It hasn't been a particularly good year for Cloud Imperium Games. Star Citizen has run into a few snags, and worse, it's come under withering fire from Derek Smart, a game developer and former Star Citizen backer who has proclaimed, among other things, that it is simply not possible for the game to be delivered as promised. Cloud Imperium has stayed comparatively quiet in response, but in a lengthy and very interesting interview with Polygon, Chris Roberts and other members of the studio say that development is proceeding as expected, and that if it sometimes appear chaotic, it's only because the process is so public.
"We're open in our development. We have no buffer. We have no shield. And so we have to say how things are going. Trust me, I'd love to have the FPS out already. I'd love to have a bunch of stuff out already. But people have invested a lot of their hopes and dreams and money into this thing. I've invested a vast amount of time. We need to make the best possible game," Roberts said. "We're running a live game at the same time we're doing all the R&D and production. We're still architecting some aspects of the basic game while parts of it are live. That's an incredibly high degree of difficulty."
The interview covers a wide range of topics, including "feature creep," missed launch dates, and layoffs at Illfonic, a studio Cloud Imperium contracted to work on the Star Marine FPS module. And there's a bit about Smart, too; Roberts dismissed Smart's complaints and accusations as baseless but admitted that the persistent and personal nature of his attacks take a toll on him and the company.
"When Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are out there, I think the game will speak for itself. The noise we're dealing with now will not be there," he said. "The people who were there and backed it along the way will be happy and they'll be proud of helping make something happen that probably could not have happened in any other situation."
The interview goes over some ground that's been previously covered—Roberts' unhappiness with reports that Star Citizen was "delayed indefinitely," for instance—but if you have even just a passing interest in Star Citizen, it's still well worth reading in full at Polygon.