No one is attempting to do what we are doing, in the manner we are doing it, nor being as open about as we are.
Chris Roberts, October Letter from the Chairman
As reported over at Massively OP, Star Citizen having crossed the $200 million mark for crowd funding go a message from Chris Roberts about reaching that milestone.
In his post he warns people not to reduce his project down to just that $200 million number, though that is the attention getting headline for most news sites.
He spends some time going on about the current state of alpha and the upcoming sixth anniversary event of the end of the original Kickstarter campaign (and the fourth anniversary of failing to meet the project deadline set by that Kickstarter I suppose) before getting into thanking everybody for believing in him and his project.
But the paragraph that stands out the most for me is the one that ends with the quote above. Something about it does not ring true to me.
Is how you build a video game so important that you want to call it out?
I mean, I suppose there are extremes to compare it against. Mark Pincus has told the tale of all he did to promote FarmVille, a game idea which, among other things, he pretty much stole from another developer. So I guess saying you’re not as shitty as that is good, though if you’re selling inaccessible real estate and pictures of ship models people might be able to fly at some future date for a game that is in alpha, you are not exactly going to come of as a paragon of virtue, no matter how pure your intentions.
But I don’t think that is what he meant.
I think he was more about how they’re doing this whole project in front of a live audience, sharing details, promised, setbacks, and the reality of software development. I guess that is something to brag about, though so is writing a novel while on a unicycle or while sitting at a desk while it is on fire. That you can complete the task is interesting, but you have to ask if it was a method that yielded the best possible output.
People are impatient, the world is changing around you, and most of the audience has no idea how programming remains much more art than science these days. Sometimes it is better to go off and work on something for a long stretch, then come back when you have some sort of solid foundation.
As for nobody being as open, I think Mark Jacobs and the Camelot Unchained team might have some words on that.