Although Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games had hoped to launch their highly anticipated Dogfighting Module, Arena Commander, later today it appears that will no longer be the case. Studio head Chris Roberts cites a number of potentially game-breaking bugs as still preventing a stable launch, and therefore made the decision to push the module’s release by a few days.
No doubt the Arena Commander delay will come as a massive disappointment to Star Citizen fans, especially considering the module has already been delayed once before. But, Chris Roberts is hopeful that gamers will understand that this is a unique situation, and while it may be disappointing, the delay highlights Star Citizen‘s advantages as a crowd funded game.
In the delay announcement post, Roberts explains that if Star Citizen were a studio-funded game the Arena Commander module would launch as promised on May 30th, regardless of what state it was in. But, because Star Citizen is in development outside the studio system, thanks to a very successful crowd funding campaign, RSI and Cloud Imperium can make the smart decision not to release the module until its ready.
As far as when “ready” might be, Roberts says there are still two “blocker” level and a handful of critical issues with the Arena Commander module.
Game developers classify bugs based on their severity: blockers, critical, major, moderate and minor. The most serious of these, blockers, are bugs that completely prevent the game from working and from being in a releasable state. Unfortunately, as of tonight, there are still two blockers and half a dozen critical issues (which we would like to fix before launch.) Our biggest issue today is a newly developed DirectX crash which breaks the single player Vanduul Swarm mode every backer will be given access to.
Along with the freedom to push the module’s release, the developers are also in the unique position whereby they can let gamers follow along with the bug fixing process, much like they have the development process thus far. Roberts promises that the Star Citizen devs will share daily updates about what exactly is fixed and what is in the process of being fixed, until the module releases. That way there’s no guessing on the part of backers, and they will be able to chart the team’s progress in almost real time.
Even so, Roberts’ post suggests it shouldn’t take more than a few days for the development team to work through these bugs, and get the Arena Commander module into the hands of backers. The full game may not hit until 2015 (at the earliest) but very soon fans will be able to see for themselves how RSI and Cloud Imperium plan to expand on the space sim genre.
How do you feel about the Arena Commander delay? Are you willing to accept the delay if it means a tighter gameplay preview?
Source: Cloud Imperium