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Roberts on PC Star Citizen

An interview on Ars Technica talks with Chris Roberts about Star Citizen, his upcoming space simulation. Here's part focusing on how he looks to up the ante on PC gaming in a way that consoles cannot:

The main reason, Roberts says, is memory capacity. "You canít do that much with 512MB [of RAM on a console], so that constrains a lot of your game design. If Iím building a PC game, Iím going 'Yeah, you need 4GB on your machine.' Of course youíre not going to get all 4GB because Windows is a hungry beast, but youíre getting a lot more than 512MB so it kinds of open up what you can do, what you can fit in memory at the same time, and it changes your level of ambition."

Four gigabytes of RAM might sound like a lot, but keep in mind that Star Citizen isn't set to see a final release for another two years. "Iím looking at the high-end [hardware] today being the 'Normal Gamer' level in two years time," he said. "It'll be kind of like Wing Commander used to be. If you had the extra memory, if you had the 386, it was a better experience, but you could still play it on a 286."

Roberts added that he hopes Star Citizen proves that a high-end PC is good for more than warmed-over ports of games made for the consoles. "I have a high-end gaming rig, but Iíve also got all the consoles, and if someone is making a game for a console first, and itís being ported to the PC, Iím always buying it for the console. I donít want a buggy port of a console game on my PC that doesnít really show my PC off."

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33. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 18:06 Quinn
 
He obviously has a vision. Love the thruster physics! Love the idea that if you choose to go for the story and enlist for Squadron 42, you have to earn the freeroaming space exploring by finishing the campaign. Awesome how he put that in context.

Looking forward to this!
 
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"Moo," she said.
And I trembled.
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32. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 13:12 Creston
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 20:57:
So then he's beholden to whoever is giving him the 10 million. How is that a good thing? This is why I said I don't like him doing a KS because he's just using it to prove to a publisher that it's viable, and he really isn't beholden to the KS backers - which he should be. That's why I'm not backing this.

Yeah, it has downsides, I agree. On the other hand, how else is he going to make a game like this? Kickstarter is great for some games, but you can't get the AAA production values games done with it.

From the interview he gave, it seemed like it wasn't an actual publisher that had the money, but more of a private investor who obviously wants to make money, but trusts Roberts to get it done. (unlike publishers who always feel they know better how to make a game.)

Creston
 
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31. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 12:54 ItBurn
 
Aero wrote on Nov 4, 2012, 12:37:
Yeah, I kind of want it to be spelled out just exactly what Star Citizen is going to be. Obviously there is confusion about this so it needs to be sorted out. If Roberts doesn't really know yet, that's fine, but it would be nice to have harder distinctions.

To be honest, I'm reading it like this: For single-player and dedicated servers, it's going to be a mission-based space combat game like Wing Commander. The online, MMO portion will be a sandbox space sim like Privateer. The thing is, the phrase "space sim" used to be applied to all of these things because "simulator" really just used to mean a game with 3D graphics (as opposed to a 2D scroller). Typically in common usage, "space sim" these days refers to a sandbox, Privateer-style game. That's hardly universal though, and "space simulation" generically is certainly an adequate description of a mission-based game.

I hope I'm wrong though. I really don't want an MMO, let alone a micro-transaction-based MMO. If, as some people are saying, the whole MMO infrastructure will be released as a dedicated server so we can run our own private universes alone or with particular friends and no micro-transactions, that would be awesome, but that seems like a questionable business move. It could work, but it seems awkward.


You're wrong
 
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30. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 12:37 Aero
 
Yeah, I kind of want it to be spelled out just exactly what Star Citizen is going to be. Obviously there is confusion about this so it needs to be sorted out. If Roberts doesn't really know yet, that's fine, but it would be nice to have harder distinctions.

To be honest, I'm reading it like this: For single-player and dedicated servers, it's going to be a mission-based space combat game like Wing Commander. The online, MMO portion will be a sandbox space sim like Privateer. The thing is, the phrase "space sim" used to be applied to all of these things because "simulator" really just used to mean a game with 3D graphics (as opposed to a 2D scroller). Typically in common usage, "space sim" these days refers to a sandbox, Privateer-style game. That's hardly universal though, and "space simulation" generically is certainly an adequate description of a mission-based game.

I hope I'm wrong though. I really don't want an MMO, let alone a micro-transaction-based MMO. If, as some people are saying, the whole MMO infrastructure will be released as a dedicated server so we can run our own private universes alone or with particular friends and no micro-transactions, that would be awesome, but that seems like a questionable business move. It could work, but it seems awkward.

 
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29. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 12:20 spindoctor
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 4, 2012, 10:19:
That's not right. That's not what KS is intended for. It's there for you to bring a single project to completion - one that you would otherwise be unable to fund yourself. It's not their to raise some money and say 'Thanks, now I'll go talk to the really important people.' As I've stated before, it may not technically be against the rules but it most definitely goes against the spirit of them. That's just one more in a long list of why he's not to be trusted, much less given crowdsourced money IMO.

Yup. This doesn't feel right and it's why I'm not backing it either. I am glad that it reached it's targets though, so hopefully if everything goes well I will be able to buy a fantastic game when it does release.

 
Some of the most miserable and unhappy gamers on the planet are at Bluesnews
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28. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 10:37 Tom
 
Yep it's sketchy as all hell but .....

SPACE SIM !!!!!!!!!!!!

The bait is just too big.

Let's look at this from the perspective of Chris Roberts for a moment. He shipped some spectacular games in his early days. Then things got messy and he had to bail. What is this project to him? Is it a chance to relive his glory days? Get the band back together? Prove to the world he's still got it? Have millions of adoring fans once again? Maybe even move on to bigger and better projects and secure his place in history as a game developer legend?

Or is it one last desperate attempt to cash in on past success? Raise all kinds of $$$, produce a mediocre-at-best product that makes a feeble attempt to please everyone and pleases nobody, and hopefully ride off into the sunset with a few million bucks (and millions of disappointed would-be fans)?

I find it hard to get a read on this guy. But I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt (for now) because he was involved with the best game ever made (Wing Commander 2) and if there's even a 1% chance of success this time I want to be a part of it. Irrational, but that's how humans can be.
 
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27. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 10:19 Cutter
 
Jerykk wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 22:55:
Cram wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 21:55:
Cutter wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 20:57:
So then he's beholden to whoever is giving him the 10 million. How is that a good thing? This is why I said I don't like him doing a KS because he's just using it to prove to a publisher that it's viable, and he really isn't beholden to the KS backers - which he should be. That's why I'm not backing this.

I am/was unaware a major investor may be involved in this way and if this is true I am cancelling my pledge. Gonna read up a bit, if this is the situation I am out.

It's true. However, I'm not really sure what you were expecting. Did you really think Roberts could make the game he's proposing with only $2 million? Hell, even $12 million seems low. I'd be shocked if the finished game has both the multiplayer and single-player components intact.

I don't really see the issue with additional funding sources. If a private investor is willing to finance a PC-exclusive hardcore space sim, what's the problem? That's already more than any big publisher is willing to do. If the game is a success, that might even change.

I do - as do many others - he's only using KS a springboard to find major backers. In short, he knows he can't do the project for whats he's asking and is just trying to prove to a publisher that they should invest in the "real" project. That's not right. That's not what KS is intended for. It's there for you to bring a single project to completion - one that you would otherwise be unable to fund yourself. It's not their to raise some money and say 'Thanks, now I'll go talk to the really important people.' As I've stated before, it may not technically be against the rules but it most definitely goes against the spirit of them. That's just one more in a long list of why he's not to be trusted, much less given crowdsourced money IMO.
 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's deadÖ Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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26. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 09:44 nin
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 4, 2012, 09:12:
ItBurn wrote on Nov 4, 2012, 09:01:
It isn't an MMO. You can host your own private server with no microtransactions or whatever. You can even mod it any way you like. This is going to be like Freelancer, so if you played that, you'd know this isn't an MMO.
Everyone here hopes you are right, most of us will only believe it when we see it.

Exactly why I haven't kicked in yet.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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25. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 09:12 Mr. Tact
 
ItBurn wrote on Nov 4, 2012, 09:01:
It isn't an MMO. You can host your own private server with no microtransactions or whatever. You can even mod it any way you like. This is going to be like Freelancer, so if you played that, you'd know this isn't an MMO.
Everyone here hopes you are right, most of us will only believe it when we see it.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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24. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 09:01 ItBurn
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 23:21:
Cutter wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 20:57:
So then he's beholden to whoever is giving him the 10 million. How is that a good thing? This is why I said I don't like him doing a KS because he's just using it to prove to a publisher that it's viable, and he really isn't beholden to the KS backers - which he should be. That's why I'm not backing this.

When it turned out to be an MMO with "micro"transactions my heart fell and I decided not to back the game. Especially since it looks like good ships are running around 50 bucks real money to acquire (judging from the reward tiers), you can be sure the grind to get to those ships probably takes FOREVER.

I'll let other people take the plunge.

It isn't an MMO. You can host your own private server with no microtransactions or whatever. You can even mod it any way you like. This is going to be like Freelancer, so if you played that, you'd know this isn't an MMO.

They will be hosting a global server that you can join in if you want the mmo experience.
 
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23. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 07:46 Reactor
 
I put 16GB in my machine without even thinking twice.

Same, but 32GB in mine.
 
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22. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 07:02 PsychoMoggieBagpuss
 
I remember playing wing commander on a 286, and being jealous of my friends with 386's as they could use emm386 to turn their extended memory into expanded, which enabled the game to show your hand on the joystick moving in tandam with your input, and the vidscreen in the cockpit to show your wingman talking to you.  
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PMB / Shodan
http:/www.futilez
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21. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 06:17 Numinar
 
Origin used to be a dirty word meaning awesome games you cannot play until you upgrade your PC. Now we all want that kind of game back! We are a funny lot.  
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20. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 06:00 Mangrove
 
Slashman wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 20:20:
RaZ0r! wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 18:59:
I don't buy console versions because I don't own any consoles. While there is a little cross-over nowadays with PC, generally the games I want to play are not on console. They are on PC. So I don't invest in console.

If games die on PC (and I mean any personal computers and or operating systems) I won't be moving to console. I'll probably just go outside and stuff then.

what the...? Go outside? What the hell is WRONG with you????!!!!??

Outside... *shudder*
 
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19. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 03:55 eRe4s3r
 
Same here it is downright horrid that 99% of the games made currently don't ship with 64bit executables or when they do don't use any of the 64bit feature sets. And that is games that could DIRELY need this too...  
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18. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 01:45 El Pit
 
CR: Yo, PR guy, did you read the hardcore gamer forums? So, tell me, what do they want to hear. Aha... ok... noted... yes, thank you.

And then he put all this information into this interview, and the hardcore pc gamers rejoiced.

6 years later, he ran out of money.

No, wait, 4 years later, he released a turd.

No, no, no, wait, 5 years later, he released it for Android phones and tablets, because that was the way he always intended it, as he told an Android magazine in an interview.

What will it be?
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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17. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 4, 2012, 00:40 Mr. Tact
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 23:31:
What if the major investor were Leonard Nimoy?
When I read that I heard in my head, "What if the major investor were Curt Shilling?"
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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16. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 3, 2012, 23:31 PHJF
 
What if the major investor were Leonard Nimoy?  
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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15. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 3, 2012, 23:21 Flatline
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 20:57:
So then he's beholden to whoever is giving him the 10 million. How is that a good thing? This is why I said I don't like him doing a KS because he's just using it to prove to a publisher that it's viable, and he really isn't beholden to the KS backers - which he should be. That's why I'm not backing this.

When it turned out to be an MMO with "micro"transactions my heart fell and I decided not to back the game. Especially since it looks like good ships are running around 50 bucks real money to acquire (judging from the reward tiers), you can be sure the grind to get to those ships probably takes FOREVER.

I'll let other people take the plunge.
 
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14. Re: Roberts on PC Star Citizen Nov 3, 2012, 22:55 Jerykk
 
Cram wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 21:55:
Cutter wrote on Nov 3, 2012, 20:57:
So then he's beholden to whoever is giving him the 10 million. How is that a good thing? This is why I said I don't like him doing a KS because he's just using it to prove to a publisher that it's viable, and he really isn't beholden to the KS backers - which he should be. That's why I'm not backing this.

I am/was unaware a major investor may be involved in this way and if this is true I am cancelling my pledge. Gonna read up a bit, if this is the situation I am out.

It's true. However, I'm not really sure what you were expecting. Did you really think Roberts could make the game he's proposing with only $2 million? Hell, even $12 million seems low. I'd be shocked if the finished game has both the multiplayer and single-player components intact.

I don't really see the issue with additional funding sources. If a private investor is willing to finance a PC-exclusive hardcore space sim, what's the problem? That's already more than any big publisher is willing to do. If the game is a success, that might even change.
 
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