Tag Archives: Derek Smart

Friday Bullet Points Come Around Again

We are at the last weekend before taxes are due in the US… I am not sure why we got a reprieve until Monday, but I won’t argue… and I just got a “so sorry, but not really” message from one firm informing me that they won’t be sending me that last tax document I am waiting on for at least three weeks.  So I will be learning about filing for an extension this weekend.  Go me!

Meanwhile, I am back to things on my list that I want to mention but couldn’t quite get a whole post together for.

The Goblin Leaves New Eden

I knew when Gevlon left WoW and came to New Eden that sparks would fly.  I have said on multiple occasions that Gevlon and EVE Online seemed like a perfect match.  And, I must say, I was not disappointed.  Over the years he has managed to stir shit up and annoy people on a regular basis, which speaks to a certain level of effectiveness in his mission.

However, his “ISK = power” theory having been proven on the large scale by I Want ISK in the Casino War and the shift in ISK earning potential to the major military powers coming with the Citadel expansion… the rich get richer… has led him to liquidate his assets and leave the game.

I will miss his focus on New Eden. Of course, that is probably something a social would say, so it will likely just annoy him.  Where will the Goblin land next?

Brave Bastion

CCP announced the return of the Alliance Panel to EVE Fanfest 2016, because nothing ever goes awry there.  The lineup looks like an odd mix.  Certainly one of these things is not like the other.

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

There is only one alliance on the panel, Scary Wormhole People [WHBOO], that isn’t directly involved in the current Moneybadgers vs. Imperium war.  They seem to be shooting everybody about equally.  In addition, WHBOO is an alliance with only a single corp, so I think they might be pushing a definitional line somewhere with this.

Meanwhile, I suspect that, in being the only Imperium alliance amongst four foes, things will be rough for The Bastion [BASTN] on the panel.  Given the strong “if you are still in The Imperium then you are a horrible person” vibe running through the war’s narrative, I am not sure I would want to show up at EVE Fanfest this year, much less stand up and speak.

Leaks Bite Mittens in the… Press

There is an article up over at the International Business Times which, among other things, calls EVE Online “The Most Boring Video Game In The World.”  Not a great article, though I did get a chuckle when Richard “Lord British” Garriott was identified in a picture simply as “another “Eve Online” player.”

I have to think that the whole article was at best a mixed win for CCP’s marketing group.

Focus on The Mittani makes up a good chunk of the post, which includes this caveat about what he says,

But it is almost impossible to take what Gianturco says at face value. An arch manipulator, he is keen to promote his side’s view of the current conflict, and in leaked chat logs shown to IBT after an interview with him, Gianturco boasts that the media (and IBT in particular) are “eager to print whatever I’ll tell them.”

And so it goes for the self-described Vladimir Putin of New Eden.  I am pretty sure GARPA is even now working on an unloggable chat tool.  The hellwar demands it!

Still Smarting

Speaking of hellwars, the persistence and effort Derek Smart has put into his personal war against Star Citizen continues as epic post number 11, Star Citizen – Extinction Level Event, hit his blog this past week.  The legal threats seem to have subsided from his posts, as have the almost constant references to his own game, Line of Defense (which itself is set to leave Steam).  Instead he is focused on savaging Star Citizen business plans, schedules, promises,  customer relations, and the current level of quality… and memes, his post has lots of memes in it.

Diablo III Season 5 Ends Today

Diablo III Season 5 ends today.

Hrmm, that seems a bit redundant.

I wanted to note the date, but I do not really have much else to say other than I enjoyed Season 5, right up until the moment I finished the set dungeon and got the last of the base achievements…

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

…and then I totally stopped playing Diablo III again.

Still, I will probably log in again once the season closes to see how my crusader integrates back into my regular cast of characters.  He certainly brings a lot of gold and recipes to the mix.  We shall see if I come back for Season 6, which starts on April 29th.

Anyway, that is what I had on the list

Quote of the Day – The Dreaded Rear Admiral

Most who don’t understand how the industry works, the technical challenges etc, were quick to discount this as just another Derek Smart rant, or hyperbole. Regardless, even those who doubted the statements, were forced to stop and think. According to online metrics, this single article, has set practically every gaming forum talking about this game, and the impact it will have when (not if) it fails.

-Derek Smart, Interstellar Discourse

It would be hard to argue against the fact that, in his attempt to shine a bright light on the on things, Derek Smart did indeed get people talking about Star Citizen, the promises, made, and what crowd funding is, where it may head, and what those who fund projects in this way really owe people.

As I noted in the comments of my previous post, even the team at Cloud Imperium felt the need to respond in the forums to the issues  he brought up.  They did not address him directly, but it was clear that Derek Smart’s post set the ball rolling and put them on notice.

At which point a mere mortal might think the job was done.  Pot successfully stirred, people talking, issues being discussed, recognition of some sort from the developers in question, and some “yeah, what he said!” sentiments still ringing in the Star Citizen forums, meaning the question wasn’t just going to die off with a simple “Everything is fine” response.

But this is Derek Smart, and the quote at the top is from his second post on the topic, another epic collection of words under the title Interstellar Discourse, from which Massively OP distilled a central theme and a list of seven demands.  (The full, yet to be shared list is reported to be a beyond-Wilsonian 33 points to date.)  And then the comments section for the post at Massively OP went through the roof, drawing in Derek Smart himself.  It is past the one thousand mark with no end in sight.  I hope Syp gets paid by the click.

In an addendum to the post, it was announced that Cloud Imperium had disabled Derek Smart’s account and refunded his money allegedly because he was using his posts… on his own blog… to draw attention to Star Citizen simply to promote his own game.  Kickstarter’s terms of service allow companies to refund money and lock those deemed “trouble makers” out of their campaigns.  And so Derek Smart’s rank as a Rear Admiral was revoked.

Your credentials are now invalid

Your credentials are now invalid

(Image from Derek Smart’s blog, for which he no doubt holds any copyright, and which I have used without permission.  But I cannot resist a Simpsons reference.)

And it is certainly true that Derek Smart makes reference to his own games, including his upcoming title Line of Defense often and at great length, arguably beyond the point needed to establish his credentials or support his points.  But that is a pretty subjective line.  I could personally take 90% of what came under that as read, but I have above average familiarity with the topic of Derek Smart.  Somebody unfamiliar with the him might need all that background and more.

And lest you think that things are over, with RSI having evicted the dreaded Rear Admiral, there is a mention of a third post in progress from Derek Smart and legal issues and even a theory that RSI plans to refund all $2.1 million in Kickstarter pledges to rid themselves of any crowdfunding FTC issues.  The fun never stops.

It is summer.  This is the silly season.  At least we have entertainment.

Addendum: Some are looking at this more abstractly than others.

Quote of the Day – Smart Money

To the rest of you, I only have this to say: stop buying virtual items for a goddamn game you don’t have. What in the holy phuck is the matter with you?!? You know how many indie games you could’ve bought and supported and been PLAYING by now?!?

Derek Smart, on Star Citizen

Derek Smart, no stranger controversy and visions unmet, weighs in with an epic post on his own blog about Star Citizen and getting to where it is headed and what the game will be when and if it gets there.

Yeah, there are bigger, headline quality, money quotes in his post.  Expect to see this one show up a lot, with or without context:

Without disrespect to anyone, I’m just going to say it: it is my opinion that, this game, as has been pitched, will never get made. Ever.

And yes, there is also a good deal of self-promotion in that post as well.

But he does cover a lot of ground on just how difficult it can be to get to where your vision wants to take you with an open world, multiplayer, “be all the things” space simulation, something he spent most of his own adult life trying to create.

Star_Citizen_logo

And it also opens up the discussion, picked up by Damion Schubert, about what something like Star Citizen, which has raised $85 million dollars so far, might end up doing to the crowdfunding scene should it fail to substantially deliver on its vision and promises.  A lot of people bought virtual ships that they really, really want to use.  The backlash could be bad.

So what do you think is going to happen?

Quote of the Day – Why Charge for Beta Access?

We’re simply not interested in letting freeloaders gain early access to the game, not provide meaningful – if any – feedback, while we foot the bill for the backend services, servers, bandwidth etc

-Derek Smart on the $99 price for Line of Defense Beta Access

Saying that Derek Smart can be a polarizing figure might the understatement of the year, at least in the gaming industry.  Polygon did an piece on him a couple years back that covers a lot of past ground on the topic of Derek Smart.  He gets online and says what he thinks.  Sometimes what he says looks to be self-defeating, like the extra drama piled onto the Quest Online vs. David Allen lawsuit, which ended up with Quest Online giving David Allen some money to just go away.

And sometimes he stabs right at the unvarnished truth that others are skirting around, as with some comments about the demise of 38 Studios two years back.

The latter is the case with the quote at the top about Line of Defense.

LineOfDefenseLogo

We have been wringing our hands about companies like SOE charging for what they call alpha access to Landmark… in a world where “alpha” apparently now means a stable platform devoid of most of the planned features… but this is the real reason you ask for money up front.  Sure, a bit of income is nice, but if your company is at a point where it needs that revenue, you are probably have other problems to worry about.

No, what charging for early access like this does is put up a barrier to entry that filters out all but those who are truly interested in what you are creating.  This gets you the people who really believe and want to help you out.

It is a double-edge sword however.  If you are going to make people commit, you had best have something ready for people to commit to.  You have your true believers, the core of your core audience, lined up and ready to go, so you screw them over or leave them hanging at your peril.

We have seen quiet periods with Landmark where the user base starts to idle as it waits for the available tool set to take another step towards the vision of what the game might be.  Not much testing getting done.  And then there is the true believer syndrome, where the forums start to feel like the domain of a few such who are committed to a particular version of the vision and who shout down any who challenge their orthodoxy.  Such are the risks.

You can read more about the Line of Defense early access program on Steam at the 3000 AD web site.

Friday Bullet Points

Small items that I feel compelled to bring up, yet couldn’t really build a post around, so I will just steal somebody elses format.

  • You’re not really rage quitting until you have compared your situation to the Holocaust. Quartzlight Evenstar Icefluxor cries out about the extremists who blew up… wait, it wasn’t blown up… who put his station tower into reinforce. (Hint: It’s the evil Goons again.)
  • Free to play might be a nice idea, but when you make your $15 a month subscription available for $1.25, you may have made a wrong turn somewhere.  SOE suddenly yanks the ability to pay for your subscription with Station Cash.  Sounds like somebody did the math.
  • Is the Diablo III auction house going to kill off the game early?  The reward patterns are apparently reversed when compared to its long lived predecessor, Diablo II.  Somebody tell Dabigredboat he can stop now. (Ah, I see Blizzard picked up the assist in sending that message.)
  • What do those points mean?  Jester details how the EVE Online kill boards calculate the points you are awarded for your kills.  Except the Battle Clinic kill board, which does something else.  They make EVEMon, so I guess we can forgive them.
  • Oh, and the EVE devs have another great economic post up examining the price of minerals since the Inferno update and Hulkageddon.  I love that sort of thing.
  • Nexon plunks down $687 million for 15% of NCsoft.  I am not sure what that will mean in the long run.  Maybe I’ll get to play a US version of Kart Rider on my PC some day?

Derek Smart on Dust 514

Derek Smart apparently needs to get something stirred up before GDC to help promote his own new game, so he tossed this out in and interview over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

Dust 514, that’s just going to fail. There’s no ifs, maybes or buts about it. The proper way I think that would have been done would have been to do an Eve sequel and bolt Dust 514 into it. That’s the problem when you start in one direction, your user base clamours for something they’re expecting and you can’t shoehorn it into what you have right now and you really can’t go back to the drawing board.

This was in reference to a question about Galactic Command Online, a game that has been talked about longer than EVE Online has been around.

It has been almost 2 years since his last really public confrontation with David Allen, and 18 months since it got wrapped up.

Anyway, if you haven’t had a recent dose of reality viewed through the lens of Derek Smart, be sure to check out the interview.  Just to tempt you, I will also throw in this quote:

I run Alganon over at my other company, Quest Online. That was subscription, I came in and made it F2P and the rest is history.

The rest, indeed, is history.  And history is really the only guide we have when predicting the future.

(Hat Tip to @EONMagazine)

We Gave Him Some Money and He Went Away

Really, after all that drama, this is the result?  No criminal prosecution?  Nobody dragged away in chains?  Just some money paid out… paid out to the purported criminal… and that is it?

Quest Online V David Allen Lawsuit Settled

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) September 29, 2010

Quest Online, LLC, today announced that the lawsuit filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court (Case # CV2010-010391) in June 2010 against previous LLC Manager and Alganon creator, David Allen, has been settled with the purchase of Mr. Allen’s equity in the LLC; and that Mr. Allen is no longer associated with Quest Online, LLC.

Then again, the press release quoted above might be a sign that somebody at Quest Online has a lick of sense.

One wonders how much “help” Derek Smart’s public pronouncements were to the whole situation.

Of course, among the many things Derek Smart said was this tidbit:

David – once again – severely underestimates the investors. Because he pretty much spent four years feeding them bullshit and them giving him money, he thinks that they’re just going to cave and pay him to go away. When no less than ten people unanimously vote you OUT of a company – TWICE – it means only one thing: they want you GONE.

Irony, so juicy and delicious.

Meanwhile, the game itself still seems only apt for an unfortunate pun.

Flowers for Alganon

Wow… I mean just… wow…

Derek Smart has been on stage running Alganon for… what… 20 minutes now?

Okay, it has been a little longer than that, but already he has brought much attention to the game he is now running, Alganon.  Previously Alganon was primarily known for openly admitting that they copied WoW in every interface detail they could.

But now they have Derek Smart!

You probably don’t know who is in charge of Allods or Runes of Magic or half a hundred other online games, but you know who is running Alganon this month!  That is some seriously fast PR work.

Yes Derek Smart has a history. (Though perhaps not a PhD.)

But previously, at the end of the day, he was running his own company and making his own games.  If he wanted to engage in seemingly endless flame wars in public forums, it was him and his investment that stood to be damaged.

He was his own man and could flip the world the bird if he so desired.

But now he is working for, and representing, Quest Online.  Now he is running the Alganon team.

And you have to wonder if, about now, the investors at Quest Online are feeling that their interests are being best served by the things Derek Smart has written in that thread over at Gamasutra.  The man makes Bobby Kotick look like a choir boy.

Well, Derek Smart has a bit more of a history now I suppose.  One more thread to be quoted for truth… and perhaps entered into evidence… going forward.

I am sure that Alganon will be in the news for a while longer with Derek Smart at the helm.  And I will have to revise an old post, since Alganon is free to play.

I wonder if this MMO experience will help him finish up Galactic Command Online?  That is only what, about 8 years over due?  (Note the last paragraph here.) Still, it has its own web site with information and a FAQ.

GCO is a space and planetary combat MMO that takes place in a large galaxy. The game is developed by 3000AD, a company with over twenty years experience in developing high end and hard core space/planetary combat games such as the Battlecruiser and Universal Combat series, and most recently the All Aspect Warfare games.

It is however not a traditional MMO. For one thing, though the servers are capable of supporting tens of thousands of players, each game “Universe” only allows up to 256 players; though several Universe servers can be linked to form a seamless (to the clients) mesh.

There is no instancing, sharding or waiting in a game lobby queue to play.

Interesting.  But my favorite line prophetic line from the GCO FAQ:

Everyone wants to cater to the Status Quo, develop a “WoW killer”, copy everyone else’s game – then blow through a lot of money (usually someone else’s) and FAIL.

It is like he could see the future.

I, for one, welcome our new Alganon overlord.  If nothing else he allowed me to put up a post title I’ve been dying to use.

And the ride has just begun!

Would You Buy A Game From This Man?

Off my usual topics, but this involves a Usenet anti-legend. Not somebody who made the A-List like Serdar Argic (I still have a Joel Furr Zumbabot T-shirt) or Robert E. McElwaine (UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this IMPORTANT Information is ENCOURAGED), but somebody who made their own small mark on Usenet back when I had the patience to read Usenet.

That man is Derek Smart.

I saw an artcile on Ars Technica today about him. He and his company, 3000AD, are back with a new game. And it is even going to be available on the Xbox 360.

Those who know the man and his reputation, who waded through his posts, or who, heaven help us, actually paid money for Battlecruiser 3000AD, are probably even now groaning in anticipation.

There is an interview with him up on Firing Squad where he shows his usual aplomb. Nobody ever denied he has confidence in himself and his work. Having read much of his writing, the most charitable thing I can say is that he has a vision. His ability to execute on it is another story.

One item to note, which does get us back to the MMO topic, is the mention at the end of the interview of Universal Combat Online, 3000AD’s upcoming space based entry into the MMO world. Look out EVE-Online! I expect to hear reports about this game on VirginWorlds any episode now! I want Gary and Ryan at Massively Online Gamer to be in the beta! This is the MMO that could make us all forget about the “fairly smooth” launch of Dark & Light.

Look for it in 2008.

(This post is the product of a serious Usenet flashback. Your mileage may vary.)