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Updated: 5 hours 52 min ago

Mr. Roberts, your games rock - but honesty will go a long way

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 21:30
Chris Roberts is great at making games! Math however is not one of his strong suits. I say this because recently Mr. Roberts attempted to justify ongoing crowd funding in his latest 'Letter from the Chairman' by stating, and I quote: 'To sustain this level of development we need to keep bringing in additional funds. Star Citizen is still much less than other published backed AAAgames that have similar levels of ambition (some would even say a little less) like GTA V, Watch Dogs or Destiny' (1).

I found this statement particularly at odds with reality given Mr. Roberts himself stated that his model of funding (Direct PC Model vs. Traditional PC Model) enables him '4 times the revenue.....so with a quarter of the people we can make the same game'. So by Mr. Robert's graph - clearly presented at 13:35 - he is able to invest 80% of revenue towards development as where Grand Theft Auto V was able to only invest 20% (2). Consequently it would appear that when Star Citizen reaches $50 million, which will likely be achieved next week, SC will have invested $40 million directly as where GTA development investment stands at $52 million (if GTA's $265 million/£170 million budget is correct).

Clearly, by Mr. Robert's own math, Star Citizen is only 15 million (80% of which equals 12 million) short of reaching GTAs development goal - a goal which in all likelihood will be achieved next year. Given that Grande Theft Auto V stands as the most expensive game ever developed, I find it odd that Mr. Roberts would state in a recent newsletter that 'Star Citizen is still much less than other published backed AAAgames', when in fact it is already above and beyond most AAAgames! In fact, Star Citizen is likely to surpass GTA this time next year if the present trend continues. Not bad considering Star Citizen is approximately at the halfway point before release!!!

Clearly Star Citizen still needs to continue funding as it is no doubt the most ambitious project ever attempted. I for one support continued crowd funding but at a certain point we have to be honest with ourselves and stop using other games as a point of reference to justify prices and marketing strategies. Pointing to other games budgets is one thing; pointing to other games while ignoring one's own development cost is another. At least if Mr. Robert's math is to be believed.


(1) https://robertsspaceindustries.com/c...m-The-Chairman

(2) http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2...is_Roberts.php
Categories: Forums

Act of Aggression

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 21:00
Eugen's next RTS:

Quote: Eugen Systems, the studio behind the million-unit selling Wargame series of RTS games and the critically acclaimed Act of War (2005) or R.U.S.E (2010), is back! Set in a modern, techno-thriller setting, their new game promises to be a perfect cocktail of political intrigue, high fidelity visuals and solid mechanics with old-school RTS values.

Act of Aggression vows to bring about a return to the 90's Golden Era of real time strategy games, delivering all of the core mechanics sorely missed by many RTS fans: base building, resource management, unit production and dynamic, immersive battles will meet high fidelity production values and intelligent modernization. Today's images and teaser trailer provide a first look at the game, to be showcased at the Gamescom next week.

In what is shaping up to be their most ambitious project since Act of War, Eugen Systems will deliver a real-time strategy experience set in the 2020's in a darkly realistic future where 3 major factions fight for their interests. In a world where international crisis and financial order is set in a seemingly unending loop, the shadowy organization known as "The Cartel" attempt to complete a secret agenda with high-tech technology, stolen prototypes and stealthy operatives. Against this looming threat stands the Chimere, a UNO funded, classified military organization specialized in fast strikes, which attempts to maintain global peace and order. Finally, somewhere between the two stands the US Army, worn out by two decades of being kept on a war footing with too few replacements, but still fielding a great deal of battle-hardened veterans.

Act of Aggression will include two separate single player campaigns, featuring traditional RTS storytelling and game mechanics: gathering resources, building a base, producing units ... but also supplies to keep the war machine rolling. In true Eugen style, expect vast, skill-based multiplayer modes where technological upgrades, resource storage and base defenses will play an integral role in the battle. Extend your base, defend your structures, and create new bases to control key strategic areas on the map. Unleash infantry, mechanized vehicles, tanks, artillery, helicopters, planes, and super weapons, earning experience as you destroy the enemy's forces and preserve yours (as they get more experienced), unlock skills and abilities to turn the tide of war by specializing them in roles, such as anti-air, anti-tank, etc... With steady development of new technologies, your production capacities will grow always more powerful, unlocking new buildings, units, and ultimate weapons far beyond technologies of today!

As with Wargame: Dragon Rising, this is a game that looks good...but I am prepared to wait for a deep sale before I buy it. As I mentioned before, I am getting a little annoyed with Eugen in that they release a game, but before it gets a chance to flower Eugen is off and running onto the next game. For example, they released RUSE and then rushed off to Wargame:EE. Wargame:EE was released, and off they rushed to Wargame:ALB. Before ALB even had its legs under it, they were off and working on Wargame: Dragon Rising (which was a real tragedy as there were a whole host of NATO/WP WWIII theaters left to explore). And before Dragon Rising has even learned to walk, they are announcing AoA. This is why I refuse to pay full price for Dragon Rising. Even though I had fun with ALB, I know DR is going to be abandoned before too much longer. Why should I pay full price for that?
Categories: Forums