The Repopulation switches engines, announces survival spin-off ‘Fragmented’

The Repopulation has finally issued its promised announcement to the community following the long HeroEngine drama that drove it offline last month: Above & Beyond is porting the indie sandbox to Unreal Engine.

“Although we have had numerous discussions on possible solutions to these issues over the past few months, we did not find a good solution that would make absolutely sure we would never have this problem again,” the studio told backers and followers this evening. “Given the circumstances we have decided it would be in the best interest of the game to port to Unreal Engine. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly. While many of our assets will convert over easily to Unreal Engine, the game’s code will need to be rewritten from scratch. We realize that this will set development back by a significant period of time, and apologize to our fan base for the issues. At this point though, we felt this was the best move for the future.”

In the interim, A&B will publish a spin-off, action-oriented, non-MMO, sci-fi survival version of The Repopulation called Fragmented to tide fans over until the long work of porting the MMORPG is completed. Work began on this spin-off back in November; it will be given freely to all owners of The Repopulation. The best news is that testing for Fragmented begins in February.

Above & Beyond has reiterated that The Repopulation has not been canceled, that it expects multiple eyecandy and scaling improvements as a result of the engine swap, and that it hopes to release the redone game piecemeal in modules. It has vowed to support both games simultaneously when completed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yLraupGaSY

Source: Official site, with thanks to Liandreth!
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107 Comments on "The Repopulation switches engines, announces survival spin-off ‘Fragmented’"

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ohforfs
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ohforfs

Wratts  There is nothing a programmer loves more than a rewrite ;) Most of the time by management is spent trying to prevent coders doing rewrites hehe. I actually envy them.

ohforfs
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ohforfs

alex_batista_demon Totally agree – Hero Engine ruined SWTOR. That and the bad design choices.

ohforfs
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ohforfs

This is the last nail in the coffin of Hero Engine, I am sad to say. Nobody will risk touching it now.

On the other hadn I think this is good for The Repopulation. I have been a backer since 2012 and am happy to wait for the transition. I would even give again in a kickstarter.

Janio2
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Janio2

Fearum Unity is also good engine. Just not for the high end graphics you may want for a mmorpg. Heartstone uses it. Unreal is just one of the best you can get and t hey have very good trackrecord. I just do not no what happened with unreal after the shooter  unreal 4 ?

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

Fearum Why would they move from hero to hero though ? :-P

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

Big decision and a tough call but ultimately Unreal Engine will be the more reliable offering. Hope it works out for them!

Lord Zorvan
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Lord Zorvan

That alpha demo of Fragmented is already 1000% better in terms of graphics, and more importantly combat, than Repop has ever been using HeroCrap.

Fearum
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Fearum

Good to see them moving to Hero instead of Hero or Unity. Can’t wait to see what they come up with in the future.

ColonelCarrots
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ColonelCarrots

One of the few indie games I’ve backed because of their dedication and communication with the community. Can’t wait to see the changes.

SexyKingJesus
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SexyKingJesus

Been a backer sincce 2014 and im fine with this. I like UE4 a lot more anyway.

SexyKingJesus
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SexyKingJesus

MrEllis me too, im fine with this,

Lateris
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Lateris

I am so happy they decided to do this. The only thing that sucks is that I have to wait. If they do another Kick starter I will gladly donate as the Hero Engine issue is not their fault. My only personal issuetaste is I want to see better character models in the UR4 engine with appearance and movements. But they have me regardless :) 

Great game!!!!

Professor K.
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Professor K.

Glad to see them taking this approach. Unreal Engine is one of the most solid building systems out there and every dev worth their salt knows how to use it.

direpath
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direpath

Good for them. Still hoping the ugly characters will improve with this. Looking forward to giving it a try once development rolls ahead.

Way to stick to it.

Yangers
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Yangers

Glad to see they are still moving ahead. The other game sounds interesting as well. Hopefully it runs better too. That was the one issue for me that made it unpleasant to play – it ran like a dog with three legs. The actual content was fun though.

yeps
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yeps

Best choice they ever made at this time. Hero Engine is garbage and their support are close to scaming. Unreal Engine in other hand is something that work and they probably will have more option later to dev their game. I own a copy of Repop but i never really played it yet, this new will probably made me log more often as soon they switch it !

Rogbarz
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Rogbarz

This actually made me buy the game, it is not often that you see a dev team dedicated these days to making a product that is in the best interest of the players.

MrEllis
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MrEllis

I ain’t even mad, and I own a copy.

Hopestealer1
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Hopestealer1

I would really like to thank MassivelyOP for being the only publication to be on top of this. At least the only one that I saw as early as yesterday. Keep up the good work.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Well, at least no game development lead will ever again bet his or her job on Hero Engine. That has to be worth something. Really it doesn’t even matter who was at fault at this point in this whole debacle, nobody is going to see Idea Fabrik as anything but bad news and a huge risk factor when considering what engine to commit their team to. Even if they somehow at the end of the day wind up spinning this episode as some sort of win, IF is basically done for.

Walah
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Walah

…And suddenly all of the people that were claiming doom and gloom for The Repopulation disappeared.. lol….SMH

JayBezzOfficial
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JayBezzOfficial

Off topic but I’m looking forward to all the UE4 MMORPGS!  They look GORGEOUS

Robert80
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Robert80

DPandaren Lethality JCSmith  Exactly.  So much of the code for a sandbox type MMO can be released in a survival game offshoot.  I expect it will work well for Repop.

nshelton
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nshelton

Ironwu we can only hope lol!

Ceder
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Ceder

Karl_Hungus  I pretty much commented to that point way way back when Massively started talking on repop but folks were dismissive.  For me the is just one bit “I told you so”.

Mysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably
Guest
Mysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably

Good luck to ’em. This seems like the most rational decision that they could have made, considering.

Ironwu
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Ironwu

A good decision to switch to UE4, I think.
This will also probably spell the end for Hero Engine, as any developers with an ounce of sense will look at what happened here and not take the risk of it happening to their project.

captainzor
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captainzor

Yay!  This is awesome news.  I was really hoping they would make this choice even though it will be tough and lengthen development–something many people just can’t tolerate in this crowd funded era.  Good luck to them, can’t wait to see how it turns out!

JudgeDavid101
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JudgeDavid101

A difficult choice but probably the best one. Good luck Repop.

ichi plays
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ichi plays

When I jumped in to the very early version of this there weren’t very many people playing, which affected the crafting economy, some of the UI/quest mechanics were wonky, and it suffered from very poor graphics.  Of course it wasn’t optimized at all but that combo made me uninstall, with the idea that I’d wait for it to mature a little.
but the visuals were a major minus.
 

Once they port over to UE I will be back, hopefully their finances allow them time to do it right.  This could be a very interesting game.

dantetifosi
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dantetifosi

Love that they’re using the UE4 engine.  Can’t wait to see what it’s like.

Wandris
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Wandris

Game looks really good with UE4! Perhaps the game will be better in the long run. It also seems they haven’t been wasting time and have been working on this contingency since the shite hit the fan.

rogerstim37
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rogerstim37

Sounds like good news to me all around . Even if it does mean that it will take longer to release .

Eliandal
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Eliandal

breetoplay Jack Pipsam  Gah – please do!

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Lethality JCSmith Hush, don’t worry. It’s similar to how Life is Feudal is being released. Their long term plan is an MMO, but they’ve released the smaller version of Your Own to work on the systems for the MMO.

Eliandal
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Eliandal

EBreezy alex_batista_demon  Simutronics DID own the engine when SWTOR bought their very early version – even though they were advised not too – even by the owners – since they had already decided they were going to modify it to suit their needs.  It was quite promising at that point (anyone who had the chance to tool around in Hero’s Journey can attest to that) – however what happened to it after it was sold to IF – well – was a great idea has pretty much been ruined now :/!

DPandaren
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DPandaren

alex_batista_demon Most developers pick up the HeroEngine because of it’s background networking components are made to be used for MMOs. I don’t know about UE4, but UE3 and 2.5 there needed to be a lot of rewriting in the engine to get it work properly with something as big as an MMO.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
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Zulika_Mi_Nam

As soon as I read about the HE/IF news I was thinking a transition to Unreal would be best.  I cannot see an option where sticking with HE/IF made any business sense.
When the statement indicating that The Repop was the reason for financial woes at Idea Fabrik came out, I was shocked – so I can imagine how The Repop team felt.
I was not shocked for two reasons: 
1) really Hero guys…you entire financial situation relies on one customer that is a small indie studio. 
2) Hero guys…. you know anything about business……how bout just relationships in general……..now you cannot be trusted and you proved so yourself publicly…..good luck getting new customers and keeping your existing ones….or one as the case may be. 

With a beyond idiotic move that I do not have the words to describe, I am not surprised that there may be issues with the books and operational issues experienced by the customers over there.

I tried to come up with some possible good result that HE/IF thought was going to come from making that statement, but I never did.
The delay is a necessary evil, but I think it will be better for the project in many ways.  I wish the dev team luck in their transition – not that they need it, they kick butt !!!  I just know the whole situation adds more frustration to a already arduous task.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

JCSmith Lethality Thank you for swinging by to answer our readers’ questions, JC!

Wratts
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Wratts

Samizdat Out of curiosity, how big a change would that be (ROM).  I think at minimum you’d have to change your physics engine, hit detection, etc.  My guess is it would come down to designing an entirely different combat system, not just recoding what you already had

Lethality
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Lethality

JCSmith Lethality You know how Motiga just had to lay off staff from Gigantic since they had to extend development time by a significant amount? And they are a well-funded studio. 
My concern for Repop is that resources will be spread so thin supporting this new game that the real work to port Repop will be slow and outlast the ability to pay for it. It’s not just development, but support and distraction by players always “concerned” about how Repop will be because of feature X in Fragmented.
Software is not like a wooden stool you can use until you have time to but a back on it and turn it into a chair :) It’s much more complex than that, which is why I am surprised at their solution here.
Make no mistake, I am a backer and what them to do anything they can to get to the finish line with Repop. I just don’t know if this was the right decision. For me, as a backer, I would be content to just keep waiting. Don’t we all have enough games to play anyway? :)

CloakingDonkey
Guest
CloakingDonkey

Super happy this game has a future. It wasn’t ripe enough for me the first time around but I really want to see where it can go and if it remains as in depth as it was with the eye candy of UE4… then hell yeah, sign me up cause that sounds like a blast! =)

Not sure how smart it is to do this spinoff thing. With a small team it’ll just delay things more. We’ll see if the extra extra delay was worth it. Definitely looks pwetty in the video.

CloakingDonkey
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CloakingDonkey

deekay_zero Pashgan just dropping in to say, there is absolutely nothing smooth about 20 fps… no matter the game :P

EBreezy
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EBreezy

alex_batista_demon Me too. I was completely clueless about engines. Until recently, I thought Simutronics still owned Hero Engine.

Vorender
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Vorender

Sweet! Thanks guys, and good luck!

Hopestealer1
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Hopestealer1

OMG I couldn’t be happier

Shabanezzi
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Shabanezzi

UE4LIFE, good choice

mmonerd
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mmonerd

RIP hero engine. You will not be missed.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Ket_Viliano SallyBowls1 A Dad Supreme  That was the joke: this tiny company started nearly that long ago and they, unlike NCsoft, can upgrade to UE4.

TogashiKokujin
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TogashiKokujin

While that means that it will certainly take much longer for The Repopulation to appear on our screens, I’m still pretty happy about them shedding the Hero Engine. I wish Above & Beyond all the best in their ongoing development, and look forward to the new Repopulation Unreal Reborn :-)

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