It seems like only yesterday that we were all gathered ‘round our monitors, being pleasantly surprised by what we were seeing of Star Citizen’s FPS “Star Marine” module. But it would appear that the odds have caught up with Star Citizen’s FPS mode, and it’s been seriously delayed while Roberts Space Industries forges ahead elsewhere.
Having FPS gameplay in Star Citizen always sounded like “a bridge too far” for the already ambitious MMO space sim. But Chris Roberts appears to have finally put Star Marine on the back-burner in his recent update.
After talking about how nicely the filming of Squadron 42 is playing out (and believe me, that’s music to my Wing Commander 3-worshipping ears), Roberts pivots to the Bad News about Star Citizen FPS.
“The tl;dr is that we feel the current build doesn’t feel like it lives up to the standards we’ve want to achieve with Star Citizen,” he writes, before going into some terrific detail about what RSI are trying to achieve with the module and the various technical obstacles RSI have encountered.
“When will we see Star Marine? Tonight, I don’t have an absolute answer for you. What I will tell you is that we know exactly what we have to do, and we’re already well on our way to doing it. With allocation of additional resources and increased cross-studio focus on the FPS portion of the game we are on our way… we’re just not there quite yet,” Roberts concludes.
“I’m confident that with the significant updates and changes to the backend architecture discussed above that we will have an experience worthy of the Star Citizen name; it’s just going to take some additional integration and testing.”
Honestly, I was prepared to by cynical about this update but... this seems reassuringly frank about what’s going on with Star Marine, and the role it plays in the broader development of Star Citizen. While I still question a lot of things about Star Citizen, including the decision to make an FPS mode in the first place on top of everything else it’s trying to do, RSI sound like they’re working hard to live up to those goals.
Where I think RSI have gotten themselves in trouble is in sounding so optimistic about these goals when it comes time to sell the ideas to an audience of crowdfunders. It’s not a good look when realism and transparency come after a deadline gets blown and the checks have already cleared. It makes it easy to by cynical about a project run on idealism.
But now that RSI have taken an honest look at Star Marine and its issues, hopefully they can figure out a sensible way to de-couple it from the greater Star Citizen endeavor until it is ready to go.