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Pre-E3 Jumpgate Evolution News

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Finally some information that we have been wanting to hear. Honesty goes a long way with me and this type of info should have been released a lot sooner than a year after there canceled beta. But NetDevil is trying to put out an awesome game for us, so I cannot wait to see what info comes out of E3. Read below for the article written by Lance Robertson, Executive Producer.


Long before I joined the company, when NetDevil set out to build Jumpgate Evolution in 2007, they started with what was considered to be a relatively simple goal: to update the original Jumpgate for a modern audience. They wanted to retain the game’s core - a player-driven space MMO with realistic physics and combat - while expanding the scope to incorporate many of the aspects of modern MMOs.

Back then, many original Jumpgate players probably felt the same way that NetDevil did; that while updating the original game would be a difficult task, it wouldn’t be an impossible one. It was your support that kept the development team going, and the team tried to repay that support by bringing some of those early fans into Jumpgate Evolution’s first round of Friends & Family testing.

As we all now know, that initial round of testing exposed a hard truth about the ‘relatively simple goal’ of updating Jumpgate to become Jumpgate Evolution. While the core game experience of intense space-based combat was still solid, the reality was that as the team scaled up to let in more testers, things started to go wrong. Jumpgate Evolution’s modern ambitions exceeded Jumpgate’s old-school capabilities, and we knew we were not as close to launch as we needed to be.

That is when the team made the crucial decision to completely overhaul JGE’s game systems, while also refocusing specifically on the game play experience we wanted to make: space warfare on a massive scale.

It was a difficult choice to throw away what didn’t work and only keep and improve what did. One of the hardest things for a team to do is to throw away work, because it’s wasted time and effort, but in order for us to make this game the amazing experience we knew it could be, we had to let go of some things and push forward.

In order to achieve all of this, NetDevil made the decision to invest more in the game. We brought on additional staff members to ensure that Jumpgate Evolution’s vision remained strong and that the team could focus and gain momentum. They started with me, and since then I’ve been very fortunate to add a number of other key team members who you’ll get to meet (several in person, if you’re coming to E3) in the months ahead.

At the same time, we ‘went dark’ and stopped our regular flow of information. Why? Because there simply wasn’t anything we could talk about with absolute confidence.

We couldn’t discuss game features, because we were no longer sure what would make it into the game and what wouldn’t. We couldn’t talk about story, because it was being completely rewritten. There was so much that we wanted to share, but things were just at too early of a stage to discuss without the risk of disappointing you, our community. When we announce something, we ought to be as confident as possible that it will stay in the game – although in game development, there are no guarantees.

When we went back to the drawing board we needed the freedom to discard anything that was getting in the way of our vision for the game, so we gave ourselves that freedom by choosing not to discuss things before we were ready. We've also learned our lesson about announcing timelines too early. We’ve burned you before with that, and don’t want to burn you again.

I’m going to be honest with you and tell you something that may be difficult to hear: what you saw and heard of Jumpgate Evolution before now may have little bearing on the actual game we're going to deliver. When we went into that dark period to redesign much of the game, much was thrown away and new needs came to light, but we ultimately ended up with a much clearer vision of what we want Jumpgate Evolution to be, as well as the path to get there.

Now we’re finally ready to begin showing you what we’ve been working on. What you’ll see may look and feel similar on the surface, but it's what’s inside that counts. We’ve reached a level of confidence in our game that we didn’t have the first time around, and we’re much stronger for it.

Some of you are going to ask the obvious question: why should we believe you? Well, the proof is now in the game itself. You can experience it in the hands-on demo we’ll be bringing around the convention circuit this year. The stuff you’ll see in the demo is actual working tech from our current build. It’s real and shows off working features that will be in the game at launch. While most of you won’t be able to try the game out at E3, we are planning on being at other conventions this year. Hopefully many of you will get the chance to play it and see for yourselves that we’re on the right track.

Consider this to be a new beginning to our information flow. Anything you’ve seen up to this point may or may not still exist in the game, and all those details will come out in time. Right now we’re restarting with the story of the three warring nations, the very reason why you’ll be fighting in Jumpgate Evolution. After that we’ll be revealing more game information, and eventually, of course, we’ll get into Beta. Before that, however, we’ll return to the people who put us on this path in the first place, as we re-deploy our Friends & Family testing.

We can’t express how grateful we are for the community that we have. You guys have stuck with us through trying times, and we’re very excited to be able to start re-engaging with you and providing fresh game info, screenshots, videos, etc. We still have a long road ahead of us, but we know we couldn't have gotten this far without you. So thank you…

… and we’ll see you in space!

Lance Robertson

Executive Producer, Jumpgate Evolution

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Good to see that they are doing some thing will be intresting to see what they have changed in the game.