Star Citizen dismisses ‘feature creep’ concerns, declares Star Marine has NOT been canceled

The year thus far has not been the best possible year for Star Citizen. The game has seen a few people depart from prominent positions, delays to planned release schedules, and an essay by the ever-contentious Derek Smart claiming the game will never be made as pitched. Community manager Ben Lesnick addressed these concerns in a lengthy forum post yesterday, covering pretty much any and all concerns raised by players over the past several months.

Lesnick explains that the Star Marine delay is seen internally as a delay of weeks rather than months or years and that it remains an integral part of the game as a whole. He also explains some of the reasons behind ships that have been sold but are not yet actually playable and dismisses concerns over recent employee departures. And then he lands on the forever topic, feature creep:

I don’t have much to say to this, beyond that it’s not accurate. At this point, we are not adding additional features to the plan, we’re building out the ones we’ve already scheduled. I’ve seen some recent posts about how Chris’ “first person universe” is at odds with the original Kickstarter-era plan… and that’s again not the case. It’s a more recent way of describing what he wants to accomplish, but everything we’re working on is still what was pitched back then: Privateer-style persistent universe, Squadron 42 single player game, first person boarding and so on. (A desire to avoid feature creep is exactly why we stopped doing stretch goals, despite being aware that they drive revenue.)

Whether you’re an ardent fan of the game or just want a peek behind the scenes, you owe it to yourself to read through the series of posts yourself.

Source: Some thoughts on concerns!; thanks to Cardboard and Zander for the tip!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

187 Comments on "Star Citizen dismisses ‘feature creep’ concerns, declares Star Marine has NOT been canceled"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
jackofrost
Guest
jackofrost

The problem with all the SC stuff, is that only bits and pieces, in an alpha state, are playable.

Until the full game is released, none of this shit even matters.

It’s like saying the moon is actually a hunk of rotting green cheese, when all you can do is see it from hundreds of thousands of miles away. Until you fly a trip to the moon, stfu about it.

Lord Zorvan
Guest
Lord Zorvan

BKone Darkwalker75 Shhh…don’t try using logic on a SC defender. They treat logic the same way good ol’ Ben there treats words.

BKone
Guest
BKone

Darkwalker75 BKone Getting 80 mill USD upfront is free?

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

rioinsignia 
I read that text you quoted from Ben as him showing an example how much human resources they use when interviewing an artist or technical designer, just so people are aware of it. Those who demand more info need to think about that it also may take away time and resources from development of the game. I don’t read into that a reluctance to give people more info.

But many people don’t like Ben Lesnick. Some see him joking about controller issues and decides he’s not serious. Then they say he’s not competent to be a CIG employee. And it goes on. It’s a campaign out there to get him out, just as there’s a campaign against Sandi Gardiner. They’re both often mentioned in the same sentence as incompetent.

Now, I’m not saying you are one of these critics. I’m just saying there’s a lot of unfair and under-the-belt “criticism” out there, performed by whiners and trolls who try to destroy the project as best as they can.

Myself, I happen to admire Ben Lesnick’s writer skills. He’s much better when he writes things than when he’s on video. But I can’t say if he’s holding back information that he should’ve made public. It’s impossible to assess without knowing all the available data behind the scenes, so I won’t try to. But IMO he’s doing a good job. It could probably have been better but there’s always room for improvments, on most everything.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

Sinaptic The problem is that people are using the wrong term.  It isn’t feature creep. 
They are just misusing a phrase because they can’t think of a better way to express concern that features which were originally planned to be done post-launch, have effectively jumped up the development queue for whatever reason.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

GoJammit “M”….the psychotic’s psychotic.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

Vikingr rioinsignia jefreahard It’s what Ben has been saying in the forums in his “Concern” thread that gave me that “vibe”.  CR gave me the impression of someone who really WANTS to make change for the better.  Who wants his company to strive to be better.
And yet, the way how Ben projects himself is as someone who thinks that sure they could do better…but in his opinion…..only a little bit because he whole heartedly believes that they are doing all they can.
I guess it all comes down to how someone uses the English language to convey their thoughts.  Sometimes their usage betrays their actual feelings.
For instance, let’s look at what CR said in his letter:
“To that end, we are going to investigate releasing a build with Star
Marine disabled that would allow you to experience some of the changes
and updates we’ve made over the last few months to the core code base……”
“We ended the 2012 pledge campaign with ‘The Pledge,’ in which I outlined
our new company’s goals to be open about our process. Today, I want to
rededicate ourselves to this….”
THOSE are strong sentences which implies that he truely believes what he’s saying and is fully committed to what he’s saying too.
Now let’s look at what Ben said about communication:
“….we are reporters and not coders, designers or marketeers
(probably not a word.) The bottom line is that it’s hard enough to take
ten minutes from leads to do the weekly Spectrum Dispatch videos where
they tell you what they’re doing… but the shortest marketing video to go
with such a video is at least four hours taken away from an artist or a
technical designer… and often quite a bit more time. ”
Now, in contrast to CR’s statements, Ben’s response in this paragrah doesn’t give me the sense that he truely wants to find a solution to the “concern” regarding communication.  I get the feeling he’s more interested in giving reasons why they SHOULDN’T need to do much more than they are doing.
This is further emphasised by how Ben seems to focus on the quantity of the formats they are rolling out as platforms for potential information, rather than the quality of information in them.
Of course, all this is just my opinion and the “gut feeling” I get.  I could be completely off-base in regards to Ben’s commitment to improving quality in the information they provide.  I really hope I am.  I guess we’ll see :)

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

rioinsignia jefreahard 
“But I get the feeling that Ben is just a little more reluctant on the
subject. Like someone who has been told he has to do something, but
doesn’t quite see the point of it.” 

What makes you think that? Is it just a general feeling or are you thinking of something concrete he has said?

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

Vikingr rioinsignia jefreahard I’m of the opinion that experience should give you a pretty good idea on what issues could crop up.  Sure you cannot predict everything that is going to happen…but then….they knew about the netcode issues back last year when they were thinking of launching the DFM with either the built in CryEngine netcode, or making their own.  So, to me, it seems that this issue isn’t one that came “out of left field” and caught them completely by surprise.
More likely ,they knew about it, but completely underestimated what was involved to get it working right.  Which is precisely what CR said in his letter.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the FPS Update is definately a good thing.  As was CR’s letter and the depth in the EoM. All those things gave me hope.  But I get the feeling that Ben is just a little more reluctant on the subject.   Like someone who has been told he has to do something, but doesn’t quite see the point of it.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

rioinsignia jefreahard 
Well, I think  the estimates made about the release schedule was blocked by technical difficullties they didn’t foresee a few months ago, when the schedule was presented. Like throwing the net code out and rewrite it from scratch.
The question is then: should they have seen it coming? I don’t know, but it does sound like hindsight to claim they should’ve.

About the communication, they’ve admitted it can be better and they’re trying to fix that now, as far as I can see. I don’t think Ben Lesnick is not in full agreement with CR’s commitment to their original pledge. What is proper and enough communication? I’m not sure myself. However, I see ben is offering answers to the questions the community has wondered about, and that must be regarded as a step in the right direction, at least.

I may be extra sensitive to the noise in the RSI forums. I left it mostly two years ago now, in the summer of 2013, because the noise level was too much to bare. I had a choice to leave or to fight the trolls and risk being banned myself. I did fight the trolls for a time before leaving but I saw where it was going and decided it wasn’t worth my time, or risk my forum access, to continue.

So when I read about these demands from backers for this and that I can’t get myself to support much of it. The position of demanding anything puts me off in the first place, before I even hear what the issue is. Some issues I happen to agree with but IMO they’re talking to deaf ears if they think they can demand answers. They’re a loud and small part of the backers and I don’t believe the majority support their style of communication with CIG.

Loyheta
Guest
Loyheta

“A desire to avoid feature creep is exactly why we stopped doing stretch goals, despite being aware that they drive revenue.”
Responsible.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

KuroiEr Who knows, maybe the games development will progress to the point whereby it begins to become aligned with your desires?  Who knows.  I wouldn’t write it off completely yet.  But I understand your disappointment.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

Vikingr jefreahard You have to admit that there’s “pushing your schedule” and then there’s completely underestimating your schedule.  It’s unfortunate that they did the latter.
You must admit that it’s hardly a “blow under the belt”. They were in control of the schedule and the communication.  They’ve admitted they should have done better.
I’m hoping they’ll learn from this.  CR’s letter gave me hope.  But Ben’s recent replies on the forums gives me the impression that he’s not in full agreement with CR’s commitment to “rededicate” CIG to their original pledge, because I get the feeling Ben thinks communication is more or less fine.

GoJammit
Guest
GoJammit

Right. People do it for games where RMT is not an issue. Those dopes who die playing Starcraft aren’t doing it to avoid buying a Tychus skin.

GoJammit
Guest
GoJammit

History. Any other game would make the grind ridiculous to make you want to give up and buy it. In their minds there is no way anyone would break that cycle. Personally, I think once PU alpha starts, if they do t come correct with that 60 hours, the fans will revolt. And I think it makes sense to keep the number low, the whole idea is to get into the ship you want to play the way you want, not grind through an endless stream of ships you’ll never use again. The gear for the ship will be the big thing I think.

kgptzac
Guest
kgptzac

Vikingr Sinaptic I think one of the more preferred “consequence” of extra money is, to release the game with core feature (space ship in space pew pew) faster and more polished so people have a more solid reason to throw money at them so they can expand their scope more legitimately.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

Viscereality In that case, someone should tell Lando that because on yesterdays AtV Ben is listed as “Director of Community Engagement and Online Strategy”

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

captainzor Ben is currently something like Community Director in Charge of something or other. I always smile when I see his long winded title on AtV.  And it was there in yesterdays AtV.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

ntellect The simple answer is they are afraid to.  CR gave an estimate at the back end of last year.  And they didn’t just miss it by a margin.  They missed it by a mile.  So now, rather than learn from that and get a better feeling of how long it’s going to take BEFORE giving a deadline, they’ve just taken the stance to not give them at all to the public.

It’s a defeatist attitude in my opinion, but it’s their perogative.
As for showing stuff off, well, that flies in the face of their opinion that they should only show stuff off when it’s near ready.
But remember, Ben claims they aren’t “polishing” anything because that sort of thing is done at the end of the development process.
In short, in my opinion their communication is a bit of a mess.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

Sinaptic 
“Do you honestly say there is no feature creep?”
Yes. Read what Ben Lesnick writes about this. That is accurate information. In addition, CR has addresses the accusations of feature creep several times before. He said, among other things, that since CIG is relasing content people can actually play (like Arena Commander) it doesn’t fit the definition.

The definition of feature creep are about NEW features added. Almost none of the features in the stretch goals are new features. They were in this project from the beginning, planned years ago, only many was added after the project received more funding than anticipated. That was a natural consequence of the extra money. It would’ve been irresponsible to NOT extend the project with more of the planned features when they had the money to do it.

The original estimated ETA in 2014 was for the originally planned project of $20M. Most backers are aware and content with the fact that a broader scope of the game means the ETA is pushed to a later date. It has nothing to do with feature creep, but is a logical effect of the broader scope. We get a better game for the extra money we put in.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

jefreahard 
I think the noise bother them. Most of what’s said in the noise is inaccurate and unfair at best and deliberatly toxic at worst. CIG is sincere about making a great game and they will deliver, although setbacks and challenges in the development have forced them to push their schedule a bit. The people making noise don’t see this sincerety, I think, or they wouldn’t phrase their “criticism” like they do now.
So the noise hurst CIG, just like any blow under the belt would do to anyone, but I hope they’re not very bothered by a few loud trolls.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

jefreahard 
Yes, I agree with you that this information is wasted on the trolls. They’ve made up their minds a long time ago and no actual information can change that. They get their opinions from other trolls, FUD, and loose/false rumors after all. The trolling in the RSI forums by “critics” isn’t something unique to Star Citizen, as you know. It’s a big problem for many games. Star Citizen may be getting more of this negativity because of its deliberate open development model, where CIG shares details with the public very early in the development process. I think that fact opens for more stabs under the belt, for those who want to hurt the project for whatever reason (because they don’t understand where it’s going, because it’s PC only and they’re console fans, because they’re hired by EA or some other studio to talk down a competitor by spreading FUD, and many other possible reasons).

But the development updates are good info also for the average backer who aren’t whining and demanding more info. I agree the weekly updates on Star Marine are unnecesarry but I like to read them anyway. It’s good read. :)

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

Darkwalker75
“However people are already reposting that everywhere mere minutes after its released just as you say here.”
Yeah, that’s because a) they don’t respect CIGs request to not copy & republish subscriber material (it happens with the vault contents too), and b) CIG uses fixed URLs on the Jump Point magazine and images in the Vault. So everyone who knows the URL can download it.
If they’d used dynamic URLs, unique to every instance, then only subscribers would get access to the content. Of course, subscribers could still republish the content by first downloading it, but non-subscribers couldn’t do it anymore.

Hanthos
Guest
Hanthos

Actually, “they” are stuck with nothing and the game I want to play is being made.
Thank you Darkwalker75 for pointing out the inaccuracy of the the hater.

ntellect
Guest
ntellect

I’m sorry. You can only talk so much.  People have been talking about this game forever. Its awesome. I get it. Show something playable so they know its real or just admit your not ready.  If the latter then you have to give some form of deadline. Every project has to have a deadline.  Why can’t you just tell us?

I just dont see the difficulty.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

Sinaptic Darkwalker75 TronSheridan 
Then perhaps you would care to enlighten me on these facts that you seem to know so much about?

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

BKone Darkwalker75 
I fail to see the logic in your argument here.
If they were to do it the way you suggest here, that would mean they would have to work for free until the game is finished.

What would you say if your boss came to you and said you don’t get paid until your work is finished, even if it meant working for months or even years without pay?

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Good thing this wasnt anet – we never would have heard about any of it on massively.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Darkwalker75 Sinaptic TronSheridan 
Because the facts point straight against what he says that is how. Do you honestly say there is no feature creep?
No if he told the truth he would have received a larger revenue stream but that causes doubt and doubt in the faithful is death.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

Sinaptic Hanthos TronSheridan 
Its a very common misconception that allot of people insist on being true that the game was in development for a year before KS.
But the truth, whether you choose to believe it or not, is that it was only the proof of concept demo that was created in that year.
The actual game development didn’t start until after the KS campaign ended in November 2012.
And even then most of the first 6-12 months actually went into building the company and hiring people.

BKone
Guest
BKone

Darkwalker75 BKone 
1. finish the game.
2. get paid.
3…
4. profit.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

Sinaptic Darkwalker75 TronSheridan 
And if you were in his position would you not have had an agenda as well?
But whether or not he had an agenda is besides the point here.

That you think its bullshit is your opinion, but how can you be so certain that what he said was not true?
I’m not saying it is and I’m not saying its not, I’m just saying that if you are going to claim someone is lying you better have something more than just your opinion to back it up with.

But even if he had said something along the lines that you would have preferred, I doubt it would have had much of an impact on their revenue, if any at all.
So I think that claiming he said what he did to keep the money flowing is a long stretch at best.

captainzor
Guest
captainzor

jefreahard They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.  What they don’t need to do is bother with fire extinguishers.  What they DO need to do is provide us with things like their own developers are talking about in their monthly update like this from June:

“We had an internal “Show-and-Tell” this month as a lot of the new staff had not seen the full depth of the plan for Star Citizen and it’s safe to say that it went fantastically well, with lots of jaw dropping amazement at depth of the game. It was great to see just how much work has actually been done in such a short period.”

CIG, if you’re reading, the backers would also find it great to see just how much work has actually been done in such a short period, regardless of it’s level of polish.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

TronSheridan Satyros 
had they stuck to the original vision and ships and said look we will keep selling new ships etc but those and new modules will only come after the launch of the PU – I think they would have been in far better circumstances. 
Now they are stuck with feature creep,a  ton of new ships, and a ton of new stuff those ships need to do. That is just the ships and nothing to do with the planets, FPS, or even Squad 42.

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Hanthos TronSheridan 
The game was in development for 1 year at the point of kickstarter.

captainzor
Guest
captainzor

Fyi, Ben Lesnick is actually no longer Community Manager but now the Ship pipeline Producer or something?  They mentioned it recently somewhere.  Jared (Disco Lando) Huckaby is the new Community Manager

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

Darkwalker75 Sinaptic TronSheridan 
Ben has an agenda as well. If there was something truthful in there I could agree to disagree but there wasnt even that in his “Concerns post”. It is all bullshit designed to sooth people and keep money coming in.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

Sinaptic TronSheridan 
So because you don’t like or agree with what was said, its somehow a bad sign and its just some kind of marketing ploy to keep the cash flowing, regardless of whether what was said by Ben is true or not?

Sinaptic
Guest
Sinaptic

TronSheridan 
Ya I had a really hard time with that. When everyone under the sun can see what has happened and to just deny it like that.
Everything else turned out to be wishy washy deny no really guys things are great etc.
Had they come out and said something I see what you are saying and yes maybe we did get carried away here or something I would have had a better reaction. But no feature crap is just lol.
Say what you have to say keep the plebs happy and keep the money rollin in. Everyone who says anything other than great things or criticize are haters.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

LordOfBread JohnT_NC 
Manez, Tufao, JCRG99, tommen stark, ponymillar, james pony, mestremun
That’s the ones that hes best known under as far as I know.

JCRG99 was actually his username on the RSI site, which was the first place he was banned from, and I believe is what lead him to go so completely and utterly out of control.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

BKone 
I would say that depends on how you define a game.
Technically speaking AC is a game as it is fully playable and will actually serve as a game of its own in the SC universe
However the money they get are paying for, the creation of the game as a whole, which consists of more than just SC.
But if you have a better suggestion for how they can generate money for the development that does not involve a publisher or other Venture Capitalists, then I perhaps you could share them with the rest of us?

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

jefreahard luxundae 
The Jump Point is actually locked behind the subscriber payments, as they are paying for its payment.
However people are already reposting that everywhere mere minutes after its released just as you say here.

I think they are capable of blocking out/ignoring most of the noise that’s being put out.
But I would be surprised if it don’t have any effect on them at all, likely its causing some stress for them.

JohnT_NC
Guest
JohnT_NC

PhaserlightJohnT_NCArmsman I agree that Ben wasn’t as clear as he should’ve been.  By the book definition, “delayed indefinitely” means it’s “delayed, and we don’t know when it will be ready”.  By the game dev definition, “delayed indefinitely” means “cancelled”.
BOTH definitions are technically correct, but they’re mutually exclusive, so we have to look at the facts to figure out which definition applies.  Since Star Marine is not cancelled (t’s just taking longer than anticipated), it’s the book definition is *actually* correct.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

deekay_zero Armsman KuroiEr 
In his defense.
I believe a number of people here has become somewhat twitchy given how manez keep popping up on new accounts to repost the same stuff hes been posting for the past year.
Hes like a particularly persistent disease that just wont go away.

That said I do think people should give newcomers the benefit of the doubt, even if they criticize the game in any way.
No reason to chase away new people just because they have something negative to say about the game, better to try and get and understanding for their point of view and try to reason with them, rather than just crying wolf the moment someone has something negative to say.

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

KuroiEr Armsman 
To explain about manez.
He’s a particularly persistent troll.

He keep posting the same arguments about CR, CIG and SC, trying to discredit both the game and its developers in any way he can.
He will come with accusations such as lies, deceptive marketing, scam and whatever else you can think of, all of which are completely unfounded.

If you contradict him, prove him wrong, or in any way disagree with him, he will resort to personal attack, name calling, insults and accuse you of being part of the CIG marketing team, all to try an prove his opinion right.

Hes is best known as manez, but have other knows aliases such as tommen stark, ponymillar, james pony and tufao.
Whenever he is banned from the site for breaking the rules, he just creates a new account and goes at it again.
He is easy to spot though, usually you can recognize him by his long rants about CIG and their alleged lies and deceptive marketing, or by his style of writing and English skills(He’s not a native English speaker)

There is no point in trying to argue with him as there is no reasoning with him, if you are not with him you are against him, there is no in-between for him.
And he has been going on like this for over a year now and shows no sign of stopping or even slowing down.

But as long as you are reasonable and respectful you should do fine here.

LordOfBread
Guest
LordOfBread

JohnT_NC plus don´t forget, it´s on record he´s also jcrg99 and tuvao, and that´s just his confirmed alts. Might be actually he´s D.S. too

houyi1661
Guest
houyi1661

JohnT_NC Armsman
indefinitely: for an unlimited or unspecified period of time.

As they “do not have a release date” and its been delayed. The term delayed indefinitely  is correct and appropriate to use.

LordOfBread
Guest
LordOfBread

CrowingOne enjoy booting up a game developed with 10% of the features of SC will have at launch. I´ll skip tech demos that promise the moon for after launch but sell expansion passes, but hey the poor UK guys are used to get a free pass on everything, console port check, selling fluff that doesn´t exist check, getting in bed with a publisher check – do a console version check. Oh yea Elite did everything right, SC did everything wrong – nothing to see here, move along

houyi1661
Guest
houyi1661

jefreahard anyone who criticises the messiah and the artifact of his making that will lead us all to deliverance is a troll…..

Thats all I hear from you Jeff, try to tone down the fan boy in you.

LordOfBread
Guest
LordOfBread

interesting read, catched up on the story
Another prime example of degenerate corporate media, they ALL made up the word “indefinetely” like singing the same notes in choir.
Funny, coz CIG sure as hell didn´t use that word
That´s everyday conspiracy reality folks

wpDiscuz