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Chris Roberts on Anthem & “Fixing” Games

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, there was a couple of Star Citizen Articles from Newsweek . com that had interviews with Chris Roberts as well as a couple of other key members of staff and talked about community expectations, open development & more, this video is a summary of the Articles ‘STAR CITIZEN’ DIRECTOR CHRIS ROBERTS REVEALS HOW HE WOULD FIX ‘ANTHEM’ & ‘STAR CITIZEN’ DEVS DISCUSS CREATING A UNIVERSE FOR FANS, BY FANS both by CHRISTOPHER GROUX.
Links to the full articles are below, this video will be my highlights, summary & interpretation of what was said.

Newsweek interviewed Chris Roberts in an article titled STAR CITIZEN’ DIRECTOR CHRIS ROBERTS REVEALS HOW HE WOULD FIX ‘ANTHEM a little click baity BUT as it doesn’t really explain how Chris would do that in any real detail BUT it does talk about unrealistic expectations & making games better over time.

They asked him about Anthem the negative sentiment from “fans” surrounding anthem.

Chris started by explaining that he’d seen No Man Sky had done something incredibly impressive technically especially with such a small team and they shouldn’t of taken as much flak from the community as they did.

Player expectations were far beyond and they had imagined extra stuff.

Some of the game had to be cut down or changed and this partly led to community anger, however they kept updating the game & making it better and better and the perception has since changed.

With Anthem there’s a lot of good stuff in there according to Chris.

Some parts work, others don’t. It’s like what they are doing with Star Citizen & Iterating on it. He hopes that EA & Bioware don’t give up on it and continue to try and improve it.

He feels a lot of gamers don’t understand the difficulties in delivering & meeting expectation, when those expectations keep ramping up.

Some of these games have potentially suffered from having to get a release out the door BUT they can keep working on that LIVE build.

There may be some games that are beyond repair BUT Anthem has got some fun aspects to it & some of it’s issues can be addressed.

Chris doesn’t see it as terminally broken.

He wishes it had a bit more depth and dynamic story as the game feels a bit static compared to what was originally pitched.

Chris also believes that there is a strong EA bias with gamers hating on EA and the game because they feel EA messes everything up. He feels that ME:Andromeda had contributed towards this as it was seen as being rushed out the door & there are media articles (they reference a Kotaku one) that pour fuel onto the fire & push that negative narrative.

Game Development is messy. Even though Star Citizen is super open about theirs they still get accused of all kinds of stuff. They get things wrong BUT they try to improve on them.

Situations like with Anthem are caused by the needs of development and the needs of a public company. Releasing it when it’s ready rather than needs to come out to make short term money is important to Star Citizen.

Chris loves working on Star Citizen and when he isn’t he plays games and reads gaming websites. They try to have a good work life balance at CI. The Crunch in the same way he used to do it Origin isn’t done there.

People do stay late and do extra work especially during releases / major bugs BUT it’s meant to be a 40 hour week, 9 – 6.

Testers and Live Release Staff do work later though and have to be around on the weekends. They will continue to try to improve the studios further.

In short from what I can gather to how Chris would fix Anthem is just continue to iterate, improve and add to it, don’t give up & listen to the community that are giving feedback to help improve the game. Also Chris wouldn’t of released it until it was really ready. Let’s hope this is true of Star Citizen & both the PU and Squadron 42 will be genuinely great games.

 

The other article was ‘STAR CITIZEN’ DEVS DISCUSS CREATING A UNIVERSE FOR FANS, BY FANS
This article talks about how Rexzilla (a Star Citizen Streamer) has expanded his 6v6 battles to regular 25v25 ones due to the fun and stability of the game by now and setting some combat rules that participants adhere to, they are able to showcase some of the awesome things you can do in game.

CIG Head of Publishing John Erskine – Star Citizen is helped along by it’s community testing and providing feedback on the game.

The Evocati Early testers do this to the earliest builds of the game, going though sometime quite frustrating bugs and issues ot help make the game better, this feedback can lead to a lot more work for CIG but it’s important to get it done. Chris also thought it natural to have the community testing this unfinished product in this way.

This has also led to the more recent introduction & updates to public telemetry where you can see real time performance stats on user hardware, framerates and server stability.

Chris believed there is not point hiding bad data and transparency was the way forward for the project.

Steven Bender CIGs Animation Director talks about them adding ASL emotes into the game and that this came from a discussion about a fan coming to CitizenCon each year with an interpreter. This idea snowballed into them working together to come up with a series of phrases & get them mocapped. This goes towards helping Star Citizen being more inclusive and accessible.

The Star Citizen Community provides ideas and feedback and this can become part of the game OR help it’s development. Chris refers to backers  one of the studio’s greatest long term strengths, they are almost like part of the development team & help pay for the game. The Open Development means they see the wart-and-all versions of the game.