Please do me a big favor - while I have bias about Star Citizen, it's from the sheer concern that I want it to be successful. I hope anyone commenting will try to keep a fair and open mind and avoid personal insults or overly vulgar language. I don't want to moderate or delete comments, as I view that as censorship, but I won't tolerate anyone going too far - so let's please all be cordial.
Star Marine being built out into the Persistent Universe is a good thing. It's how it always should have been, but, up and until Robert's video, Star Marine was going to be an entirely different branch with specific features. It's now being built from within the PU. That's a good thing, but the promises are not, which is what I'm discussing below.
I'm still trying to turn my brain on this morning, the K-Cup machine is making its usual violent noises trying to turn around a cup of something that I hope resembles coffee. Browsing the Internet today I found the latest news piece about Star Citizen quite curious: Star Marine, as we know it, is canceled. Moving back over to my cup of coffee, stirring in what I assume is sugar, hoping that I didn't reach for the flour container by mistake, I can quickly in my hazed over state come to the simple conclusion that this is necessary and normal for healthy development, and should have been the plan from the very start.
Now we ask, is this a good or bad thing? Well, anything over in CIG land is a good thing, but it is a bad thing because it opens the doors to a lot of interpretation. This could easily mean that Star Marine and it's vast feature set are now gone as promised, to only feature whatever in the world the persistent universe will have, or it could simply mean that those features will come into the PU over time. This is the way it was supposed to work from the very start, according to Chris Roberts, the baby PU is replacing Star Marine.
But, oh wait, hrm... so Star Marine was always supposed to be part of the PU and wasn't ever going to be its own standalone product?
So here's what the glorious island nation of CIG has to say about things back in October:
Hey guys! One big clarification from CitizenCon: the Baby PU is NOT replacing Star Marine, it's simply going to include a lot of the work we've done on the FPS. We still intend to release Star Marine proper (with Gold Horizon and the HQ game mode and all that.) In all likelihood, you'll see Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 first and then Star Marine proper shortly after that... and we'll continue to update with more details on both as they're locked down.
So here's the thing that I'm reading right now. Chris Roberts is mad that people keep commenting that Star Marine is canceled, because it was never supposed to be its own thing and was only supposed to be FPS features in the persistent universe. However, everything I've read up until the YouTube video released recently was that Star Marine was going to be its own game element, much like Arena Commander, where you'd go through various levels and the such with friends and all of that. We were shown lots of demos of it in action, promised it, and now it's not only not being delivered, but we're also told that all of that was wrong and things are going as they're supposed to.
So I have two separate feelings about this. The first is that this is how game development shouldn't happen. Shopping a product around to several studios and having everything built modularly for something that is already hacked together to begin with isn't sound. I know people can argue otherwise, but my vast experience (10+ years) in the industry tells me no, that's not how it is unless you're EA and then the various studios are working together across the country with tons and tons of tools to enable constant communication. I think this is a healthy and good thing for them to develop the FPS into Star Citizen and it's probably necessary in order to make the game work.
Of course, part of me also wonders where IllFonic fits into this. We all know that everyone almost feels like IllFonic did something wrong. They messed up somewhere. Between CIG pulling Star Marine back away from them, and then Star Marine going through a rollercoaster of what's happening with it, then by all means we must be curious of what's going on there. Was IllFonic developing movement for the characters for the PU or were they working on a standalone module for sci-fi space combat? Were they developing game levels? What just was going on?
Who knows, not me.
Anyway, this is a good thing for Star Citizen, assuming the massive feature list for Star Marine makes it into the game as promised. From what I can read from Chris Roberts, there isn't such a thing as Star Marine, it doesn't exist, what does exist is FPS combat in the game.
The other part of this just the entire how you promise things to people angle. Star Marine is a big desire within the community, but with it being in not only some weird development limbo where it never met a single milestone as promised, but also with the fact that it appears now that they are only going to have tournament maps with scoring and that's it, the rest of Star Marine will be you boarding ships and playing in the open world, it seems to be mis-promised. The problem with promising things and not delivering them specifically as promised is that it can ruin the appetite of the fans and lead to the project becoming a failure.
It makes sense to fold Star Marine and everything into one branch and then expand from there, but it doesn't make sense to say you're going to do it some completely other different way and that ahem that's just how things are.
Either way, it doesn't matter much these days. If you love Star Citizen then this is probably a good thing, it's good that they're developing something and producing it and probably making smarter design choices now that their studio has matured a lot. However, it's still never good for promises to evolve into completely different things. If you're someone who is interested in Star Citizen, the entire persistent universe part of it is playable in a small one map area. You can buy in for the near smallest package and get to play, which is what I would caution anyone to do before deciding to buy a bigger pack.
edit: updated the title to better reflect the idea that it's canceled, as we know it, you know what I like the original title because Star Marine is canceled. It's just PU features now and whatever comes out of that isn't whatever Star Marine was originally pitched as.
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