Jake shares his thoughts on the recent delays and the fervor around them.
Over the past several days the Internet has been ablaze as the projected launch date for Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 slipped into September. For a lot of people this was the straw that broke the camel’s back as patience finally ran out for them. Several reddit threads rose to the top calling CIG disingenuous, while others rose to defend the onslaught of criticism.
As the case always is, a balanced view of something like this is usually the best road to travel. Delays like this in software development are inevitable, especially in a project like Star Citizen. A lot of tech is being implemented in 3.0 that wasn’t going to be initially (even though some originally announced tech has been delayed). While the full Stanton system won’t be implemented, the procedural environments that will be in 3.0 are a lot more dense with more things to do than originally planned for 3.0’s 2016 release. This is absolutely a good thing.
At the same time, CIG has a tendency to say everything’s going according to plan on the surface until it’s too late. While I don’t think this is malicious whatsoever, I do echo the sentiments of the top comment in the previously linked Reddit thread. I believe there’s some sort of disconnect between the engineers and the producers. Or at the very least one between the developers and the community-facing team. A lot of this could be avoided if we knew exactly what was going on from the beginning, instead of having to wait until 4 months after the original projected release of 3.0 to receive the schedule. But hey, retrospect is 20/20.
So while everything isn’t as on fire as some people think, it’s still a healthy thing to show CIG some constructive criticism and not just blindly believe everything is fine. CIG is made up of a team of 400 humans. Of course there’s going to be some mistakes along the way. And that’s fine! Calling attention to those mistakes isn’t hating on the project, nor is believing in the project some blind faith.
However, I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about the biggest thing that I’m concerned about and I feel not enough people are talking about. The majority of the news and updates we get from CIG week to week are focused on Alpha 3.0 and the content and systems that are coming with it. While a lot of it is definitely pointing to the fact that 3.0 is a foundation for Star Citizen and that all this work on the backend systems will benefit the project at large, it still feels to me like all of the material we see is completely focused on the next patch. This isn’t a new thing either. The information leading up to 2.6 was the same way, and the patch before that, and the patch before that.
I personally backed this project for Star Citizen 1.0. No Alphas or Betas. Alpha and Beta are necessary stepping stones to get there, but I feel like the focus has been on the Alpha and not on the project at large. How’s the work on mining going? What about exploration systems? The galactic economy? Salvage? Organizations? I could go on and on. Star Citizen is a big project! And while I love seeing the procedural planets that we weren’t initially going to get until after release, I feel like that’s all I’ve been seeing for the last six months. I would feel a lot better if I knew what progress was being made on the rest of the game at the same time, if any. I’m sure a lot of other people would too. Not to mention Squadron 42! We used to get design docs and deep dives on features coming to Star Citizen. Where did they go?
So maybe that’s what we should be asking for instead of 3.0 to come sooner. 3.0 will come when it comes. How’s Star Citizen doing? We’re all here for open development. I hope CIG would considering opening up that part of development too.