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Stick and Rudder

Stick and Rudder: How complex is too complex for Star Citizen?

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

I've taken a little while to let Chris Roberts' recent flight model manifesto marinate. In that time, my opinion has run the gamut from "funk yeah, simulation!" to "hmm, I hope I'm able to enjoy this title" and back again.

I waffled because as much as I'm salivating over Star Citizen and everything it represents, it's still one game out of dozens that I'm following. And as much as I'd like to, I can't realistically devote all of my free time to a single title!

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Stick and Rudder: How Star Citizen is turning the game industry on its ear

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

Star Citizen is influencing the game industry for good or ill
When this column began, the first thing I talked about was Star Citizen's then-unique development model and how important it was both for fans and the game industry as a whole.

Over a year later, the jury's still out on whether or not Cloud Imperium's opus will bring balance to the Force and give starving hardcores a home of their own. It's already safe to say that Star Citizen has turned the industry on its ear, though.

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Stick and Rudder: On crowdfunding and 'dev abuse'

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

Stick and Rudder Hornet header
The DFM PAX reveal came and went, and it was exactly what I expected: full of bugs befitting an alpha state and still absolutely stunning in terms of its potential.

And that's all that really needs to be said about that, at least until we get our hands on it in the comfort of our own homes! I'm more interested in riffing off some of the trollish behavior from the pre-PAX backer-only gala. If you watched the full presentation, you probably know what I'm talking about. If you didn't, well, it was basically drunks being drunk, but it leads into something I've wanted to talk about for a while, which is mass appeal, niches, and the gaming industry viewed through the prism of Star Citizen.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?"

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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