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News & Features Discussion  » Alganon: Derek Smart vs. ex-Alganon Employees

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  MikeB Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5580

OP  3/19/10 4:07:23 PM#1

The Derek Smart / David Allen Alganon saga continues, this time over in the comments section of a news story on the whole fiasco over at Gamasutra.

Derek Smart has been quite vocal about the recent developments over at Quest Online, stating that his primary motivation is to get things out there so that other people don't "fill in the blanks" for him.

What has resulted over at Gamasutra is a back and forth between Derek Smart and several former ex-Alganon employees, such as the previously mentioned Jason Blood and Hue Henry.

The back and forth is quite lengthy so I am not going to quote it here, but if you're interested in all the dirty laundry, you can sort through it here.

As far as whether or not employees at Quest Online are happy or not working under Derek Smart, or were unhappy working under David, we can't say for sure, but we were contacted today by Bily Foster in Marketing at Quest Online, who was responding to our own William Murphy's piece on the Alganon situation published today. Mr. Foster has given us the permission to publish his statements, which you can view below:

"I also have to say personally, having Derek Smart come in has been a breath of fresh air. I'm sure you've been at a company during those weird days when the boss it "too busy" to catch up with you. Or "Things are happening behind the scenes that you wouldn't understand," is being thrown your way. No one likes it and you do your best to push through it. But once Derek came in, it was like ice cold water being thrown on our faces. It shocked our system and re-energized us in a way I can't put into words.

Also I'd like to say for the record re:Gamasutra comments, the reason we aren't on the board commenting is because we're busy working to get the game done! I'm commenting because it's my job to stay on top of what's being said about us. :)"

What are your thoughts on the whole Alganon situation? Let us know in the comments below!

[Thanks Kost for the tip!]

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB


Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 3317

3/19/10 4:20:43 PM#2

 Whats happening at Gamasutra is embarrassing and pathetic. I wish it would just die already. Heres whats truly sad of the whole thing. Over on the official forums a guy posted the ingame population for a trial user and it was showing about 20-35 people on each server in primetime. Most posts have been made on whats going on at gamesutra than those that actually play the game. Also the negative reaction will keep people away from Alganon, not draw them to it.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 649

3/19/10 5:46:51 PM#3
Originally posted by parrotpholk

 Whats happening at Gamasutra is embarrassing and pathetic. I wish it would just die already. Heres whats truly sad of the whole thing. Over on the official forums a guy posted the ingame population for a trial user and it was showing about 20-35 people on each server in primetime. Most posts have been made on whats going on at gamesutra than those that actually play the game. Also the negative reaction will keep people away from Alganon, not draw them to it.


I have to second this emotion. The fact that this new president is trolling a forum like that is very embarrassing. Then again, QOL knew they were getting a guy who spends a good portion of his day on message boards. This can't really come as much of a surprise.

It really seems like Alganon failed in large part due to lack of out-of-the-box thinking in game design and taking on too much. I'm going to wager that if the original team had scaled back the scope of their vision and pushed the content envelope a bit, they probably could have monetized the game in some meaningful form.


But from his first post on the Alganon boards, this Derek Smart guy has come across a very petty and mean-spirited. Does anyone know a company whose President gets into these kind of petty back-and-forths?


There was a post in that Gamasutra thread that said that Smart's deal gave him ownership of all the QOL technology developed. Maybe he's just trying to kill the game sooner so he can move on and use the tech on other projects. Either way, it appears to be time to put a fork in this endeavor.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/07
Posts: 4

3/19/10 5:51:38 PM#4

So the investors traded David Allen for Derek Smart.


Why does the cliche "Out of the frying pan into the fire" pop into my head?



Joined: 3/02/04
Posts: 1232

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer..."

3/19/10 5:55:35 PM#5

I don't care enough to read all of what has been posted on Gamasutra, but I have read enough to know I don't want to read it all... It is seriously deranged and borderline sociopathic behavior for someone to post so much about something like this. I mean the sheer number of words that have been posted in that comments section alone by the main players in this drama is really jarringly high. I mean don't get me wrong, if it were me being bad-mouthed in public by someone in this manner I would be hard pressed not to say something, but it really has become ludicrous...

"Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places..." ~ H.P.Lovecraft, "From Beyond"


Novice Member

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 445

3/19/10 5:57:45 PM#6

The situation is ofc embarrasing for everyone involved both ex and current developers.

But ppl should have known from start that Alganon was never about a game.   It was only about money...

A game of the quality of Alganon is not P2P - not buying the orginal content or paying sub.  The game doesn't even deserve a free to play quality mark.   You can blame the ex developers for it - but it wont get you anywhere. 

The sad thing about all this is that Alganon was developed in a open and see through enviroment where the devs did not hide the game from anyone.  Thats only good for the gamers when they are able to try the game before they buy from the get go.  I take my hats of for Ex -devs for that part.   But ofc the results are in...   It doesn't pay to be honest about the game....

Compare Alganon open aproach development to AOC none lifted NDA.  One of these games sold million copies before ppl actually knew the game's problems...  That was not good for the gamers was it ? 

Im torn when it comes to the development process.   I support Aglanon in that respect - but I knew from day one that this development team was never gonna create anything other than junk and expect ppl to pay double price for it. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1762

3/19/10 5:59:17 PM#7

The coke machines at Quest Online's offices are trembling in fear.

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.


Elite Member

Joined: 8/09/06
Posts: 781

3/19/10 6:00:46 PM#8
Originally posted by Ginaz

The coke machines at Quest Online's offices are trembling in fear.

The coke machine is most probably the only thing that is generating revenue at QOL.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

3/19/10 6:06:25 PM#9

Imagine this....Derek Smart,Bill Roper,Jack Emmert,Mark Jacobs,Paul Barnett, Henrik Nystrom  and Tasos Flambouras form a MMORPG company...Hilarity ensues.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1762

3/19/10 6:19:06 PM#10
Originally posted by Drakynn

Imagine this....Derek Smart,Bill Roper,Jack Emmert,Mark Jacobs,Paul Barnett, Henrik Nystrom  and Tasos Flambouras form a MMORPG company...Hilarity ensues.


Add in John Smedley and I'm sold.

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.



Joined: 5/28/07
Posts: 868

"If men were created equal, then what happened to game developers?"

3/19/10 6:29:11 PM#11

I think we all know by now who Derek Smart is. But regardless of that fact, David Allen did screw this game up and it's not his first time either. I know Derek can be off the edge and more out in the open but that does mean he's at fault. If anything, I like the fact that hes talking about the situation. It may be considered drama and not needed by some if not many, but at least no one can really say hes lying. In fact, not one post on gamesutra states hes not telling the truth. The former employees almost seem like they would rather hype up a former boss who almost stopped them from getting their last paycheck. I can almost see it now, in about 5 years, this same click of employees with David at the helm will be killing yet another company. And are people still going to gloss over that fact, or will they finally let David have it. Anyways, I hope the best for the game. And as a last note, watch the editor video for the Alganon Editor. It will show you why this game has the issues it has.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 3317

3/19/10 7:27:04 PM#12

 For some reason I am slightly surprised he hasnt jumped in over here and started but then I think this is the shark tank and he would be the bait. 



Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

3/19/10 8:08:45 PM#13

I think people hating or at least disliking Derek Smart causes them to ignore the fact that what he's saying might hold elements of truth.


I read the whole thread. It was an interesting gaze into the world of game development companies, away from the charm and glamour that us regular players often associate with the gaming business (it caused me to bookmark the site :))

I didn't know Derek Smart, until I read about him here on mmorpg. I don't particularly agree or like his confrontational style - he has a short fuse as can be seen when he agressively replies on some common forumposters that agreed mostly with  him but also mentioned some criticisms. But Derek's arguments are detailed, clear, and he seems ready to back it up with even more evidence and details when needed. Regardless whether this airing the dirty laundry and 'scorched earth' tactic is the right thing to do - which I don't think so - you wouldn't do that if you weren't able to make a strong case.


So, what has all this peculiar buzz around Alganon led to, at least to me?

- It made me very much aware of the game to the point I actually hope they will succeed in creating their own niche - which is good PR I think.

- Even if I feel indifferent about Derek Smart the man, his words have a ring of truth to them. The whole discussion gives an interesting and recognisable insight into an industry in which the PR communication and interviews often consists of hot air, hype and smokescreens. So Derek's openness, leading to the openness of the others, is refreshing.

- Dave Allen & companions seem to have messed up in a way that's not specifically 'evilly' or unique but that's all too familiar in companies nowadays, and like could be seen in the 'dot com bubble' era: lying/misleading your investors, missing deadlines, and when the atmosphere on management level started to become poisonous (the typical blame/shame game that starts) adding to it with making some wrong decicisons. Not good or a thing to be proud of, but also not very unique in corporate business.



The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."


Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/04
Posts: 2338

3/19/10 9:24:59 PM#14


I thought I would never see a developer make a bigger ass of themselves than Tasos did when Eurogamer trashed his game... but Holy Hell batman Derek Smart takes the cake on this one.

If you are going to can some guy, you can him and move on. By making a public statement you are risking lawsuits and stoking the fires even more.... by going on a blow for blow public deathmatch on an uncontrolled forum with the previous owners makes you look like a 12 year old with an ep33n.

For years I have wondered why the hell these dev's cant get their "Stuff" together long enough to make a good game, well if this is a doorway into what the industry is like no bloody wonder. You are giving idiots like these millions of dollars and expecting them to make a good game? Derek Smart cant even make a good post about a termination of an employee, how the hell is he going to turn the game around?

Now Im not saying the previous folks were doing a good job... but they at least seemed to be friendly with the community. I tried the beta, knew it wouldnt go very far, and decided not to play, but if Derek in his arrogant fashion can turn alganon into a good game Ill be floored.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/04
Posts: 1930

3/19/10 9:43:19 PM#15
Originally posted by Pyrostasis

Now Im not saying the previous folks were doing a good job... but they at least seemed to be friendly with the community. I tried the beta, knew it wouldnt go very far, and decided not to play, but if Derek in his arrogant fashion can turn alganon into a good game Ill be floored.


All of the high level corporate suits I've ever had the pleasure (sarcasm) of dealing with are not only arrogant, but are abrasive, sexist, egotistical assholes that are so full of themselves I'm surprised they even bother talking to us "lesser" beings.

Mr. Smart's attitude seems, dare I say, a little tame compared to some presidents I've dealt with before.

"There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer."


Novice Member

Joined: 4/22/06
Posts: 155

Jesus saves.......the rest of the party takes 2D6 damage.

3/19/10 10:14:19 PM#16
Originally posted by parrotpholk

...on the official forums a guy posted the ingame population for a trial user and it was showing about 20-35 people on each server in primetime....


I can understand why. I tried it out of sheer boredom and uninstalled it literally 2 hours later, which I think is a personal record for MMO abandonment. I totally understand now why Derek wants to throw it all out, it really is that bad. Perhaps "bad" is not really the correct adjective, "mediocrity squared" might describe it better. It is a WoW clone in every sense of the word, to the point they didn't even bother to try and hide it. WoW without any of the things that actually give it character.





Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/09
Posts: 273

3/19/10 10:41:31 PM#17
Originally posted by Shoju
Originally posted by Ginaz

The coke machines at Quest Online's offices are trembling in fear.

The coke machine is most probably the only thing that is generating revenue at QOL.


Let's hope they don't bring in a Pepsi machine because Coke is a WoW clone...that would be like deja vu all over again.

Our spirit was here long before you

Long before us

And long will it be after your pride brings you to your end


Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/09
Posts: 720

3/19/10 10:45:28 PM#18
Originally posted by MikeB

The Derek Smart / David Allen Alganon saga continues, this time over in the comments section of a news story on the whole fiasco over at Gamasutra.

has nothing to do with anything but whats with those lips looks like its trying to kiss


Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/05
Posts: 805

3/19/10 10:59:52 PM#19

 While I may not agree with Derek Smarts way of speaking the turth.  You have to admit not a single one of the employees fired has denied any of what he has said. If anything they have backed it up and patted each other on the back while walking upto the next group of investors to milk them for all there money before taking it and running.

David Allen is nothing more then a con plain and simple. The guy will look you in the face and say sure we will have it done in XX time.  And all the while know its not going to happen.

You know when they missed the first deadline for the game they should have stopped adding features to the game and cleaned up what they had and made it playable.  Not continue to dream up new ideas and half bake them into the game.

Heck its a no wander they blew threw millions on junk that people are never going to use for the game.  I wander how many millions it took to have one of David Allen's friends cook up a half baked facebook clone and a armory clone? 

I like how they continue to claim look at the engine / toolset we built for the game.  When if you even look at the code and toolset you will know right away its cooked up on middleware tech that they can no license out directly. So in order to use there tools and engine your going to have to license from them and then turn around and get licenses from 2-4 other company's on top of that just to keep yourself in the legal clear.  Heck your better of licensing out the Unreal or any other  full blown package.  Atleast then you know what you are paying for and that its legally licensable.

You know I say good on Derek Smart for bringing these so called developers / people to the light of the community and future investors.  These people that make it hard for us Indie's to get investors because they go around claiming to know how to run / do things need to be shown for the scam artist they are.


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/07/06
Posts: 934

3/19/10 11:04:05 PM#20
Originally posted by Drakynn

Imagine this....Derek Smart,Bill Roper,Jack Emmert,Mark Jacobs,Paul Barnett, Henrik Nystrom  and Tasos Flambouras form a MMORPG company...Hilarity ensues.


Hilarity Ensues, might be a good company name for that group!

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