The Repopulation temporarily suspends development

The unfortunate saga of The Repopulation continues this week, as Above & Beyond Technologies announced that it was pulling the plug on the alpha servers — at least for the time being.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce today that development The Repopulation has been temporarily suspended and alpha servers are expected to go offline on Wednesday, December 23rd,” the game’s lead developer posted. “As most of you are already aware, Idea Fabrik (the creators of Hero Engine) has been going through some turmoil over the past month which has caused us to temporarily suspend sales of the game. Servers have remained online, but their ongoing costs are preventing us from keeping them online indefinitely. As a result, The Repopulation’s alpha servers will be going offline on Wednesday until this situation is resolved.”

Above & Beyond said that this did not signal the end of the game but admitted that it might be a while before everything gets sorted out. The idea is to save money by shutting the servers down while Hero Engine hopefully gets fixed, then bringing The Repopulation back online once that happens.

The studio said that it won’t be sitting around in the meantime: “We’ll continue to explore our options. Talking to third parties and looking for a solution. We are also exploring contingency plans and ways to help make up for this to our community.”

Source: Official forums, Hero Engine forums. Thanks to Edge_Case, Kinya, Byron, Kieran, and Kharnis
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jonny_sage
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jonny_sage

Arcane13 jonny_sage where? If it doesnt cost them anything to run the servers, then why shut them down? the article says “ongoing costs” If players are willing to pay those costs, I dont see why they cant keep the servers up.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

HordeQ It’s fine so long as they don’t use hero cloud stuff.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

Arcane13 nshelton Well considering their own moves over the years and the fact they are relegated to making mobile games I’d say that yes the creators of the engine themselves are not too bright. They had primarily text based games and a few graphical games, and muds. Nothing to write home about. The Hero’s Journey game had been in development since the 90’s and the engine for quite awhile. They mismanaged the engine took a long time to develop it then flat out abandoned it by laying everyone involved in it off before selling it to Idea Fabrik.

They have 14 “games” that are either out or in development/coming soon/featured. Not many people use the engine. SWTOR Modified the hell out of an alpha/beta versions and bethesda never really used it beyond prototyping. The creators of the engine at this point are the people that maintain it and add to it IE Idea Fabrik and have been since it’s been in their hands. The original creators while having a love for games and trying their damndest don’t really do much these days.

Anyone using Hero Cloud service is in danger with what is going on at the moment and that’s super sad.

Arcane13
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Arcane13

nshelton The creators of the engine are simutronics and the engine was sold to Idea Fabrik AFTER it was Licensed to Bethesda and Bioware in 2007.  Likewise Simutronics has been making online games for over 30 years and the engine was originally developed for Hero’s Journey.  I played simutronics games since the 80’s and have seen them make great things and really dumb assed things.  Hero Engine was not among these bad decisions.  Please check your information before making statement of “the creators of the engine”.

Arcane13
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Arcane13

jonny_sage there is no outright cost to Repop.  They pay 30% of all revenue as costs.  Anything they bring in and nothing more. If they bring in funding after the point of alpha release this is then taken as operating costs.  If it is one time purchase of software but no subscriptions they don’t keep getting charged monthly they only pay for the 30% of the software sales and nothing more. Refer to my more detailed post above.

Arcane13
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Arcane13

Repop has shut down my access to the steam community page because i answered honestly to a person who said they wanna know what is going on.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/322300/discussions/0/485624149150098736/#p2 you will see here the original question and line of statements and lies from JC.  If repop was telling the truth why not respond instead of banning to cover it up?

Below you will see what I rote word for word and unaltered:

Ok so I am sure repopulation will try to remove this but here it goes.  I was a developer that had signed up early on with hero engine much like these repop guys.  Back then there were quite a handful of us and the way it worked was we got the engine and the tools and the hosting of the dev servers and when it was time to release for alpha or beta or full release all our stuff would be hosted by IF.  The cost for this was 30% of all revenue.  Which really is not bad given the cost of buying servers, managing servers, adding new servers as stuff grows etc.  The general management of which would usually cost a company about that much in overhead if not more to run and maintain and because it was a percent it scales based on your player base.  If your players decrease your costs decrease and they can adjust the number of servers for you based on that.  If you player base goes up then your costs go up and they add more servers.  Labor intensive, finance intensive and time intensive services.  In most cases should you player base dip for any reason you are still locked into the investment cost of those servers. Should your population increase you have to rush to get more servers and hope the player base stays where it is at by the time you finish spending the money.
Now this being said I jumped ship from hero engine. Not because it was a bad engine but rather because of issues with a single person at IF who acted as community manager and made life a living hell for the devs. This man is no longer employed after the recent assignment of the new Chief Operations Officer.  Since this officer has taken over the programmers of hero engine have been working mostly WITHOUT pay.  Why? because they believe in the engine and believe in what it could have been the entire time was someone not preventing them from doing thier jobs.  In addition Hero Engine is now beign supported by oracle with funding and even systems integration as well as being approached by other companies. The new Officer has made great strides and is even herself working without pay to try and make the engine better and viable again despite it’s tarnished reputation which ultimately all leads back to that one man.
Now why is IF having trouble.  No it is not solely because of repop.  Yes repop hasn’t paid it’s bills. Every dev using Hero Engine knows this.  Likewise several Devs have offered assistance to Repop and even helped them code their systems on promise of pay and also because they believe that if a game gets released indie with HE it will only fuel the fire and lead the way.  Why repop hasn’t paid the way.  Unknown.  I have heard rumors some of which say Repop is hoping that IFS will collapse and they can convince their parent company IF in London to sell them the source codes or even give it to them for free. Whether or not this is true I do not know.  What I do know is that IFS and IF have given a disproportionate amount of help on repop compared to any of us Devs.  This included the creation of several of their systems for their game and custom work that none of us other Devs had access to.
So far IF and IFS has been proper enough not too call out Repop in their press releases and say flat out they haven’t paid their bills. So I am doing it for them.  Repop didn’t pay the royalties and all that funding put the clamp on Hero Engine and IF and IFS causing them to look elsewhere for funding to stay active.  IF has shut down no Devs development servers regardless of their issues. They have continued providing support to all the Devs and they have continue working to make new releases to the engine. This includes continued support to Repop during their months of refusal to pay royalties.  They continued helping Repop and kept the servers active gameplay and development.  Now only development servers are active I hear. But even these are still active despite not paying for the services or following the HE ToS.
So if you wanna see Repop come back or if you wanna see IF kick it into gear tell your Repop  people that you as fans and supporters who kick started want the game back and want them to pay their bills.  If Repop says they paid then I challenge them to release the finance records and prove once and for all that they have paid cause every HE Indie Dev is hurting because of them.

and here is a picture of them banning me for showing this:

arsaidh
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arsaidh
HordeQ
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HordeQ

If you see HeroEngine mentioned on a game, don’t bother to support it. Seriously.

HordeQ
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HordeQ

jeremy2020 Damonvile rottenrotny Like using a different version would have helped. Polished shit is still shit.

HordeQ
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HordeQ

MikedotFoster Telos_ Except for the fact that HeroEngine has and always will be shit. It would actually save time in the long run.

reagan_youth
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reagan_youth

I donated $100 to this game last January and had a lot of fun from what I played. I decided to go back to see how much had changed since I last played and heard about this situation. This is truly unfortunate as this was a game that I was definitely excited to play at release.

arsaidh
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arsaidh

I wonder if all of this is actually true or not? this article and comments sounds like a lot of BS to me. I do know that I played a HeroEngine game, and it actually was a lot of fun and really stable. The company went out of business not because of the engine, but because of mismanaged funds and one of the owners taking off with a bunch of the money they gained from funding and beta subscriptions. I am sure that if the truth ever came out, we all might be surprised.

  Of course, I got a world because of that game, and I love it. It is up to game programmers and artists to make a good game. Repop is not bad at all. They put in a lot of hard work, but it is hardly worth blaming the engine.

Here is a good example of how it takes the developers, not the engine to make a good game: http://www.gamebryo.com/screenshots.php

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

An Overabundance of Cats dragonherderx jeremy2020 johnmynard Except no it wouldn’t bankrupt the company. They’d seek another round of funding either from kickstarter or someone else. And at this point it may be the more practical solution if they actually want the game to ever get made… Unless hero magically pulls out of their financial funk which is massively unlikely (they don’t have the user base for anything to be a profitable company) and they are at a point where the art assets are there.

People seem to think using a middleware engine and having to tweak that when all the art assets, terrain etc are all there is literally going back to the entire drawing board. What they need to tweak with a new engine is game systems like inventory and leveling etc and not redoing all the art assets… 

Also yes these are “cuts of the profit”, but a cut of the profit and getting the game actually made and profitable for themselves and the engine developer would be a much better choice than them simply having to fold entirely because if they hope to stick to using hero cloud it is HIGHLY unlikely that things will work well. 

So they are at a point that they either HAVE to port to another engine or HAVE to work out a means to get a full license for Hero Engine + the source (not the hero cloud service) at a decent price (hopefully discounted because of all the bull shit) and develop the server tech backend (maybe they can aquire the server files from Hero too? somehow?). Those two choices are the only way the game gets made. The third choice is to just give up and fold entirely.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

Sadly i think they are at a point that an engine or Hero literally granting them a full license at a discounted price is going to be the best course of action they can hope for. I don’t think Hero is going to get out of their financial woes anytime soon so they are better off getting the ball rolling. They may need another kickstarter to help out ultimately or something akin to that to port the engine or something, but it could be the better option in the long run. I just hope they are able to do something with it. Great concept for a game and it’s a shame that this is happening through no fault of the devs of the repopulation and entirely because Hero is just awful at being a profitable company.

Necronomnicon
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Necronomnicon

deekay_zero Celestial if each faction gets 1/3 then 2/3 would be hostile and the 1/3 in the middle would make only 100% hostile and aorund 33% safe am i correct? maybe my math is off I have just been drinking when I read this. 

on a serious not i was thinking about downloading this again to see what’s changed and then i stumbled upon this article which will save me the time of a download for nothing. since i am sure steam would it for me no prblemo, while not informing me that it would be for naught.

Necronomnicon
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Necronomnicon

eekamouse if it’s too big to fail we can just bail it out with tax payer money.

Necronomnicon
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Necronomnicon

ToyFuzion Telos_ probably a lot longer than that.

Strangepowers
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Strangepowers

dragonherderx jeremy2020 johnmynard Free to use, yet they take a cut when you profit.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

dragonherderx jeremy2020 johnmynard “+ a cut of the profits” isn’t free

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

jeremy2020 johnmynard They wouldn’t necessarily need to pay for unreal since unreals licensing is interesting depending if they are able to do what they need there…. UE4 is free for everyone and all that… Now it will cost them to port over and get ue4 working how they want etc but yeah the engine itself may just be a monthly fee or free + a cut of profits…

ToyFuzion
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ToyFuzion

Telos_ They mentioned in the last article that it is a route they will go if the Hero engine continues to have problems, and could add another year to the release schedule.

Syco_at_Twitch
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Syco_at_Twitch

Who didn’t see that coming

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

jeremy2020 A Dad Supreme ” Building an engine is not an easy thing especially for a game on the scale of an MMO.”
===
Yeah it’s a huge undertaking but those that can do it are pretty free of constrictions regarding budget in the long term.
It’s like solar power, sure it costs a lot but if you can put it up you’ll skip paying the electric company in the long run.

schlag sweetleaf
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schlag sweetleaf
jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

A Dad Supreme Mark Jacobs was an established industry figure. He was well known and had personal funding involved in the project. He has had experience with building engines and knew from previous games that what he wanted to do would be easier for his team to build their own engine. Building an engine is not an easy thing especially for a game on the scale of an MMO.

Did they choose the wrong engine to develop with? Probably. Did they make the wrong decision using a 3rd party engine? Probably not.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

AndrewClear HeroEngine screwed them over, but the choice to use the engine is all on the developers.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

Damonvile rottenrotny to be fair, SWTOR ruined themselves. They were told of the problems using the version of the engine they decided to use.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

johnmynard They likely have monetary considerations. They are likely paying much less for Hero Engine. In addition, if they switch engines, they have paid for hero engine and now have to pay for a new engine.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

Yangers The Hero engine is not great. SWTOR uses it (albeit a broken pre-release version that they were told not to use and heavily modified since) and suffers for it. I’m honestly not sure of the decision making process (money) that goes into using it for a company, but it has bitten more than one in the arse without this whole incident.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

A Dad Supreme deekay_zero can you name any other examples of an engine company having problems like this?

because using existing engines is pretty common. the problems IF are having are not so much.

MikedotFoster
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MikedotFoster

Telos_  This would delay the game by like… a lot. Like a whole lot. Like enough to run the company into the ground. Waiting it out is probably the smarter short-term play.

ElMutharino
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ElMutharino

Yeah TOR and TESO have a lot of people very angry for some reason

ElMutharino
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ElMutharino

Care to provide any evidence? It is well known that this was just FUD, hero engine still appears on the installer BTW for a start…

toomanywowclones
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toomanywowclones

ElMutharino this is incorrect, that was a PR dodge. when TESO first launched the
install splash said “Powered By HeroEngine”. they later removed the
splash screen after some forum backlash from the statement/article you
mentioned. also as a former hero developer, they use the same heroengine
format and file structure.

toomanywowclones
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toomanywowclones

xPhenomen this is incorrect, that was a PR dodge. when TESO first launched the install splash said “Powered By HeroEngine”. they later removed the splash screen after some forum backlash from the statement/article you mentioned. also as a former hero developer, they use the same heroengine format and file structure.

Shermanx
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Shermanx

A Dad Supreme Teach a man to fish and he will buy a boat he cannot afford and a new truck he also cannot afford just to pull said boat.

Telos_
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Telos_

They should just do a full port to another engine.  It will delay the game, but they already have all the other assets such as models, animations, etc.

jonny_sage
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jonny_sage

Maybe if they told us how much it costs, some players would pay a donation sub.

Yangers
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Yangers

I donated money (not a lot or anything) to this game way back when (seems like a million years ago now lol) purely because it looked and sounded interesting, and after having played in the alpha at various times over the years, I have found it to be so – it’s quite fun. But that engine… man. I guess it’s cost effective or something, as a package or whatever, but gee it’s not pleasant as a gamer looking and playing through it. The actual stuff and mechanics under the hood, so to speak, are fine but that engine seems like a dog. But what do I know – I just play games -_-
Anywho, hope they get it sorted eventually. They have a solid concept I think, and it would be a shame if it got pulled down because of this.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

rottenrotny It’s not actually the same “engine” SWTOR got a broken alpha version that couldn’t be updated to the new version these games use. Going with hero was one of their biggest mistakes because it’s held the game back in so many ways  ( like world pvp never really being a workable option )

It’s too bad if history repeats itself and hero damages another mmo.

johnmynard
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johnmynard

I know it would punch a planet sized hole in their development schedule and cost a lot of money, but perhaps they should consider switching to CryEngine or Unreal.

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

SWTOR revamped the crap out of the Hero engine and it still runs like crap.

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

deekay_zero A Dad Supreme Yep. And this is almost always the result of that kind of funding (or not funding) with projects when you lease.
Wondering if any of the City of Heroes projects that are leasing are facing this barrel since they look to be shoestrings as well and are leasing engines.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

JudgeDavid101 
They’re not using the cloud service for the Hero Engine. In fact, I’m pretty sure the cloud service didn’t exist when SW:TOR actually launched.

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

Pashgan To be fair, BioWare worked with an early beta (almost alpha) version of the engine that they finished in house. Its problems don’t seem to be reflected in The Repopulation from what I’ve seen, and appear that they can mainly be connected to BioWare’s in house engineers that worked on it.

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

What a terrible game engine where developers have to suspend their development in order for the cloud-based engine makers to pay some basic bills.

Koshelkin
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Koshelkin

Robert80 Thanks. That lifted my spirits.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

Mark Jacobs And a huge THANK YOU for making your own engine for CU!

Robert80
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Robert80

Just FYI for those hoping this resolves quickly, this is the last update the Hero Engine team had posted about the issue:
https://community.heroengine.com/forums/index.php/topic,6076.0.html

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