Massively Opinionated: Is Star Citizen's 'first-person universe' really a new genre?

In the final episode of Massively Opinionated in 2015, our host Larry Everett is joined by panelist Mike Byrne from MMO Bomb. The debate questions are many, all supplied by our Patreon patrons Duane and Vikingr. And this week, it will be up to you to decide who actually won the debate. Below the video sits a poll for each question. Give us a listen, then cast your own vote for the winner of each argument.

This week's questions:

Thanks goes to our Patreon patrons Duane and Vikingr for this week's questions.

Should MMOs update with large expansions or small DLC?

  • Large Expansions (76%, 273 Votes)
  • Small DLC (24%, 85 Votes)

Total Voters: 358

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Should OverWatch be free-to-play or buy-to-play?

  • Free-to-play (34%, 114 Votes)
  • Buy-to-play (66%, 221 Votes)

Total Voters: 335

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Are MMOs more fun with or without PvP?

  • MMOs must have PvP (65%, 233 Votes)
  • MMOs shouldn't have PvP (35%, 126 Votes)

Total Voters: 359

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Can MMOs have good graphics and good gameplay at the same time?

  • Yes, both can exist in the same game (96%, 361 Votes)
  • No, developers have to choose one over the other (4%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 378

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Is Star Citizen's First Person Universe really a new genre?

  • No, it not a new genre; it's just marketing. (53%, 209 Votes)
  • Yes, it's a new genre because we've never seen these elements combined before. (47%, 187 Votes)

Total Voters: 396

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This week's panelists:

Larry Everett
Twitter: Shaddoe
Website: Hyperspace Beacon

Mike Byrne
Twitter: Magickmann1
Website: MMO Bomb

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139 Comments on "Massively Opinionated: Is Star Citizen's 'first-person universe' really a new genre?"

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GabeNewellFetish
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GabeNewellFetish

Sometimes, I fall asleep to myself fantasizing about having Bill Gates money. Like, $100,000,000,000. How I'd take out two billion dollars and invest it in a trust from which half of the return would be re-invested and the other half would be put into funding a game studio on that ~$80mil/yr. That studio would have pretty much unending funds there and I'd charge just enough for the game for it to keep itself afloat and re-invest the extra back into the game itself, forever. And have whole fleets of developers constantly working on revamping the engine, so it would be completely updated every couple years. And other teams that did nothing but produce story, art, and events... and the world would just be forever improved upon and revised. So much content that you could play for years and we'd still keep dumping in more awesome content.

But then, I usually realize that if I had Bill Gates type of money, I'd probably be too smart for MMOs and have more important things on my mind than funding a massive MMO studio just to keep me entertained, when I could literally just build my own country or something in real life. :(

Bluetouchpaper
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Bluetouchpaper

Star Citizen at this point is an idea which the developers are working towards . If its released them it would be a fair question to ask whether it is something new .

GoJammit
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GoJammit

BryanCo Sounds legit.

Darkwalker75
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Darkwalker75

deekay_zero GoJammit 
I'm curious, why are you so insistent in trying to find faults with what they do?
I'm curious because get the impression that you are trying to find something no matter how trivial and insignificant and make it sound as if they are somehow trying to cheat us and not make the game they promised.

I can understand that you don't agree with everything they do, I don't agree with everything they do myself either, but that don't mean I try to pick apart every little thing and blow it up to sound like we are being cheated and that CIG are somehow doing something nefarious.

MorpayneRADIO
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MorpayneRADIO

neobone Videos like this must anger the haters. 

Long live sci-fi, death to D&D.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Vikingr If I may paraphrase,
"Ask them if they want to help save this genre from the onslaught of integration. You know the system. They want to throwfps and space ships into the melting pot of integration, out of which will come a conglomerated, mulatto, mongrel class of MMO! Both genres will be destroyed in such a movement! I, for one, under God will die before I'll yield one inch to that kind of a movement in MMOs."

BryanCo
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BryanCo

I would argue that it is impossible for Star Citizen to be part of a new genre because a genre, by it's nature, can't consist of a single work.  At some point, if other games with sufficient similarity are released, SC might be seen as the first of a new genre.  But that time hasn't yet come.
As an example Frankenstein by Mary Shelley has been called (most notably by Brian Aldiss) the first science fiction novel.  But no one at the time would have called it a new genre, it was then just part of the gothic novel tradition (it was originally conceived as part of an informal 'Ghost Story' competition.)

Vikingr
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Vikingr

neobone
"Are you a Troll?"

Yes, he is.

Vikingr
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Vikingr

ichi plays 
Happy New Year to you too.
(For a moment there I thought you were Bree because your avatar looks somewhat like hers)

Vikingr
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Vikingr

The rest of the vidcast was Ok. Good show, with a fresh debate!

About the last question - Is Star Citizen's First Person Universe really a new genre?
I think it will be, when it's released, and I base that on two factors: a) because of the mixing of many genres in one game, on an unpresedented level; but more importantly b) because it'll become the level of game which sets the new standard that "everyone" will strive to reach upto thereafter.

Point b) is perhaps the most important factor of the two, IMO.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Styopa GoJammit Actually I do expect a reply, especially if I'm being asked to explain myself. Sorry I can't pare it down into small bites. My wife has the same problem with me. Not likely to change. I ll give you more paragraphs if that helps.
I'll look past the fact that using fish in a barrel mens that you were actually shooting for those fish. I'll just assume you don't mean it the way it implies. Not overthinking, just interesting choice of analogies. 
I don't care if anyone likes it or doesn't like it. I'm pretty sure most of the other fans you consider religious zealots (can't believe we are still on with this silliness) probably don't care. But I want an honest debate. If you opinion of the game is tied to a faulty claim, I'm sure you're going to hear about it from someone, as well you should. 
The people who attack like rabid dogs at such assertions are few and scattered. Most just correct the information and don't get snippy until the person starts going on about cults and scams and such, or if it is a known trouble maker. Much like you've done here. I was not rude to you, but apparently I'm a fish in a barrel to be shot at because I have the nerve to assume for the sake of the question at hand that the game may or may not be a new genre.
And let's dispense with the SC as an example. SC is what you were talking about in your original post as that was the topic at hand. It's context. The point is we know or have a reasonably go idea what the game plan is. If that plan comes about, will it or will it not be a new genre. It shouldn't have to be spelled out to such an extent to speak on the issue. Yes, we get it. The game's not done. And it's totally irrelevant to the conversation. But you knew that. And you wanted to shoot fish in a barrel. So here we are.
Yes I have faith that it will come out partially for the very reasons you seem to be concerned. Some of his projects have seen rough times and bumps on the road, but they did still come out. It may not wind up being his grand dream, but it will be more than it is now and it will be  launched. 
If I"m not mistaken they are in the clean up phase of SQ42. Tada! Game. I never said I can't be disappointed by what comes out. I'm already disappointed with many things on the project that I've just had to accept. Maybe I should have been one of those loud forum warriors and rallied the troops. Meh. Got's no time for that.
As for what was scrapped, I think it was more things like assets and work done to ship models and things like that. I think there were some lousy decisions made at the outset that lead to kind of a stalled start. That whole first Arena commander debacle in particular where they were working on stuff that was going to be unusable. But I don't think it's anything that can't be recovered from.

Styopa
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Styopa

GoJammit Styopa I'm not sure when you write a 650+ word piece in a comment on a blog like this you're even really inviting response?  It seems almost more a like a rhetorical gesture in the midst of a monologue.  I'll reply anyway:

First, I think you're overthinking it, and that's part of my "fish in a barrel" comment.  The slightest hint that one might be criticizing SC (or even just doubting that it will be the greatest game ever) brings out not only the fans who can reasonably debate the premises in play, but they arrive with a fervor and emotional energy in their reply crazily out of proportion to the subject.  It's often quasi-religious and almost pathological, thus "fish in a barrel".

Second, the point of my comment was more meta than you're seeing.  SC was the example, not the subject.  Personally, I'm sick of materialism ginned up to the point where it's anticipatory: we're not just talking breathlessly about the things we have, but about the things we're going to have as if they already exist.  And SC does not officially exist, not really.  Thus my point.  Saying something WILL be is different than saying something IS.  In any case "WILL BE" is predictive far, far past the reality of the software business.

"I have no doubt what I did pay for is coming when it's done"
That is a statement of pure faith.  If you can't admit that, that's your first problem.  You're certainly welcome to it, I don't criticize you for having such faith - that's your privilege.  However, no extant fact - not the product as it somewhat exists today, not Chris Roberts history as a game developer (where many projects have gone radically over budget, and finally been taken away from him and shoved out the door), nor MMO history generally, nor even software development history at its broadest - would suggest your statement is likely to be 100% true.

To speak specifically about SC - which wasn't really my point, originally (you'll notice I didn't even mention Star Citizen in my original comment): What you're suggesting AC is, today, is arguably LESS of a product than if CR had simply reskinned and updated Wing Commander.  After 5 years of development and constantly-shifting goalposts, as a consumer I'd be at least a little disappointed.  How do you get around that?  To suggest that "a lot of early stuff was scrapped" is AFAIK true, I heard the same thing.  That would imply to me that whatever was the original plan for the project was either mistaken, untenable, or poorly drafted: surprising for a guy with a long history of computer game development making what amounts to his dream-project, no?

Vikingr
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Vikingr

I'm a little disappointed with how Larry presents this first question. He starts with saying that they've rephrased my question because it was loaded. Yes, that was my intention, because I was invited to ask a provocative question (my Patreon level was Provocateur), so I tried to make it provocative and hence it was a loaded question!
Mike actually answer half-way, by saying that "The short answer is they got a away with it". Yeah, and the core of my question is why did they got away with it, and still do? I think it's interesting to debate why gamers, especially, and the whole industry in general, are content with shallow games with little content.

Then they discuss something else, that has little to do with my question. This has happened before too, when Larry found it necesarry to rephrase my question. So what's the use of sending in questions when they're not taken seriously / literally? If it's necesarry to do this because of the show then why ask for provocative questions? Because when I'm asked to be provocative then I do take the task seriously.

Now I'll listen to the rest of the podcast.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

LordOfBread deekay_zero neobone PaganRites i think you have me confused with a bogeyman.

i'd rather not have words put in my mouth thanks.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Many of these statement are used in contradictory arguments by the same people. For once, LorOfBread actually is making a point.

Durenas
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Durenas

LordOfBread Many of these aren't arguments. They're statements.

BloodEagle
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BloodEagle

Cotic_OP There is both 1st and 3rd person in Star Citizen, however the 3rd person views in both ship and on foot are for admiration and vanity only.

When you switch to 3rd person, you can move your camera around freely, but all UI elements disappear and cannot be activated again until going back to 1st person mode.

Hope that clears things up.

BloodEagle
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BloodEagle

Armsbend I paid $150 for the pre-order collector's edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic back when it was being made. After the game came out, I got to enjoy it for about 4 months (maybe 400+ hours) before it got boring, I felt ripped off by the development team, and ended up shelving the game. Since that day, I have continued to watch the development team take the game in ways that I do not agree with like F2P.

I helped kickstart Star Citizen very early in its life cycle in the amount of a $35 "pre-order" for the promise of a Single player game, an FPS shooter, a Space racing game, a multiplayer game much like SWToR, and some other bits and bobs. While I have not received the completed version of any of those yet, I have put well over 400 hours of time messing around with the alpha development of everything except the single player game.

In the time that I have been messing around with what is being made, I have been able to clearly see the progress that is being made, enough to allow me to believe that the game is going in the directions that I paid for. On top of that, whereas SWToR became repetitive and  ultimately boring for me as a person, knowing that I have put more time into the alpha version of Star Citizen and that I have not even scratched the surface of what is to come.

Saying the above anchors me in my choice that spending $35 on Star Citizen (a game still in development) was a much smarter investment than spending $150 on SWToR made by a company that I had known and trusted over the years.

If you care to call that a "Big Dummie" then I will gladly wear that badge.

BloodEagle
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BloodEagle

melissaheather There is both 1st and 3rd person in Star Citizen, however the 3rd person views in both ship and on foot are for admiration and vanity only.

When you switch to 3rd person, you can move your camera around freely, but all UI elements disappear and cannot be activated again until going back to 1st person mode.

Hope that clears things up.

Nanulak
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Nanulak

I think the overarching factor studios have to adhere to when deciding between game-play and graphics is consumer bandwidth.  It is my belief that in the US there are still quite a few potential customers who do not have the Internet bandwidth that would allow both high fidelity graphics and game play especially in large scale PvP battles.  So in the end studios may decide to forgo the more expensive route of delivering the best of both worlds when many players have to turn it down in the end.

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

Here is a random assortment of intelligent arguments to discuss in future videos

SC is impossible to make, PERIOD
SC is impossible but it has been done before, so it should be possible, but it´s not

SC is not a new genre, because if I combine 12 different games I have played all features of SC 
SC is impossibe because they have too much budget

SC is impossible because they don´t have enough budget
SC is possible because it´s just like Animal Crossing on my Nintendo DS with better graphics and space

SC is not a new genre because I enjoy EVA and ship boarding in World of Warcraft
SC is just like Eve if Eve had realtime combat, cockpits, walking in stations, and a story

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

deekay_zero neobone PaganRites no you can´t because the game is impossible so we will never know. It´s and old genre and has been done by other games but it´s impossible, it also has too many features and not enough features and it has too much money and not enough money. Also it doesn´t exist, because it can´t be made, but it can be made by others because it has been made before.

Karl_Hungus
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Karl_Hungus
LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

It´s still called SPACE SIM since day 1

It´s just the most badass cinematic feature pumped space sim on steroids of its time

In other words, a typical CR game.

I mean come on, when Wing Commander came out, there was no such game as WIng Commander
When Strike Commander came out there was no such game as Strike Commander
When Privateer came out, there was no such game as Privateer
When Freelancer came out, there was no such game as Freelancer

I see a pattern here

Thornz
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Thornz

There is no hit points in the SC so to speak, aside from that the FPS is like others but looks much better.

Sebilawikkah
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Sebilawikkah

deekay_zero
LOL Dirty Klingon, surprised you overlooked EQ, I would have assumed you may know your way around the low rez graphics realm?

ichi plays
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ichi plays

SC isn't a 'new genre' because it has elements we've never seen combined before.  It does combine in-game features in a way I haven't seen before, even in alpha it has succeeded at that.

It is unique because of the combination of funding (scope and method), the developer's vision of what the game should be, community involvement, and breakthrough technology.
The state of the game in its current alpha state is barely playable, and its still absolutely fascinating.  There's a whole meta-game in downloading patches, keeping up with the comm-links, mapping keybinds, parsing data, fretting over ship designs, and ... 

the drama of the skeptics and deniers

It will be an MMO, with some character development, socializing, grinding, and gear (=ships and more) acquisition.  It will also be an FPS, a space sim, and more.

Happy New Year MOP, I think this SC thing might be a big deal for a few years, keep reporting on it.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

How? Nothing I've said is leads to LoL. That is a rinse and repeat game with no persistence.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

They still say BDSSE. Why are we pretending like this slogan was anything more than that? I don't understand why you are giving that phrase so much power? More power than the people that made it up

GoJammit
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GoJammit

It's still a space sim. Where did they say calling it an fpu means they don't have to be a sim anymore? You're just making an assumption that there was a name change and that it means they can turn it into Star Conflict.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

SoMuchMass deekay_zero GoJammit they also backed up alot of previous marketting/promises about the simminess of the physics among other things.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

GoJammit yeah sorry no one tracks this stuff so i can't link to it because otherwise it's buried in a heap of weekly marketting spam and concept ship sales.
 

BDSSE was a slogan regularly included in their communications both marketting and informative for like 2 years.

let's just pretend that nothing has changed while chanting "subject to change" out the other side of our mouths everything something does change.

SoMuchMass
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SoMuchMass

I think First Person Universe or Multiplayer Universe fits the definition of the game perfectly, because I don't think it fits the mold of an MMO at least my definition.  We won't see 100+ players in an instance, you will see 40-50.  Is that massively multiplayer?  Not to me, others might disagree, but that is not my definition of what an MMO is.

neobone
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neobone

deekay_zero neobone 
Yeah, because with more money the have add more features in the game, a lot of features which you normally not see in a space sim.
The idea was in the begining to build just a space sim with 12-20 Mill. Dollar and to add the features for a FPU with more money after release.

SoMuchMass
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SoMuchMass

deekay_zero GoJammit Their claim is:
"More than a space combat sim, more than a first person shooter and more than an MMO: Star Citizen is the First Person Universe that will allow for unlimited gameplay."
https://robertsspaceindustries.com/about-the-game/spaceflight

GoJammit
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GoJammit

They haven't switch it. BDSSE was just a nickname. They were calling it that when they knew they were going to do more than spaceships, which is the only thing I can think you're talking about.
This is what happens with you DK. You say some cool real shit that can barely be questioned because it's usually well backed up fact. But then you veer of to the crazy lane with stuff like this and try to sneak it in with things that make sense.
Anyway back on topic, as much as I hate the mouse controls (really such an easy fix and a major failure in my book), that doesn't mark a major change in the course of the game. The core of the game has not changed in a very long time. And all those changes have been additions.

SoMuchMass
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SoMuchMass

GoJammit SoMuchMass But using that definition even games like LoL can be considered MMOs.  To me massive means tons of players in the same instance.  I don't think a "Universe" is a bad thing it is actually good.  There are games out there that are hybrids.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

neobone deekay_zero dot dot dot

so do you agree that things have changed and are subject to further change are you still arguing they haven't changed?

the narrative change is also a game design change. it's no longer a space sim game anymore. it's an fpu. they abandoned the making a modern space sim pitch basically. that's  a pretty friggin big gameplay change right there.

neobone
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neobone

deekay_zero neobone 
I have ask you about gameplay promises and you give me an example for switching of the game description?
Are you serious? 
And yes, in development means normally "Subject to change".
Again which promises, i see no freelancer controls in SC, because it was mouse only in the 3pv.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

GoJammit it's not a space sim anymore it's an fpu now, so they no longer have to live up to those promises that relate to simminess.
pretty qide range of features/functions/systems/controls/combat/physics/etc/etc/etc/ that that plays into from the kickstarter and 2013 narrative.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Can't argue with some of those, especially the control issue. They've even gone so far as to build controllers with trackballs. Which is either going to make stick users OP because they have the control and the aim advantage, or become a completely useless novelty as people find trying to control ship and turret separately with their thumbed is too difficult and not worth the trouble.
But what is this narrative change, and what does it have to do with actual features.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

SoMuchMass GoJammit I count it because everyone is there. $0 people per instance is all you can see but it's not going to be a case of STO or even (gonna bring back some fun memories I hope) Earth and Beyond where people were chasing down the Tada-O Santa and he was in different places on different servers. I think a lot of people, not you in particular, hear instance and think that it's going to be something totally separate and untouchable. IF things work the way they want..if..then you'll be able to hook up with your friends without doing artificial server swaps and things like that. The matchmaking system will put you with who you need to be with and everything that you do will persist in the universe. So I won't be able to crowd around a mailbox with 200 other characters. Who needs that? Why do I have to see every single person at all times just for it to be an mmo? That seems to be the definition everyone is going by and I think it's kinda silly. Especially when the trade off is less clutter, higher fidelity, and a better gaming experience all around.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

neobone deekay_zero you want me to recount 3 years of changes to their plans?
suffice it to say, one of the more obvious and visible ones
on combat and controls: "i'm not going to redo freelancer. it wasn't me that made it that way" - CR then we got that for a long time. it's better now, but still up for iteration.

every time they reveal plans that deviate from the pitch there's teh fandom there to say "SUBJECT TO CHANGE" mantras as well. 

i mean literally less than 12 months ago they were calling it "BDSSE" before switching to "FPU"

neobone
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neobone

deekay_zero neobone 
Which promises in terms of gameplay?

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Styopa Shooting fish in a barrel? Okay.
So when the writers ask these questions, do you and the people who always point out that it's not done yet as a way to be cool or snarky or whatever think that the writers are not aware? Do you think that somehow they just completely forgot they were asking a question about an in development product even though they are the ones reporting on it constantly? Because your response, which was almost the exact same response elsewhere on this article, makes it seem like you think they are complete imbeciles that need to be reminded. 
I don't have a percentage for you or even a number of features. I guess that would vary based on the project and the way it's being built. Time isn't the biggest factor though. I've never really had a doubt that it was going to be made, just maybe some questions about how fast and all of what would be in at launch. I think it became realest for me with the mullticrew demo. I was pretty sure it was real when I started playing AC. Here's what I know. I sign in. I play around. It's a real thing. But it crashes a lot and there's a bunch of stuff missing so it's not a done deal. Not by a long shot. But they said it wasn't. It's just the foundation they are building off of. It's one system with a bunch of stations that pretty much have the same mission to show up, kill the baddies of varied difficulty, float in and hit a switch, float out and go to a beacon or guard a person. That ain't what I paid for. But I have no doubt what I did pay for is coming when it's done. I personally believe this year is going to see a lot of people getting fat on humble pie from all the noise they made leading up to the eventual release of bother games.
I stick by my statement back when arena commander first came out. If you added some more space maps and a few game modes with the slightest bit of thought, and add a component upgrade system, you'd have as much content as any of the big first person shooters on the market. Minus of course the 3 hour story mode that no one plays. And all that is within the game that is being built. Vanduul swarm could be be a never ending game with more and more enemies showing up until you finally ran out of lives. Remember those days, boys and girls, when all you to do to progress was make your game harder and harder until the person was just overwhelmed and that was the test?
And don't lump me in with someone who can't accept that they make mistakes. I was just talking to my wife the other day about how I wasted all kinds of time and money on Black Ops 3 and Fallout 4. Nearly a hundred bucks I'll probably never see any use out of. One game won't work and the other I've found very little drive to play. I started out with chump change in SC and only upgraded because I thought that the Aurora was the ugliest ship I'd ever seen.
And I don't really count the early stuff, expecially since apparently a lot of the work had been scrapped. Don;t ask me where I heard that. I don't remember and I'm not looking for it. I count from the point of when the kickstarter started. It doesn't really matter a great deal. that year or the year before. Seems like it's only used to make a point for one side or another anyway. It's not done is the only real point. But as long as they are still working on it and I'm still seeing progress and there is an end in sight, I'm not overly concerned with when that started.

SoMuchMass
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SoMuchMass

GoJammit But does it walk like a duck?  Soon the player limit per instance will be 40 maybe eventually they hit 60, would you consider that an MMO?  I personally don't, but then again there is no standard definition of what a MMO is so you might think it is.  So instead of having that argument call it a universe.
I think it goes back to Orgin and their slogan about "We create worlds".  CR/CIG is creating a universe.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

neobone deekay_zero and those promises have changed a number of times over the past 3 years.

neobone
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neobone

deekay_zero neobone 
Are you a Troll?
Have you ever watched the video in the article.
The alpha stage is NOT the topic, its the game with all promises after release.
Jesus.. *facepalm*

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

neobone deekay_zero PaganRites and when it does those things we can discuss wether it merits being called a new genre.

neobone
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neobone

deekay_zero neobone PaganRites 
The topic is NOT "Is Star Citizen feature complete" or "Has Star Citizen Bugs and Crashes?" 
The topic is "Is Star Citizen's First Person Universe really a new genre?"
And this has nothing to do with Crashes, Bugs, loading screens in an alpha stage.

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