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

Loading ... Loading ...

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

Loading ... Loading ...

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

Loading ... Loading ...

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

Loading ... Loading ...

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

Loading ... Loading ...

This week's panelists:

Larry Everett
Twitter: Shaddoe
Website: Hyperspace Beacon

Mike Byrne
Twitter: Magickmann1
Website: MMO Bomb

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
135 comments
GabeNewellFetish
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
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 . 

BryanCo
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
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 get 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. It's not only about DLCs.

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.

Vikingr
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, and the fact that it doesn't fit in any previously defined genre; 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
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 throw

fps 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."

Nanulak
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
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 and ESO

SC is just like Eve if Eve had realtime combat, cockpits, walking in stations, and a story


GoJammit
GoJammit

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

LordOfBread
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.


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
Thornz

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

ichi plays
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.

Vikingr
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)

SoMuchMass
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.  

hostagecat
hostagecat

So is this the last Massively Opioninated ever?

neobone
neobone

First Person Universe is a description for the game Star Citizen and not for a new genre.

Chris Roberts has never said its a new genre.

But you can do what you want in SC in fpv without Loading Screens or other restriction, hell you can even go on your toilet in the spaceships in first person.

And this is the reason for this type of game, because there is no better description.

Is it a space sim? No.

Is it a FPS? No.

Is it a MMORPG? No.

And no Star Wars Galaxies has no offered this type of gameplay.

Or can you do things like this in Star Wars Galaxies?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvCFb_cS2gY


plus this


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWrCQYDBEkY


plus this


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlIWJlz6-Eg


plus this


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJJ9TcGxhNY


Its the combination what makes the game to a FPU.

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

@neobone all of those things you posted video examples of, do in fact, exist in existing games. and more.

neobone
neobone

@deekay_zero @neobone 

First no you cant do some things without loading screens in other games.

Secound, read again, its the COMBINATION in SC that it makes the game special.

I dont mean you have this feature in this game and you have this feature in that game.

Because when you do this, then we have in terms of gameplay the same games since 30 years.

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

@neobone @deekay_zero i can't do anything in SC without loading screens at several points. and several crashes.


i can also do all of those things without loading screens in other games.


have you never heard of kerbal space program? my kerbals can get out of the space craft and EVA without a load screen no problem. travel seemlesses from the surface of one planet through the vast emptiness of space to a far off other planet and land there. with no just physics grids between in side and outside of ships, but between celestial bodies as well and the surfaces vs outspace of those celestial bodies.


and actual game play is standard scripted events quest chains that have been trendy in mmo's since tabula rasa. and there's no shortage of freelancer like games over the past 15 years.

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

@PaganRites @deekay_zero @neobone 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeoJJNjXYuk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VKcNyJYekE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhkmtYVpV7Q


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t17X5JDlUHc


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpoWPklh45Y



staying within the crusader zone there are no further load screens assuming you don't crash/. however going to hangar or arc corp, guess what? loading screens.


multicrew functionality is far from reliable.


fps shooting milestone is actually not deployed yet. what you see currently in that regard is out of the box CE shooter gameplay.



getting in to and out of your ship is also incredibly unreliable.


cherry picked youtube videos are also far from reliable. there's even more youtube videos and streams showing all these things are pretty wonky at best 70-90% of the time.

neobone
neobone

@deekay_zero @PaganRites @neobone 

Do you know what alpha stage means?

No?

The description for you:

Alpha software can be unstable and could cause crashes or data loss. Alpha software may not contain all of the features that are planned for the final version. In general, external availability of alpha software is uncommon in proprietary software, while open source software often has publicly available alpha versions. The alpha phase usually ends with a feature freeze, indicating that no more features will be added to the software. At this time, the software is said to be feature complete.

source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

@neobone @deekay_zero 

you can't land on planets in star citizen.

you can't buy goods in shops in star citizen.

star citizen doesn't support 50-100 players in the same instance. it's hard enough to get together with people you know in multiplayer now as it is.

you can't mine trade or bounty hunt in star citizen either.

you can in star citizen: walk around a space station. spawn a ship. attempt to get into the ship, dog fight in scripted event quest chains in that ship, attempt to do multicrew ship stuff, and some lite out of box CE fps stuff with a few spawned guns in one location if anyone else is around.

i'm not talking about CIG WANTS to do with star citizen. i'm talking about what star citizen does NOW.

neobone
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
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
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
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.

GoJammit
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.

neobone
neobone

@deekay_zero @neobone 

Yeah, because with more money they 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 then add the features for a FPU with more money after release.

deekay_zero
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.

GoJammit
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

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

@neobone @deekay_zero @PaganRites i'm quite aware of what it means thank you.

idk how that's relevant to this conversation. 

when star citizen does these things in full, then it will be ok to claim it does them.

it will not have been the first to do those things even then, but at least it will be doing the things people like to claim it does now already without really quite doing them.

which claims like "largest playable area ever seen in a game" will still not be true even at that point


star citizen is in a nice place atm, and worth talking about what it has and offers and actually does now. without embelishing with false unwarranted braggery.

LordOfBread
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.

neobone
neobone

@deekay_zero @neobone 

Have you FPS in KSP? No.

Can you enter other ships and fight in the ships, when in the same time the ship pilot fight with other spaceships? No.

Can you have FPS in zeroG? No.

Can you land on planets and buy goods in shops? No.

Can you play with 16 later 50-100 players on one map with this features? No.

Can you mine, trade, bounty hunting,... in KSP? No.

......, *rolleyes*

neobone
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.

PaganRites
PaganRites

@deekay_zero @neobone


" i can't do anything in SC without loading screens at several points. and several crashes."


Odd because I can. And several others have based on the hundreds of Youtube videos showing such.


"all of those things you posted video examples of, do in fact, exist in existing games. and more..."


Really?  I've never played a game where I can get in my space ship with many of my friends onboard, fly out in to space, leave my ship, get back in my ship, fly to nearby space station, leave ship, oh look an armory! let me take a gun!  grab gun, fight ensues (very well done FPS might I add) return to ship hoping it's not yet been sabotaged, climb in and fly back to port without any loading screens.  


Give credit where credit is due.  Roberts is pulling off something at a level that's never been done before.

Morpayne
Morpayne

@neobone Videos like this must anger the haters. 


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

Darkwalker75
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 o lied to and that CIG are somehow doing something nefarious.

Oleg Chebeneev
Oleg Chebeneev

Chris said he creating a universe. First person or third person irrelevant here. And since massively multiplayer, ever changing universe is already there in EVE Online, no, its not new. SC just makes it on far bigger and ambitious scale.


Also boo at those who voted for MMO without PvP. You have your PvE servers, carebears

Darkwalker75
Darkwalker75

@Oleg Chebeneev 

Actually it is relevant if its 1st or 3rd, because Roberts always said it was going to be a first person game and that 3rd person is only for vanity and will not have any actual functionality.


deekay_zero
deekay_zero

@Oleg Chebeneev far bigger and ambitious scale.

actually i've been thinking about exactly this, particulary in the claim about having the largest playable map ever (which is silly claim to make in the face of that one game where you can literally seamlessly explore an endless PCG universe 1:1 scale to our own universe with trillions of celestial bodies and 1:1 empty space, nevermind kerbal space program).

is it really bigger than eve? eve has hundreds of star systems, some of which are quite large and you can 110% move through them and beyond them without using the warping mechanic and just travel at regular speeds.

so how is that bigger in star citizen? how is that a bigger scale? or more ambititious? 

seems to me the scale and ambition of star citizen's actual game playable intentions are, among space games of various styles, pretty average. including space games that have either gotten further in development than star citizen is and have much more flesh out gameplay, or have done player tests as early as 2008* such as with infinity engine which didn't have much less to it at that time than star citizen alpha 2.0 has now.

*may have been 2008, was quite a while ago in any case.

every little thing CIG shows is hailed as some kind of first when in every one of those cases there's another established game or game like application which has done those things, on people desktops, for quite some time.

GoJammit
GoJammit

Is that the best example? SC does quite a bit more than let you point and click your ship around space. I think calling it a mmofps isn't really enough to cover it, nor would mmossg. Maybe first person universe is a bad name, but I can't take an issue with it as long as people feel like they have to segregate all the different types of MMOs instead of just saying mmorpg.