As a former college football player, I often heard the phrase,
“Go big or go home!” It referred to a
teammate’s work ethic and whether he would work out
– “get big” – or just be lazy
and fail – “go home”. The Colorado-based
MMO developer, NetDevil, has decided to “get big”
rather than “go home”. Having secured a monstrous
deal with LEGO to produce an MMO featuring the multi-colored building
blocks of the highly-popular brand name, NetDevil is preparing to push
the limits of the MMO genre.
alt="Hermann Peterscheck & Scott Brown"
name="photo_j" border="0" height="96" width="150">
Hermann Peterscheck and Scott Brown of NetDevil
However, LEGO isn’t the only thing NetDevil has been
working on. With Auto Assault celebrating its first anniversary and
Jumpgate readying for a major announcement of some kind,
there’s a lot to be done on the MMO side of things for
NetDevil. We also shouldn’t forget to include
NetDevil’s non-MMO product, Warmonger, in the mix. Warmonger
is nearing its release date, so FPS fans, be ready for something
While at OGDC, Jeff “Ethec” Woleslagle and
myself (Cody “Micajah” Bye) had a sit down
conversation with Scott Brown, president of Netdevil; Hermann
Peterscheck, the producer for Jumpgate; and Grace Wong,
NetDevil’s business development manager. They were very
forthcoming with information about their upcoming titles, so we have
split our article into sections based on the game or topic covered.
For those of you who are old-timers, you may remember an old
free-flight MMO from NetDevil called Jumpgate. Unlike EVE Online or the
other sci-fi ship based games that have been released, Jumpgate fell
more in line with single-player titles like Privateer, where space
combat was more free-form and wasn’t limited – it
relied more on the dexterity of the player than the other titles.
“Jumpgate is a shooter game, plain and simple, but
it holds all the other aspects of an MMO like character customization,
a free-form world, crafting, mining, etc.,” Scott said.
There’s no dice-rolling or random number generators, the game
relies on the skill of the pilot and the dexterity of his aim. In
short, it’s space-combat/flight-sim MMO (SCFSMMO?) and
shouldn’t be confused with the “other”
NetDevil has begun working on Jumpgate again, albeit with a
small team, but the NetDevil folks didn’t want to leak too
much information about the game to early. All Scott could say was that
“there would be a major announcement soon” and that
they “are looking for offshore distribution partners to pick
up the title.” What does this mean? It means that there are
big things in store for Jumpgate in the near future.
“It was our baby, y’know,” Scott
said. “It’s the game we really got started on. It
was my first attempt at developing a graphics engine. There
wasn’t anything like it on the market, and I still want to
play a game like that.”
Warmonger will be free, but NetDevil hopes to market
weapon packs and map packs to players.
Since GDC, the NetDevil team has really worked on polishing
and refining the gameplay of their upcoming PhysX-based title.
“We’ve got all the levels done, in fact most of the
game is pretty much in there,” Scott said. “Now
we’re just working on making the game as pretty and fun as
But how will NetDevil make money on Warmonger? Scott and the
NetDevil team have been working on that same problem. “At the
beginning, we’re just going to be giving it away,”
he answered. “We want people to wonder if it’s fun
to have a totally destructive environment in a shooter game. But after
that, we’ve been trying to figure out if we should release
map packs, weapon packs, or other extras through a sort of online store
sort of system.”
“The other possibility,” Scott continued,
“is actually picking up a publisher to work on the next game
in the series.” This would be a terrific achievement for
NetDevil, since all their previous games have been built in the MMO
space alone. Developing a full-fledged multiplayer FPS is nothing to
For those of you running a hardcore, physics-card system, make
sure you check in with NetDevil over the next few months. According to
Scott, Warmonger is ramping up for a short open beta, and
it’d be worth your while to go in and check out the game
before the other physics-thugs on the internet burst onto the scene.
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