Star Citizen previews NPC collision detection, geysers, and shiny spaceship VFX

    
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In this week’s episode of Star Citizen Around the Verse, there’s a Hammer Time joke. You have been warned. But seriously, the episode focuses on multiple topics: The animation team discusses NPC AI, specifically how they program NPCs to avoid collisions with other NPCs – or players, who are unpredictable. And then the network team talks about network service improvements coming in alpha 3.5.

But the most colorful segment comes to us courtesy of the VFX team, which is working on atmosphere and landscaping on the ArcCorp moon called Lyria – specifically, snow and geysers. Maybe colorful is the wrong word, since the moon itself is pretty damn grey, but the geysers are convincing! There’s also a look at the updated damage thruster effects for ships. Is it overkill to have the thruster sparks and spewage adjust on the fly based on how much damage you’re taking? Probably, but we’re here for it. You can watch the whole video below.

If you don’t care about geysers, then here’s some dogfighting in the alpha courtesy of MOP reader DK, whose channel by the way is loaded with Star Citizen alpha footage. Pew pew!

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Mallus

The problem with this game is that by the time it actually releases the gameplay will be obsolete, the graphics will be obsolete, the money will be gone with no other revenue streams, someone else will have made something better and so on. I can’t believe the money some people have invested in a nothing ball…

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Joe Blobers

The only thing obsolete is your comment. It is natively 4K and no project do have remotely all features in current Alpha plus 2019 roadmaps (SQ42 + SC) features.

However more people will have better GPU and nex console will start to appear end of 2020. Which will be more potential for CIG, assuming they do find an agreement with Sony/MI.

By the way, 35/45$ is what is required to get in the project… not 10K which is a fraction of what people paid for Fornite (3 Billions $ in 2018) ti get a name among many :)

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Mallus

I’m sorry but there are already better FPS on the market now and most likely more in development that will be released before SC. Mark my words this game will be at best a niche game with very few people playing it and or a complete bust. Cheers

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Joe Blobers

Mallus better FPS are already out because they are done by Publishers that are doing them since 15 years, doing nothing more than new skins since a long time. You can keep spending 50/60 + DLC on them or support a project for 35/45$… or wait for Beta/release. No problem.

SC is not intended to compete with FPS-centric game but to offer FPS among many others.
It is going to evolved till SQ42 release (look at AI roadmap).

About niche, this is two games: solo and MMO. Call MMO + Solo game a niche at your leisure.

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Gene Elder

The only thing obsolete is your comment.

Whoa Joe, getting kinda salty there.. maybe you should take a break, go do other things, come back when you’ve grown a thicker skin. This is the internet, a lot of people have opinions that are different from your.

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Joe Blobers

… and yours Gene. Why not just apply to you what you ask for others?

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Roger Melly

I like geysers as much as anyone but it’s just another example of time being wasted on peripherals when they should be concentrating on finishing the core game .

Things like this and sign language for the death can be added after the game releases . It just gives the overall impression of a lack of focus by the development team .

deekay_000
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deekay_000

if CU were to show them making trees and tree swaying in the wind animations in a video would you make the same complaint?

because that’s basically what you’re complaining about here. is that they showed some development work on flora and fauna assets.

also sign language is literally just set of emotes. where was your feigned outrage when they added the ACTUAL emote system months and years ago now?

there’s a lot of ways to criticise star citizen that makes one not look like an idiot looking to be outraged by the most pedantic and petty things possible. complaining about flora and fauna asset production is… not one of them.

maybe if they show us a video of some grass and bushes being produced we can complain that grass and bush development is holding back development too. maybe i can go complain on a CU stream of their artist developing similar assets as this that their art pipeline is holding back core gameplay features????

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Gene Elder

because that’s basically what you’re complaining about here. is that they showed some development work on flora and fauna assets.

Ok, then that brings up a great point. CIG is suppose to be keeping their investors informed as the game development progresses.. then why are we being shown trees and sparks coming out of damaged engines instead of important things like where the F**K the AI is at?
They have like 8 professions listed, and they have the Tier0 implementation of “2” in the game, cargo and mining.. and they keep pushing back all the other tier0 implementations of anything else that looks like profession mechanics.
They keep pushing ship functionality (the obvious core of the game) back like being able to access components, and have only now (this upcoming release) giving us the heat gameplay for our ships.

So why should any of us be excited about seeing a developer wasting time on a tree?

deekay_000
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deekay_000

they show and talk about AI pathfinding in teh video. in fact they spend more time on it than all the art asset development they talk about combined.

oh you meant why the (ship) ai is bugged in the game now maybe? they talked about the like months ago saying it was bugged but sometimes still works on fresh servers.

able to access components how? heat gameplay is in now. you can overclock and overpower components for some time now.

professions? i want to see where there’s even a list of professions and a time line for introduction, but afaik the basic core professions like merc, bounty hunter, trader, smuggler and player taxi are essentially already in game. with one more advanced profession, mining in already. i would i think safely assume the more advanced professions are in the pipeline for worked on post sq42 ep1 beta/release? tho i’m sure we may see more??? before then as they relate to sq42?

why does every tidbit of information have to be exciting tho? mst of game development isn’t very exciting. it’s doing stuff like making flora and fauna like geisers and npc pathfinding behaviours like is talked about in this video.

why wouldn’t we see them talk about asset production btw? it’s the bread and butter of every early access kickstarer and open development game project out there for news updates. that’s why i cited CU, because the bulk of what they show every week is art production like this, but they’d hardly be alone.

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Gene Elder

No, I’m not talking about pathing and stuff that literally came with the engine.. I’m talking about Subsumption! They mythical AI Tony Z promised would make the entire game hum like a real world simulation. Not sure how you of all people could forget that it even exists, guess if its not on the Roadmap, then it doesn’t matter.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Gene: “I’m not talking about pathing and stuff that literally came with the engine”

What came with engine is crap (true for all engines at that time). This is at best serviceable for very limited gameplay.

No believable simulation of anything without strong AI…

You know VFX artists, Mo-cap team, Q&A team don’t make any IA.
Some are working on NPC’s/Flora/Fauna just to ensure that when new IA will be available, the world is not full of PG generated contents like NMS (long life to this game and followers)… with dumb IA.
SC is 90% NPC’s and 10% players. But Fauna/flora/landscape are as important as IA.

Looking at all yours comments in this section sounds like you still don’t get quality require time. You won’t get SQ42 + SC as polished and released in 2019.
Those two games are not Publishers projects using 15 years old re-skinned assets with close to original game engine IA and path finding.

The very nature of SQ42 + SC is heading in the opposite direction and this why it got so much support over years.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

you know they’ve iterated on ai several times right?

do you even know what kind of ai they were talking about?

at least some of the stuff that tony Z was last talking about has iterations in game and has as such for some time now, if not currently functional.

jesus christ dude do you come to these articles every week to push in my face how little you know about what’s actually been playable and in game over the past year and some change?

and you’re ranting and raving about it because… they showed asset production of some flora and fauna instead of some arbitrary moving goal post of development you yourself have chozen not to be aware of the state thereof?

i mean gratz on letting everyone know how little you’ve actually played the playable game over the past several months? like amazing achievement unlock bro you should be proud?

deekay_000
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deekay_000

your ship ai in question btw.

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Gene Elder

Not my ship ai in question btw.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

because you don’t know what you talking about.

if i showed you video of things this tony z guy has talked about with AI( some of which is in this video) then you wouldn’t know what it would look like, as is the case with this video and comment reply chain.

congratz kid, you dj khaled played yourself.

do you have some something awful/r/starcitizenrefunds check list from 2017 you’re going down here or something? XD

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Gene Elder

Agreed.

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Armsbend

an excuse for my favorite gif! Finally!
comment image

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Bruno Brito

If Geysers are something CORE to the gameplay, great.

If they aren’t, why in the name of shitfuck are they even considering that garbage? Put it LATER.

Chronic Enigma
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Chronic Enigma

My money is they will be a minable resource for future development. Adding it into the game is part of the world building. Your saying, why would you bother putting Trees in Elwyn Forest…

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Bruno Brito

Geysers are trees now?

Christ, dude.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

i mean in terms of the type of thing they bring to the game they are effectively no different from trees or other flora.

it’s just a series of animations on timers and other art assets dude. it’s not taking away from the tech and features pipelines, it’s just content production.

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Bruno Brito

Considering how CR is fond of stuffing crap over his game that has yet to launch, i’m willing to bet there are other more important stuff.

IF you say that this won’t take away from development, fine, i’ll believe you.

But to be fair, this is still SC. It will take years to launch.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

this is content that it i believe is due in the next mile stone which is sending out evocati invites.

it’s like getting upset that wow took time to make w/e biome style zone in vanilla or w/e.

i swear as these marketting spam vids get into more and more mundane game dev territory instead of flashy bullshit feature reveals and tech previews for stuff that isn’t due for years to come, people find more and more silly reason to complain about them that is completely in teh face of the criticism that was prveviously happening here.

it’s like complaining that markjacobs said in the weekly CU newsletter they were working on tree animations for one of the biomes in their map that was due for playability in a month. and people acting like it would detract from development of their pet features and tech.

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Bruno Brito

Geysers aren’t trees. Trees weren’t something you hyped up when Vanilla was launched.

If he feels like TALKING about geysers, they’re part of the content. As such, they’re up for scrutiny.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

on the one hand you got people upset that the weekly video spam talks about boring mundane video game development things instead of weekly announcements of further feature creep like in years gone past.

on the other hand you’ve got people acting like mundane asset production is feature creep that will somehow sink the game because they talked about assets they made for the imminently incoming content additions before they made some arbitrary unknown core gameplay thing is missing.

if you had relevant criticism of the stupid ass geyser you’d talk about the geyser instead of complaining that asset artists aren’t coding core gameplay systems.

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Bruno Brito

It’s a geyser. Why the hell are they talking about a geyser if it’s just something along the scenery?

deekay_000
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deekay_000

why not? “open development” .jpg

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Joe Blobers

Geysers are not trees Bruno, everybody know it for sure :)

Do you suggest to populate SC with one single type of tree and only or Backers did pledged for different type of planet/lands?
In original Kickstarter very few information was given about fauna and flora.
Calling for scrutiny for geysers… ok. But it sounds like you call for scrutiny for whatever CIG is doing.

You know what happen when a guy cry wolf every week?

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Bruno Brito

It’s you.

I don’t care about you.

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Joe Blobers

Have a nice week Bruno.

PS: There is no wolf in SC nor in OP comment section.

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Gene Elder

Do you suggest to populate SC with one single type of tree

YES.. until they have things like Item2.1, full scanning mechanics, all professions gameplay and capital ships like the Idris, Javelin and Hull series in game as well as the full, working AI.. I suggest one, single, lonely, placeholder tree!

deekay_000
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deekay_000

so more complaining that artists aren’t coding features?

and more doing so in ways that demonstrate the pronounced lack of awareness on the game?

how surprising?

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Gene Elder

Yes, more complaining that there is more content going into the game than game. And yes, more complaining that they are taking in bucket-loads of money from subscribers and giving trickles of information compared to their history. And more complaining that I was right about CitCon being a complete waste of money and resources to stroke Chris over-blown ego, when that money could have been used on developing the game.. or in this case, providing the community with information about the development of the product we have all invested so much time, energy and money into.
You may be happy with the crumbs your being fed, but I’m not. Ive never been satisfied with crumbs.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

oh so they were complaining that there wasn’t content being made and now they’re complainnig that there’s too much content?

where are these people complaining?

provide information about development of the game they are providing? crumbs? play the fucking game you dolt, instead of spending your entire weekend demonstrating how ignorant you are of it every week. ffs.

if you are a backer you have no excuse not to be checking out the game as it is now instead of whining they aren’t spending enough development money on longer videos with flashier feature creep reveals that you seem to care more about than actual development.

because nothing you are saying in this article communicates that the problem is with how they are developing the game (you clearly cant be bothered to find out the state of development) but that they aren’t making flashy enough marketting videos for you.

maybe try rexzilla, he makes some pretty bombastic flashy star citizen videos.

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Joe Blobers

Gene why not just one planet and one ship? Where is the limit?

I can help you: the limit is a project driven but multiple seniors devs who did already made or participated to good or memorable games.

They know a bit more than you and I about what is possible. Giving life to a space game is what differentiate projects.

EVE/Hellion: no flaura/fona.
NMS: flaura/fona are procedural generation.
ED: flaura/fona very limited to be nice, billions of planets…

Look at roadmaps, what you describe are in. No need to rush (yes 6 years and half are not ridiculous), look at Anthem. Another EA game, pretty and fun for few hours… which got 61 out of 100 from Pro reviewers and 4.1 out of 10 from +770 players. Feel free to grab it at 50$ while CIG is going through roadmaps.

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Gene Elder

that’s the point. that’s ALL we are getting is static content.
Some of us want real gameplay and mechanics and game design. We are TIRED of content that looks pretty, we want gameplay that works. Which they haven’t given us much of at all.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

some of “us”???? are getting tired of content? you’d have to play the game more than an hour to get tired of it i’d think?

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Gene Elder

I do Red Wing deliveries. And then I log off, because the game has no fking persistence. NOTHING I do matters, its all going to be wiped, because its not a game, its a fking tech demo.
What I’m tired of is white knights telling me its fking great when its not.. its a framework of something that can be great if Chris stops demanding on-stage worship and gives us a fking game.

and just because your head is in the white knight bubble, and the critics like myself aren’t logging on to the reddit to be downvoted into the basement doesn’t mean we are not lurking. Same thing on the Spectrum. Us critics get ban hammered by the nazi mods every time we criticize, so we are silenced and swept under the rug. Doesn’t mean we don’t exist. It just means we have effectively been silenced by the mods and the deranged toxic community.

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Joe Blobers

Gene… the project is in Alpha and what you describe is not yet in or with bugs.

Did CIG improved since 3.0? yes absolutely.
Did more gameplay and persistent are mandatory? yes they are and will come along 2019 and 2020.

Nobody pledges for SC thinking about no persistence or 3 gameplay with bugs. CR and his brother never delivered a game which was at minimum enjoyable.
Those guys did not changed. How I know it? the game is still in development in 2019 while they could have delivered a fraction of the scope and keep a 100 M$ in their pockets. Legally.
I know a few who would have chosen this path.

Quote: “…its a framework of something that can be great if Chris stops demanding on-stage worship and gives us a fking game.”

Pledges won’t stop because +500 devs get paid for their work like you and I. Pay a bit attention to 2019 roadmap and SQ42 Beta date and you can see the project is in shape to deliver what we pledged for, with 2020 roadmaps (TBD) to complete SC development loop for launch, assuming there is no more wipe.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

i don’t think you rven do red wing deliveries. i think you just googled that and the name of the content came up.

you have an incredibly aggressive willful ignorance about the current state of the game through out this article’s comment section. you’ve spent literally all weekend telling us all how little you know about what’s actually in the game or has been in the game over the past year. the goal posts for your complaints are continually moving while you claim “people are complaining: about all these things in numbers…

where are those people that are complaining about all these things? your complaints read like a check list from over a year ago.

everyone gets banned on spectrum. do you think you speak for people that get banned from spectrum? there’s more venues than the official forums for talking about star citizen, but w/e forum you are getting your information from… is doing you wrong homey.

i know you don’t care. because you’re on a roll for that EPIC WIN and going to defeat the toxic fandom once and for all but really…

you’re just a shade of joe blobers here.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

because the game has no fking persistence. NOTHING I do matters, its all going to be wiped, because its not a game, its a fking tech demo.

circling back to this specific bit:

you seem confused about early access/prelaunch test program stuff.

i suggest refunding or selling your SC products immidiately if this is a problem for you in the immidate future and time to come, and just stay away from literally any game that isn’t 110% fully launched yet

cuz you’re gonna get wipes in literally every early access pre launch game out there save the ultra rare exception.

also tech demo? does that one get you all the upvotes on r/gaming usually or something? really doubling down on the out of date derek smart memes.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Geysers are big part of this moon’s landscape.
Every time I think SC haters cant throw more stupid argument, someone like you proves me wrong.

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Bruno Brito

Every time I think SC haters cant throw more stupid argument, someone like you proves me wrong.

I’m sure your investiment is well protected, snowflake.

Better use that money on vodka.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Bruno: “Every time I think SC haters cant throw more stupid argument, someone like you proves me wrong”

You realize you make a case about one single VFX in a spacegame which is by definition VFX dependent?
Beside depicting yourself int his comment section as a de facto hater you don’t bring much as a “champion” of scrutiny.

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Bruno Brito

Again.

It’s you.

I don’t care about you.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

your mistake is thinking these people hate sc specifically. they’re barely aware of the game i’d say.

if people wanna complain that asset artists aren’t coding gameplay systems then what can ya do?

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Joe Blobers

Geysers don’t require a hundred guys working on it. This is just one VFX effect that can be done in a couple of day by one guy.
Better have few location using different type of geysers, lakes, mountains rather than having billions of planets with size and color variation.

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Gene Elder

They have also been skimping on content for the subscriber community. The forums have had several post about how lame 10 minutes of content is compared to how much information they use to give us.. especially since they have taken in 3 million dollars last year just from subscriber revenues. Some people are not happy.
I blame Chris spending all that money on CitCon. Buying full scale models and renting out expensive venues to feed his inflated ego. He has a con himself, and for a game that isn’t even out of pre-alpha yet.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Gene: “… I blame Chris spending all that money on CitCon. Buying full scale models and renting out expensive venues to feed his inflated ego”

CitCon was largely covered by those who paid to participate (+2000 attendees) + digital ticket + a fraction of subscription). That’s why marketing budget are for…

Full scale model like Austin doors are called marketing. The few thousands $ of Austin doors had a ROI of minimum 600% (free advertising and new backers).

About Ego he probably have one like all of us. Inflated? He could because he did constantly provided memorable games to players… but looking at real Finance picture versus yours, the inflated ego is probably as real as “all that money on CitCon”.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

it really isn’t every day you dogfight a prospector the odd time you’ve taken out your cutlass, much less a hammer head too. uusally you just get fights like this:

anywyas i also did some delivery mission content and got it on video. it’s maybe not the most adrenaline pumping content but if you enjoy explosions in the sky you may just enjoy this vid even so!

thanks for the feature bree, i’m glad you got a kick out of that video too! LOL :D

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Gene Elder

8 minutes of pure boredom.

A lot of people on the Spectrum are also starting to point out the decline in quality and quantity of subscriber content, even though they made 3 million in subscriber revenues last year. A lot of us think it might be how Chris has been escalating the price tag of his CitCon, which nobody asked for, and is eating up subscriber revenue. Really, did anybody ask for a life-sized model of a space-bike that barely works in the pre-alpha (and who holds an entire con for a game that does even have an alpha yet)?

deekay_000
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deekay_000

the weekly marketting spam has actually started to become watchable. instead of 30-45 minutes of droning and awkward halfhearted banter it’s actually interesting relevant development talk that doesn’t prattle on.

also prealpha? lol and the spice bike works about as well as anything else does in teh game. lol

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Joe Blobers

Quote Gene: “… a game that does even have an alpha yet”

Sure and 3.4.3 and upcoming 3.5 are a bunch of jpg’s right? :)

And this: “ A lot of us think“. Nice one. A handful of haters versus +700.000 Backers and 2 roadmaps for 12 months bringing to Beta in close to 5 quarters.

6 years and 3 months since end of kickstarter end of Nov. 2012 and a Beta in Q2 2020 with contents and features no Publishers care about providing to gamer because they focus first on profit rather than gamer.

The subscribers $ do not have to be spend immediately and can also be used to recoup past or future marketing costs that few subscribers number was not able to cover years ago.

By the way, about the “lot of people” in Spectrum. You mean less than 49? Because this is the number of “like” for a thread dedicated to flair content.

Looking for dedicated thread about ATV content, I have a hard time finding one not aging several months and none with “a lot of people”.

As usual, the “people“, “everybody” and “all” turned to be a few threads to be counted with fingers of one hand over a several years period of times :)