Star Citizen’s AMA confirms Squadron 42 has ‘a ways to go’ before beta, will be ‘done when it is done’

    
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Star Citizen’s AMA confirms Squadron 42 has ‘a ways to go’ before beta, will be ‘done when it is done’

The question that’s been on the lips of the Star Citizen community for the past several months has been in relation to Squadron 42’s development progress. So naturally, that would be one of the highlights of an AMA with several of CIG’s devs, including Chris Roberts himself, who answered the burning question.

The player question pointed out that SQ42 is six years behind its projected delivery target and asked whether the devs felt they were meeting the promise to players. Roberts responds:

“I don’t think the issue is whether we treat our community with respect, as that is core tenet of the entire company, or lack of communication; it’s different people want communication in different forms; some want in depth long talky videos, some want just the sizzle videos with pretty graphics. Some people want huge technical treatises on server meshing and others just want the ELI5 version and finally a lot of people just want to know when a feature or the game will be done.

“And I think that’s the crux of the issue; it’s impossible to please all the people all the time, and with a project as complicated as Star Citizen or even Squadron 42 it’s impossible to have iron clad dates due to the huge amount of ongoing R&D.

“So yes, I do feel like we have been meeting ‘The Pledge.'”

With that said, Roberts does admit that communication can improve and also announced that a show dedicated to SQ42 known as The Briefing Room will debut soon, with new episodes every quarter until the game launches. He also points to the previously teased roadmap in the works.

The question of just when the game will be actually complete wasn’t directly addressed, at least to one player’s satisfaction, which drew out another reply from Roberts.

“You’re not really asking about what is being worked on Squadron 42, you really just want to know when it will be done. The best answer for your question is Squadron 42 will be done when it is done, and will not be released just to make a date but instead once all the tech and content is finished, polished and it plays great. I am not willing to compromise making a game I believe in with all my heart and soul, and even though everyone (including me) wants Squadron 42 sooner than later, it would be doing a huge disservice to everyone working really hard on the project and all of you that are looking forward to it to deliver something that isn’t great.

“We still have a ways to go before we are in Beta, but everyone on Squadron 42 is working very hard to deliver something great.”

The replies have lit the Reddit tinderbox as members of the community attempt to come to grips with the game’s extensive development time versus wanting the title that’s been dreamed of by both fans and Roberts.

There are, of course, a number of other questions answered in the AMA and so it’s likely worth the time of fans and followers to take a full look. Meanwhile, members of the narrative team have come together in the latest Star Citizen Live broadcast to talk about the upcoming Imperator elections, which you can find below.

sources: official forums, Reddit, YouTube, with thanks to Quavers, Eggbert, and StuartGT

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Brian McBride

Chris Roberts isn’t running a game studio, he is running a crowdfunded marketing studio. And, it’s really successful.

His artists create beautiful marketing material that convinces consumers to spend hundreds of dollars on a vague promise. That wouldn’t happen if his team wasn’t excellent at the messaging, display, and constant PR work.

After some point, it is clear there is going to be no product. And it doesn’t need to be, as the team can just keep building cool tech demos, beautiful art assets, and engaging PR events to sell you on the dream sci-fi game.

There are a lot of companies that people confuse what they are. For instance, Nike is a brand company, not a product company. Amazon is a supply chain company, not an online store. We sometimes confuse what we consumers think of the product and what the company is actually doing that makes them money. The reason we buy from Amazon isn’t always the price, it is the fact that they get to you FAST (supply chain).

So, Star Citizen is a marketing/PR company.

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Joe Blobers

What you say make no sense. You clearly don’t know the history and evolution of this project which turned to be half playable by 1 million individual backers and the remaining half under heavy development with remaining two core techs delivered in few quarters.

Your naming of brands make your exercise even more shallow. You mix up everything then deliver a conclusion which is as pertinent as the rest of your prose :)

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Tee Parsley

It’s well known that the game design is influenced by the monetization method. If, say, microtransaction, then presentation and gameplay favor that.

Star Citizen’s monetization is enticing pre-sales for those with dreams of the perfect space game. As such, it’s presentation and development is firmly rooted in that money making mode. Delivering a Squadron 42 that doesn’t meet the lofty, nigh unattainable fantasies of CIG supporters would endanger the sales of dreams.

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Joe Blobers

It’s well known the project is based from day one on the crowdfunded model: pledge to get a product later on.

Those complaining that CIG will never make ships they sold with $ available in game with credits was wrong (as usual). All flyable ships are available in game. Same for many armors or equipment.
Better. The few new concept ships announced have been made available right to backers hands (with $) immediately at release or a few months later… Those ships then become available also with in game credits. So your so called pre-sales dream are made available to those looking to support the game further than their initial starter package, all others can reach their dream with a few months delay. Best of the two world.

SQ42 will do exactly the opposite of what you theory-craft. It will give a definitive evidence CIG is able to deliver ambitious game to the gamer community.
Knowing all SQ42 assets will then be injected into SC (because no more spoilers), SC will become even more robust in terms of various contents, not counting that till SQ42 release, many quarters are going to pass, adding more features, gameplay and stability.

The dream won’t die with SQ42, it will shine like never not only to current backers but to the vast majority of players who never join any Alpha or Crowdfunded model. It is a start, not an end.

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Nosy Gamer

So, what is Star Citizen’s business model going to be when it launches? I know it will be buy-to-play. But what about the cash shop? I heard years ago that the only thing players would be able to purchase from the cash shop is currency. Is that still the case? If so, does that mean obtaining money in-game is going to be very grindy in order to encourage people to just buy credits from CIG?

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Joe Blobers

I don’t know an MMO which is not grindy to progress. It have to be somehow grindy otherwise everyone can buy everything at once even with credits (including large station, territories, capital ships) and the game have no incentive to keep playing if you don’t have huge sink costs implemented in.
Having a dynamic economy that keep all players happy while keeping inflation will be a challenge like for all MMO’s.

Many F2P MMO’s do make very good business with micro-transaction only. Indeed way more than selling the game once.

CIG did hired years ago a guy from WOW for the micro-transactions part.
Economy is driven by Tony Z, the guy behind Quantum.

* SQ42: It is based on 3 episodes. Then expect also DLC’s like playing Aliens (could be also an option for SC) . They said it would be an option except for Vanduul.

* SC: starter package, micro-transactions (special skin, armor, clothes… think about the mass of assets available in GW2 and Black Desert), capped day/amount in game currency, land beacon. Pure speculation but I am pretty sure many would buy a dedicated asteroid Casino for instance.

Others source of revenues:
– Selling knowledge and pipelines by working for others companies.. or staring new project based. It would be a waste of resources and experience not doing it…. and assuming the current model work to finalized this project… why not start another Kickstarter to test public support on a game, knowing delivering it will take a fraction of times due to all available pipelines :)
– Selling SQ42 episodes on the new upcoming consoles generation which are more than capable technically speaking. That alone will double revenues over euars.

Only time will tell but with two finished products with no equivalence on the market (not seeing NMS, ED, EVE… are bad), I am not worry about their future. In two years all techs will have been implemented and tested to the point they will be an absolute reference on the market.

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Nosy Gamer

The starter packages are the parts that make the game buy-to-play. You have to buy land with real-world currency? I know that ESO will sell houses for cash, but I thought CIG would avoid that.

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partiesplayin

The problem with building this single player game which is using the same assets as the multiplayer game means this . SQ42 will not be done until all the features star systems and assets are basically done for both. Which means that SQ42 will not be ready for years and years . By my estimates after following the project for 8 years now is that SQ42 will not be done for at least another 3-4 years. I dare Chris Roberts to prove me wrong and release SQ42 before that time frame.

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Dean Greenhoe

They are making something evolutionary and It takes time. I am willing to wait for a well made product vs a shoddy effort that misses the mark and fails due to impatience.

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Nathan Aldana

I mean, people waited for duke nuken forever for two decades and it definitely was the greatest fps ever.,

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Joe Blobers

Linking SQ42+SC to Duke Nuken make zero sense.
You would have a point if ten thousands of backers were not able to test/play SC daily or with zero communication from CIG, not a single weekly, monthly, quarterly report, not single AMA, not a single Letter of the Chairman…

Is it the case? No, quite the opposite for anyone looking for development trend and information.

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Dro Gul

Did anyone buy DukeNukem a decade before release and not be able to get their money back as year after year went by? As far as communication, there were blurbs and news updates all the time and they were just about as useful as the info Chris gives. That is to say, not much. The one fait point is the fact that prospective customers can join a free play weekend a few times a year, but that does nothing for people waiting years and years past the ETA they were given. And no, the people that bought Squadron 42 actually can’t login and play it. At all.

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Joe Blobers

Directly from CIG site:

Greetings Citizens,
In the early days of the Star Citizen campaign, we had packages that were sold with “Alpha Slots”. Originally, any packages with Alpha Slots would be granted free access to all of Star Citizen’s pre-release modules, including the Arena Commander, Social Module, Star Marine, etc. Packages without Alpha Access needed to buy a Module Pass.

In order to reach a wider audience, we’ve changed our business so that if you have a Game Package, you have access to all modules!

So, Alpha Access has become Alpha Legacy?
Yes. We’ve replaced Alpha Access with the nominal Alpha Legacy, as all players now have access to all modules.

What does Alpha Legacy provide?
Alpha Legacy only reflects that your account was one of the first to back Star Citizen.

In short, SC is the test bed till SQ42 is released. That was the deal from day one.

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Dro Gul

Well it doesn’t even mention SQ42 there. Also, that clearly wasn’t from Day One. Riddle me this Batman: when was that posted?

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Hurbster

I’m sure there is a very detailed roadmap for all the ships they intend to sell to people.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
DONE DEAL.gif
Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

I like it! Though I think Artax in the swamp may be a bit more apt. ;)

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Schlag Sweetleaf

36 year old meme reference is old..

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

No, no, no; not old. Refined, classic, well-aged, vintage. :)

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Schlag Sweetleaf

useful rune for “never-ending” stories.I believe it is unique in the wilds of the internet…

falcor-unscreen.gif
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Utakata

If it’s the movie I’m *thinking of, and if Mr. Roberts crowd founded that instead, we would of likely never of seen it, let alone remembered it. >.<

*Note: 2nd feature to go fully CGI after Tron if the aging pigtailed memory serves correct.

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Utakata

Edit/Update: Oh, that wasn’t from the movie I was thinking of. NM… :)

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Schlag Sweetleaf

NeverEnding Story…much like SC:)

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Drunk3nShaman

“It’s done when it is done” used to blizzards Motto.
Now it’s “Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money”

Game will get done, just gonna be a bit.

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Bruno Brito

8 years is not a “bit”.

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Loopy

And Blizzard released vast majority of those games.

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Armsman

And so is Chris Roberts over the years:
Wing Commander 1
Wing Commander 2
Wing Commander 3
Wing commander 4
Privateer
and
Strike Commander

All very successful and well-regarded games and today many of them are still popular and so well on good old games.

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Loopy

Chris Roberts released these under proper leadership and guidance. CIG didn’t release anything.

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Tee Parsley

All done at Origin Systems. Almost all done 25+ years ago. Digital Anvil, where Roberts had complete control, produced zippo de nada.

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Nathan Aldana

He last released a game more than a decade ago.

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Joe Blobers

True they did released some but not so many. All of them being a tiny fraction of SQ42+SC.
That never stopped me to play some Blizzard games, ED, The Witcher 3 and soon Cyberpunk while supporting the single project don’t care to even attempts as quick $ with no pain it heir goal, not gamer community

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Drunk3nShaman

Thank you for not being Hyperbolic btw by using “VAST” because all studios have canceled projects however Chris is very experienced even if starry eyed on goals and I have faith it will get done.

Now will it be good as a sum of the parts? what I have played so far is leading me to a YES. Every time I log in after an update I see real tangible gains so yeah in due time.
I knew it would take forever signing up…it’s Chris Roberts of course he is going to JAM it with everything he can think of and delay release because he has the budget
I was a Freelancer player

Chris is the Pacific Rim of Developers GO BIG OR GO HOME.

Covynant001
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Covynant001

As long as he can keep bringing in $2M to $3M a month never promising a release date why should he bother providing one?

Strykerx88
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Strykerx88

Just gotta keep letting those poor saps believe the imaginary game they individually fantasize about differently is coming out “soon.” Keep raking the money in. The moment they say it’s “released” there’s going to be a shit ton of upset people.

Poor Blobers.

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Roger Melly

You can’t help but feel sorry for the people still defending and supporting Star Citizen and Squadron 42 after 8 years and neither game even close to a beta state.

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Joe Blobers

I am rich.. of 7 years playing a tangible Alpha which in 2020 turned to be packed with more features than any single released Triple-A. And the gap is increasing at every quarter.
Rich of supporting as consumer and backer, a project offering what no companies plan to release for less thank a triple-A cost.

Thanks for caring :)
By the way, SQ42+SC is not Blobers lost alone in some comment section but a million backers sharing the same vision of the gaming present and future.

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Bruno Brito

SQ42+SC is not Blobers lost alone in some comment section but a million backers sharing the same vision of the gaming present and future.

I wonder how much you paid for this moneygrab.

You sound like a Goop client trying his best to come up with excuses to justify your complete lack of self-control.

Get help, man.

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Joe Blobers

I got help… by leaving comment on MOP. This is my therapy: help other see The Light :)

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Bruno Brito

This is my therapy: help other see The Light :)

Except it doesn’t convince anyone. You are aware of this. It sounds more like you need to come here to confirm you did a good choice by investing in this circus.

I’m being serious here. Drop everything, get some of that money and go see a psychologist and a psychiatrist. You don’t sound healthy. It’s clear your mental state is in shambles. You’re too invested in the existence of a half-baked product, and too protective of a figure that doesn’t even know you.

I’m honestly worried about you, man.

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Joe Blobers

I come here because you and some others are here, trying hard to convince you and others can’t have a correct vision of what this project or where it is heading. Correct vision meaning you are right.

Is SC a half backed product? yes it is so what? I never said it was not or the best polished and complete thing ever made by mankind.

Thanks sincerely for caring about me. I am perfectly fine, sharing my life with relative and friends than can have very different opinions about absolutely everything.
The fact I keep repeating the same things is not a mark of mental trouble… you and some others keep repeating the same as well :)

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Roger Melly

You might feel enriched by it and I am glad for you if you do but I hope for your sake you don’t put too much money into the game because by the time CIG is finished with you I think will feel impoverished.

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Joe Blobers

Don’t worry. I have others priorities in terms of expenses with many nieces and nephews and never fall in any sort of out of control addiction.
I managed my entertainment budget for games quite simply: give $ only to company who deserve it.
For instance I will buy Cyberpunk at full price but SW Squadron (because pew-pew) only at huge discount, not more than 10$ even if I have to wait a year. It is already available for half the price (20$) through legit key reseller site… The $ difference will go to CD projekt or CIG.

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Nathan Aldana

so its Bitcoin, a whole bunch of idiots huffing paint over some libertarian dream of getting rich when we all know almost none of them will ever attempt to cash out.

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Dro Gul

Bitcoin has the possibility of making someone rich. Unlikely for new folks but still theoretically possible. SC has no chance of making anyone rich other than Roberts and his cohort.

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Dro Gul

Are you counting me as one of those backers sharing the same vision of the gaming present and future?
Well let’s just say that as a backer my vision was quite different from this jumbled mess being developed.

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Joe Blobers

No Drug Gul I count you as an individual having its own vision of what is acceptable or not for him.

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Loopy

There is a reason why Project Management is a thing in business world. Without a clearly outlined project plan, milestones, target dates, etc. the team behind the project simply lacks proper guidance and incentive to complete things on time. Additionally, lack of proper project management methodologies shows that Chris doesn’t actually know what he wants in the final version of the game, nor what is required to get there (time, resources, tech).

If this was a project in any other context other than a crowd funded game, he would be fired by his sponsors.

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Rndomuser

Yeap, pretty much. He just doesn’t know how to properly manage resources and manpower and when to stop focusing on adding minor features which can be added after the release of the game so they can finally release a proper finished game instead of keeping it in perpetual “early access” stage.

And yes, he would absolutely be kicked out if he wasn’t an owner of the company and wasn’t still relying on people buying cosmetics or paying for an access to beta test the unfinished game. And sadly he is not the only one who manages his company in this way.

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Bruno Brito

he would be fired by his sponsors.

He was dropped by Microsoft because of these same issues. Cheesy storytelling, too much money spent on non-cohesive visions.

No publisher would ever accept Star Citizen’s pitch, because when it comes the time to deliver, it bombs.

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Armsman

Yeah that’s why it was kept on as a consultant for Freelancer until it was released. And if Microsoft didn’t see a good profit opportunity they never would have bought Digital Anvil in the first place.

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Bruno Brito

Yeah that’s why it was kept on as a consultant for Freelancer until it was released.

Because he has uses? I’ve never said Chris is a bad designer. He’s a bad manager. Microsoft can see past your petty misconceptions and use the man until he’s done.

And if Microsoft didn’t see a good profit opportunity they never would have bought Digital Anvil in the first place.

Ask if they wanna buy CIG. Call a psychiatrist after their answer because the resounding “no” in your ear will sound heartbreaking.

Your whiteknighting is duly-noted.

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Joe Blobers

RSI value back in 2018 have been valued by independent auditor to 460M$ (at time of Calders ‘s investment of 46M then 17M in 2020 but excluding those amounts).

The value did not decrease but significantly increase not only because of backers pledges over the past two years because of the but overall company value represented by assets, game engine change and dedicated pipelines. By end of 2021 all remaining core tech will either be fully R&D, implemented or under implementation.

I won’t be surprise if RSI is worse 700M$ by then and + 1B$ at SQ42 release…
Microsoft bought Bethesda for 7.5B$… and none of this company games, pipelines or tech approach what are SQ42+SC.

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Armsman

I believe you stated:

He was dropped by Microsoft because of these same issues. Cheesy storytelling, too much money spent on non-cohesive visions.

But then you state in reply to my bringing up MS bought Digital Anvil and kept CT on:

Because he has uses?

Sp, yeah, make up your mind as yo what your stance is.

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Bruno Brito

Sp, yeah, make up your mind as yo what your stance is.

My instance is: Good designers, as with good masochistic subs, need collars. You need supervision. As it was stated above, CR had good results when he was chained to management.

The moment he BECAME management, his games started dropping, because the man is a mess when he has no one to control him.

It’s not rocket science. You don’t need to pretend denseness.

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Tee Parsley

If you could show any evidence that Roberts ‘consulted’ on Freelancer after the MS buyout, it would be a first. Aside from Roberts blowing his own horn. Even he lists his role as ‘original concept’.

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Oleg Chebeneev

CIG has all these. The project is just too ambitious

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Loopy

Yep, try being a PM in any company and telling the executives that your project is 6 years late (and counting) because “it’s too ambitious”, and see what happens to your career.

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Oleg Chebeneev

works for Chris

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Nathan Aldana

Yeah, its almost like he is the Owner and this whole thing is a vanity project for his ego.

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Joe Blobers

He is factually the owner as per shares percentage owned…
If vanity is the reason why we have 3.11 alpha and when ready, SQ42, I am fine with it.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Except its not about his ego, but his dream to create a perfect space sim

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Joe Blobers

… you realize the current project, company and overall support is totally out of the scope of what you describe. Hence the different goals and approach even if the final goal is in both case to release a product people paid for understanding the proposed finance and development model.

EvasiveDice
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EvasiveDice

So star citizen 2.o? Because the original crash grab is losing traction so let’s full on make ANOTHER game stuck in alpha and charge players in game the entire way. Sounds legit. How is this passing legal laws? I think I remember star citizen at one point getting under the radar of fraud a bit back. By legal stand points. Taking huge sums of money and not delivering. So squadron is the next star citizen cash grab? Yikes. Of course I’m future predicting since squadrons isn’t even in alpha but I wager that’s what’s going to happen with it. Wait and see if there isnt micro transactions and i dare say…. “a live service” game.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

Squadron was the original pitch, SC was the bonus prize, but they’ve put so much into SC and its all over the news feeds that S42 gets mostly forgotten, even by the devs it seems. It doesn’t help that they’ve started over at least once, and I would guess that this latest blurb means they probably started over again.

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Joe Blobers

Quote: “By legal stand points. Taking huge sums of money and not delivering”

I suggest you leave legal discussion out of the loop. The last one to try, Crytek, have not been too successful at proving their point and the ones requesting refund in U.S either despite having probably the most influential and strong consumer laws and consumer protection organizations, private and Federal.

You are also late on SC numbering. It is already 3.11 :)

Everything CIG is doing so far is totally legal and conform to crowdfunded model. They did not run away with cash but pay +600 devs monthly to deliver an upcoming solo and under test/development play MMO.

Why do you think individual do join SC in 2020 despite having all information, pro and con, with several free weeks per year? Get what no released or in the pipe games do offer, even in Alpha.

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Bruno Brito

Why do you think individual do join SC in 2020 despite having all information, pro and con, with several free weeks per year?

Same reason as drugs: Personal issues, depression, some kind of changed view in life, lack of self-constraint, etc etc.

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Joe Blobers

Okay so SC backers is concentrating the all imaginable human mental decease population on the planet.
That was the best of the year by far. Thanks for sharing :)

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Bruno Brito

Everything you said made no sense. Not even gramatically.

That’s why i’m saying you should get help. You’re growing more detached by the minute.

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Joe Blobers

I’ll take it as an encouragement to progress. Thanks :)

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Roger Melly

While I respect any developer for not wanting to release a game too early I think it does get beyond a point where you expect more than “its done when its done”.

Chris Roberts can’t even give a rough idea when it will be in a closed beta state and that at this point should be quite shocking but after 8 years nothing will shock me more than if CIG can release any game ever under his mismanagement .

I still think we are far more likely to get a movie about the shenanigans surrounding the development of these games than the games themselves , something in the vein of the Polka King .

I think Adam Devine would be great as Chris Roberts because he has incompetent office workers nailed down to a tee. Maybe let the whole cast of Workaholics star in it.

Wonder what it should be called?

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Joe Blobers

Revised roadmap will be available in December, giving information to backers to see month after month how development is doing.
Anyone taking time to lesson to weekly, monthly information plus recent AMA and Letter of the Chairman can understand the remaining core tech are coming by mid-next year not in 5 years, allowing to get all SQ42 requirement codes + more gameplay to SC.

If only gamer community was able to get more incompetent like CR…

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Roger Melly

I lose track of the road-maps given how often they get revised .

I think when the movie gets made they should at least give you a part as an extra in it :)

Probably will the closest you’ll ever get to experiencing a finished product related to Star Citizen or sq42.