It's been four years since Star Citizen raised over $2 million though it's first crowdfunding round, and a lot has changed since then.
Development has pushed on and scaled up, another $130 million has been raised, and the game has become altogether more ambitious. The lack of a firm release date, however, remains constant.
Conscious of the game's seemingly perpetual development cycle, developer RSI has decided to open up the process by making the internal schedules for Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 available for all to see.
"We have taken a lot of flak over the last couple of years for the extending timeline of Star Citizen, but the simple fact is that game development, especially game development on the scale of Star Citizen, is complicated," explained the studio.
"So for Star Citizen Alpha 2.6, we’re going to share our internal schedule and its breakouts on a weekly basis. These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs."
Naturally, developer names assigned to tasks will be kept under wraps, while jargon will be stripped back to make it accessible for those who aren't game devs.
Aside from that, though, players will see the same production schedule that's shipped around internally. They'll get the same weekly updates as developers, and when something is completed or pushed back, they'll know about it.
Still, fans are being cautioned to take everything they see with a pinch of salt. Internal estimates are still just that: estimates. As such they'll likely change as the team encounters unforeseen issues and is forced to re-prioritize.
Indeed, RSI chairman Chris Roberts has admitted he's worried some might see dates and targets being shuffled and interpret that as another delay.
In the same breath, he was also well aware that other members of the community would get annoyed if the team didn't share the dates at all. It's something of a catch-22 situation, but ultimately he's keen to test out the tactic.
"We’ve taken stock, thought through everything and decided that, while [complete transparency] is a risk, above all we trust the community that has given us so much support," he explained. "If this initiative is well received, then we will continue this process as we move onto the next milestone."
You can take a peek at Star Citizen's current production schedule by heading on over to the Schedule Report page.