An interview with Neil Yates of Jagged Blade Games

Monday, August 31, 2009
By Phil Carlisle
Desperate Space

Desperate Space

Phil:

Your games to date have all been shooters. I guess you must have some strong feelings about shooter games. Traditionally I know they haven’t been the easiest thing so sell to a paying audience. How have you found sales?

Neil:

Ironically I only became seriously interested in shooters after becoming an indie. Prior to that my favourite games were RPG titles like Final Fantasy, Baldur’s Gate and Morrowind. I’m quite young so I kind of missed the ‘glory days’ of the shmup.

When I originally started out I planned on making expansive RPGs but I quickly realised that I was aiming far too high and needed to have a more realistic goal. I looked at the current shareware games and saw 3 genres that seemed to have any level of success: cutsie puzzle games, cutsie platformers or shoot em ups. Not wanting to compromise my manliness I decided to go the shooter route.

While I was developing my first few games I spent a lot of time researching the genre and playing older titles like Gradius, R-Type and Raiden. It was only at that point that I really  began to fall in love with shmups.

And you’re totally correct, downloadable shooters really don’t sell well. Typically my download to sale conversion rate would be about 0.1%. My best selling downloadable shooter was Desperate Space, which after 4 years has only made about $10,000. It took me six months to make and I spent about 3 months on marketing. I don’t know many people in the UK who could live (not in their parent’s basement) on $1100 per month.

Phil:

After a number of downloadable games, you have switched to a flash based platform that is a sort of MMO hybrid. Can I ask what prompted the move from downloadable to flash based development?

Neil:

According to Einstein the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results. By the time I had finished Mighty Rodent I realised that I was literally acting like a crazy person. The message was clear, downloadable shoot em ups weren’t selling and I needed to try something different.

I started looking at different technologies, thinking of different business models etc. I played around with Flash for a while and eventually fell in love with it. I found development to be much faster than anything else and the fact that I could easily deploy to a large variety of platforms made it all the more attractive. By this point I wasn’t really sure what my final direction would be, but I knew that it had to be something involving Flash.

Xeno Assault

Xeno Assault

Phil:

Do you find the flash limits you in terms of the speed of the rendering and the smoothness of movement. I would imagine for shooters, that’s a very important part of the appeal. Having said that when I played Dead Frontier it felt like a slower paced game than your other games anyway. Is this a concious decision to pace the game more slowly?

Neil:

Yes Flash definitely limits you but it’s getting better all the time. With the advent of AS3 and FP10 it’s actually possible to make some quite hardcore stuff. When I originally made Dead Frontier I was working with AS2 and speed was a much bigger issue. My answer was to try to focus the game more on the horror/suspense side of things rather than pure shooting. Having said that the game does get much more intense later on.

Though being a zombie game I’d really like to have more than 8 zombies on screen without the user’s computer exploding. So I’ve gone ahead and hired a Flash guru to help convert the game to AS3 and optimize everything. We’re aiming to have up to 30-50 zombies and 10 players on screen at once without compromising framerate. I’d really like to go for that “OMG EPIC ZOMBIE HORDE!!!!111″ feeling.

Dead Frontier Multiplayer

Dead Frontier Multiplayer

Phil:

Dead Frontier is a fairly dark game in theme. It is also unusually a flash based MMO. Although there are plenty of those around, they do tend to be fairly bright and happy affairs with a very young audience. How has the public reaction been to a zombie shooter made in flash?

Neil:

The feedback has been 100% positive. My players love zombies, violence, gore and everything that goes with that. Dead Frontier is the only MMO where they can really get it.

Honestly it feels like the casual/female gamer revolution has gone too far. Right now all MMOs seem to be either anime, cartoony or cute and it drives me nuts. It’s not just MMOs either, this plague seems to have infected just about every genre and platform going.

I think there are a lot of people out there that feel the same and want to play something a bit more hardcore. For a long time I had a naked female zombie on the front page. Sure I got a few complaint emails, but I got many more from people praising my boldness.

Dead Frontier Screenshot

Dead Frontier Screenshot

Phil:

Can I ask you about the business side of Jagged Blade Games? Are you a one man outfit? Who does the art, business and other things? Are you full-time doing it? Do you have contract work to support yourself?

Neil:

For the longest time it was just me. To start with I lived with my parents and basically gave them any money I earned to go towards for my food/rent. Eventually I scored a part time job with ArcadeTown which gave me enough total income to buy a house an start living as an ‘adult’.

When I launched Dead Frontier it started making some money, nothing amazing but still much more than I’d ever made with my previous games. Literally a month later I was told that I was no longer needed at ArcadeTown. At this point I was incredibly relieved that I still had Dead Frontier to pay the mortgage.

Since I no longer had a job I focused all of my attention on improving the game and the income started to increase exponentially. Right now I have two full-time employees, Ian who handles customer support/community management and Nick who handles promotion of the game. I also work with a range of freelancers/part timers: Greg Taylor (art), Jesse Hopkins (sound), Matthew Bowie (server admin) and David Patterson (programming). I’ve got some big plans for the future and I expect the game to eventually grow around 5x it’s current size.

Phil:
In many ways, choosing shooters as a genre to work in is a very risky move. Many indies choose to try for the casual market, although that has come under increasing price pressures recently. You obviously made a decision when you switched to creating flash based games. Did you not get tempted to move outside of the shooter genre and go more “casual”?

Neil:

I was seriously tempted to try making a match-3 or time management game a few years ago when I wasn’t making any decent money and you could still sell them for $20. I’m glad I never did it but the whole casual craze did have a big negative impact on me. I always felt like the answer to more sales was to make my games more and more casual as that was the prevailing advice at the time. The closest I ever came was with Mighty Rodent; my only cartoony game. I thought that by dressing a shooter in cute clothes I could get more sales. Turned out I was wrong and it actually made less money than some of my more hardcore games. After that I promised myself that I would never pander to portals again; I would make exactly the kind of game I want and never make compromises.

And that’s exactly what I did. When I was brainstorming for new ideas I said to myself, “what would I really like to play?”. The answer was a survival horror MMO. So that’s what I made.

Realspace 3

Realspace 3

Phil:

Looking to the future, how do you see your games evolving? Do you think that you will ever create downloadables again? How about platforms like steam, or consoles?

Neil:

Well I’ve got some really neat ideas for both MMOs and downloadables but right now I simply wouldn’t have the time to begin work on another project.

The upside with downloadables is that when you’ve finished a game you can generally move on to something else quite quickly. MMOs aren’t like that at all, if they become successful then you’re basically tethered to them until they die or get bought out. Though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it gives you the chance to make something really big and really special.

Not really interested in other platforms, although if I were to do a downloadable I’d definitely like to give steam a whirl. They appear to be the only portal where a hardcore game can do well.

Phil:

Finally, is there anything you want to say to aspiring indies in the UK thinking about going it alone and starting thier own studio?

Neil:

My advice would be not to set your sights too low. Right now a lot of people seem to think the route to success is by keeping your dev time short in order to get the maximum ROI on time spent. That’s great if you’re happy to just scrape by, churning out endless streams of mediocre titles. That’s what I tried to do in my early years and let me tell you first hand – it sucks.

If you really want to make it big then you’re going to need a big hit. To do that you need a game that’s really special and that simply isn’t going to come from a 3 month development cycle. I would also recommend trying things that haven’t been done before. Nothing better than having an entire niche all to yourself.

Thanks to Neil for giving us such a great insight into his life as an indie developer. You can check out Neil’s latest game Dead Frontier at www.deadfrontier.com and his other games at www.jaggedbladegames.com

Until next week!

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39 Responses to “An interview with Neil Yates of Jagged Blade Games”

  1. Cheif45

    holy fucking shizz 50 zeds on a screen..

    #148
  2. Modemkill

    30 – 50 Zombies per screen?!

    *drools heavily*

    Yours truly.

    Modemkill.

    Hardcore fan of DF.

    #149
  3. Smiggel

    30-50 Zombies and 10 people.

    *Shits a brick*

    Better be off then.

    #152
  4. BMJM

    I shat bricks.

    #155
  5. John Constantine

    I seriously can’t wait for 10 players on screen

    That will be epic!

    #156
  6. MrFloppy

    I love you PWN (no homo) and I’d have to agree with most of what he said, and he’s pretty much nailed the game based on his intended audience(16 year old boys)

    #158
  7. Chain

    wow, 30-50…
    0_0 i wonder if i can survive,,…

    #159
  8. Biohazard123

    Awesome can’t wait to be overrun and run like a little bitch.

    #160
  9. zhanghenglai

    It’s nice to know who the other people involved with Dead Frontier’s development, and good luck with growing this game! Hope it’ll grow so big, so great, and so successful that it gets bought out someday and you’ll move to a huge mansion.

    #161
  10. shadowreaper1997

    I can’t believe Dead Frontier is growing so fast!
    Good luck to my favorite non-downloadable MMO!

    #162
  11. DiggerTheFerret

    How good of Neil to give this interview, to give a look into his thoughts.
    And yes, “ZOMG! 50 ZOMBEH ONSCREEN WIFF TEN PEOPLE! W00T!”
    Ahem.

    #164
  12. herbert

    dead frontier is the best horror mmo and the only zombie mmo
    id like it to become the best mmo

    #166
  13. timtard (ingame)

    Hey, I’ve been playing since the beta started and I can’t believe how much it has changed. it used to be walking around being lonely, seeing what you could find in a car, usually $2-$6. Now, it is running through a zombie infested city with 2 of your best friends with 10 sprinting zombies coming fast behind you, and doing what you can to survive.

    It has gotten much harder and is almost a completely different game, and I love it. I can’t imagine when there are 30-50 zombies on screen, it will be just amazing. Something I do feel should be higher priority though is multiplayer sync. I don’t think you can have a true mmorpg unless you really benefit from multiplayer, which you can’t when you can’t trust if what you see on screen is what is really going on. When multiplayer is even just a little bit more in sync, you cn expect me to be online 24/7.

    The one thing I don’t like is that about half the members are people who add Zs to everything and choose to type inways they think are cute, IE; “zomgz lyk wye u gotsa be soz meenz an notz give mi some monyz?”
    But that is completely expected.

    The thing that got me into dead frontier was thinking about being with 2 or 3 friends baarricaded and running when zombies bust through and having to work together to survive, and I hope someday that will be us. I got into zombie mod in counter strike source for w hile because of that, but that game is just too glitchy and the game was left to rot basically, all of counter strike.

    -timtard (don’t ask, I get enough crap about the name, I was slap happy when I made the account and didnt plan on keeping it)-

    #169
  14. Lord0fthelemons

    Im happy to see that things are looking up for you. Game artists, espacialy with flash are haveing an extremely hard time right now. When I saw Deadfrontier about a year and a half ago I new you had to be struggling financialy espacially with the rappid advanceing of the game. In the last year it has improved 10fold. I congradulate you on such a terrific and original game as well as your improved lifestile.

    Ps. AS3 will be a major improvement
    Pss. I can finally call you something besides PWN !Neil!

    #170
  15. wii101 (ingame)

    omg 50 zombies (pisses pants and runs away)

    #177
  16. The Prinny Hunter Dood

    Wow *shivers* and I had trouble when it was just 8 Long Arms but 30 to 50, can’t wait!

    #196
  17. KamaKaz1cop

    After playing Dead Fronter for awhile now, I have to say that you (Neil) did indeed create something very unique for a very cliched genre. I am too looking forward into becoming a game designer and I find you as one of my inspirations. I will be looking forward into updates or projects in the future. So until then, keep it up. We all appreciate this, especaly on what you had to go through to make it here durring these tough times.

    #200
  18. [DF] Bulleta

    >_>

    30-50 zombies per screen!? D:

    sounds like fun! :3

    #201
  19. Bluefeather

    30-50 zombies wtf?

    alot still needs changing
    rifles need to able to penetrate to zombies flesh and hit the other zombies at the back of it since 30-50 zombies?

    and other weps need more dmg to kill the zombies faster still 30-50 zombies only a GAU can be able to survive 70%

    melee users 1%

    #202
  20. Matt Aries

    To all those reading this interview thinking if the game is for you, all I can say is if you like shooter games, zombie pandemics, and even the MMO style of gaming, this is a complete and total hit.

    As one of many long time players this game is growing at such a large rate, it’s hard to keep up with all the great features added into the game to make things interesting as well as very fun to come back to again and again to play.

    Fairview while being on the brink of a zombie pandemic spiraling out of control, has to have in my humble opinion one of the greatest communities and loyal players I have ever seen for this type of game. With the likes of Neil and his staff being open to many of the ideas thrown out by the players themselves, and the in game forum keeps many coming back regularly as apposed to a close minded creator who is head strong on “This is my game like it or leave” additude.

    Even now in beta testing, their is a very large community of thousands of players with almost a 100% positive feedback on the game itself. With tweeks and fine tuning here and there this game is sure to go far past even Neils expectations.

    So, if you are reading this and wondering if you should try it out, or if you would like it, I can honestly say, try it out you will not be disappointed in the slightest bit.

    To the comment of upgrading the amount of players in a multiplayer game I love the idea and can’t wait for such. To the idea of 30-50 zombies on screen running at you full speed from all over, I simply can say … bring it!

    To Neil thank you for your fearless devotion to this amazing game, which we all really enjoy.

    #203
  21. Masterdemon

    HOLY SHIZ! i just shat bricks, also, i was the one who introduced this interview to the rest of the DF audience

    #204
  22. Ryan S. Packer

    Admin, I am seriously glad you didn’t make DF casual. It is awesome as is, and with 30-50 zombies per screen this will really help with the higher levels. Imagin looting a GLA with maxed aggro and 49 other LA’s sprinting at you.

    #205
  23. My God,set your goals high,haw Neil

    #206
  24. MAX-AGGRO

    30-50 zeds on-screen? LOL! I’m already pissing myself! This is already so epic even in the Beta stages, it makes me wonder what the final product will be like.

    #208
  25. Cat Warrior

    its meee
    eeeeee

    Cat Warrior

    i cant wait till 30 zps

    #209
  26. yakkety

    Ok, many zombies on screen + more players on screen…

    That =

    Really nice…

    #210
  27. Omegazeo

    Admin you are a god can’t wait for new updates on DF

    #211
  28. frabalaba

    OH FCKING-A!!! thats gonna be awsome! super happy agro fun… with zombies!

    #212
  29. Vidster

    Admin is win.

    #222
  30. GuardianBnK

    you’re setting yourself some nice goals ^^

    to even the 30-50 zombies for melee tohugh made make it so you could do combos :D (lift swipe right swipe then a down cut) or hit more then 1 zombie in 1 swing :D

    #226
  31. Destroyer9

    LOL if he put it noaw i would die every time and mellle will become usefull =D

    #236
  32. Cheif45

    …i…….love…..you
    (NO HOMO)

    #240
  33. jesterbob

    This is coming from a level 50+ player who’s played DF for a year and a half. Take 15 minutes to read it, and it’ll save you many hours and even real money:

    I played Dead Frontier not because it’s a great game, but because it’s the ONLY zombie survival themed MMORPG. Having said that, all aspects of the game can really be summed up with one word: mediocre.

    The game itself is mediocre. It’s nothing more than a simple, 2-D bird’s-eye-view “shooter” that’s a grind to play. There are many, many, many shortcomings to the game itself that you are all already aware of, such as poor graphics, sounds, etc. A lot of this comes from the inherent limitations of the game being in flash. But even taking that into account, I simply don’t see any merits to DF as a video game.

    The gameplay has been described by and agreed upon by people as being “a grind”, boring, dull, repetitive, etc. For higher levels, a good chunk of time is wasted by “commuting” to the deeper regions of the “map”. If I wanted to commute, I could accompany my dad to work every morning. The map itself is poorly designed, if designed at all – the streets layouts, the wreckage and corpses on the streets, the furniture and rooms of buildings, even the street names all seem to be randomly generated. I understand that it’s the zombie apocalypse and every place is ransacked, but a room with 5 beds? There are two “Lerwillbury” on the map, and a lot of place names don’t make sense (like a “South”-something would north of its “North”-counterpart.

    And when there are zombies to kill, like in high-aggro situations, the “action” consists of nothing more than a glorified version of Asteroids. Come on, we’re in the 2010′s, not the 1990′s. You move around your tank-like character whose torso can rotate 360% with his legs moving in the opposite direction, clicking on the baddies. No headshots (come on – it’s a zombie game! sever the head or destroy the brain!), no different postures / positions, no jumping over that overturned chair or knocking over that potted plant, no zooming, no dual-wielding, etc.

    Okay, so this game isn’t your Gears of War or Call of Duty. It’s not even an “action” game because it calls itself an “MMORPG”. But is it really an MMORPG, or just using it as an excuse for its mundane game mechanics? For a game that claims to have RPG aspects, DF’s character creation and development system is terribly rudimentary, not to mention stupid. “Engineers” repair armor? Engineers make calculations and design things – they don’t actually wield metal or anything. “Scientists” make medicine? I think a better term would be either a Chemist or a Pharmacist. Clearly, very little thought as been put into these basic things.

    Names aside, the actual character build configuration is unbalanced. It’s very expensive and hard to start off specializing in heavy weapons like machineguns or explosives and using a strength-oriented build – unless you pay the “free” game real money to afford the costly ammo and weapon upgrades. Then again, if you go with lighter weapons like melee, pistols, or rifles, you’ll find that you lack firepower later on in the game, and you’ll need to buy a stat reset to change your build. Everyone ends up having only a few viable options for builds and weapons, or you’re free to choose your own stats and guns but suck. Just look at all the higher level players – their equipment are awfully similar. So much for being able to configure your character as you like.

    Aside from that, the “missions” (which were, by the way, were about half an year late) are nothing more than fetch-this, kill-that chores with no plot advancement at all. Speaking of the plot, there is none other than a generic zombie apocalypse mad-lib. Replace “T-virus” with “N4″, replace “Umbrella Corporation” with “Secronom”, replace “Raccoon City” with “Fairview”. I’ve seen B-grade zombie flicks with more interesting storyline than Dead Frontier’s. Someone fire the game’s story writer!

    It’s official (according to former moderators and the admins of the game) that the game is set in the United States, but there are so many obvious inconsistencies. The game developer, “AdminPwn” (seriously, is he in middle school or something – what self-respecting person would use such a lame, meme-name?) is from England. There are red double-decker buses all over the place and “color” are spelled “colour”. You see building names such as “so-and-so Solicitors”. In the United States, law firms / offices are usually called “The Law Office of so-and-so” or “Proskauer Rose”, etc. Obviously, whoever made the game didn’t bother to do basic, basic research.

    A glaring failure in the game’s RPG aspect is that it is NOT a zombie game. One fundamental aspect of the zombie genre is man versus nature. Think about the billions upon billions of grains of sand covering up ancient city ruins in the desert, or thee vast and unforgiving oceans swallowing up armadas of ships and sailors, or rust and vegetation converting an urban landscape back into nature. But instead of the desert, the seas, etc., you’ve got zombies. Just watch the first five minutes of Day of the Dead and you’ll get the feeling. Hordes and hordes of relentless, flesh-eating, never-resting zombies banging down your door, eating your brains.

    What about Dead Frontier “zombies”? First, there are not hordes and hordes of zombies. There’s not even a large group of zombies. The most you can have on the map is 8 at a time. AdminPwn says it’s because flash doesn’t allow it. Okay, fine, blame it on the technology. So Dead Frontier has the typical gray zombies. But then, it starts to get festive. You get your “charred” PURPLE zombies, then your “mutated” RED zombies, and then your “irradiated” GREEN zombies. What is this – Christmas festivities meets a bad case of Halloween all-year-round? Not to mention those “longarms” – “zombies” with laughably long arms. For people who are familiar with the game and the “plot”, this is all explained vaguely by “mutations” and whatever, but it’s like we’re fighting demons or monsters. So call it a monster survival game or a demon survival game or a mutant survival game – don’t lie to us by passing these things as zombies.

    Another aspect of the zombie genre is the man versus man tension. Your friend is infected – do you try to save him or put him out of his misery before he can turn? We’re trapped and running out of food – do you resort to cannibalism or try to fight through the zombie hordes? You encounter a group of survivors – do you join up and help them, or kill them and loot their stuff? You rescue a defenseless young girl – do you be kind and help her, or give into your urges in this lawless place and have your way with her? Well, you guessed it – Dead Frontier has none of that either.

    Dead Frontier also advertises itself as an “MMO”, but its multiplayer aspects are shamefully pathetic. AdminPwn blames a whole lot of problems on the game being in flash – yeah, blame it on the technology again. For example, “multiplayer” consts of you playing with computer-controlled bots representing other players. The zombies you see and are killing on your screen is different from those on your friend’s screen. You can’t actually come to your friend’s rescue – you just have to hope that your bot on your friend’s screen is hitting the right zombies. This synch problem hasn’t worked after a year and a half, and whatever the excsue may be, the fact remains that Dead Frontier fails to deliver, remotely, its promises. I recall multiple times when AdminPwn has said he’ll fix synch. But delay after delay, announcement after announcement, DF is the same, crappy game at the core few a few new cheap tricks covering it up.

    Something integral both to the RPG and MMO aspects of Dead Frontier are clans. Right now, there are clans in the game, but the only thing extra with clans is that there’s a section in the forums for clans. In other words, “clan” are in name only. You don’t get access to extra places like clan armory or headquarters or anything like that in the game if you’re in a clan, etc. You and your clan buddies can’t team up against enemy clan members in PvP where friendly fire is off (in fact, you can’t even avoid shooting your clan members since in multiplayer, you’re playing with computer-controlled bots).

    There was a thread made by the players of Dead Frontier calling for a clan system and what features it should have, and after more than a year, there is still no clan system. The person currently in charge of creating the clan system? Lucas “zenmaster” Plumb, an 18-year-old kid fresh out of some inner-city high school. What does he have to say about the clan system he’s supposedly working on? “As for the clan system it’s going to start off as just a basic create/invite/promotion thing as well as redoing the ugly SMF buddy system we have with a new contacts system. Then I imagine we’ll slowly begin adding more features to the clan system after a few other things get worked on. At any rate the clan system will most definitely be out before the 3d client.”

    Supposedly, this kid is getting paid to do this. This is probably his first job, if you could even call it that – he’s given no training, there are no regular work hours, there probably was no contracts or papers to sign, etc. Nothing to reinforce his responsibility. It’s like a school project that he’s not going to get a grade for and there’s no deadline. Notice that he talks in the present tense, which probably means he hasn’t done much at all, if any work, for the clan system. If he had done something, he would’ve have mentioned it if he’s discussing his work. And what he does say is vague and generic – it’s as if he hasn’t even put anything down on paper yet as to what the clan system will actually be like. And he’s setting himself a generous deadline of “before the 3d client”, anywhere between June and August of 2010. AdminPwn has a history of delays, and so if zenmaster is setting his standards by AdminPwn’s, it’s not unlikely that the clan system will come out even later.

    The game community is mediocre – mostly of middle school internet shut-in types and such – but that’s to be expected for a free-to-play online game about killing zombies with machineguns. On a scale between a regular internet forum on one end, and 4chan on the other end, I’d say that Dead Frontier is closer to the 4chan end. So if you’re looking for good social interactions, go to a networking cocktail or a conference on something interesting in real life, or at the very least, just stick with Facebook. If you’re looking for stupidity and nonsense, then go to 4chan.

    Most importantly, the “company” behind the game is mediocre without redemption. Yes, the game Dead Frontier is developed by the “company” called Jagged Blade Software, so while it’s all games and fun, there is a “business” side to the game in the same way that the good people at Blizzard or Infinity War take WoW or MW2 very seriously. Only there isn’t a business at Dead Frontier – it’s just a shits-and-giggles crap-shoot, if I didn’t know better.

    Consider this: the “moderators” consists of Crynsos, MaFaHai, and zenmaster. I’ve already spoken of zenmaster, and I’m really doubtful of the character, motivations, judgment, and maturity of some fresh-out-of-high-school kid. I mean, high schoolers are smart, they’re cool, they’re chill, etc. – but as a moderator? I know there are a few 30-, 40-year-olds playing Dead Frontier – get them to moderate, they’re more mature and less hormone-ridden. I don’t know much about Nazirwan “MaFaHai” Nazlly aside from he’s a nothing on the internet outside of video games. Crynsos – well, he talks about his position and activities in Dead Frontier as having “influence, experience, allies, and power”. Ahem, this is a video game. Is this guy serious? Who talks like that?

    Now consider Jagged Blade Software. Game design is by Neil Yates. “Community Management & Support” is handled by Ian Yates. Game Promotion is handled by Nick Yates. Now, the last time I checked, JBS (Jagged Blade Software / jack bull shit) was not a family business, so it really seems to me that Neil just grabbed a couple of relatives who had nothing better to do. In all likelihood, they’re probably not qualified or experienced.
    They might even be unemployed (I wonder why…). At the very least, they probably don’t have any serious, important, or meaningful responsibilities or time commitments such as work, studies, etc.

    This was actually quoted from an e-mail sent by Ian Yates the “community management and support” guy regarding the temporary ban for a player who criticizing the game: “I’m bored of you now… your long history of being an obnoxious little shit…”. This was sent from his “work” e-mail: , and thus, as a representative of his “company”. Mr. Community Management here is clearly doing a great job doing community management – so polite, so tact (NOT). Having family members work for a company is a bad idea, and in this particular case, that family member can’t even be civil. His mother would be ashamed of his dirty mouth.

    AdminPwn has a track record of always failing to meet the generous deadlines that he set for himself, then he’ll blame the technology he’s working with or that one programmer that he hired who then ragequit on him. Yeah, he actually hired one legit employee that wasn’t a player-volunteer or family member, and that employee “ragequit” (to quote AdminPwn himself). Either Neil Yates sucks at picking the right people for the work, evident in his choice of moderators, or he just sucks at dealing with people in general. I mean, his “employees” for his “business” consists of some ragtag of family members and players who volunteer to help out in order to gain “influence” and “power” in a free-to-play video game.

    The only good thing that Dead Frontier has going for it is that Jagged Blade Software / Neil Yates aka AdminPwn has had the tremendous but tenuous good fortune of there not being another MMORPG-type game of the zombie genre. However, being the only zombie-themed MMORPG (if DF could even qualify as such) does not make the game automatically good when in fact it is mediocre. Sooner or later, another game developer – one that is actually half-decent – will enter the market. Dead Frontier has had almost 2 years of beta to wallow in its own mediocrity. I wonder how much longer that’ll last.

    All companies produce poor results sometimes, but they are also capable of making great things. But a truly mediocre “company” like Jagged Blade Software (if it even qualifies as a company or game developer and not some guy in a basement with a computer and internet connection) cannot possibly produce anything but truly mediocre results like Dead Frontier. Jagged Blade Software hardly qualifies as a company. It lacks propriety, management, structure, standard practices, basic services, etc. I’ve seen high school clubs run under better leadership. In terms of the product itself, Dead Frontier is far from an impressive game, and can only be generously called “adequate”.

    Given all of these failings that is inherent in the company – nay, in the persons – behind Dead Frontier, Dead Frontier’s commercial and entertainment success probably won’t be greater than Runescape’s, or Kingdom of Loathing’s, or Neopet’s. Despite a recent announcement about the game’s development which promises dramatic, but ultimately unimpressive changes, I doubt even these promises can be met without the results being thoroughly mediocre.

    It takes about an hour to do the “Outpost Attack” event. In that hour, you could go jog two, three miles then come back for a hot shower. A full loot run into the city and back at the outpost in the game takes 2, 3, 4 hours or more. In that time, you could watch a movie with friends, possibly finish a short book and learn something, or play another video game that’s better-made and more fun. Buying virtual guns in the game like the GAU can cost up to $200 or more real money. With that same amount of money, you can literally buy another game system, 3 or 4 brand new video games, or the new iPod Nano.

    A cost-benefit analysis simply doesn’t stack up. Playing video games in general could be fun, but that’s why people play Modern Warfare 2 or Super Smash Bros. Brawl instead of Pong or Tic-Tac-Toe. They derive more enjoyment and their time is better spent with better games. A disappointingly and deeply mediocre game like Dead Frontier is far from being that “better” game. In the end, after hours of grinding, looting, leveling, etc., perhaps even spending real money on the game, there are simply no worthwhile take-aways.

    #245
  34. Merci pour cet info simple et très bien fait.

    #259
  35. thepieman

    if were going to be fighting that many zeds at wonce they would need to be a lot easer to kill

    #275
  36. :P

    30-50 zeds….. that will make single player insanely harder to play :o .

    #277
  37. kampeaoPT (ingame)

    I completely agree with timtard
    and can’t wait to play an even more enchanced DF
    also, he’s 100% right, multiplayer synch should be a priority because i have no idea what’s really happening in the screen as I see people getting hit 20 times by a zombie, when he’s afk or just running, and they are never hit
    anyway, keep up the good work ;)

    #355
  38. Elly

    The first and the last MMO game i’ll ever play :) , I LOVE IT, that’s all I can say :D .

    #388
  39. odinaden

    Holy shit this was actually pretty cool to read. All of the updates Neil has describes has for better or worse been implemented, and although the game gets stagnant after awhile, it’s still one of my favorites. Nice Job Neil.

    #2812

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