From: Sydney, Australia
Yup, Matrix has no particular reason to support it beyond a patch or two for HUE. The future past that isn't up to the publisher (Matrix), it is up to other parties.
Larry Bond, Chris Carlson and AGSI have to decide where they want to take computer Harpoon. It isn't a Matrix thing at all imho. You can probably guess that I have much to say on this topic but alas a very public forum is not the place for me to say it!
That is probably a large part of the problem. While I realise Matrix are not responsible for patching and updating the game, nor am I one to 'bash' the game and publicise massive lists of bugs elsewhere on the web, which probably hasn't helped sales of HUE, but when people complained about having to purchase HUE in order to obtain future updates, it was explained this was necessary to fund continued development of the game. I understood this decision and purchased HUE, hoping to see a game I loved, continue into the future.
However twelve months later, where are the patches and updates to the game? Only one patch has been released for ANW and that was 10 months ago. By not releasing the promised updates for the original ANW and providing no updates for the HUE version of ANW, AGSI/Matrix has basically proven all those who complained about the decision to release HUE, correct and made it appear they are simply trying to flog a dead horse. Even communicating with the community and keeping them informed of upcoming developments, if there are any, would be better than seemingly abandoning the game.
I realise Matrix is financially limited in what they can do, but any future development of Harpoon is going to be competing ironically, with former members of the Harpoon community who have jumped ship, if you excuse the pun and begun development of their own replacement, the name of which I won’t mention to avoid this becoming an advertisement. Community 'politics' aside, the game being developed, despite not being released, probably has a more active community behind it already and many features which simply make Harpoon seem out-dated and very limited in functionality, especially to those who are new to naval wargaming or are used to modern games with vastly superior graphics. These include a colour map similar to google earth which is far more attractive than the ANW map, with the ability to include satellite imagery, realistic mine laying and sweeping, ability to launch and recover boats or land troops on a beach, as well as land units that are actually able to move or stop to deploy and launch their weapons, to name just a few. It is features like these that would heavily influence someone who was looking to purchase a new game and if they compared the two, Harpoon would certainly come off as second best. This isn't meant as a plug and I am in no way associated with the other game, but it is simply a reality check and it would be foolish to ignore what the competition are doing. Unless Harpoon is able to compete in this niche market, it probably does not have much of a future.
I also realise that Harpoon has to follow the Harpoon rules and decisions about its development are not made by Matrix, but listening to feedback from the community and realising that a computer game does not have as many restrictions as a tabletop game, would help improve the game, with the changes to the ECM model being an example and one reason some people have stated they abandoned the game. After all strict adherence to the tabletop rules will mean the game will never improve or strive to be something better than it is now, apart from cosmetic changes. The development of War in the Pacific, Admirals Edition, based on the original WITP by Gary Grisby is a good example of how things can always be improved, even if they do not neccasarily stick to the original rules or design.
Finally, without bringing up past problems I think what really killed the game or more specifically the community that use it, was the community itself. Matrix can only do so much and when the community split and fractured, I am not exactly sure what Matrix or AGSI could have done to resolve that issue. However it was the scenarios developed by former members of the community that made Harpoon interesting for me, without those members producing new scenarios and the lack of patches or updates, Harpoon certainly seems to have become the 'discarded child', appearing to be abandoned by a large portion of the community, as well as the developers and publishers. Sadly any future for Harpoon will also require Matrix to somehow solve this situation within the community and from a business point of view, it probably was a mistake to have allowed things to have reached this point and alienated or upset so many of their former customers, who did much to improve the game.
< Message edited by noguaranteeofsanity -- 11/25/2011 6:34:28 AM >