Tag Archives: Chris Roberts

Get Your Camelot Unchained Refund Now

The thing that kind of separated the ongoing bullshit that comes out of Chris Roberts around Star Citizen and Camelot Unchained was that at least the latter had not gone down the rampant feature creep path.

Because, otherwise, there are a lot of similarities between the two projects… and the two personalities.  Even their previous games were failures that they blamed on their corporate overlords, but now that they run the show the projects keep spinning out into infinity and you start to feel their overlords might have had a point.  With nobody holding them to their plans they do as they please.

And then yesterday Mark Jacobs told the world in an interview over at Massively OP that his company, City State Entertainment, has been working on another game for the last half of a year. It is named Colossus or Ragnarok or something… it isn’t clear… and boy was it a surprise.

If that isn’t the ultimate in feature creep, I don’t know what is.  They now have two in development games with no ship date instead of just one.  This is not progress.

In the interview Mark says in the same sentence that the new game both has and has not slowed down Camelot Unchained, which means that it has and he is just spinning bullshit now.  He learned well from his time at EA I guess.

I thought maybe his bit of pre-Kickstart campaign self-flagellation about Warhammer Online, where he sort of took a bit of the blame on his shoulders, meant something.  But it clearly didn’t.  In looking back I had forgotten how, despite everything, he still clung to the Metacritic score the game got at launch, like he was holding out for a “Best Score for an Otherwise Failed Game” award at GDC or something.

So now Camelot Unchained is just fantasy Star Citizen in my eyes, minus the broken alpha demo content you can play.  It is put up or shut up for them both.  Until they ship something real it is all just bullshit.

The difference for me is that I am in on Star Citizen for the minimum bid, but I pledged a lot more for Camelot Unchained and I am feeling all the more the sucker for the faith I showed.

I want a refund.

City State Entertainment says on their FAQ page that they will give people refunds.  Just send an email to support@citystateentertainment.com asking for one.  You won’t get the full amount back.  They will subtract the fees the incur giving you the refund, but at least you ought to get something back.  And it is about the only message one can send that Mark won’t just hand wave away.

We shall see what I get in response.  I expect them to stonewall me on the request.   And I will certainly post updates here on how it goes.

I had already pledged never to Kickstart an MMO again, so I cannot really swear further on that.  But this certainly hasn’t done anything to soften my view on this.

Finally, I am curious that he went to Massively OP first for this announcement.  It isn’t like a gaming site with a bigger audience wouldn’t have been happy to have the scoop.  Did he expect it would slip by or that he would get a more favorable response going there?  The big sites will pick up the story anyway.

Related:

Quote of the Day – But Can You Do It Like This?

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.

Starfleet Dental – Star Citizen Propaganda Video of Strongly Beating Spirit

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?