Star Citizen's crowdfunding model

Continuing the discussion from Will crowdfunding continue after the Kickstarter completes?:

NB: the linked from thread contains some additional context to this response

I split this off the original thread, which it was derailing

As a general rule, AAA games are so successful because they have broad market appeal. CoD is an AAA game because it’s consistently a “must have” game featured on almost all platforms. It returns stupid amounts of money because of sheer volume of units purchased. In the SC example, it is returning a significant amount of money because the fans of a niche market are, on average, paying above the face value of a finished game in the “AAA” category. But we’re not quite at CoD levels yet, especially given that the game may not actually run a large profit

Ok, fair enough, that’s three reasons then. Though I would still say it is unfair to call space sims dead, merely struggling. The X series have been a good set of games, yet marred by abysmal UI/UX, sloppy story when attempted, and a difficulty cliff. Darkstar One was a decent game, similar in some respects to Freelancer, but considerably more arcade-y in style. There have been others, and they’ve varied in quality, there have also been some overly complicated remake attempts at classics like Elite, and the like.

But doesn’t that raise the question as to why the crowdfunding was necessary in the first place?

Ah, thanks.

Yes. Again, like I have for SC already, I do participate in these models not only can afford to, but I feel compelled to in order to get “the full experience”. But I’d far rather “the full experience” was available to all at the same cost.

But I’m asking these questions because, through a variety of game design choices, Cloud Imperium has managed to almost entirely mitigate the negative effects of their crowdfunding model.

I think you’re misunderstanding me slightly, and I may not also be fully up-to-date with how SC is doing battles, so I’ll bite.

I’m not really sure I like this mechanic, but carry on. There’s something about (essentially) giving every player a slightly different game in a “persistent universe” that doesn’t quite fit right with me. Also, simply suppressing the problem by reducing the occurrence of PvP in a largely PvP game doesn’t fix it.

[quote=“Saturday, post:18, topic:315”]
-Real Time Matchmaking AI- Star Citizen’s persistent universe will feature real-time seamless instancing. The servers decide who you see at any given location or time in the 'verse. Everyone is on one server, but you can’t see everyone all the time. The game decides who you will encounter in deep space based on each of your assets (ships/weapons, ect) and your player skill. Most of the time, you will encounter roughly a fair fight, Some of the time, the server will choose not to give you a fair fight, about as much as it decides to sometimes give you a fight weighted in your favor (after all, space is dangerous). All of this will be happening behind the scenes as you’re doing whatever you’re doing.[/quote]
I don’t trust matchmaking AI, and I’m not going to start soon. Historically, any AI for competitive PvP fails at some point. Usually, it’s because it relies on a player’s skill being consistent throughout each session, or it fails to account for changes in the player’s loadout, or many other factors. I also think that it’s somewhat incompatible with an open universe game, but then that’s not really what SC is offering. The matchmaking AI will also fall down if it fails to understand and account for player politics, as there’ll no doubt be battles with more than 2 combatant “sides”

RPS works on paper, but is blind to other things. It’s not really relevant to the overall discussion, but seeing as your bringing it up and I’m feeling pedantic… In any scenario, a player living in the same city as the server shard with decent network is going to generally have better performance and response time than a player living further afield. A joystick is often going to be the best choice for twitch-heavy fighter craft, but will provide a dismal experience for a frigate captain. This mostly leads into an expansion of your last point, so I’ll expand further there.

This is true, if you include the technical aspects mentioned above in your definition of “skill”, and you assume 1v1 battles. Given that SC pegs itself as an MMO, I’m considering there’ll be more than 2 combatants on the field at any one time. At this point, traditional RPS balancing breaks down, because other tactics become available. Given the right formation, a frigate fleet can present minimal weak targets to any hostiles whilst maximising their fire coverage. Now the frigates are using their lower manoeuvrability to their advantage. The fighter squadron, which may or may not defeat a frigate 1v1, now have a near impossible task. Sure, the AI may limit the chances of these kinds of encounters happening, but the point is that you can’t do these calculations for 1v1 scenarios.

That’s fine, if you assume 1v1 battles. I’m assuming that isn’t the case in SC.

But that would completely miss my point. If that becomes the norm for someone because they had a substantially weaker ship and loadout because they refused to pay ridiculous amounts for a frigate or a high-end fighter craft before the game launched they will have a significantly degraded experience until they grind their way to a decent set of kit. Establishing that potential scenario at day zero is where I have a problem.

And I’m saying that you simply can’t know that, yet, because the game isn’t even made. If the mechanics turn out to make a crap game in practice, they’ll (hopefully) be changed, which may then lead to unfairness. Or “other things” might happen. The ridiculously large amount of pledges for ships have already happened however, that isn’t going to go away.

Except it isn’t. I’m fully aware that I know nothing of how Infinity (the MMO) will eventually work, and I don’t pretend that I do, even if I strongly voice my own opinions. Largely because of that, I’m not claiming that this game will be the saviour of space sims, but also partly because establishing this kind of quality and scope as being the norm for the genre is the quickest way to guarantee that it’ll be the last (good) one made. This game will probably fill a specific niche
as the go-to game for some time, before interest fades or a successor emerges. It’ll be the master of that niche, but I’d still expect different kinds and competencies of space sim to still be made.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve really involved myself in nearly any game mechanics threads since the old forums, and I certainly haven’t been proselytising for this game on other forums.

Oh and sorry for the wall of text. :smile:

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My 2 cents:

  1. Any game that gives an advantage to a player for paying extra money, and offers some form of PvP, is pay-to-win. Any advantage. Because if all else is equal, owning both the frigate and the fighter will give you an advantage in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy.

If you’re OK with a certain level of p2w, great! Awesome, go for it. Personally, I prefer a level playing-field, and therefore wont prod SC with a 6-foot pole. But that’s just my opinion.

  1. I found this statement rather hilarious:

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:1, topic:320”]
In the SC example, it is returning a significant amount of money because the fans of a niche market are, on average, paying above the face value of a finished game in the “AAA” category.[/quote]

Agreed. Although if you take the ~100.00 USD average and drop 40$ off it to get the usual 60.00 per pledger, it’s still 24 million dollars. Still a AAA budget. And my point was that Star Citizen showed studios that you can make a AAA game with crowdfunding, not that you can profit from it.

Large profit margins are also only important if you’re supported by a large publisher that will scrap you’re studio if you’re not making ROI goals. As far as actually sustaining a dev studio to make a great game and continue making great games, you only need to break even with your costs. After the space, equipment, and employees are paid for, what do you need more money for? Maybe 5% so your studio can grow a bit or give some raises?

As far as COD is concerned, Black Ops cost between 18 and 28 million USD to produce. Cloud Imperium is going to use all of it’s money to make the game. That puts it at 40 million to produce and rising. We’re way past COD at this point. We’re past a lot of Hollywood films at this point.

I played all of them, or at least gave it the good college try. I mean of course I did, I was waiting for Infinity since '06. And from what I experienced, I call it dead lol. You call it struggling, fair enough. I guess we agree to disagree what we call it hah.

Roberts had some of the same goals and situation as Kingdom Come Deliverance. He needed to prove to his investors that there was at least some demand for what he was trying to do, hence the crowdfunding. He had no idea that he would be able to drop the investors entirely and that it would be so successful when he was developing the prototype.

I don’t know why you think if SC was single player that it wouldn’t be the full experience? It’s exactly the opposite. People that bought really expensive packages lose some of the experience because they aren’t going through the normal game mechanics to get that game asset. They knew this when they were doing it and it was their choice. There are some people that wanted to support the game for more than the standard retail price but refused to miss out on the challenge of getting the larger ships and that’s why there are other ways to support the game such as the subscriber packages. Also it’s not like they’re getting an add-on or DLC to the game that nobody else gets. (I’m not including the people that pledged 10,000 USD, because they get their own bar and club in the game"). They do get lifetime insurance (if they pledged early enough) but insurance will not be expensive or cost prohibitive in-game. It is more or less an in-fiction game mechanic that explains how you don’t lose everything if you get shot out of the sky.

I, for the most part, do. At least in DOTA 2. It works pretty well. Of course, it doesn’t have to be perfect, and two players don’t have to be completely equivalent. It would make for a slightly weird universe if it did every time.

It’s open by most definitions, just not this one. One of the other reasons why they’re implementing the persistent universe is because it cuts down on griefing across the board. You’re right, it won’t be as open as Eve, or Infinity TQFE in terms of changing almost the entire galaxy in huge ways such as a single player faction owning entire systems. But it is more open in terms of gameplay mechanics, such as boarding ships, cutting into a hull and exploring an alien derelict, the fps stuff.

Sure but we’re talking about the problems that are specific to the crowdfunding model. These problems are present in any online game and would be present in SC if they didn’t offer larger ships with the pledge packages. If anything these problems are all decreased in Star Citizen more than other games. Obviously if you don’t have the right controller, and you’re combat performance is suffering for it, the matchmaking system is overall going to rate you as less skilled. You’ll encounter easier combat to compensate. Roberts specifically said ping, preferred language, and geographic location will all also be prioritized in the persistent universe’s AI.

That’s sort of a weird way to write it off as if it’s some new experimental design scheme that has never been seen in the game industry before. I can hardly think of any remotely highly rated competitive multiplayer game that hasn’t successfully implemented it.

It’s not, and yes if there are two player groups, that are mortal enemies. The matchmaking system will have to put them in the same instance regardless of skill or assets because the primary goal of the persistent AI is to create a universe for each individual player that makes sense, is coherent, and is most importantly, relevant. You will always see your sworn enemies, bounties, and friends first, ect. In this situation, if one corporation bought 10 Idris’ and yours did not, you will be placed against them anyway. And that’s why I went over the RPS balance and importance of skill because they are integral to the whole system working.

You keep mentioning the word “grind” and I just wanted to point out that the devs specifically stated they don’t like grind themselves and they’re doing everything they can to minimize it for the players that don’t like it either. I don’t know how good they’ll be at achieving their goal. CR did give an actual number for getting the Constellation though, he said 60 hours of gameplay. Really not very much at all. Took me 35 hours to beat Bioshock, 25 hours to beat Dishonored. That almost sounds like a Freelancer timetable for getting ships.

Yes I agree. I was just pointing out that in the unlikely situation that all of the aforementioned criteria were met, it still isn’t that much of an inconvenience. Would it still be an inconvenience? Yes, it would. It would be a 20 second inconvenience that wouldn’t have happened if the pledge model were different. My claim was never that these game mechanics completely remove every possible advantage between Player A and B. My claim is that they mitigate the advantage to such an extent, that it is indiscernible to a normal player from a universe that did not start with people with Constellations. And it definitely seems to me, that if these mechanics work as they’ve explained, it is completely indiscernible.

Well of course. I never claimed to know with some sort of absolute certainty. I just know what they’re planning on doing. And I know a decent amount about the capabilities of their team and the resources they have access to. I am not confident in saying that they will absolutely execute this persistent universe without a hitch but I am least confident in saying that if anyone can do these things at this time, it would be Cloud Imperium for Star Citizen.

The dogfighting module upon release of the full game will be integrated into Star Citizen as the space flight simulator. You will be able to try out different ships in it and play in an arena-type setting.

I’m okay with an advantage or disadvantage so small that it is indiscernible from a game with a different crowdfunding model.


You need the the profit as capital for your next game, or further unplanned development, contingency planning, etc. If CI believes it can crowdfund all of its games it’ll bleed its core market dry pretty quickly. Plus, if SC is as good as CI claim it’ll be, where’s the incentive to fund future games? If it fails to meet expectations, why should their core market trust investing in them again? Because all the money that isn’t profit is what you’ve already spent for development, equipment, etc… Sure, they can rely on investors, but no investor is going to back another project the size of SC, it’s just too damn risky. In my opinion, CI realistically should be looking for $20 million in profit at least to make a similar sized game in the future, making the rest up through investment.

The other option to this is gutting the studio after SC is released, and only keeping the staff required to maintain the game until EOL. Some studios do this and then rehire for the next project, which is why a lot of people that work in the industry hate the industry (at least from those I’ve spoken to).

Well, I can’t speak for DOTA 2, but every experience I’ve had has been adequate to poor.

I don’t believe that’s the case, but maybe we’re thinking of different groups of multiplayer games. Point is, the RPS comparison works best between two parties, which isn’t the case in multiplayer games. Those that almost literally implement RPS will usually work the same way, but if we’re talking about RPS-like mechanics, then depending on how they’re designed they can be gamed in multiple-party scenarios.

Normally I’d give a comparison with my time spent gaming, but the last two weeks have been a bit atypical, so Steam’s figures don’t help. But let’s have a shot anyway, even if it means quite a few assumptions.
Let’s assume the average gamer spends 15-20 hours a week playing games. However, the average gamer also plays a couple of games in rotation, so let’s say they spend 10 hours a week playing SC. If they play solidly at that pace for 6 weeks after launch, they’ll only be at roughly the same point as someone who purchased a Constellation as part of a pledge. Given that in that time I could have completed 3 average singleplayer games it’s still fairly grindy.

Fair enough. I guess if I had enough time to follow SC’s development I might share some of your confidence. I still hope CR pulls it off, of course, because I’ve already put my money into this project.

Which will let me know how the various ships work in a dogfighting, arena-type setting. This doesn’t teach me how they’re likely to react if they have friends nearby, or a neutral 3rd party that may attack if threatened, or if they have the option of juking in and out of the Roshan pit. I realize Roshan is unlikely to be part of SC, but my point is that setting matters.

By the way, will the flight sim be multiplayer?

I think it’s fair to say that you and I have a different perspective on what is or is not a discernible difference. Which is OK, there are enough games out there for both of us.

Personally, I find fractions of a second to be the difference between life and death. Literally - I’m pretty sure I’ve come that close to dying at least once or twice over the years. The games I enjoy most are the ones where reacting to a situation is too slow; where you have to predict it occurring and act pre-emptively on that assumption. Two examples of such games are Dota 2 and Dark Souls, but really any game that involves large scale PvP benefits from a certain level of pre-planning.

If I haven’t used a certain spaceship in a real fight, or if I’m matched against a hero I’ve never played in Dota 2, then I wont be able to predict what they’re going to do, and so if the game is of a type I enjoy I’ll be at a significant disadvantage if my enemy has played my hero, or used my type of spaceship. Even cosmetics, camouflage or other items that make you look like something you’re not, can give a discernible advantage.

This is why I have a zero-tolerance policy towards pay-to-win. I don’t expect a lot of people to share my point of view.

The words are opposites. At least, in computer programming, which is not a bad frame of reference for a computer program, the two words have very different meanings. Calling a universe persistent while explaining that one of it’s main features is that each pocket of space will be it’s own instance - and that having multiple instances of each pocket of space will be a core feature for balancing purposes - seems like… well, a joke.

The reason I find this joke hilarious is that I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re actually planning, and it’s better to laugh than cry.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m OK with instancing - did I mention I rather like Dark Souls? - just that claiming persistence at the same time is… obviously untrue? A redefinition of the English language? Why would anyone throw tens of millions of dollars at someone who is lying about what they are using it for?

When did honesty lose it’s value? Oh yeah, before I was born. When did at least putting a little effort into your lies lose it’s value?

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Runiat, why are those opposites in computer programs? I can have several objects that are persisted similarly, but let different users see different instances of it. In this case, the technical implementation of something like doesn’t seem like it would have an inherent effect on the content of what’s inside the object you’re seeing an instance of.

Say you’re on server A and I’m on server B. Why would this forum topic look different to me than it would to you? It’s the amount of people on the server that worries them and creates the need for instances, surely. Where the persisted data comes from doesn’t seem like it matters and likely comes from a different place all together anyway, surely not stored within that server shard itself?

But whatever. Chill. Don’t goad people into reactions by throwing drastic statements out like that. There a company with people trying to make video games, for you to play, or ignore. They have proven people on board who know what they’re doing, with money, with design, with technical insight, with passion, expertise and experience in the very niche they’re working for right now. And your reaction to them is, “they lie”?

OK. Then don’t play their game, jeez.

My plan exactly, why does this upset you to the point of profanity? You said it best:

Other than that…

Of course they lie! That’s what they’re using a good chunk of their money for: marketing. Really, I’m only disappointed that 40 million couldn’t pay for better PR people.

As for your other question, you said that best, too:

As opposed to having a persistent perception of the universe across several users. Well, across several computer monitors, dealing with human perception is a whole other kettle of fish.

You do make a fair point, though, the idea of a “persistent universe” could simply be that nothing ever changes. I failed to consider that, mostly because I can’t see why anyone would want it.

I guess I just think being able to, reliably, meet someone by being in the same place at the same time would be better for immersion than having nothing ever change. But then, that’s what I was saying about human perception being anything but persistent. I have no problem accepting that people have opinions different from my own, and I spend time on things like forums to try to better understand those opinions, or at least learn what they are. The least I can do is give the people I’m learning from the chance to do the same.

In fact, I’ll do so right now:

My opinion of using the “don’t play their game”-argument on another game’s forum to tell people not to have another opinion than your own is very low indeed. If you wish to surround yourself with SC sycophants, this is not the forum you’re looking for, in my opinion.

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I’m not trying anything else than let you see the light, man. Come on in. Drink the koolaid. Don’t worry about the colour. Green means natural.

Look man, I don’t think I used profanity in there - I at least didn’t intend to, I’m not trying to surround myself with anything, I’m not trying to make you do anything. I was simply critically responding to your assessment that some other game company is not lying to you, they’re trying to do the best they can. And I personally kind of think they’re doing OK.

I also never said persistence wasn’t changing. The point I made was that the persistence of data shown in servers is unrelated to how many servers, or shards, or instances, or whatever access the data?

And my point is, by your definition, wouldn’t a browser-based Pong game be persistent? After all, there’s a server that’s keeping track of all the data, except the stuff that only the client needs be aware of (in the case of Pong, everything except the highscore), and each instance can access this data.

Somehow, I don’t think an online leaderboard was what they meant when/if they stated they’d have a persistent universe (to be fair, I didn’t hear them say it myself, simply taking your word that they did). Still, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and admit they might not so much be lying as making technically true but somewhat misleading statements, which as mentioned is entirely unsurprising for any company with a marketing department and a desire to obtain money.

Or rather, what I hear when someone says “persistent universe” is “if you go to the same place, at the same time, as someone else, you’ll meet them there (without having to tell the game you’d like to do so)” - which for me is kind of important as I like realistic games and this is how all of the observable universe works, the interior of black holes and other dimensions being as yet unobservable.

Now for the fun bit, quoting out of context:

So, personally I really don’t care about this, to the point where you’re not the first person trying to “make me see the light”, but I think most of the rest would be rather upset about “taking the lawd’s name in vain” or whatever they call it.

On an entirely unrelated note, discussing religion is against the rules of these forums. I’m just poking fun at people with accents, which is OK, as I’ve got one myself.

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I think a lot of the complaints of the instancing comes from the misconception that whenever two people or a group meet up they’re shuffled off to their own little room until the fight is over. This isn’t what happens.

First of all, there won’t be any instancing AT ALL unless the onscreen player/ship count becomes too much of a bandwidth/processor hog to make things playable. Current estimates for the number for that instancing trigger vary wildly because it’s the job of the DFM to determine what is the tolerable strain. Guesses range from 32-150 onscreen ships/players. But again that’s the job of the DFM to determine.

Edit: Secondly, the universe is persistent, everyone sees the same market data, the story continues the same for everyone whether you participate or not, the Vanduul are still gonna sack Earth at the same time for everyone. Everything in the universe persists and is available to everyone. There are no dual timelines, parallel worlds or splitting off shards.

So you haven’t kept up with Star Citizens development? That’s cool, not everybody can. But I have. I’ve read and watched just about everything they’ve produced. And as someone who has a vastly more comprehensive understanding of what CIG is doing, I see nothing to worry me.

I agree with and reinforce everything Saturday has said. Why do we have such faith in CIG? Because it’s not faith. It’s UNDERSTANDING that everything CIG is doing is for the best.

Edit2: @Runiat, who’s discussing religion? You’re the first to bring it up.

[quote=“Gryphon0468, post:10, topic:320”]
First of all, there won’t be any instancing AT ALL unless the onscreen player/ship count becomes too much of a bandwidth/processor hog to make things playable.[/quote]
From what I understand, this is completely true for areas with dockable assets but in deep space, like while on a mission, there will actually be a step in the server’s decision making process that decides whether you have an encounter at all or not (true/false) and then next, whether that encounter will be an NPC or Player.

Fair point for a normal funding model where you get your funds from “sales” rather than “pledges”. The difference for a crowdfunded game is a different expectation for where the money goes. And this is something that people on these forums have discussed… namely, all of the money should damn well better go into the development of this game; because that’s the understanding. A pledge is money for the development of a specific game and any extra money is expected to go into making the game better for the most part. You can’t take extra pledge money and make a different game with it. While I don’t think it would necessarily be against the terms of the Kickstarter as long as you fulfilled the original promises and neither would it be against the law. But I think it’s a professional, social, and economic expectation that the money you pledge in crowdfunding goes towards game development of only this game. Of course, if you took the money and didn’t even attempt to do anything, that would be fraud and would be unlawful.

When you buy a game that is already made in a normal transaction, you are paying for that game’s development only indirectly. What you’re simply doing in a normal transaction is paying for a license and what the company decides to do with the money is none of your concern and none of your right to know.

I don’t think this is true. A 100 dollar average pledge every what like 6 years? (No idea when they’ll work on another game but they’ve thrown out numbers for how long Star Citizen should last as a relatively popular game and they think 5-10 if they keep up on their promise to deliver free new DLC every single week after release.)

On a side note and this is just my speculation but they’ve actually mentioned engine update patches and even graphic enhancement patches. It’s possible that with the right model, they could extend the technical life of Star Citizen to continually be on the cutting edge of graphics and physics with major engine patches. It’s something Wingman has mentioned as a possibility.

Well if they failed, then my answer would be that they shouldn’t trust investing in them again and maybe they deserve going under.

Yep, this could happen certainly to an extent. I think CI’s skeleton crew would be bigger than most studios though because they will keep updating the game after release every week.

You should try it if you like MOBAs. Better than that LoL =P

Well of course, if they’re designed badly then there will be bad balancing susceptible to exploitation. Just like if Infinity’s planetary generation is designed badly, the planets will look terrible. That’s a given. I’m asking the question that if it’s designed well, such as in StarCraft, DOTA 2, or Day of Defeat, can it help mitigate an unfair advantage?

As for your example of multiple ships and/or maybe even of different kinds. Can you tell me the best unit combination and strategy in StarCraft that is simply so incredible, it cannot be beaten by any opposing strategy? Because I would love to know and go win all that money in Korea.

My point is, making RPS balance successful has been the basis of many games since the dawn of gaming. If Star Citizen gets it right, it won’t be the first by a long shot.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:4, topic:320”]
If they play solidly at that pace for 6 weeks after launch, they’ll only be at roughly the same point as someone who purchased a Constellation as part of a pledge. Given that in that time I could have completed 3 average singleplayer games it’s still fairly grindy.[/quote]
60 hours of non-grinding play. This is playing the game normally, taking on missions, ect and not especially trying to grind your way to a Constellation at the fastest pace possible. Also, the Constellation is one of the most expensive ships. There won’t be many ships that are pricier. In fact, as far as I know, there weren’t any ships that were pricier for sale except for the Idris Corvette on limited release.

I personally think 60 hours is too short tbh but everyone has their tastes.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:4, topic:320”]
I guess if I had enough time to follow SC’s development I might share some of your confidence. I still hope CR pulls it off, of course, because I’ve already put my money into this project.[/quote]
Well I wasn’t aware. When the game launches, I hope to see you in the 'verse. If you’re interested in game development, it’s definitely worth keeping up on. I learned a lot about how the industry operates in general from just the updates, of which there are multitudes.

[quote=“Runiat, post:5, topic:320”]
By the way, will the flight sim be multiplayer?[/quote]
Yes. The dogfighting module released in a couple months will be multiplayer and so will the simulator it is transformed into. It will be like an arena round-type match.

[quote=“Runiat, post:5, topic:320”]
I think it’s fair to say that you and I have a different perspective on what is or is not a discernible difference. Which is OK, there are enough games out there for both of us.[/quote]
That is clear. Fair enough.

[quote=“Runiat, post:5, topic:320”]
This is why I have a zero-tolerance policy towards pay-to-win.[/quote]
Of course this is fine and your right. (not that you needed validation from me =) )
But just out of my curiosity, is there a reason you’re that strict about it? Say you died like once or twice or several times out of hundreds of DOTA games because someone had a slightly less obvious skin on their hero. Would you really quit that game entirely because of that? Wouldn’t you be sacrificing more fun by not playing the game at all than the frustration you experienced during the few minutes out of the many hours?

[quote=“Runiat, post:5, topic:320”]
The words are opposites. At least, in computer programming[/quote]
Well, do you think it’s possible or mildly likely that Cloud Imperium is using the dictionary definition of persistence rather than the programming definition to relay this mechanic to the general public?

[quote=“Runiat, post:5, topic:320”]
Dark Souls[/quote]
I think Chris Roberts specifically referred to this game when talking about their instancing. I never played it myself.

[quote=“Runiat, post:9, topic:320”]
Or rather, what I hear when someone says “persistent universe” is “if you go to the same place, at the same time, as someone else, you’ll meet them there (without having to tell the game you’d like to do so)”[/quote]
You don’t have to tell the game you’d like to do so. The game automatically builds the universe for you. It’s not Star Trek Online in that regard.

Seriously? If you think Cloud Imperium is a dishonest organization because it once used a vague word for a massive game mechanic, the implementation of which has multiple goals, I can only imagine what disdain you have for every single other developer out there like Bioware, Blizzard, Valve, or I-Novae. I find it a bit hard to believe that any human can meet your standards.

As far as honesty and openness goes, the Cloud Imperium team has already not only exceeded my expectations but have gone wayyyy past the original stretch goals and promises and the game hasn’t even come out yet. Just as an example, the original JumpPoint subscriber behind-the-scenes magazine originally promised 4 to 6 pages a month. They are now doing an average of 50 pages a month of all behind-the-scenes content in the development of the game. No increase in fees. It’s all just part of the package now. Wingman’s Hanger (a live and archived webcast on the development of the game, straight from the Austin studio) was originally scheduled for once a month. Now they’ve increased it to once a week. I mean the list is endless how blown away I am from just connection to the community. Key employees on the development team have their own thread on the forums where they are responsible for answering questions from the community. Chris Roberts directly answers 10 questions, in-depth, from the community every week in a posted video. Wingman’s Hangar answers about 5-10 questions every week on the show from a compilation thread of questions on the forums. And there’s so much more like lore, concept art, ect.

I really can’t understand where you’re coming from with that “lie” stuff which you’ve used before in reference to Star Citizen.

[quote=“Runiat, post:9, topic:320”]
they might not so much be lying as making technically true but somewhat misleading statements, which as mentioned is entirely unsurprising for any company with a marketing department and a desire to obtain money.[/quote]
How old are you? I don’t mean that to be condescending but it really sounds like this is coming from someone who hasn’t had to support themselves… I guess there is no non-condescending way to ask that.

This stuff really baffles me. Not just in this conversation, either, I see it in the non-profit industry, the arts, medicine, ect. And I feel like it’s my obligation as a citizen to get on a soapbox and correct this shit when I see it.

I don’t know if you actually want Infinity Battlescape or eventually TQFE to be released or maybe you just like the Platonic idea of the game and never want the realization of it because it would almost certainly not meet your standards. But I assume you do want it since you’re still here. And if you do want Infinity in any form to be released, you better damn well hope that I-Novae has an incredibly strong marketing plan, and wants money. Because if you have a shitty marketing deployment, you’re not going to have very much money. The Infinity project has been plagued with the money problem from day 1. I don’t have to tell you the outcome of that. Flavien, Keith, and the rest of the team deserve the opportunity to make an incredible game, one even beyond the scope they initially envisioned, much like the case of Star Citizen. They also deserve the opportunity to go on vacation once in awhile. They deserve the opportunity to live somewhere decent and be able to eat food and have health insurance. They deserve the opportunity to work on their passion full-time and be able to pay for their kids’ college. They deserve the opportunity to have some money when they retire. If you want your developers to actually live and make great games without being distracted by life-problems, then you better hope they have a strong desire and plan to get money. You’re not going to make a game on hopes and dreams.

This is why I made the thread where this discussion started, and am defending the facts as far as I have them at this time. Star Citizen was wildly successful from a crowdfunding standpoint and I want to make sure that the people on this forum and the developers that read it, understand exactly how it was implemented, why it was successful, and what they can take from it in having their own successful campaign. People that don’t understand or are misrepresenting what happened are hurting I-Novae because it muddles the effectiveness of the useful strategies Cloud Imperium employed. I want Infinity to be successful so I can eventually have my empire and own all those worlds in my corner of the galaxy. That’s why I wrote this wall of text on this forum.

HAH! Semantics. CI are still, as yet, unproven developers. They have some developers with history, sure, but saying that you trust in what CI are doing based on words alone is little more than faith.

I’m ignoring the first bit, because you missed my point entirely. Publishers fund games developments because when the game goes to sale, they aim get back a) the cost of development b) profit to recycle as capital for future projects.

So if there are no buyers of this game, only pledgers, and all pledge money goes to SC, CI will have no money for their next project. Which means they’ll either have to sign up with Satan again, or ask the community for more money. This isn’t a sustainable model if the number of people willing to pledge isn’t high enough.

So when do they layoffs start? Because unless they get a sufficient amount of post-launch purchases, or stop investing further money in release development goals they’re going to struggle to live that long.

But meh, that’s their problem

Yeah, I’m not a massive fan of MOBAs

It was looking pretty damn flaky for a while. You’re right of course, and that’s one of the things they’ve therefore consistently demoed, and INS have been fairly upfront with the challenges they’ve had with that feature. On the other hand, it’s not really the make or break of the game, but more the engine.

In response to the first part, I don’t play Starcraft that much but it’s also a game that focuses more on tactical prowess that combat skills, in my opinion. I also can’t comment on DOTA2. In Day of Defeat, the RPS-like mechanic allows varied playstyles, but doesn’t really mitigate any advantages or disadvantages.

On the second point the Starcraft comparison is somewhat misleading, as you’re directly controlling all the friendly troops on the field, rather than them being individual combatants.

Battlefield 4 (and previous games in the series) is a good example of how even with RPS-like mechanics in place, certain situations can be exploited. In particular in 2 and 3, you could completely remove the US air capacity in Gulf of Oman for the entirety of a round if you constantly attack their carrier, or similarly for Wake Island. In other cases, you can steal their hardware and simply outgun them. These are all bad gameplay experiences that, realistically, should be avoided, though EA/DICE typically do that after the fact by tweaking weapon/vehicle characteristics. They solved the jet problem in BF4 for making jets spawn in the air, but on some maps the Mobile AA has coverage of most of the map from their home base, allowing them to dominate the skies from the safety of the home base with little the opposition can really do about it.


I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

If I had the time. I’ve heard plenty about how the industry operates from colleagues though, not a lot of it is pretty. Don’t let me rain on your parade though :stuck_out_tongue:

I thought CIG intended to sell the game in addition to taking money from pledgers? I’d imagine there was still a very considerable income to be made by average game consumers that are not in the habit of pledging money on the promise of a game some time in the future.

I don’t see why CIG can’t have their cake and eat it in this case. They can use pledges to fund the development of the game and take profits from sales to fund future developments. Profits from sales should be pretty high considering that there is no publisher taking a cut and they won’t be paying back development costs.

I get that, but I question how much they’ll get in post-release sales. They may have already, essentially, sold to the bulk of their market through pledges, which means they may get substantially fewer “traditional” sales.

Still, I don’t know, I don’t think anyone knows, it’s just a risk of that investment model.


I-Novae has yet to release any statements that appear to invalidate themselves. Admittedly some more communication would be nice :stuck_out_tongue:

Bioware, Blizzard, Valve, etc. have never asked me to pay for a game before it had been made. Intelligent of them, as it would have cost them what little faith I have in them now. I’m fine with companies growing rich off of me, I’m fine with them emphasising some features more than they perhaps should, because if I’m the least bit in doubt whether a game is worth paying for I go look up a review on youtube and find out.

Hell, I don’t even mind the WarZ devs pulling that stupid stunt of theirs (outright lying about features in the game on their Steam page, and then going out and publicly stating it was their customers’ fault for believing them, I kid you not) as I only became aware the game existed when people started bashing it on youtube. I was entertained, which is, in the end, the purpose of gaming, and I didn’t even have to get the game.

If, on the other hand, a company wants me to pay for their game months or years before anyone actually gets to play it, they damn better well be honest, and realistic, about what they’re selling. Because if they’re not, all those people that do get their hopes up will leave it within a month robbing the game of the thing I find most interesting: people.

But hey, have fun. Who knows? SC might actually deliver everything they’ve promised including the “no pay-to-win”-thing. If so, I’ll probably buy it. If not, no loss to me.

If the only way to get that skin was to pay for it: yes.

As it is, ever since I learned the heroes of dota 2 I’ve only ever come across a single skin that’s been able to make me doubt what hero I was looking at, the difference was between one caster/support hero and another, and I know that if I wanted I could obtain that very set without paying a cent, by simply playing the game (and optionally selling the equipment I didn’t want on the community market).

This is one of the reasons why I don’t play any mobas but dota 2.

That’s… not exactly a good thing, to be honest. The Dark Souls multiplayer implementation is kind of awful, really. Overall I think it’s a great game, just that taking any inspiration from their system except “how not to do it” would be… inadvisable.

On the bright side, the Dark Souls devs have done just that and are taking a, hopefully, far wiser approach to networking in Dark Souls II.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:12, topic:320”]
They have some developers with history, sure[/quote]
I wouldn’t write it off so easily. Roberts speaks for himself. Crytek employees actually requested a temporary leave to work at CIG during the primary development cycle. They have a handful of people from Bioware, including Bioware’s Technical Director. The list is long and I can’t remember all of it from the top of my head. My favorite people are the concept artists because we get to see a lot of their work every week- Jim Martin (Star Trek, AI, The Matrix Reloaded), Geoffrey Mandel (Serenity/Firefly), and Justin Sweet (Avengers). Ryan Church is my favorite. He was handpicked by George Lucas to work at Skywalker Ranch and he designed the Connie among other things. (Avatar, Tron, Transformers, Star Trek, Star Wars)

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:12, topic:320”]
saying that you trust in what CI are doing based on words alone[/quote]

Wellll, I would say that’s hardly what anyone is doing. If I haven’t demonstrated that by now then the only thing that would convince you otherwise would be to read/watch the development updates yourself.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:12, topic:320”]
On the second point the Starcraft comparison is somewhat misleading, as you’re directly controlling all the friendly troops on the field, rather than them being individual combatants.[/quote]
I think this is an unintentional red herring. The only difference that makes is that the “teamwork” more cohesive, because it’s all one brain. I’m also referring to games with more than two players as well. Regardless, the fact that the ships in Star Citizen are controlled by different entities and therefore would have less coordination doesn’t matter in my comparison because both sides suffer from the same handicap.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:12, topic:320”]
In Day of Defeat, the RPS-like mechanic allows varied playstyles, but doesn’t really mitigate any advantages or disadvantages.[/quote]

The classes are so strict in their abilities and in restricting playstyles while in that class, that it certainly does mitigate advantages or disadvantages. I don’t care if you’re the best MG in the world, if a sniper has a bead on your position, you’re going to be taken out. If you’re a rifleman in a building, you won’t last very long against an assault or support. Likewise, if you’re the best assault in the world and you’re trying to shoot a garand halfway across the courtyard, you’re going to have a bad time.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:12, topic:320”]
Battlefield 4[/quote]
I agree with you. I specifically didn’t use BF4 as an example of a game with good RPS balancing because I don’t think it has good RPS balancing yet. I was really frustrated when I first picked it up with my new Radeon.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:14, topic:320”]
I get that, but I question how much they’ll get in post-release sales. They may have already, essentially, sold to the bulk of their market through pledges, which means they may get substantially fewer “traditional” sales.[/quote]

Like you said, I don’t think there’s much evidence either way on this. On a guess, I’m leaning towards, they already sold out most of their market. But even if that was the case, sales isn’t the only way Cloud Imperium has of generating income after release. As I mentioned before, they plan on allowing players that do not have the time to log in as much to buy credits with cash at a limited amount per week. They’re hoping that, along with continuing sales, this will allow them to keep adding content every week.

I’ve played enough DoD (Source) to know that’s often not how it plays out. In particular, the only way to deal with a good MG is usually to flank them. That’s more about playstyle than anything else… but whatever.

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath for BF4. I’ll be interested to see what they do with the next EP though, otherwise I may just have to go back to Battlefield 2

Again, this is risky. Guild Wars 2 does this, but it does in such a way where the currency you buy is easiest spent directly on mostly cosmetic things or boost packs, but can be converted to a small amount of in-game gold. I’m not sure NCsoft talk about how well that works for them. But we’ll have to see.

[quote=“Runiat, post:15, topic:320”]
If, on the other hand, a company wants me to pay for their game months or years before I actually get to play it, they damn better well be honest, and realistic, about what they’re selling.[/quote]

Agreed. I don’t really expect you to be reassured or have a gauge on how open CIG is to their community because you don’t follow it nor have a need to. They do frequently talk about their challenges and what mechanic they’re arguing about and hashing out in the studio that week. I’m just saying, if you want to make a claim they’re dishonest, I would look at how they’re interfacing with their community first and examining that evidence. There were a few times I thought Chris Roberts was going to break out in tears on 10 for the Chairman when thanking the community for giving him the opportunity to make this universe.

[quote=“Runiat, post:15, topic:320”]
I know that if I wanted I could obtain that very set without paying a cent, by simply playing the game[/quote]
Again, this is the case with Star Citizen. There is essentially nothing exclusive for people that pay more.

[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:17, topic:320”]
I’ve played enough DoD (Source) to know that’s often not how it plays out.[/quote]
Sure, I’ve seen someone with a garand take out an entire team regardless of class or position. He’s also the best player I know. But of course, that example simply refers back to sheer twitch skill being paramount in Star Citizen.

Mantle is nice. I wonder if I-novae has thought about implementing it. (I know they have a lot on their plate without it but still).

Doesn’t help me so much as an Nvidia user :stuck_out_tongue:

Except: In dota 2 there is exactly 1 set of equipment that can be purchased with real money and give a measurable, if small, advantage in the game. Total cost of a few dozen hours or a few dollars.

In SC, as I’ve understood from what’s been said here, everything in the game can be purchased for real money. Total cost of several hundreds if not thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars. Not that I can see any direct advantage being gained in combat from owning a virtual bar, but then I haven’t looked very hard.