Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts is ‘fed up’ with giving 3.0 release estimates

    
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Eurogamer’s just published a long Gamescom interview with Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts on Star Citizen, and anybody concerned about the state of 3.0 and its long delay and missed windows should probably give it a read — it may not change your mind, but it’s the gospel from the boss’ mouth. Also it’s significantly more entertaining than debating space poop.

Roberts first won’t agree that the 3.0 alpha, when we finally see it, constitutes beta. “With 3.0, the game is moving into a phase akin to Early Access,” he says, as “3.0 is the first time you’ll have some of the basic game loops and mechanics,” the first slice of the game with “proper persistence for your character, ship and items in terms of what their state is, their location is.” Terms like beta and early access, he says, are “just labels.”

“People still think of the old way [of making games], like my past games. We’d talk about a game for years, we’d show it, but no one would have their hands on it ’til it was out. There was an obsession with ‘when will it get released’. Even with those [traditional boxed] games now, they get patched, they add things, make things better over time.”

Roberts also touches on the game’s vast incomes, justifying those who spend thousands on the game as their hobby and maintaining that the game’s fundraising dictates CIG’s budget. “Right now it’s a very not-for-profit enterprise where we plough the money back in,” he says. “I definitely feel the responsibility to deliver the game, and the best game possible.”

Finally, Eurogamer effectively asks Roberts to defend himself against the tired old scam claims that have plagued the game for years, and he does so by pointing out that triple AAA studios delay games all the time, and his studio is no different — except in that it warns its backers, repeatedly, that release windows are unpredictable and destined to move. And frankly, he’s tired of what he calls “fan trolling.”

“People still say ‘Chris, you lied to me’, even if I did give all those caveats for our predictions. People forget all those qualifiers. I am fed up of giving someone an estimate – I’d rather say, here’s the data I have, here’s the schedule I see. This is what we are hoping for. Software developers at all levels tend to be optimistic – you have to be to build big things. But I hope that with what we’re doing, show what we’re doing every week, we can educate a fair amount of people about the process. There will always be cynics. […] There’s a subset of people who say ‘this thing is never going to come out, it’s a scam’. Which is plainly not true. It would be the worst scam in the world. We’re hiring all these people, we’re working really hard. We’re showing what we’re doing every week.”

Source: Eurogamer

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wayshuba

Outside of all the drama surrounding this, to CRs specific complaint – tough doo-doo.

While he mentions other AAA titles, there is a stark difference when you are working with your own money, which most of them are, and OPM (other people’s money).

If you don’t want the release pressure, then use your own money. The minute you take OPM, you are under pressure to deliver – like it or not. It doesn’t matter if it is investor money, bank money, or crowd funding – you now have other people you are responsible to for your actions and outcomes.

Perhaps he should have considered that BEFORE he took OPM, but now that is water under the bridge. If he wants people to lay off, then he should refund 100% of the money collected and work with his own funds exclusively. Otherwise, someone should slap him and tell him welcome to the real world Chris, this is what happens when you take millions from others.

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Rquebus

“People still say ‘Chris, you lied to me’, even if I did give all those caveats for our predictions. People forget all those qualifiers. I am fed up of giving someone an estimate – I’d rather say, here’s the data I have, here’s the schedule I see. This is what we are hoping for.

That’s fine. In fact, not giving estimates that almost invariably turn out to be wrong due to complexities and emergent issues is something many backers (and, I believe, staff at CIG) have requested for a long time simply because of the uselessness of the ensuing hype/drama train. And in fact, sharing more granular progress and schedule data is both more helpful for managing expectations and more interesting (for those playing the Just How Do Big Budget Games Get Made? Home Edition).

However, the caveat that comes along with that is that you’ll need to keep updating on that schedule at least every couple of weeks (maybe monthly at the minimum), not just wait until you’re way behind and the natives are restless before trotting out the progress tracker. Which is an annoying bit of extra work when you’re a long way off from the next big deliverable, and a little less encouraging-sounding than a guestimated date when the bulk for work for a patch/deliverable is still incomplete.

Swagging estimates is easy and rewarding (in the short term) when you’re in the early stage of a development effort and all the deliverables are really far off; it’s not so nice when you’re getting down to the wire (or late) and there’s still lots to do. Maintaining a detailed living schedule saves some of those last-minute apologies but it is a lot more ongoing work and discipline, and it subjects you to much more scrutiny in the early part of a effort (though that’s not always a bad thing in terms of managing both expectations and scope).

You can do either one, but pick your poison. Don’t just flip-flop between which one is “easiest” based on how early or late you are at the moment and wonder why folks keep getting annoyed.

My $0.02, coming from a guy who’s learned a lot of things the hard way and hasn’t always been a great project manager himself.

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Dividion

We have access to their development schedule and they give us a weekly update on blockers, so I’m fine with not having a set date. It’s more information than we usually get with the “it’ll be ready when it’s ready” design philosophy.

In any case, I bet CIG releases Squadron 42 before Valve releases the next Half-Life installment. (Half-Life 2-Episode 2 came out October 10th, 2007, so we’ve been waiting 10 years for the next one in that series.)

hamblepants
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hamblepants

I can see where people are coming from with a lot of their complaints about how SC is being developed (scope creep, delays). They said they’d deliver features by X date, and they said this to people who gave them the money to make the game.

But most of these crowdfunded games wouldn’t get the funding they ask for if they gave realistic/conservative estimates, ones they have a 90% chance of being early on.

Games wouldn’t get funding with realistic release date estimates, because most players won’t back a game that will be released in 5-7 years after it funds. especially because other devs will be willing to lie, and we’ll give our money to them, the ones who say they’ll release a similar game but do so 2 years earlier.

So the devs have two options:

1) Lie, and get funded, make people angry, eventually deliver the game and the anger at the delay disintegrates (if the game is good).

2) tell the truth, and don’t get funding.

(This is a generalization, some devs get stuff out on time, but most don’t.)

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Kevin McCaughey

I’m sick of hearing about it to be honest – if it is ever released I an not going to buy it.

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Brian McBride

Is he saying that he’s tired of making deliverables to his investors?

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Dom Claur

No he is not saying he’s tired of making deliverables to anyone.

malibutomi
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malibutomi

No he is saying he doesn’t want to make release date estimates when their whole schedule is open to backers so they can see how development progresses anyway.

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Castagere Shaikura

Crowd funding games was and always will be for suckers to me. I say for all the millions he’s taken and still taking is great for him as all he had to do is promise a game show some half ass work and people gave him money. I don’t feel sorry for any of these dumb asses. He can keep this train running for years and people will still give him money. And if it turns out to be nothing these people are just out of money no one forced them to hand over. Guy should just buy an island and vanish.

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Reselect Name

The only suckers are the ones who dont realize theyre not making a purchase, theyre donating money.

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shear

It’s not a donation, it’s a purchase from a legal point of view.

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Space Captain Zor

The word you’re looking for is pledge. You pledge money to a project or a purpose.

I pledge money monthly to my local NPR station as well as this website. I pledged money to CIG for them to make SC and SQ42. And as a reward for these pledges I get the two games. I got an NPR mug. And I get a couple of avatar badges.

Get the difference?

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shear

Call it whatever you want to call it man, it’s a preorder for a game and some content for that game. You can get a refund, hence it’s more of a purchase, not a donation.

Estranged
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Estranged

Yeah, we don’t ask non-profit radio for a refund.

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Space Captain Zor

See above, re: relevancy

Estranged
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Estranged

Zor -SC is selling a product with tiers. Not a charity or a public service. It is basically a preorder. This passed donation status long ago, ethically.

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Space Captain Zor

I’m not debating ethics. I’m discussing what the receiving entity describes it as. You may not agree with what they call it, but it’s what they call it.

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shear

We are not talking about who calls what, we are talking about what that represents, and what it represents is a purchase, plain and simple.

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Space Captain Zor

Go re-read your first reply to this thread then.

Reselect calls it a donation
You call it a purchase.

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shear

You are spot on buddy, they call it a pledge, they can call it a donation, but under that label, it’s a fucking preorder, which is a purchase, so what is your issue here?

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Dom Claur

The issue is that you keep repeating the same false information which is an opinion. You are wrong.

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Space Captain Zor

The issue is you chose to argue how a term is taken legally, which is technicality. But then you swung your argument to fundamentals, which is not what this is about.

Fundamentally we already all agree on the end result of the money changing hands, so you can get off that.

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shear

I don’t understand you at all man, this is not a donation it is more of a purchase from a legal point of view, that is all I have said. So a “pledge” when you break it down, as to what effect it has, it is essentially a pre-order.

You give them money and you get a promise of a game and a ship and whatever else they are selling if you do not get that thing you are entitled to a refund. It is not a donation, it’s that simple, now you and CiG can call it whatever you want to call it, but if you asked for your money back their ToS won’t save them as has been seen before.

This will change with early access, because he will treat that as a soft launch, and then you are stuck with it forever.

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Dom Claur

Telling it is a purchase is wrong. it is not, legally wrong. You interpret as you want, it is not a purchase.

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shear

I know it is not legally wrong. “It is not, legally wrong”. If a judge ever had to make a call in this situation he would deem it a purchase, see I know this because I know a little bit about this topic, but you can keep huffing and puffing.

Also, Joe Blobers, when you make a new account you need to change the way you talk too because after seeing you here for a month, it’s quite easy to see the pattern of the same nonsense and broken English.

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Joe Blobers

I never hide behind nobody you should know that. Do you think I am afraid to make 20 more comments in a thread if I want to? :)

To be clear… I do not really care about the pledge/not pledge debat. Still it can be entertaining depending with who you exchange with. So go ahead with a purchase if you like it :)

Estranged
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Estranged

Zor – yeah. I can deem myself Czar of Earth, as well.

Will be making my speech in the morning.

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Space Captain Zor

I don’t even understand what point you’re trying to make. Are you suggesting we should just completely ignore and reject written agreements due to generalized fundamentals of what we’re doing with our money? This whole debate seems to revolve around what we are entitled to after having “spent” or “donated” or “pledged” our money but opinions don’t matter when you’re figuring out what your legal rights are.

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shear

Do you have a legal right to a refund after any purchase in SC except the subscription? Yes, you do, hence it is not a donation.

Estranged
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Estranged

Zor – if written agreements aren’t legally valid…

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shear

Even if it was valid, you can cancel your pre-order at any time before the game is out, same logic would apply here.

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Space Captain Zor

If you sign your name on it or click “I agree to the above terms”…

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shear

Doesn’t mean shit if it’s illegal as to what they ask of you, literally “contract law 101”

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Space Captain Zor

So you’re saying Kickstarter is completely illegal?

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shear

We were talking about CiG’s ToS not KS ToS and if you read KS ToS you’d know this isn’t a “give us money and we maybe will give you something back in return” they have to deliver.

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Space Captain Zor

You have not once specified that, actually. And you had at least one occasion above where I cite BOTH entities in which you could have been more specific if you needed or wanted to.

When have I even said anything at all about whether or not they have to deliver a product from EITHER ToS?? Totally not the scope of this debate.

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shear

Who’s ToS are you signing when you go onto CiGs page? The answer to that will probably give you a hint of who’s ToS I am talking about.

Because even on KS it’s not simply a donation, sure lower tear ones are if the thing you get in return is ” A thank you from us for supporting us” but at the higher tiers where it’s “You will get a game and this ship” they have to actually deliver that to you or give you your money back. If this was a donation, they wouldn’t have to give anything back to you, unless they felt nice that day.

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Space Captain Zor

Again, you weren’t being that specific. If you want to debate something, be specific. Both the KS and CIG campaigns offer rewards including the game and ships. And again, both times they call it a pledge.

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shear

Yeah, you are right, even KS doesn’t call it a donation.

Estranged
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Estranged

Zor – first example. Anyone below the age of 18 can’t enter a legal contract in my state.

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Space Captain Zor

Well in that example the state is invalidating the contract regardless of what the customer has agreed to–such as their age. And I would assume the TOS on most platforms probably have legalese somewhere regarding age and if you sign or agree here or there you’re saying you are at or above that age. In such a situation the idea of the exchange of money being a purchase or a pledge or whatever is moot and the receiving platform wouldn’t be liable or responsible for any conditional refund requests or expectation of product delivery to that person.

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shear

Nonsense. There is a reason why they had to give you a timeframe for which the game has to be released which in in their ToS, they didn’t put it in there for the fun, they had to specify that “this is how long we are legally allowed to keep your money before you can ask for a refund” that’s why it’s in there, they have to deliver the product.

That’s why this move to early access is a snake in a grass for the people, because they will no longer have to give refunds in early access after a specific period of time, so say like steam they will argue “ah you played the game for two hours now so you don’t get a refund”.

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Space Captain Zor

I’m speaking merely of the case where the contract is illegal.

But going back to legal timeframes is just another, and different, discussion on how the whole crowdfunding industry itself is a big broken mess especially because they all revolve technically around “estimates” and not hard dates. There is little to no accountability regarding those timeframes. If their agreement upon taking your money is that they have to a) develop the product, b) provide proof of continued development, c) give estimates for completion, and d) eventually call it finished (when they say it’s finished), and a customer clicks “agree” or signs their name on that… there just isn’t a lot of protections there–but should there be? IMO you should know and understand the implications and risks there when you hand over your money. It’s a gamble. Especially when financial institutions like PayPal explicitly remove their own purchase protections from transactions like that primarily because of that rik. That’s why so many companies using crowdfunding are either taking a lot of heat or earning praise based on how they handle refunds–it really is on them to enforce something for now.

The only cases I’ve seen where refunds go out is when customers fight it individually, the developers flat out offer it unconditionally, or KS(et all) has to give it back after the project is officially announced as abandoned. I honestly don’t know if KS spells out in their own agreements some condition that considers a project dead regardless of what the developers might say and thus entitling a refund.

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shear

“crowdfunding industry itself is a big broken mess especially because they all revolve technically around “estimates””

Yes 100% this is why I do not believe SC is going to be finished as is, it’s not because it’s impossible, given enough money and time it’s possible, I’d say it is, to say otherwise is to basically say “we reached the end in computer science” but you have to consider how long are people going to wait for this before calling it BS and getting refunds. I mean now there is a guy with 45k refunded from SC, apparently, the whole guild gave up on this game, I am not saying this is the end for CiG, but they need that money, maybe not now, but eventually, right? So they have to scale the development down, and then down more and more and you will end up with a shell of what it’s supposed to be.

I don’t know how this could be better expect maybe that perhaps AAA titles are not meant to be made on this type of funding.

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Space Captain Zor

Yep I saw that about the $45k refund. But at the moment they’re pulling in >$1 million per month, sometimes by quite a bit more, so $45k may not make that big of an impact in the long run. The “big if” is how well they have or haven’t managed all the money. Sure, there are experienced people who can make all the educated assumptions on their burn rate that they want to, but end of the day only CIG really knows for sure. And if anyone from CIG is talking, no one has been willing to quote them or give them up yet.

And yeah, a big unknown is just how long a majority of people are willing to wait. That’s part of the gamble CIG took. Myself, I still have a lot of patience left in me and I feel that I’m part of the silent majority. I don’t feel the way some do–as if I’m being lied to or betrayed. Any money I put in to this is disposable and if its gone its gone. I was responsible with it.

I think AAA titles still have a place in this funding model but the consumer side of the industry has a lot of maturing to do. The development of Star Citizen is happening no different from any other large game (or small, for that matter). All this mismanagement and the delays would have happened behind closed doors as well–as it did with CR’s previous titles. The difference is how public it all is now.

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shear

See the reason I think that they haven’t done a good job with the money management is the fact that they are very aggressive in their sales, hear me out here, they are adding more and more ships, but a good chunk of them are nothing more than a concept, and bunch of them that have already been sold to people have not been made. Some are still not flyable or even hanger ready right, so why would they add more and more work for themselves when there is so much left just on the basic functionality of the game? That just makes very little sense to me, they can always do this post launch. Unless they really need the money.

See I don’t know, missing a deadline here and there is fine, I fully expect that from a big game like that, especially when it’s quite impressive what they want to achieve, but missing the majority of them and constantly hiding behind the same excuse, well that’s where I don’t believe them. Game development has to be hard and tedious and an ocean of unknowns sometimes, but people get fired and studios get closed for missed deadlines, CiG has no accountability to anyone if they miss it “ah well” and their funding doesn’t even slow down. I know that I work much better under pressure, and I think CiG is starting to feel the pressure. Which in my opinion is pretty good. You might see something out of them sooner rather than later now.

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Space Captain Zor

I know in the past they’ve said ship development is dictated by their individual needs in SQ42 first, SC PU second. And in cases where a ship is specialized for a particular gameplay loop (mining, freight, exploration, salvage, etc) then priority of the ship development lines up with development of the associated game system.

That’s why ships like Carrack and Banu Merch are so far down on the totem pole–not because they couldn’t churn them out if they wanted to, the priority just isn’t there yet. How they prioritize other ships probably has more than a little bit to do with how many backers own them, I’m sure. But end of the day I don’t feel like they’ve held up developing a ship that NEEDS to be in for the sake of getting a new one up for sale. That, and, it’s pretty easy to see how a ship concept team could work fairly independently of everyone else despite game system progress. You don’t have to stop a Ryan Church from drawing ships for anything and they’ve proven that’s all they need to sell one.

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Space Captain Zor

You said “from a legal point of view” so let’s stick to that discussion, shall we?

It’s not about what I call it, it’s about what those entities you’re giving money to call it. And they call it a pledge. You can be obtuse and mince words all you like, doesn’t matter. If you’re going to evoke the “legal point of view” you can’t then boil it down to something as simple as: I give you the money you give me the thing.

Being able to get a refund or not is irrelevant as some pledges are circumstantially entitled to one and some aren’t no matter what.

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shear

Actually, it matters little what they call it. It matters as to what effect it has. At least that’s how Common Law would look at it.

It has every element of a contract, an offer, an acceptance and a consideration. This isn’t a donation, you get nothing of value when you donate in return, except the good feels, you are getting a product in return, you are buying it.

Stop it, you are embarrassing yourself now.

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Space Captain Zor

Wrong, it is very much about what they call it when you agree to their terms of service, which you have to do to hand over your pledge monies. And one pledge to one group is obviously not like every other.

So for the sake of massaging your frail ego, let me just explicitly point out that I DO NOT DISAGREE with the general notion that they are SELLING a PREORDER, ok? For all practical intents and purposes of course they are. So is every other freakin game on EA or Kickstarter, etc. I’m not a moron. The end result is exactly a preorder.

But the point is that it doesn’t matter when what you agree to is being called a PLEDGE by Kickstarter, CIG, etc. So if you’re going to get legally technical about it with the OP then how about you stick to the technicalities.

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

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shear

What the hell man, I never argued about what they called it.

You are the worst type of person when you are wrong you just change the point of the argument. How can anyone have a discussion with you?

Arguing about calling it this or that, I don’t give a fuck what they call it, I’m pointing out that it’s a purchase, a preorder from a legal point of view.

You can’t even keep your arguments straight.

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Space Captain Zor

In point of fact, I have stayed on point the whole time when you’re the one changing the argument. Your very first comment was “it’s a purchase from a legal point of view” and what myself and the OP are trying to debate is that from a legal point of view it matters what it says when you agree to THEIR terms of service and not your fundamental opinion on what you’re doing with your money.

As I said below, you changed this to an argument about fundamentals when it did not start out that way.

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shear

It’s not an opinion it’s a fact, it’s a preorder which is a purchase not a donation for nothing in return and it will be even more apparent ones they launch this into 3.0 which is going to be “akin early access”.

You also agreed to no refund policy and yet when somebody got the law involved CR quickly caved and gave the money back because that ToS is the biggest anti consumer shit I’ve ever seen made to deter gullible people from refunds.

Illegal contracts are non-binding and their ToS are in effect non-binding.

I am sure you will try and tell me how I am still wrong even though you have already agreed that this is a preorder but just can’t admit to yourself that you are simply wrong and you are arguing about something you have no business to be arguing about.

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Space Captain Zor

I am sure you will try and tell me how I am still wrong even though you have already agreed that this is a preorder

Why won’t you actually read what I’m saying? Once again I have not once debated the SEMANTICS with you with regards to what pledging fundamentally gets you when you take into account pledge rewards being the actual product, etc etc. The end result is not in debate. The semantics of what your money gets you is not the debate. The opening exchange of money and if it’s protected as a purchase is the debate. You started your argument with a statement of that legality and now all you’re doing is arguing the semantics of something else.

but just can’t admit to yourself that you are simply wrong and you are arguing about something you have no business to be arguing about.

First off, you really need to deal with this condescending ego.
Secondly, I haven’t said anything inaccurate. Go to the very beginning of this thread, and start over.

Relect says “they’re not making a purchase, they’re donating money”

(Before I go on here, let me be clear. I do not agree with that statement. It’s not a donation. Crowdfunding a software project isn’t a charity. That would be simply crowdfunding a financial goal with no product development.)

Then YOU say “It’s not a donation, it’s a purchase from a legal point of view.”

^^^^^^^^^^ That is where my debate with you began. The legal point of view. The legal interpretation of what giving money through crowdfunding truly means with regards to purchaser protections. So where does that leave us? I guess that means the debate needs to be about whether or not individual crowd funding policies, as written and per platform, are explicitly seen as purchases or not in the eyes of financial institutions and thus actually providing legal consumer protections or not. So, in THAT regard, let me cite this article from 2016.

That’s just one easy example where even PayPal feels strongly enough that a crowdfunding pledge isn’t enough of a “purchase” to deserve purchaser protections anymore. Hell, even their wording says it can be a donation. So it is just not that cut and dry (yet). This whole crowd funding thing is still evolving and each transaction is STILL at the mercy of the platform in which you made it until the FCC gets off their ass and regulates this circus.

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Lethality

No :)

malibutomi
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malibutomi

That’s why ppl with a brain only put in the amount of money they are ready to lose because there’s always the possibility a project flops.

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shear

Actually, people with brains let other people risk their money…

malibutomi
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malibutomi

Well if 40$ is a “risk” then yeah

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Angel of Def

/laugh.

“Half Ass work”

I want to quantify a couple things. 1) I do not back Star Citizen. 2) I have only “crowd funded” one game, Elite Dangerous. And honestly, that turned out alright, but for me I wasn’t buying it for single player anyway.. those guys I am sure felt cheated. **EDIT** Two! I forgot about CU /laugh. No comment as I haven’t seen the state of that game recently.

But you either have no flipping idea what you are talking about in regards to the work they are putting out, or are being seriously disingenuous just to be a jerk. I am sure any program manager reading this would agree. Most knew this game was going to be buggy, laggy, and under delivered until hardware catches up. His goals for the tech we had/have available at the time he proposed it were never going to hit.

He is a dreamer.

But to call his work half assed is laughable, to say he isn’t busting his ass, or his teams aren’t busting their asses is laughable, to say he is trying to scam people is laughable. There are better scams with less limelight that would bring less scrutiny if he wanted to rip people off. He is just an artist who isn’t being grounded in reality right now. He was always eccentric. He dreams big. How about we let him fail on his merits instead of trying to paint him out to be a dude he isn’t for internet likes.

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Melissa McDonald

I wonder why nobody talks about how crappy and disappointing and B-class STAR MARINE is? That’s a very lame FPS compared to Battlefield, Call of Duty, Halo, etc.

So it’s not like everything they do is great.

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Joe Blobers

Probably because it was not intented to compete with 10 years old fully oriented pure FPS franchise but add a FPS component to Star Citizen?

Star Marine is just there to tests the FPS part of Star Citizen like Arena Commander is used to test ships combat.
Star Marine could become the next COD or BF… only by dedicating many ressources.. which they do not have today to go further down the pure FPS path. Lately, a few people were still asking for 3.0 and SQ42 :)

edangerous
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edangerous

But it was, CR wanted it be far better than anything out there https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/star-marine-interview-with-chris-roberts

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Dom Claur

You should read all article and avoid to cherry peak what please you edandrous.

Robert’s said [“It’s not [a] Call of Duty or Battlefield imitation,” Roberts tells Red Bull]
SC is the single space game project whith such level of FPS. This is not a dedicated FPS.

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Lethality

No.

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Tufao

It`s just the first version released. It will be better than any other. Just wait a few more decades.

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zeko_rena

Even Pong is a better FPS than Call of Duty.

malibutomi
Reader
malibutomi

A shooter which is just a small part of a big game, and is in pre-alpha phase is not as good as a finished full on fps shooter game which is part of a franchise polished for years? Shocking.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

The real reason Chris is fed up is due to something he explained to Eurogamer 17 years ago.

“…Taking three and a half to four years to build a massive title just seems like a huge amount of effort….”

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/article_29857

Reader
Annoyed badger

I dont know whats worse, that he may believe this bullshit he keeps spewing, or that he may not.

Its increasingly clear CR is not capable of project management at all, and this has worrying signs of other projects that never get realised, that grow and grow and lose focus until they just peter out.