A lengthy report from Kotaku spanning several months of interviews and investigation has given some insight in to Star Citizen development challenges as well as internal source reports that raise both doubts and hopes the title can come to life.
The report in question follows the development of Star Citizen and the growth of Cloud Imperium games from the very beginning all the way up to its five-studio team of over 300 employees. From the very start, the team faced difficulties including working in CryEngine and getting multiple studios and contractors to work together.
Mutliple anonymous sources in the report state that internal strife and pressure has caused some dissent over the course of development. “Guys were working really hard to achieve a goal that was basically unattainable,” says one source. On the other hand, Chris Roberts himself is quoted as saying hours may not have been the issue, but individual attitudes were. “We can’t allow for individualism. On a team of our scale there is no aspect of this project where you will be working just by yourself, you have to be able to play well with others,” said Roberts.
The problem of direction was also touched on, with several sources believing that the current plan for development is faulty. “When everyone is trying to solve all the problems all at the same time, you’re going to do nothing but waste money and come across huge technical limitations that you’re going to need more hands on to solve,” said one source. In order to combat the issue, Erin Roberts of the Manchester branch noted that a shared codebase for all modules is available for all of the studios.
In the end, there are just as many people who were involved with the development of Star Citizen that believe the game can never launch as those who believe it can. “There were some absolutely amazing things coming out of Star Citizen. Enough to fuel several AAA games,” said one anonymous developer. “If Star Citizen does end up hitting the goals that Roberts has planned there is no doubt in my mind it will be amazing.”
While many former employees appear to be split on whether Star Citizen can be made, a common response was in regards to a lack of scope control. Says one source, “There’s a lot of Star Citizen that is incredibly impractical, while not a lot of it is impossible. With enough time and money and clever people, anything can be made, right?”
The complete report can be read here.
The shaky development cycle of Star Citizen is well-documented, but getting some insider opinion on the project has been incredibly enlightening. Whether you think Star Citizen can be made or not, the report itself sheds some light on an already fascinating development cycle. It’s clear that vision and scope continue to be a problem for development of Star Citizen, but if Cloud Imperium and CIG can get focused, there’s little doubt that Star Citizen can be one of the greatest MMOs of all time.
What do you think about the revelations in this report? Do you think Star Citizen should change its development focus, or is it too far along to change course? Do you believe Star Citizen will ever be made? Give us your thoughts in our comments below!