3000AD Announces “Line Of Defense”

By Jim Rossignol on February 2nd, 2011 at 9:46 am.


3000AD have revealed their next game, an MMOFPS called Line Of Defense. Encompassing both space combat and war across planetary landscapes, Line Of Defense a twitch shooter in “a massive open persistent game world”. It is apparently due for release later this year.

There’s an FAQ on the game here, but we’ve also got an interview with project bossman Derek Smart coming up later today, so stay tuned for more details from that.

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52 Comments »

  1. Nilokey says:

    Seems to have a lot of elements Planetside brought in, CEP (not command experience) which in turn lets you use certificates to unlock things. Also I really like the idea of base power being linked to power plants instead of on site generators.

    Also F2P so that’s an instant download in my book. But it seems to be NA only not europe?

  2. Telke says:

    >Derek Smart

    Ooooooh boy. *gets popcorn*

  3. Inigo says:

    I was excited for a minute, but then I realised I was confusing it with 2000AD.

  4. Chris says:

    Oh dear. Derek Smart is the biggest misnomer since Posh Spice.

  5. mda says:

    Damn you FPS MMOs and your non-oceanic servers.

  6. thenagus says:

    The FAQ is interesting reading.

    -Jetpacks!
    -Mech-type battle suits?
    -Player-owned housing. Only one world already colonised.

    -Functionality of base installations.If you loose the Comms Centre, you loose long distance-chat. If the Early-Warning radar is destroyed, you dont get a warning when the base is under attack. And so on. I really like this idea!

    -only 256 players per continent? 2048 per server? Seems a bit small compared to what WWIIOL was/is like, and what I imagine planetside to be like.

    -No XP support! “We are not going to support it because it is an old, buggy and legacy OS. We might as well support DOS. Or hell, Linux even.” Pretty substantial looking minimum requirements.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      No XP support? How dare they!

    • squirrel says:

      Windows XP is by far the most reliable Windows, at least more stable than Vista (I know, because of the numerous bugs I experienced from Vista with or without SP1), and without a final version of Service Pack I wont dare to say Windows 7 is as stable as XP (Microsoft’s fault for its failure to develop a stable OS which does not require a service pack). XP may not be perfect, but I had only experienced blue screen once on XP, thanks to a god damned DRM from a UBI game (Rainbow Six Raven Shield or something, I dont exactly recall). So what does 3000AD mean by “buggy”?

    • Hogni Gylfason says:

      Been working/playing/coding on Win7/64 since beta/rc1 without problems. 14h/7/365 usage for near 3.5 years.

      Problems with Win7 in my experience have 99% come down to PEBKAC.

      The linux comment irks me though. Dr Smart criticizing products for instability is irony.

    • bwion says:

      This may be the first time I’ve seen out-and-out trolling in a game’s system requirements.

      It’s kind of beautiful.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Derek Smart gets a lot of vitriol directed towards him, but having read some of his comments here and on other sites, I’m glad someone like him is out there.
    He really doesn’t give a damn what the larger public makes of his games and is happy to continue targeting his niche audience. Frankly, I wish more developers would adopt his attitude.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Yes indeed, too many developers provide consumers with decent products and services, allow reasonable criticism of their work and actually deliver what they promise in their PR. This is a pernicious trend of decency and reasonableness that must be stopped.

      I mean what other developer is putting out quality games like this:

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      Somehow I think that’s not the video you wanted to link to; either that or you’re mistaking satire for reality.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Someone critical of Derek Smart posting a satirical video about him? No no, it must be a mistake on their part.

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      Unfortunately, your initial response was implying that the posted link was an actual Derek Smart game, so the tone of your retort was ruined by it actually being someone else’s work of satire. If you were really trying to post a sarcastic comment, you would have found something that genuinely painted Derek Smart’s games in a poor light. Something along the same lines as Oblivion bug bloopers.
      There are plenty of videos displaying the primitive nature of the graphics of Derek Smart games on YouTube, but I suspect those wouldn’t serve your agenda, as criticising games based on graphics alone would get you laughed at.

    • Jason Lefkowitz says:

      If you were really trying to post a sarcastic comment, you would have found something that genuinely painted Derek Smart’s games in a poor light.

      Like this?

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      Quoting Metacritic on RPS, good one.

  8. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    Hmm, not too sure about this… Have to see it in action I suppose

    - 256 players per battle, 2048 per server? Seems fairly small… I think Planetside had a lot more back in the day.

    - Losing items upon death? Can you just get them back at spawn or do you have to buy them with ream money? Or will you just lose “loot”?

    - Mechs? Oh dear… :S

    - Comm stations and power plants sound pretty sweet actually!

    We’ll see how it turns out, hope the US servers are a bit decent.

  9. Navagon says:

    He should at least call it Derek Smart’s Line of Defence. It’s only right to give people fair warning.

  10. Windward says:

    Of course Smart is just an epithet, his real name is Acorah

  11. HeavyStorm says:

    Seems nice, but, do we need another MMO?

    • Lilliput King says:

      We need as many MMOFPS as we can get. Eventually someone will get it right.

    • squirrel says:

      Hey, do we really have a true MMOFPS before?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes, Planetside, for all its flaws, was a true MMOFPS.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @squirrel: Planetside?

    • thenagus says:

      Planetside and, sligtly before that (and oft forgotten), WWII Online.

      Although I’m not sure MMOFPS is really a good desciption of these games- they’re all more like Combined arms warfare, with planes and tanks and whatnot. More along the lines of Battlefield than Call of Duty. I cant imagine a pure MMO First Person Shooter (COD-like) being anything other than chaos.

  12. Michael Hoss says:

    The funny thing is… I really played All Aspect Warfare (I had to). So I expect, to be honest, nothing good comming along here. The game was, uh, well, fine for some strange people maybe. But hell, it was buggy, the gameplay was kinda broken, the graphics were meh (at least the cockpits really sucked ass, the rest was still “okaaay”).

    I don’t know what the smart-bashing is all about but in this case i’d like to start the game-bashing even before it’s released.

  13. Kid_A says:

    Consider me more than sceptical until I see gameplay, or better, play it myself. Smart, and his fans, have a habit of… looking past bugs and cumbersome interfaces that most other people would have issues with.

    • karry says:

      You mean…the same deal as with every other decently known game developer in the world ?

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      What do you mean he has fans?

  14. Reverend Speed says:

    Slightly weird that the thing that finally pushes me to register with the site is a Derek Smart game.

    Fellow readers – if you get the chance to beta test this game, TAKE THAT CHANCE. Derek Smart is VERY hands on and the chances are you’ll get a guided tour of the game world from the guy responsible for making it.

    Mr. Smart’s games are ENORMOUS endeavours from a very small development team – one of his last games featured a persistent world (no, I mean an actual GLOBE, weather systems, etc) with a high degree of simulation and functionality…

    …which means there’s a lot of ground for that team to cover. Which means features which will not always work as intended and that you will encounter control paradigms which… are… unique to this Derek Smart project.

    This will make the game seem obtuse, weird and unfriendly.

    Tell Derek Smart this (politely and using a frame of reference he will understand) – and he WILL FIX THE PROBLEMS BEFORE YOUR EYES.

    I had this experience at the end of the All Aspects Warfare Beta and… it was kinda unnerving. In a good way. Smart is a very nimble, responsive developer who does his best to engage with his community. If you’re patient, you’ll find it’s genuinely rewarding to engage with him.

    Make no mistake – he’s driven, opinionated and fiercely proud of his work. He’s been a successful indie developer longer than many of the people reading this article have been alive and he’s proud to cater to a hardcore niche of PC gamers and simulationists.

    Also, the dude’s defensive, occasionally arrogant, can come off as rude and is prone to reading critiques as attacks.

    Try to understand that the dude has a LOT on his plate. Approach the critique from another angle and he’ll probably see your point of view.

    In the past, he has read suggestions for making the game more accessible as ‘dumbing down’. If this happens, clarify your point and try to find common ground. Using established control conventions does not immediately mean that you’re targeting a console audience (and a console audience does not necessarily mean a less engaged or intelligent audience).

    Mr. Derek Smart! If you’re reading this -

    Holy shit, dude, that looks fucking cool! Density of visual detail is WAYYY in excess of AAW, so the environments look far more interesting. Skimmed the FAQ and that sounds like an interesting design (though I’m not really a subscription gamer).

    My only concern from the screenshots is the way that the bases are laid out – I’m immediately having nightmare flashbacks to having to walk (or fly) for what seemed like days to get from one facility to the next. The scale seemed frikkin’ INHUMAN. Can I – figuratively speaking – walk down the road to my local shops without the need for a teleport?

    Anything else… Er, still think you should consider changing the 3000AD logo – or just representing your company name in text within Line of Defence. I remember what you said for AAW – that you’d prefer to fix the game than spend time on the intro logo – but first impressions count.

    Oh, good call on getting onto RPS in February when you’re planning on releasing your game in late 2011. Here’s hoping you get a better beta test than you got for AAW.

    And please, for the love of god, clearly identify what you consider to be a bug so that we’re all on the same page!

    Otherwise, game looks intriguing, design sounds exciting, shall anticipate more information from yourself and RPS!

  15. Stevostin says:

    All I can see on their website is TPS view. Is that really a FPS ?

  16. Handsome Dead says:

    Derek Smart? Derek Smart! DEREK SMART!!!

  17. Derek Smart says:

    I’d like to address a few things right off the bat.

    1. My comment in the FAQ related to WinXP stands as was originally written. If you don’t like it, tough. I’ve been developing (not just looking at, but actually *writing* code) games for going on 28 years (I’m 47 btw). I’ve gone through everything from DOS(!) all the way to present day, with a bunch of machinations (quick! who remembers Quarterdeck? DOS4GW? Zortech? 3DXFX? Adlib?) along the way in terms of memory, OS support etc. So I think I’m in a better position to make those statements than people who have no fracking clue how an OS actually works or what it takes to, you know, DEVELOP A GAME!

    Yes, XP was probably the best OS coming out of MS. For its time. But that time has passed. And even MS has gone on record telling people (AND US DEVELOPERS) to move on because they have absolutely no intentions of continuing to work on XP.

    Apart from that, there are several low level calls (e.g. timing) that simply do NOT work on XP. Most companies no longer update device drivers and such for the OS.

    And you fracking want me to support a legacy OS or else? Go frack yourself.

    2. My commentary about Linux was tongue in cheek. Nothing more, nothing less. I have nothing against Linux and in fact use it on a daily basis – though not for game development because quite frankly, I’m not that mad.

    My point about Linux – someone clearly missed this – was that I might as well support Linux since it would be just as much hassle as continuing to support XP, having to do a bunch of crazy code checks to see which OS is running before doing something etc. And even THEN you still have to contend with a$$holes complaining that the game is “teh buggy!” because it won’t run on their POS system running a legacy OS that you claimed to support.

    3. All Aspect Warfare sold more copies and made more money than most of the triple-A tripe that’s out there. Evidenced by the fact that a) I actually decided to do an MMO version based on the game b) I’m still in business – and FIFTEEN games later – those other guys are eithe gone or staring at Pink slips.

    There was NOTHING buggy about AAW. In fact, the game didn’t have any more bugs than any standard game coming from those with millions of dollars to burn. Don’t take my word for it, here is the game’s changelog. So yeah, bite me.

    As to LOD, I’ve already made that game before. It was larger, more advanced (in terms of features), far – FAR – more complex, and it wasn’t an MMO. That game was called All Aspect Warfare. And the biggest complaint that I ever got about it was that the terrain was too barren. But I wrote a lengthy missive about that so I won’t dwell on that.

    With LOD, I’m just doing it smaller (so we can focus on a rich environment as well as quick and rewarding gameplay) and better this time around because clearly the fact that it did well indicates to me that there is a market for those games that are not pure FPS games. And with the MMO landscape dominated by fantasy games and complete.utter.rubbish by way of cheap and poorly made (Global Agenda and Planetside excluded) MMOFPS games, last year I decided that it was a good time to dive in and go in the opposite direction – WITHOUT – competing with the standard fare rubbish that is out there.

    One thing some people just.don’t.get is this: For as long as I’ve been doing this, people have been bitching and moaning about me, my games, the dog next door, the price of tea in China, George Bush etc. Yet, here I am – doing exactly what I want. That being, developing the games that a) I want to fund and play b) a bunch of people continue to buy and play. But that doesn’t stop cretins who feel like they have some entitlement or that they are better than you (they only dream it, which is ok) from continuing with same old bullshit laden rhetoric that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

    So yeah, we should all be as unfortunate as I am.

    • FrankGrimes says:

      “But that doesn’t stop cretins who feel like they have some entitlement or that they are better than you (they only dream it, which is ok) from continuing with same old bullshit laden rhetoric that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever.”

      Oh look, another idiot on the Internet misusing the word “entitlement.” Guess what, Derek, you aren’t “entitled” to my money until you release a game that’s good. So far, you’re batting .000. But keep up the insults and adhom attacks against your potential customers, it makes for great reading!

      P.S. Have you thought about writing books instead of software? Your trolling comments are 1000x more interesting than any game you’ve ever written.

    • Hastur says:

      (munches popcorn)

    • omicron1 says:

      Hey Derek – seeing as you’ve taken the time to show up in this thread, I’d really like your opinion on this, as a serious question: Are the “spaceport” regions being handcrafted this time, or procedurally generated? They look a bit better than your prior games’ colonized regions (Almost up to xbox 360 standards!) but still have that haphazard “randomly-generated item dump” appearance to them.

      Would appreciate an answer,
      Christopher M.

    • Thants says:

      Oh look, another idiot on the Internet misusing the word “entitlement.” Guess what, Derek, you aren’t “entitled” to my money until you release a game that’s good. So far, you’re batting .000. But keep up the insults and adhom attacks against your potential customers, it makes for great reading!

      P.S. Have you thought about writing books instead of software? Your trolling comments are 1000x more interesting than any game you’ve ever written.

      I didn’t see him complaining about people who didn’t but his games. So him not being entitled to your money is a complete strawman. It seemed more aimed at people who seem weirdly angry and hostile. Like, say, you.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      Dude i hope this guy has a PR person working for his company, a really really good PR person.

      And seriously WTF is this whole pretending to swear shit. if you are going to swear then FUCKING SWEAR. Im tired of this Battlestar Galactica fake swearing shit. Either swear or don’t, you arn’t shacksprere so you don’t get to make up words. Beisdes even if you could make up words you will never be able to surpass the word “Fuck”. its just not possible. This is the internet there are no censors!!!!

      P.S. i love that you use the word “Cretin” its such a great word and not enough people use it. its like shenanigans, and dabauchery, i always giggle when someone uses those words in a sentence.

  18. Tei says:

    Unreal and Rage runs on iOS. How cool is that?

    Is nice to see how good engines only have a few .cpp files with OS dependencies, and escalate nicely.

    Poor engines are probably a spaghetti code of OS dependencies, but these engines have a hell of hard time to run, even of the platform for where are supposed to run.

    He.. looks, a lot of indie games support Mac, and Linux and Windows!.

    Why is that? because when a market is small, any extra customer count, and the people on these platforms are underserved. Once you are big, It pays to ignore Linux and Mac, but not when you are small… seems.

    /passiveagresive
    /passiveagresive

  19. Basilicus says:

    Eh, if Derek Smart were Russian, we’d be lauding his ambition and how he never stops pushing boundaries.

  20. reticulate says:

    I was initially going to engage in some snark, but you know what?

    Screw it. Make your games Mr. Smart, I’m glad you’re living the dream. Granted, I’ll likely never buy one but I am fine with you carving your own niche.

  21. Moonracer says:

    I hope it works out. I bought and tried All Aspects Warfare and thought the ideas were great but executed poorly (well the flight sim part was fine). But I think that’s the nature of trying to put everything in a game (including great stuff no one else is doing). I look forward to reading the reviews.

  22. Derek Smart says:

    The entire world is being hand crafted in an in-house editor this time around. The only procedurally generated stuff are the terrain assets such as grass, vegetation, small rocks and such.

    My previous games (incl. All Aspect Warfare) were just so huge, that hand crafting all tha stuff was very daunting to say the least and so the terrain and environments were sparse.

    So this time around, I’m looking at a smaller, tighter game.

  23. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    *sigh*
    C’mon Derek. Let’s get this game made, eh? A well executed one of these is *exactly* what I think I want from a game. So, I know it’s PR mode here, but maybe spend a little more time on the game and less time feeding the reputation.

    Just think, Derek, you make a great game and they all have to eat their words and suffer and die, right? Make it happen.

  24. geldonyetich says:

    I’m always looking forward to an open-ended space game with both personal level and space-level components, and that it is massively multiplayer is certainly a potentially exponential greater level of awesome.

    Thus, I’m hoping that this one is seen through by 3000AD with sufficient debugging and learning curve considerations so as not to scare off all but the most staunchest hardcore space sim player.

    I envy your ambition and drive, Derek Smart, you make the kind of games I would like to play where most would have given up. However, I’ve yet to see you conquer what I would attribute to feature creep.