In an attempt to give its community a deeper and more comprehensive look behind the scenes of Star Citizen's development on the 4th anniversary of its initial crowdfunding campaign, Cloud Imperium Games has posted excerpts of its production schedule on the Roberts Space Industries website. The schedule shows a breakdown of various elements of the game, such as Star Marine, Arena Commander, and other modules, along with their target dates. It also shows the target date for the release of alpha 2.6, which is December 8.
"So for Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 we’re going to share our internal schedule and its breakouts on a weekly basis," Chris Roberts posted. "These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs with a few exceptions: the individual developer names assigned to the tasks will be omitted (for obvious reasons), we’ll remove the JIRA details and we’ll modify the technical wording to make it readable for a wider audience, but otherwise, when something changes, slips or is completed, you will know."
Roberts goes on to explain his reluctance to providing timelines to the community, as some fans become annoyed when target dates are missed, while others are irritated when target dates are not announced. He compares it to the Kobayashi Maru, the unwinnable training exercise from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the 2009 Star Trek film, which Classic Kirk solved by cheating and New Kirk solved by cheating while loudly and annoyingly consuming an apple. In posting the production schedule, it appears Roberts has decided to lower his shields at the expense of taking a few torpedoes.
CIG plans to update its schedules on a weekly basis so the community can follow the development process more closely. A number of caveats accompany the schedule, however, such as a reminder that "The estimates we provide are just that: estimates." It is also stated that quality is CIG's first priority, and that it "will ALWAYS extend timelines or re-do features and content if we do not feel they are up to our standards."
And, if you missed the somewhat awkwardly presented 4th Anniversary livestream on Twitch today, you can check it out here to get an eyeful of some new ships, such as the Esperia Prowler in the image above.
Note: Originally this article referred to the developer and publisher as Roberts Space Industries. The reference has been changed to Cloud Imperium Games, of which RSI is a subsidiary.