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United Mining Exploration Commission: A group of friends playing JumpGate-- "a MMORPG that launched smoothly, breaks from fantasy character setting, emphasizes PvP, and is the first persistent world space simulator that nobody talks about." ~Scorch
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ND's original vision (spoken during early beta6)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 6:07 am    Post subject: ND's original vision (spoken during early beta6) Reply with quote

NetDevil's 4th newsletter 100.08.26
Regarding why they added AI (conflux and defense droids)
“[ Item 3 - AI like it! ]
After some early grumbling, it seems that Netdevil’s sudden decision to put AI into Jumpgate was a good one. People are getting used to the Conflux and not a single pilot has been shot down during docking approach thanks to the defense droids (one of the major complaints in previous versions).

So, why did we do it? Let Scorch answer that one: “We never intended for Jumpgate to be an action shooter. This is first and foremost a simulation that focusses on many different aspects, which is also the reason for its long-term appeal. Putting the Conflux into the game gives the action-oriented pilots an opportunity to fight, but they still aid the reconstruction by doing so. Having these Aliens also adds a great new storyline to the game as the player will gradually find out who they are and why they are here.“

Beauty is truth, truth beauty--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
~John Keats

What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.
~Leo Tolstoy
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Chief WO4
Chief WO4

Joined: 09 Feb 2002
Posts: 473
Location: Tripoint

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:48 am    Post subject: After two years, now what? Reply with quote

GM_Istvan wrote:
Two years ago today, I had the great good fortune to be brought on board the Jumpgate project. Scott Brown originally hired me to help with finishing Episode 2, a very urgent priority back in November 2002. Gradually, I've taken on a greater share of the load. After the Episode 2 patch released, I was permitted to get involved with coding, and I took on most of our general bug fixing. By the end of 2003, I was doing the majority of the fixes and features going into each patch. Though I make no business decisions for the game, for some time now I've had full responsibility for the direction and development of Jumpgate. As a former beta tester, my involvement stretches back to January 2000. As a player, I founded Jumpgate's first major trading squad, played politics, participated in PvP, downed my share of conflux, mined my share of roids, immensely enjoyed simply flying as a merchant pilot, and waited hungrily like everyone else for the next patch. For a player, joining the project as a developer was a dream come true, a dream I still strive to share with my fellow Jumpgate players by keeping our mutual hopes and dreams for the game in mind whenever I consider new features or changes.

In the past, and especially while I still lacked influence in Jumpgate development, I publicly described the work I was doing to change and improve Jumpgate in terms of "taking baby steps". As the juniormost member of the team at the time, I did not want to make mistakes that would create additional work for my coworkers, I especially did not want to damage or disrupt the game by my actions. It seemed necessary to go slow, and to be careful. For various reasons, I believe the time for caution with respect to Jumpgate development is past.

We are all aware that Jumpgate faces harsh challenges from newer, flashier game releases that are enticing players away from our community. We also know that there persist flaws in Jumpgate, as in any game, that can frustrate players and help convince them to move on. Attracting new players to a game released long ago (as the game industry measures time) is very difficult, and requires resources that are literally unavailable. Without resources, change is also slower for Jumpgate than for games that can afford to have dozens, even hundreds of people on the development team. We all know what these constraints have meant for the Jumpgate community over the last three years.

Jumpgate's history is a reflection of some difficult realities of business in the game industry. The situation we face has less to do with Jumpgate itself, and more to do with business pressures NetDevil now has little control over. Our limitations have come as a result of past decisions made with the best information available at the time, and with NetDevil's best interests at heart. NetDevil surely would not exist today were it not for the successful release of Jumpgate in 2001, but NetDevil's prosperity has for a while not been tied to Jumpgate's success or failure. Yet, for that transition to have taken place, NetDevil's focus as a company has necessarily been shifted to other projects, and that change of focus is why NetDevil is a successful and growing company today.

NetDevil is proud of Jumpgate, and no one here at NetDevil wants to see Jumpgate continue to fade slowly away. Jumpgate is a landmark game in the industry: It remains the only massively multiplayer design dedicated to HOTAS ("Hands On Throttle And Stick") spaceflight simulation. Other online space games are either flight simulators capable of handling only limited numbers of players (like Microsoft's Allegiance), are massively multiplayer games that use a mouse-click interface (like EVE Online), or dilute the flight simulator into a component of an otherwise stat-based point-and-click game (SWG:Jump to Lightspeed). Jumpgate also remains remarkable for its practical blend of real physics with modifications to keep the simulation flyable and fun. Unlike any other game, Jumpgate is entirely about the player flying his own ship: no autopilot, no time dilation, no crutches. Jumpgate flight is grounded upon player skill.

I've spent nearly five years thinking about how to make Jumpgate better, and two of those years actually working to try to carefully improve the game. It's time to step beyond the caution, to move beyond the framework I inherited from those who created Jumpgate and worked on it before me. It's past time to take risks, because I believe that the path Jumpgate has been on for the last two years is not enough to sustain us.

I've hinted to the community about changes that I have had in mind. They do us no good on paper, as thoughts, or as good intentions. They will only help Jumpgate if they are implemented, and to do that, I must cross an important hurdle that has limited my ability to move Jumpgate forward: I must break my fear of damaging my predecessors' work.

Jumpgate's survival demands change, and to make any substantial change to Jumpgate I am going to have to call into question many things that we as players of the game have always taken for granted, or considered fundamental, even sacrosanct. This cannot help but create some disruption. I cannot help but make mistakes. I am going to need help. I'm going to lean on the Test Program members harder than ever before, because I am going to begin breaking things. Important things. Things the game needs in order to work right. If you are an active player with time on your hands, and if you feel you can maintain the trust of being a part of the test team under the conditions I detailed in this thread, please apply. I'm already recruiting additional testers from the pool, and I'm going to need more of you.

Jumpgate has always been labelled as a "Spaceflight and Combat Simulator". One of Jumpgate's great attractions has always been its emphasis on PvP activity. Some steps have been taken over the past year and a half to improve the cross-factional balance for PvP. Since my own background emphasized the trading parts of Jumpgate, I've also tried to correct some problems with the game's economy, though certainly a number of problems remain. However, I now consider the creation of a factional warfare system to be the most pressing need to bring to Jumpgate some new interest, action, and hopefully new players. Because so many parts of the game are interrelated, creation of a warfare system is almost certainly going to affect insurance, bounties, political ratings, and flight registry tags, among other things. The kill-handling system and the missions system are going to have to be adjusted, too. Several major new mechanisms are going to have to be created and balanced. For instance, a system for damaging and disabling buildings, which are currently indestructible, is going to be needed. Jumpgate was originally "The Reconstruction Initiative". It's past time to give players ways to tear things down, as well as real ways to build them up again. Meanwhile, I don't want to desert the needs of the non-PvP players. I will need to figure out ways to keep the other parts of Jumpgate from being overwhelmed or sidelined when I broaden PvP gameplay. Regardless, the overall feel of Jumpgate that we have all become used to is likely to be heavily changed. That's going to scare people. It should. I want you to know that it scares me, too.

After two years of getting comfortable as a Jumpgate developer, I think it's time to try some things that are scary. Climb in, sit down, and hold on, folks. I think the ride is going to get bumpier before things get better. I hope you decide that the eventual results turn out to be worth any pain we encounter along the way. Maybe taking these risks now is foolish. Some people will undoubtedly say that big changes now are foolish, and will only finish Jumpgate off.

I say, may fortune favor the foolish.

"A Heretic may see the truth and seek redemption. He may be forgiven his past and will be absolved in death. A Traitor can never be forgiven. A Traitor will never find peace in this world or the next." -Cardinal Khrysdam: Instructum Absolutio
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Command Staff
Command Staff

Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

unl;ess I've missed something what they need to do is update the graphics. then change other stuff. Sad to say but the market is dictated by Massholes(joe everyman) and massholes want flashy graphics and instant gratification.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*shrug* too many customers get turned off by the adrenaline junky atmosphere. the GMs bought into the culture a little too much (they have only themselves to blame for getting suckered by the pvp fanbois)
    i remember one time having an argument with the EU GMs over their need to give n00bs a sense of danger. Their whole philosophy revolved around thrill-kill-cult. It was like trying to talk to someone who refused to step out of their roleplay
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Test Pilot
Test Pilot

Joined: 25 Oct 2001
Posts: 566
Location: The sticks!

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... and I didn't read this before jumping back into my JG seat? shrug

Hi Muffy!!! hail
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