SOE buys Zonk

No polemics, really.

i just think it’s silly that you write a whole post saying nothing and make me read the comments (Grimwell) to have a good guess at what happened.

Anyhow, good luck. I’m always glad when someone makes it. I almost never agree with Zonk, but… HOORAY. Passion is always worth a try (o two, or three).

Totally unasked opinion: on the matter of DC Universe Online I expect the market situation to be not exactly favorable. Right now there’s already a fairly successful MMO about super heroes and two more big titles in production. Is there really a need for more?

Between the two I hope SOE is more successful. With Champions Online Cryptic declared they don’t believe in virtual worlds and ongoing development, and that they aren’t committed to keep their games up to date and competitive. Champions Online is made to replace City of Heroes and it will be in turn be abandoned and replaced as soon something new and shiny catches the eye of those developers (Bill Roper first, one who thinks his public persona is more important than any game).

On the matter of DC Universe Online I know very little, but, it has bad art (personal opinion) and the animations from videos released are terrible, terrible, terrible (fact). SOE games having bad animations is becoming an overall rule, what’s up with the animators over there? How it is possible that across all games you can’t even make one that matches a standard of quality?

WotLK credits

I gave a quick glance at WotLK credits. It seems that the happy trio got promotions.

Jeff “Tigole” Kaplan is now “Game Director”
Tom “Kalgan/Evocare” Chilton is now “Lead Designer”
Alex “Furor” Afrasiabi is now “World Lead Designer”

The hard part is getting in the loop.

Scott Hartsman quits SOE

So we have the first half of the news.

For those who doesn’t know he was the live Producer of Everquest 2 and did his job the very best possible from what I’ve seen. He became producer after launch, so can’t be blamed for what happened before, even if I think he was Technical Director before that, so maybe he had some blame on that front. In any case I admired him for his way of dealing and talking with the community. He always answered the critics with moderation and honesty and this is not something that happens rarely, it NEVER happens.

Since I have no need to write presentation letters for colleagues like Lum (wink) why I’m writing this? Simply because I’m curious. I have esteem for him and curious to know where he ends up. I doubt he would have quit the job if he didn’t have a backup ready.

I guess we’ll read soon the other half of the news. In a press release? Or maybe on his blog.

My guess is Curt Shilling.

Bloody Industry

It’s been described in a brutal way:

At approximately 4:30PM today, Sigil employees were told to meet outside. At which point they were terminated. On the spot.

Did they tell them to stand along the wall before they got executed?

Do we have the movie on YouTube?

Only official comment from Nino (FoH’s mascot), on the FoH’s boards:

I will make an announcement tomorrow regarding my status…

That isn’t a denial of the news.

My guess is that SOE cherry-picked some of them and fired the others. They’ll probably pretend Vanguard is going to be supported at least to milk it as much as possible before its demise. After all SOE still has Matrix Online active.

In other news SWG team is made by 20 devs.

Sanya quits Mythic

Sanya joins Lum and Matt Firor out of the door, and I think it’s a good thing (for her, not for Mythic).

Lepidus: Can you talk about the circumstances of your departure?

Sanya Thomas: We mutually agreed to separate.

Mark Jacobs: I’m not going to say anything else on the subject, so please don’t ask, sorry.

The fun part is that Lum wrote a pitch letter for her :)

I consider this a HUGE news. Now don’t fucking tell me that it was just for personal reasons and things with Mythic were all fine and dandy.

I got the impression that Sanya was a bit of a driving force. Bad for Mythic, but Mythic doesn’t deserve anymore good things.

I think it won’t take long to discover where she lands. Maybe on Lum’s belly? (or maybe that’s too far away)

Well, I would, if I were leaving the area. Which I’m not.

Kendrick @ Relic

Kendrick was one of Vanguard original designers and he left Sigil a couple of years ago, so not part of this last diaspora.

Now at Relic, the makers of Warhammer 40k Dawn of War and Company of Heroes:

Start work at Relic on Tuesday provided they let me across the border.

This would fuel the rumor about Relic working on a Warhammer 40k mmorpg, if it wasn’t for the fact that someone else has announced it.

That leaves space for some speculation.

Instead about latest Vanguard’s news, Shild:

So, is there about to be a large influx of resum├ęs floating around the MMORPG industry? Are some of them already flying about?

At this time though, I’m merely reporting what I’ve… heard. As such, do not consider this confirmation nor a denial.


Four months later and Vanguard is now perfect.

…What? Isn’t what everyone used to say a few months back? That the game just needed a few more months of development to be ready?

shiznitz: Latest hubbub: Sigil UI dev quit a few weeks ago and the UI mod community is annoyed that no one is helping them any more. While reading the rants, I discovered my issue with having to click on spell icons twice to actually fire the spell was not my issue but a long known bug. Wonderful.

Devs, your UI is the first and last thing your customers see when they log in and log out. It should work and not suck. Looking like WoW’s isn’t enough.

Also, Nino seems to have left Sigil.

Kageru: Meanwhile I have no idea what happened with the game coding. The code seems to already have reached an unmaintainable state where bugs just can’t be fixed. I can’t imagine how else the act of forming a group, or not falling through the world, can still be so flawed. Meanwhile the rate of introduction for new bugs is scarily high.

I honestly can’t see the game holding enough subscriptions to fund the development it needs to be decent.

Rumors. My opinion is still the same, the game was broken this January, as it will be broken next January (if it survives till then).

And not much because of Brad’s hardcore game design, but more because of execution was poor (and planning, which is Brad’s fault in this case).

One player also noticed that quests don’t work in multiplayer, which would be interesting to discuss.

EDIT: New rumor. I doubt it’s true. And even if it’s true SOE will never admit the game isn’t doing well and will probably dress the press release so it sounds positive.

If you aren’t in Austin you are no one, part 2 (Warhammer 40k)

What did I tell you, hm?

I saw this coming miles away. Obviously from THQ.

I read a while ago that Relic (the makers of Company of Heroes and WH40k Dawn of War) was actively hiring for an unannounced MMO project. Link the dots…

Warhammer 40k mmorpg officially announced.

Problem is that the dots were wrong. I thought Relic was the last good game studios left who could make a decent MMO. Instead it’s not Relic working on this. It’s another FRIGGIN Austin-based studios named Vigil Games.

The team there is led by David Adams, formerly of NCsoft, and is comprised of several MMO veterans from that community. We look forward to making further announcements with more specifics on the game in the coming months.

More incest going on.

From where are these devs leaking? ;)

Game devs can only grow in Austin nowadays

From Sunsword’s blog:

Last Friday was my last day at Codemasters. I’ve started a new company called “Heatwave Interactive, Inc.”, as a vehicle to bring great games to the masses and “right” some of the “wrongs” in the games business. Currently, Heatwave only has a few employees, but we’ve already landed our first contract for a major client.

Codemasters & England.

Heatwave & Austin.

If you aren’t in Austin you are no one.