ByPeter Moulding, writer at Creators.co
Peter Moulding

Quite possibly the most ambitious #PC game ever, #StarCitizen is trying to do the impossible by creating a massively multiplayer persistent game world—basically an entire universe—on the back of 124 million crowdfunded dollars.

Sound familiar? Well, if you haven't heard of the other game that attempted something similar earlier this year, #NoMansSky, and the controversy it caused when gamers realized it wasn't exactly what they expected, know that we're really hoping this space sim doesn't flop in a similarly spectacular fashion.

Why Is Star Citizen Any Different From What's Come Before?

The visuals look pretty awesome
The visuals look pretty awesome

No Man's Sky, to put it bluntly, infuriated and disappointed a huge amount of people. It delivered half as much as what was promised or, at least, alluded to during it's never-ending pre-release stage. And while we're used to games not delivering, what with hype being a staple of the industry, No Man's Sky was on a whole different level—leaving millions of gamers angry and demanding refunds.

Cloud Imperium Games, the company behind Star Citizen, seems to have understood the weight of what they're trying to achieve, and what it's asking their fans to believe it can achieve. Just last week the company announced that it will be releasing its production schedule on a weekly basis in an attempt to be more transparent with its fans and backers.

A sample of the schedules they will be releasing
A sample of the schedules they will be releasing

This is another step that the company has taken to ensure that fans know they are being heard loud and clear when criticisms arise. Also, it is clearly an attempt to not just avoid the over-hype that pestered No Man's Sky, but to also ensure that gamers understand where their money is going.


Will This Lead To More Transparency In The Industry?

The game will have a huge variety of ships to choose from too
The game will have a huge variety of ships to choose from too

The question I want to know the answer to is whether or not the move by Cloud Imperium Games will lead to other game companies following suit. With Star Citizen—especially when No Man's Sky is taken into consideration—it was probably a relatively easy decision to allow for more transparency concerning their creative process. On top of that, the game is almost completely crowdfunded, so they no doubt feel a higher level of commitment to their fans than others.

However, if we look at more traditional developers and publishers, it can be difficult to predict whether Star Citizen will impact their decision making. Why?

That's a lot of money...
That's a lot of money...

Essentially, while transparency benefits the community, it's bad for business. It's obvious that keeping secrets about a game in development has huge advantages—if we knew what No Man's Sky really was would we have been as excited?—but when the game turns out to be exactly what was promised, or more, then the players benefit along with the developers. The problem is if the game disappoints and ultimately fails to deliver on certain promises, as it could result in potentially millions of fans feeling let down.

Maybe the answer lies somewhere in-between: by lending a degree of transparency, trust in the community will grow, and by keeping some elements a secret, publishers aren't impacting on sales.


What Is Star Citizen Actually Promising Players And Can It Deliver?

Not sure what's going on here, but it looks cool!
Not sure what's going on here, but it looks cool!

Like I said before, this is probably going to be the most ambitious game that has ever been released—if it is ever released. The game promises a lot:

  • Squadron 42: A massive single player narrative that will be delivered in chapters, with the first set to be around 20 hours long.
  • A persistent universe, which means an ever-expanding galaxy made up of an endless number of explorable planets, asteroids, nebulae, cities, outposts, space ways and pirate bases.
  • The game also offers a massive social element, based in the persistent universe, where players can meet, fight and trade with one another.

Despite calling it a persistent universe, at the moment the game only consists of 100 star systems. This still means a huge map for players to explore, however it is not promising anything unattainable, as long as the company has the time to fully develop these systems. And time is something that the company seems to have huge amounts of. Undeterred by fan demands for a release date, Star Citizen has been in the making for more than 4 years now, and still seems unlikely to be out anytime before mid-2017.


If you want to see more of the game, then watch the trailer below!

What do you think of Star Citizen?

Poll

Should companies be more transparent about the games they are developing?