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Jumpgate Evolution : Jumpgate Launches New Site

Posted Dec 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

NetDevil has announced that they have launches a new official site for Jumpgate Evolution. The new site features forums, screenshots, video, news and information, and more.

NetDevil today announces the much anticipated website launch for Jumpgate Evolution, the new action-based space combat MMO in Jumpgate universe.

Jumpgate Evolution lets you jump into the cockpit and fly your ship just by moving your mouse, giving sci-fi fans a unique opportunity to experience a large and versatile universe. As a space hero from one of the three different nations: Solrain, Quantar, or Octavius, players can interact with both PvP and PvE content earning advancement through combat, mining, missions, exploration, and trade.

From a variety of small fighter ships and capital ships to giant battle stations, players get to engage in galactic space combat for an MMO experience unlike any other. Visually stunning graphics at minimum PC specs, accessible yet rich gameplay, and advanced AI are just some of the prominent features of this new epic and dynamic online universe.

In addition, both new in-game screenshots and game footage have been added to celebrate the website launch, alongside a collection of previously released concept art, in-game screens, and backstory, providing fans a deeper glimpse into the ever-expanding Jumpgate Evolution universe. Join the official forums so that you can interact with our continuously updated community.

Read more here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Developer Journal - Wrap-Up

Posted Dec 11, 2007 by Jon Wood

For the last four weeks, we have presented a developer journal from Hermann Peterscheck, the Producer of NetDevil's Jumpgate Evolution. In this final installment, Peterscheck talk about creating a space action game.

One of the things that I like about NetDevil in general and Jumpgate Evolution in particular is that we actually are trying to make different kinds of MMOs. This sounds a bit strange as the last three articles have focused quite a bit on how to appeal to the masses, how to be accessible for everyone, how learning from experts and avoiding senseless innovation is a good idea and things like that. I wanted to wrap up these series of logs by talking a bit about the magic that happens in game development. I love that we work on games that are both in theme and genre somewhat risky.

 Making a space combat MMO is a bit of a risky proposition. Action MMOs have had mixed success rates. Space MMOs have a checkered past with some hits and some misses. So far fantasy games dominate the market and every other genre is fighting over a seemingly smaller pool of players. All of that being said the question beckons: Why in the world would we make a space MMO? At some point the creation process is irrational… and it is irrationality and risk that drives creative industries forward. Just think; it is largely the same people that made BioShock and System Shock. I would argue that both of those are also “risky” games and of high quality; yet one was a much bigger success than the other. I guess the point is that even if you are dedicated to quality and do all the right things there is no way to guarantee commercial success. There are things you can do to mitigate the risk but at the end of the day we have chosen a risky industry and we must live and die by that decision.

Read the whole article here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Dev Journal - Accessibility

Posted Dec 03, 2007 by Jon Wood

The team from NetDevil's upcoming sci-fi MMORPG Jumpgate Evolution have provided us with this new edition of our dev journal series. This week's contribution talks about accessibility.

One of the biggest barriers to entry into any activity is the amount of effort it takes to understand it. The quote by Albert Einstein is telling because

although Einstein's theories are immensely deep and rich they are relatively simple to understand. We have spoken a lot about accessibility in games and I think it might be a good idea to be a bit more specific about what that means. Accessibility, just like simplicity, is not about making things "dumb", insignificant or even uninteresting; nor is it about removing depth or complexity. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Classic games that survive through the ages such as Chess and Go have surprisingly simple rules. You can explain the game of Chess in about 20 minutes; Go can be explained within a few minutes; and yet people can play for their whole lives and not understand all the possible strategies involved.

The reason for this is that complexity has to do with permutations of simple rules; thus the way to build a complex and intricate game is to create interdependent and simple rules. Let us consider the game of chess. It is precisely sufficiently complicated, but not overly complicated; just as Einstein said. The board is restricted to a specific size. Each piece has its strengths and weaknesses, but there are pieces that are universally more important than others. For example, the queen is able to move in any direction, thus it is important that there is only one. The king can not move much at all, but it must be protected or the game is over. Pawns are weak but can be used to resurrect stronger pieces, provided the player can protect it. Each piece is designed with a strength and a weakness and each piece has only one or two moves that it can make. Thus when we look at one individual piece, they seem much too simple, but when someone is playing chess all the complexity is revealed.

Read the whole article here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Dev Chat Summary

Posted Nov 30, 2007 by Jon Wood

On Thursday night, the developers from Jumpgate Evolution stopped by to talk about their game in our most recent Developer Chat. Today, we present this article summarizing some of the interesting aspects of the chat.

As readers may or may not be aware, Jumpgate Evolution is a follow-up to NetDevil’s original Jumpgate, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when some of the questions revolved around the previous game. Perhaps the most interesting question to start with got right to the point in asking what the major differences would be between Jumpgate Classic and Jumpgate Evolution. Istvan answered that the biggest difference was going to be the look of the game, the “huge graphical update”. He also pointed out that the intention is for Evolution to be a “more modern game overall”, addressing some of the systems that are incomplete in the original version of the game.

Questions about the nature of the game and its relationship to its predecessor went from the more general questions above to much more specific questions about how this new game will function. There were questions about everything from braking in space to piracy. The answers to these questions made it quite clear to the participants and to readers here today that while Evolution is going to follow in the footsteps of the original, that it will be a kind of re-imagining. Here, for example, is how Awen answered the question about pirates:

“Pirates [are] something that we’d really like to do but chances are that it will function differently as this is an entirely separate game from the Classic. We’ll be interested to see what the players are going to suggest in this area.”

Read the article here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Developer Chat

Posted Nov 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

The guys from NetDevil stopped by to talk to MMORPG.com user about their upcoming sci-fi MMORPG, Jumpgate Evolution.

MMORPG_Taera: Greetings and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Chat on irc.forthegamers.org! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's community manager Laura "Taera" Genender. Joining us today is the NetDevil Jumpgate:Evolution team!

MMORPG_Taera: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to two questions at a time, and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.

MMORPG_Taera: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to DevBot while our guests introduce themselves!

ND_Draker: Hi All. My name is Hermann and I'm the producer on Jumpgate Evolution.

ND_Draker: It's a fun project :).

ND_Awen: I'm Awen the Jumpgate Evolution Community Manager

ND_Binkies: I'm Binkies the Business Development Mgr

ND_Istvan: Good evening. I'm Istvan and I'm a programmer on JGE. I've been working on Jumpgate since 2002.

Read it all here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Dev Chat TONIGHT!

Posted Nov 29, 2007 by Laura Genender

Please join us TONIGHT at 7pm EST, for another MMORPG.com dev chat!

Are you curious about the upcoming game Jumpgate Evolution?  Come meet the developers on Thursday, November 29th in the MMORPG.com Live Chatroom starting at 7pm EST and sate that curiousity! Bring a question, bring a friend! After the chat, be sure to stick around for Jumpgate Evolution and other MMORPG discussion.

Users can also connect via any IRC client, to server forthegamers.org or irc.eu.forthegamers.org (Euro). The chat will take place in #mmorpg.

Learn more about Jumpgate Evolution here.

Curious who you'll be talking to? Wonder no more!  Joining us will be:

-          Hermann Peterscheck: Lead Producer, Jumpgate Evolution
-          Steve Hartmeyer: Programmer, Jumpgate Evolution
-          Grace Wong: Business Development Manager
-          Nicole Hamlett: Community Manager
-          Quinn Wageman: PR Account Executive, Kohnke Communications

Jumpgate Evolution : Dev Journal - Graphics

Posted Nov 26, 2007 by Jon Wood

This week, in the second part of a continuing developer journal series, Jumpgate Evolution Lead Producer Hermann Peterscheck gives us an earful on the graphics of the game.

 

We sometimes hear people talk about how graphics don’t matter. I have often been confused by this statement. What does it really mean? Taken at face value would mean that a game is merely a series of rules and the visual representation of those rules is irrelevant. What it really means though, I think, is that making a game look attractive is an extra that does not substantially contribute to the game. I may be a bit biased, but I really don’t think that this is true. Even thinking about an ancient game, such as chess; the graphics in chess are the quality and material of the board and pieces. It is also the theme that the chess pieces have. There is a reason that there are thousands of different themed, sizes, colors and materials used in chess boards and the reason is that graphics contribute to the experience of the game.

Read the whole article here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Developer Journal - AI

Posted Nov 19, 2007 by Jon Wood

In this Developer Journal, Herman Peterscheck, the Lead Producer of the upcoming MMORPG, Jumpgate Evolution, takes the time to talk to us about AI for the space-based game.

I can distinctly remember this scene from 2010; and it is a most amazing moment in a Science Fiction movie, I find. Amazing not only because it shows some kind of sentience in a machine (we got plenty of that in 2001), but because of the response. Nobody knows why. When you consider how things in games work, that mantra comes up over and over again. Most things in games are the result of nobody knowing why. Why is that wonderful thing that happens when all the pieces come together and things just seem to work. It’s a moment we all work for. It’s a moment we all hope for. It’s what games are all about.

Let me back up a few paces and go over why we thought AI was necessary in Jumpgate Evolution. The obvious reason is that you need to have stuff for players to do. One of those things is to blow things up. In order for blowing those things up to be interesting they must behave in some kind of predictable or unpredictable way. They need to fly, shoot, miss, hit and vary in difficulty. All of this is pretty much expected at this point. But we wanted a bit more than that.

Read the whole thing here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Intervew with NetDevil at AGDC

Posted Sep 07, 2007 by Evan Wilkinson

One of many interviews coming from Austin GDC is this interview by News Manager Keith Cross and Jumpgate: Evolution Producer Hermann Peterscheck and NetDevil President Scott Brown talking about Jumpgate: Evolution.

Intervew with NetDevil at AGDC Intervew with NetDevil at AGDC
On Wednesday at the Austin Game Developers Conference, News Manager Keith Cross had the chance to sit down with Jumpgate: Evolution Producer Hermann Peterscheck and NetDevil President Scott Brown to talk about Jumpgate Evolution.

You can watch more videos over here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Steve "Istvan" Hartmeyer Dev Journal

Posted Aug 15, 2007 by Jon Wood

Why did NetDevil choose to create a new, updated Jumpgate? How did the project come together. These are two of the questions that Jumpgate: Evolution Developer, Steve "Istvan" Hartmeyer answers in this new MMORPG.com Dev Log.

In the middle of 2006, NetDevil's plans for Jumpgate changed substantially. Scott Brown, NetDevil's president, approached me with the news that he'd decided the company was at last in a position to once again put significant resources into the game. Returning to Jumpgate had never left the minds of the company founders, who are in fact all members of the original Jumpgate development team. Until 2006, however, NetDevil's efforts had perforce been focused on other projects necessary to building the company.

Scott's proposals were welcome news to me. Part of the team since 2002 and in charge of maintaining the game since 2004, I'd been battling Jumpgate's gradual decline for years. The biggest problem Jumpgate had was modernity - a lack of it. After its 2001 release, there hadn't been a large enough team maintaining Jumpgate to truly keep pace with general MMO developments. Features and systems that are taken for granted in newer online games just weren't present in Jumpgate, or weren't as polished as the average player now expects. We were well aware of these problems, but the rate at which a tiny team could solve them was far too slow. Despite my efforts and those of my predecessors on the Jumpgate team, by 2006 nearly everything about the game had become dated and demanded improvement. Usually, games in this condition are abandoned by their publisher. NetDevil is in the unusual position, for a game developer, of still being in direct control of its product. Scott and the other company officers had the power to decide that Jumpgate will have a fresh chance at success.

Read the whole journal here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Jumpgate: Evolution Gets Listed

Posted Aug 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

Jumpgate: Evolution, the newest incarnation of Jumpgate with greatly improved graphics, has been added to our Game List.

Jumpgate Evolution is a substantial update to the previous Jumpgate(TM) MMO released in 2001, which was the world's first massively multiplayer space combat game. Staying true to its early vision, NetDevil has improved upon the original in every way, with a complete graphics update, and the integration of advanced AI features to ensure unpredictable and compelling situations. The enhanced game play makes the game accessible to the widest possible range of users, while catering to the games' existing and loyal fan base.

"Jumpgate Evolution offers fun, intuitive game play that is thoroughly engrossing, while the new AI encourages players to immerse themselves in various roles available in the universe," said Scott Brown, President of NetDevil. "The game has undergone a complete graphics overhaul and has been vastly expanded to offer more weapons, and greater focus on PvE targets, making roles more refined in the process. Advanced social aspects of the MMO are available as well, including player-owned stations, complete with controllable economy, updated player statistics and rankings, and the ability for players to create squads with customizable web pages for each. The overall experience is a vital improvement in terms of playability, accessibility, as well as the overall look and feel. We think it's a great example of just how far you can transform an existing IP."

Find out more about Jumpgate: Evolution here.

Check out all the games on or list here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Evolution Screenshots

Posted Jul 10, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks at Jumpgate have provided us with three, new, exclusive screenshots from the upcoming game overhaul, Jumpgate: Evolution.

Check out the feature here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Interview With Hermann Peterscheck

Posted Jul 10, 2007 by Jon Wood

Recently, MMORPG.com writer Carolyn Koh sits down for a conversation with Hermann Peterscheck about the recently announced Jumpgate: Evolution that will see the six-year-old space MMO updated for 2007 with new graphics, new AI and more.

In 2001, a space MMOG was released with little fanfare but a small, yet strong fan base. Did you hear about it? It was before EVE Online, before Planetside or Earth and Beyond. It was named Jumpgate and distinguished itself from the MMORPGs that were launching all around them, by billing themselves as NOT an MMORPG, but an MMO space flight and combat game. A game of skill, not gear and levels - a game best controlled with a joystick.

That was Jumpgate. It drew inspiration from older single-player, free-form spaceflight games from the 1980's and 1990's such as Elite, Elite II, and Wing Commander: Privateer. Developed by a small indie-group known as NetDevil, it outlived Earth and Beyond, which was published by Electronics Arts. It survived losing its publisher not three months after it launched, it was developed and run by the smallest team known to man (six), but yet it survived - not unloved, but relatively unknown - for six years.

Read the whole article here.

Jumpgate Evolution : New Screenshots

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Yesterday we reported that Jumpgate was getting a major facelift. To illustrate the changes to the game's graphics, 12 images showing off the new look have been added to our screenshot gallery. Take a look and compare the new to the old; the difference is substantial.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Evolution

Posted Jun 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

NetDevil has announced that Jumpgate will get a facelift and overhaul with Jumpgate Evolution. The new version of the game is said to offer improved graphics, enhanced AI, and new game play.

NETDEVIL ADDS NEXT CHAPTER TO ORIGINAL IP WITH JUMPGATE EVOLUTION

Leading MMO developer revitalizes franchise with exciting new game play, advanced AI engine, and complete graphics overhaul

LOUISVILLE, CO - June 25, 2007 - NetDevil, an independent game company and leading developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), today announced Jumpgate Evolution as the latest iteration of the company's original IP. Jumpgate Evolution is a substantial update to the previous Jumpgate(TM) MMO released in 2001, which was the world's first massively multiplayer space combat game. Staying true to its early vision, NetDevil has improved upon the original in every way, with a complete graphics update, and the integration of advanced AI features to ensure unpredictable and compelling situations. The enhanced game play makes the game accessible to the widest possible range of users, while catering to the games' existing and loyal fan base.

"Jumpgate Evolution offers fun, intuitive game play that is thoroughly engrossing, while the new AI encourages players to immerse themselves in various roles available in the universe," said Scott Brown, President of NetDevil. "The game has undergone a complete graphics overhaul and has been vastly expanded to offer more weapons, and greater focus on PvE targets, making roles more refined in the process. Advanced social aspects of the MMO are available as well, including player-owned stations, complete with controllable economy, updated player statistics and rankings, and the ability for players to create squads with customizable web pages for each. The overall experience is a vital improvement in terms of playability, accessibility, as well as the overall look and feel. We think it's a great example of just how far you can transform an existing IP."

Visit their beta sign-up page at www.jumpgate-evolution.com.

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