Cloud Imperium Games community manager Ben Lesnick has stepped forward to address some of the harsh criticisms leveled at Star Citizen, some of which come from veteran game designer Derek Smart, best known for the Battle Cruiser games.
Over on the CIG forums, Lesnick addressed one of the bigger elephants in the room: the delay of the FPS module known as Star Marine.
According to Lesnick...
“It would not be my place to give you a timetable, but with the number of people I’m seeing who genuinely believe that we somehow now aren’t doing the FPS module I will say that we are talking about a delay of weeks and not months/years/decades.”
This is great news for people who have been sitting on the edge of their seats awaiting the release of the FPS module for the space sim, Star Citizen. Lesnick also addressed that the FPS module was not "indefinitely delayed".
The rest of the post addresses other concerns, such as the team not being communicative enough and feature creep – some feel as if Cloud Imperium Games, at the behest of Chris Roberts, are adding more and more content to the game and that it will never release.
However, Lesnick points out that a lot of the features they're working on were already outlined in the game's Kickstarter a few years back. It is true that if you look over the Kickstarter stretch goals that the Squadron 42 FPS campaign mode – something that Roberts recently finished directing the mo-cap session for – was already included at the $6 million mark.
The other big feature for Star Citizen is the persistent universe mode, the mode that will bridge together all main gameplay modules. This mode is on delay until the team can finish up the FPS module and completely rework some of the multiplayer matchmaking so they don't run into the same problem that Halo: The Master Chief Collection ran into, which resulted in months and months of the game's multiplayer just not working as intended.
One of the big issues I think a lot of people have are all the subsystems included in the main features. For instance, just adding the FPS module isn't some standalone compartment; the FPS mode has to work well with the crew and cargo features for the larger ships and work properly for boarding missions, cargo runs and trading functionality, all of which are core features of the persistent universe mode.
Ensuring that the subsystems are working right also ensures that the main modules are also working properly. After the team finishes up the FPS module they plan on putting all their focus on the persistent universe mode for Star Citizen, something that was briefly showcased in a video earlier this year showing one of the planetary hubs that players can visit.
Once the FPS and PSU modes are complete, it's a matter of implementing more of the other star ships and optimizing the gameplay so it runs right proper and has decent frame-rate on a variety of PC hardware configurations. You can read the full breakdown of criticisms lobbed at Star Citizen over on Reaxxion or you can check out the full rebuttal by Ben Lensick over on Cloud Imperium Games.