| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Stick and Rudder

Stick and Rudder: Five more space sims to fill the Star Citizen void

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen

Stick and Rudder - Five more space sims to fill the Star Citizen void
A few months back I put together a list of my favorite space sims in an effort to pass the time remaining until Star Citizen's release.

Well, that release is still a ways off, even though we are scheduled to get our grubby little space mitts on the dogfighting module next month. I'm in the mood to pew pew right now, though, and if you are too, here are a few more classic games to help fill the void.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: Getting perspective on Star Citizen's development

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen - Stick and Rudder Hornet header
I recently spent a week enjoying the hell out of Elite: Dangerous. CCP's Valkyrie project -- a virtual reality EVE Online riff powered by Oculus -- is apparently far enough along to merit public demos and a slow-burning hype train. And Star Citizen? Well, I can still solo around in my hangar, fitting ship guns and firing them at cardboard targets.

I bring all this up not to pile on Cloud Imperium. On the contrary, I'm OK with SC's development pace, and if you're on the world side of the world-vs.-game debate, you should be OK with it too.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen's backlash effect

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Star Citizen's backlash effect

Can someone help me understand the Star Citizen backlash effect? I mean, seriously. If Chris Roberts and his Cloud Imperium developers announced that the game's next stretch goal was a cure for cancer, the first comment on the resulting news article would be some variation on "bullsh#@!"

Followed closely by "that's not possible" and "feature creep!"

My question, though, is why?

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: OK, so Star Citizen might be a PvP game

Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Opinion, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Star Citizen cockpit
A few weeks ago I outlined why I think Star Citizen is more a PvE title than a PvP title. I'm sure most of you disagreed, so this week I'd like to examine the other side of the debate.

Sorta.

See, I still think SC is mostly for PvE types, given Chris Roberts' design sensibilities, but I also went back and studied the Roberts PvP quote highlighted in the previous piece as well as the full wall o' text that surrounded it. Roberts, according to that interview, believes that SC will be both a PvE and a PvP game. Fair enough. We often hear devs speaking grandly in the pre-alpha stages of a project and swearing up and down that it's going to make everyone happy.

Can it really, though?

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: It's the Massively Star Citizen guild

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Your Star Citizen source
I love me some guild management tools, which is strange since I don't manage guilds all that often. It's a bit of work, see, as one look through the titles and topics in our Guild Counsel category will make clear.

At any rate, I can't stop playing around with Star Citizen's recently launched Organization stuff.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: Five reasons Star Citizen isn't a dedicated PvP game

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Five reasons Star Citizen isn't a PvP game
Is it just me, or does a new PvP-vs.-PvE fight break out on the Star Citizen forums every five minutes? In fairness to everyone involved, the jousting we've seen over the past few months is pretty typical of every early adopter MMO community. There's plenty of preening, pseudo-intellectualism, and outright trolling on both sides of the aisle as two player groups make their preferences known early and often in a blatant attempt at influencing game developers to develop something more to their liking.

With Star Citizen, though, and with the all-PvP-all-the-time crowd in particular, I'm constantly left wondering whether these people have bothered to research the game they're backing.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: 2013's essential Star Citizen stories

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Your Star Citizen source
What say we recap 2013 from a Star Citizen-focused perspective? It was a huge year for Cloud Imperium's space sim sandbox, and no, I'm not just talking about the ever-increasing crowdfund windfall.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen and The Phantom Menace

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Star Citizen header
It's May 1999 and nearing midnight. My best friend and I are standing in a swollen, sweat-soaked line of humanity that snakes through a movie theater lobby, out into the overstuffed parking lot, and around back of the palatial building.

Imperial stormtroopers mill through the crowd. Kids armed with plastic lightsabers duel their friends, their parents, and armies of imaginary opponents. Nerds share pizza deliveries with strangers, and the whole enterprise is steeped in an air of electric expectation more akin to a championship football game than an evening at the cinema.

And then my buddy turns to me and says, "What if it sucks?"

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: The best bits of Star Citizen's Thanksgiving livestream

Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen - Stick and Rudder cockpit
Cloud Imperium hosted another lengthy Star Citizen livestream this week, and if you missed it, well, so did nearly everyone else who has a nine-to-five job. This particular shindig was some 20 hours shorter than the last one, but there were nonetheless plenty of interesting details to digest.

If you want a blow-by-blow summary -- and you don't share my aversion to Reddit -- here you go. If you want my personal highlights, click past the cut.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: How to be an informed Star Citizen

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - Your Star Citizen source
Massively's podcast fielded a listener question about Star Citizen and various other Kickstarters a couple weeks back, and while I answered it on our weekly show, I'd like to expand on it in more detail here. Call it a public service for people who are mildly interested in Cloud Imperium's space sim but not interested enough to scarf up the considerable amount of news flowing out of the studio these days.

The question, in a nutshell, was how can a 30-person dev team make a triple-A title. There was more to it, including the usual concerns about crowdfunding, trust, and bits about investing vs. donating, but the dev team portion is the portion that I want to highlight.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: What if Star Citizen fails?

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder What if Star Citizen fails
As Star Citizen's crowdfunding totals spiral ever higher, so too do the cries of the naysayers, negative nancies, and the ne'er-do-wells who seemingly exist to rain on the space sim sandbox's parade.

Some of this hand-wringing is probably justified since with each new stretch goal, fan expectations for SC increase exponentially. Regardless, what the game has already accomplished is worth celebrating, and two of the most common reasons I've seen cited for remaining skeptical simply don't make sense.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: Ten space sims to fill your Star Citizen void

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder
This week I'd like to throw around a few ideas for enjoying yourself in Star Citizen's absence. Yeah, there's the hangar module, and it's pretty spectacular for what it is. But after dorking around in cockpits and doing a few I'll-be-in-my-bunk Jayne Cobb impersonations as I wedge my avatar into my Aurora's sleeping compartment, I ache to spool up those engines and go somewhere.

Fortunately there are a ton of worthy space sims that we can use to while away the next couple of years. Or the next couple of months, because dogfighting alpha!

Continue Reading

Star Citizen's salvaging career unveiled

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen's salvaging career unveiledDon't look now, but there's some more, ahem, feature creep coming to Star Citizen. OK, not really, but Cloud Imperium has announced the $21 million stretch goal, and it is "a major gameplay feature we have been hoping to include," according to Chris Roberts' latest letter from the chairman. The feature is salvage, and "salvage isn't an aside: It's a career with its own mechanic, story tie-ins, and universe-shaping endgames."

The dev team has also released some new concept art of a female explorer avatar, and Roberts also takes a moment to outline the options for continuing the fundraising campaign beyond the original fully-funded mark. "The more funds we can raise in the pre-launch phase, the more we can invest in additional content and perhaps more importantly we can apply greater numbers of resources to the various tasks to ensure we deliver the full functionality sooner rather than later," he explains.

There's currently a poll at the end of the letter that offers three options for crowdfunding continuation. As of press time, 88% of the 13,000 respondents have voted to continue crowdfunding extra features and development milestones.

Stick and Rudder: On Star Citizen's so-called 'feature creep'

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder - On Star Citizen's 'feature creep'
I'm going to address the allegations of "feature creep" in Star Citizen this week before misperceptions get further out of hand. If you haven't been following the sci-fi space sandbox in recent weeks, note that Chris Roberts and Cloud Imperium unveiled the title's $20 million stretch goal several days ago. Said goal is FPS combat on select lawless planets, but to hear some armchair developers tell it, Roberts is jumping the shark and gunning for PlanetSide 2 instead of simply adding some instanced bells and whistles onto what's affectionately known as the best damn space sim ever (BDSSE).

If you're a Star Citizen backer or enthusiast, you already know everything I'm about to type. If you're casually lurking on the periphery of the game's fandom, though, join me after the cut for the most complete SC crash course that 1,700 words can buy.

Continue Reading

Stick and Rudder: On Star Citizen's cash shop

Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Stick and Rudder On Star Citizen's cash shop
Remember last time when I said that Cloud Imperium's decision to release a playable pre-alpha Star Citizen module was a risky move?

Forget that.

I mean, it still kinda was, but this particular story had a happy ending. Star Citizen's first public-facing in-game deliverable has been live for over a week now, and for all intents and purposes it was a smashing success.

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW