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Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers

Cloud Imperium announces the release of Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 for all backers of the upcoming online space game. They celebrate the news with an updated Production Schedule Report to help us understand the game's current state of development. The announcement also has a detail that impacts that development, as it includes news that they've pulled a Duke Nukem by switching engines, sort of. Star Citizen began using Crytek's CryENGINE, but is now using Amazon's Lumberyard engine. The good news is that Lumberyard is actually based on CryENGINE, with additional support for online games using Amazon's AWS cloud. The game is already overdue based on their initial announcements, and the project has drawn fire from skeptics who think it is an endless crowdfunding scheme, and this news does not include any outlook on when the game be released or hit the beta stage. This project was split into two games almost a year ago, and the most recent word on the offline Squadron 42 half is that a first episode for backers is due next year. Here's more on the alpha release and the engine switch:
I am happy to announce we have just released Alpha 2.6 of Star Citizen to all backers!

With Alpha 2.6 you can now enjoy: Star Marine, featuring a host of new FPS features; big improvements to Arena Commander; further improvements to characters and their animations; new locations and missions to try; 47 flyable ships, including 8 new ships (Herald, Hoplite, Caterpillar, 85X, Wildfire, Renegade, Valiant and Comet)!

I hope you will spend many hours enjoying all the content we’ve put into this build and meeting new friends and enemies in our expanding universe! To find out more about what it took on the development side to get the patch ready for release make sure to check out the retrospective included in the final Alpha 2.6 schedule report.

There is one other big announcement we would like to make with the release of 2.6. We are now basing Star Citizen and our custom technology development on Amazon’s Lumberyard Engine. Since the beginning of the project, we’ve had to make a huge number of changes to the CryENGINE code and tech to enable us to deliver Star Citizen. While the original CryENGINE had great strengths in many areas like rendering and cinematics the needs of our game were well beyond what came ‘out of the box’. So we have, over time, changed significant parts of the engine for our technology, such that only a baseline of the original engine truly remains. In the future we will continue to make significant changes to AI, Animation and Network code and systems.

When Amazon announced Lumberyard back in February 2016, we were immediately interested. While based on the same baseline technology as Star Citizen, Lumberyard is specifically designed for online games, utilizing the power of Amazon’s AWS Cloud Services and their Twitch streaming platform. Amazon’s focus aligns perfectly to ours as we’ve been making significant engineering investments into next generation online networking and cloud based servers. Making the transition to Lumberyard and AWS has been very easy and has not delayed any of our work, as broadly, the technology switch was a ‘like-for-like’ change, which is now complete.

As an added benefit Amazon AWS data centers are spread around the world from North America to South America, Europe to China to Asia Pacific, which will allow us to better support the many backers across the globe as we scale up Star Citizen.

Finally, Amazon has made Lumberyard freely available for anyone building their own game. That means that technically-inclined members of the community can have a better view 'under the hood' of our game than ever before. It's also a great path for anyone interested in game development professionally; I fully anticipate that in the coming year we will be hiring programmers who have taught themselves using Amazon's Lumberyard resources!

As we move forwards, we are confident you will see great benefits from our partnership. Amazon will bring new features to Lumberyard to assist in creating online persistent games, adding great support for their products like Twitch (which we use extensively) and of course investing heavily in engine research and development for years to come. We could not find a more stable and reliable engine partner than Amazon, so with this partnership we are sure we have secured the future development and continuing technical innovation for Star Citizen.

With that I would like encourage everyone to download and play Alpha 2.6. It is a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing you in the ‘verse!
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56. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 17:05 Slick
 
Mordhaus wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 16:50:
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

No, someone else said that. I said that this is trending towards the real situation that Freelancer was in. Roberts had a super grand vision for that game as well, but when he doesn't have a firm hand guiding him, he goes into feature creep mode. They ran out of money and time on Freelancer, then sold it to MS. It was released as a shell of what was promised, albeit being a decent game. I see this happening here as well, SC will be sold and it will be released, but it will be nothing like what was promised.

Yeah, I don't think that my quote was directed at you, considering I was quoting someone else directly. Rolleyes

And if +100m isn't enough to finish this game, then I don't know what to say. This is the biggest game crowd-funding in history (by a long shot). Even if the end product doesn't live up to expectations, the idea that they won't finish it, and sell it off is just ludicrous.

For comparison's sake, I think the yearly *GAME OF THE YEAR* Call of Dookie game costs about 10-12m to make. And that's a "big budget" AAA game. 100m and climbing is such a ridiculous amount of money that to insinuate that Roberts somehow won't be able to finish it is just delusional. They could continue this development for years at this pace. I mean they're still making money, I don't think it would be a stretch to imagine that they're making money faster than they're spending it. You'd have to be very creative to spend 20m in a year, which is what they've been pulling in.
 
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For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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55. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 16:50 Mordhaus
 
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

No, someone else said that. I said that this is trending towards the real situation that Freelancer was in. Roberts had a super grand vision for that game as well, but when he doesn't have a firm hand guiding him, he goes into feature creep mode. They ran out of money and time on Freelancer, then sold it to MS. It was released as a shell of what was promised, albeit being a decent game. I see this happening here as well, SC will be sold and it will be released, but it will be nothing like what was promised.
 
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54. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 11:43 BadIronTree
 
it took us a day or so of two engineers on the engine team

https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/discussion/364217

hahahaha
Its a SCAM RUNNN AWAY !!!!1111 ONE ONE
 
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53. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 10:34 Timmeh
 
so.. if they cant afford skilled developers any more... where is all the money going?

this entire thing needs to get investigated for fraud. Roberts is probably pocketing huge sums of money himself and running a low pay slave labor camp.

this thing gets stinkier by the week.
 
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52. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 10:32 Agent-Zero
 
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 10:24:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 10:06:
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 08:40:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:39:
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:35:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:30:
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

if amazon bought this, they would use the assets and salvage the rest to make their own game that actually works

read.
That's never going to happen. think

learn how to read
learn how to think

learn how to troll
Finally, one thing you don't need to learn because you've mastered it.

dont be jealous, just keep on practicing kiddo
 
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51. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 10:24 RedEye9
 
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 10:06:
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 08:40:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:39:
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:35:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:30:
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

if amazon bought this, they would use the assets and salvage the rest to make their own game that actually works

read.
That's never going to happen. think

learn how to read
learn how to think

learn how to troll
Finally, one thing you don't need to learn because you've mastered it.
 
Avatar 58135
 



“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”
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50. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 10:14 HorrorScope
 
SM0k3 wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 02:18:
I don't think I would call them switching engines an indication of failure. CryEngine just wasn't up to the task of what the developers envisioned which sometimes happens(a la Team Fortress). Seems like a good move IMO, time will tell.

Believe me I want to jump on this, I predicted this way back, it is something you just put out there when things are going sideways and taking forever.. "We still have the ole engine switch announcement to come", because we've seen it enough.

But as mentioned this is like a 1/2 switch well at least that is what is being described, could be more talk and it looks to be to something better suited. But then I always assumed a engine switch would be to something better suited, otherwise that would be totally stupid. I'll give a slight Christmas pass on this one, with an option of changing my mind! Now a total pessimist with 1000's invested can say "Thanks for the Kick in the Nuts for Christmas RSI.".
 
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49. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 10:06 Agent-Zero
 
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 08:40:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:39:
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:35:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:30:
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

if amazon bought this, they would use the assets and salvage the rest to make their own game that actually works

read.
That's never going to happen. think

learn how to read
learn how to think

learn how to troll
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 

48. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 09:29 CJ_Parker
 
Numinar wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 05:56:
"I fully anticipate that in the coming year we will be hiring programmers who have taught themselves using Amazon's Lumberyard resources!"

Maybe I am having a case of the cynicism but that reads to me "We cannot afford experienced devs for this game anymore. We are going to switch over to some gun rookies from Eastern Europe".

Could work. Hungry scrappy fresh meat might bring the new ideas they need, or maybe hiring people who have never shipped a product is a bad idea for a company that has never shipped a product.

Yep. Their piss-poor choice of the CryEngine is really biting them in the ass now. If they had gone with Unreal, they would have absolutely zero issues recruiting top of the line people with shitloads of experience working on Unreal-based games. Even the Hero engine would probably be better since at least in Austin they could easily find lots of experienced devs.

But CryEngine has always been pretty exotic and is supposed to be mighty unwieldy according to industry sources (and easy to believe looking at the history of SC). People with no experience on CE apparently require months of training before they can work with the engine at the desired 100% productivity level.

Finding people with Lumberyard experience is all but impossible since it is so (relatively) new. So, yeah, CIG is literally going to have to hire self-made people who taught themselves some Lumberyard. Their engine choice is now forcing them to hire n00b amateurs while, had they chosen Unreal, they would have been able to hire seasoned veterans all the time.
Also, looking at it from the employee level, they are going to have a hard time to find experienced professionals who will be willing to work with this non-standard crap. Most pros will want to stick with (cross-platform) Unreal-based projects to keep their edge and stay up-to-date.
 
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47. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 08:40 RedEye9
 
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:39:
RedEye9 wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:35:
Agent-Zero wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 23:30:
Slick wrote on Dec 24, 2016, 22:50:
wait, so Amazon would buy SC, to gut the company and sell off the usable code... which is based on Amazon technology. ok?

SC is in no danger of being bought out, they have more than enough money to finish this project even if it takes another 3 years.

And IF Amazon did buy them out, they wouldn't release the project? They just want all of that sweet sweet buggy pre-alpha code for a game that will never exist?

think.

if amazon bought this, they would use the assets and salvage the rest to make their own game that actually works

read.
That's never going to happen. think

learn how to read
learn how to think
 
Avatar 58135
 



“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 

46. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 08:37 Simon Says
 
Milking Citizen  
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45. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 05:56 Numinar
 
"I fully anticipate that in the coming year we will be hiring programmers who have taught themselves using Amazon's Lumberyard resources!"

Maybe I am having a case of the cynicism but that reads to me "We cannot afford experienced devs for this game anymore. We are going to switch over to some gun rookies from Eastern Europe".

Could work. Hungry scrappy fresh meat might bring the new ideas they need, or maybe hiring people who have never shipped a product is a bad idea for a company that has never shipped a product.
 
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44. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 02:46 Dacron
 
Kosumo wrote on Dec 25, 2016, 02:20:

Amazon can get to data mine the very gullible player base who have shown they are happy to handover money for very little in return, and Chris can now say that another feature is complete - Mining.


Beautiful.
 



Currently setting a record for most edited posts, 1 reply at a time.
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43. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 02:20 Kosumo
 
This is a good move for Amazon and Chris.

Amazon can get to data mine the very gullible player base who have shown they are happy to handover money for very little in return, and Chris can now say that another feature is complete - Mining.

Why, if you believe this was a good move, would you announce it basically on Christmas eve and then go on holiday for two weeks? That's a classic political move for dumping stuff you don't want to have to deal with. It's not what you do when you are proud of something.
 
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42. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 02:18 SM0k3
 
I don't think I would call them switching engines an indication of failure. CryEngine just wasn't up to the task of what the developers envisioned which sometimes happens(a la Team Fortress). Seems like a good move IMO, time will tell.  
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41. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 02:02 Steele Johnson
 
The ol' "switch engines during development" point in time lol. If that's not an indication of total failure, I don't know what is. Say goodnight, Irene.  
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40. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 01:17 Creston
 
Eh, for what they're trying / promising to do, that's a switch that makes sense, especially considering Crytek might go belly up any day now.

Tying your game's online part into Amazon's cloud infrastructure probably makes good sense. That said, for those people who only care about Squadron 42, this is more of the never-ending "It'll come soon!(tm)" bullshit they've been hearing for more than two years now.
 
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39. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 00:34 Drayth
 
I do not believe they are going to run out of money. That's a line that's been perpetuated mainly by a certain jelly developer.

Speaking of, I thought it may be interesting to check out his twitter in the wake of this news. Over 45 f'n tweets in less than 24 hours on the subject.
geezus
 
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38. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 25, 2016, 00:05 Jivaro
 
Of all of the delays this one makes the most sense. Too bad it's after so much other clusterfuckery...it makes it just another part of the running joke.


 
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37. Re: Star Citizen Engine Switch; Alpha Released for Backers Dec 24, 2016, 23:47 Retired
 
Going to open one of these huge metal tins of Christmas popcorn and sit back with this thread....

Popcorn
 
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