Sins of a Solar Empire : Real-Time Strategy. Unrivalled Scale.
© 2003-2016 Ironclad Games Corporation Vancouver, BC. All rights reserved.
© 2006-2016 Stardock Entertainment

Is Derek Smart the Star Citizen End Game?

By on September 4, 2015 11:17:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

sareth01

Join Date 08/2008
+42

If you haven't been following the Star Citizen project, it's a good time to check it out, it is after all the largest crowdfunded project to date.  Since it is an unusually successful outlier in crowdfunding scene, it's going to garner a lot of attention, not always positive.   At the end of the day, any press is good press(much like this forum post), keeping the project rolling, keeping the hype wave and massive development team funded, the carrot of completing the "dream space game" being one reason dollars have been funneled into it from many sources.

Also, a theory that any investment by say venture capital firms that are interested in seeing kickstarter's reputation tarnished in a major way may have skin in the game as well.  

Then Darek Smart comes along, a gaming industry "closing man", who likes to gut games to ensure that the investors get their money's worth and a game makes it to market.  This man, and his type, are a big reason for mediocre games in the market.  The thing that troubles me about his interaction with star citizen is that they actually publicly acknowledged him.  Most companies I know tend to keep this sort of thing quiet, yet it seems that star citizen was finding a slowdown and a little bit of drama could help them.  Except Darek Smart, being who he is, is an interesting person to publicly acknowledge, and is the type of person that never should be given that kind of public focus(trolls need to stay under their dark bridges).  I now am troubled that the endgame of Star Citizen will be that Darek Smart get's paid by the backers to dig Chris Roberts out of the big hole he has dug himself into.   Perhaps the original Roberts' plan was that Chris Roberts makes a successful comeback to the game industry, make a lot of friends by giving them our money, Testing a new business model that survives on creating hype to fund a game and hires Mr. Smart to do what he does best, clean up the issue.  One of the ways to clean up this issue would be to misdirect the attention of the masses that funded the game to issues that don't matter, like say legal action that makes it seem like Mr. Smart isn't that intelligent when in reality what is actually going on is a fabrication by a few law firms under hire by star citizen. One could almost see them testing their audience to see if they can get away with it right below their backer's noses.

This is definitely a counter theory to what is being presented by the other media outlets, but I would caution that these same outlets have also been getting paid a lot to by star citizen to keep the hype machine going...

I really hope that this perspective is wrong, yet there is enough information now that it actually has some merit.  Troubling indeed.  

34 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 12:56:05 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Someone is on some good shit...

 

Derek Smart is the asshole(tm) behind 3000 AD, and if he's doing anything with Star Citizen after they cancelled his kickstarter pledge and told him to go away, it's in the form of a groundless lawsuit that wont go anywhere.  He's definitely not a feature slashing closer, not that such things are actually bad, his games are some of the most horrifyingly overcomplicated games in existence

 

Do you perhaps have the name wrong?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 1:02:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I remember things very similar to psychoak.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 1:07:52 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Oh I actually read another series of emails he sent about a game he released around 8 years ago, he's popped onto my radar before, people on the internet airing dirty laundry.  Same guy, same picture, terrible attitude.  I don't remember any of the names or exact details, but he was part of a project feature slashing that ultimately ruined a game.  It was quite clear by all parties that he was the guy that was hired by the investors to "ship the game or die trying", and he made it abundantly clear that he was quite proud of this fact, as was his bank account. 

So you allege that my viewpoint is because of drugs then? is that all you've got? lol. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 1:12:45 PM from Servo Forums Servo Forums

Derek Smart once had an epic battle with a rogue Coke vending machine

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 2:52:01 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Then Darek Smart comes along, a gaming industry "closing man", who likes to gut games to ensure that the investors get their money's worth and a game makes it to market.  This man, and his type, are a big reason for mediocre games in the market.  The thing that troubles me about his interaction with star citizen is that they actually publicly acknowledged him.

 

Derek Smart was hired as President of Quest Online, and took up project leadership for their disastrous MMO plagued with project mismanagement.  This is a solitary event, and he's still with the company in an imminently public occupation that isn't in any way secretive.  His games are extremely detailed space combat simulators, complete with things like fuel, ammunition, orbital physics, that took years to independently develop.  I'd call them mediocre anyway because they're so horribly inaccessible that almost no one plays them, but they're the opposite of what you describe.  His interaction with Star Citizen is that he was a founding kickstarter pledge at $250, was vocal in his disbelief that CIG will ever deliver on their promises, and was refunded and pilloried as an attention whore trying to pimp his own works in response.

 

If you have drawn together a vast conspiracy to dumb down Star Citizen, orchestrated by that Derek Smart who supposedly has a long career history of doing such things, then yes, I'd love to know what you've been smoking/injecting/licking.

 

Again, do you perhaps have the name wrong?  I wouldn't be surprised at all if they've brought in new management to streamline their project, it's just not Derek Smart, and his widely traveled reputation is entirely different from what you ascribe to him.  Star Citizen is the very definition of bloated, it's only possible outcome would be catastrophic if they didn't have so much bloody money that they might actually be able to do it all.  I'm not at all convinced that they'll actually succeed in such a monumental feat though, I've been waiting for it to implode under it's own mass since around when they hit the 40 million mark in funding.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 2:58:33 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

The entertainment value of old usenet dinosaurs like Derek Smart and Cleveland Mark Blakemore is far beyond any game they may produce.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 3:09:53 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If you have drawn together a vast conspiracy

Sorry I couldn't stop laughing.  When does asking the question mean I have a vast conspiracy on my mind?  What conclusions you like to jump to.  That business practices transcend industries is the reality we live in.  There is a lot riding on Star Citizen, I wouldn't want to see that game slaughtered on the altar of someone's ambitions, you know someone with a track record.  I also happen to have worked where real secrets actually were, and I know first hand of a few conspiracies that are actually real.  So to say that they do not exist is to live in a land of rainbow pooping unicorns.  Where there is personal ambition, there is conspiracy.  Duh.  That is not to say that what Star Citizen is doing is a conspiracy.  Yet how you make your conclusions is really funny.

To recall the original post

 I really hope that this perspective is wrong, yet there is enough information now that it actually has some merit.  Troubling indeed.  

It's almost like we are on the same side...haha

The entertainment value of old usenet dinosaurs like Derek Smart and Cleveland Mark Blakemore is far beyond any game they may produce.

true dat

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 4:39:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Derek Smart is the Donald Trump of the gaming world - an attention whore who will say whatever he needs to say to get people talking about him, who loves to fight with people just for the sake of fighting, and whose own mediocre products seem largely incidental to his ultimate legacy.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 9:21:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Trump is amazingly rich, Smart might be rich, but I seriously doubt he's even a billionaire.  How many copies of BCM3KAD can he possibly have sold?

 

Sareth01, it can't really get any clearer than it already is Derek Smart isn't in any way working with CIG.  They didn't even want him as a founding pledger and kicked him out.  He is suggesting they have nefarious intentions to refund their kickstarter contributors before leaving everyone holding the bag, which may be actionable slander depending on how he worded it.

 

He has a long, extremely amusing history on the internet, he's not in any way even remotely similar to your description in the first post, and the only thing between the two entities seems to be some sort of mixture between envy and loathing.  Paranoia from working in government really shouldn't get you that far off the bubble.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 9:25:31 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Derek Smart is the biggest asshole loser in gaming. Nobody listens to him but the media.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 4, 2015 10:15:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Also, a theory that any investment by say venture capital firms that are interested in seeing kickstarter's reputation tarnished in a major way may have skin in the game as well.

Lol What?  Trust me, equity investors have plenty of viable options to choose from and have neither the interest nor time to attempt "tarnishing" kickstarters reputation.  The only thing that does that is the over hyped, under deliver titles that hopefully Star Citizen does not become.

I've not been following it closely, when the hell is the thing due to be close to at least a minimally viable product based on the original kickstarter goals?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 5, 2015 12:03:26 AM from Servo Forums Servo Forums

Additional funny thing: Derek Smart has a new game, guess what, it is another attempt at the same game he tries to make every few years, and is garbage like the others.

Quoting Rhadagast,


Also, a theory that any investment by say venture capital firms that are interested in seeing kickstarter's reputation tarnished in a major way may have skin in the game as well.



Lol What?  Trust me, equity investors have plenty of viable options to choose from and have neither the interest nor time to attempt "tarnishing" kickstarters reputation.  The only thing that does that is the over hyped, under deliver titles that hopefully Star Citizen does not become.

I've not been following it closely, when the hell is the thing due to be close to at least a minimally viable product based on the original kickstarter goals?

Sadly, it will probably be another year. They're making actual progress towards their goals, lots of studios cranking out Content players can't use yet because the game itself isn't ready. They've had some breakthroughs on the actual gameplay systems but star citizen alpha is notoriously incomplete and bad. I had a lot of fun playing the alpha but it isn't a good game yet. You can fly around cool but buggy ships and blow up some other cool, buggy ships but that's about it. Internally they have all kinds of shooter stuff, the mmo portion where you can warp around freely in solar systems, the single player campaign etc but backers don't have that yet. There are ingame videos of these things though so they're Real and happening.

Most people are pessimistic about them being able to finish it at all because they can intuit that combining arma, eve and wing commander sounds like some kids insane unworkable game idea (or a derek smart game, lol!). But, they have like, the budget of a hollywood blockbuster, somehow.

Quoting psychoak,

it's only possible outcome would be catastrophic if they didn't have so much bloody money that they might actually be able to do it all.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 6, 2015 11:19:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Dracohouston,

But, they have like, the budget of a hollywood blockbuster, somehow.

 

>88 Million!  Pretty interesting link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_video_games_to_develop

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 7, 2015 11:12:01 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting ,

If you haven't been following the Star Citizen project,

 

Sounds like you haven't been following the Star Citizen project very closely have you. 

 

Quoting ,

but I would caution that these same outlets have also been getting paid a lot to by star citizen to keep the hype machine going...

I really hope that this perspective is wrong, yet there is enough information now that it actually has some merit.  Troubling indeed.  

 

Star Citizen has a marketing team of 1 person. On top of which they pay a total of $0.00 to anyone to market the game.

 

Time for you to actually start doing your own research instead of of reading Derek Smart blogs and thinking you know what your talking about 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 8, 2015 12:56:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Seems to me that a "closing man" is exactly what Star Citizen needs. It is the new definition of feature creep in my opinion.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 8, 2015 11:56:24 AM from Servo Forums Servo Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,

Seems to me that a "closing man" is exactly what Star Citizen needs. It is the new definition of feature creep in my opinion.

Absolutely. Some of the delays were going to happen anyway, but things like the FPS have no reason not to be playable in some form as a public alpha.

They've had to basically rewrite cryengine to make a bunch of space travel related things viable at all. FPS team are making sure the animations etc are juuuuust right. The former seems like an honest mistake, it is easy to underestimate the work needed to support x feature. The latter is just pure indulgence.

Speaking of indulgence, from the latest monthly report:

"The other character shaders we’ve been working on relate to human skin. We’ve extended CryEngine’s skin-wrinkle technology which is used to show wrinkles and creases in the skin on certain facial poses, and we now support four times as many wrinkle-poses as before. We’ve also added support for blood-flow maps, which capture unique colour variations on the skin on certain facial poses caused by changing blood-flow and the stretching and compression of the skin. These extensions resulting in a significant improvement in the quality and believability of our characters facial animations."

Wow great 4 times more wrinkle poses. Can you make shooting other space men work instead? Next month part of the report will be dedicated to how they redid all the character models this month to leverage their new Wrinkle Technology.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 8, 2015 12:41:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How much money do I have to pledge for my space pilot to have access to some virtual anti-wrinkle cream to smooth those wrinkles away?

Or is that one of the stretch (mark) goals?  Har har har...

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 8, 2015 3:58:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Seems to me that a "closing man" is exactly what Star Citizen needs. It is the new definition of feature creep in my opinion.
 

And it's not a far stretch to think that the folks at star citizen may have thought of a creative solution.

Star Citizen has a marketing team of 1 person. On top of which they pay a total of $0.00 to anyone to market the game.

That is one way to look at it.  Another way would be that their entire business model is set up to create and maintain a certain level of hype with minimal inputs(selling new spaceships like a car dealer oh my!), so their entire costs are about maintaining hype and interest into the game to keep the ball rolling, and investments coming in.  Since exposure is the most important aspect for success across multiple industries it's a very small, likely accurate assumption, with the given information.

 Sareth01, it can't really get any clearer than it already is Derek Smart isn't in any way working with CIG.  They didn't even want him as a founding pledger and kicked him out.  He is suggesting they have nefarious intentions to refund their kickstarter contributors before leaving everyone holding the bag, which may be actionable slander depending on how he worded it.

 He has a long, extremely amusing history on the internet, he's not in any way even remotely similar to your description in the first post, and the only thing between the two entities seems to be some sort of mixture between envy and loathing.  Paranoia from working in government really shouldn't get you that far off the bubble.

This sounds like a character reference.  Do you really know Darek Smart?  If you do, are you two buddy buddies and you are running interference for him and his reputation right now with your posts?  Kicking him out as a public pledger is one thing a whole 275 dollars, oh my that's not a lot in the business and investment world.  There are other ways to ensure that you have a real investment into something other than kickstarter, one just needs to look for all the creative ways that politicians get funded for their campaigns.  If the prevailing story is true, that Darek Smart is exactly what he seems like, then he is still helping them out, as he's an investor that is so motivated by what they are doing that he will go out of his way to force Chris Roberts and Co. to accept him as a principle investor.  Nothing says "invest in me" more than that kind of free publicity.  

I think this is a good thing for star citizen.  I hope there are no other real connections between them and darek smart, public or private.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 8, 2015 6:40:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cauldyth,

How much money do I have to pledge for my space pilot to have access to some virtual anti-wrinkle cream to smooth those wrinkles away?

Or is that one of the stretch (mark) goals?  Har har har...

 

This is a modern AAA title. That means you pay real money to GET wrinkles, not to get rid of them. You wouldn't want to be the guy without cosmetics, would you...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 8, 2015 7:59:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I can't tell if he's joking or serious...

 

Smart isn't what you say he is because your history and present activities you drew out for him are factually inaccurate.  He is not and never has been some sort of management expert that gets brought in to cut products down to get them on budget.  He's an independent game developer, he does his own unwieldy projects that take years to finish in an unpolished state.  They're not particularly good, but they're in no way simple, especially considering the monumental undertaking that is designing, creating, and marketing a video game by oneself.  The only time he has ever done something that could in any way be construed as the activities a closer partakes in, he was hired as president of a small company that was having management problems.

 

He probably isn't monetarily capable of funding Star Citizen in any serious capacity, and he sure as hell isn't capable of forcing big fish to take his little fish ass on as a controlling investor.  Even if he has the dough for it, they're rolling in money and can get more without even trying.

 

You're theorizing that some minor economic force, who probably has most of his assets tied up in his own development and is better known for being an ass than he is for making products that sell well, is either already controlling, or going to bully Chris Roberts, a successful Hollywood producer and major player in development history with many highly successful products, into giving him control.  It's his insignificance that is the barrier, not whether he's saintly or secretly the devil.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 9, 2015 4:12:19 AM from Servo Forums Servo Forums

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 9, 2015 1:22:16 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I can't tell if he's joking or serious...

I'm surprised you can't tell, you seem somewhat intelligent yet I could be overestimating you.  

Smart isn't what you say he is because your history and present activities you drew out for him are factually inaccurate.
 

Oh please elucidate, you could actually have a response worth reading if you used this as the precedent for following words.  I'd especially like to know what you think of "my history" and i'd like to know where you garner this high handed approach to things that you think your view of "my history" is valid, considering it is only a one sided viewpoint.  You have never, after all, known why I do what I do, for what reasons, leaving one to have quite a poor understanding of anyone's history.  This has a "group think" thought pattern written all over it, making conclusions based upon that will ultimately lead to poor decision making and ineffectual leadership.

He is not and never has been some sort of management expert that gets brought in to cut products down to get them on budget.

Since he was brought in to head a company that released an MMO, albeit a horrible one, yet they released an MMO...  That says something important doesn't it?  One could say that by virtue of his hiring he would be considered by those people to be a management expert... So I don't see how you draw your conclusions, except to take the view that you are above him.  So who are you, he who has such a high and mighty view of things?  

He's an independent game developer, he does his own unwieldy projects that take years to finish in an unpolished state.

Big companies are "going indy", the entire industry seems to be different shades of "indy".  Saying someone is Indy is saying that they are hungry and wanting to make games that we wan't to play, indies are propping up the validity of large gaming companies by providing players with that "something new" that they want.  Indy, as viewed by gamers, is a good thing.    We don't need more bellicose game designer kingpins, we need visionaries that make new experiences.  

They're not particularly good, but they're in no way simple, especially considering the monumental undertaking that is designing, creating, and marketing a video game by oneself.

That they are good is subjective, that the market has determined them to be not good doesn't mean that the game itself isn't good, that would be factually and logically incorrect.  After all, it's about what the people value, and what they are aiming for.  Perhaps he's not aiming to make the most money and prefers a niche?  How well do you know him and his agenda?

The only time he has ever done something that could in any way be construed as the activities a closer partakes in, he was hired as president of a small company that was having management problems.

And the game shipped after he was hired so... it looks like he performed his job, in fact it's like he said exactly what I said he was doing earlier... Hired to ship games, he cut features, likely recovered the investments for his peers... i see no misrepresentation of the facts, rather a perspective of the facts that is riddled with interestingly glaring viewpoints.

He probably isn't monetarily capable of funding Star Citizen in any serious capacity, and he sure as hell isn't capable of forcing big fish to take his little fish ass on as a controlling investor.  Even if he has the dough for it, they're rolling in money and can get more without even trying.

Yes, the public perception seems obvious that is what is happening, yet since this is an obvious tactical error it begs the question, what is really going on?  Since there is uncertainty with likely intelligent players, there is a possible game afoot.  The only game I see worthwhile would be to game investors out of their money by having them distracted with someone like Darek Smart.  I'm glad to see that you see the tactical error plain as day as well.  The point of the thread is to let other investors know of the possibility that is right before their eyes, as well as Star Citizen gaining perspective that perhaps they will not be able to control the perception of their investors.
 


You're theorizing that some minor economic force, who probably has most of his assets tied up in his own development and is better known for being an ass than he is for making products that sell well, is either already controlling, or going to bully Chris Roberts, a successful Hollywood producer and major player in development history with many highly successful products, into giving him control.  It's his insignificance that is the barrier, not whether he's saintly or secretly the devil.

No, you are theorizing that about my perspective, which is not the same thing, and I do not agree with your theory for many reasons: Your theory attempts to show that I have no understanding of the obvious, when in fact is that i'm taking the obvious to the next level as a question;  There is no discussion by me on the merits of his "saintliness" or "devilishness", those simplifications only further cloud the discussion and are ultimately irrelevant to the original thread.  Since you want to introduce this into the discussion it could be that this is your intent, if it is shame on you and your misinformation.  As for Mr. Smart's insignificance, ultimately it is up to the courts to decide, not you or I.  

The bullying is being done by Chris Roberts AND Mr. Smart, in my opinion they are two dogs fighting over petty things while something of real value hangs in peril.  It doesn't matter if Mr. Roberts is the big dog and Mr. Smart is the small dog, in the end small can beat big, size alone is not the only indicator of victory.  At the end of the day, anything like this will only result in the net victory for the lawyers, crowd funds going to deal with legal issues, as an investor I would prefer both dogs be put down.  but then, i'm oldschool like that.  Martyrdom has a great impact on helping things get done, doesn't it?

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 9, 2015 11:08:21 PM from Servo Forums Servo Forums

Quoting sareth01,

That they are good is subjective, that the market has determined them to be not good doesn't mean that the game itself isn't good, that would be factually and logically incorrect.  After all, it's about what the people value, and what they are aiming for.  Perhaps he's not aiming to make the most money and prefers a niche?  How well do you know him and his agenda?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 10, 2015 12:44:06 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I've played two of Smarts' games.

Battlecruiser Millennium and Universal Combat.
Both promised to be basically what Star Citizen is going to be.... both were horrible, buggy, obtuse and over all disappointing. 

Smart has been caught out before spinning BS about his games and has been notorious in starting flame wars over people trying to give him constructive criticism 

 

In my opinion, Derek is just jealous that Cloud Imperium is going to pull off the game he's wanted to make his entire career.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 10, 2015 12:54:19 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Wintercross,
In my opinion, Derek is just jealous that Cloud Imperium is going to pull off the game he's wanted to make his entire career.

As a guy who has zero skin the game (I have never played Star Citizen or played any of Mr. Smart's games), this is exactly how Mr. Smart's blogs came across to me as I read through them. It feels like he is pissed off that Roberts easily procured millions in funding to make the game Mr. Smart always wanted to make but couldn't, likely due to lack of funding. It almost feels like deep down he is pissed at himself for not taking advantage of the opportunity but is projecting it on Roberts.

With that said, could Star Citizen's crowdfunding be the gaming industry's equivalent of a Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme? Perhaps but I feel it is unlikely. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000359   Page Render Time: