Saturday, August 26, 2017

Star Citizen - Gamescom 2017 - pre-3.0 alpha footage is not encouraging

oh dear... well, they did it, they released (at least visually demonstrated) the dying duck 
that is Star Citizen's pre-3.0 release.

It's full of bugs. And don't get me wrong, I've demo'd early software at E3, namely Ghostmaster from Empire Games, so I know dev's never easy. But this Gamescom demo seems loads buggier than last year's excellent demo. And it looks like there's STILL no door-based gameplay to speak of.

Planets disappear when you visit them.
Ship ramps still don't work on non-flat surfaces like planets.
Players carc i.e. die, locking out potential rescue players.

Doors still don't work... And I mentioned Star Citizen's Door Issues way back in a post from this time last year, clearly nobody at CIG or Cloud Imperium Games thinks doors are essential to such fake-sandbox gaming. My contention is 'still' that Star Citizen is ONLY a one-player game with Ai-assisted gameplay -- there's no real door-based sandbox feel to it. Not al all...

"But, what do you mean by doors, Mike," the doors work fine. 

Yeah, but IN A GAME OF DOORS one doesn't mean just the doors that open and close. The act of being 'in the verse', is the act of moving from door to door. Whether you're making sure a box renders in your viewport, or jumping from planet to ship, or jumping a capital ship from star to star, doors is all it is. Doors, or 'those coding opportunities to seemlessly blend from environment to environment... point in case: the still-glitching SHIP ENTRY anims. I mean, "Come on, this is getting old now," just first-or-third person viewport-blend to the first part of the CLIMB LADDER anim. Why not allow jumping onto the ladder i.e. amending the speed of the animation depending on angle and speed of entry into 'that altered state of being'?

My stupid idea of commercialising hyperspace, doesn't seem so stupid now right? When you've got a semi-naked chap fresh from his bunk ordering his clothing from his MobiGlass. I mean, "Where is he getting his clothes from?" what's his storage area? If not HYPER-FUCKING-SPACE? Come on, it's a golden (financial) opportunity going to waste CIG... you're doing it (technically) anyway. And it might unify the gamey sandy boxy.

WEATHER/FX particles pour through the ships i.e. not around.

Back to my original gripe (there are so many) door-based gameplay also crucially applies to NUMBER OF PLAYERS ON THE SERVER, I mean, "How can you FPP or Fully Player Populate a massive inter-planetary attack ship like an Idris, if you can't have that many players in the same server?" for various reasons, ffs. How does a captain pass across orders using FOIP or VOIP or other direct p2p commands while (some of ) his crew might technically be IN ANOTHER UNIVERSE all together, at this point...

Additionally, while it's cool to see a plasma-powered jet-fighter hanging in space under zero-g, it feels COMPLETELY WRONG to see the same jet fighter doing the same in atmosphere, under full g. Star Citizen promised a more flight-based dynamic in atmosphere, and I'm assuming that VTOL was your only way to land without wheels, and constant movement through the air would be the essential ingredient, the only way to air-fly.

Who's actually reporting bugs for this game?

Anyway... oh, and the LOD lighting's broken as all hell on the new planetary tech as it's receding in a reversed viewport. And the planetary tech's LODing algorithm seems a little whack'd too, especially when it updated UNDER THE PLAYER'S FEET. I mean, shouldn't at least a POV-relative LOD be sorted by now? But, as earlier mentioned, LODing isn't the real problem here. How on Earth do CIG hope to scale up to galactic interaction built upon such shaky foundation?

If Shigeru Miyamoto's  NINTENDO were making Star Citizen, they'd about now (five years into production) be scrapping all the superfluous bullshit they'd tried to wedge into the 'game design' and they'd be rewriting everything from the ground up to make sure they CAPITALISE ON THE AREAS OF REAL PROFIT (for them) and REAL GAMING CONTENT (for the paying public). Shrugs, will it happen? CIG?

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