Have you played Line of Defense yet? It’s on Steam Early Access ad published by a small company known as 3000AD. The developer says in the description:
“The game has been in development by a small team since it went into development back in 2010. It is fully self-funded by our small studio. As such, we don’t have the benefit of the team size required to playtest a game of this scope; an MMO no less.”
For only $9.99 (10 bucks!) I figured Line of Defense couldn’t be that bad to try out. I’ve had lunch that cost more and was gone in minutes. So I smacked my virtual card on the virtual checkout counter and went balls-to-the-wall splurging on this epic prize. I scurried through checkout like a rat with a poison pill.
Sitting in front of the computer, watching the download bar slowly scroll, I hopped up on over to the Line of Defense reviews. There are, at the time of this writing 118 of them. The first one was negative, this poor soul was playing for 2 hours and said:
This is one of the worst games I have ever played in my entire life. The graphics are terrible, the controls are just awful, there is only one map you can play on and even that is terrible. The good part about this game was unistalling it.
Well that doesn’t sound great. But Line of Defense is Early access, so I read on. In total there are 118 negative reviews of this game. The best comment though was “It’s a game about defending an entire planet, against nobody”
So Line of Defense finally loaded and I started it up. Crash, ok restart. Controls? how do I play this game? No annoying tutorial, I like it already. Walking around it was a vast empty space. Not even a placeholder NPC, nothing, just buildings and dust. Like the species died out.
A few hours later there was still no one. I was wondering if the Devs even play their own game. The emptiness and solitude was killing me, sucking my life essence away.
The graphics of Line of Defense weren’t so bad. It was like being pulled back into 2008 all over again. I loved the retro look and feel, despite being a confusing interface. But it’s an Early Access game whose price has been dropping like a prom dress.
Then I realized it all. This is a game by the infamous Derek Smart. The same mind behind Battlecruiser 3000AD. It too was a game made for a “Certain type of person to enjoy.” of the 10 billion people in the world who’ve come and gone, that certain type of person still hasn’t found the game. So we need to collectively shout out to this person wherever they are in the world, that this game is for them.
On further investigation of Derek Smart’s social media, it is ablaze with him on it seemingly 24 hours a day. His twitter feed @dsmart shows 18k tweets at the pace of hundreds per day. Then there is his blog and several other places he frequents (meaning all day, everyday). While in itself this is not a bad thing, he is actively involved in the community, it’s taking 90% of his time away from developing Line of Defense, which has been going since 2010. Eventually the money will be gone and the game declared a failure.
Because of his online behavior, instead of focusing on development with his team; as the company statement claims (small team, not enough time to test… ) as well as lashing out at more successful and better run projects, I just can’t support them at any capacity.
Opinion of Derek aside, the game is a huge mess for something in development for such a long time. Steam gave me a refund and a lengthy apology for my suffering and wasted time. It wasn’t the money, but the 2 hours of my life lost, that I can’t get a refund on.