3 Junction Gate Games, Upcoming Changes, And More


Wow! There is a lot of news to announce, including the existence of 3 Junction Gate games! While each game has its own dedicated blog post, this post will summarize those announcements and cover some other upcoming changes. Read on!

First, Why The Long Silence?

Before getting to all the news, I want to explain the long drought of information and updates since it's been a while since the last serious update.

A Google Chrome update a while ago broke the hex grid for the then Junction Gate Beta. The hex grid would have allowed for a strategic map upon which different station facilities could be built. After not finding an immediate solution to the issue, I started looking at alternatives that would build the hex grid in true 3D rather than the CSS hack I had been using.

That search led me first to Three.js, a 3D JavaScript framework. After a month or two of experimenting with various solutions, I found that Three.js didn't offer enough out of the box for game development.

Next I tried Babylon.js, another competing JavaScript engine that offered more game development features. At the same time, I also began experimenting with the possibility of a first-person 3D experience in the browser. However, again, after a few months, I concluded that the game ecosystem for 3D development in the browser wasn't mature enough to realize the vision of what I wanted to do.

At the same time, I ended up having to travel a lot for work and personally while also in the midst of a house renovation. And the development time I did have ended up in the dead ends I described above. It was frustrating, but it was also too long without an update for the community, and for that I apologize.

Finally, I ended up trying Unreal Engine 4. After about a week, I had already made more progress with the 3D prototype than I had with the web frameworks. That was several months ago.

In the time since then, I've been developing and testing prototypes in UE4, learning the engine and a lot of new skills while also organizing plans for future development. I've held off making any announcements up until now because I wanted to be sure I could do what I wanted to do with the game.

And I think I can. We're going to give it a go.

That brings me to the announcement of 3 different Junction Gate games: Junction Gate, Junction Gate Parallax, and Junction Gate Legacy.

3 Games?

 Yep! Let's look at each of the games in turn and I'll explain the differences between them and why they exist.

Junction Gate Legacy

Junction Gate Legacy

This is the original JG that most of you have played, formerly called the Alpha version. It's ~95% complete, but has some bugs, unfinished features, and needs some polish. It's now getting finished with an end game, a few new features, and a completed story.

Junction Gate Legacy will be the first of the three games completed and will serve as a guinea pig for the others as I test different marketing strategies and business models with it. It'll still be free to play on the Junction Gate website like it is now, but will also be for sale on Steam and potentially a few other platforms. You can read the full rundown on the dedicated blog post.

Junction Gate Parallax

Junction Gate Parallax

Junction Gate Parallax is the former beta version of Junction Gate. It's still early in its development. After some adjustments surrounding the hex grid, it's going to go into open and public testing after the next release. No more closed testing.

Parallax will feature a free base version for the web, but will have premium versions targeting Steam and mobile tablets. The target gameplay will be a cross between Junction Gate Legacy and a 4X game like Stellaris. You can learn more about it in the Junction Gate Parallax blog post.

Junction Gate

Junction Gate

The renaming of the other versions of Junction Gate frees up this title to simply be called: Junction Gate. This is the Unreal Engine 4 version; 3D, immersive, ambitious, and the game I've secretly been wanting to make all along. It's in very early prototype stages and it'll take a few years to develop. It's a risk, but I've got to try it and I hope you'll enjoy the journey with me, wherever it leads.

Junction Gate will be a team effort. There won't be a free version and the other games will exist to help fuel its development. It's going to start out as a survival game, but my hope is that we'll be able to take it to a very unique and fun place. If you want more details, check out the Junction Gate post which also has a full Q & A.

Are The Games Sequels? How Do They Relate To Each Other?

They aren't sequels. They're all set in the Junction Gate universe, but each will tell the story of Junction Gate from a slightly different perspective and with different gameplay. You could think of it as the same story taking place in parallel universes (hence Parallax). However, that's just an analogy; there's no official canon connection between the games.

Open Development & Roadmaps

In an effort to be more open about the development, I've set up 5 public roadmaps and 4 issue repositories on GitHub:

While I still do have some traveling coming up in the future, I'll be updating at least one of the roadmaps at least once a week when I'm home so that you'll be able to track the latest progress. The website and marketing roadmaps are included there because not all game development is strictly game development.

The roadmap for Junction Gate Legacy will be more detailed than the other two games as it's closer to completion and subject to less change.

If you're a tester of one of the games or the website, find a bug, and have a GitHub account, you can add the issue yourself. Otherwise, let me know on one of the social media channels and I'll add it for you.

Also, once a month, I'll be releasing a development video showcasing development progress. You can see the first video below:

On Version Numbers

 The version numbering system and alpha/beta tags have been confusing for people in the past, so I'm using the renaming of the games to reset version numbers in a more standard way. Here's the system:

  • Version numbers will be in a 0.0.0 format.
  • The first number is for major versions. 1.0.0 would be considered a release version or a final product.
  • The second number is for updates that represent feature milestones. 0.2.0 would add new features, but not be a completed game. 1.1.0 would be considered a post-release update patch with new features. 0.10.0 would come after 0.9.0, but not be a completed game.
  • The third number is for hotfixes. 0.1.1 would contain bug fixes for the 0.1.0 version.

Each of the games will be reset according to the versioning scheme.

  • The next release for Junction Gate Legacy will be 1.0.0.
  • The next release for both Junction Gate and Junction Gate Parallax will be 0.1.0.

New Mailing Lists

 With the new names for the games come new mailing lists, one for each game. You can sign up for them below:

Upcoming Website & Social Media Changes

 The new games also mean changes for the Junction Gate website. Each game will get its own dedicated mini-site and that means a new design and structure for the site as a whole.

In an effort to simplify the site, the forums will be taken down as they are mostly unused. As the community grows, they may get reinstated, but for now it's just another thing to check and another place to post.

The social media accounts also need to be refreshed. New profile pictures and backgrounds for Twitter and Facebook, custom styling for Reddit. The Discord channels will also be reorganized shortly after this blog post goes live.

What's Next

 While everything is subject to change, the planned schedule for the next few months is as follows:

  • Publish Junction Gate Legacy 1.0.0 on the web.
  • Publish Junction Gate Parallax 0.1.0 on the web.
  • Update the website and social media.
  • Continue concurrent development of Junction Gate and Junction Gate Parallax.
  • Publish Junction Gate Legacy on Steam.

Keep watch on the roadmaps to track changes and stay tuned for the October Development Preview Video.

Junction Gate