Aug 10

Chris Roberts Q&A with Time Warner

Chris Roberts joined Time Warner today to do a quick Q&A on Twitter. Here’s what was said.

Q1: How do you make it possible to work with developers worldwide?

Each of our studios are connected in a secure private network and we have very robust business class connections. In the US both of our studios have gigabit connections from Time Warner Cable Business class and we’re very happy with their performance.

Q2: What is your biggest challenge when transferring data between internal studios?

Two things: the volume of data that we transfer, and the fact that we are often transferring it to a web of external studios. We’ve developed methods of peer-to-peer sharing between studios to maximize efficiency.

Q3: What role does network reliability play when transferring large files of data from North America to Europe?

It plays an enormous factor from distributing game builds (large and multiple per day) sharing large art assets, video content, and more. Without sufficient bandwidth capacity and reliability we’d experience interruptions or failures which would delay our company across multiple regions.

Q4: What changes since development started have allowed you do things you didn’t originally think you could?

Lots of tech improvements on the storage side, and the computing side has allowed us to make more builds and make them more quickly than we could have four years ago. This means we need more bandwidth to move data, but we can also replicate data in more sophisticated ways today.

Q5: B/t hardware/network infrastructure, which one would Star Citizen most benefit from a major advance?

This constantly flip flops. Today it would be network, because we already have processors and methods which can do more work and generate more output than we can effectively ‘move around, but both fields are advancing so rapidly that it is probably only a temporary situation.

Q6: What has been the biggest surprise while developing #StarCitizen so far?

Even when you ‘think you know’ what people want or will like, giving fans access to play content ‘before it is done’ often leads to unexpected outcomes. Things that we thought would work sometimes didn’t, and sometimes things we thought were ‘temporary’ turn out to be really great.

Q7: How is CIG sharing the process of #StarCitizen’s creation with fans/supporters?

We share an incredible amount of content on our website at , and we produce several weekly video series which show behind the scenes and highlight our development process. Over-sharing is our hallmark.

Q8: Describe what it takes to maintain creative drive & consistent vision over a long development cycle?

This is a challenge, but not a unique challenge in the game industry as a whole. Many AAA game projects span multiple years and require true endurance and drive. In our case, CRoberts is the keeper of the vision and a great motivator. Star Citizen is unique in our relationship with our community, and this keeps us highly motivated.

Q9: How has TWCBC’s gigabit connection changed the gamer experience?

As connection speed and performance is increasing on the gamer side, we are able to envision and deliver richer and higher fidelity gameplay than ever before. We can consider gameplay options that weren’t feasible at scale even a few years ago.

Q10: How is Business-grade Internet service different than residential Internet services?

We have dedicated fiber, equal speed up and down, and very strict service level agreements to guarantee performance. For our entire relationship the quality of service from TWCBC has been fantastic and we rely on that QOS to support our daily development efforts.

Q11: How different is working for a biz dedicated to one game vs say a larger publisher with many titles?

I’ve experienced both and I love this environment where our single focus is on one game and its long term vision. I believe this can create a deeper and richer game experience because the entire company is focused on one product and making it the best it can be.

Q12: Describe your company culture?

We work very hard because we want to deliver the best possible experience to our backers. We release content to our fans as it is ready or playable, even if it may not be polished or in its final state. This open incremental, and iterative development process is core to our culture.

Q13: How does your company go about finding a top-tier development team?

We’ve built studios around the world to focus on the best talent available in different disciplines. This global approach gives us many advantages and is also core to the culture of our company.

Q14: What other criteria made you choose TWCBC for your Gigabit Internet bandwidth to bring #StarCitizen to fans?

We need capacity, availability, and reliability that we can count on 24/7/365. And we wanted to have a direct relationship with the provider instead of working with someone we couldn’t trust implicitly or work with directly. TWCBC fits those standards perfectly & we are very happy.

Q15: What’s next for Cloud Imperium Games after #StarCitizen is launched?

We intend to continue to develop Star Citizen as long as there’s a market for it. Given the dreams and ambitions of our fans and our team, this really could last a lifetime and keep us occupied every waking moment, and probably a lot of moments when we should be sleeping too.

Thanks for reading!

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