My New Game: At the Gates

By on February 6, 2013 10:00:04 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums External Link

JonShafer

Join Date 08/2007
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Hey all! Very excited to finally announce my new game: At the Gates, a historical 4X title which takes place during the fall of the Roman Empire. Players lead a fledgling barbarian tribe trying to forge a place for itself within the new order. I’m sure some of you have noticed that ATG is coming from not Stardock, but Conifer Games.

Errr... what?

So I’ve actually set off on my own and founded a new studio. Stardock is a great group of people and is working on some awesome projects, but I got the itch to go completely indie and be really hands-on with a very small team. Brad has been awesome and very supportive of my efforts. When he says his #1 priority is for his employees to enjoy what they’re doing he’s not kidding - even if it means them leaving Stardock.

I was leading up an unannounced project, and the reigns have been passed to another great designer. The team is solid and the project is on a great path so I have no doubt the game will turn out amazing, and can’t wait to see it finished.

I hope you guys will check out our Kickstarter page and if At the Gates sounds up your alley that you’ll consider contributing to our campaign! Thanks everyone!

- Jon

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February 6, 2013 10:20:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I put $25 down already on your game.  Interesting, underserved time period.

 

 

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February 6, 2013 10:29:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You were lead developer on Civ 5. You either drank too much of your own koolaid or lied about the state of the game up to its release then when it turned out to be a buggy mess you tucked your skirt and ran leaving your team and the customers holding the bag.

The concepts look interesting but exactly why should we trust you give your track record? Have you found Jesus or something to differentiate you from Jon Shaffer of the past?

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February 6, 2013 11:43:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Damn it! First an FE Expansion and now this.  TAKE MY MONEY. 

 

 

 

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February 6, 2013 11:54:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You know, a lot of people like Civ 5...

 

That's a seriously unfair characterization for a game that came out with the usual bugs, and was patched to a stable state.  Civ 4 was just as buggy without the added hassle of needing to implement three different direct X standards because Microsoft is run by assholes.

 

I'm not one of those people either, so this isn't ass kissery from a fan.

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February 6, 2013 12:16:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Great to hear some solid game designers/developers are going back to Indie development shops. 

Hopefully game designers are also learning to tune out the idiocy of this online generation. 

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February 6, 2013 12:57:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No Civ V flaming here please.  

Very excited for this.  A few weeks ago an FE player was wishing someone would make a post-Roman era game and I had to bite my tongue. 

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February 6, 2013 1:08:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

enoeraew37 is someone that I have learned to not take very seriously. This is the poster who has brought us such brilliant discussions as "If a game violates core values is it ok for other people to play it? Other are enablers of said broken values and thus enemies of gaming?" and "Please change salted pork to salted fish or meat".  


There have been a lot of people on the paradox forums asking for a time period between the fall of Rome and the middle ages, I know there is a desire for a game in this time period.  


I hope this goes well, and if it looks good, I'll give you some cash.  


If the kickstarter doesn't do well, will Frog give you your job back? 

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February 6, 2013 1:17:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting enoeraew37,
You were lead developer on Civ 5. You either drank too much of your own koolaid or lied about the state of the game up to its release then when it turned out to be a buggy mess you tucked your skirt and ran leaving your team and the customers holding the bag.

The concepts look interesting but exactly why should we trust you give your track record? Have you found Jesus or something to differentiate you from Jon Shaffer of the past?

*yawn.

Moving on...

I hate Kickstarter.  Every time I think I've gotten away from it I find some other project to throw $25 at.  Good luck Jon.  Looking forward to giving it a go.

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February 6, 2013 1:54:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,



If the kickstarter doesn't do well, will Frog give you your job back? 

 

God I hope not. This man was at best a failure in his position as lead on civ 5 (which was fixed up and after quite a bit of effort is now a good game) and at worst a dishonest sell out who damaged one of gaming's best franchises. It prob was a good business decision by stardock to pick him up in case he had some rescuable talent...but it doesnt speak volumes to anyone else that he wasnt put back in a position of authority and Stardock isnt supporting his next project? He's not fit to be lead on anything and if he wants his career back he needs to start back at the bottom and not try to fly soloy on name recognition. He doesnt belong in the lead of anything and certainly hasnt done anything to earn your trust or money..but whats the cliche? Those who ignore the lesson history..blah blah..something gamers are dumb, have no values and ten second memories.

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February 6, 2013 2:25:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

25$ contributed! Good luck.

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February 6, 2013 2:33:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting enoeraew37,

Quoting Lord Xia, reply 8


If the kickstarter doesn't do well, will Frog give you your job back? 

 

God I hope not. This man was at best a failure in his position as lead on civ 5 (which was fixed up and after quite a bit of effort is now a good game) and at worst a dishonest sell out who damaged one of gaming's best franchises. It prob was a good business decision by stardock to pick him up in case he had some rescuable talent...but it doesnt speak volumes to anyone else that he wasnt put back in a position of authority and Stardock isnt supporting his next project? He's not fit to be lead on anything and if he wants his career back he needs to start back at the bottom and not try to fly soloy on name recognition. He doesnt belong in the lead of anything and certainly hasnt done anything to earn your trust or money..but whats the cliche? Those who ignore the lesson history..blah blah..something gamers are dumb, have no values and ten second memories.

 

Your opinion means shit.  Who are you in the field of game development?  No one.  You are just a loud mouth idiot who thinks his opinion is truth.  You are nothing.  Your opinion is meaningless, and you are just spewing meaningless vitriol.

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February 6, 2013 2:35:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting enoeraew37,

Quoting Lord Xia, reply 8


If the kickstarter doesn't do well, will Frog give you your job back? 

 

God I hope not. This man was at best a failure in his position as lead on civ 5 (which was fixed up and after quite a bit of effort is now a good game) and at worst a dishonest sell out who damaged one of gaming's best franchises. It prob was a good business decision by stardock to pick him up in case he had some rescuable talent...but it doesnt speak volumes to anyone else that he wasnt put back in a position of authority and Stardock isnt supporting his next project? He's not fit to be lead on anything and if he wants his career back he needs to start back at the bottom and not try to fly soloy on name recognition. He doesnt belong in the lead of anything and certainly hasnt done anything to earn your trust or money..but whats the cliche? Those who ignore the lesson history..blah blah..something gamers are dumb, have no values and ten second memories.

Enough.

The people who rail against Jon have no idea how misinformed they are.  I read the crap people put out about not liking Civ V and blaming Jon and list why they don't like Civ V without having any idea that the things they didn't like had nothing to do with him.  

Jon still works with Stardock on projects btw.  But he had the opportunity to work on something he's very passionate about -- a post Roman era strategy game and he's pursuing it. And everyone here supports him and many of us have contributed to that game in our off hours because Jon is our friend, we believe in him and we know how talented he is from first hand experience.

Don't let bullshit Internet folklore color your views on someone you don't know.  

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February 6, 2013 3:03:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am in

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February 6, 2013 3:15:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interview on RPS

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/02/06/4xtra-jon-shafer-explains-at-the-gates/

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February 6, 2013 3:15:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In this way game developers are like public school teachers. No matter how bad the kids turn out or what they are caught doing they never get demoted to office clerk or recess attendant.

I dont need internet folklore. I judge Jon Shafer on what Jon Shafer says and does. Jon Shafer said things that turned out to be misleading and false about civ 5 pre-release. Jon Shafer did zip for customers who bought a game he recommended that was crippled and buggy. Jon Shafer stuck his head in the sand while other people cleaned up the mess that happened on Jon Shafers watch. Jon Shafer hasnt done jack since then that might show he is worthy of running a studio.

You say he is a perfect angel and claim everything that happend while he was in charge is 100% other peoples fault. I say hes a douch. The truth tends to be in the middle. 100s of aspiring developers deserve a handup so that their vision can be realized. Why does this failure deserve our money over someone who hasnt failed? Rather than because hes done x,y, and z your answer is because your gay for him and enough time has past in order for people to forget. That not accountability.

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February 6, 2013 3:16:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If anyone thinks there is drama between Brad and Jon at all- Kay working on both projects is probably something Brad had to approve, and he's not only done that, he's given Kay a promotion and she's now the art lead on LH.  This was entirely amicable.

 

Question- was Stardock supposed to announce something today as well, or was that just Jon?  I was really hoping for a GalCiv III announce today.

 

 

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February 6, 2013 3:25:24 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

IN!

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February 6, 2013 3:45:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


Jon still works with Stardock on projects btw.  But he had the opportunity to work on something he's very passionate about -- a post Roman era strategy game and he's pursuing it. And everyone here supports him and many of us have contributed to that game in our off hours because Jon is our friend, we believe in him and we know how talented he is from first hand experience.

 

I think that's pretty awesome.  I think it says a lot that people he works/worked want to help out and that boss frog is an advocate of At the Gates. 

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February 6, 2013 4:33:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Jon - Best of luck with new project.  After reading about it I think it'll be a strategy gamers idea of fun.  I signed up for the alpha group so I'm really hoping you make your target $.

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February 6, 2013 5:01:02 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I have been looking for a game that is based in this time period. I will give it a look when it is released. I also am unable to see why people are hating on Civ 5 in here. I played it and have been satisfied with the purchase for years now (one of the few games that lasted me so long).

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February 6, 2013 5:57:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Looking forward to this. I put in $25 as well.

But isn't Kay the new art lead on Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes? I'm a bit confused of this whole thing... is she in both teams part-time, or was the art lead gig on FE a short lived thing?

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February 6, 2013 6:30:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Since Jon is out, where do I send my resume?  I'm the next Derek Paxton.

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February 6, 2013 6:51:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Surprised that people like Salted Pork Guy dont get banned. He's lucky this isn't my forum.  

 

I work full time at stardock. I do the at the gates stuff in the evenings after I come home

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February 6, 2013 7:32:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting SD_Swiftkill,
Surprised that people like Salted Pork Guy dont get banned. He's lucky this isn't my forum. 

 

And I wish you and all your thought police friend the best of time in your home of north korea. Seriously this guy would be flipping burgers if it werent for his network of media pals covering for him. If this was any industry other than entertainment or government a failure as big civ 5 on release would have him run out of town because your career is based on what you do not who you know. And franky..I dont even see the people he knows lining up to investing so something is def sour there. There is either a problem with the concept or a problem with the person. The concept seems interesting enough so..that leaves the person..who suddenly finds himself self employed and dependent on the masses for $$.

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February 6, 2013 7:33:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting enoeraew37,
In this way game developers are like public school teachers. No matter how bad the kids turn out or what they are caught doing they never get demoted to office clerk or recess attendant.

I dont need internet folklore. I judge Jon Shafer on what Jon Shafer says and does. Jon Shafer said things that turned out to be misleading and false about civ 5 pre-release. Jon Shafer did zip for customers who bought a game he recommended that was crippled and buggy. Jon Shafer stuck his head in the sand while other people cleaned up the mess that happened on Jon Shafers watch. Jon Shafer hasnt done jack since then that might show he is worthy of running a studio.

You say he is a perfect angel and claim everything that happend while he was in charge is 100% other peoples fault. I say hes a douch. The truth tends to be in the middle. 100s of aspiring developers deserve a handup so that their vision can be realized. Why does this failure deserve our money over someone who hasnt failed? Rather than because hes done x,y, and z your answer is because your gay for him and enough time has past in order for people to forget. That not accountability.

Well on MY forums, I'm not going to have Jon being trashed. That's what SomethingAwful.com was invented for. Go there if you want to personally attack other people.

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