Below you will find the Current Milestone Schedule. 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.
What you are seeing here is the result of our scheduling and planning process. We have a high level feature and content set that we want to achieve for Star Citizen and Squadron 42. The first step is to break these features into higher level tasks with which we populate Microsoft Project, JIRA and Shotgun (the three tools we use for project scheduling and tasking). Then, as we approach a task, Production works with the relevant developer(s) to make sure the task is broken up with enough detail to allow completion. Sometimes this means adjusting the initial task estimate, as things tend to come into a clearer focus when coming up on a task, but it almost always means breaking down the big task into a bunch of smaller tasks that have their own individual sub tasks that possibly are distributed to multiple developers.
Both tasks and sub-tasks get created in JIRA, linked under an Epic (which is a high level task or feature) and are then pulled into Microsoft Project to manage with granular detail providing us global visibility through Gantt charts and visual timelines. No developer works on a task unless it has been created in JIRA, prioritized and assigned by a lead or a member of the Production Team.
Then as the developers work on the tasks, Production will adjust the schedule and JIRA tickets to reflect the work being done.
In the schedule below, you will first find a master schedule that covers the broad departments/disciplines that are being developed. Each department will then have its own dedicated sub-schedule, briefly explaining the various features that are being developed and their current status.
But also, we would like to establish some ground rules before proceeding:
I.Quality will always be our number one goal. We set out on this journey by looking at the gaming landscape and asking: can we do better? We continue to ask that question about everything we do. As a result, we will ALWAYS extend timelines or re-do features and content if we do not feel they are up to our standards. The freedom to fight for a new level of quality in game development is what crowd funding has allowed us, and we will continue to fight to make sure Star Citizen is the best possible game it can be.
II.The estimates we provide are just that: estimates. They are based on our knowledge and experience, but there are many aspects of game development that are impossible to predict because they literally cover uncharted territory. You will see the same estimates we use in our internal planning, but it is important to understand that in many cases (especially with groundbreaking engineering tasks) these estimates are often subject to change due to unforeseen complexity in implementing features.
III.The time expected for bug fixing and polishing is also very hard to estimate, increasingly so in online and multiplayer situations. The complexity and the difficulty in testing at a large scale make it harder to reproduce and isolate bugs in order to fix them. We base our estimates, again, on our experience, but we also know that it’s possible for a single bug to cause a delay of days or weeks when a hundred others might be fixed instantly.
IV.Internal schedules, the ones you will now be privy to, tend to have aggressive dates to help the team focus and scope their tasks, especially in the case of tech development. Every team, even a team blessed with the kind of support and freedom you have allowed us, needs target dates in order to focus and deliver their work.
WELCOME TO THE PROCESS
The community has always been integral to Star Citizen, so we will be updating this page weekly to keep you informed about our development. We hope that this page will not only help explain our latest status, but also provide some explanations in the event that updates are delayed.
Last update : Dec 23rd, 2016