As we’re flying along, I comment on how much the art has
improved and been added to, even since the presentation I saw in July
at the NetDevil 10th Anniversary party.

“They continually impress me,” Hermann says.
What’s even more impressive is the number of developers
actually working on Jumpgate Evolution, which numbers right at eight.
No, that’s not a typo; there are only eight developers
working on Jumpgate Evolution. But that doesn’t mean the game
looks or plays poorly, in fact its just the opposite.

“Do you all just work twelve hour days?” I ask.

“Because of the focus that we have and know that the process
is reasonably well-defined, it’s amazing how much a few
people can actually do,” Hermann answers. “I
actually think that huge teams suffer from spending an enormous amount
of time just communicating information between the

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: right; width: 148px; height: 185px;"

title="In Hot Pursuit"> src="/image/view/11950/preview"

Only eight team
members are currently working on the Jumpgate experience..

“Will the team ever grow beyond eight?” I ask as a
follow-up question.

“The way I look at that is that we’ll expand as we
need to,” Hermann answers. “What usually happens in
project planning is that it usually goes something like,
‘We’ll spend four months proto-typing than hire 18
people to go to pre-production’ and so on. Instead,
I’ll talk to the team that we currently have and ask them,
“What positions do we need?’ That way
we’ll get people that will help us the most.”

“To use a military example,” he continues,
“you don’t need 80,000 Navy Seals to get a job
done. It’d be a complete waste of resources and that number
of Seals doesn’t even exist. What they do is very different
from what normal military does.”

Despite having attended multiple demos with the NetDevil crew
concerning Jumpgate Evolution, it seems like most of the ships
I’ve seen have been relatively small. Even though Jumpgate
seems to be designed as a “dogfighter” sort of
space simulation, I ask Hermann how big ships in Jumpgate might be at

“As big as we want them to be,” Hermann answers.
“Currently the biggest ships we have right now are the cargo
tows, and they’re roughly 8-10 times the size of this
ship.” He points towards the screen at the ship, which is
roughly about the size of your standard single-man spaceship (think an
X-Wing or Tie-Fighter). “There’s definitely a
desire to make ships that are really massive. Scale’s a tough
thing though.”

At this point, the demo finishes as I’ve really already seen
everything else that Hermann has to show. However, my questions
aren’t done, and our interview continues albeit without a
laptop. As we hadn’t seen anything of Jumpgate since
NetDevil’s 10th anniversary, I ask Hermann what
they’ve been working on in the meantime.

“Really just more of the same,” Hermann says.
“We’ve really just taken this approach of making
things just right before we move on. So instead of making a massive
amount of content that’s crappy, it’s more like
making a tiny amount of content and making it really really really
good. That takes a lot of time, but the idea is to polish at the
beginning not at the end. The end is where you have the mad rush to
fill in the content and not the features. If you rush features, they
turn out to be crap.”

“There’s nothing really super sexy about
it,” he continues. “It’s a lot of
‘How do we make the interface better?’ or
‘How do we make these guns better?’ That sort of
thing. On top of that it’s also sitting down and thinking
about the features that would make us want to play the game. Instead of
having an arbitrary list that you try to accomplish before you release
the game, you come up with a strong vision and make features to support
that vision.”

“When we want to add a feature to the game, I’ll
actually try to resist it as much as I can,” Hermann says.
“You have to convince me as hard as you can that
there’s no possible way we can survive without implementing
this feature.”

In the end, what everyone truly wants to know is how close Jumpgate
Evolution is to release. Thousands of dogfighters are sitting on their
joystick hands, even as I write this, hoping the answer will be soon.
From the screenshots I’ve seen, I would’ve guessed
the game was in production already, but that turns out to be an
incorrect sentiment.

“We’re just on the cusp of production,”
Hermann says. “It’s interesting because the game
plays well, it looks good, and runs with a good frame rate, but there
are still features that need to be added. As soon as we have that art
pipeline really well-defined, then we can go in production.”

The Ten Ton Hammer staff would just like to extend a thank you to
Hermann, Grace, and Erik for setting up the interview and making it
possible to see the new things in Jumpgate and talking about where the
game is going. Keep your eyes on Ten Ton Hammer in the next few months
as we start featuring even more content from Jumpgate Evolution in the
near future!

Ten Ton Hammer is your
unofficial source for Jumpgate Evolution href="">news
and articles!

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'07 coverage! 

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016