May 26, 2024

Alysianah's World

All things Star Citizen

Newsletter May 2017 – Piece by Piece

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Prod Schedule: Piece by Piece

I’m starting a new series of articles that will run exclusively in Star Citizen Nightbus. The articles will be a deep dive into the Star Citizen Production Schedule. As Alpha participants, the schedule is what’s driving the content we are going to experience in the coming months. It’s the angel delivering the ships and features we’re all excited about. The hammer raining down blows of disappointment when things shift out. The war drum echoing shouts of despair when aspects aren’t explicitly included.

Because of the power it wields over what we get to experience and when, I think it warrants a detailed review, versus a high-level glossy treatment in a quickie video. In the series we’ll discuss the work being developed by month and feature type, delving into what that means for game mechanics and new content, and pay special attention to the timelines that are bundled into release candidates.

My aim is to present the Production Schedule material in an educational and entertaining format. The first of this series will appear in The Star Citizen Nightbus Episode 5.

Producing Episodes More Frequently

I’ve been blogging about the games I play for 15+ years. I enjoy writing guides and tutorials to help players get the most out of their gaming experience. Many of us are busy adults with demanding lives. We don’t have time to fumble around in the dark during the time we’ve allocated for entertainment and relaxation.

For Star Citizen, I’ve expanded what I normally do by creating and producing two YouTube shows. I’d like to do more – more shows, fiction, and lore. However, like everyone else, there are only 24 hours in my day, part of which belong to career and family. Math being what it is, I can’t do more unless some things start taking less time.

Surprisingly and quite unfortunately, it takes more time to produce the shows than writing and recording them. Editing audio, gathering relevant images and footage takes twice as much time as writing and recording. However, they’re necessary elements for my vision.

To help cut back on one aspect, videos and images, I’m starting to build and catalog as much as I can in advance. Particularly, trying to find game footage that’s generic in nature but pleasant to look at. Methods of focusing on minutia in an interesting way that can be shot for longer durations since the content available to us at the moment is limited. So far it’s proving painless to gather the footage as I’m able to do it whenever I have moments to spare versus trying to setup specific scenarios. I need to review a tutorial on using the new camera options too so I can use those techniques to add visual variety. Hopefully, viewers find this approach acceptable in exchange for being able to have episodes released more frequently.

Upcoming Shows

  • Nightbus EP5 – Production Schedule Piece by Piece series & The Exterminator: Part One
  • Nightbus EP6 – The Exterminator: The Conclusion
  • Causal Citizen EP29 – Cold Case Files and Review of Flight-Ready Bounty Hunter Ships

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Tone Deaf

Oh CIG, if there’s a loose thread you unravel it. A wobbly floorboard you trip and fall. Sometimes it’s too evident that passing years and what should be lessons learned, still haven’t steadied your feet. The cringe is real. I’m here for the game so little else matters to me but it sure would be nice for the non-development gaffes to end. CR’s wonderfully expressed and inspiring emails can’t cure all ills.

CIG marketing efforts at times come off as being tone deaf to the fact that they have an extremely vocal, emotional and fickle backer community. And while we should concede all quality of life issues and bugs in the game at this point in the development lifecycle, marketing shouldn’t still be in alpha mode.

The latest gaffe is the 2017 Referral Program Contest. Backers have been waiting for and hearing that an exciting restructuring has been in the works. I think most expected new ranks in the existing program, options for different rewards for the existing ranks and/or something fun that a majority of backers could work toward. Unfortunately, that’s not what was unveiled.

I think if the lower ranked rewards announced had been added into the existing program many would have been happy. Or at least not as WTF outraged about them being included in a timed event. I think if the top rewards for the contest had been announced separately – on its own as part of an annual contest for the referral program it would have gone down smoother. And if the coupe de gras misstep of then promoting the codes of a handful of people hadn’t occurred, fewer pitchforks would have been raised. Unfortunately, when you combine all of the above into one colossal misstep, it seems as though you don’t know this community at all. And when that’s followed closely by a price change twice on the BMM within days of each other because the first increase communicated was wrong, one has to ask WTF are you doing?

It seems as though CIG has learned the type of information the community at large wants to hear about and see in the weekly shows. Bravo! Anyone who’s still complaining about the shows needs to f— off. Every episode can’t be Christmas. Now it’s time for the people involved in marketing and communications AT ALL LEVELS rise to the same level. There’s a bubble up there that needs bursting. They need to consider what they’re doing from this side of the aisle BEFORE they do it.

They have Evocati for testing. Perhaps they need to preview marketing type stuff under NDA with a handful of backers as well. Most any of them could have told them that the Referral Contest wasn’t going to go down well after being touted as a restructuring of the referral program itself, which it was not.

I love CIG – the passion, commitment and hard work that’s easy to see. However, that doesn’t blind me to areas that need improvement — and quickly.

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Excerpt from The Exterminator

On a dilapidated space station, a by-the-book bounty hunter’s personal ethos is challenged when he arrives to conduct a routine vagrant arrest.

“John James, plain name, simple life,” John introduced himself. Followed by “Or you can call me JJ. I’ve no preference.” He reached across the bar toward Maggie and gave her hand a friendly shake.

Maggie immediately warmed to his disarming smile. Was it a trick of the light or did his eyes sparkle? “On drugs more like,” she thought to herself. Shit! She might have to find someone else. But he’d come so highly recommended. She stepped from behind the bar to join him on the other side.

Maggie was deep into her fifties with spiky gray hair she kept long on the top and cut close on the sides and at the back. The lines on her face and circles under her eyes aged her beyond her years. But the fact that she’d been a beauty in her youth was evident.

Maggie and John were standing at the bar of Maggie’s Red Dragon pub, a popular hangout on Grim Hex. The public space was a large rectangular room divided into distinct quadrants. The decor was a cheap gaudy attempt at the Asian Revival decor that had been popular two or more decades ago. Circular black and white rice paper chandeliers with missing panels hung from the ceiling. Scarred wooden dragons acted as vertical beams, the blood red paint chipped and faded. The once gold and purple lotus patterned carpet was now threadbare.

To be continued…

Star Citizen fan-fiction set on Grim Hex, debuting in Star Citizen Nightbus Episode 5.

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