I found something curious...

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    Yard said:

    @Thane_Mantis said:
    Here guys, I had an interesting idea awhile ago that I've been meaning to get an opinion on.
    So, LinkedIn of course has a Private Messaging system of sorts, and I've been thinking about maybe reaching out to the people I've found to have been involved with Shadow Forge and asking them if they can provide any info on what happened to it.
    Thoughts everyone?

    They're probably still bound by NDAs.

    Hmm, maybe. Still, they might be able to provide some hints as to what happened right? Besides, why would an NDA prohibit someone from speaking about how a project failed? I could get them not wanting to give details about the project itself maybe, but why development ceased would be a bit odd.
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    @Thane_Mantis said:
    Yard said:

    @Thane_Mantis said:

    Here guys, I had an interesting idea awhile ago that I've been meaning to get an opinion on.

    So, LinkedIn of course has a Private Messaging system of sorts, and I've been thinking about maybe reaching out to the people I've found to have been involved with Shadow Forge and asking them if they can provide any info on what happened to it.

    Thoughts everyone?

    They're probably still bound by NDAs.

    Hmm, maybe. Still, they might be able to provide some hints as to what happened right? Besides, why would an NDA prohibit someone from speaking about how a project failed? I could get them not wanting to give details about the project itself maybe, but why development ceased would be a bit odd.

    I suppose so, and nothing would be lost just by asking. They might find it a little weird but hey, maybe this happens a lot on LinkedIn, that's kinda the purpose of the sight, sorta, right? (I don't use LinkedIn, as you may have gathered).

    Do share any "juicy deets" you happen to extract.

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  • Axel L
    Axel L
    WC Mod
    Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 10,337
    Yard said:

    @Thane_Mantis said:
    Here guys, I had an interesting idea awhile ago that I've been meaning to get an opinion on.
    So, LinkedIn of course has a Private Messaging system of sorts, and I've been thinking about maybe reaching out to the people I've found to have been involved with Shadow Forge and asking them if they can provide any info on what happened to it.
    Thoughts everyone?

    They're probably still bound by NDAs.

    Hmm, maybe. Still, they might be able to provide some hints as to what happened right? Besides, why would an NDA prohibit someone from speaking about how a project failed? I could get them not wanting to give details about the project itself maybe, but why development ceased would be a bit odd.
    It would probably be to avoid making other companies stealing there own ideas as they can still use these concepts in future developments.

    Finally, companies are never happy to speak about there own failures and a cancelled project is a failure in some sort as that won't be able to make money out of it.
    Video games don't cause violence, lag does.
  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 14 Feb 2018, 3:51PM
    Yard said:

    I suppose so, and nothing would be lost just by asking. They might find it a little weird but hey, maybe this happens a lot on LinkedIn, that's kinda the purpose of the sight, sorta, right? (I don't use LinkedIn, as you may have gathered).

    Nah, I think the site is mostly just a place for people to put details about themselves up to help find jobs. I think to some extent its actually become known as "Professional Facebook" (at least thats what a former college teacher of mine called it once or twice) to help people connect with potential job offerings and the like, rather than help people dig up lost game details.

    You may be right though that perhaps this happens on occasion, we just don't see it. I so watch some of Liam Robertson's content on YouTube (he's a video game historian and does alot of what I've been doing here lol, digging up lost titles and trying to uncover what happened to them) and I believe he has made connections with some devs who have worked on canned titles. Maybe LinkedIn is one potential way he's done this.

    He also tries to find out why some games (such as the infamous Mass Effect: Andromeda) were released to total disaster as well lol. If for some reason you've enjoyed watching what I've been doing here with sort of exposing any hidden details about games we possibly shouldn't know about, you'd definitely enjoy his content. Well made, researched, and put together content.

    Not something you see alot on YouTube these days lol.
    Yard said:

    Do share any "juicy deets" you happen to extract.

    Will do.
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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 18 Dec 2017, 6:54PM
    OK, I fired off a message to one of the people known to have been involved with Shadow Forge. Hopefully they'll get back within the next 30 days because I had to take out a friggin Premium Trial on LinkedIn just to send that damned message (seriously LinkedIn, you have to pay to send PM's, what the hell_?) and I have 30 Days til that runs out, or I'll to possibly pay £24 quid to keep up the conversation.
    (And I sure as shit_ ain't doing that.)

    Anyways, my complaints with LinkedIn's pretty rubbish system just to send "InMail" aside, in the meantime, now we play the waiting game...
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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 18 Dec 2017, 7:59PM
    Yard, this may be off particular interest to you.

    OK, whilst waiting for that Shadow Forge Team member to get back to me, I decided to go back off to hunting down anything else I could find relating to KIXEYE projects that never really saw the light of day (or may right now be in development.)
    Minor Update to that by the way: One of the perks of having a Premium Subscription to LinkedIn (or really a free trial in my case lol) is being able to see who's viewed your profile and when. The guy I contacted has seen my page, so I know he's aware of me at any rate. Hopefully this means he'll respond soon.

    Anyways, I remembered a site I found awhiles ago called Art Station. Its a bit like DeviantArt really where creators can upload bits of work and showcase their portfolio's. I remember originally I found some character and building art from WC on it awhiles back, but also I've found bits and bobs from Backyard Monsters (both the original and the mobile version Unleashed.) Character/monster artwork and whatnot. Remembering that I decided to go have another look around. See what could be found.

    And upon returning to the site (haven't found anything so far relating to Shadow Forge or Kingdom Maker,) that's what I've found again. Material from BYM:U. Specifically what looks like concept art from some monsters that were either cut during development or never made it into the game due to its death. Links are here and here for anyone that wants to see em. Any thoughts guys? Yard?

    Also, found these hi-poly 3D Models for Monsters we did see make it into the game (links here) and some animated 3D Models/sprites as well of Brain and Fink (link here.) Also, this bit of art featuring Fink as well. So... that's kinda cool.
    EDIT: Also found this piece of art. According to its description, this guy was supposed to act as the "foil" so to speak of the tutorial Monster (if you don't remember him, its this guy, who is apparently named "Grimble" according to the title) from BYM:U.
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    That's some cool looking art you dug up. Also it's crazy that you have to pay to send PMs on LinkedIn (minus the free trial of course), I had no idea.

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    Yard said:

    That's some cool looking art you dug up.

    Yeah, I didn't expect to find that whilst looking around ArtStation. Im glad I did though, its cool to see some of the art they had done for it. Im curious, does the first piece I linked too remind you of Fomor a bit like it does for me?
    Yard said:

    Also it's crazy that you have to pay to send PMs on LinkedIn (minus the free trial of course), I had no idea.

    Yeah, its ridiculous. I mean, I get they have to make cash somehow, but the Premium thing is absurd. Especially considering how pricey it seems to be. £20 a month + VAT = just under £25 a month for the benefit of knowing who's look at your profile, and the ability to PM someone. There are a couple other Premium Features, like some special analytics data I believe, as well as take some course thingies offered on LinkedIn, which is fine, but I feel PM'ing shouldn't be paid of a paid for subscription package. Make that sh*t free, the way it should be.
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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 21 Dec 2017, 2:20PM
    Yard, I also found these bit of artwork from BYM:U as well that I meant to post but didn't because I thought they had actually been used in the game. Turns out they hadn't, so yeah, thought it was worth adding in.

    What seems to be a Town Hall concept which, based on promo images and from what I can recall having once played the game myself was never implemented and they instead stuck with the familiar design of the original game's. 
    And according to the title/description of to the side of this bit of work, these various Resource Harvester buildings (personally they look more like towers to me, but whatever,) which again never seemed to have been implemented.

    From what I can see running a search on ArtStation for "backyard monsters," that's near enough everything relating to BYM and BYM:U on ArtStation's site. There were these other pieces that I'll list below if you're interested in seeing them again, such as character artwork/concepts and the like, but they were all used in some capacity, such as promo images. You may recognise a few, since I believe they were used in places such as the games loading screens as well.

    Here's the list.
    Any more thoughts Yard?
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    The monster concepts one doesn't appear to work as a link for me.

    That resource harvester one wasn't posted all that long ago, I wonder why that is.

    Interesting stuff.

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 21 Dec 2017, 2:24PM
    Yard said:

    The monster concepts one doesn't appear to work as a link for me.

    Strange, I could've sworn it worked for me when I first had linked it. Fixed now.
    Yard said:

    That resource harvester one wasn't posted all that long ago,

    Hmm, didn't notice that bit about the post dates til you pointed it out. Neither was the town hall by the looks of it. Nice spot.
    Yard said:

    I wonder why that is.

    Maybe the artist had re-found that piece of work and thought "Hey, I can add this to my portfolio" or something similar to help show of their skill. By the looks of it they've already got the skill down to work on other things like character/creature designs, but less focused on buildings, so that shows they can do that as well.
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    @Thane_Mantis said:
    Maybe the artist had re-found that piece of work and thought "Hey, I can add this to my portfolio" or something similar to help show of their skill. By the looks of it they've already got the skill down to work on other things like character/creature designs, but less focused on buildings, so that shows they can do that as well.

    Probably. I had a very fleeting hope for a resumption of development for BYM:U, but that's a pipe dream. A big one.

    To the guy's credit he seems like a good artist, I also checked out some of his other stuff.

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    Yard said:

    @Thane_Mantis said:
    Maybe the artist had re-found that piece of work and thought "Hey, I can add this to my portfolio" or something similar to help show of their skill. By the looks of it they've already got the skill down to work on other things like character/creature designs, but less focused on buildings, so that shows they can do that as well.

    Probably. I had a very fleeting hope for a resumption of development for BYM:U, but that's a pipe dream. A big one.

    Yeah, it is. Its a shame KIXEYE just tosses aside projects like that after barely putting any effort in.
    Just curious, why do you want BYM:U to resume development again? What about BYM?
    Yard said:

    To the guy's credit he seems like a good artist, I also checked out some of his other stuff.

    Yeah, their work is pretty **** awesome. I wish I could draw like that, but all I can do is crap Photoshop jobs lol.
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    @Thane_Mantis said:
    Yard said:

    @Thane_Mantis said:

    Maybe the artist had re-found that piece of work and thought "Hey, I can add this to my portfolio" or something similar to help show of their skill. By the looks of it they've already got the skill down to work on other things like character/creature designs, but less focused on buildings, so that shows they can do that as well.

    Probably. I had a very fleeting hope for a resumption of development for BYM:U, but that's a pipe dream. A big one.

    Yeah, it is. Its a shame KIXEYE just tosses aside projects like that after barely putting any effort in.
    Just curious, why do you want BYM:U to resume development again? What about BYM?
    Yard said:

    To the guy's credit he seems like a good artist, I also checked out some of his other stuff.

    Yeah, their work is pretty **** awesome. I wish I could draw like that, but all I can do is crap Photoshop jobs lol.

    I'm mainly just itching for any BYM-related content.

    I too can do crap Photoshop jobs, though I prefer Gimp.

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 21 Dec 2017, 9:00PM
    Yard said:

    I'm mainly just itching for any BYM-related content.

    Yeah, I suppose I can get that. I wonder if that JigglyPuff person who made a few brief appearances here ever managed to get anything done in regards to contacting KIXEYE and/or DECA. Its an outstanding long shot, but hey, maybe something could come of it, right?
    Yard said:

    I too can do crap Photoshop jobs, though I prefer Gimp.

    I tried GIMP once, could never get used to it? You ever able to get used to Photoshop or is GIMP definitely more your area?
    Speaking of image editing and the like, did you use GIMP (or Photoshop) and make that Kozu signature?
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    I probably prefer GIMP as it's the one I've used more often, being free and all. It's been a while since I've used either though. And yeah, I'm fairly sure I made my signature in GIMP. I know I did with my old pineapple one.

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 10 Feb 2018, 12:43AM
    So, I've got a couple minor new developments I've found as of late everyone, if anyone is still interested...
    So, whilst I was organising my messy Favourites lists in my browser, I was reviewing my research to determine what links to delete and what to keep, and decided to make note of them on a copy I have of this thread on my WC-Wiki Blog (you can see that here.)

    Anyways, whilst I was documenting my links and looking at what I had compiled, I went back to this old trademarks list that I originally posted here, and have also quoted below for convenience.
    Thane_Mantis said:
    Alright, I found some of those old trademarks filed, and there's 4 pertaining to so far unreleased products.
    3 are dead, 1 is still active, with an extension granted this year. Click the links below to read up on em.
    LIVE:
    Kingdom Maker | 6/28/2017 | SECOND EXTENSION - GRANTED

    DEAD:
    Wildorn | 10/17/2016 | ABANDONED - NO STATEMENT OF USE FILED
    Wildlanders | 10/3/2016 | ABANDONED - NO STATEMENT OF USE FILED
    Shadow Forge | 5/23/2016 | ABANDONED - NO STATEMENT OF USE FILED

    I might take a look to see if there are any copyright filings associated with any of these 4 unannounced projects as well. Perhaps this Kingdom Maker which seems to be the exception in this group is moving full steam ahead in the KIXEYE offices.
    Here's the main KIXEYE page on Trademarkia as well, if anyone wants to look at their other trademarks.
    And it seems that there has been a minor update. Specifically to Kingdom Maker, the only live trademark.
    Its page (here) says the following:
    Status Update! On Thursday, January 25, 2018, status on the KINGDOM MAKER trademark changed to THIRD EXTENSION - GRANTED.
    So it seems this Kingdom Maker moves onward in development. If Im reading the page right, this trademark started back on the 12th of January, 2016 so its been active and held by KIXEYE for 2 years now, far outlasting its fellows listed above. StIll no guarantee it will see the light of day, but, considering the recent update, it does look promising.

    In other news, I found references to another KIXEYE title that was in development at some point, though has seemingly been canned. Originally I found reference of this new title on this thread here, where the original poster was doing what Im doing here and predicting new KIXEYE games and whatnot. and a follow up reference here. This mysterious game known is, or was, called "Armour" which, according to a quote at the bottom of this article here, was supposed to be a World of Tanks style combat game.

    Thoughts everyone?

    Oh, and one more thing. As you may have guessed assuming anyone remembers when I originally set out to do this, sadly that KIXEYE Team member who worked on Shadow Forge never got back to me in LinkedIn PM's. He viewed my page according to the Premium Trial which tells you when folks look at your page, but he never responded sadly.

    Anyways, that's all for now. I'll follow up if by any chance I found more news.
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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 10 Feb 2018, 12:53AM
    Ah, I've found something new. Not related to new games or anything, but thought it might be worth sharing anyways just because.
    A secret (?) KIXEYE page can be found here. And a potential sub-set of this page can be seen here.
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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 10 Feb 2018, 1:39AM
    One last minor update. So awhile ago, I said this.
    I have more information guys. Or at least, yet another piece of information confirming a new title.
    On the Corporate Site, they have links to career centres showing job offerings at their various development studios at:
    Brisbane has no openings, and Victoria are only offering positions for a QA Lead and a Senior Game Developer working on War Commander. San Francisco however has one opening referencing a new "Unity" Project, so that tells us this games engine that it runs on. I must say, Unity is an interesting engine choice, as its a popular pick for developing games across as many platforms as possible. I wonder if this leaves open the chance for this game to move from mobile to maybe desktop?

    At any rate, Yard, this is likely good news for you as this should give great odds this game comes to Android, since Unity prides itself on being a multi-platform engine, deployable to over 25 platforms, including of course, Android. Thoughts?
    And it seems however that this...
    opening referencing a new "Unity" Project...
    ...is no longer a thing. That job listing has been removed...
    But this, has been added. Potentially in its place as a replacement. This means that they've definitely stuck it out with using Unity as their game engine for this new game that KIXEYE are developing. Just thought this might be worth mentioning.
    That is all...
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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 18 Mar 2018, 1:45AM
    OK, I have another small update to this thread. Its not so much an update to my research however, as it me letting you guys know I've opted to host my research elsewhere (sort of.) Recently I got both bored (and a tiny bit concerned) that this thread may be removed if KIXEYE were to ever become aware of it (unlikely as that is given its current location.)

    This is in part due to a conversation I had with a former KIXEYE CM awhile ago, about discussing future KIXEYE games, which he said I wasn't allowed to do (though this may be in part due to the fact he thought I was doing some data-mining for info, which I wasn't, to get information.) But that's a story for another day.

    Anyways, whilst I do have one copy/back-up of all my work here stored on the War Commander Wiki on my blog, which is well and good a to a point, its a bit messy and disorganised since I simply copy and pasted everything I said here over here with little to no changes. Anyways, that gave me an idea to create a better blog using Google's Blogger service to host my research, which I did.

    Anyways, I started work on it a few days back, and everything has been transferred over and tidied up so it looks more presentable. If anyone is curious, you can see my newly done work by following these links.
    (Quick FYI on Armour, Im afraid info is incredibly scarce on that project beyond a brief mention in an article I found online which I linked in the citations section of the blog. But the post is there regardless, just in case I find something new. I have some speculation of mine written down as well in the meantime near the bottom, just for the heck of it, cause speculation is always fun.)

    Feedback would be greatly appreciated if anyone's willing to offer it, you can drop comments here in this thread as per standard or on the blogs as they support comments. So far feedback from Axel and MX36 has been positive, so thanks for that guys. I may make updates and alterations to the blogs if needed (such as if new information comes out) and I'll still be sure to update this thread as well letting everyone know.

    That's all for now guys.
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    Nice blogs, Thane. Very tidy. You've a good sense for formatting. And yeah, if it might get you in hot water, best to leave this thread for now. Wouldn't want to have to start account number five, eh?

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 18 Mar 2018, 1:36AM
    Yard said:

    Nice blogs, Thane. Very tidy. You've a good sense for formatting

    Thanks. Its one of the (very few lol) things I can pride myself on, being able to put together clean and tidy documents. MX36 once actually said my writing was "impeccable" which was pretty cool. I can't stand my writing being a mess anyways, otherwise I'd have just done what I did with my WC-Wiki blog (here) and copy-pasted everything over without changes. (Though I do have one more copy of that saved as a draft in case I need to refer to anything, or follow up on some other links I have documented but don't have a place for in the live blogs.)

    Its better also with the formatting because less context is required to understand what's going on and whats being discussed. With the Wiki Blog, I literally just copied everything I wrote verbatim from the conversation, so its just an incomplete chatlog basically with minimal context. Anyone reading it could probably tell its from a conversation, but would otherwise likely understand little unless they were privy to the original conversation, which they can be if they so desired by clicking the link up top.
    Yard said:

    And yeah, if it might get you in hot water, best to leave this thread for now.

    Yeah, it might. I mean, I definitely think its unlikely that I will find trouble for this, (again due to this thread being in an out of the way place) but I don't really want to chance things. I mean, all the info I collected was public domain anyways, plus we do have a "Future Games" sub-forum, so it'd be rather... hypocritical (?) of KIXEYE to ban me for just being in-depth when looking for info scraps on new games.

    But it is KIXEYE. Can never tell what reason their going to make up next for banning people. I did enjoy the back and forth conversation here though. Hope it can be continued either here or on the blog if I find anything new.
    Yard said:

    Nice blogs, Thane. Very tidy. You've a good sense for formatting. And yeah, if it might get you in hot water, best to leave this thread for now. Wouldn't want to have to start account number five, eh?

    Yes, that would be a bit of a hassle lol. The number of emails I now have solely because of this deal with my **** KIXEYE accounts is absurd. I wish I could have all my accounts merged with my original. That'd make things infinitely more convenient.
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  • Yard
    Yard
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2010 Posts: 11,948

    I'm still getting by on one email account, somehow. I've had it for almost 10 years and my inbox has been stuck at 9999+ for most of that time.

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  • Thane Mantis
    Thane Mantis
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2017 Posts: 653
    edited 19 Mar 2018, 8:38PM
    Yard said:

    I'm still getting by on one email account, somehow. I've had it for almost 10 years and my inbox has been stuck at 9999+ for most of that time.

    Lol, that deal with an ever filled inbox is part of the reason I created a couple more of them (and disposed of my original after it became flooded). Used to have just 3 which was perfectly manageable, but this business with KIXEYE caused me to create a bunch more.
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