It was long-rumored and now it has come to fruition: Star Citizen and lead developer Chris Roberts have bumped the release of the much-anticipated dogfighting module. The revelation was shared in a recent backer update on the RSI web site…
Originally when I first started this journey I didn’t dream that we would be entirely community funded so early so I thought that if I released an early dogfighting build it would help drum up interest in the project and get some good community feedback on the player versus player fun and balance. I knew this had some drawbacks, the biggest being that we would have to use the built in CryEngine netcode and not our intended persistent and massively multiplayer capable system that we are architecting to handle the large amount of players we hope to have with Star Citizen.
As time has progressed I’ve become more nervous taking the down and dirty route with the initial dogfighting build, especially as our numbers grow. With so many people in the Alpha we need a whole other level of backend support, which would require serious work on CryEngine’s existing multiplayer structure – a lobby system, spinning up servers to handle each session – all things that we are building the new Star Citizen backend to handle. Unfortunately the server backend technology will not be ready for prime time for a couple more months. But this is really what I would like to run the dogfighting on, as it will link into your hangar, friend’s lists, chat and so on.
So how has the crowd reacted?
For the most part, they’re taking it in stride. Yes, there are some disappointed backers, but it seems the general tenor of the comments on the article points to people being understanding of the delay. It helps that Chris Roberts has been dangling this possibility publicly for quite some time.
Constant transparency on the part of the game’s team helps, too. The crowd is being kept in the loop. It’s one thing to leak a delay in the midst of constant communication. It’s a completely different thing to be coming up for air after weeks or months of inactivity to tell the crowd you can’t deliver on time.
Still, this does put some pressure on Roberts and his crew to deliver the module in relatively short order. Stay tuned.
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