Derek Smart Talks Line Of Defense, Alganon

By Jim Rossignol on February 2nd, 2011 at 5:00 pm.

This is not Derek Smart
The man who made a career out of complex space-sims and controversy is moving on. Derek Smart is now president of Quest Online, and has been rebooting free-to-play MMO Alganon. He’s also just announced an ambitious MMOFPS, Line Of Defense. We talked to him about both these things in the interview that follows…

RPS: It’s been a while since we talked, and it seems like things are changing – can you explain what your involvement with Quest Online is all about? This seems like quite a different project for you?

Smart: Well, it all happened suddenly and quite by accident actually. Having wrapped up my last two projects (All Aspect Warfare and Angle Of Attack) in 2009, I resumed focus on my first MMO game, Galactic Command Online. So I started looking around for partnerships through the various MMO networks (e.g. K2). Then in June 2009, I got a LinkedIn message from a contact of mine about Quest Online. Supposedly this was going to be a network funded by investors and that their first game would be Alganon.

Anyway, in June 2009, I spoke to the then head of the company and then again in Nov 2009 about collaborating. My thought process was that since I didn’t need much by way of support, just a network to “plug” my game into without my having to build any backend (e.g. database, billing, web services etc), I felt that it was more beneficial for me to work with a small startup than with the larger behemoths. If you recall my history in the industry, you will immediately understand why this would be my thought process.

In Nov 2009, around Thanksgiving, I got a frantic phone call from the aforementioned person in which he informed me that he had a problem that he needed my help with and that if successful, there was a possibility of our collaboration as previously discussed.


So I went along. He introduced me (through a conference call he setup) to the majority investors, as well as the co-founder. Most of this is well documented on my website blog at dereksmart.org, but by the time the dust settled in late Feb 2010, I found myself the President of QOL and head of the Alganon development team. The rest is history.

Yes, Alganon is a completely different project for me. However, most of what I bring to the company and the game relate to leadership, industry expertise and of course development related experience. Unlike my own games, I don’t write any code for the game at all. Instead, I plot and plan the development path of the game, come up with dev schedules which the teams can act upon, devise various strategies for the game etc. Of course I also run the company as well, having been hired by the majority investors to do just that.

RPS: Can you tell us a bit about how Alganon has changed in the past year? What do you think you have brought to the game?

Smart: Wow! That would span quite a few pages. As is well known, in Dec 2009 the game was released by the previous lead and designer to disastrous results. Once I was made president in late February 2010, I pretty much scrubbed the entire planned dev schedule, design etc and started with a clean slate for how to proceed going forward and under my leadership. The primary goal was to first finish the game. We were able to do this around the end of April 2010. We branded that v2.0 and it was a far cry from the previous Dec 2009 v1 launch.

If you compared the original v1.1.1 (Dec 2009) to the official launch 2.0.0 (April 2010) and then to the recently released 2.5.2 build, you will see that a significant amount of work has gone into the game since that original disastrous launch.


We’ve not only fixed all of the launch problems and actually FINISHED the game’s first generation, but we also implemented a transaction system, a cash shop, went fully F2P, added a bunch of new quests, areas etc but we also made significant UI revisions to the game and added an extensive PvP (which should have shipped with the game from the start) to the game. It has been an extraordinary amount of work that was done in a very short time due to the determination, focus and planning that I brought with me.

Now we’re designing and developing the game’s third generation which will see the game’s first expansion pack launch by the middle of this year. And that will bring a bunch of new technologies, features and assets to the game.

RPS: Why should the average MMO-playing RPS reader care about Alganon?

Smart: Well in the crowded fantasy MMO market, Alganon’s standout strengths are in the fact that the game is a lot more than your standard fare. Even though a lot of people compare it to WoW, if you accepted that comparison – and you like WoW – well Alganon has no monthly subscription fee.

All kidding aside, the game has a rich lore, stunning environments, various unique and interesting gameplay elements such as the Studies and Library systems etc. And best of all it is F2P; and if you like it enough to invest in it, then you have a well stocked cash shop specifically for that purpose.

I accept that a lot of the early adopters were jaded by the original release – and rightfully so. But judging by our increasing numbers, my guess is that the on-going marketing campaign and word of mouth getting out are helping us get the word out that this truly is a very different and unique game.

Best of all, the RPS guys – at least those old enough to have crawled out of their diapers – who know me, know that I never – ever – abandon anything. I’ve had to deal with a broken game before and despite all the detraction and ridicule, I stuck with that very first game. That decision alone got me where I am today. So, it is safe to say that as long as the majority investors (my clients) continue voting to keep the company going, Alganon isn’t going anywhere as long as I’m at the helm. If something is broken, I will make sure that it is fixed. If something needs tweaking, I will make sure that it is tweaked. And as time goes on and the game matures, we will continue to build it up and improve on the gameplay experience and technologies.


RPS: What is it like working in the fantasy MMO market? The competition looks ludicrously tough from where I am sitting… Isn’t the space just over-subscribed?

Smart: Yes, the space is over-subscribed in terms of genre. The majority of the MMO games are in the fantasy genre. Of course everyone has taken notice, so other genres such as FPS and RTS games are making their debut. To be honest, it is not that much more saturated than standard games. The biggest issue in the MMO market is that the barrier of entry is the difference between life and death. With WoW dominating the market, those foolish enough to try and compete with it, rather than compete on their own strengths, have either gone away, switched to F2P or are hanging on for dear life.

When you give gamers a choice, most will vote with their dollars. This is the primary reason why most MMO games that are not WoW or one of the other big names, are going F2P. There are just too many games competing for the same space and gamer dollars. At the end of the day, those that stand out, provide rewarding gameplay and have a minimal (or $0) barrier of entry will survive in the long term.

RPS: Is free-to-play really the future of the MMO space? Are we going to find ourselves canceling all our subs by the end of 2012?

Smart: Yes, I think so. However, there is nothing that says a hybrid model can’t survive. You can still release a game purely F2P but offer some premium for those willing to pay for it. The issue with that is you then have to consider balancing issues. You certainly don’t want to give some guy with money an edge over another without.

I do not envision MMO games that have a subscription only model surviving in the long term. At least not on the PC. On the console side, since MMO games haven’t taken off there, those wanting to offer subscription based MMO games already have a head start there.

In fact, Alganon actually now has a hybrid model. You can download and play the game for free. As in F2P. You won’t need to buy anything until you get to around level 30 or so. But if you want to hit the ground running, you can purchase the SuperPak (which contains a bunch of goodies) for about $20. While it doesn’t exactly give you an edge against other players (PvP) or in the PvE game, it does give you a bunch of nice items and features if you feel that the game is worth the money spent. And you can buy this SuperPak at any time you choose.


RPS: So, you’ve announced a new project – Line Of Defense – what can you tell us about that?

Smart: Ah yes! Basically, when I was designing All Aspect Warfare back in late 2007, I did it because I wanted to move away from the rather complex space/planetary games that had defined my career. As the game design and development progressed and the PC gaming side of things continued the downward spiral in terms of publishing and distribution deals and whatnot, I envisioned it as an MMO game.

However, I was already developing Galactic Command Online based on my long running IP. The problem for me was that in order to launch that game, I needed my own network backend because given the complex and niche aspects of my games, I felt that it was highly unlikely that I would be able to find a decent network for it.

If you follow the story of Eve, you will understand how and why they went their own way and thus are comfortable with a 300K player subscription game. My games in general, eclipse that number in sales. And so I figured that without upsetting the Apple cart or biting the hand the feeds, that I should just stick with my formula and do my own games. So if even a fraction of my install base were on board, we would be very successful. Plus, GCO was envisioned as my last game. I was simply tired of doing the two year song and dance that is the staple of standard game development schedules.

But I had no network, nor the team or expertise with which to actually build one. It is not enough to develop a multiplayer game and push it as an MMO game. The latter requires a LOT more than just having a multiplayer game.

So I decided to do those two 2009 games in order to shore up my cash flow so that I could not only fund GCO but also allow me to build my own network if it came to that. If I had a network willing to host the game, provide backend services etc and take a percentage of the cut as is standard for these deals, I would not have been thinking about building my own at all.


And during the development of the AAW game, it hit me that the game would probably do well as an MMO game. So by the time it was finished and released, I already had the plan to do an MMO version to complement GCO itself. I figured that I could hedge my bets on one niche game and one mass market game. So I set out to design it, with a view to getting it out before the much – much – larger (and complex) GCO game.

When I came to QOL, my focus was on Alganon and on saving the company from going under as a result of the botched launch of that game. During talks with the majority investors, the discussion about my original contact with QOL came up and so talk of bringing my games to QOL – as a network – resumed.

With the MMO version of AAW being a much smaller and faster paced game – firmly out of my staple niche catalog of games, we started entertaining the thought of bringing that [LOD] game to QOL. By the end of 2010, I made the decision to license the game to QOL which would in turn act as the network and provide the back end services which 3000AD lacked. In a standard deal, the network would retain a percentage of the game’s proceeds in exchange for providing said services. Pretty much the same thing that other networks offer.

With that decided – though nothing actually signed to secure the deal – work on the game continued.


RPS: How do you feel the game will stand up against SOE’s revamping of PlanetSide and Red 5′s Tribes-like, Firefall? What is LoD doing that stands out?

Smart: Well, I have always felt that Planetside was a game that was well ahead of its time. Which IMO is the primary reason it didn’t do as well as it should have back then. When you’re competing with an industry in which the FPS genre is one in which you just buy the game and play it, a subscription based FPS game is more of a tough sell. That said, I don’t envision SOE straying too far from the original or they run the risk of alienating the core install base that are still playing it. As a result, my guess is that the game is probably going to be more of the same. If they do that, then they’re pretty much off my list of competitors because they won’t stand a chance against LOD. At all.

Firefall is of no consequence because apart from the fact that it is a different type (and style) of game, I don’t believe that they would fare any better than the likes of Global Agenda. That whole “Tribes-like” push is going to be their first problem. Several have tried and failed to capture the essence that was the original Tribes game. Not even Tribes 2 could pull that off. It looks like a very pretty game though and I’m sure that they’re watching the industry closely. But lets face it, these days we all know that it is irrelevant what industry “names” you have attached to a project, how much money they have or what game they’re developing. It all comes down to timing, opportunity, gameplay and execution. So they’re probably going to be competing with the likes of Earthrise and the upcoming Tribes revamp by the Global Agenda guys, not LoD.

Line Of Defense on the other hand is a totally different type of game. First and foremost, we have no time for silly things like crafting, resource gathering, instanced PvE or any of those grind-related rubbish. The focus is on character progression and pure twitch combat metrics.

So many things in LOD stand out that I simply don’t even know where to begin. But let me highlight the top ones. For starters, we have a massive open world. A typical base in each of the continents is about 2x3km, with each continent being about 16x16km and filled to the brim with atmosphere and amazing environments. Absolutely no playing in a box here. In fact, with a brand new game engine designed from the ground up for this game, we started out with a 256 player per server instance, 500x500km game world, but my dev team quickly talked me out of the latter.


We have full on FPS and TPS gameplay, vehicles, aircrafts (seriously fast movers), gunships, naval units, LOTS of weapons of mass destruction, unique and innovative gameplay, space and planetary environments etc. We also have things like player housing right off the bat. Individual players and guilds – who can afford it – can build in the game environment. From small outposts to large military bases. The game’s inventory sports prefab units ranging from buildings to defense units. So you can pretty much find a plot of land, lease it, go buy your prefabs, deploy them, then buy defense units to protect it etc. We’re doing this because it fits within the game’s overall premise.

And we have a space environment. Yes, the space region above the planet where this conflict takes place is fully accessible. Player characters can move from the planet to the space stations seamlessly because we’re building the inside sections of the space stations as well. The end result is that a battle that started on the planet below, can spill into the space station in orbit, and vice versa. It’s going to be absolutely crazy. And for those with access to space capable crafts, you can also engage in planetary and space combat depending on what it is you want to do. This is however not a full on space combat game. So no cap ships, trading, diplomacy or any of that. I decided to include the space region only for completeness and to somehow cater to my pre-existing space combat fans until GCO was out. So that aspect of the space combat is purely for fighters. There is no trading or any of the advanced gameplay found in something like the GCO game. Plus the space region is much – much – smaller but big enough for the conflict that I envision within.

Though I tend to dream and build big – having designed and developed several massive and niche games, LOD is a departure from that scope and complexity because the game is designed to be accessible to all as a “Jump In, Jump Out” type game. That’s why I decided to make it purely PvP and with absolutely no resource or crafting type gameplay. There is no PvE component at all, no instancing whatsoever – it is all one massive, seamless game world.


RPS: Can you tell us a bit about the roadmap for LoD? When can we expect to see it live etc?

Smart: We are on track for a late 2011 deployment, though depending on schedules, I may hold it until Q1 2012 depending on how crowded Q4 2011 is.

The first game features a small section of the massive planet that the conflict takes place on. Due to how it is designed, we plan to not only open up other surface continents by way of expansions and such post-release but also plan to introduce additional player classes, playable assets, new weapons etc.

RPS: How do you feel about the PC gaming space these days? Still exciting?

Smart: Well it is not as exciting as it was back in the day. Nowadays it is more about survival than it is about the fun and excitement of game development. In other words, it is all business for the most part. If you’re lucky to be working on a fun project, then you’ve got it made. Anything short of that is just a paycheck. For my part, since I tend to only fund and make the games that I would play, the fun and excitement comes with the territory.

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224 Comments »

  1. Basilicus says:

    I think folks are overreacting to the criticism. Tacroy has been singled out for some reason, for saying such things as:

    “Actually, I think this is a really good move for both you and Quest Online”

    “The thing is, in general the ideas you have for games are very very good”

    “…you have the determination to continue to support Emacs in Space, the vision to keep on making other games, and the business acumen to release stuff for free after it has no more commercial value (but acts as advertising for your next games). That is definitely impressive.”

    Tacroy’s also criticized Smart’s ego, to be sure, but he’s generally done so in relation to analyzing the games he releases. He’s been fairly complimentary of Smart in many ways, but the reactionaries have completely ignored this and failed to discuss anything of substance Tacroy’s brought up, preferring to go after Tacroy’s character rather than discuss the salient points he’s brought up about Smart’s development strategies, UI designs, or how he matches up with his current projects.

    I’d say these reactionaries who criticize the commenters are the ones bringing down the site, as they’ve only gone after other readers in lieu of discussing any of the actual points brought up about the designer or his games.

    • Kadayi says:

      Its a bigger issue than just this thread. It’s a situation of an overall pervasiveness in almost every RPS comments thread these days.

    • Richard Clayton says:

      I’ve never understood the lack of civility of forums and why people act as they do when hiding behind relative anonymity.

      To me it’s simple: act like we were all sat round a table in a pub or cafe having a chat. Generally people want to be civil, polite and not show themselves up as utter pillocks.

      But maybe I’m very wrong and out of touch with the world. Threads like these remind me of how provincially British and middle aged I am. I’m off for some Horlicks and a lie down.

    • Urael says:

      It’s a fair point, Basilicus. And I acknowledge I’ve not given Tacroy enough credit for the positive contributions he’s made, and that I’ve probably unfairly used his name to represent the worst of everything in this thread. I’ll apologise to him on those points when I get a chance.

      But from my perspective I’ve…just had enough. As Kadayi says it’s not just me that’s noticing the general standard of commentary has gone down as the member population has gone up.

      Several of us, myself included, intervened against poor old Wulf in his Skyrim threads when his general demeanour switched from informative to plainly hostile, gently pointing out to him that his current behaviour wasn’t up to his usual standards or what we come to RPS for, and I hear he’s now stopped visiting. What that unfortunate incident proved is that there are people here who care very deeply about this website and want to fight to keep it out of the mire that runs rampant on lesser sites. RPS is very lightly moderated, the Hivemind wisely choosing to ‘give us our head’, to borrow the equestrian expression, but I still think we all have a part to play in ensuring that conversations are kept well away from what happened on this thread – namely that a developer was hounded out of commenting by people seemingly determined to assault his character.

      Yes, we can all make jokes about the likes of Bobby Kotick but what happened here was abysmal, well beyond what could reasonably be considered amusing.

    • Catastrophe says:

      @Basilicus- Thats what I’m trying to say a few posts above yours. So I’ll say here… I agree :)

    • Basilicus says:

      As this article will be lost off the front page before long, and I’m interested in discussing Derek Smart’s place in the industry, I’m going to start an easily recognizable thread on the forum.

    • 7rigger says:

      I’m never happy to see “RPS is rubbish now” posts on threads. Surely that’s a self fulfilling prophecy? The more people post about how bad it is now, the worse it gets?

      Plus I don’t think it’s changed at all really.

      On topic with this, yes Mr Smart did not deserve this, yes there was a lot of uncalled for name-calling.

      But wouldn’t leaving those comments alone be a more mature way of showing your opinion? Let Del fight his own battles – he’s a big boy – and start posting some interesting thoughts about the game. If we want RPS to be better, WE ALL have to be better.

      *edit*

      Example: Line of Defense is primarily aimed at twitch gaming, pick up and play – very different from his older works – yet he’s still talking about massive levels with hundreds of players. Do you think that’ll work against his twitch gaming vibe? In a 256km map, how far will you ever be from the battle? How will he make sure we all stay involved in the game?

    • Kadayi says:

      @7rigger

      I don’t believe anyone said ‘RPS is rubbish now’. The only thing people have commented on is the declining standards of some of the commenter’s. The fact that open debate about games is gradually being sidelined by predictable mob mentality is cause for concern for a lot of people.

    • 7rigger says:

      @Kadayi

      *unwanted nastiness removed*

      You are right. No-one said that. Would you like to talk about the game now?

  2. Basilicus says:

    It has nothing to do with being British and middle-aged. I’m young and American. But I’ve also worked as a reporter and campaign manager – I don’t mind the lack of civility itself. I mind it being used wholly as a replacement for factual content.

    I want analysis using citations, facts, references used in support. The biggest problem with our culture today, especially as regards the newsmedia, is that opinion is used as replacement for fact. We’ve lost our ability to analyze.

    I have no problem with someone being rude (within bounds), but you need to prove yourself first so other people will let you do so. You need to earn it by proving that you’re worth listening to no matter the framework in which you place your argument. Rude without an argument is a waste of this board.

    Tacroy had a stance and he raised real points. I want to discuss those, rather than spending my time discussing Tacroy.

    • Basilicus says:

      Well that was a reply fail. This comment was in response to my comment directly above.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      If you’d like a bit more factuality, you can count the number of people mr. Smart credits for his successes that aren’t named Smart. If the number is <1, are we allowed to use a word like arrogant?

  3. Voidy says:

    >> Not my fault you still can’t comprehend the blatantly obvious.

    How are your ad hominem attacks in any way more mature or civil than those directed at Mr. Smart? Also, what’s wrong with Tacroy ‘baiting’ and provoking Derek into a meaningful (if heated) discussion?

    EDIT: Ah, reply fail. That was a reply to Urael’s post on the previous page.

    • Urael says:

      It’s ok, I’ve seen it. :)

      Tacroy: “I love how “Making a good game” is not on your list of goals :)”

      Tacroy: “@Kid_A: well, this is Derek Smart we’re talking about, inciter of one of the longest flamewars in Usenet history. Arguing on the Internet >> Developing games, any day – hell, he even said so himself a couple of posts up :)”

      Tacroy:”*ding!*
      Achievement unlocked: Get flamed by Derek Smart.
      +10 oldschool Internet points!
      You leveled up!
      Lost: RPS diapers!
      Gained: Nothing :(”

      Tacroy: “You know what, I just realized something. Jim must’ve known that any post involving Derek would inevitably turn into something of a flame war. So he made sure it was the last post for the day, in order to give everyone time to pitch in while the story was on the front page. Well played, sir. Well played.” (the rather disgusting implication here being that Jim set this up for everyone to have a good go at Derek Smart)

      THIS is meaningful?? Yes, he did make two much longer and much more positive posts on the topic but you can’t defend these comments, surely?

    • Tacroy says:

      Urael:

      1. Well, it wasn’t – and I imagine that that is something relevant to point out, when a game developer posts his list of goals? If Bobby Kotick posted on RPS and said “My goals are making a lot of money and doing a supermodel”, wouldn’t the same criticism be effective and necessary?
      2. Again, this is (in my opinion) a valid criticism of Derek Smart’s attitude towards public relations – he loves fighting on the Internet, and I cited both that flamewar and his post listing his priorities as support for my position. Do you not think it reasonable to criticize someone for, essentially, being a dick towards others?
      3. I posted this after the discussion had mostly died down, and it was mainly for my own amusement – but don’t you see the reference to how useless counter-flaming Derek Smart is? Achievements in games are essentially useless, and I even included the bit about “Gained: Nothing :(” to make it even clearer. It’s been nearly ten years at this point, and he still hasn’t changed.
      4. Yeah that was kind of meta-commentary about the post itself; I’d just realized that it had been up at the top of the page for a while and was like “ohh I bet you that’s why!”. But, well, if you don’t realize that any Internet discussion about Derek Smart is going to blow up, you have no sense of history. It’s like mentioning Kibo and being surprised when he shows up.

    • Urael says:

      Hello, Tacroy.

      I hope you’ve seen my wee apology to you in Basilica’s comment above. I have unfairly maligned you a bit, and I apologise for that. I got a bit intense for a wee while. Saw red. It happens.

      Now to malign you fairly. :)

      1. No, I disagree. What are goals but statements of intent? They’re harmless, aren’t they? In the case of doing a supermodel, I imagine half the commenters here would nod in agreement. If he’d come here saying he wanted to fuck gamers over that would have been a cause for vengeance the likes of which eevn I’d have joined in with! But he didn’t. He just listed his reasons for doing what he’s doing. where’s the harm?

      2. I bet you’ve said something to someone that really hurt them, and you deeply regretted it. Please be honest; we’ve all done it at some time in our lives. If I then found you in a perfectly normal and happy conversation, would you then like it if I barged in telling everyone what a dick you were that time all those years ago? And started insulting you? Mocking you? I know Derek is a fairly flamboyant figure and he perhaps enjoys arguing with people in cases were he really shouldn’t, and I’m not painting the man as a saint – don’t get me wrong – but in this case the mockery started BEFORE HE ARRIVED. There was no chance for him to appear and hold a rational conversation, not with all the hooting and abuse already being whipped into a froth.

      3. He doesn’t have to change. Not for you, not for anyone. Why does that disappoint you so much? If you hate what he does so much, why are you even here at all? Is this fun for you? I don’t understand. I hate TV chefs but I don’t make a point of following them around to mock and abuse them.

      4. I’m aware of his history. But you present it like it’s set in stone, that this is the way it will always be. Is that really a justification for others to act as they have been? We have the power to reset the rules on any conversation we like – we don’t have to play the same tired old game. There are some that are making a career out of following Derek just to make his life a misery; why are you getting involved? What has he done to you personally? What did he do IN THIS THREAD that demanded this level of abuse?

      Where does it stop? Or do you imagine visiting the man’s grave after he dies to piss your last piece of venom on him? Is this really what you want RPS to be? A place where Derek Smart can come and get a good swift kicking?

    • Kadayi says:

      @Tacroy

      Here’s a suggestion. Quit being a slave to internet memes that need to die.

      If the only future you can see is one where you have no choice but to slavishly propagate past grievances ad infinitum, you have nothing of worth to contribute to this site in terms of further debate. Please do humanity and RPS a favour and leave.

      Personally, and like quite a few other regulars at this site: -

      We don’t need to know that you think Bobby Kotick is a cunt.

      We don’t need to know that you think Pete Molyneux over exaggerated Fable 1 and it left you butt hurt, and in need of counselling.

      We don’t care that you believe that DRM is so intolerable that you feel obligated to tell everyone about how you’re going to pirate the game.

      Because *news flash* we aren’t interested in you as a topic, we are interested in games and the making of them. Keep you out of the equation, and if that’s too hard to handle, go write a blog we can all safely ignore instead.

      “2. Again, this is (in my opinion) a valid criticism of Derek Smart’s attitude towards public relations – he loves fighting on the Internet, and I cited both that flamewar and his post listing his priorities as support for my position. Do you not think it reasonable to criticize someone for, essentially, being a dick towards others?”

      You know what would be refreshing is where there was a Derek Smart article, where a bunch of gormless fuckwits, didn’t predictably pile into the thread needlessly insulting and goading the guy, simply to perpetuate this kind of shit. Frankly I’m more respect for him for at least attempting a dialogue with intractables such as yourself, rather than not even bothering.

      I mean really whose truly being the dick here? Somehow I don’t think it’s Derek.

      Personally I’d love to see more developer interviews on RPS, but with this kind of audience I’m not surprised they are few and far between.

    • Tacroy says:

      I concede; you guys have convinced me. Clearly, the fact that everywhere Derek Smart treads upon the Internet flamewars spring up in his footsteps is the fault of a cabal of Derek-hating trolls; clearly, the fact that someone like Kid_A, who apparently had never heard of Derek before, would immediately spring to mild criticism merely means he too is embroiled in the conspiracy; clearly, the fact that even a mild RPS interview like this could erupt into a flamewar is evidence that while Derek himself has calmed down, the conspiracy against him has only intensified.

      It all makes sense now! I see the five lights!

    • Urael says:

      Sarcasm, Tacroy? Is that the best defence you could muster? The old ‘conspiracy theory’ trope? Sad. But also a tacit admission of guilt since you’ve clearly no real arguments to fall back on.

      For the future, kindly show more respect for this website, the people running it, their guests and your fellow commenters.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Tacroy

      I love the way you completely concede any personal responsibility towards your own actions whatsoever. You’re even more of a wretch than I imagined. Please feel free to debase yourself at some other website in future.

      Also perhaps if you were more familiar with Kid_A’s Oeuvre you’d realise that he’s at the stage in life where pretty much everything is an affront, because he mistakes taking personal offence at things as having a valid opinion (and thus a real personality): -

      “Actually, if consumers only bought “great” games, arguably we’d see a lot less rehashing of franchises/genres and a significant raising of the quality from the derivative FPS/MMO dreck currently occupying the sales charts.”

      If only the the ‘masses’ could be enlightened as to the error of their ways hey? How dare they enjoy games like CoD, or WoW. Let alone Half-life, Deus Ex, Civilization, the witcher, Baldurs gate 2, etc etc. The utter plebs.

    • Dworgi says:

      “If you hate what he does so much, why are you even here at all?”

      Where, exactly, is here? RPS? Because the way I see it, he came to us. Neither I nor Tacroy nor anyone else came here expecting to see Derek Smart here. We’re not exactly hounding him.

      Also, if you go back and look at the volume of comments and sort them into two buckets: anti-Derek and anti-anti-Derek, I think you’ll be surprised to see who’s been less civil.

    • 7rigger says:

      “acting like a bunch of childish twats”

      “I’d say get a life, but clearly that’s beyond you.”

      “I’m not too sure what rock you crawled out from under”

      “Please do humanity and RPS a favour and leave. ”

      “a bunch of gormless fuckwits”

      “intractables such as yourself”

      “because he mistakes taking personal offence at things as having a valid opinion (and thus a real personality): -”

      “You’re even more of a wretch than I imagined”

      O_o

      “I mean really whose truly being the dick here?”

      Waitaminit, I can get this.

      Do you not see how comments such as this (even for the right reasons) from subbed regulars lower the tone far more than any troll?

    • Kadayi says:

      @7rigger

      The tone went out of this thread way before I arrived.

    • 7rigger says:

      @Kadayi

      That was a bit underhanded of me, but I hope I made my point without any further arguing.

      Do you have brothers? If my little brother punched me, and I punched him back, I would be the one who had done wrong. As someone more mature, you would expect better of me.*

      If you want some great game banter, start talking about games – all I see you do in threads is fight.

      *Note that my little brother is 26 now. I feel old :(

    • Kadayi says:

      @7rigger

      So let me get this right. These people continue to harass a person for what really amounts to little more than personal kicks and have done for the last 14 years, and yet you’re saying I’m the bad man for calling them out on it? What gives here? This is not some small kid punching me, this is a bunch of bullies continually tormenting someone in front of the house.

      Is Derek a little cranky? Sure he is, but I suspect you’d be a little bit defensive also if you had people on your case 24/7 for the last decade or so . Maybe perhaps if people eased up on him, we might see a different side to him. However if people aren’t going to give him the chance how are we ever going to know? Have some perspective people. The guy makes games (games that no one here is forced to buy). It’s not like he’s a war criminal or child molester.

      I mean Jesus, when does it end? 30 years from now when the guy is dead? If he vacated his brains next weekend with a shotgun would people like Dave “awesomesauce” Rochelle finally be happy?

    • 7rigger says:

      If you want to call them out on it, that’s fine. But don’t fill threads with insults and claim that others are lowering the tone. (They are, but you’re not helping)

      As I said before, the man can take care of himself – he’s been in more flamewars than any of us.

      And no, if he killed himself I doubt people like Dave “awesomesauce” Rochelle would be happy. They would have to find someone new to troll.

      Just don’t lower yourself to their level. Lets discuss the game, and let the silly little children have their fun ;)

      Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      *Edit*

      I can see from your post that you may have the wrong idea about me. I’m not trolling or arguing with you – in fact I agree with you (The man should be able to come here and discuss his game with interested parties without a bunch of trolls jumping on him)

      I just think that if you and Urael put as much work into discussing the game as you did fighting for his cause, it would be a much nicer place

  4. Grey_Ghost says:

    That whole “Tribes-like” push is going to be their first problem. Several have tried and failed to capture the essence that was the original Tribes game. Not even Tribes 2 could pull that off.

    I begrudgingly agree with this statement. I would so very much love to see a remake of the original Tribes. Just a graphics overhaul, keeping the gameplay / physics / statistics rock solid to the first game. Assuming the source code still exists, it just seems like a sure thing.

    • 7rigger says:

      Have you played Tribes recently? I haven’t, I just wanted to know if you felt it was a timeless game type.

      I have been exploring loads of my old favorites through emulators recently and was quite upset to discover how many of them don’t really work well anymore -either because of controls or gameplay types.

      Gaming is an interactively consumed media, and as games evolve – so do we. My main reference here being Burning Rangers on the Sega Saturn (I loved that game) it is an unplayable mess, even on my Saturn with a Saturn pad. Poor level design, rubbish controls and a VERY boring gameplay element of “Hear whoop, press down on d-pad the batter the B button”

      So I suppose my question really is: Has Tribes really aged that well?

    • Premium User Badge

      Nogo says:

      For the most part all the current Tribes 2 servers are running variations of the classic mod, which does a wonderful job of replicating T1′s physics. Legions was actually a great throwback to TRIBES, but that died pretty quick do to lack of players.

      Ultimately, as the now defunct community says “no one wants a straight remake of TRIBES, they want a time machine to 1998.”

    • Dworgi says:

      I for one loved Legions and played it actively. I think its death was less due to a lack of players of Legions specifically, and more to do with InstantAction’s systemic failure. Perhaps there were too few players to justify keeping the servers up, but at the same time it was a very incomplete game when it was released. The players at the time were more akin to beta testers than paying customers.

      I’d be intrigued to see how a Tribes/Legions-alike would fare given a complete, polished launch version.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nogo says:

      Oh snap! Can’t believe I didn’t know this could still be enjoyed. Figured it had been crushed under the fall of Instant Action.

  5. Lilliput King says:

    This thread has gone all weird.

  6. brian says:

    I like how people continue to argue despite realising (or maybe they don’t but it seems unlikely) how hilarious it is that the first Derek Smart news in years instantly results in the exact same arguments from 10 years ago. It’s one of the silliest situations I’ve ever seen.

  7. Deano2099 says:

    Well I don’t know about anyone else but :

    Tacroy says: “in general the ideas you have for games are very very good ”
    Derek Smart says: “@ Tacroy: Everything you said there, is rubbish. Pure and simple.”

    made me smile. Man that word ‘everything’ is dangerous…

  8. Dave says:

    Please raise your glasses to Derek. He truly is the king of trolls! I thought Duck had it made but this guy pwns the shit.

    also in a vain attempt to resolve the matter with less flaming i’d like to make the following statements:

    All the pro Derek Guys are cretins.

    All the anti Derek guys are well rounded human beings.

    Lets hope that is an end to it.

    Dave “awesomesauce” Rochelle

  9. Coke Machine says:

    Dear Derek,
    Please don’t hurt me again.