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Thread: Janes Attack Squadron

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong

    Janes Attack Squadron

    It looks like this game has flopped really badly, which is a shame since I was looking forward to it. I haven't played it or even seen a demo for it, nor have I seen any mention of it in this forum. In the Flight Unlimited forum, the last post was made over thirty days ago, which is pretty scary for a new game. Considering that MadDoc Software has a few ex LGS peeps, it seems dissapointing.

    Has anyone here played it?

  2. #2
    Everyone's over at the SimHQ JAS forum -- by far the best place online to talk about the sim.

    Our own ShadowJack has turned out to be a key figure in the small community that's grown around the sim; he's been poking away, figuring out file formats, key bindings, hidden/unfinished features, and even went so far as to create an unofficial patch for the sim to fix up some problems. Brilliant stuff.

    As for JAS itself... well, truth be told it's unfinished, and the response it's had from most people simply reflects this. I don't know why Xicat thought they could ship it in that condition, but I guess money constraints must have forced everyone's hand. Very frustrating -- the sim oozes with promise and possibilities, but the problems have caused a great many people to give up on it. Those who have stuck with it have generally found just how much fun it can be if you're capable of living with the problems, but I'd urge anyone to try before they buy if they have access to a retail outlet that allows returns.

    Not how I had hoped things would go for Looking Glass' final game, but I'm hoping that improvements will come with time.

    Read the SimHQ review for a fair opinion on the release.

    Other places to visit are Attack Squadron Command Central, and Thunder Over Europe

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: New Jersey (!)

    Damn yuppies. First Company 1 strangles one of the best ideas out there, and then Company 2, unable to leave well enough alone, picks it up with a ship date that is less reasonable than asking the President to kiss Khamenei on both cheeks.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself
    Mad Doc had plenty of time to finish it, GayleSaver. The original JAS team said that they only needed a month or so to finish, and Mad Doc was given both time to finish it and time to update the graphics. If the reviews I've read are anything to go on, they apparently failed at both.

  5. #5
    I've no idea how much time was eaten by the updating that was done to lessen the aging effect, and refamiliarising themselves with the code and such after the being away from it for a while, but (sad to say) I'm inclined to agree with that fully. Mad Doc hired most of the Looking Glass JAS team to finish it, so it would appear that the same people who suggested it was about two months from completion when LGS closed are the same people who weren't able to get it into a better state than this in the many-more-than-two months that Mad Doc were working on it.

    Having willingly believed the 'two months' suggestions, I'd been imagining that with all the extra time we were going to see a very polished, stable, bug-free (or so far as is reasonable) sim, so the harsh reality was a bit of a blow.

    Still, there is a very fun flight sim buried in there, and lots of people are having a real blast with it. I just wish the problems had been stamped out so that more people were able to enjoy it.

  6. #6
    I'll add that bombing missions are one of JAS' strongest points (it was originally focused mostly on high-altitude bombing), so if that's your interest and you were disappointed with B-17 II, you may well want to check JAS out,

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2000
    Location: MA
    Originally posted by Fafhrd
    Mad Doc had plenty of time to finish it, GayleSaver. The original JAS team said that they only needed a month or so to finish, and Mad Doc was given both time to finish it and time to update the graphics.
    That's actually quite funny to anybody who's work on the product. First, who actually said that the game only needed a month to finish? Considering I know, have talked to, and worked with most of the original core team, who all thought that the game needed considerable work to reach a point where it would be ship quality, I think that whoever said it only needed a month to finish was probably talking directly out of their ass. That is, unless it only takes a month to fix an extremely buggy and unstable code base, add physics, ai, optimize, finish systems that have ultimately only been engineered, etc., etc., etc. If anyone actually said that the game only needed another month, I'd be incredibly surprised, and if anyone said that the game only needed a couple of months, then they probably did so only because they believed that it would help get the product funded and completed as Looking Glass closed up shop. But make no mistakes that it was an entirely untrue statement, if it was, in fact, made.

    If you're making a distinction between the original JAS team and the shipping JAS team, you would do well to compare the two groups of people and their actual responsibilities on the game; a great chunk of the people who actually really knew what needed to be done to get JAS on shelves were the same people who shipped the game.

    I hope I'm not coming across as being pissy in this post, because it's not my intent, and I think the internet makes me sound pissy, when I'm not; I'm simply trying to set things straight here, and add that it's silly to make a statement like that when you're really not basing it on anything at all. Feel free to criticize the game; I won't comment -- it's not really my place to agree or disagree or offer excuses or denial, or whatever. In the end, I'm just an artist -- I re-did particle effects and fixed bugs on this game, so what do I know? : ) Just don't say that the game only needed a month to finish, because I saw first hand that nothing could have been further from the truth.

    -swid.

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I'm sorry to hear that it went that way -MSG-. It must be dissapointing to put so much time into something that ends up getting a lot of negative press in the end.

    B.t.w. Your the guy that invented the rope-arrow aren't you? Or was that Michael Solus Ryan?

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2000
    Location: MA
    Originally posted by twisty
    I'm sorry to hear that it went that way -MSG-. It must be dissapointing to put so much time into something that ends up getting a lot of negative press in the end.

    B.t.w. Your the guy that invented the rope-arrow aren't you? Or was that Michael Solus Ryan?
    Alas, it wasn't me -- it must have been Solus. To my misfortune, I didn't work on Thief; I only started in the industry on SS2.

    As far as press goes, it really doesn't affect me much -- I only worked on JAS briefly, so it wasn't my baby, like it was for some people.

    I only really made my post because there's the pervading way of thinking amongst consumers that game developers intentionally don't ship the best product that they can, and then sneak off with huge bags of money, and it simply isn't the case. On the developer end, companies fight tooth and nail for every day they can get to ship a game, and then work insanely long hours to make the game as good as they can, and you're lucky if the returns are enough to keep your head above water, or if you even get paid what you're contracted to without having to sue. There are good publishers and there are bad publishers, and I've worked with both, but without getting into specifics, your head would spin seeing some of the things that a bad publisher can do. I'll leave it at that. ; )

    -swid.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    Yeah, I'd believe it. Wherever theres money, theres always going to be lots of schonksters in the mix as well.

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