Saga of Lucimia defends Star Citizen’s slow progress, Shroud of the Avatar’s transparency

One of the challenges for indie and crowdfunded MMORPGs is surely the nature of their development: plugging along without much fanfare, with players seeing only one part of the equation. Saga of Lucimia has a piece out meant to show what that behind-the-scenes iteration looks like in the construction of an in-game asset as it travels from art concept to 3-D model to textured asset to something that’s added to the world by a different team entirely. But then what might be a mundane art blog takes a sharp turn to talk about other MMORPGs and their communities and expectations.

“There’s a major disconnect with some players when it comes to the misconceptions regarding iterations over the course of the game’s development,” argues Lucimia Creative Director Tim “Renfail” Anderson. “We see a lot of anger around the ‘net in regards to how things change over time with almost every MMORPG’s development, with many claiming the developers lied about how something was going to work, or how something was perceived as being a certain way, and then when it doesn’t work out quite the way players perceived, they claim that the developers deceived them, and that the launched product isn’t anything like what was initially discussed during the development process. The perfect example of this is Star Citizen/Squadron 42.”

Anderson points out that in spite of the company’s growth and endless parade of info dumps every week, “there is still a corner of the web that claims they are vaporware because they aren’t a released product yet. As if zero progress has been made.”

Likewise, he says, Shroud of the Avatar boasts “one of the most transparent companies in terms of development, even going so far as to post their internal standups to their forums in an effort to keep their community in the loop,” and yet there are still people grumpy “about what they see as ‘things that were pitched during the Kickstarter that aren’t exactly the way [they] thought they would be.'”

Lucimia itself is currently dealing with players upset over the third-person camera; apparently, some folks thought the game would be entirely first-person. “You can’t call a developer a liar for changing things along the way, regardless if it’s during the development cycle of the first iteration of the live game, or post-launch.”

“An MMORPG is a completely different beast, because there are literally dozens of people involved, and things are changing on a daily basis in regards to mechanics, skills, animations, character models, and beyond. […] An MMORPG is a living, breathing thing. And just as much as human beings evolve over time, so does an MMO.”

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28 Comments on "Saga of Lucimia defends Star Citizen’s slow progress, Shroud of the Avatar’s transparency"

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Dantos
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Dantos

Isn’t this one of the inherent problems of crowdfunding? Selling hopes and dreams to people who have little to no idea or control of the process to make those a reality?

It sounds like you really do have to pick your poison, because you aren’t going to convince people you didn’t sell/let them pre-order a product when you just accepted their money in return for a potential future game, I don’t care how many disclaimers you put in front of it.

Publisher with deep pockets and alot of control or crowdfunding and its problems.

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Arktouros

These guys don’t really understand. It doesn’t matter what you label your product. You can call it kickstarter. You can call it early access. You can call it alpha. You can call it pre-alpha-omega-alpha. You can call it beta. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is you sold a product to someone, or the idea of a product to someone. You took their money. When you do that you become accountable to them to get a product delivered and no amount of understanding or reasonableness matters. If you decide to sell a product 5 years before it’s going to realistically be available then you need to prepare yourself for 5 years of criticism that the product isn’t ready yet. Also, if you sell the idea of a product to someone and they buy that idea if you fail to deliver on that idea through development you’re going to be held accountable for that. That’s just how things are.

They can say that’s not reasonable but I’d equally ask who ever said or what experiences have you ever had that said your customers were going to be reasonable? When you chose to take their money they became invested into your product (real or not yet) and people are going to check in on their investments.

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Alex Willis

We’ve all heard of “mansplaining”, right? Well, I think the community just got “devsplained”.

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angrakhan

My only concern with Star Citizen right now is they seem to be unable to make the game perform in a large scale multiplayer environment. We’re at, what, 50 players per instance, and still it bogs and chugs? How are these epic, massive multi-crew multi-ship battles with capital ships going to ever happen? There just seems to be a general inability to get that problem solved, and a lot of the premise of the game revolves around getting that problem solved. Honestly I wouldn’t mind if they put everything else on hold until they get that problem completely figured out. I have no idea why they continue to build content upon such a shaky foundation.

Anyway, besides that the current 3.1 alpha of Star Citizen is very close to what I had hoped and dreamed for. Bugs, crashes, and net code woes aside it seems to me that all that’s left is really to build out some solid engaging content beyond the current simplistic randomly generated missions.

I’m more than happy to let them continue. I just hope they get the networking/scaling piece figured out sooner rather than later.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i think the 50 player cap was a 1-2 day test thing in ptu that didn’t get through (and was incredibly unstable to an insane degree even beyond the normal historical stuff in earlier versions).

performance isn’t great tho still especially with the moving of the hardware goal posts on ram where 8gb is no longer enough to play despite being vastly more common for user specs than more than that especially amongst the demographic that is star citizen backers, and far worse given the timing of both that this is finally more than a techdemo/proof of concept in subtstance but also the fact that desktop ram prices are fucking insane right now. lol

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pike

No, all instances have 50 player cap since 3.0. I believe they tested above 50 players per instance in evocati before 3.0 (few screenshots of this were leaked), but it stayed at 50.

In it’s current patch SC 3.1.2 eats way more than 16 GB of RAM, but you really need about 10-12GB of RAM to play with decent frames and the rest the rest can be managed by page file. That’s the nature of game in development I guess, a lot of open world early access games have problems with memory leaks, it’s not exclusive to Star Citizen.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

definitely did not have 50 player cap in 3.0. the 50 player cap was a brief thing in 3.1 ptu. it didn’t even last to the end of ptu

note: i play fairly regularly up until a few weeks ago because i’ve been busy with other games instead.