Debate Magazine

Star Citizen - Sandbox Gaming Vs Scripted Gaming

Posted on the 21 February 2019 by Freeplanet @CUST0D1AN

Star Citizen - sandbox gaming vs scripted gaming

CIG asleep at the wheel...

..why the hell are the makers of Star Citizen not spotting this?
They've got telemetry, server-time, play-styles and preferred content of EVERYONE WHO'S IN THE 'VERSE right now. And why are they not seeing that Sandbox Gameplay run by the Players for the Players is the only thing the majority of them are interested in? 50-man battles. Pirate-bounty missions. Drug couriering. And I think it'd be the same even if Careers, Ships and associated Game Mechanics were in. Player'd still be bored with all this 'introducing another fucking Mission Giver' on a new planet or this 'other kind of narrative insertion' or this 'you can only play the game how we say'. People are moving away from (and will continue to move away from) that in their droves and just having fun amongst themselves. They literally won't play the game you want them to...
This gives CIG a problem, "They're not set up to take advantage of such a rebellion."
What do I mean by this... well, they want to C.O.N.T.R.O.L. everything that happens in 'the(ir) verse'. They want an NPC-driven economy. They want (as already discussed) scripted mission givers. They want YOU WILL NEVER RUN THIS GAME only be a tacit participant in the simulation. They know their idea of the Star Citizen simulation runs without the player. It has to. Or the number engines don't crank. But surely they're already making that kind of hand-held game in Squadron 42, a totally scripted and cutscened one-player MIL-sim due for some kind of 'episode one' launch late in 2020 now. With episode two due 2022 and episode three due 2024 but they'll never make schedule unless they're all set in the same three sectors of 'the verse' as episode one because 'bespoke game level content' that's taken ep1 six years to achieve, and still changing, still altering, still not working right. Because it's a branching story, in a 3D world with shifting player input. Even SQ42 will never be some pre-rendered cutscene, though it plays a lot like this...
Back to Star Citizen, "You can't control the verse," CIG, it's... the VERSE.
To be able to allow the player to come close to achieving that you need a totally hands-off approach involving creating nothing but the best SOLID 3D GAMING TOOLS to enhance the sandbox experience, like: a three-dimensional Item 2.0 interface that works and isn't just a 2D overlay borrowed from the MIL-story game, a Free Look quantum engine targeting mechanic that uses line of sight, a unififed one-handed VECTOR-control method for all locomotion, third person view to improve Human Scale problems with fps mode, a clean quantum-travel mechanic that efficiently makes sense and gets you directly to where you need to be, an economy that is capable of spanning star systems, a method of using elbows on panels when carrying boxes, a climbing sim for rocky terrain and trees, ladders that make sense and don't kill/confuse player, a group system that's not all kinds of fiddly-setup bullshit and/or useless, FOIP/VOIP that's integrated into MobiGlas functionality, commercialise hyperspace ffs so that ship retrieval/parking isn't such an issue, faithful-horse starships with personality would help... instead, it's all (currently) cobbled together from the tier-one features of a totally different gaming style i.e. SQ42, scripted and proscriptive.
Star Citizen is played (and paid for) by citizens of the adult world, not children. And it has to LET THEM BE. Let them live, explore, invent - together, as a community. Have good adult fun, together. And yes that probably means strip joints and panic-sex beacons, at some point... so what?
Star Citizen has to start exerting its own organic-gameplay-influenced identity.

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