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All Posts by dsmart

All Posts by dsmart

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187 posts found

The full comic is now online.

Also, you will be able to pickup a print copy at the upcoming New York ComicCon

It will be on our website and several other places. I will post the list once SDCC is over and the full version is made available.

[Mod Edit]

The fact is this: It is a marketing spend designed to promote the game's upcoming expansion. And this is not something we cooked up on our own. It took months of planning with several people at QOL and DC (who assigned it to top of the line artists, inkers and writer). Not to mention getting it picked up by the likes of DC Comics no less.

As a marketing spend, it is no more different than the print (PG Gamer, Beckett's etc) and online marketing I've been doing since last year in order to continue promoting the game.

The last time I looked, nobody in this forum has a clue what marketing is or entails and you can never stop marketing a product as long as you can afford to do so.

Anyway the comic is exclusive to San Diego and New York ComicCon. It will also be available for free online in a couple of weeks, including on the DC outlets, iPad etc. It is not for sale - that's why it is a marketing spend.

The game doesn't need millions of players to survive or to stay afloat; so say what you want, frankly we simply don't care. Those who actually care, are playing the game. We care, so we keep supporting it and I keep putting money into it.

You can catch it over here. It debuts at San Diego ComicCon today.

It is official. The EU servers are now online. Read about this and the free transfers in today's newsletter.

You can find all the goodness over here.

A comic will make or break a game? Seriously? I mean, where do you get this stuff from?

Saying that money going into a comic - which is a marketing expense btw - should go into game development is like saying you shouldn't market a game at all. That's just silly and since everyone thinks that they have all the answers, silly opinions like this are the result.

Fact is, Ricardo Sanchez (the writer) and I go way back from when he was at Turner GameTap where we worked together. I ran into him at GDC this year and we got talking. In the end, he showed me the Rift comic (Telara Chronicles) he worked on while he was at Trion Worlds and it seemed like a good marketing idea to promote Alganon. So he got in touch with DC, they said they were interested in doing it. The rest is history and the Alganon comic (story based on the upcoming expansion pack) was born.

DC gets to distribute it as they do other game based comic properties e.g. San Diego ComicCon, New York ComicCon, their iPad store etc. We also get copies for promotional purposes. And due to how the story was written, In can requisition additional volumes if I decide to do so.

So for me, it is a marketing expense that cost about as much as the six month PC Gamer full and single page ads cost. So either I take out ads or I do a comic. It is all about what I want to do with my marketing budget. I decided to do something different. So comic it was.


People who are rooting for a train wreck are usually disappointed when their preconcieved disaster doesn't happen. So I know that because Alganon is still around, it burns those who were hoping that it will fail. It boils down to  this: those very same people are forgetting that I ran into the same sort of derision with my first game back in 1996 when it was released prematurely by its then publisher. I'm still here.

Again, if you don't like the game, don't play it. This is just a game that I want to see succeed and I will continue to do my best to make that happen. If you're sitting around waiting for it to fail (hence shutdown), you have a pretty long wait because considering the low overhead, even if I fired the entire team tomorrow, the game is already 100% finished and self-sustaining. To the point that putting it into maintenance mode just means that it will keep running as long as I can afford to pay for the servers. There are lesser games out there still running; ever wondered why that is?

Galactic Command Online is very much a happening. The website was updated about two months ago and is now located at Since it is based on a hardcore IP, the game is purely for hardcore gamers (not the Eve crowd kinda hardcore since that game is just a spreadsheet in space, for the most part).

We're currently working on a more accessible game, Line Of Defense ( due out in early 2012.

GCO will hopefully show up in the 2013 timeframe.

haha yah, typo on my part. I've said the same thing over and over already, so those who've seen already may recognize it as a typo. Thanks for pointing it out.

For the record

1. I had nothing to do with "Tork" leaving QOL. That was before my time.

2. We haven't hired a replacement community manager because the guys are doing just fine and it is a waste of money. You don't need to have a CM just because someone says that you do.

3. The forums were an unruly place before I came in. Then I asked the guys to enforce the TOS and without any exceptions. So guess what? Those who couldn't abide by them either left or were banned. No exceptions. I believe in quality, not quantity. And if the signal to noise ratio is low, then people will find information that much quicker without having to wade through a pile of crap. It is a gaming forum, not someone's backyard or living room where they can do as they please. Our house. Our rules.

The business of game development is not about a popularity contest. It is about principles and goals. I'm neither a diplomat nor a politician; so I don't need to impress anyone or be "one of the guys because it's kewl" so that I don't rub people the wrong way.

As long as myself and the team are achieving our goals - which we we're doing just fine - I don't particularly care about anything else - or what anyone says for that matter.

If you like the game, play it. If you don't like it, don't play it.

Yep, working feverishly on it. Hopefully the more people that play it, the more they will see that I've pretty much all that I can to keep it unique and move it away from that whole "WoW clone" nonsense. 


{mod edit}

Originally posted by MadDemon64
Originally posted by dsmart

The new patch is already live. Please check it out.

I know that I have hated alganon in the past, and I can't believe that I am saying this, but I believe I will check it out. 

heh, no biggie really. The game is not for everyone, so I don't expect it to appeal to any demographic other than hardcore MMO gamers looking for something different. Plus the community is *great*.

Originally posted by MadDemon64
Originally posted by vesavius

...and thats to DL it and try it.

I am not a cash shop fan, to say the least, but I am tired of the 'cool' haters trying to crap on a game just because they think it's leet to have a negative opinion on Smart.

So I am going to have a look. It's free, why not.

I will come back here and give my honest opinion on it as a game (probably reserving my views on it's use of a cash shop, because it'sa given that I'm not going to like that part, but the gameis what it is in that regard and I accept it for the purposes of this).

Same here.  I will try it out tonight, and give my opinion.  I will finally find out once and for all if it deserves all the hate I gave it, or if it is a hidden gem that I should have started playing a long time ago.



Well, here is my opinion.

Downloading was a hassle, and even after downloading it, it refused to play because it said I didn't have a Shader 2.0, despite the fact that I know I do, and crashed every time I tried to play.

While I cannot give an opinion on the gameplay, my opinion of startup is less than favorable.  The mere fact that it requires something to play, and given that it cannot detect it even though it is on my computer, makes me believe that this game does deserve at least some of the hate I have given it.

If your system doesn't meet with the game's minimum (shader model 2.0 for example) requirements, well, it won't launch.  That's why we have it plastered all over the game's page, the client page etc. We have people trying to install and run the game on XP w/ SP2 - despite the fact that ALL the OS service packs are required.

Most gamers think that they have an uber system capable of "playing Crysis" - when in fact the most likely scenario is that it probably won't even play a game from 2000, let alone one from 2009.

We haven't made ANY changes to the game's graphics engine which could change the system requirements from what it was back in 2009.

The cards listed are all SM2.0. If the game is saying that it's not detecting it, then one of this is the cause:

1. You don't have an SM 2.0 capable graphics card

2. You don't have the latest video card drivers installed (this won't be the cause, since the card itself is queried directly using its CAPS)

3. You don't have the latest DirectX 9.0c runtime installed (this won't be the cause, since the card itself is queried directly using its CAPS)

Originally posted by Amjoco

This game isn't flashy and it doesn't have the high tech feel of some of the other fantasy MMO's out there. What it does have is a great community and most of all potential. I'm pretty old school, I remember when pong first came out, I played all the AD&D Gold Box games on a Commadore 64 and it erks me a tad when people quit playing without giving a title a chance. Slow down and play this game,  read the quests and get into the RP of RPG.  

I'm not a fanboy, I have P2P accounts on 3 MMO's but I still love this game because it isn't easy, there are no questhelpers, addons, but most of all it has people helping one another, not talking trash about each other. 

Anyway, like the poster above me said he was going to do, give it a chance, a real chance.


There is so much more to the game and community than most are even willing to consider - and simply because everyone likes a good train wreck; even if it is imagined and has no basis in reality.


Originally posted by vesaviusI would also say, with no intent of malice or insult to Derek Smart, that they need to hire a community/ PR manager, because DS just attracts the wrong kind of attentiom whether it's his fault or not.


That's just ludicrous if you don't mind my saying so.

The bottom line is that anon people behind the confines of the Internet think it is OK to insult, harrass and defame someone just because they can. I'm a developer first and foremost - not a business guy or a politician. There is absolutely nothing in me that screams out political correctness. You won't find the likes of Kotick et al defending themselves online and simply because they are completetely detached from the people they are selling games to.

Most devs and pubs don't bother to engage the people who play their games because they either a) can't be bothered or b) they want to tow the PC line c) they don't want to be in the firing line for saying the wrong thing; thus the PR mouthpieces.

Which is why the gaming landscape has changed radically from how it was back in the day when gamers had a direct line to the devs who made the games that they played.

Sure, like most everyone, I'm hardly the poster child for online behavior, but the fact is, I am a game developer who is passionate about what he does. I treat everyone as equals and so I could care less whether or not someone thinks that I shouldn't talk about my games, engage the community etc.  I don't need a mouth piece.

And the fact of the matter is that, for good, bad or worse, it is my name, notoriety, efforts, investment, continued support of a top notch dev team etc that are primarily responsible for Alganon even being a topic of discussion today. How many games do you know of that would still be around given the circumstances of this game's disastrous launch? If you weren't around for the Beta - or even the launch - of the game back in 2009, you won't have an inkling of how far the game has come. In fact, folks from back in 2009 who recently came back, can't even believe that it is the same game.

Anyone who knows anything about the game industry knows that I never - ever - shy in the face of adversity, abuse or whatever - and none of that deters me from whatever goals I set for myself. I treat Alganon as I would any IP that I own. And now that I actually own (along with only two other remaining investors) it, my continuing to push it forward should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about me.

The Alganon name and IP are perfectly fine and that is the primary reason why I continue to invest in it. Just because someone says "oh yeah, change the game and it will be even better" doesn't make it so. Out here in the real world - where money and cred - are of utmost importance, we don't consider any such thing. It's not like I don't know anything about building an IP; especially when you consider that I own over six of them and which I single-handedly built from the ground up.

As I mentioned in this interview from last week, the bottomline is that I'm going to do what I do best and I'm going to continue building the Alganon IP.

Anyone who doesn't like the game, doesn't have to play it. Quite frankly, I simply don't care. I care only about those who like the game enough to help us build and promote it. No game caters to everyone and Alganon is no different. I have specific goals and metrics for it; and as long as those are met and maintained, I could care less what anyone thinks, says or feels.

It is only a game.

Faction Change
General Discussion « Alganon
6/10/11 9:43:47 AM

You probably need to post that on the Alganon forums so that a CSGM can show you what to do and how.

More info over here

Oh yeah, and if you were concerned about server pop, you should have been around earlier today ;)

The new patch is already live. Please check it out.

A lot more details are over here, here and here

Well thanks for that.

Anyway, if you (anyone) are reading this, it means that you probably have an interest in Alganon. So, here goes the cliff notes ahead of the newsletter and PR from E3.

1. Alganon Comic book deal with DC Comics. Deal was already done, signed and the comic currently in production. Will be available at ComiCon, online (as well as iPad) by DC.

2. The first Alganon expansion due out later this year. It has a TON of stuff; but I won't spoil the surprise.

3. New game for Android, iOS and PC (browser) based on the Alganon IP. Due out later this year. Developed by a separate team using the Unity3 engine.

4. European servers for Alganon going live later in June. Asian servers to follow soon.

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