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Starfleet Dental – Star Citizen Propaganda Video of Strongly Beating Spirit August 2, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Humor, Star Citizen, YouTube.
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Starfleet Dental, having moved on from Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2, now has its sights set on Star Citizen.

And with such a change in focus, there must be propaganda.

(Direct link to video)

Another fine Starfleet Dental video.  Ample conditions and possibilities to realize national cooperation indeed!  It is like Dear Leader is speaking directly to ME.

But it made me think about Star Citizen, and all the more so since the game came up in corp coms the other night.

Up until then, the game had been something of a fuzzy blur in my peripheral vision.  When it came up on coms, I could just pull up some general information from my brain… space game… a Kickstarter campaignthe guy who made Wing Commander.  Somewhere along the line Gaff mentioned some people in EVE were invested in the idea of the game.

But when one of my corp mates said he pledged four figures to the project and that another guy in the corp was likewise invested in the high three figures, I was jolted upright thinking, “Is this even a ‘thing’ yet?”  I had to go look this up and figure out what was going on.

The Kickstarter finished up last November.  They asked for half a million dollars and got over two million through Kickstarter, along with even more through direct pledges.  The Kickstarter page says that they made it to the 5.5 million dollar stretch goal, though Wikipedia says they set a record by getting 4.2 million in funding.  Either way, a lot of money was thrown at this project.  And the money has continued to roll in, as you can apparently still get in on the action with a pledge, so that the current take appears to have topped 15 million dollars.

And Star Citizen certainly seems to promise a lot.  The game is a “rich universe focused on epic space adventure, trading and dogfighting in first person.”  It will be available as an MMO-like online form, a single player campaign, a private server version that is MOD-able, and as a floor wax if I read this right.  All with no subscription and no pay to win.

Is there a base left uncovered with that?

They were not done yet.  I am just going to list some of the key bullet points.

  • A huge universe to explore, trade and adventure in
  • Constantly expanding and evolving universe
  • Micro [weekly or bi-weekly] updates rule!
  • The conflict never ends
  • Actions of the players impact the universe and become part of its history and lore
  • Allowing user generated content is a key design goal
  • It’s about the gameplay and your interactions with others
  • Fully dynamic economy driven by player actions
  • Money isn’t everything
  • Space is empty but you’re never really alone
  • Bigger ships offer bigger multi-player action
  • Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS)
  • Dynamic Ship Maneuverability
  • Ship Components matter!
  • 10X the detail of current AAA games
  • Everything you would imagine would move or articulate on a spaceship or a device – does!
  • Range of scale never seen before in a game
  • Really feel the scale of ships and space battles

And those just the ones that sort of made sense without the subsequent description.  And there is more information on the main site, some of which has be distilled into various wikis.

All of which sounds totally awesome.  A wondrous new dawn for the long neglected space sim genre may be upon us.  If you search for related videos on YouTube or just Google the name, you will find a relentless wave of enthusiasm out there for Star Citizen, to the point that it is almost difficult to find anything concrete about the game.

Which is enough to set off alarm bells in the back of my head.

So much pent up joy for a game that won’t be in anything like its final release state until some time in 2015 by current estimates.

I can only recall past promises from other games and myself and guild mates getting too invested, pinning too many hopes and dreams, on things that never quite came to pass.  Sitting in coms playing EverQuest II while gushing about how Vanguard was going to be the REAL successor to EverQuest.  Brad McQuaid would save us.  Or the whole cycle up to the launch or Warhammer Online.  And, as pointed out elsewhere, promises of an all encompassing space sim have failed us before.

Not that I am calling bullshit on Chris Roberts, or making a claim of equivalence with that last link.  The man has a enviable track record, which is a large part of what is building up the enthusiasm.  But there was Freelancer, which shipped late and ended up being a different bird than initially promised.  And the bar being set for Star Citizen seems unbelievably high to my skeptical eye.

But it is still tough to stifle the part of me that wants this all to be true and as good as described and that wants to throw money at my computer screen in the off chance that it might improve the likelihood of this dream coming to fruition.

Fortunately I am older and wiser than… well… younger and dumber me.

And I have other games to play while I wait for Star Citizen to come to pass in whatever form it ends up taking.

One of those games is, of course, EVE Online.  I have to imagine that a good chunk of subscribers to EVE play the game because it scratches the space sim itch for them.  That is certainly an aspect of the EVE package for me.  So the two games seems to be, if not in direct conflict, sharing a similar demographic.  I wonder what one will mean to the other when the time comes?

How about you?  Are you getting invested in Star Citizen yet?

And what is Starfleet Dental going between now and the launch of the game, currently expected in 2015?

Comments»

1. bhagpuss - August 2, 2013

Well, Vanguard *was* the real successor to EQ. Still is. And there are still some Starfleet Dental on Maguuma in GWs although not as many as there were.

What I’d like to know is, if Chris Roberts can make an MMO+ with all that, including “10x the detail of current AAA games” for $15m, why aren’t we already snowed under with them from the guys who spend $150m per game?

As for Star Citizen itself, internet spaceships, so, meh.

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2. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 2, 2013

@Bhagpuss – Heh, I could write a strong pro/con post about the true EQ successor comparing and contrasting Vanguard, World of Warcraft, and EverQuest II. It depends on how you define “successor.” In 2006 WoW felt far more like the successor than the other two.

There are things on that list that I am not all that enthusiastic about. The level of graphic detail and the number of moving parts on ships seem pretty secondary to making a game that is fun and engaging.

And I wonder about the line “Really feel the scale of ships and space battles.” I have tried out a few 20th century naval combat sims over the years, and one of the problems with them is that such combat takes place at ranges outside of the human ability to “take it all in,” for lack of a better phrase.

In space… and this is often true in EVE Online… the ships you are shooting are far enough away as to be just dots in the scale of things. When I rat, my Tengu can put missiles out to 70km, and I am generally shooting at least 30km. At that range even battleships are tiny beyond the ability to discern detail.

So feeling the scale of ships and space battles… does that mean huge ships, close rangers, or tiny dots in the distance?

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3. SteinarB - August 3, 2013

Closer ranges. What Chris Roberts wants can be described more or less as “WW2 combat in space”. Speeds will be capped (different top speeds for different ships) because jousting at eachother at a significant fraction of the speed of light from ridiculously vast distances may be realistic, but it’s also horribly boring as a game. The basic flightmode will be an assisted fly by wire mode where your ship basically uses its maneuvering thrusters to make your bird fly more or less like atmospheric combat. This assist can be turned off, allowing more Newtonian physics combat tactics, such as keeping your vector while flipping around and shooting at your pursuer, but this too will probably have some limitations compared to what would _really_ happen in space, all in the name of making it an actual fun game to play.

So, yeah, you’ll generally be close enough to see the details on your opponent ships, not just recognizing them as a blip on your sensor screen.

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4. RogSkjoldson - August 21, 2013

I think the main reservation many people still have concerning Star Citizen is the fact that it’s a) a crowdfunded project and b) nothing tangible has been released as of yet. In all likelihood, that will change come next saturday at gamescom with the hangar module.

@bhagpuss:
As to that question why they can do all that with such a comparatively small budget … I think you’ll have to put that one into perspective a bit. A huge sum of the budget of any current AAA title is reserved for marketing. Commercials, ads, bought reviews (tell me whatever you want, but any review of, say, Diablo 3 that gave that hunk of junk a 100/100 score was paid, plain and simple), huge trade fair appearances (E3, PAX, gamescom etc.), viral marketing campaigns, you have it. Then they have their flashy large offices and gigantic dev teams and whatnot. I’d also include large QA efforts here, but I won’t because it seems that at least the big publishers seem to cut corners on QA in any way they can, because the players will find the bugs after release anyway, and they’ll just patch them afterwards.

Star Citizen, by comparison, is developed by a relatively small team in, among other locations, a basement. A relatively cramped basement. Up until now there has been no marketing whatsoever aside from word-of-mouth and a few appearances by chris at some conferences and the like, and since every backer will have access to alphas and betas, they basically have one huge community QA team.

That aside, I think the numbers we see for those huge AAA titles nowadays are in no way indicative of how much money you actually need to develop a good game. I believe all of these games could have been developed for a fraction of these sums, but admitting that is not at all in the interest of the big publishers, because they cite development cost as one of their favorite reasons to raise prices and cash in on gullible players with bullshit like day-1-DLCs and the like. Another favorite reason is running server cost, specifically used as an excuse in the MMO sector, where multiple games have already shown that claim to be false.

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