the legacy technology. That meant developing what we’re calling a Generic Instance Manager (GIM) and rewriting both the Matchmaker and (for the larger project) the game Launcher from scratch. Those efforts are all going well, but they’ve all taken additional time for our engineers.”
Reading through the longer explanation on why there have been so many issues with the FPS module is extremely frustrating. It sounds like there’s been a lot of rewriting of code and rebuilding what has already been implemented for other aspects of the game. Game development isn’t easy but they’re not exactly short of cash.
So far $84 million has been pumped in by backers and 15% of the team has been working on the FPS module which equates to over 12 million on the FPS module alone if you take a rough estimate just based on the numbers.
Although the development on the FPS module has “stalled”, Roberts has stressed that other elements of the game such as Squadron 42 and the persistent universe have not been too affected by the technical problems and that resources have been ploughed into the FPS module because “it was the next public release”.
Now that the FPS module is off the table for the time being, they’re looking at releasing a new 1.2 build of the game with the FPS module disabled to show off some of the changes and additions that have been made to the game over the past few months.
Roberts closes his update with the following:
“Because of you, we have the freedom to make sure things work the way we want, even if it takes more time and more effort. We won’t let you down!”
He’s right, there’s a big pile of cash that’s been pumped in by fans but the delays and “technical issues” are only now starting to test the patience of some of the community. There’s no doubt Star Citizen is an ambitious project but the good will is slowly disappearing, especially when they continue to sell overpriced ships to keep the money rolling in. This is one aspect of the game’s development that needs to stop until they start delivering on their goals.
I am a backer of the game but haven’t spent an extra penny on any new items/ships since the initial round of funding. Why? Because there’s no real game yet apart from some dogfighting action and a bit of racing which gets dull pretty quickly.
If there is one thing I’ve learned since crowdfunding became a popular means of funding a game’s development, it’s that the developer needs to deliver a finished game or they are not going to see another dime.
While I’m confident Star Citizen will be a great game in a few years, backers need to start closing their wallets and start applying more pressure on Cloud Imperium to start delivering. I’m not sure how many more times Chris Roberts needs to say “we won’t let you down” before backers wake up and realise Star Citizen is about making money and that Cloud Imperium are a business currently trading on a lot of good will.