Ever since the crowdfunding for Chris Roberts ambitious space simulation epic Star Citizen started creeping above its goal, concerns over its size and scope have been voiced by seemingly all except its most ardent fans, some more than others, especially now that more employees are leaving the company and deadlines are rolling past.
Ben Lesnick, the CIG Community Manager, has come out on multiple fronts in an attempt to quell those with concerns. In a four part forum post and, more recently, an interview on the CRASH_Academy Twitch stream he lays down specifics with the community about the game and about Star Marine, the FPS module, specifically.
In the forum post, he specifically takes aim at those who say Star Marines is delayed indefinitely or is Call of Duty in space, among other things. He writes, “the short story is that Star Marine was not ready for launch when we had hoped (and planned.) We spent several weeks expecting that resolving a then-current crop of blockers would allow a PTU publish. […] we need to rebuild several ‘boring’ backend pieces and we need to fix serious animation issues before there would be any benefit to a release.” Anyone reading the “Transmission” updates on the RSI website knows of the “blockers” they speak of listing Netcode issues from deploying gadgets and firing at enemies to graphical and animation issues.
As far as employees leaving the company Ben writes, “turnover sucks… but it’s a constant in this or pretty much any other industry.” He goes on to list specifics of some who have left the company, the roles they filled and the challenge of showing backers everything they are working on. “Showing you the game is a lot more complicated than running StarCitizen.exe and capturing some footage for ourselves. We’re here to tell you what’s happening, and show you when it doesn’t interrupt development (like with the recent video of Randy working on the Starliner; we want to do a lot more of that! But it’s a matter of being in the right place when the work is happening, which can be hard to do with studios around the world.”
No official date has been set for the Star Marines (or other modules) release, although Lesnick does state “that we are talking about a delay of weeks and not months/years/decades. […] why don’t we give an internal target date right now? Because the worry is that we might find ourselves in exactly the same position when the current set of issues are resolved.”
[UPDATE] Chris Roberts completed an interview with GamersNexus.net which sheds differing light on when the Star Marine FPS module will be available.
“In reality, we’re probably weeks off. We’re shooting to have FPS on the PTU round-about Gamescom or slightly after Gamescom. We’re really talking about people getting to play FPS in a matter of 3, 4, maybe 5 weeks.”
Check out the full interview here.