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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Flagship Studios - Shipwrecked

Default Flagship Studios - Shipwrecked

July 13th, 2008, 00:15
Is there an official confirmation yet? That community manager denies hes had any communication with VoodooExtreme on such topics.
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July 13th, 2008, 00:36
Latest update still says the studio is dead.
Employees terminated
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July 13th, 2008, 01:12
Okay, then its at least clear theyve fired just about everybody. I expect a PR on Monday.
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July 13th, 2008, 02:41
Although I didn't buy Hellgate or play it, it's still sad to see a developer go under after their first game. It's especially disheartening to see a PC exclusive developer fail like this, considering how the industry has become console dominated. Maybe they shouldn't have made their first game a Diablo clone. I think the type of people that enjoy repetitive Diablo style RPGs are all into MMORPGs now.

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July 13th, 2008, 02:47
Hellgate was just a boring game - I really don't know why Developers create one mediocre Diablo/World of Warcraft-Clone after another, with not one even coming close to the originals - and then they wonder why their games tank (or blame it on the pirates).

The Germans are a cruel race. Their operas last for six hours and they have no word for "fluffy".

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July 13th, 2008, 03:12
Diablo was kind of boring but I actually liked hellgate. Hopefully the game will live long enough to see the 2.0 patch. If I can play month or two thats enough anyways.
Update: A Goon by the name of GLC who claims to be a former Ping0 employee (thanks Hellgate Guru) has said the following on the SA Forums:

Former Ping0 employee checking in here. I feel bad for some of the talented guys on the staff who busted rear end to try and get a game out on a ridiculous schedule, but I think we all kind of saw this coming after the game came out and basically bombed. Flagship bit off way more than they could chew and made a lot of development and structural mistakes in how they went about things. They had a lot of big dreamers on staff, but not enough nitty-gritty people who knew how to get poo poo done. It sucks, but that's life I guess. I didn't always agree with the decisions of the leadership, but it doesn't surprise me at all to hear that three of them (probably Roper and the Schaeffers) dug into their own pockets to pay people. Nothing about them, Max Schaeffer in particular, ever made me think they were less than standup guys.

I think it's less that they aimed too high than that they tried to aim that high and do it quickly, and they didn't do anything the easy way. They had their own server architecture, their own client, their own chat, their own graphics engine, their own everything basically. Plus they wanted a game that could support thousands of concurrent connections with no downtime, had an engaging single-player campaign, and could support an ongoing, persistent world. It was like picking everything that's hard to do in a game, and then putting it on a brand-new company (two of them, really) with people who hadn't worked together before.

Plus you had Ping0 doing the back-end and multiplayer, working off a forked codebase, and trying to make sure that what they were designing was open enough that it could be marketed to other companies. And then Mythos, with a team working out of Seattle under Travis Baldtree (who is a loving genius, by the way), which had to fit into things somehow even though it wasn't as much of a priority. It was just a really chaotic situation all around. Hopefully the talented guys I met there will bounce back quickly, it's a lovely time to be unemployed in the bay area.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou
"Those who dont read history are destined to repeat it." Edmund Burke
Last edited by zakhal; July 13th, 2008 at 04:02.
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July 13th, 2008, 06:46
I expected this to happen since the game wasn't very good and had so many problems and it was hard to get them to fix any of them. I was a beta tester for both games and there was a big problem with a whole skillset with one of the classes (The skillset for the Engineer where you upgraded a robot) that was there long before release and beta testers kept telling them but I guess they ignored them. It was still in there after release and it was one of the biggest problems peole were having with the beta.
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July 13th, 2008, 08:26
I can't say I'm surprised, but I do feel truly sad for Flagship.

They made a lot of mistakes, I'll grant you that, but I always got the sense that it came not from malice or stupidity, but from simply being overly ambitious and trying too much with limited resources and time.

I remain firm in my position that Hellgate had some tremendous core mechanics, but suffered horribly from an extremely poor launch state and some even more unfortunate early issues with payment and what not. Also, the fact that they largely ignored the story aspect was a gigantic design mistake and the one decision that can't really be explained in a sensible way.

Still, they were a great bunch of people from what I could tell from the months I followed the game on the forums - and they were also refreshingly down-to-earth in many ways. I personally despise the corporate image that some big name developers like to make for themselves, and FSS weren't like that in my view.

Crap
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July 13th, 2008, 09:01
They should have made a better game, and paid attention to PC gamers requests, but they didn't and witness the results.

Memo to game designers: pay attention to PC gamers. End of story.
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July 13th, 2008, 09:42
Their funds was just not enough to make a better game, that was the problem.
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July 13th, 2008, 09:59
mistake #1 - using the word "Diablo" in any of the pre-game marketing. There's just no way anyone can live up to sweet-sweet melancholy that this word evokes and the corresponding expectations.

It's like saying "free beer" and then charging for the beer. You can't do that.

And you only need one mistake like that.
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July 13th, 2008, 10:03
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Also, the fact that they largely ignored the story aspect was a gigantic design mistake and the one decision that can't really be explained in a sensible way.
And so as always, it is not the technology that will make a game thrive, it's the story, writing and power to take the player into the game's world and make their stay there an immersive and believable experience.

Whatever the original design and grand ideas were, Hellgate turned into a poorly scripted rail-shooter. And when was the last time such a game was well received?
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July 13th, 2008, 10:38
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Their funds was just not enough to make a better game, that was the problem.
The other way round. They wanted to make more than was possible with their AAA budget. Two complete games (SP, MP), marketable MP server technology, etc. . All developed in-house. It was simply too much. Maybe it would have worked if they had licensed Unreal and a reliable MP server kit. Or scrap the SP mode altogether.
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July 13th, 2008, 12:48
Originally Posted by martink View Post
Whatever the original design and grand ideas were, Hellgate turned into a poorly scripted rail-shooter. And when was the last time such a game was well received?
D2 ? I personally never believed it was nothing more than pure railroading, social interactions with NPCs redured to a bare minimum etc. .

Basically they tried to copy the whole concept of such a "reduced game".

Me, I cannot see why they failed. Okay, I didn't like the game, but I thought it was my own and personal taste alone. I don't like action-RPGs anymore (although I had quite some fun with D2/LOD back then).

All I can see that they boiled the concept down to the bare minimum, and tried to put it into an different setting / world.

I cannot see why this didn't work, but I have to acknowledge that it didn't work.

Maybe I cannot see it because I never read reviews for this game, skipping it altogether. But I did this because I don't like action-RPGs in general anymore.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 13th, 2008, 15:10
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
D2 ? I personally never believed it was nothing more than pure railroading, social interactions with NPCs redured to a bare minimum etc. .
I think alot has to do with people not being as easily satisfied as a few years ago. People know what's out there. They have been playing WoW and know what's possible. They have choice.

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July 13th, 2008, 17:08
This happen when you get a game that got isometric view and make it like a shooter, you are next Besheda?
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Last edited by Turok; February 16th, 2011 at 02:27.
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July 13th, 2008, 18:06
Hope so.

In the end, this is all their fault. First, it's important to remember that the damages caused by piracy were minimal in HGL. Second, they fail to understand the PC market and go for a consolish PC-only product. It's only natural that it tanked. Third, they rushed the game out, resulting in poor balance and poor optimization (bugs and stuff). I blame the pretteeh graffeehx for that, they spent too much time on the graphical department.

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July 13th, 2008, 21:47
Originally Posted by martink View Post
And so as always, it is not the technology that will make a game thrive, it's the story, writing and power to take the player into the game's world and make their stay there an immersive and believable experience.
Hi, my name's Yeesh and I'd like one ticket to your world where story and writing matter. Here's the top ten best selling games fro a recent week in my world as posted by NPD July 8.

1. Spore Creature Creator
2. The Sims 2: IKEA Home Stuff Expansion
3. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe
4. World of Warcraft: Battle Chest
5. Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
6. World of Warcraft
7. The Sims 2 FreeTime Expansion Pack
8. The Sims 2 Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff Expansion Pack
9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
10. Diablo Battle Chest

As you can see, story doesn't really play too great a role here. I wonder what your top 10 best selling games are?
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July 13th, 2008, 21:52
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
7. The Sims 2 FreeTime Expansion Pack
8. The Sims 2 Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff Expansion Pack
Lolz. Kitchen & Bath Interior…. )
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July 13th, 2008, 23:56
They failed for two reasons, as far as I can see. Gorath hit the nail on the head, plus they lost the PR war. The idea of paying $10 / month for…well, almost nothing, pissed people off - even people that weren't really interested in the game. Their communication on this was muddy and the value proposition poor. It turned people away, especially when coupled with a poor launch.

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