Star Citizen opens up another free fly demo and writes an alpha 3.12 postmortem

    
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It’s once more time to entice new players into the persistent universe of Star Citizen. As of yesterday, CIG kicked off yet another free fly event, offering up a code that can be redeemed to get a free taste of the title between now and February 25th. The demo provides access to six different vehicles meant to give players “a taste of the distinct career paths and playstyles” available in the game, and also offers access to the Star Marine and Arena Commander side experiences as well.

As for those who are already invested in Star Citizen, there’s been a postmortem for alpha 3.12 shared by the devs that discusses the update’s features and breaks down impressions from players. Of particular note is how the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo event caused “some file-management headaches” due to getting the event out on time, which in turn has caused the devs to still work on critical fixes. There’s also promise of improvements coming to refining and discussion about the Building Blocks UI system and the challenges of applying it to the game’s old front end among a wide variety of other things.

source: official site (1, 2)
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Greaterdivinity

Man, it’s wild to read about something not making a DEADLINE and being rushed out anyways, causing further problems, in a game still in alpha with a fanbase that I’ve seen angrily and regularly asserting that deadlines don’t exist because the game is in alpha.

I get it, this is an insanely huge and complex project to manage and I don’t want to make it appear that I think this is all JUST SO SIMPLE. But like…seems like a good excuse to push back the free-fly event a bit to save time overall for game that’s been long, long, long delayed?

Rest of the postmortem is interesting though. I like postmortems.

Chronic Enigma
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Chronic Enigma

Freefly = Trial = money influx = more testers = game done faster and less buggy.

CIG just cant win with most non backers these days. About twice a year they will do a trial. It really helps the project grow.

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Greaterdivinity

I’m not opposed to the free fly events, I get that they’re necessary for additional crowdfunding that’s needed to get the game to launch. That’s not what I’m talking about specifically.

I just don’t get why they’d rush any of them without investors breathing down their neck unless like, they NEEDED the money right then. Delay it a few weeks, get the patch added to the build and sorted so they’re not spending even more time after the fact. The SC community are no strangers to delays, and this is a pretty easily explained delay.

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Kushaja

You’re overthinking it, its just a regular free fly event in a time where they released a stable patch, deleted a planet and its city (which improved performance) and they are preparing for a big patch soon. Free fly’s are done to test the servers and to bring new players (income) into the game.

Investor money is only being used for marketing purposes anyway. Plus, SC raised way more in crowdfunding money than investments ever did.

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Kushaja

Before anyone asks, by deleting a planet i meant they removed it from the Stanton system, because its true place is in the Pyro system, which is coming this year.

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Greaterdivinity

Yes, but one that was pushed out before an apparently pretty significant part of the update was ready and required them to go back and spend time fixing that patched update rather than working to get it deployed with the patch at a slightly later date. I don’t think I’m “overthinking” it at all, I’m just commenting and sharing my opinion.

I’m well aware of the point of free flies both as a source of revenue/crowdfunding and bigger testing.

I’m sure the free fly was overall a success, any time they do a big test it’s going to yield tons of great feedback and data. My problem, again, comes from the project management angle. I have no illusions that this is an easy project to manage with its absolutely insane scope and ambition. But the project continues to seem to largely, well, not really be managed at all, which fits with Roberts MO and the concerns from ye olden KS days.

Plenty of folks are fine with that, AND THAT’S FINE! I AM NOT HERE TO SAY BACKERS ARE WRONG FOR SUPPORTING THE PROMISE OF A GAME THEY WANT. But as a continued onlooker, it doesn’t give me confidence. This is a game where they continue to have total control over every aspect, answering to themselves and only themselves. They don’t answer to backers really, they don’t have to answer to a publisher, they don’t have to answer to investors putting up a majority of the money. Which is why I don’t get why they wouldn’t delay a free fly event a bit, saving time by dealing with issues on the front end rather than when the build is deployed on the PTU/live server (don’t remember where free fly events happen). There was no real “requirement” or pressure to get the event out then, unless they desperately needed an injection of additional development funds which…is an entirely different problem.

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Tee Parsley

Bad management explains a lot of Star Citizen moves.

Stellar marketing does also figure in there though…..

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Joe Blobers

To me, bad management are managers from big Publishers, gathering many Billions $ each single year since decades but unable to deliver nothing more than the same copy/paste games over times.

Of course this is a player perspective. If I was a greedy investor, I would valid those big publishers decisions…

Fortunately, RSI is applying their own rule: take each $ to build a company able to develop core tech, features and gameplay no others company care about simply because those companies prefer to keep cash for shareholders, not ambitious games…

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Kushaja

I understand your point, its just, the game has been in an alpha state for a long time. And it will continue to be for … well, who knows how longer. Issues will always be there, no matter how many you tackle, new ones pop up etc. Its just, the current patch and state of the alpha is stable and they decided “hey a free fly is ok now lets do it”…

Also, i don’t think additional funds is an issue with the game, honestly. I’ve been a backer and a follower for a long, long time and last year has seen the greatest surge of income since the start.

Again, i understand the issues with management of this game and the responses and PR have not been stellar always. We would all love for everything to come quicker and issues to be resolved sooner, but, as it turns out, that’s just hard, especially when management is all over the place.

Organizing a free fly fly event for anyone to see the state of the game is just their promise of open development and i approve of that.

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FailingToComply

I backed in 2013, followed all the bluff for years – but actually gave the game a proper go over the last couple of months. It shows immense potential, and the Xenothreat mission they had over the last 2 weeks was great fun. What truly changes the gameplay though, isn’t features or new ships, it’s playing with a crew. CIG need to stop adding stuff until it’s bombproof, and fix the bugs, glitches and constant server deaths to allow the people that want to play – to be able to play with confidence. Forget Fire Extinguishers and flushing toilets… just make the game more stable first.

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Kushaja

Yeah, Xenothreat was the greatest thing SC added to the game. so much fun.

Honestly, since they lowered player counts and removed a planet i had way less 30k’s (server error) than before. Its not perfect by any means, but its way better.

Also, just in case you missed it, they have an amazing looking open development roadmap on their website, which they launched like 2 months ago i think?

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/progress-tracker

It shows every small little thing they are working on.

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Joe Blobers

It is a good point but if they have to wait for pristine patch more or less equal to a finished product, we would wait for years as each new patch do fix but also add new bugs, together with new contents/features/gameplay.

Past free events over the three last years do show there are individual ready to jump in at some point of development, +200.000 new backers in 2020. Current event is done on a patch (3.12) which is out since +2 months, starting in PTU on Dec. 11th, with Evocati on Dec 2d.

It seems like CIG do see an advantage to keep such Free for all events.

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Bereman99

I’m not sure “done faster” and “Star Citizen” work in a sentence together.

Which is not a judgment of whether that is right or wrong, mind you. It’s just never been a development cycle based on speed in any sense of the word.