The Repopulation: ‘The risk of downtime is very real’

Throughout November, we’ve been covering The Repopulation’s troubles with Idea Fabrik, the company that runs Hero Engine, on which The Repopulation was built. Idea Fabrik admitted to its community that its funding was at issue and that it was expecting service blackouts as a result. Above and Beyond halted The Repopulation’s updates while it worked with Hero Engine to keep the game’s hosting up, saying it was in a “holding pattern” but “still [had] outs” in the event of catastrophe.

Might one of those “outs” be a new engine? New comments from A&B’s J.C. Smith lean against it. On the game’s official forums, he wrote,

“We’d prefer to get Repop out, finish up things (15.10.1 and 15.10.2 are huge updates in terms of stability and features) and ship the game rather than starting completely fresh in a new engine (though you can never say never). Because if we went to a new engine we’d basically be rebuilding the game from scratch code wise, though some things would convert over (art, data). There are options if they fold or if they do not fold but hosting is no longer viable. Neither is particularly attractive, and the latter would require us to seek outside investment or partnerships. But there are quite a few different possibilities depending on how things play out.”

Over the weekend, he clarified the engine situation, told players the downtime risk is “very real,” and spoke of progress on a contingency plan:

“Unfortunately at the time when we started out here the only viable options were Hero, Bigworld, or Torque 3D, with the first of those two having restrictive license agreements, and the third being a good renderering engine that lacked in MMO specific features. We weren’t ever to fully be able to get out of the agreement.

“The risk of downtime is very real at this point, though there is still also some reason for hope that this will resolve itself in a positive way. We have already begun some early work on the most likely contingency plan, so that we aren’t just sitting idly. But we are limited still in what we can do as a result of being in money preservation mode while this plays out, so currently it’s mostly prep work and experimentation.”

Source: Official forums, more. With thanks to Sethman.
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41 Comments on "The Repopulation: ‘The risk of downtime is very real’"

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Jacra
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Jacra

I’m SO sorry to read about their worsening situation. Haven’t bought the game, wasn’t a big fan of SWG (duck, sorry), more a fantasy person for sure – but I’m tempted to buy it now if only to support them. From what I’ve heard they’ve done an impressive job, especially for an indie and with such an ambitious project. They didn’t earn this at all. :(

HolyAvengerOne
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HolyAvengerOne

ChristopherPierce That’s not gonna happen. IF and their HeroCloud engine need TR to succeed/be viable.. plus other customers. They can’t do that, unless they go under… and even then, they’ll have to fight for it in the liquidation of the assets.

HolyAvengerOne
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HolyAvengerOne

HolyAvengerOne I know, that’s what I said responding to @DemonicPossession. Repop wasn’t Hero’s biggest POC, it was HeroCloud’s. TESO and SWTOR were the biggest POCs.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

HolyAvengerOne The problem there is HeroCloud. The other things you mentioned regardless were using the source code version of Hero Engine which is a different product and avoided some of these shenanigans that popped up cuz of HeroCloud. HeroCloud was a good idea early on to an extent, but you then end up relying on their back end and them staying in business to keep your own product up

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

AlexanderDeLarge I have to disagree on one point to an extent at least. It was a little bit of mismanagement when they opted to use Hero’s cloud services to host things instead of their other option getting the source and doing servers themselves which would of prevented them from being in this position at the moment.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

nshelton The problem stems more from the product that they chose to use from hero engine… As the company behind hero engine is having financial issues the things using their cloud services are having issues… They offer a general license more akin to what you’d normally get as well but Repop wasn’t based off this. So yes while it could happen with anything cloud related it was their choice to use that model to save money, i’d of transitioned off of it though for fear of that happening

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

ChristopherPierce I think at this point their engine partner should just hand them a full license for hero engine the ability to make their own servers and the code for where it is housed directly and then let them get it hosted wherever they want at the moment or they are able to buy it somehow and get the same… However this would require downtime just a lot less than other stuff. I think part of the problem was as far as their solutions went when looking is that they were looking more for what was labeled as something for an MMORPG specifically, many middleware game engines can work for an mmorpg (unreal engine comes to mind, as does cryengine, and a few others), but they require more work and more development time.

MrEllis
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MrEllis

Don’t take the art assets over…

Alf Igel
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Alf Igel

Lateris 
Problems are easy to solve.
Offer new funding to Idea Fabrik.
Their greatest client could be a part of problem and solution

Bluetouchpaper
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Bluetouchpaper

I’m sometimes tempted by early access but things like this make me glad I never give in to those temptations .

Telos_
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Telos_

It’s too bad.  I’ve tried it twice, but i could never get out of the tutorial area.  It’s just too much of a learning curve even for an MMO vet like myself. They should’ve avoided the Hero Engine altogether.

Lateris
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Lateris

If this studio needs a kick starter I will support them. Hopefully all the MMO communities can stand with them. I really appreciate what they are trying to accomplish. They don’t deserve this BS.

HolyAvengerOne
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HolyAvengerOne

Given they’re not using the same product, I doubt the issues are related. Although if that’s how things roll at IF…

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Armsbend Well we have the CU class unveil tomorrow; always a good feeling.  

Then the irony of the Thur/Friday post about “remember all those MMOs and MMO players we have been trashing? Here is what they have on sale”  I much better at resisting Steam sales but cmon who can’t use some more inventory and character slots?

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Karl_Hungus Lies! The community here was so supportive of SWTOR’s launch in general and HERO in particular!

/sigh

Valcan321
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Valcan321

Haven’t played it in months. Game when I played was SO unoptimized.

ChockFull
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ChockFull

This is really shitty. Repop is doing so many things right, they don’t deserve this BS.

distaste
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distaste

HolyAvengerOne TESO only used it for prototyping in alpha. SWTOR had the earliest version of hero engine and ended up modifying it to the point where they couldn’t get engine updates. The SWTOR results were/are awful. I’m not sure if it was the hero engine or their modifications but that game is clunky to say the least. Then there was Faxion Online and Dominus…The engines track record is not great and I’ve yet to see anything based on it wow me.

ChristopherPierce
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ChristopherPierce

God, I hope they manage to work this out with their engine partners. I have no idea what options are available to them too or how feasible it would be to implement them.

HolyAvengerOne
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HolyAvengerOne

Well. IF on the HeroCloud engine. There was TESO and SWTOR that bought HeroEngine licenses, too.

HolyAvengerOne
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HolyAvengerOne

Totally agreed. Although I disagree with the angry tone these days on their forums, I can understand why. So much work.. Their game came a very, very long way and is almost ripe today. How frustrating it must be…

HolyAvengerOne
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HolyAvengerOne

Lollll. That was a good one by Smed. Very funny.

theeknighthood
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theeknighthood

Damn this is sad news, I was looking forward to this, have it on Steam but have not been putting time into as waiting for it to be more fleshed out.
I hope they manage to sort everything out and come out on top, they seem like a really good bunch of developers, glad to hear they have back up plans in case the engine guys can’t pull through.

theeknighthood
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theeknighthood

Icnoevil What a dumb human being you are, it must really suck to be you.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

MoP seriously needs some good news to lead us into the holiday.  Almost every headline today is the absolute pits.  Come on!

Karl_Hungus
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Karl_Hungus
paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

Dystopiq Skyewauker  But…but…that’s time I’d never get back and I’m no longer young! Plus I’m afraid I’d fail my saving throw and lose IQ points! (flails)

nshelton
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nshelton

As i understand it they have done alot of good work in repop, have mega patches often.

Engine licensing issues could hit any game really, but hero engine….

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

MorpayneRADIO /flogdeadhorse You could always return home to the spiritual successor to SWG. http://massivelyop.com/2015/11/24/h1z1-warns-players-of-full-server-wipe-happening-tomorrow/

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

AlexanderDeLarge This always struck me as a hardworking group with good i.e. non profligate project management. So sad to see them get blindsided.

Xevious
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Xevious

Icnoevil Lol what a fail troll, I do not speak english and I understand better than you anyway. Grats.

Dystopiq
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Dystopiq

Skyewauker Read his comment history. He’s about the most obvious fail troll there is here.

Dystopiq
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Dystopiq

Icnoevil You can troll better, kid!

Eliandal
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Eliandal

Well…here’s hoping that IF works our THEIR problems so that the Repop can go back to being a game covered for its’ ideas and concepts instead of the problems that are pretty much out of their control :/

Mark Jacobs
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Mark Jacobs

That sucks, I really wanted to see these guys succeed.

I hope things work out for them.

MorpayneRADIO
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MorpayneRADIO

Dying for one of these sandboxes to actually release. The only options we have right now are Asian p2wboxes, all the western games are “coming soon” or ancient like MO or darkfall.

AlexanderDeLarge
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AlexanderDeLarge

I really sympathize with these guys. I know how much it sucks to have everything you’ve worked towards ruined by something outside of your control. Fortunately these guys have several strategies in the worst case scenarios.

AlexanderDeLarge
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AlexanderDeLarge

Icnoevil They don’t need money. It’s the back end of everything they’ve worked on, completely out of their control.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

I don’t know how to read? Fail at reading comprehension? PLEASE , re read the article. Read the one before this, then come back and post.

HolyAvengerOne
Guest
HolyAvengerOne

Icnoevil No, that is not what this is about. It is about a partner that are having difficulties.

Icnoevil
Guest
Icnoevil

Lol what a rip off….after what 5+ kickstarters/early access they still need more money.

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