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Jumpgate Evolution Gets Delayed


DarkOne
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I knew this was coming all along so this is no surprise to me but it is a shame because I was looking forward to playing it in June. And maybe the threat of Black Prophecy really made them rethink there game and quality. But what put the writing on the wall was it being almost June (supposed release date 6/28) and no beta has been started with the community and it would be suicide to go public without a beta in today's gaming world.

Here is a link to the full article: http://us.jumpgateevolution.com/news/article/9138

Quote:

With that, let me be up front about the current state of the game from where we stand. Jumpgate Evolution is nearly feature complete, but since entering the Friends & Family phase of testing we've been able to bring new eyes onto the game and get solid, crucial feedback from actual players and fans. Based on these results, it is clear that the product needs more time to meet its objectives. As an example, we have received and read lots of feedback regarding the instanced and public PvP systems. The feedback has been vital in helping us polish and improve this core feature of the game. We take a lot of time in digesting and considering what people say and take feedback seriously. Given that situation I can tell you that we would rather delay the release, than let you down by releasing an unfinished product. We will continue development past June while extending the test schedules and respond to the results of those tests.

Personally if JGE couldn't even make it out of a closed invite only beta then there is a lot more work to be done on the project.

Quote:

We understand news of this delay is disappointing. The good news is that our immediate goal is to get the game ready for larger groups of people as we get into wider testing. This means that more people will have more time to give us the vital feedback we will need to improve the game. Once we've established our road map for the next few months we'll share with you when the revised release date is.

Roadmap over the next few months... guess we are looking at end of year release or 2010. I couldn't see a 3-4 turnaround on this. But kudos go out to NetDevil in not trying to push JGE out to early and making sure it is a solid game because if they didn't it could have went the ways of Age of Conan, like in stocks it was a pump and dump.


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Pinback
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Anyone know whats going on with jumpgate? ❓


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DarkOne
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NetDevil has been dragging their feet. Ever since the June slip of JGE going beta they have been slow on releasing info and we still have no beta and it's been over 6mos. In my opinion the feedback in the forums on what players were looking for and Black Prophecy's presence probably made them rethink many areas of the game and they are doing more polish and detail items. I just hate the fact they are being silent. Being silent shows me there is more issues than they let on or there is other issues (company related) that may be a factor.

Being silent and not giving back to the community will only cause even larger expectations from the community because they will expect the sun and the moon because they have waited patiently with no feedback except a few Q&A's.


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SolCommand
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To me JGE seems like a failed game if they don't do major changes to the graphics and stuff. It does have some things that look cool and original concepts but, from what I've seen in trailers, the bad things outshine the good ones. I don't wanna throw mud at the game, it's just my personal opinion.


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Bullwinkle
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Darkone wrote:

Being silent ... will only cause even larger expectations from the community

Yeah. I feel that way about Duke Nukem. I've been waiting for the next release since 1996. ❓ ❗

3DRealms has had this posted on their web site for a almost 14 years:

The release date of this game is "When it's done".

But they did post a couple of screen shots two years ago, so who knows?

[hsimg] [/hsimg]

[hsimg] [/hsimg]

[hsimg] [/hsimg]


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DarkOne
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SolCommand wrote:
To me JGE seems like a failed game if they don't do major changes to the graphics and stuff. It does have some things that look cool and original concepts but, from what I've seen in trailers, the bad things outshine the good ones. I don't wanna throw mud at the game, it's just my personal opinion.

In June '09 is when NetDevil delayed the beta launch for JGE, seemed a bit odd that right around that time Reakktor released their Black Prophecy trailer and it was so much better than JGE and I think they said oh shit we are in trouble and went back to fix a bunch of flaws. Only bad thing is that they aren't really keeping the community informed on progress. I have tried many times to get a Q&A and never even a email saying no 🙂

Good sign about Duke 4 Bullwinkle is that there forums still have a bunch of activity. 😉


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Pinback
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Polonged periods of silence could also mean financial difficulties.as in the case of Blackstar.


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DarkOne
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Players understand the whole money thing and if it is an issue just let us know 🙂 I know both Blackstar and Black Prophecy had issues with that and may still have them. But least BP is picking up in the press releases.


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Bullwinkle
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Darkone wrote:
Players understand the whole money thing and if it is an issue just let us know 🙂

They can't.

Actually, money may be the primary reason for trouble with game companies and falling behind schedule. There is a cycle:

Incredible-Idea ==>

unknown-(or-long)-development-time ==>

lack-of-confidence-from-financial-backers ==>

budget-cuts ==>

LONGER-development-time ==>

MORE-confidence-problems-with-financiers ==>

DELAYS

Somewhere in that cycle is pre-sales marketing... the process of getting people excited about the game so that there will be a ready market waiting for the game to be released. The more public excitement there is about the game, the more confidence the backers have, which means more development money, which leads to better (and faster) development.

Telling the public that they have money troubles lowers excitement about the game, which reduces sales forecasts, which reduces confidence in the backers, which further reduces budget to the game developer, which leads to further delays.

If you look at the credits for most games, you typically see three or more companies involved:

    [*:1qhrbhmz]PRODUCTION COMPANY (financial backers and the people who arrange distribution, advertising, and sales)

    [*:1qhrbhmz]Game Developer ("idea" people behind the gameplay, images, story. These are the CONTENT DEVELOPERS)

    [*:1qhrbhmz]Game ENGINE DEVELOPERS (the platform for the game, like the Quake engine or the Freelancer engine)

    [*:1qhrbhmz](maybe a separate graphics engine company that the game engine is based on)

    [*:1qhrbhmz](sometimes a separate art company)

New game engines were once an important part of the industry. While it makes sense to continue to develop game engines and platforms, don't we already have some very good engines? Couldn't there be a larger market for add-on packs (and new games) for existing game engines?

Anyway, that's a long way of saying that game companies cannot afford to tell the public when they have money problems. It would be the kiss of death.


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DarkOne
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Very valid point, but if I use your statement:

Quote:

Somewhere in that cycle is pre-sales marketing... the process of getting people excited about the game so that there will be a ready market waiting for the game to be released. The more public excitement there is about the game, the more confidence the backers have, which means more development money, which leads to better (and faster) development.

Why do I have to sell my soul to try and get a Q&A with the bigger companies? The smaller indie developers are more than happy to get there word out. Answering a few questions is a form of marketing 🙂

Usually the community will figure it out if they have $$$ problems and it is evident in the community interaction. There are ways to motivate a community without giving them financials. I thought Cryptic did a good job getting STO out to the masses. They usually weekly had a Dev Chat and or info on small sections of their game. Nothing wrong with this approach and gives your readers something to chew on and look forward to.


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Bullwinkle
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Darkone wrote:

Usually the community will figure it out if they have $$$ problems

Wait... are you saying that I should "figure out" that Duke Nukem is in financial trouble, just because they have been working on the next version for 14 years?

Oh... um... never mind. 😀

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Why do I have to sell my soul to try and get a Q&A with the bigger companies?

Believe it or not, big companies can be MORE resource constrained than small companies. I know... it doesn't make sense at first glance, but it is true.

Small companies tend to have a small number of highly motivated, highly talented people working long hours, with relatively few distractions other than just doing their jobs. If somebody shows interest in their work, they proudly and enthusiastically respond.

Large companies have a huge number of people, with a mix of talents and motivations, and an enormous amount of noise to deal with. They are constantly being pestered by the press, PR agents, stock holders, advertisers, vendors, customers, and partners for various amounts of information and a never-ending list of little "favors" that must be done in order for the whole company to operate. Since only a few people at the big company have the "big picture" (and big budgets), many of the people farther down the ladder have to struggle with only partial information or other limited resources. If somebody who is not from, say, CNN or the Wall Street Journal or ZDNet contacts them, the request goes waaaaay down on that huge list.

Quote:
There are ways to motivate a community without giving them financials. ... weekly ... Chat and or info on small sections of their game. Nothing wrong with this approach and gives your readers something to chew on and look forward to.

That's true, of course. In addition to the noise factor, larger companies are more concerned with giving away secrets. Big companies move more slowly than small companies, and they know it. Since the investments in time and money to create a great game are huge, a little slip of the tongue can give away something that a smaller competitor could use to dilute their profits... potentially by millions of dollars. It is not always obvious, until after the fact, what is an important secret, so larger companies tend to just keep their collective mouths shut.

Trust me, when SSC generates a million hits a day, your phone will be ringing off the hook from those large companies!


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DarkOne
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Bullwinkle wrote:
Wait... are you saying that I should "figure out" that Duke Nukem is in financial trouble, just because they have been working on the next version for 14 years?

Oh... um... never mind. 😀

Haha you got me Bullwinkle, I guess the devs behind Duke Nukem are building hype 🙂

Bullwinkle wrote:
Small companies tend to have a small number of highly motivated, highly talented people working long hours, with relatively few distractions other than just doing their jobs. If somebody shows interest in their work, they proudly and enthusiastically respond.

I actually prefer this because really it is the small indie developer that makes the best games or are feature rich. There are some games here that are going to be great and no one really knows about them.

Bullwinkle wrote:
Trust me, when SSC generates a million hits a day, your phone will be ringing off the hook from those large companies!

I can't even image SSc getting that many hits per day. I would be content with 100k per month. Personally there is very few focused game genre style websites out there least on the space theme. You would think a developer would want to knowing that 90% of the members like or love space games.

But back to JGE. JGE has a lot going for it personally. They have a sequel and hopefully the money for a long dev cycle like we are seeing now. I won't lay to much judgement on JGE without playing it, but with JGE, BP and STO they are using a lot of instance style combat and missions. When the majority of the community wants open space? Looks like JGE is adopting a modular ships system approach which is great. You have to use jumpgates to get to each sector you just can't travel there, we should at least have the option.


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Taymar
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The Squad and I have been waiting almost two years for JGE, we're still around but interest is starting to wear a little thin. There have been some interesting threads posted on the EU forums but as they're run through the publishers (CodeMasters) and not by the developers (Net Devil), we in the EU get third hand information and at times, no information at all. To add insult to injury we're not really allowed to mention Classic on those boards as CodeMasters have no involvement with that game but if you're in the EU and want to know what's going on then I'd get myself an account on the Classic forums and get the information direct from Net Devil. - http://forums.jossh.com/


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DarkOne
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Taymar you can register on Jumpgate Evolution forums and use that community can't you? NetDevil has generally been silent since last June when they missed beta. To really miss a date and go that far past it there must have been some really large holes in the game that needed filling.


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Taymar
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Anyone can register on the US boards but I have heard of members with IP addresses outside of the US being re-directed to the EU or other boards.

Whatever direction Net Devil take with the game I get the impression that other global areas will get updates on a drip by drip basis and without all the gusto that Net Devil will give them in the US. I hope I'm wrong but that's the impression I get.


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Grimloon
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What he said^

I'm not quite as negative but it doesn't look good that they've chosen to segregate the continents. It smacks a little of "If we do it this way they won't see us!" but that could just be my natural paranoia. The possibility of one or other continent being used as guinea pigs (sorry, "willing test subjects") for the other, of course, has never crossed my mind!

Suffice to say that we seem to have more substantive information from rumours on the JOSSH forum than we have from the Codemasters run EU JGE site. The US forum is no different, it's still just smoke and mirrors. Different smoke and different mirrors but the end result is still the same - no substantive news. Still in friends and family, still not ready and still nothing said beyond the usual platitudes.

The information they have provided basically states that they "discovered" a few game breaking "features" (possibly the proposed economy?) during the friends and family and had to rethink a few things, hence the delay. The lack of information since then indicates that they may be on very dodgey ground at the moment.

It'll be released when it is, no changing that, but hopefully we'll get the game rather than it being another 3DR job.


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Taymar
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Despite my 'Negative' post I'm still eagerly awaiting JGE.

I've seen this type of thing time and again, even the best (Valve) get it wrong sometimes and potential players end up waiting another 12/18 months for the product. I have faith that Net Devil will deliver, I'm still not convinced that they won't deliver 'World of Spaccraft' but only time will tell.

NB: Fallen Wild have a zero tolerance policy on the following names and games -

The words 'World of Warcraft' in that order are banned on the forums, we use the phrase 'That Blizzard Game'. Eve is referred to as 'Spreadsheets in Space' and Star Trek:Online is not mentioned . . .


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SolCommand
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Taymar wrote:

The words 'World of Warcraft' in that order are banned on the forums, we use the phrase 'That Blizzard Game'. Eve is referred to as 'Spreadsheets in Space' and Star Trek:Online is not mentioned . . .

......... EPIC ! 😆 😀 😛 😈


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Pinback
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Eve as a spreadsheet 😆 😆 classic

Make a good name for that other business simulation,the Xgames. 😆


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Grimloon
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The word filter on SMF is great - even "Wow!" ended up as "That Blizzard game" 😀 I initially met Taymar through AoC and it wasn't WoW that was a problem, merely the attitude of players who'd spent a lot of time with it prior to joining us. "It's not the same! Wah!" was regularly greeted with "Well why the *&@! don't you go back and play it then?" The filter was added as we were a touch irritated by this point.

I have to admit to being the individual behind the Eve Online = Spreadsheets in Space bit. It's great for some, it's not for me. I merely took offense to people being more than a touch evangelical on our forum about the matter. This would be why the "Spreadsheets in Space" moniker was born - just because someone else likes it doesn't mean I will and trying to force the issue = abuse of admin rights in an amusing (for me) way 😈

I'm fairly open mided, as is Taymar, but there's always a point where either or both of us will think "They're pissing me off. How can I %@*! with their head?" We normally colaborate on this, as with everything else, and the results are usually worth seeing!

The delays with JGE are simply what we're prepared to tolerate. I still have a great deal of hope for it. I'd prefer a finished article rather than a messy attempt. I still hope that Black Prophecy kicks off first though as it may provide a touch of incentive to NetDevil.


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DarkOne
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I just think it is messed up that CodeMasters actually does that on their forums. Why would you separate people in a forum by region? I can see language specific forums, but forums are a great way to build hype and share info on a game.

Quote:

The delays with JGE are simply what we're prepared to tolerate. I still have a great deal of hope for it. I'd prefer a finished article rather than a messy attempt. I still hope that Black Prophecy kicks off first though as it may provide a touch of incentive to NetDevil.

It might make NetDevil think a lot of things over. Because people have to remember if BP is free and offering certain features and then JGE does the same thing and has a cost... you could see JGE go down fast. JGE will now have to make itself relevant and a must have title to make people pick it over BP. With F2P MMO's starting to grab hold and pull a lot of gamers from P2P games, the MMO's have to be real a must have title.


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Taymar
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Agree with you 100% Darkone, JGE needs to stand out from the crowd and warrant it's monthly sub.

I must admit to being happy that BP is first out of the blocks but for all the wrong reasons. I'm hoping that all the Blizzard fan boys and the general 'Hangers on' will all troop over to BP and either get hooked or give up on Space games all together, leaving JGE for those that want to re-live the thrill that JGC still gives but in a much prettier way.

For me JGC is massivly under subscribed and underrated, it is for me the best Mulitplayer Space Combat Sim that's available on the net, even though subscriber numbers and interest are low. You tell me where else you can flip 180 degrees to the direction you're traveling in and shoot whatever's behind you ? When all is said and done, I've waited two years for JGE so another 6-12 months isn't going to kill me, I just need something from Net Devil/CodeMasters to show my faith will be rewarded.


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