Derek Smart Threatens To Sue Star Citizen Developers Unless They Meet His Demands

Derek Smart has been butting heads with Cloud Imperium Games for a while -- and he's not backing away any time soon, if his latest blog post is to be believed.

"So it comes now that what started as a bid to lay bare the challenges and failed promises of the Star Citizen crowd-funded project, is headed for legal action."

Those are the words of Derek Smart, developer of Battlecruiser 3000AD and one of the oldest independent developers in the business. He's not the most popular figure, but he has been making an awful amount of noise about the state of Star Citizen -- namely the fact that he doesn't think any developer or publisher would be capable of delivering such a project for less than US$150 million.

Things kicked up a notch when Cloud Imperium Games refunded his Kickstarter pledge and cancelled his account shortly after Derek argued for an FTC investigation into Star Citizen, the crowdfunding and CIG. CIG told PC Gamer last month that they strict rules surrounding the behaviour of their users and that "it was clear that he didn't care about the project, or the backers, or a good game being made".

A back and forth ensued (the previous link has all the details) and Smart, in typical fashion, has continued to criticise the Star Citizen makers. But everything is about to ramp up, with Smart threatening to sue CIG unless they provide: a) a firm release date for the game; b) the ability for any backer to get a refund if they choose; and c) a "complete forensic accounting" of all proceeds spent on development to date.

I'm not much of a gambler, but does anyone want to offer odds on Chris Roberts and co. not complying with Smart's demands?

Smart, of course, is preparing for such an eventuality. "As all previous calls for accountability have failed, we don’t expect RSI to co-operate (hence the need to contact the Federal authorities), with us. Which means that the next steps, depending on how they respond to the letter, would be for a class-action lawsuit (already in various stages of preparation), to move forward and be immediately filed."

"And through that, we’re going to subpoena and depose every single key person, while asking for specific documents during discovery which will hopefully shed a light on what is going on," he wrote. "We will fight it every step of the way and my guess is that with the Federal authorities involved, it may get resolved even before it gets to trial; and then we’ll have answers either way."

Smart notes that he could end up paying over US$100,000 in legal fees before the discovery process begins, but he believes -- as a current backer, having not received a refund from CIG at the time the post was published -- that CIG is up to no good. His blog post and the subsequent comments then venture into other territory that I'm not comfortable repeating (alleging things about Chris Roberts and his personal expenses, for instance).

The bulletin -- calling it a post feels a tad misleading, given how enormous it is -- then offers advice to users who either want to try and get a refund or want to protest to the Federal Trade Commission.

"Had Chris Roberts and co not maintained a pattern of dishonesty, then when called out, foolishly singled me out, then went for broke and tried to silence me with the actions that they took, and which gave me a clear indication that they had something to hide, we would never have come this far."

Stay tuned, folks.

[PC Gamer]


Comments

    This guy's a real chump.

      I'm not involved with Star Citizen and know very little about it. I just read Derek Smart's blog post in the link, and although he indulges somewhat in the dramatic, I think he makes some very fair points about accountability.

      Star Citizen is looking a bit like a ponzi scheme, where the more money backers put in, the more feature creep there has been without proper and realistic estimates being done as to delivery.

      There are two realistic scenarios ahead, neither of which is particularly attractive. One, Star Citizen implodes without delivering a game. Two, the game ultimately delivered has many features cut from it and is of a quality far below what was expected. If you look at the trail of missed milestones and undelivered promises, you find it pretty hard to be optimistic about the project, particularly as it has recently been pushed back to end of 2016. I'd love the game to succeed and get ported to PS4 so I can play it, but I won't be holding my breath.

        People hate publishers (god knows I do), but this is the exact sort of situation they help to avoid. Sometimes it's good to have someone who isn't directly invested in the gameplay and mechanics to say "you need to get this finished, now."

          As far as I'm aware, they also have investors in the project, and it's not completely crowd funded, so those investors would be a good voice to push things along. This is somewhat of a similar situation we've seen with Double fine and Broken age. Again, the financial and overall project focus was left to the development team and heads - which don't normally have such freedoms, and the development blew out and turned into a 2 part piece.

          Some devs know how to manage it all, or they have an employed advisory that can provide direction - others spend all the money and either ask for more or run for the hills. The industry is in a crazy place at the moment, and crazy things will always be the product.

          Do we want Publishers pushing out broken products, or devs mismanaging finances and overall development proceedings? It's a catch twenty-two.

            SC is done purely through crowdfunding, no investors.

        its been a very long time since a stretch goal or any similar thing has happened.

        dont make accusations like calling it a ponzi scheme without knowing anything about the project it just feeds the ignorance of others.

        "If you look at the trail of missed milestones and undelivered promises"

        missed milestones maybe, no undelivered promises as far as I know, all timeline changes have been talked about by CIG and explained.

        "I'd love the game to succeed and get ported to PS4 so I can play it, but I won't be holding my breath."

        your console could not run SC, maybe at the very least you would get access to the campaign Squadron 42, but thats it.

          Yeah, I think they've realised that they've bitten off more than they could chew and hopefully will not continue the feature creep.

          It may not be a ponzi scheme per se, but the whole idea of promising one thing, getting money, then using that money to beef up the PR and sell virtual 'ships' that mostly can't be used apart from to view them, getting more money, promising bigger things... all the while not delivering on the first promise. Something doesn't seem right about that.

          The undelivered promises I guess would include the majority of backer rewards, although you are right in saying that the problem is mainly missed milestones.

          I understand the PS4 would probably run SC at about 10fps if that, but you never know. The fact that SC is using Cryengine probably means it could be scaled back to run on PS4 (assuming the devs wanted to do it).

            Yeah, I think they've realised that they've bitten off more than they could chew and hopefully will not continue the feature creep.

            you're a dumb-ass and have no idea about what your talking about.

            It may not be a ponzi scheme per se, but the whole idea of promising one thing, getting money, then using that money to beef up the PR and sell virtual 'ships' that mostly can't be used apart from to view them, getting more money, promising bigger things... all the while not delivering on the first promise. Something doesn't seem right about that.

            oh I get it now, you get all your Star citizen news from kotaku and PC gamer, no wonder you have no clue about the game or its development..

            The undelivered promises I guess would include the majority of backer rewards, although you are right in saying that the problem is mainly missed milestones.

            almost everything could be considered delivered except for the physical boxes and the fact that the game itself is not completed/released.

        I like how you openly admit you don't know much about Star Citizen, and then go on to predict what'll happen to Star Citizen based on the very little that you know and the insane rantings of a loony. Do some research bud.

          I'm happy to listen to anyone who wants to correct me. I'm fully aware that others know more about this than me. If you'd like to set me straight rather than berate me for not doing research, you are more than welcome :-)

            https://robertsspaceindustries.com/project-status

            the non-open world DOGFIGHTING mod is playable atm, and has been for some time, and the others are WIP (i believe the FPS segment is nearing Beta/ public testing status). id advise doing a few more crosschecks in future, but you do have a point. there have been some pretty nasty rorts via crowd-funding the last few years..

            Last edited 27/08/15 8:50 pm

          Jeez, he isn't ranting of saying loony things.

        Tufao/Manzes/Gamerofthrones/jcrg... get lost youve been banned from pcgamer for how many time now???

        listen "Guardian of the book" just because every game dev on the planet would find you annoying doesnt mean you have to spread lies and mistrust everywhere. Get a life

    What a plonker.

    "Backing" something on Star Citizen is not the same as backing a corporation or buying shares. You are making a pre-order or a donation in exchange for goods or the promise of goods. Star Citizen backers have no rights to see the books at CIG, and it would be an incredibly poor business decision for them to do so. How a company spends its money is integral to its business model, and revealing that to other business is not a good idea.

    This guys sound like an asshole. Just let the devs build the game, If you sue them, they are going to have to use the money the were funded by to defend themselves. I have no stake in Star Citizen, but it's an interesting concept.

    Last edited 25/08/15 5:44 pm

      For those not aware of his history, he is best known for writing "BattleCruiser 3000", which has gone through several publishers in several stages of completion; most notoriously, it was released by its original publisher (THQ I think) in what was essentially an unplayable state. Rather later, it was released for free... and allegedly no more playable, although apparently there's a small group of fans out there. It can be downloaded on Steam in its most recent form for free as "Universal Combat CE."

      Essentially, he's made a very small investment in the competition and is now calling them out on varying the original vision. Given the degree to which Kickstarter games often fail to be released in any sort of playable form, there are far better targets out there.

      Possibly he's just trying to give other people a taste of the bile he's had cast in his direction over the years.

      My impression of him is that he started out sincerely, was unable to deliver his original vision in the form that he had promised, then was screwed over by his publisher when they gave up on ever getting a vaguely bug-free game and released it in a premature form in order to get SOMETHING out of the investment. He then spent years trying to fulfill his original vision in the face of the original reviews of that first release.

      To put it less charitably, he's a developer who made promises he couldn't keep. Think of his as Peter Molyneux without the charisma (or prior record of success.)

      GIven his record, IMO he should just shut up.

    The guy is an absolute lunatic. He's like the strangely even crazier space game version of Dennis Dyack.

    I want them to crowdsource the fees to counter sue him. He'll get really upset with that.

    Wow. What a douche. What's wrong with just seeing what happens with the game?

      A fundamental misunderstanding of crowd funding I guess. Pretty common to see people get narky about kickstarter projects despite the fact that it's clearly an investment and sometimes investments don't bear fruit.

        That's a healthy and practical way to look at your contributions to crowdfunding campaigns however it's worth pointing out that there is an actual agreement in place when you back something via these websites. It may feel like you're just casually chipping in to help a friend out but there's a very formal process. What you and I consider fair and reasonable here isn't automatically the same as the terms everyone involved agreed to.
        Also even though these websites are new there are plenty of laws already in place to defend people against a huge range of investment scams. Just because we relabel everyone as backers doesn't mean we get to ignore those laws. Although I'd imagine CIG would probably benefit more from that stuff than Derek.

        I still don't think this will go anywhere and the guy is clearly a nut but it's important to remember that this stuff is way more complicated than we treat it.

        Do you really think someone who's developed so many games could have a fundamental misunderstanding of how it works?

        I think it's more likely he's intentionally trying to derail them. I was thinking of picking up his game, seeing how star citizen will be a yr or 2 away. No way I'm grabbing it now.

        I'd really rather them concentrate on the game than have to worry about fighting a legal action.

          How does developing games give Smart any particular insight into how crowdfunding works? They're different things, the latter didn't even exist the last time Smart was making games.

            I think he's approaching it more from the point of view that his experience in development (around 30 years) has given him insight into the development process and more importantly, the costs of delivering on promises. He's seeing massive question marks over this project from that perspective.

              Smart was never a good developer to begin with, I'm not sure how much weight his opinion really carries in light of that. It'd be like Nixon giving advice on how to be an honest politician, might as well do the opposite of what he's saying.

                I've never played any of Derek Smart's games, but you'd think that if he has survived this long and released the number of games that he has, particularly in the space combat genre, he'd have a fair idea of what is and isn't realistically achievable. I'm not saying he can necessarily make a great game, but he has apparently made some games and has had moderate success doing so. If he's saying that making Star Citizen at its current scope and graphical fidelity is impossible for anything less than $150 million (and then even at a reduced scope) I'd say at the very least you shouldn't discount what he's saying out of hand. The Star Citizen trailer that I saw looks fantastic, and seems to be on par with or exceed Mass Effect, Halo etc (and they didn't even have space ship combat as far as I know). Star Citizen is promising crazy stuff like 100 populated star systems and millions of entities making up the galactic economy in a persistent universe. Seems too good to be true.

                  Maybe it would cost $150M, who knows? I remember Roberts saying they had other funding sources aside from crowdfunding, which is at $87M as of May this year.

                  On one hand you've got Smart, who has 10 titles under his belt, only one of which cracked the 60 mark on Metacritic and others include some of the worst reviews I've ever seen for a game (user scores in particular are consistently under 2.0 across many of his games). On the other hand you've got Roberts, who has been the force behind some of the most successful space sim titles of all time including Wing Commander and Freelancer, and also some bombs like Strike Commander.

                  So we're not talking about a veteran criticising an unproven studio here, we're talking about a largely unsuccessful veteran criticising a largely successful veteran. Compounding matters is Smart's reputation for being a dickhead and troll online ("Sometimes when I get online, and it's quiet, and I see something that attracts my attention, I'll post just to piss these guys off. That's why I do it. Because I'm in a good mood that day, I go in there and I start trouble"). Even if there's merit to his complaint, the way he's going about it is stupid and he's not coming from a particularly trustworthy base to begin with.

                  @zombiejesus Ah, I didn't realise he had a reputation for stirring up trouble. I'm wondering if the other funding source is happy about the release being pushed back. I suppose if the funding only came on board relatively recently there might not be as much pressure for a result. Sucks for those who backed the original vision back in 2012, who may have been happy with with what was promised originally rather than wanting what is now being promised. It would be kind of like promising a Project Cars by 2014, but then changing your mind and saying now it will be Project Cars, Planes, Boats & Trains by 2016. I understand that until Derek Smart kicked up a fuss, RSI was not giving refunds to early backers who felt disappointed that the scale and vision of the project had changed, leading to the substantial delays. People point to the Hangar and Arena modules but then again that was not what was originally promised either.

          Derek Smart says his game in development is going to be free to play so you won't have to shell out to be able to see whether it's good or not. He says he has no reason to derail them because the more people brought into the genre of space combat games, the more people are likely to play his own game when it comes out.

            Derek Smart says a lot of things. One would hope you wouldn't be so naive as to listen.

              It's hard not to be naive when you've never heard of the guy :-P I tend to take things at face value a lot as well, and judge what is being said rather than the people who are saying it. Unless they have a track record as a troll, wishful thinker or outright liar, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm not taking sides here, just listening to all points of view.

                You're funny. Pretty much most of your comments is taking Derek Smart's side. Derek Smart is a troll and have a history of being a troll. If you really want to appear 'unbias', you should really look up that part of his history as well. Derek Smart is extremely jealous and envious over developers' success, not just at Chris Roberts, especially over game genre that he's part of. Instead of working on fixing his own crappy space game, "Line Of Defense", he goes on a rampage and tries to defame other developers' work, trying to bring more attention to himself and his crappy LOD game. He is such a troll, if not a scammer. Look at how long LOD been in early access, and it haven't any improvements since.

    Toxic.

    As annoying as this little maggot is, history tells us that this bloke may very well get his day in court. There is a broader legal concept here that is troubling: namely, the correlation between 'backing' something and 'investing' in something, to the point at which you feel (or, if the court decides, you 'are') entitled to dictate T&Cs on the developers. While I find it ethically reprehensible and completely against the 'good faith' nature of crowdsourcing, legally, this guy may have some impetus, particularly in an unregulated and infantile industry such as crowdsourcing. Legislation and Regulation will need to catch up, fast.

    I'd dare say the Kickstarter, Pozible and other crowdfunding sites have paid large retainers to have lawyers keep an eye on his progress. I also wouldn't be surprised if a few professional lobbyists have put a call into marginal Congressman as well.

      I'd dare say the Kickstarter, Pozible and other crowdfunding sites have paid large retainers to have lawyers keep an eye on his progress.

      Yeah. Although I've got to wonder how far they're willing to go to protect an individual project. I get the impression their legal departments focus heavily on distancing themselves from the individual backers and projects. Sort of a 'we lived up to our obligations but we're the middle-men, so take it up directly with each other' deal.

      I don't really get the hatred towards Derek Smart. I read his latest blog post and although he seems a little heavy on the conspiracy theory side of things, he comes off as being (a) concerned that Star Citizen didn't deliver (or even come close to delivering) on the original Kickstarter project, and (b) appears to be inflating its goals to get more funding while delaying the project as a whole in order to do so. I think these are legitimate concerns. It's not like he's out there hacking or doxxing. If the guy wants to go to court because he thinks its justified, that's what the legal system is for. If he gets shot down, there are mechanisms where he'll have to foot the bill for most of Chris Roberts' legal costs.

        My interest is purely academic, but fundamentally, you're right - and the legal system will sort-out right from wrong, but holistically (the conspiracy PLUS the concerns on delivery) completely undermine his argument, and his legitimacy for what could be a great test-case for the sector.

        Reasonable, sensible people would develop and deliver their argument without rhetorical flourish and hyperbole. Derek Smart does neither (IMHO).

          I wonder how much that is a result of reasonable, sensible people generally being drowned out by the legions of unreasonable, excitable people on the internet :-P

    Just another case of special snowflake syndrome with someone thinking they're more important than they actually are, crusading for a cause nobody asked them to.

    And this comes from someone who fully expects it is no longer possible for Star Citizen to live up to expectations and the claims being made for it... The upside here is that I might be pleasantly surprised at some point if it ever actually releases and does even half of what is claimed.

      The catch is, this special snowflake will now never be satisfied with what the game will deliver when (tentative if) it delivers. He's now on a witch hunt, and will burn everything because that will prove he was right all along. If he can stall game production - he was right. If he can break production and force the game to be canceled - he was right. If the game does get released and he doesn't like it - he was right. Well on that last one he'll just be a trolling dick (not that he isn't already), but from he's stand point, everything would be justified.

      Last edited 25/08/15 6:51 pm

    Jesus Derek Smart. I almost forgot about that guy. Almost.

    Here is is yet again, doing what he does best: reminding us that he exists.

      I think he's worried about his perceived legacy, being under the impression that his magnum opus BC 3000AD is the greatest hard sci fi space sim of all time, which wasn't even true back then, Independence War shat all over it, and sure as hell isn't true now. He's like an angrier, less talented Peter Molyneux.

        Oh man, I remember I-War on the Atari Jaguar, that game was awesome.

        lol. Well said. Totally agreed!

    Someone should counter sue him, threatening legal action if he pursues and delays development through a diversion of funds to deal with his lawsuit...

    Oh jesus. He won't go away. Best thing to do is not to pay attention to him or give him any attention. Also, there is no way he can afford such legal action unless it is on a contingency basis. Apparently the guy has a heap of unpaid taxed.

    That all said, the accountant in me would love to see CIG's financials and just how they are accounting for development.

    I really hope that arsehole gets counter-sued for libel

    Star Citizen is the amalgamation of one persons idea for a video game that is bigger and better than anything else been made. One problem with Star Citizen is, that Chris Roberts and CIG do not know how to project manage their own game. Star Citizen will get delayed severely due to bad management and bad scheduling, does this surprise anyone. Only pretentious fanboys. A project this big needs project management and whenever you see Chris Robert himself talk about the progress of the game he has no fucking idea on how to manage it. Look at his most recent work they failed. I think Robert's and Molyneux need to enrol to the nearest project management course ASAP because they got no idea what there doing.

    People expect delays and people please tell them how pissed off you are. This project has been in a planning phase of 2-3 years and a development/working phase for 2 years so I think they should of made more progress, who knows maybe they got greedy and started buying $10,000 coffee machines, with the funds they got they could throw money around quite happily.

    If you are reading this CIG here is a song on how to project manage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r22Ty_wZAuw

      Bad grammar filled guest-post...... all the qualifications of the seasoned project management expert. CIG TAKE NOTES NOW!

        I feel sorry for the stakeholders of Star Citizen who have basically been on limb for two years about the game's development with not a lot of idea of how the game is progressing. It's bad management, it does not take a genius to work it out. Yes it has a huge scope, but two years of pure development and they have only done the space combat... That still needs heaps of work well I think whoever is in charge of management or the management team needs to get some retraining or resign immediately and find someone who has the skills to take on the job at CIG. Yeah they designed hangars, that look really nice and aesthetic but that is a perfect case study on how they were to busy focused on something that was not on the critical path of the project to get the game out and could have allocated resources to the space flying or the marine combat. It is also more evident when they keep releasing new ships in design phase that haven't been rendered in game and are selling them. There focuses on the project are elsewhere, where the critical tasks are being ignored?

        The song project management rap goes through the seven key steps of project management, The seven steps come from project management book of knowledge (PMBOK). This project philosophy has been adapted all over the world as the text is sold by PMI (Project Management Institute).

        On the bright side if this game fails - then the games industry should get reviewed by academics who can do a case study on Star Citizen. That should make for a good read and then hopefully other studios, publishers and developers can learn from it. That would be unlikely as the games industry does not respect critical feedback. You don't have too dig to deep to figure that out. The Information technology industry is widely regarded as the worst industry for management of projects as deadlines are never reached (for example game delays) and if a delay does occur it is hard to know how much time will need to be spent fixing it. Then you have the design staff who have nothing left to do after they finish visuals so they are left making DLC or taken off the project, but a good project manager keeps the team together because having staff turnover creates problems. There are many articles and research papers on why project management in IT is slow and inefficient and majority of project managers know this who have been on a IT project. The problems you are trying to solve are on a computer. It is insanely hard to analyse what the problem is. A lot of people are still hyping themselves up for Star Citizen and saying all this great stuff that has been done but the funny thing is that internet it pubs have not done a in-depth article in a very long time on how Star Citizen is coming along. Yes CIG release updates but there shallow in detail.

        Also Derek Smart can sue as he is a stakeholder and can sue under common law.

          You may (or may not) understand project management, but you don't understand software development, if your expectations of what can be shown in early development is anything to go by.

          Smart is a customer, nothing more. Customers have no entitlements to any of the things he's demanding. As someone said above, this is a simple case of misunderstanding the crowdfunding process.

          Last edited 26/08/15 8:30 am

            The same management skills used in project management are brought over to software development. Are you implying that years of hard research should go down the drain just because people making video games can not effectively use skills that are older than video games and software. The problem lies with corporations and management not implementing project management in the initial phase of the project, just after design has finished. I am pretty sure CIG have changed the scope a few times now with Star Citizen reading an article back in 2012 how the game was going to be now to 2015, sound like a completely different scope. That just proves that many plans have been scrapped for new ones which has just wasted time. The customer/client (people who funded it) should get a better idea oh what is happening with the games full progress not just snippets of design art and a new galaxy that can be put later in the game lifespan.

            Video games industry is a little behind the ball in managing projects across the globe and using project management. Honestly if SC fails it will go to a lawsuit and there are many ways to take that action. Be it common law, unfair term's and conditions, investors who are stakeholders because the game had an initial fund from investors can make a lawsuit. So yeah people who backed the game might not technically be a stakeholder but they kind of are because they make the project exist in the first place.

            CIG need to start showing some respect to the people who have backed the game and want information on the critical path of the project. Without them backing their idea would not have been possible. The backers own SC as much as Roberts and his posse do. Unfortunately it seems Roberts has tricked people in giving him heaps of money and not showing any signs of progress in a long time. But hey get to 100 million and you will unlock Vanuatu island trip for the staff cough. cough tropical galaxy to explore.

            Also hats off to No Man's Sky a game that is developed by a smaller team and has shown more development than SC.

              If you think project management isn't used in games development, you know even less than I initially thought.

              Any project manager worth their salt knows you need domain knowledge in addition to management knowledge to operate effectively on any given project. What I said above is that you lack domain knowledge, and without it it's difficult to offer valid criticism.

              Particularly in software development there are dozens of radically different approaches to end-to-end management of a software project, most of which are successful when applied in the right environment. From your post, I don't think you're familiar enough with the different styles used to be in a position to judge whether they're being done right or wrong.

              Last edited 26/08/15 2:39 pm

                So you think I know less than before because now you are telling me no one uses project management in software. Instead they use this domain knowledge idea. Domain knowledge is better than project management. Well it has less research than project management so okay it must be better thanks for that Jesus, having no idea on what to talk about and insulting Jesus is fine because it is the internet. Naturally project managers implement a form of domain knowledge. It is called managing human resources. It does not need a fancy name that comes from a Google Internship seminar it is there to present the goal it will set out. To use domain knowledge you have to know the fundamentals of project management, to use project management software one must still understand fundamentals of how to use it on paper just like an engineer must know his maths. I think you know less and have got your facts off of someone with no real experience and qualifications.

                  I don't see how you could mangle what I said so badly as to come to the conclusion you did. I said both management knowledge and domain knowledge are required by a project manager worth his salt. In fact, in every paragraph I said there is project management in software development.

                  I don't know where you're getting Google internship seminars or anything like that from, domain knowledge is a common term across most industries. It means understanding the subject domain, a necessary skill before you can effectively manage a project in that domain. For example, if you don't have a decent understanding of how day trading works, you can't effectively manage a day trading software project. You should be familiar with this term already if you have experience in project management.

                  Managing human resources is only a slice of project management, there's much, much more to it than that.

                  But what would I know? I've only done software project management as my job before. We tend to use Scrum, Agile and XPM methodologies here.

                You have not been reading my post properly ZJ. "If you think project management isn't used in games development, you know even less than I initially thought" It is evident that project management has not been used to its full potential in the games industry I even stated that. I never implied that it is not used, but with all these delays and stories of bad management in video games you start to wonder what is going on. There not using the management effectively I said in my first post that management and corporate and management is to blame because there in charge. Far out read my post properly. ZJ one last thing you edit your posts afterwards. That just shows you cannot articulate a strong argument. It also means that you know you made a mistake and had to quickly fix it so nobody sees it, like hiding a video game glitch.

                Before you even use domain knowledge you need technical knowledge no point having a coder if he cannot do the algorithms on paper. Good luck on having a meeting and your trying to solve the problem and your coder is trying to explain to you what is the problem and you ask him redo the algorithm and he just looks at you confused, you know your going places. So after we have technical knowledge we can start to emphasise domain, but you need to diversify your project to other industries and work with other faculties. You being a genius would know that the it industry is full of elitist snobs that are all high and mighty.

                  You're really grasping at straws if you think the fact I edited my post has any relevance whatsoever. I'm pretty sure I've been clear that I think your claim that they're not managing projects effectively (either SC specifically or the industry as a whole) is baseless since you seem to lack the necessary knowledge to make that kind of assessment. That opinion hasn't changed.

                  Technical and domain knowledge are both important for a programmer. Domain and management knowledge are both important for a project manager. If you lack domain knowledge, I'm not sure what value you expect your opinion to have on either role.

                  Domain this and Domain that. Great argument ZJ not everyone in the world adapts domain knowledge but they do adapt the methods revised in PMBOK. Because PMBOK is globally accredited. Yes of course I lack no knowledge but you are fully qualified I'll give you the benefit of the doubt I love your writing tone too - rude.

                  Yea my claim is baseless like the many failed kickstarter projects and developers asking for more money, without restricting themselves to a deadline. Because GODUS is fantastic and VALVE'S progress with Steam OS is going well. Deadlines are important because it drives a person to work and not become lazy - that is easy to understand. Having no communicated deadline with people who honestly care and do invest is insulting. Give someone a blank check and you see how much it gets abused and the fact that kickstarter lets the kickstarters take no blame if they failed and let alone give deadlines because they keep getting funded, they can take as long as possible. 99% of projects have a deadline but you don't seem to understand that fundamental naaa its all domain knowledge forget the technical stuff.

                  That is the challenge of running a project to stick to the deadline not to delay but it doesn't mean anything without magical domain knowledge forget it. Domain Knowledge solves your problems too I guess. An idea that cannot be defined because everyone has a different perspective (just like saying to someone use common sense). Hey you are pretty good at confusing people with domain knowledge I think you need to sell it as a product. Mate get out of software development management and start TED seminars you will be rich in no time. Sell your ideas to Silicon Valley they like unadopted methods of thinking to look like hipsters at business.

                  I'm over this argument. This project manager gives more effs about domain knowledge than he does to blatantly obvious mistakes CIG make. Hopefully this argument makes it to a top 10 list so everyone knows how awesome domain knowledge is.

                  A fancy phrase for a simple idea, not like we need another silly phrase to know. Just to think broadly over many industries, but I'm sure it looks good on business portfolios.

          TL;DR — Stop referring to yourself in the third person Derek.

            You beat me to it. This "Reality Check" character that has been posting in this thread, it's Derek Smart, or someone very close to him posting for him. He has a LONG and well known track record for this sort of thing (posting as anonymous users in stories about him), sometimes he will actually announce himself, but usually (IMHO anyway) he will read the first few comments and take the "temp" of the responses and whether they are for, or against, his point and then he decides if he's anon or himself. And if it's not Derek or anyone associated with him, oops...

            Anyway, if anyone actually thinks Mr.Smart is doing this out for altruistic reasons, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, I'll sell it to you, relatively, cheap. He cares nothing about this game, it's community, or it being finished, all he cares about is himself, and his "projects". The man is a direct competitor to CSI and Chris Roberts, and is doing this out of spite, a need to promote himself or his product(s), or a desire to protect what he feels is his "legacy" (which we all know is a joke). Imo, the only reason he backed this project in the first place was for an "inside" look at it, probably so he can try to beat it to market, if he really believed in it he would've pledged more than $200, which btw CSI refunded and he even said on the net that he got his refund (which he is now claiming never came, I bet it came and he hid or destroyed the check so he could say it didn't, if CSI were smart they had it sent registered mail w/ a sig required). I'm not a backer of Star Citizen, but if I were, I would be more pissed about what this fool is doing threatening litigation, than the actual game being delayed.

            The whole thing is really interesting, but only in the way seeing a car wreck on the side of the road is. You can't help but watch the drama play out.

            lol. He comments just about every article that mention Derek Smart. Guess, it's to make himself look better and pretend that he have some so-call 'supporters'

          Also Derek Smart can sue as he is a stakeholder and can sue under common law.
          No he isn't. He is at the very most a customer but even that hasn't been proven in court yet. Kickstarter was setup as a place for artists to raise funds (primarily) so the terms and conditions of the site were more aligned to a donation than a purchase.
          These have been updated as the site has become more popular but mostly for the people pitching, not the backers. I don't know but I wouldn't be surprised to find that a kcikstarter backer is considered to be a donor, not a customer. But they are sure as hell not a stakeholder.

          Although if you backed it through the SC site directly I am not aware of the T&C on that and they may have had some loop holes in that which make it muddier.

            From the Kickstarter Terms of Use.
            If your project is successfully funded, you are required to fulfill all rewards or refund any backer whose rewards you do not, or cannot fulfill. A failure to do so could result in legal action on behalf of your backers

              Yes, that is from kickstarter to the person pitching. If kickstarter want to sue CIG then they would have a right to. But as a backer I don't think you have the same rights

      I agree that SC is being mismanaged, and would love to see the financials for it so far, and see the scope completely locked down at this stage.
      The guy bringing the lawsuit is a douche, but it does speak to a need for better accountability on crowdfunded games. When the game project changes completely from what people have backed, it is a problem. If you backed a round watch, and it became a square one with a different feature set and was delayed by to years implementing features that weren't on the original list, it is a problem.

      The bigger problem to me though is that at the current rate I think SC will run out of money long before it is close to being finished. I hope not, as I really want the game, but sitting down and running the numbers, and looking at the ever expanding team, I can't see it happening.

    with all kickstarter/Alpha buy in there needs to be a "you have to be THIS mature and intelligent" to buy into this game. there is a certain amount of flux and change that is to be totally expected in the process and unless you are willing to go for the ride then you really shouldn't be involved in the process.

    What's the current status of star citizen and when can I expect to be able to actually play something? I basically gave up on my $35 investment which was... Wow almost 3 years ago now. So I have no idea what the status of the game is and when I can expect to use it. If anyone has a TL:DR summary of what's happening I would be very appreciative :)

    EDIT: For anyone stumbling across this comment, didn't meant to sound like a dick. $35 is throwaway money. I'm more surprised that 3 years has already gone by! I just want the MMO mode sooo bad...

    Last edited 26/08/15 11:14 am

      You can play something right now.
      Hangar module has been out for 2 years, Arena Commander [multiplayer dogfighting mode] for over 1 year.

      For a game of this size, 3 years is nothing. The only difference between star citizen and other huge scale AAA games is that we actually know about it much earlier on in the process. People aren't used to waiting this long.

        Sorry, didn't mean to sound like I was whinging. It's been a funny few days here at work... Good to know there's a couple of modes I can try :D Might have to fire up the old account and start downloading some stuff :) Thanks for the heads up mate.

        No the difference is there is much, much less money than for a AAA game, 3 years is not nothing when you have a relatively small pool of money.

          Really? Last I checked [several months ago], they had raised over 80 Million USD. I realise that there are many gamers who have no grasp of real dev costs, myself included.
          But based off this list [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_video_games_to_develop ], even if those numbers are off by a significant amount, I'd argue that 80 million USD puts it prime in AAA budget area.

          Last edited 26/08/15 10:47 am

          Small pool of money, are you joking? The game has over $87M in funding, making it currently the 8th most funded game on record. That's more money than Red Dead Redemption, which spent 5 years in development.

            Looking at the current size of the development team, 80 million is relatively small, and they have given no guidance as to how much is left.

              No it isn't, RDR's development team was bigger than that. Developers don't normally tell customers how they're spending development money, why would this be any different?

      Well they spent a year changing the engine to be 64bit instead of 32bit which involved lots of ex-Crytech staff being hired and coming onboard to make the changes.

      They've had an entire studio working on the Single Player section of the game keeping the majority of it from backers to ensure the Single Player storyline can be enjoyed by the playerbase when it is released - the downside is they have lots of content they choose not to show people which keeps people from understanding what is happening with the game.

      They've got Multi-Crew tech working where you can have people moving around in a ship that is moving in space which doesn't sound like much - but from a tech standpoint lots of people are impressed.

      I'm sure you've spent more than $35 on takeaway in a week - but you have the right idea - don't follow the game so closely and play it on release you'll be happily surprised by it - many people are impatiently wanting the MMO part of the game running which they're about to get out to backers - the main complaint seems to be why didn't they just downgrade the graphics or fidelity of the game to get it out sooner - but we all know that all that would have done is have people ragging on it complaining that it didn't look like an 87 million dollar game.

        I just re-read my post and I sound like a whinging git. The joys of text only conversation. I honestly more meant "what can I do now, beyond drool?" and was surprised at how quickly those 3 years disappeared. Good news on the 64bit front, so thanks for letting me know that.

      Rome wasn't built in a day, to say the game is large would be an understatement. Metal Gear V will be out next week and that's been in development since MGS4 came out 7 years ago.

      Large complicated games just take time, people just need to be reasonable given the scope.

        Honestly just wanted a sitrep, but looking at my post I sound like I'm whinging (my bad). You're right though, game dev takes AGES and I'm not sure people are used to the transparency yet.

        good analogy, though afaik, MGSV WAS waiting on the completion of a new engine, among other things

    I hope dealing with this nutjob has no effect on the final product.

    What is Las Vegas Strip's gaming revenue?

    Last year was $6.4 Billion.

    People throw away billions on these games on a very remote possibility of return. What do you get for your money? HOPE. That feeling for a split second. At least RCI has actually developed some playable code.

    I literally just downloaded Derek Smarts game on steam and left it running for the required 10 mins playtime so I could leave a negative review. (harder than it sounds, it crashed twice before I decided to minimize the game pre main menu just to stop it from crashing) .

    What a blast from the past. I literally grew up reading about Derek Smart's overblown promises and failure to deliver on them back in good ol' PC gaming mags of the 90s. It feels so nostalgic to see him back again, just as hopeless as ever!

    Ahh this guy... I remember his Battlecruiser AD. Had a crap load of bugs on it. Was alright simulation, but could have been a lot better. I still remember the box said something like BATTLECRUISER AD A Derek Smart Simulation like his name really meant something. This was in a time where we had Chris Roberts churning out wing commanders/privateers and the likes of the names of Sid Meir, Will Wright, and Richard Garriott stamped all over the boxes. Even then i remember he was generating a lot of negative publicity. Guess some things never change.

    Can somebody put up a kickstart persue Derek Smart?
    I swear I would contribute. I'm not even close to joking.

    Man what a piece of shit. This guy just loves the attention.

    They should start a kickstarter to fund the legal costs of fighting Smart =P

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