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Why/How is Alganon still running?

FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 3,373Member Uncommon

It's very interesting to me that Alganon is still alive given the population issues and lack of forum interest on the Alganon site.  I've listed some guesses as to why it's still continuing to run, even though the development, server and other costs must far exceed the games income.

 

The investors:

1. don't want to accept that they won't get a return on their investment and are hoping that things will turn around

2. believe that the game can be successful in Europe (based on statements that they plan to expand there)

3. want the devs to build an MMO infrastructure that they can sell to another party, Alganon just offsets the costs a little bit until that time

4. instead of 3, they want to develop an infrastructure and plan to relaunch as a different IP

 

I definitely think that the investors can't afford to take a total loss on this and are hoping it can be salvaged.  Derek Smart has announced his plan for an MMO and that he is now an owner in the company.  It's possible that he's planning on using some of Alganon's infrastructure for his own MMO and is helping to pay the developers.

 

Alganon is certainly beating the odds, as a major publisher would have pulled the plug a year ago.

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Comments

  • dsmartdsmart Florida, USAPosts: 358Member Uncommon

    Let me address your points. I know you're not going to accept them, but this is not for your benefit.

    1. That is the rule of every business. Obviously nobody wants to back a losing horse indefinitely. The biggest part of the equation is that :

    a) 3000AD is an investor in and owner of QOL. I know how to stretch a dollar, run things lean & mean etc. Been doing it for over a year at QOL as I have been doing for more than 20+ years at my own company. Compared to the wasteful spending and nonsensical project management and handling that came before I got involved. That's what experience gives you.

    b) the majority investor - who are also 3000AD clients - leave it up to me to make a determination as to the fate of Alganon. Funny thing is, I have absolutely no intentions of abandoning it. A LOT of work and money has gone into the game since I took it over in Feb 2010 and there is a LOT (wait for the E3 announcement next week) more to come. I'm only just getting started with the Alganon IP.

    c) Every single MMO forum is littered with flaming, players complaining, griefing etc. That time could be spent playing the game. My 3000AD game forums have sparse discussions because there is nothing to complain about as gamers are doing what they are supposed to do: playing the games. My games continue to sell and make money. Funny that.

    The rules I put in place for the Alganon forums are no different. We don't condone nonsense and so the signal to noise ratio is very low now. The game turned around a LONG time ago and gamers are doing what they're supposed to be doing: playing the game. The forum is absolutely - positvely - no reflection on the game's performance at all. So just because you don't see a million posts, doesn't mean squat. Back in the day, the forums were littered with people complaining, flaming the devs etc - because the game was broken, didn't work as expected and touted etc. Like most MMO forums, it was a lawless frontier.That all came to an end. We release frequent patches, new content etc.

    2. Europe has nothing to do with anything. Since last year I had promised that there would be European and Asian servers for the game so that our numerous gamers over there have the best playable experience. I made a lot of promises last year and I've kept all of them. This is just one of them. That plan for European servers is already solid and executed. The European servers are currently being installed and should be live by the end of June. Asian servers will follow. Obviously the better the player experience in those territories, the more likely that the servers will pay for themselves and thus Alganon will profit from the investment I made in them.

    So yeah, we're expanding - not contracting - Alganon. Take a wild guess why that is.

    3. Alganon has no MMO infrastructure that can be sold. And we don't even have the manpower to make that happen even if we wanted to.

    As I've said in numerous posts and interviews, the Alganon engine was built specifically for the game and cannot be adapted to ANY other. Any developer worth his salt should know that it is not something that you can just up and do when you've built an engine with a single purpose game in mind.

    We're not in the engine licensing business; we're in the game development business. They are two separate things.

    The manpower we have is focused on building and expanding Alganon, not pursuing nonsensical activities.

    Case in point, the 3000AD Line Of Defense game was built from the ground up with its own engine and cross with the Galactic Command Online (our other game) engine. Since 3000AD is an owner of  and investor in QOL, if Alganon had an adaptable "engine", I wouldn't be spending all that money and time building a new game engine and infrastructure when we can just adapt the Alganon one since I can in fact do that. Plus, both games have completely different teams. The Alganon team is focused purely on Alganon and nothing else. This is no different from team A at EA using tech that team B built. Happens all the time; but in this case it was not feasible - contrary to all the nonsense that my predecessor was spouting to anyone who would listen about my wanting the Alganon engine etc.

    4. We have no plans to relaunch Alganon as a new IP. The Alganon IP is perfectly fine as-is. I have made it into a recognizable brand and I will continue to build on that in much the same way that I built my other IP.

    There is no "Alganon infrastructure" capable of adaptation or conversion.

    The Alganon game and engine are specifically and purely for Alganon. They are not - and cannot be - used for anything else.

    The Alganon game is handled by its own team and has nothing to do with 3000AD's own games. There is no technology or team crossover. Even if I wrote a check tomorrow and bought out the other QOL investors, that still won't change any of this. In fact, as an investor in, president of and managing member of QOL, I can do anything I want because those decisions are mine to make.

    Every investor wants to see some ROI, and the QOL investors are no different. The point of fact is that QOL can be folded at any time and the investors can write off the entire investment in their taxes as a loss. Standard procedure. There really isn't anything to it. And if Alganon doesn't make it, then like every property that has failed to yield meaningful revenue results, it will be closed. I currently have absolutely no plans to do that. Quite the contrary in fact. Wait for the E3 announcement next week.

    Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living.
    If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
    ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

  • CognitoCognito ManchesterPosts: 198Member

    Wow Frodo... you just got told. 

    Put through the personal paces of my crippled fingers.

  • JergisJergis Tulsa, OKPosts: 37Member

    -I tried a full response, but it's not even worth it anymore. Frodo didn't get told so much as he got spun.

     

    Jergis

  • merieke82merieke82 Denver, COPosts: 165Member

    I know that anytime the front page has an Alganon post that there will be something entertaining to read.

  • ThorkuneThorkune Eastern, KYPosts: 1,925Member Uncommon

    PC Gamer has featured Alganon on their free disks a lot lately...to no avail. Alganon is a decent game, but the population is pathetic. I have given it a try a few times now and it isn't getting any better. You can play for hours and never see anyone else playing.

  • BenthonBenthon Cedar Rapids, IAPosts: 2,069Member

    So the reason why players no longer post on the forums is because they're well behaved and enjoying the game 100%.

     

    Laughable.

    He who keeps his cool best wins.

  • Mystik86Mystik86 Scarborough, ONPosts: 380Member Common

    The game still looks like one of the best examples of a WoW clone I've ever seen. The engine appears to have been stolen direct from Blizzard themselves...

    Nice try, Mr. Smart, but you fail.

     

    Sincerely,

    A better class of gamer.

  • ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,201Member Uncommon

    If Alganon hires me they'll be turned around within a year or so.   Funny thing is I am not joking, hehe.

    Other than that, valid questions imo, valid answers as well.  Like most situations of this sort the truth likely lies somewhere in the middle.

    image
  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 3,373Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Cognito

    Wow Frodo... you just got told. 

    Not really.  I think he answered every questions I had.  I wasn't really expecting him to respond, but am very happy that he was VERY specific and polite.

     

    I don't want the game to fail or the devs to lose their jobs.  I've just never seen a game with SO little forum feedback and when I retried the game a month or so ago it was dead, although not dead enough for me not to get an invite.  I felt bad because I was logging off and the person was probably excited to find someone to help them quest.

     

    I actually have a little more respect for Derek after his post.  I never claimed I KNEW what they were doing, just guessing and hoping someone more informed could enlighten me.  I'm actually slightly interested to see what they announce at E3.

     

    Thanks for the response Derek.

  • dsmartdsmart Florida, USAPosts: 358Member Uncommon

    Well thanks for that.

    Anyway, if you (anyone) are reading this, it means that you probably have an interest in Alganon. So, here goes the cliff notes ahead of the newsletter and PR from E3.

    1. Alganon Comic book deal with DC Comics. Deal was already done, signed and the comic currently in production. Will be available at ComiCon, online (as well as iPad) by DC.

    2. The first Alganon expansion due out later this year. It has a TON of stuff; but I won't spoil the surprise.

    3. New game for Android, iOS and PC (browser) based on the Alganon IP. Due out later this year. Developed by a separate team using the Unity3 engine.

    4. European servers for Alganon going live later in June. Asian servers to follow soon.

    Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living.
    If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
    ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

  • NesrieNesrie Medford, ORPosts: 648Member

    The Derek Smart posting in this thread doesn't appear to be the same guy that was spitting in the faces of anyone who spoke out against the game from the beta on and pretty much baiting for a fight. That bodes well for the game and the community. Healthy games and professionals in the genre are good for everyone involved.

    parrotpholk-Because we all know the miracle patch fairy shows up the night before release and sprinkles magic dust on the server to make it allllll better.

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 8,296Member Rare

    Alganon wasn't for me on the PC,  but I do like android games, so...

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


     forum trolls

  • MadotoMadoto PlovdivPosts: 31Member

    Originally posted by dsmart

    Well thanks for that.
    Anyway, if you (anyone) are reading this, it means that you probably have an interest in Alganon. So, here goes the cliff notes ahead of the newsletter and PR from E3.
    1. Alganon Comic book deal with DC Comics. Deal was already done, signed and the comic currently in production. Will be available at ComiCon, online (as well as iPad) by DC.
    2. The first Alganon expansion due out later this year. It has a TON of stuff; but I won't spoil the surprise.
    3. New game for Android, iOS and PC (browser) based on the Alganon IP. Due out later this year. Developed by a separate team using the Unity3 engine.
    4. European servers for Alganon going live later in June. Asian servers to follow soon.

    Give us a date at least pls.I cant wait to see the changes in Alganon, I love that game, but the population push me away.

    I hope you guys are preparing some HUUUUGE surprise for us.

    Thank you!!!

  • ArthineasArthineas Selinsgrove, PAPosts: 231Member

    Originally posted by dsmart

    Well thanks for that.
    Anyway, if you (anyone) are reading this, it means that you probably have an interest in Alganon. So, here goes the cliff notes ahead of the newsletter and PR from E3.
    1. Alganon Comic book deal with DC Comics. Deal was already done, signed and the comic currently in production. Will be available at ComiCon, online (as well as iPad) by DC.
    2. The first Alganon expansion due out later this year. It has a TON of stuff; but I won't spoil the surprise.
    3. New game for Android, iOS and PC (browser) based on the Alganon IP. Due out later this year. Developed by a separate team using the Unity3 engine.
    4. European servers for Alganon going live later in June. Asian servers to follow soon.

    Good stuff Derek :)  Thanks for filling us in and thanks for all your hard work with Alganon.

  • dsmartdsmart Florida, USAPosts: 358Member Uncommon

    A lot more details are over here, here and here

    Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living.
    If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
    ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

  • ArthineasArthineas Selinsgrove, PAPosts: 231Member

    Originally posted by dsmart

    A lot more details are over here, here and here

    Thanks again for all the great info.  Sounds like exciting times ahead for  Alganon.

  • dsmartdsmart Florida, USAPosts: 358Member Uncommon

    Yep, working feverishly on it. Hopefully the more people that play it, the more they will see that I've pretty much all that I can to keep it unique and move it away from that whole "WoW clone" nonsense. 

     

    {mod edit}

    Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living.
    If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
    ...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them.

  • ichimarunicoichimarunico Fredericksberg, VAPosts: 210Member

    Originally posted by FrodoFragins


    Originally posted by Cognito


    Wow Frodo... you just got told. 

    Not really.  I think he answered every questions I had.  I wasn't really expecting him to respond, but am very happy that he was VERY specific and polite.

    You and I have very different definitions of "polite." That seemed more like arrogance to me. Count the number of times he takes complete credit for success that doesn't exist.

    Just because you rule your forum with an iron fist, deleting everything negative, doesn't mean that people aren't dissatisfied. As was stated, log in and roam the areas. Count how many people you find. I bet you can count them on one hand.

  • WreckoniingWreckoniing melbournePosts: 275Member Uncommon

    this game doesnt even deserve a comparison to wow in any way,shape or form. its embarrassing this game can even be classed as an mmorpg..

  • AmanaAmana New York, NYPosts: 3,912Moderator Uncommon

    Let's get the thread back to Alganon and not let it get completely off track. Thanks guys.

    To give feedback on moderation, contact mikeb@mmorpg.com

  • WSIMikeWSIMike Catskill, NYPosts: 5,564Member

    Originally posted by dsmart

    Let me address your points. I know you're not going to accept them, but this is not for your benefit.
    ...

    Well...

    If nothing else, Derek, no one could ever say you aren't thorough :).

    Great read!

    I was giving Alganon a try a bit ago but sorta drifted away from it (as I have from the MMO scene altogether lately... getting more into single-player/console games). It does feel rather derivative in some ways, I agree. But it also has its own sorta unique "feel" as well. It's intriguing to me.

    And, for the benefit of others who may still be skeptical... Gotta give credit where it's due. Derek did make a lot of statements when he first came into the picture, which many people responded to with "yeah right" and predictions that Alganon would be taken offline in short order.

    Yet, here we are with the game still running and the announcement of an, apparently, substantial expansion coming... not to mention branching the IP out. Whatever you think of the game, that's not the kind of thing you see in a game that's "utterly failing".  They're doing something right somewhere.

    I'm genuinely impressed.

    Alganon remains interesting to me for a rew reasons:

    1) I do like the ideas behind it and it'll be interesting to see how it pans out.

    2) As a fan of game design and aspiring indie developer myself, I take particular interest in indie projects and typically root for them to succeed.

    3) Like Horizons/Istaria, Alganon (which still sounds to me like some kooky rehab for laundry detergent addicts...) is another David Allen-related project that seems to have found life beyond his involvement. Horizons is still chugging along all these years later. And now, we have Alganon still being actively supported. I kinda wonder where Allen will pop up next and if he'll go for a hat-trick. Call it morbid curiosity.

    Maybe he'll pop up working on a new game with Brad McQuaid. Now wouldn't that be something.

    "If you just step away for a sec you will clearly see all the pot holes in the road,
    and the cash shop selling asphalt..."
    - Mimzel on F2P/Cash Shops

    image

  • MadDemon64MadDemon64 Maplewood, NJPosts: 1,102Member Uncommon

    Well, I think the end of Alganon is around the corner.  WoW has gone free to play until lv 20, and City of Heroes/Villians is going free soon.  Add to that Champions Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and Lord of the Rings Online being free to play, with new free to play games coming out fairly constantly, I do not believe Alganon will survive the year.  Before anyone flames, I am not saying that Alganon is a bad f2p game, its just that more and more f2p games are coming out that are (much) better than Alganon.

    Since when is Tuesday a direction?

  • Yavin_PrimeYavin_Prime Oak Park, CAPosts: 233Member

    I have to say that of the F2P MMOs I've tried Alganon is one of the better ones. Obviously it would do better if it had a larger player base and I truely hope Alganon continues on into the future. I'd play it but the truth is I have a lifetime sub to STO and I'm a huge Trek fan so that is my home. If I ever need a break from vulcans and klingons and I don't have much money I know I'll stop by and try Alganon again. I still have it on my computer.

    On a personal note I'd love to see Alganon get some form of housing. That to me would be a great addition.

  • skeaserskeaser Wichita Falls, TXPosts: 3,881Member Uncommon

    Y'know, I'm normally in the "D. Smart and all his games are failing" boat. But the fact they have the funds for a DC comic, spin-off games and an ex-pac make me wonder.

  • MadDemon64MadDemon64 Maplewood, NJPosts: 1,102Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by skeaser

    Y'know, I'm normally in the "D. Smart and all his games are failing" boat. But the fact they have the funds for a DC comic, spin-off games and an ex-pac make me wonder.

    Are you wondering, "Why hasn't the game failed yet?" or "Why did D. Smart put money that should have gone into game development into fuding a DC comic?"  I'm wondering both.  After all, funding a DC comic is a double edged sword; its a big name company, but that doesn't mean it will be a good comic. Hawk and Dove had their own comic series, but it only ran for 6 issues.  Sure they were popular characters that appeared in other DC comics and animated media, but the point is that the comic that started them was a failure due to a schism between the creators (ironic given the schism between the titular characters).  In my opinion, if D. Smart wants the comic to work, he should have as little to do with the creation of the comic as possible.  Sure, he should be able to give his opinions, but when it comes to characterizations, story, etc. he should let the experts handle it.

    I had my doubts about Alganon in the past, and admittedly they are changing.  It is fairly obvious that this comic deal is a way to advertise the game, but this comic could make or break the game.  If it is a good comic,  people who read it will say, "Wow, this is a great comic, and it is based off an MMO?  I got to try it!"  If it isn't, well they will read it and put it out of their mind.

    Since when is Tuesday a direction?

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