Chris Roberts talks about his dream game in 1995

FredDude32

Rear Admiral
Sorry of this has been posted before but I found this little Chris Roberts tidbit in Computer Gaming World May 1995 issue.

Chris Roberts is asked "What kind of game would you create if there were no hardware or financial constraints on creativity?"

 

Whiplash

Commodore
Sadly, people look at Star Citizen and think "scope creep" when the insane level of detail is what CR was planning all along.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Sadly, people look at Star Citizen and think "scope creep" when the insane level of detail is what CR was planning all along.

I think starcitizens ambition outstrips this article.
I just wish they’d worked up to it with squadron 42. Star citizen is a lot to bite off for a new (at the time) studio without such a foundation.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
The issue has been discussed to death, but my impression is that he does indeed want to deliver something that would match his vision but the nature of crowd-funding is that the longer you keep the dream 'alive', the longer people will want to fund it. And clearly they have and are and that just continues to push out the scope more and more.

I remember when Chris began the Star Citizen journey by gracing the community with his presence at one of the CIC birthday parties. That feels so long ago now, clearly long ago enough that I was still able to attend those parties in real-time. Personally I'm only interested in the Squadron 42 aspect. My experience of multi-player on-line games is such that I just don't want anything to do with them no matter how good new ones might appear to be. Part of the appeal of WC for me is the story immersion - that's just not going to happen with the anti-social behaviour that seems to pervade any and all multi-player games.

There's also the change in direction Star Citizen has had over the many years it's been in development. Back then Windows 7 was still alive, and early on there was Linux support discussed too - pretty sure it's all banked on Windows 10 now (I really hope there's Vulkan support but I don't really pay attention to its news any more). I haven't been able to play the Star Citizen alpha for more than a few minutes before I'd get a crash - can't remember the last time I tried but every time I did it would crash.

And even Squadron 42 is taking its time. We've seen Origin projects that Chris has worked on and remained adamant - as much as was possible for him - would not release till it was ready. And the patience was largely justified. Fortunately I'm in no hurry for S42 - I have plenty of other things to do in the meantime. And I don't want to see it rushed out either - we've all seen so many games that have been killed or at least crippled because publishers demanded a release before a game is ready, precisely one of the reasons - or so I recall - Chris wanted to take the crowd-funding model in the first place. But there has to be a balance. I remember how Freelancer wasn't released until Chris moved on from Digital Anvil.

I suppose even with all the technology that's come in the last ten or so years, it's not going to be enough to satisfy Chris' dream. I wonder if there's a contingency at RSI should Chris meet an untimely end (not that I wish that, but it's an inevitable reality we must all face).
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Roberts is starting to remind me of George Lucas, and not in a good way. Successful early in his career, then takes a long layoff from the industry that made him. Then returns years later with an extremely ambitious project. We then discover that a lot of the success of "his" early work was due to the efforts and skills of other people involved etc.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
Roberts is starting to remind me of George Lucas, and not in a good way. Successful early in his career, then takes a long layoff from the industry that made him. Then returns years later with an extremely ambitious project. We then discover that a lot of the success of "his" early work was due to the efforts and skills of other people involved etc.
You think that games or movies are made by one person? It's always a team effort. The stronger the team, the better the end result. Whether it's Lucasfilm or CIG, they have both attracted extremely talented people at the top of their respective fields. Clearly the people working on the project believe in it, otherwise they would not have bought into CR's vision.

And by the way, on the George Lucas thing: Just have a look at what Star Wars became without George at the helm. The lack of a creative mind with a clear vision driving the project, is exactly why the sequels turned out the way they did. People like Favreau and Filoni who are now saving the franchise have unashamedly followed in Lucas's footsteps. George doesn't get nearly enough credit for what he accomplished, in my opinion.

So whether it's a Lucas, or A Chris Roberts, or a Peter Jackson, lots of people work together to bring one man's vision to life. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and just criticize. At least they're trying to make something awesome.
 
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Pedro

Admiral
The games industry has also changed. Increased scale means the rinse and repeat methods of old don’t work.

Just because Roberts and Lucas are struggling now doesn’t mean they were just lucky first time around. And just because Roberts initially had issues on his return doesn’t mean he’s incapable of adapting.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
It's always a team effort. For what it's worth, I wasn't one of the Lucas detractors. He certainly has flaws but I agree the original six movies benefited from a central direction. We all knew it was going to happen - it had to happen for the original trilogy to make sense - but it always gives me chills when I see the Jedi being cut down in III at the culmination of Palpatine's plan.

We know many of the names alongside Roberts who made the WC games great. Many of those names went on to other projects that similarly garnered acclaim. I genuinely want to see Star Citizen - and Squadron 42, of course - become successful products and am willing to give Roberts and team the time to see it through. The concern, I think, is whether or not we'll live to see it. The trouble with Roberts' 'dream' is that it's potentially limitless in scope and as far as technology has come, I doubt it will be able to fulfil all that he wants. At some point one just has to say, this is our 1.0 release and we'll continue to work on it thereafter. I'm guessing Star Citizen will follow this incremental, iterative approach, but Squadron 42 being stand-alone will mean it needs to have a proper release at some point.
 

Deathsnake

Rear Admiral
Sadly, people look at Star Citizen and think "scope creep" when the insane level of detail is what CR was planning all along.
Right. Star Citizen Scope make some people think it never will be released. So why the work with 2 new Studios? The Montreal Part with lots of EX UbiSoft Worker and the Studio Firesprite in England. Both gets the Tools from CIG to make Planets and the Systems. The other make now Theatre of War. Maybe a Standalone for Consoles too? Why no extra income?
 
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Jdawg

Commodore
i personally think some creative devs need a big studio who finally says no to a christopher roberts or to a hideo kojima, but that is just me
 

Whiplash

Commodore
i personally think some creative devs need a big studio who finally says no to a christopher roberts or to a hideo kojima, but that is just me
So you're happy with the way the big studios and publishers currently run the gaming industry?
 
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Pedro

Admiral
i personally think some creative devs need a big studio who finally says no to a christopher roberts or to a hideo kojima, but that is just me

Strange example, Konami hasn't exactly been churning out hits since. Konami was definitely a bigger problem than Kojima (who at least put out an enjoyable title since).

A sense of direction is hugely important to a company, especially in a large studio, and without a strong character batting for the team the corporate winds will shut down projects. Today it's free to play, tomorrow multiplayer, next day loot boxes, etc etc.
People managing the money look at patterns, patterns which aren't as long lived as the development cycle of a single title. In order for a game to survive at a larger company the brass need to have faith in the creatives.


Right. Star Citizen Scope make some people think it never will be released. So why the work with 2 new Studios? The Montreal Part with lots of EX UbiSoft Worker and the Studio Firesprite in England. Both gets the Tools from CIG to make Planets and the Systems. The other make now Theatre of War. Maybe a Standalone for Consoles too? Why no extra income?

No one thinks they don't intend to release or that it's just a con (well some might, but I doubt anyone in the WC community thinks so lowly of CR). But I do think it was a mistake to go straight for such an ambitious title, and there is a chance it could collapse under its own weight. My money is on a good product coming out at the end of it but mistakes have undoubtedly been made.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
So you're happy with the way the big studios and publishers currently run the gaming industry?
No but there needs to be a happy medium all you have to do is look at all the failed Kickstarters to see that. It Took Tim Schafer forever to come out with Broken Age. he had to raise more money after raising over 3 million dollars from kickstarter. Star Citizen is a money pit. And there's thousands of other examples of good intentioned creative people flushing money down the drain bc they had no one above them telling them no. there has to be a balance between power and creativity one party can't have all the marbles.
 
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Jdawg

Commodore
Strange example, Konami hasn't exactly been churning out hits since. Konami was definitely a bigger problem than Kojima (who at least put out an enjoyable title since).

A sense of direction is hugely important to a company, especially in a large studio, and without a strong character batting for the team the corporate winds will shut down projects. Today it's free to play, tomorrow multiplayer, next day loot boxes, etc etc.
People managing the money look at patterns, patterns which aren't as long lived as the development cycle of a single title. In order for a game to survive at a larger company the brass need to have faith in the creatives.




No one thinks they don't intend to release or that it's just a con (well some might, but I doubt anyone in the WC community thinks so lowly of CR). But I do think it was a mistake to go straight for such an ambitious title, and there is a chance it could collapse under its own weight. My money is on a good product coming out at the end of it but mistakes have undoubtedly been made.
Konami definitely share some of the blame too. But one reason they had to release ground Zeroes is kojima was bleeding money from konami with no impending release date for Metal Gear Solid 5. that game was insanely expensive and was their last big Flagship property after Silent Hill fell off a cliff.

I've also heard rumors Sony is not very happy with Kojima now after death stranding, bc it was not a big mega hit.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
What is the incentive to even release the game at this point? People keep throwing money at it. I hear you can purchase ships in the game with real world money? $1000 I have heard?!?! 😞

I am much more interested in what I have seen from Everspace 2.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
What is the incentive to even release the game at this point? People keep throwing money at it. I hear you can purchase ships in the game with real world money? $1000 I have heard?!?! 😞

I am much more interested in what I have seen from Everspace 2.
The incentive to release is exactly the same as with any other job: finishing what you started and doing it well. Taking money from people and not delivering anything is fraud. These folk are professional game developers and I assume they would like to continue making games for a living. I can't speak on their behalf of the developers, but if this were me, I would not risk my career by being part of a scam. Besides, CIG releases financial reports every year, so you can see what they spend the money on.

As for the pledges, yes, you can buy lots of stuff with real money. This is however completely voluntary. Some generous backers asked for a means to contribute more than just the base package, and that's why higher tier options were added. The base game is still available for $60 and you don't need to spend a cent more to play it. Anything and everything will be buyable with ingame credits. If you crunch the numbers, I think the average spend per backer comes to less than $120, so not everyone is throwing thousands at the game. Most people, like me, are happy with just a starter ship an will work to earn everything else by actually playing the game.

Maybe instead of just working on hearsay, you should check the game out during a free fly week and make up your own mind. I'd be happy to show you the ropes. If not, that's fine too.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
$77 million more in crowdfunding in 2020. What is this money needed for exactly? Was this the plan all along? What budget was set when crowdfunding started? If you want to earn some revenue then sell me a finished game!

But I guess Roberts needed his $5 million villa.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
What is the incentive to even release the game at this point? People keep throwing money at it. I hear you can purchase ships in the game with real world money? $1000 I have heard?!?! 😞

I am much more interested in what I have seen from Everspace 2.

I have never quite understood why people don't follow this one... the incentive to finish the game is /money/. At present, Star Citizen doesn't turn a profit because it uses money it takes in to fund development. There's no benefit for investors, owners, etc. until the game comes out... which is part of why it's kind of impressive that Chris is focused on his vision instead of deciding the game is done and collecting a big check.
 
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