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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Jumpgate Evolution is Alive and Well... So There!

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday June 9 2010 at 6:36PM
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Aside from this week's headlining announcement that LotRO is going free this fall, there was another bit of news that’s started to make some waves in the week prior to E3.  Long since believed to be a vaporware by the cynics, NetDevil’s Jumpgate Evolution is finally back and tracking on gamers’ radars as the title’s producer came out with a lengthy post this explaining the reason for the game’s long period of silence.  What the letter amounted to was that basically NetDevil had a lot of the game’s systems working but  that the result simply wasn’t what they wanted it to be… and so like any good developer would the Colorado lads and lasses went back to the drawing board.

A while back, as JGE was still in quiet-mode, I wrote an article about five things NetDevil needed to do in order to make the evolution of Jumpgate successful.  As it turned out, I wasn't at all far off from the developer's own line of thought.  Scott Brown and Lance Robertson both read the article and I received an e-mail and subsequent phone call from the former in order to clarify how ND was planning on making my prognostications come true.  Basically Scott said that the team behind JGE has exactly the same thoughts as me and that they're anxious to start showing the game again, but that they wouldn't be doing so until they were definitely ready.  Next week is that time.  And I have a feeling that those folks who have been calling the game vaporware for a while might be eating some hefty portions of crow.  

While they're understandably holding a lot of their cards close to the chest until next week, I was able to get Scott and Lance to tell me what we can expect from this year's E3 showing.  Aside from a major overhaul of most of the game's systems, a lot of what JGE was initially going to be was thrown out (as Lance stated here) and instead the team has focused most of its attention on bringing you the biggest and best representation of massive space battles the likes of which have so far only been seen on film.  At E3 we'll get to see if and how NetDevil has been able to seamlessly blend the PvE and PvP, or the AI with the player characters to create truly stunning and massive space battles.  Scott gave me an example that while there may be hundreds of players controlling smaller ships in a battle, the AI might be off controlling turrets on a space station.  Or that players might find themselves tasked with destroying a massive alien fleet controlled by AI only to have it result in a PvP battle for the resources the aliens were hoarding.

The entire quest system has been redesigned as well, and apparently it now focuses on objective-based questing with the result driving the factional warfare.  Of course I was assured there will be plenty of PvE as well, but that even the PvE content will be focused on the feud between the game's three factions.  It's sounding more and more like a hybrid of DAoC and Wing Commander, and I for one couldn't be more excited to see if NetDevil can pull it off. I'll let you know if they're on the right track next week after I get my grubby hands on the pilot controls.

hactar writes:

Hmm. Big jumpgate fan here, and while I'm happy to see some form of communication starting, saying "we had a game, it sucked, we didnt want to say it for a year, we started from scratch but we wont tell you what the progress is" isn't enough for me to be excited again. The awkward 1 year silence was a terrible decision, and because of this It will take a lot more than the announcement of an announcement to get fans back in the state in which we were. A simple "we're redoing the game, see you in a year!" would have been way more useful then the blackout.

As for the "news", turrets and big ships being controlled by AI while players controlling the fighters is nothing new, they had that announced a year ago already. The only thing "new" i see is the apparent commitment to factional warefare, something very important i think, but it all depends on how they pull that one off (having enough simple content for casual mmo players while having enough depth content for hardcore gamers, and allowing both to interact is the key. The first JGE appeared to have lots of the first and not enough of the latter, while eve for example has not enough of the first and a lot of the latter).

Oh, and last time NetDevil announced an announcement (which had the JGE community excited a year ago) they simply announced they arn't going into beta. Woohoo...

Netdevil, please, get your act together, for the love of a great potential game and a great community.

Thu Jun 10 2010 10:52AM Report
Athcear writes:

I'm def psyched for this.

Thu Jun 10 2010 12:15PM Report
Thalarius writes:

They are still a disapointement, being locally based (yes I live in Colorado north of where they are based) they seemed to have had a ton of problems ranging from getting hit with a eviction notice for failure to pay taxes to losing few of thier investors for not meeting the deadline. 

Even though they are back, they still got a lot of work ahead of them and even though they going to have a spot at E3 this year, it is going to be a small booth. They could not afford getting the bigger booths or other perks like the big boys like EA and Bioware are getting.

They are also worried that TOR might ruin thier chances of making a profit. They had pushed back the release date to March-July 2011 (unconfirmed).

So for those of you who are JGE fans and are visiting E3, do visit thier booth to show your support. 

Thu Jun 10 2010 12:22PM Report
Tatercake writes:

so in a few more years we will see this game

Thu Jun 10 2010 1:10PM Report
fatboy21007 writes:

vaporware that will never hit the shelves. ive followed this game so long that i beleave itll never get released. hope im wrong but i think im rite.

Thu Jun 10 2010 2:21PM Report
Inktomi writes:

I'm happy to hear that this project is moving forward. Its not the first time a good idea was scuttled and I think that the market def needs a good mmo/fps spaceshooter other than ***

Good post.

Fri Jun 11 2010 1:28AM Report
duggie writes:

dont forget ND is behind Lego universe.

it is well into its beta and looking great...i believe this will be a great cash cow for them.

allowing them to make JGE the way it should be and maybe even shop AA around for a reboot.

Tue Jun 15 2010 11:02AM Report writes:
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