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News & Features Discussion  » Horizons: Special Report: The EI Catastrophe

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101 posts found
  kenjimuto

Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/06
Posts: 25

10/31/06 7:38:08 PM#81

I tried it back in the day when it first started, it looked interesting but needed refinement for me though, although now i wouldnt touch it with a barge pole, indeed i think alot of others wouldnt just for the lack of confidence i would have in my account security, shame cause i might have gone back for another look one day

To be honnest i think that although this game is obviously not dead it may become stagnant as who would want to join a game with this new track record, and we all know stagnancy leads to death, EI might have signed the death certificate themselves

heaven and earth are ruthless,
and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs

  Liddokun

Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/03
Posts: 1666

10/31/06 7:57:13 PM#82

So basically this guy David Bowman single handedly screwed Turbine and Artifact Entertainment (the company that David Allen founded) and original owner of Horizons: Empire of Istaria. Oh btw, another person named James Jones was the one who brought David Bowman onboard Artifact Entertainment. James Jones basically backstabbed David Allen (the original designer and visionary of Horizons) and kick him out of his own company then he himself got backstabbed by David Bowman and was fired. ROLFMAO.

You can read the whole freaking story here:

http://webz.us/hz/htm/wrh.htm

  Shadrak

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 381

10/31/06 11:32:25 PM#83

another reason people are dissuaded from trying horizons.

 

  Kalantha

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/01/06
Posts: 1

11/01/06 10:45:42 PM#84
"On July 28th, players of Horizons were informed via email & a posting on the forums that come 12:01am August 1st a new billing system would be implemented and they would be required to re-enter their billing information on or before their renewal dates."

Er, who received emails regarding this? I didn't get an email, nor did anyone I've spoken to about it. This was one of my major complaints to EII. If you're going to change your billing system and require people to re-enter info, you really do need to send an email to the account holder. Even an email informing the players that the game had been bought would have been nice. Not everyone reads the forums.

This notice was posted in the forums and on the login screen (for both logging in through the standalone launcher and the website). Unfortunately, the people on hiatus but still paying would never know about this unless someone told them.
  Mustasio

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/02/06
Posts: 9

11/03/06 1:18:16 AM#85
Hi guys, I'm new to the boards.  I've been coming to this site for a while though.  I saw the lil click link to the article about Horizons and EI and gave it a look because I am currently interested in Dark World Online.  It's just a genre(vampires and stuff) Ive been really waiting to see an MMO for.  David Bowman is leading this project, and my understanding is he's also the guy at the top in Tulga as far as titles and who is indeed leading it is concerned.

In reading the article a lot of things popped into my head that I could probably make sense out of if I had facts and details that only people working with Bowman could probably answer.  Anyhow, it sounds like this Andercheck guy isn't very trustworthy, and it sounds like EI did some pretty scary stuff to its subscribers some of which sounded despicable.

Well, I had been frequenting the site they have for Dark World Online.  www.darkworldonline.net  I posted under the name Bravado, and was the most active member on there.  Was a pretty lifeless place but that's because it's brand new and we had next to nothing about information or news about DWO except for the interview you guys have on here with Bowman about DWO.

The last thing I posted was the article about horizons.  I put up a link to the article on this site and I manually posted it along with a few sentiments .  I didn't bash anyone or anything, I did post some questions for the other members, one of which was where responsibility began and ended, and how David Bowman fit into this. 

I'm posting here because I want to have a better formed opinion of him, mainly from the people who have factual information about him or worked with him.  He seems to be very much referred to as a backstabber, or he is defended in a way that makes him free of any responsibility.  Either way, I have no idea really.  The only thing that bothers me about the fact that he's a backstabber is that in this industry and the entertainment industry in general, the worst thing you can do is burn your bridges.  I am studying to go into game design and I've spoken with some successful people personally, and they made that clear to me.  It's sort of hard to swallow that someone could be so successful and would start his own company if he is of the slimey backstabbing sort.

The other reason I'm posting here is to bring to anyone's attention that the message boards on darkworldonline.net are down, and have been for a while.  I sort of get the feeling that my posting the article is a reason for that, since it's the frst time I've seen them down.  That's only a hunch though, if they came back up with new news or a slightly tweaked UI i wouldn't be surprised at all.  If they came back up with my account banned or my thread about the article deleted, I would be a little surprised.  I don't know what to expect.

I haven't seen anyone post anything about Dark World Online.  I think I remember someone posting about David Bowman not working in the MMO business anymore, or somethin like that.  Just wanted to hear more of the constructive thoughts and critiques on Bowman and what he is up to now.

-Mustasio
  Samuraisword

Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/06
Posts: 2120

Gamers who use RMT are like athletes who use steroids

11/03/06 3:40:08 AM#86

Originally posted by liddokun

So basically this guy David Bowman single handedly screwed Turbine and Artifact Entertainment (the company that David Allen founded) and original owner of Horizons: Empire of Istaria. Oh btw, another person named James Jones was the one who brought David Bowman onboard Artifact Entertainment. James Jones basically backstabbed David Allen (the original designer and visionary of Horizons) and kick him out of his own company then he himself got backstabbed by David Bowman and was fired. ROLFMAO.

You can read the whole freaking story here:

http://webz.us/hz/htm/wrh.htm


 I am angry after reading that history of lies and deception and greed. David Allen got the shaft. I would have nothing to do with Horizons simply because of the internal history of the game's production. Shame on them. I hope the preferred stock has no value once Horizons is buried.

  KlausW

Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/04
Posts: 165

Death is fleeting. Pride is forever.

11/03/06 11:32:04 AM#87

Mustasio, DWO is pretty much DOA. Chris Baker fired the entire Tulga team when he sold Horizons to EI. David and a few other folks were kept on to train EI personnel in operating Horizons, but once the transition contract expired, they were fired as well. For all intents and purposes, Tulga Games does not exist anymore.

As far as the David Allen story goes, the article that 'exposes' the takeover has been floating around for a few years now. It's totally one-sided (as in, the only person who's side is presented is David Allen's) but a lot of people take it as gospel truth. The thing with the takeover is this: David Allen had spent a lot of his investors' money and there was nothing to show for it but a lot of neat ideas. The investors wanted to see a product ship, and they voted David Allen out. David Bowman had been hired because of his experience at Bungie and Turbine. He had gotten products out the door, and that's why the board of directors put him in charge. David Bowman did not backstab David Allen; David Allen screwed up and his investors fired him for it.

David Allen had some terriffic ideas, but if you look up the interviews and articles he did, anytime someone asked if the game would have a given feature, his answer was always "Yes!" While that may sound great, making a promise without checking to see if the programming team and the game engine can deliver is a really bad idea. If he'd set realistic goals and focused on achieving them, he probably wouldn't have gotten fired from his own project.

Guildleader, Mithril Council, Chaos

  Liddokun

Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/03
Posts: 1666

11/03/06 3:00:17 PM#88

As far as the David Allen story goes, the article that 'exposes' the takeover has been floating around for a few years now. It's totally one-sided (as in, the only person who's side is presented is David Allen's) but a lot of people take it as gospel truth. The thing with the takeover is this: David Allen had spent a lot of his investors' money and there was nothing to show for it but a lot of neat ideas. The investors wanted to see a product ship, and they voted David Allen out. David Bowman had been hired because of his experience at Bungie and Turbine. He had gotten products out the door, and that's why the board of directors put him in charge. David Bowman did not backstab David Allen; David Allen screwed up and his investors fired him for it.

David Allen had some terriffic ideas, but if you look up the interviews and articles he did, anytime someone asked if the game would have a given feature, his answer was always "Yes!" While that may sound great, making a promise without checking to see if the programming team and the game engine can deliver is a really bad idea. If he'd set realistic goals and focused on achieving them, he probably wouldn't have gotten fired from his own project.


In any case that's a pretty messed up story. It's such a shame that Horizons has had great potential that didn't get realized. I did play Horizons for close to 8 months and I had a great time playing it and did met some really good friends there. Unfortunately the game went down the hill after launch.
  User Deleted
11/04/06 7:54:08 AM#89

After reading that article, I could only think of one thing to say


Kelso, "BURN!!"

  neuronomad

Novice Member

Joined: 4/29/06
Posts: 1278

My Aggro brings all the mobs to the yard.

11/05/06 1:48:55 AM#90
Never played Horizons, and never will.  But I thought the article was very fair and balanced and was a very interesting.  Kudos to the investigator for this report!!!

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  Desidarius

Novice Member

Joined: 1/19/05
Posts: 21

11/05/06 9:14:12 PM#91

Kind of a sad mess really, I tried the game back when it first came out. I liked the crafting and of the few mmorpgs I've played it's had the best character creation process (compared to say... WoW, where your choice is skin color, hair color, hair style, and special features, but your human will still have gorilla arms and a tiny head). I sure wouldn't try going back to it now unless things were to seriously change, I'm not about to hold my breath though.

  Mustasio

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/02/06
Posts: 9

11/05/06 10:29:01 PM#92
Thanks KlausW,
If I had more time I would look into the David Allen David Bowman stuff myself.  If DWO is completely out of the picture now then I can't say David Bowman came out lookn good when it comes to promises.

On the flip side, I don't have to worry about them making a crappy MMO of my favorite genre.

-Mustasio
  KlausW

Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/04
Posts: 165

Death is fleeting. Pride is forever.

11/06/06 12:08:21 PM#93


Originally posted by Mustasio

If DWO is completely out of the picture now then I can't say David Bowman came out lookn good when it comes to promises.


Right up until the point where the sale of Horizons to EI was finalized, DWO was activly being worked on. David didn't go back on any promises; the owner of the company fired everyone and shut the company down. That's not something David had any choice in.

Guildleader, Mithril Council, Chaos

  Hadesprime

Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/04
Posts: 303

11/07/06 4:46:24 PM#94
I find it interesting that the announcement of DWO and the Horizons expansion seemed to correlate to initial rumors of Horizons being shopped around. Perhaps these announcements where made to generate new interest in Horizons  and Tulga games with the faint hope that subscribers would increase dramatically ???

I do not know. But I can say this David Knew Chris Baker was shopping the game around LONG before anyone did. He also probably knew when the expansion and DWO was announced. I highly doubt any work was going on with DWO when they did not have the resources for enough people to work on Horizons. You trying to say they hired more people to work on DWO ? I find that highly unlikely not to mention no credible facts or evidence to say it was. Horizons had its own issues for an already stretched thin small dev team. No way they could take on working DWO as well. There certainly was no announcement of people being hired to work on it. Contrary in May or June people were actually let go. That too was down played by the fanboi types.

Which leads me to believe the announcement of DWO and the expansion to be a publicity stunt more than fact. I doubt work on either project was actually even occuring. Mr Bowman was getting desperate and was starting to grasp at straws to keep his dream alive.



  Deunan

Novice Member

Joined: 7/06/04
Posts: 17

11/07/06 7:15:08 PM#95
I have to say, I am glad my wife and I stopped playing months before this all happened and that it is a shame it all happened because we both agreed that the game had great potential but it will never be more than it was in it's days of 'prime' gone by.

I also want to say, that the person who did this article has heard their true calling.  Very well written and researched article.  I wish journalism in general was to the standards this author has met.  Please don't ever quit being a journalist.

"It's the little things in life." Tech Sgt Chen

  KlausW

Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/04
Posts: 165

Death is fleeting. Pride is forever.

11/08/06 12:38:14 PM#96

There's no doubt that David did know that Baker was looking to sell, but as of E3 (when the expansion and DWO were announced), no potential buyer had expressed interest yet. Tulga continued to work on Horizons because, until a sale is finalized, there's no way to know if it will go through or fall apart.

EI claims that the expansion never existed. I think they said that because, being totally clueless about how to develop an MMO, they had no idea what a design document is. A lot of the stuff in the expansion either existed already but wasn't usable (furniture & pets) or was going to be built on systems that already existed (racial housing). The process of approving the design document had to be completed before coding & asset creation, etc. could start, which is why EI said that 'no work had been done on it' and dismissed the design document ( which was still being written) as 'just a bunch of ideas'.

Some Tulga employees had been pulled off of Horizons to work on DWO. The reason for this is simple: Horizons needs a new client very, very badly. However, it would have been a disaster to try to develop & test it on a live game. DWO, had it gone forward, would have been the environment for testing the new client. Once it was stable & ready to go, then we would have seen it in Horizons. So, yes, there were Tulga employees who were not working on Horizons directly, but the work they were doing would have benefitted Horizons in the long run.

Yes, DWO was an attempt to acquire additional investor support. Of course it was. Additional investment money would mean additional headcount and greater stability for Tulga, which in turn would be good for Horizons.

I do believe that David was hoping to attract a buyer who would be willing to invest in the future of Tulga and Horizons. Baker was not in for the long haul, and had no interest in Horizons as a game or as a community. If Horizons had been bought by someone who was committed to developing the game, the player base wouldn't be fleeing like rats from a burning ship.

Guildleader, Mithril Council, Chaos

  Trusoul

Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 5

11/09/06 12:59:49 PM#97

Thanks for the continuing updates on the Catastrophe that once was 'Horizons'. It was a game with much potential; but major flaws in the original engine--coupled with major flaws in the companies that try to salvage it-- seem to be what's killing (Killed?) a game that was so promising.

Unfortunately, this is the way a lot of Good Games end up. I say 'All the Best 'to All those who still faithfully try & support Horizons, by still trying to play it.

As for me, personally--I chose to look elsewhere some time back; & I'm glad I did. The best thing about Horizons has always been the Player-Community; & that all-too-brief period when Tulga really cared.

To those faithful Horizons Players who still support the ongoing debacle: Please start trying other MMORPGs. There's a number of really Good Titles out there, with much better track records... & Very Solid Player Communities who'd welcome You, anytime.

"You have been logged in for over 2 years, & counting. Please log-off now & get a life." lol---this IS my life!

  User Deleted
11/14/06 12:39:35 PM#98
I was wondering when the 2nd portion of this news story will come out? Did I miss it?
  KlausW

Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/04
Posts: 165

Death is fleeting. Pride is forever.

11/14/06 2:48:59 PM#99

I hope the author didn't decide to put part 2 on hold in order to get EI's side of the story; their response time seems to be slightly longer then the half-life of enriched uranium...

Guildleader, Mithril Council, Chaos

  User Deleted
11/14/06 3:19:16 PM#100

Bring on part 2 please!!::::20::

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