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Steve "Istvan" Hartmeyer Dev Journal

Posted by Jon Wood on Aug 15, 2007  | Comments

Steve "Istvan" Hartmeyer Dev Journal -

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 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.