Posts Tagged ‘netdevil’

Dismantled: Lego Universe Closing

My parents got rid of my Lego when I was a teenager - perhaps I was expected to pay a monthly fee

An increasing number of massively multiplayer games are offering free entry into their worlds but it stands to reason that, more often or not, gangs of salesman will be roaming inside, or at the very least there will be equivalent of concession stands littered about the place, stocked with pricey but powerful socks and the like. Lego Universe began offering a free trial back in June and these short months later, the announcement reaches us that the game is shutting down.

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Bricking It: Lego Universe Getting Free Trial

Whenever another MMO announces that it’s changing to a free to play subscription model, the sound of rapid intakes of breath can be heard throughout corridors of Castle Shotgun like some panicked zephyr. We just can’t believe it. There’s an alternate reality out there where all MMORPGs are free to play and it’s trying to break into ours.

Hot on the heels of the City of Heroes announcement, we’ve heard that child-friendly MMO Lego Universe is doing something similar, but a bit stingier. Where City of Heroes is letting anybody play for free up to level 50, this August Lego Universe will allow anybody to go romping through the game’s first two adventures zones for as long as they like.
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Lego Universe’s Space Ninjas Unmasked


Despite feeling a little lukewarm towards the release-month accomplishments of Lego Universe, we’re still keen to keep an eye on it. And the game – which was fairly small on release – is expanding. The latest reveal shows off Crux Prime, which shows skeleton minfigs mining on asteroids, and which reportedly contains some kind of martial arts monastery where players can learn “Spinjitzu”. This is, apparently, related to the real-world toys’ new Ninjago line, which features ninjas and the undead in conflict. The new zone will contain 100 new missions and will appear in the game in a few weeks time.

There’s a lovely trailer for Crux Prime just here.

Wormhole Brief: Jumpgate Lawsuit


Oh dear, it seems that the big old delay on the release of Jumpgate Evolution isn’t simply down to putting on a few more layers of polish. IncGamers spotted that Codemasters are suing developers NetDevil, and parent company Gazillion, for breach of contract. The UK publisher is seeking the repayment of development costs and its legal expenses. A PDF of the complaint filed can be found here. Codemasters have declined to make any further comment, but the proceedings leave the final release of the game in doubt. NetDevil had previously stated that they wouldn’t release the game until they were happy with it, so it will be interesting to see what further light is cast on that by the case.

But hey, it was kind of bland when we saw it a preview… (EDIT: It also seems that Netdevil founder, and Jumpgate originator, Scott Brown, has left Netdevil.)

The Lego Wish-Granter


Whoa, the backstory for the Lego Universe MMO is the same as the plot for Roadside Picnic. It’s (roughly) true! Check out the new trailer, below.

John is on this one, by the way, so we should have a review coming up later in the month. Healing notwithstanding. I had a play too and, despite some generic MMO elements, it’s got a lot of intriguing ideas.
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Lego Universe Build Trailer Is Appealing


There’s a new video up over on the main Lego Universe site which shows a bit more of the building procedures in the game. For me it’s this stuff – rather than the standard “hit bads for XP” MMO material – that is really interesting. This is kind of a CG mock up, rather than in-game footage, but it’s worth browsing over this and the other videos there to get a broader picture. I get the feeling that the quest stuff is largely going to be secondary, and that – if we’re lucky – it’ll be the user-created content aspect of LU that will really shine. I’ve got my fingers tightly crossed for this one, not because of LEGO so much, because developers NetDevil have much to prove.

Oh, And Lego Universe


One of the last of the PC showings from E3 that we’ve got around to taking a glance are those for Lego Universe. I’ve posted the lovely cinematic and some developer-chatter captured by GameTrailers below. I think it gives you a fairly good idea of what this is going to be. It’s not exactly throwing off the familiar mantle of how MMOs doing things – with quests and hitting stuff and so on – but it is still doing a fair number of things differently. Plus you get to build stuff with Lego, which is kind of special, all on its own.

I’ve messed around with the beta of this for a while, and we’re hoping to have some detailed impressions closer to release. And that release will be in October.
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Jumpgate Evolution Still Evolving


Just as memories of much-delayed space MMO Jumpgate Evolution were deleted by our brains to make room for voluminous Portal 2 hype, a trailer turns up. As is my habit, I’ve posted the thing below. It’s a look at the warlike Octavius faction. And… it’s a SHOUTY MAN TRAILER! Hooray! It’s been a while since we had one of those. For some reason it doesn’t seem to feature any in-game footage, but pictures weapons and stuff being made. I presume this is the first element in a barrage of new space-publicity for the game, which spluttered off into the remote asteroid belt of developmental uncertainty after we got to play it last year. (I notice the last news we had on this was that it was due for June 2009, which is a target I suspect they will now miss.) There’s a beta signup on the site.
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CES Lego Universe Enormo-Footage


You’re unlikely to have missed that CES was going on last week, and it coughed up a few gaming bits and pieces. One of these was a demo of the rather shiny-looking Lego Universe. The all-seeing record-o-brain of GameTrailers was there, and it delivered the five walkthrough videos you can see posted below. It shows the character creation, glimpses of the world, the importation of Lego constructs, and so on. It’s interesting that you can see a lot of the seminal Lego Star Wars design influence in there. It’s going to be for kids, it seems, but also for very big kids. A mixture of the basic run-about-smashing-stuff fun of the previous Lego games, with co-op building, competitive building, action stuff such as racing and combat, all combined with the user-generated input that Lego is clearly going to inspire in generations of plastic-brick-layers. Go take a look.
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Lego Universe Gallery


These still aren’t properly in-game, but they’re nevertheless a lovely target for Lego Universe to aim for. Apparently the idea of “build” underlies this latest release of images and, according to LEGO themselves, it “represents the power of building and customization that is core to the LEGO Universe experience.” And furthermore “players will be able to build with an abundant supply of virtual bricks. And they’ll be able to add these creations to their own personal space or to areas within the game’s diverse environments.” The game is due some time in 2010, and is being developed by NetDevil in conjunction with the toy brick geniuses themselves. Go click on the images below for full size shots.

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Lego Universe: First Images


The official Lego Universe site has some images of the game “in action”. They all look at little concept-y to me, but if it’s a rough approximation of what we can expect from the game then I’m interested. Gleaning what little we can from this shots, we can see that it’s going to have a Lego minifig spin on the traditional avatar creation and customisation, while the game is probably going to feature collaborative building projects of some kind – we can see a monument and a rocket here.

It’s also going to feature pirates and ninjas. Which makes sense. Could this be the next big thing for Lego videogames? It’s certainly intriguing, and the idea of being able to construct things from virtual Lego and then port them into the game world makes this an interesting overlap with the Second Life world-building themes that usually get left out of game-like MMOs.

Marvel Universe MMO Lives Again


Just spotted this over on VG247: MMO company Gazillion (who apparently own Jumpgate developers NetDevil, and are therefore also developing the LEGO Universe MMO) have signed a ten year deal to make Marvel MMOs. The first will be a kids MMO called Super Hero Squad, and then there will be a full blown Marvel Universe MMO.

All of which future angling creates the interesting possibility of a DC vs Marvel MMO rivalry. Interesting times. (Original story here.)

June For Jumpgate


The latest Jumpgate Evolution trailer seems to confirm that the game is out in June. The beta sign up pages are live on the main site, although there’s no open beta yet in progress. The trailer is interesting, showing loads of in-game footage, including some of those capital ship takedown battles that NetDevil have been talking up over the past few months. For more on this interesting-looking space-flight sequel, take a look at our interview with the developers.

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Jumpgate Evolution, shooty footage


Reader Handsdown spotted that there’s another remnant of PAX footage that we hadn’t yet posted – the cam-footage of Jumpgate Evolution in action. I do believe this is the first time we’ve seen the game played live, and it’s clear that it’ll be important to see how this works as an action game, as much as an MMO. NetDevil were very much inclined to talk up their action-game with AutoAssault, so I hope they’re able to pull it off with more precision in this, their second run at the Jumpgate concept. The footage we see here sees the player taking on some enemy ships – it’s pretty, if rather slow-paced. I suspect with a group of people we could see some interesting space-combat dynamics, especially if NetDevil figure out some ways for players to support each other in that classic MMO way. Take a look at the trailer after the jump, I think you’ll be intrigued.
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Lego Universe: Show us the game!


The most recent Lego Universe video is a “behind-the-scenes” documentary advert which shows tantalising glimpse of the game, without actually giving us anything concrete. It’s largely annoying PR fluff. Honestly, it’s awesome that they’re having fun making the game and everything, but the rest of the world just wants to see it running! Show us the footage! Clickwards for the video.
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Jumpgate: “Darkness this, darkness that”


There sure is a lot of darkness in the Jumpgate universe, at least if this new trailer is to be believed. Well, it is space, I suppose. Anyway, this has some in-engine (if not in-game) splendidness, and it all looks rather pretty indeed – darkness permitting. And it’s about time someone came up with an alternative to that space MMO, so I’m rather anxious to get hold of the beta and get playing. Could this be NetDevil’s great redemption? Have a nose at our recent interview if this tickles your space-glands.

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Jumpgate Beta Signups


There’s an outside chance that Jumpgate Evolution is going to be really good. Netdevil don’t have the best track record but, well, there’s just something about what we’ve seen so far that intrigues me. Not that free-flight space MMOs haven’t crashed and burned before, or that it’s ever going to supplant the many years I’ve spent in Eve Online but… let’s just say I don’t quite sign on to the idea that every MMO for the next five years is necessarily going to be a waste of time. If any of them grab me, it’s likely to be this one.

Anyway, all of that waffling goes by way of announcing that the beta signups have started. I’ll be in there as Eurogamer’s embedded reporter, so I expect to see some of you in there too. For a little more information check out our recent Jumpgate Evolution developer interview.