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Alganon: Derek Smart vs. ex-Alganon Employees

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,717Administrator Uncommon

The Derek Smart / David Allen Alganon saga continues, this time over in the comments section of a news story on the whole fiasco over at Gamasutra.

Derek Smart has been quite vocal about the recent developments over at Quest Online, stating that his primary motivation is to get things out there so that other people don't "fill in the blanks" for him.

What has resulted over at Gamasutra is a back and forth between Derek Smart and several former ex-Alganon employees, such as the previously mentioned Jason Blood and Hue Henry.

The back and forth is quite lengthy so I am not going to quote it here, but if you're interested in all the dirty laundry, you can sort through it here.

As far as whether or not employees at Quest Online are happy or not working under Derek Smart, or were unhappy working under David, we can't say for sure, but we were contacted today by Bily Foster in Marketing at Quest Online, who was responding to our own William Murphy's piece on the Alganon situation published today. Mr. Foster has given us the permission to publish his statements, which you can view below:

"I also have to say personally, having Derek Smart come in has been a breath of fresh air. I'm sure you've been at a company during those weird days when the boss it "too busy" to catch up with you. Or "Things are happening behind the scenes that you wouldn't understand," is being thrown your way. No one likes it and you do your best to push through it. But once Derek came in, it was like ice cold water being thrown on our faces. It shocked our system and re-energized us in a way I can't put into words.

Also I'd like to say for the record re:Gamasutra comments, the reason we aren't on the board commenting is because we're busy working to get the game done! I'm commenting because it's my job to stay on top of what's being said about us. :)"

What are your thoughts on the whole Alganon situation? Let us know in the comments below!

[Thanks Kost for the tip!]

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member

     Whats happening at Gamasutra is embarrassing and pathetic. I wish it would just die already. Heres whats truly sad of the whole thing. Over on the official forums a guy posted the ingame population for a trial user and it was showing about 20-35 people on each server in primetime. Most posts have been made on whats going on at gamesutra than those that actually play the game. Also the negative reaction will keep people away from Alganon, not draw them to it.

  • PhelimReaghPhelimReagh New York, NYPosts: 647Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by parrotpholk


     Whats happening at Gamasutra is embarrassing and pathetic. I wish it would just die already. Heres whats truly sad of the whole thing. Over on the official forums a guy posted the ingame population for a trial user and it was showing about 20-35 people on each server in primetime. Most posts have been made on whats going on at gamesutra than those that actually play the game. Also the negative reaction will keep people away from Alganon, not draw them to it.

     

    I have to second this emotion. The fact that this new president is trolling a forum like that is very embarrassing. Then again, QOL knew they were getting a guy who spends a good portion of his day on message boards. This can't really come as much of a surprise.

     

    It really seems like Alganon failed in large part due to lack of out-of-the-box thinking in game design and taking on too much. I'm going to wager that if the original team had scaled back the scope of their vision and pushed the content envelope a bit, they probably could have monetized the game in some meaningful form.

     

    But from his first post on the Alganon boards, this Derek Smart guy has come across a very petty and mean-spirited. Does anyone know a company whose President gets into these kind of petty back-and-forths?

     

    There was a post in that Gamasutra thread that said that Smart's deal gave him ownership of all the QOL technology developed. Maybe he's just trying to kill the game sooner so he can move on and use the tech on other projects. Either way, it appears to be time to put a fork in this endeavor.

  • norlynorly Seattle, WAPosts: 4Member

    So the investors traded David Allen for Derek Smart.

     

    Why does the cliche "Out of the frying pan into the fire" pop into my head?

  • DarkholmeDarkholme Wolfeboro, NHPosts: 1,201Member Uncommon

    I don't care enough to read all of what has been posted on Gamasutra, but I have read enough to know I don't want to read it all... It is seriously deranged and borderline sociopathic behavior for someone to post so much about something like this. I mean the sheer number of words that have been posted in that comments section alone by the main players in this drama is really jarringly high. I mean don't get me wrong, if it were me being bad-mouthed in public by someone in this manner I would be hard pressed not to say something, but it really has become ludicrous...

    -------------------------
    "Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places..." ~ H.P.Lovecraft, "From Beyond"

  • AOCtesterAOCtester ReykjavPosts: 431Member

    The situation is ofc embarrasing for everyone involved both ex and current developers.

    But ppl should have known from start that Alganon was never about a game.   It was only about money...

    A game of the quality of Alganon is not P2P - not buying the orginal content or paying sub.  The game doesn't even deserve a free to play quality mark.   You can blame the ex developers for it - but it wont get you anywhere. 

    The sad thing about all this is that Alganon was developed in a open and see through enviroment where the devs did not hide the game from anyone.  Thats only good for the gamers when they are able to try the game before they buy from the get go.  I take my hats of for Ex -devs for that part.   But ofc the results are in...   It doesn't pay to be honest about the game....

    Compare Alganon open aproach development to AOC none lifted NDA.  One of these games sold million copies before ppl actually knew the game's problems...  That was not good for the gamers was it ? 

    Im torn when it comes to the development process.   I support Aglanon in that respect - but I knew from day one that this development team was never gonna create anything other than junk and expect ppl to pay double price for it. 

  • GinazGinaz Calgary, ABPosts: 1,731Member Uncommon

    The coke machines at Quest Online's offices are trembling in fear.

    image

    Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

    Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  • ShojuShoju Hicksville, NYPosts: 771Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ginaz


    The coke machines at Quest Online's offices are trembling in fear.

    The coke machine is most probably the only thing that is generating revenue at QOL.

  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBPosts: 2,030Member

    Imagine this....Derek Smart,Bill Roper,Jack Emmert,Mark Jacobs,Paul Barnett, Henrik Nystrom  and Tasos Flambouras form a MMORPG company...Hilarity ensues.

  • GinazGinaz Calgary, ABPosts: 1,731Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakynn


    Imagine this....Derek Smart,Bill Roper,Jack Emmert,Mark Jacobs,Paul Barnett, Henrik Nystrom  and Tasos Flambouras form a MMORPG company...Hilarity ensues.

     

    Add in John Smedley and I'm sold.

    image

    Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

    Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  • mackdawg19mackdawg19 Shiloh, ILPosts: 864Member

    I think we all know by now who Derek Smart is. But regardless of that fact, David Allen did screw this game up and it's not his first time either. I know Derek can be off the edge and more out in the open but that does mean he's at fault. If anything, I like the fact that hes talking about the situation. It may be considered drama and not needed by some if not many, but at least no one can really say hes lying. In fact, not one post on gamesutra states hes not telling the truth. The former employees almost seem like they would rather hype up a former boss who almost stopped them from getting their last paycheck. I can almost see it now, in about 5 years, this same click of employees with David at the helm will be killing yet another company. And are people still going to gloss over that fact, or will they finally let David have it. Anyways, I hope the best for the game. And as a last note, watch the editor video for the Alganon Editor. It will show you why this game has the issues it has.

  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member

     For some reason I am slightly surprised he hasnt jumped in over here and started but then I think this is the shark tank and he would be the bait. 

  • MMO.MaverickMMO.Maverick WonderlandPosts: 7,619Member

    I think people hating or at least disliking Derek Smart causes them to ignore the fact that what he's saying might hold elements of truth.

     

    I read the whole thread. It was an interesting gaze into the world of game development companies, away from the charm and glamour that us regular players often associate with the gaming business (it caused me to bookmark the gamasutra.com site :))

    I didn't know Derek Smart, until I read about him here on mmorpg. I don't particularly agree or like his confrontational style - he has a short fuse as can be seen when he agressively replies on some common forumposters that agreed mostly with  him but also mentioned some criticisms. But Derek's arguments are detailed, clear, and he seems ready to back it up with even more evidence and details when needed. Regardless whether this airing the dirty laundry and 'scorched earth' tactic is the right thing to do - which I don't think so - you wouldn't do that if you weren't able to make a strong case.

     

    So, what has all this peculiar buzz around Alganon led to, at least to me?

    - It made me very much aware of the game to the point I actually hope they will succeed in creating their own niche - which is good PR I think.

    - Even if I feel indifferent about Derek Smart the man, his words have a ring of truth to them. The whole discussion gives an interesting and recognisable insight into an industry in which the PR communication and interviews often consists of hot air, hype and smokescreens. So Derek's openness, leading to the openness of the others, is refreshing.

    - Dave Allen & companions seem to have messed up in a way that's not specifically 'evilly' or unique but that's all too familiar in companies nowadays, and like could be seen in the 'dot com bubble' era: lying/misleading your investors, missing deadlines, and when the atmosphere on management level started to become poisonous (the typical blame/shame game that starts) adding to it with making some wrong decicisons. Not good or a thing to be proud of, but also not very unique in corporate business.

     

     

    The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

    The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
    Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  • PyrostasisPyrostasis dallas, TXPosts: 2,326Member

    Wow...

    I thought I would never see a developer make a bigger ass of themselves than Tasos did when Eurogamer trashed his game... but Holy Hell batman Derek Smart takes the cake on this one.

    If you are going to can some guy, you can him and move on. By making a public statement you are risking lawsuits and stoking the fires even more.... by going on a blow for blow public deathmatch on an uncontrolled forum with the previous owners makes you look like a 12 year old with an ep33n.

    For years I have wondered why the hell these dev's cant get their "Stuff" together long enough to make a good game, well if this is a doorway into what the industry is like no bloody wonder. You are giving idiots like these millions of dollars and expecting them to make a good game? Derek Smart cant even make a good post about a termination of an employee, how the hell is he going to turn the game around?

    Now Im not saying the previous folks were doing a good job... but they at least seemed to be friendly with the community. I tried the beta, knew it wouldnt go very far, and decided not to play, but if Derek in his arrogant fashion can turn alganon into a good game Ill be floored.

  • DameonkDameonk Ewa Beach, HIPosts: 1,914Member
    Originally posted by Pyrostasis

    Now Im not saying the previous folks were doing a good job... but they at least seemed to be friendly with the community. I tried the beta, knew it wouldnt go very far, and decided not to play, but if Derek in his arrogant fashion can turn alganon into a good game Ill be floored.

     

    All of the high level corporate suits I've ever had the pleasure (sarcasm) of dealing with are not only arrogant, but are abrasive, sexist, egotistical assholes that are so full of themselves I'm surprised they even bother talking to us "lesser" beings.

    Mr. Smart's attitude seems, dare I say, a little tame compared to some presidents I've dealt with before.

    "There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer."

  • LongswdLongswd No, CAPosts: 155Member
    Originally posted by parrotpholk


    ...on the official forums a guy posted the ingame population for a trial user and it was showing about 20-35 people on each server in primetime....

     

    I can understand why. I tried it out of sheer boredom and uninstalled it literally 2 hours later, which I think is a personal record for MMO abandonment. I totally understand now why Derek wants to throw it all out, it really is that bad. Perhaps "bad" is not really the correct adjective, "mediocrity squared" might describe it better. It is a WoW clone in every sense of the word, to the point they didn't even bother to try and hide it. WoW without any of the things that actually give it character.

     

     

     

  • ThrawlThrawl Carrollton, TXPosts: 271Member
    Originally posted by Shoju

    Originally posted by Ginaz


    The coke machines at Quest Online's offices are trembling in fear.

    The coke machine is most probably the only thing that is generating revenue at QOL.

     

    Let's hope they don't bring in a Pepsi machine because Coke is a WoW clone...that would be like deja vu all over again.

    Our spirit was here long before you

    Long before us

    And long will it be after your pride brings you to your end

  • joker007mojoker007mo joplin, MOPosts: 712Member
    Originally posted by MikeB


    The Derek Smart / David Allen Alganon saga continues, this time over in the comments section of a news story on the whole fiasco over at Gamasutra.



    has nothing to do with anything but whats with those lips looks like its trying to kiss

    image

  • Thomas2006Thomas2006 Millersburg, INPosts: 803Member Uncommon

     While I may not agree with Derek Smarts way of speaking the turth.  You have to admit not a single one of the employees fired has denied any of what he has said. If anything they have backed it up and patted each other on the back while walking upto the next group of investors to milk them for all there money before taking it and running.

    David Allen is nothing more then a con plain and simple. The guy will look you in the face and say sure we will have it done in XX time.  And all the while know its not going to happen.

    You know when they missed the first deadline for the game they should have stopped adding features to the game and cleaned up what they had and made it playable.  Not continue to dream up new ideas and half bake them into the game.

    Heck its a no wander they blew threw millions on junk that people are never going to use for the game.  I wander how many millions it took to have one of David Allen's friends cook up a half baked facebook clone and a armory clone? 

    I like how they continue to claim look at the engine / toolset we built for the game.  When if you even look at the code and toolset you will know right away its cooked up on middleware tech that they can no license out directly. So in order to use there tools and engine your going to have to license from them and then turn around and get licenses from 2-4 other company's on top of that just to keep yourself in the legal clear.  Heck your better of licensing out the Unreal or any other  full blown package.  Atleast then you know what you are paying for and that its legally licensable.

    You know I say good on Derek Smart for bringing these so called developers / people to the light of the community and future investors.  These people that make it hard for us Indie's to get investors because they go around claiming to know how to run / do things need to be shown for the scam artist they are.

  • EmeraqEmeraq Medical Lake, WAPosts: 927Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakynn


    Imagine this....Derek Smart,Bill Roper,Jack Emmert,Mark Jacobs,Paul Barnett, Henrik Nystrom  and Tasos Flambouras form a MMORPG company...Hilarity ensues.



     

    Hilarity Ensues, might be a good company name for that group!

  • brostynbrostyn Louisville, KYPosts: 3,092Member

    Games fail. It happens all the time. Did the AoC big wigs toss anyone under the bus? No. Did EA toss Barnett under the bus? No.

     

    They canned the people in charge, and moved on. That's what professionals do. They don't point fingers. They say, "We are moving forward. The past is the past. We will strive to do our very best, and bring a better product to our fans." Mr. Smart is making this painfully clear its all about Mr. Smart, his ego, and his "bank account".

    Mr. Smart thinks the people in charge of Alganon are going to be blacklisted. He seems to have a personal vendetta against the three gentlemen that isn't quite clear. Stealing millions of dollars in cash is far different from trying your best, but not succeeding in making a quality game. That's why its called a risky investment.

  • AkaisAkais Memphis, TNPosts: 274Member Common
    Originally posted by Drakynn


    Imagine this....Derek Smart,Bill Roper,Jack Emmert,Mark Jacobs,Paul Barnett, Henrik Nystrom  and Tasos Flambouras form a MMORPG company...Hilarity ensues.

     

    Add Ken Karl and Gaute Godager to that list and you'd have a sitcom for the CW.

  • AzerinAzerin Calgary, ABPosts: 170Member
    Originally posted by brostyn


    Games fail. It happens all the time. Did the AoC big wigs toss anyone under the bus? No. Did EA toss Barnett under the bus? No.
     
    They canned the people in charge, and moved on. That's what professionals do. They don't point fingers. They say, "We are moving forward. The past is the past. We will strive to do our very best, and bring a better product to our fans." Mr. Smart is making this painfully clear its all about Mr. Smart, his ego, and his "bank account".
    Mr. Smart thinks the people in charge of Alganon are going to be blacklisted. He seems to have a personal vendetta against the three gentlemen that isn't quite clear. Stealing millions of dollars in cash is far different from trying your best, but not succeeding in making a quality game. That's why its called a risky investment.

    Don't forget both AoC and WAR were published and developed by companies with much bigger wallets than QOL, and they both sold enough copies and retained enough subs to maintain their dev teams and keep hammering away at improving the game. Funcom and Eidos (Square Enix now), as well as Mythic and EA are behemoths compared to QoL both financially and in game developing experience.

    On the whole Derek Smart thing, like many of you have said already, sometimes the blunt truth hurts and it's not something Joe Public is accustomed to, but I feel it's a breath of fresh air. As someone with a stake in the company and the game project, I would be pissed off too if it turned out the lead developer's goal was to make the generic-brand version of WoW, and a poor one at that. As soon as the WoW-clone characteristics of Alganon were apparent, many here in the community knew the game would be a flop.

    I still remember David Allen flexing his spin doctoring skills and trying to make all the WoW comparisons sound like a compliment. Alarm bells should have went off somewhere in the QoL ivory tower that their game producer was attempting to succeed by riding on the coattails of WoW. I say shame on David Allen for being foolish enough to think he could decieve honest gamers into thinking there was any sort of originality in Alganon, as far as I'm concerned, he's lucky no lawsuits were thrown his way from Blizz. I can just picture Tom Chilton and Chris Metzen laughing uncontrollably at the mess that Alganon is, and thinking "Nice try guys, thanks for coming out."

    In closing, I feel bad for all the fans of the game that were taken for a ride, and hopefully Mr.Smart and crew can bring something positive out of this fiasco. I think refunding the money of all players who bought long-term subs and promising to re-work the engine, the character models and the UI is a step in the right direction...

  • jinxitjinxit Belfast (Northern Ireland)Posts: 863Member
    There was a post in that Gamasutra thread that said that Smart's deal gave him ownership of all the QOL technology developed. Maybe he's just trying to kill the game sooner so he can move on and use the tech on other projects. Either way, it appears to be time to put a fork in this endeavor.

     

    According to that post Derek Smart IS actually an investor so if that is true then when he says things like "you dont own this game the INVESTORS do!" or "the Investors have spoken"...then he's actually meaning himself. Im sure Mr Smart has a lot of influence with these other investors aswell including influencing there decisions because you know according to Mr Smart the investors dont have a clue about developing a game...besides him...

    Is he influencing other investors to make things go his way?

    Wouldnt put it past the guy or anyone else in the biz.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,430Member Uncommon

    This is why investors have money,they are business saavy,but they are definitely not gaming saavy.The gaming business is such a FAKE environment that any investor or marketing wiz would fail if using their usual methods of insight.

    A normal person would think ,ok Wow millions of income rolling around,copy that and walla even if we make 1% of that we are rolling in dough lol,......WRONG !.I can't believe how many different stories i have heard as to why Wow has so many players,and imo they are all WRONG!.

    Gimmicks and big money makers just happen,they are NOT predictable,gaming in a way is like the stock market,you can make an educated guess,but it still means squat.

    If i was in charge at Quest,there is no way in hell i would have accepted the direction for Alganon,not from day 1,i would predict fail.You have to be a real serious player in the gaming market,half ass ideas,trying to cut corners will not do it.Ittakes a LOT of work,just look at FFXIII,the massive amount of work that went into animations/movers/graphics is staggering and that is to create a game designed to have 40-50 hours of game play lmao.

    My whole point is this,does anyone honestly think Mr.Smart can do anything at this point to save Alganon?Vanguard is 50x a better product and it could not recover,so what magic wand is Mr.Smart going to wave?It is all about money,the workers don't want to wonder where their next pay cheque is coming from,the game will not survive without money,so is this a fake ploy to try and garner some more money by giving NEW investors some fake promises?Oh well those investors i am sure are only investing what they can afford to lose,so i guess they will still be able to enjoy their Starbucks 5 dollar coffee every morn.


    Samoan Diamond

  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member

    I dunno, I kinda like Derek Smart. Say what you will about him, but he always backs up his bullshit, and even if he appears arrogant, he is never afraid to stand up for what he believes in, even if you don't like it.  I respect that.

    He seems like the kind of guy you could sit down and have a beer with, and he'll tell you straight up what's happening at his development studio, and not just bandy around the truth with the usual corporate one-liners.

    In short, the guy has balls.

    So you go, girl!

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