Jumpgate Evolution: VIP Access Interview

Questions by Ten Ton Hammer Premium Members

Questions
by Ten Ton Hammer Premium Members
style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">
Answers
by Hermann Peterscheck,
style="font-weight: bold;">Jumpgate Evolution style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;"> Producer,
and Nicole Hamlett, Jumpgate
Evolution
style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;"> Community
Manager



In the second installment of Ten Ton Hammer's VIP Access series,
Premium Members had the chance to get their
Jumpgate Evolution
(JGE) questions answered by the folks at NetDevil. Ten Ton
Hammer Premium
Members
submitted so many good JGE questions, and NetDevil's
answers were so lengthy that this VIP Access interview needs two parts.
Part one covers the game's setting, tutorial, ship customization, and
the JGE beta.




Whitgar: Does JGE take
place entirely in space, or do you have avatars too?



style="font-weight: bold;">Hamlett: style="font-style: italic;">Jumpgate Evolution
does take place in space. While we do have space stations, there aren’t
any walking avatars for this game.  We’re working with the
concept that you are the pilot, flying your ship in space and
interacting with the other [non-player characters] and players within
the surrounding areas.



With that said, you can customize your ship with a large combination of
equipment and based on your faction rating with your Nation, there are
different ship skins.  I imagine that there will be few ships
that are geared exactly the same.
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style="font-style: italic;">Jumpgate Evolution
promises intense action.



Annache: style="font-weight: bold;">EVE Online had a very steep
initial learning curve that was considered daunting to many newcomers
but got most of the learning out of the way in that one initial curve.
Have you taken a similar approach or different?



style="font-weight: bold;">Hamlett: There are a
few mantras for our team, one of them being “Easy to learn, hard to
master.”  The initial gameplay for style="font-style: italic;">Jumpgate Evolution
is very accessible. Rather than a long and drawn out tutorial, we’ve
provided the player with on the fly tips that help them get situated
within the game. 



We want people to be able to have fun as soon as they get into the game
and through the storyline and different flight mechanics. I think that
we’ve accomplished that goal.



Annache: style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">How heavy of a focus will there
be on player-vs-player (PvP) or player-vs-environment (PvE)? Will the
PvP and PvE affect each other? 



style="font-weight: bold;">Peterscheck: We feel
that both game styles are important for the success of the game. How
they affect each other is a different matter. I think that it’s largely
out of the hands of the developer in many ways. We are implementing a
player driven economy with some basic constraints on supply and demand.
We’re going to try and make sure that there are things that relate to
PvP and PvE within that functionality and then kind of watch what
players do with it. As an example, we could put rare minerals out in
more dangerous areas to see how players compete for those resources,
bearing in mind that people who don’t want to go into those areas still
need fun and interesting things to do.



I’m also a believer in having PvE play “feed” PvP play. What I mean by
that is having miners, manufacturers (crafters) and traders creating
things like missiles, high end guns and so on which PvP players will
then consume. I also think that Jumpgate is a bit different than many
MMOs because it allows for multiple roles to be filled by one
“character” if you will. For example, in a game like [ style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft]
you ARE a warrior or a mage. In Jumpgate
you can fly a mining vessel, then go jump into a fighter, then go do
some trading runs. I don’t think this is a strength of one type of game
over another; it’s simply a game style difference.



Sardu: style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">In PvP environments, will there
be any system of potential consequence or will 'policing' be left
primarily in the hands of the players?



style="font-weight: bold;">Peterscheck: It
depends on what is meant by consequences. Every action has one type of
consequence or another, but I suspect what is meant is whether certain
PvP actions will be punished – such as, for example, continuously
killing a player or something like that. In general I think the idea of
designers allowing, or especially encouraging, behavior that they then
punish players for seems a bit silly to me. In some cases, for example
verbal abuse, obviously we have to interfere. It always amazes me when
online games allow for an action that they then punish people for so
badly that they can’t or do not wish to continue playing. “Policing” is
an interesting term as well. If the game is broken or not fun or if the
rules don’t make any sense and players are required to step in to solve
those problems, that seems like a suboptimal situation. Players should
be having fun, so if there are policing activities that improve game
quality and provide entertainment and value for the community, that’s
one thing… if developers are relying upon players to make their game
work, that’s quite another.
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Each type of ship has
a distinct look.



Annache: Reading
around I have found that there will be no huge capital ships or other
huge ships, How will equipment/gear progression take place?




style="font-weight: bold;">Hamlett:  style="font-style: italic;">Actually, we have
recently implemented the first capital ship into the game. While so far
they will be [artificial intelligence] controlled, we’re working on
creating some large scale battles that feature these ships. 
It’s really exciting and every time we see one of them in the game, the
entire dev team comes up with some pretty creative ways to blow it up.
[smiles]



Equipment and gear progression will largely be based on the pilot's
rank and the licenses and he or she has.



Annache: style="font-style: italic;">Certain space games
allow new weapons and other equipment to make visual upgrades to a
ship's model - such as more cannons, hull extensions, etc. Will these
be present and/or be very noticeable? Will there be custom paintjobs on
the ships?



style="font-weight: bold;">Hamlett: Something
that is really cool in the game is the faction reward system that the
team is currently implementing. Based on your faction standing, you may
have access to different skinned ships as well as equipment. 
Right now, I’m tooling around space in a wild cherry red
number.  



Upgrades in equipment such as guns and engines won’t necessarily be
visual in terms of making your ship look different, but with the
faction reward option, you certainly can obtain different looking
models.



Annache: Many
jumping-style space sims allow only very restricted paths (eg Escape
Velocity) and others simply have a range, where your only restriction
is your fuel capacity (eg Star Control 3). Which approach is in JGE?




style="font-weight: bold;">Hamlett: Something
that we feel very strongly about right now is making sure that the
players have fun playing Jumpgate
Evolution
.  Therefore, the team is creating a
game that places very few restrictions on the pilots. It’s been said
that the ultimate scenario is that your only restriction is your rank
and your imagination. [smiles]



So in terms of fuel capacity and restriction, those two things are just
not a design feature for Jumpgate
Evolution
. This could change as the design process moves
further on, but right now, you can fly however far you’d like to
fly. 



However, if your ship takes damage, you will certainly want to repair
that at a local station, but we’re working with the thought that we
want to allow the players to explore as far as they can, as much as
they want.  It’s their universe to play in, [so] why would we
want to restrict that?



Annache: Will
there be oceanic servers?




style="font-weight: bold;">Hamlett: My
understanding is that if there is a demand we’ll do everything possible
to ensure that we have local servers where they are needed.



Annache: When
can I play [beta]?




style="font-weight: bold;">Peterscheck: When
it’s ready. [smiles]





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