Local Copy: Citizenship Q&A

ENTROPIA UNIVERSE INTRODUCES CITIZENSHIP AND REVENUE SHARING SYSTEM WITH EXPECTED ANNUAL RETURNS OF UP TO 30%

Gothenburg, Sweden – November 16, 2011 /MindArk/

– MindArk, developer and publisher of the largest real money MMO, announced today that it will introduce a groundbreaking Citizenship System to Planet Calypso. The new system will provide revenue sharing to participants, and add a political system that will allow players to vote on major decisions affecting their virtual world, all for as little as $100 USD.

“Our new Citizenship System will have a strong impact on the social and Virtual Worlds industry”, said Jan Welter Timkrans, Chairman of MindArk. “People have always had the opportunity to make money playing our game and engaging in the micro transactions economy. Now they can actually share in the revenues of their favorite planet with a Land Lot deed and help decide its future via the political system.“

The new system grants users Planet Calypso citizenship and political voting rights. Citizens will also receive a share in the Planet Partner gross revenue of Calypso, paid weekly. Based on Planet Calypso’s performance over the last 12 months, the potential return of investment (ROI) is expected to be between 27% and 30% per year. Each planet in the Entropia Universe is a separate Planet Partner, and the revenue share paid to deed holders will come from the Planet Calypso revenue stream. Sixty thousand land lot deeds offered at $100 USD each are available exclusively through the Entropia Universe global auction and can be acquired by anyone after creating a free avatar.

The new Citizenship System will showcase the economics of a successful Planet Partner on the Entropia Universe platform, and allow users to participate in that success. Planet Calypso is the oldest of the planets in Entropia Universe, with over one million registered accounts and over $400 million USD per year in user-to-user transactions. Until now, possessing land in Entropia Universe has been very exclusive, with the market price for land deeds ranging from $5,000 to upwards of $500,000 USD. In the new Citizenship System, just about anyone can share a piece of an entire virtual world. For more information on MindArk or the Citizenship System please visit http://www.entropiauniverse.com.

FAQ
Q. How many Land Lot deeds will be offered?
A. 60,000 (Sixty Thousand).

Q. What is the price of each Land Lot deed?
A. Land Lot deeds are available for 1000 PED each (equivalent to 100 USD).

Q. Where can Land Lot deeds be acquired?
A. Land Lot Deeds are acquired from the Official avatar James Bowerbird EstateBroker on the Entropia Universe auction, under the Global Auction (selectable from the drop down menu in the top right corner of the auction interface).

Q. What quantities of Land Lot deeds are available?
A. Land Lot deeds are available in single units, as well as in stacks for 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. For those interested in larger quantities of over 500 and need help or advise please contact info@mindark.com

Q. I can not see any single deeds available on the Auction?
A. Land Lot deeds will be added to the Entropia Universe global auction at varying times throughout the day for the convenience of participants from different timezones.

Q. Is there a limit on the number of Land Lot deeds each participant can acquire?
A. Participants may acquire as many Land Lot deeds as they wish.

Q. How will the proceeds of the Land Lot deeds be used by MindArk?
A. The proceeds from the Land Lot deeds will help to finance a substantial Entropia Universe marketing campaign, along with further development of Entropia Universe and Planet Calypso.

Q. How is the revenue share for Land Lot deeds calculated?
A. The Planet Partner Gross Revenue will be divided as follows: 50% paid to Land Lot deedholders (1/60000), and the remaining 50% retained by Planet Calypso (AR Universe AB) to cover the ongoing development, marketing and operating costs of Planet Calypso.

Q. How is the Planet Partner Gross Revenue calculated?
A. Planet Partner Gross Revenue is calculated and paid by MindArk to the Planet Partner, and includes avatar activity on Planet Calypso, along with the activity of Calypso avatars in Space and on other Entropia Universe planets. Avatar activity includes deterioration of items, as well as various other fees and avatar activities.

Q. How will Land Lot deedholders receive revenue share payments?
A. Payments will be deposited directly onto each deedholder’s Entropia Universe PED Card balance.

Q. What is the expected yearly return on investment (ROI) of a Land Lot deed?
A. Based on Planet Calypso’s performance over the last 12 months, expected ROI is between 27% and 30% per year. The actual revenue share paid to deedholders may be higher or lower than this, depending on the amount of activity on Planet Calypso in the future.

Q. When will Land Lot deedholders begin receiving revenue share payments?
A. Revenue share payments are planned to begin distribution on Dec. 5, 2011.

Q. How often will revenue share payments be made?
A. Revenue share payments will be made weekly, calculated based on the Planet Partner Gross Revenue generated by Planet Calypso during the preceding week.

Q. Will there be regular statements of revenue share earnings?
A. Yes. Every six months, audited figures will be presented on MindArk’s website (www.MindArk.com) so that deedholders can verify their revenue share payouts. In addition, a dedicated web page will be made available where deedholders can check their weekly payments, and will include an ROI calculator.

Q. Once acquired, can Land Lot deeds be traded?
A. Indeed, deeds can be traded among participants at a participant-determined market price, just like every other item in Entropia Universe.

Q. If I trade one of my Land Lot deeds, who will receive the revenue share payment for the current period?
A. Revenue share payments are always distributed to the Entropia Universe avatar account currently holding each deed at the time of disbursement.

Q. Do I need to keep the Land Lot deed in my avatar’s inventory in order to receive revenue share payments?
A. No. Deeds can be kept in personal storage, estates, containers, etc., and still receive payments. As long as the Land Lot deed(s) appear on the ‘My Items’ page in the Account section of the http://www.EntropiaUniverse.com website, your avatar will receive revenue share payments.

Q. Can Land Lot deeds be looted from other participants in PVP areas?
A. No, Land Lot deeds are not lootable in PVP areas.

Q. When is the Citizenship and Politics system expected to be released?
A. The Citizenship and Politics system is scheduled to begin development in 2012.

Q. How many votes in the forthcoming Political System will Land Lot deedholders receive?
A. Each individual Land Lot deed entitles the holder to one vote. Thus, each political issue will have a maximum of 60,000 potential votes.

Q. How exactly will the political system work? What kinds of issues will Citizens take part in shaping?
A. The full details of the Citizenship and Politics system are still being finalized. More information will be provided as the design and development stages of this exciting new Entropia Universe system progress.

Q. Are Land Lots the same as Land Areas?
A. No. Outback Land Areas (commonly referred to as Land Areas) are part of a different system within Entropia Universe, through which participants can purchase a defined area of land and impose taxes on the hunting and mining activities of other participants. By contrast, Land Lot deeds offer participants the opportunity to receive a share of the entire activity on Planet Calypso, not just activity made in a particular area.

Q. When will existing Outback Land Area owners receive the complimentary Land Lot deed mentioned in the original announcement?
A. The complimentary deeds for Outback Land Area owners will be distributed shortly before revenue share payments begin on Dec. 5, 2011.

Q. The original announcement mentions a ‘Calypso Citizenship Land Grab’. How will this system work?
A. Various regions of Planet Calypso will be designated where Land Lot deedholders will have the opportunity to stake a claim on a 10×10 meter plot of land for each deed held.

Q. How will building houses or other structures on Land Lots function?
A. In order to to build a structure on claimed land, participants will need to hold a minimum of nine (9) Land Lot Deeds, and claim plots in a 3×3 (or larger) format, suitable for the construction of a structure.

Q. Will I be forced to engage in PVP combat in order to claim my Land Lot plots?
A. No. The regions designated for Land Lot claims will be offered in both PVP and non- PVP areas.

Q. What happens to my revenue share payments if I do not claim any Land Lot plots?
A. You will still receive all revenue share payments. Land Lot plots are simply an additional feature offered to those who choose to support the future growth of Planet Calypso.

Further information and specifications may be applied.

Local copy 2011 Rocktropia Q&A

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their patience, it has been a tumultuous time for us at the Studio, things are settling down now as we have delivered the content for the Next VU. So now I can address the Questions.

1. Are there, or will there be unlimited versions of the Rocktropia weapons in the loot pool with the potential to drop in big hofs like there is on Calypso? For example an unlimited zk6, or an unlimited Orgasmatron Axe.

Yes, we actually had some Unlimited Items scheduled for the last VU but they were held back at the last moment, due to balancing issues..My Hope is that you will see these items appear soon.
if all goes according to plan with our next VU, our hope is that we can spend more time on Special items and less time playing catch up.

2. Will Rocktropia be a continually growing and developing Planet or will 2.0 mark the beginning of a long period of stable but never changing gaming like when I started on Calypso in 9.0?

After we get the basics of the Economy into play, which I hope will be with this next VU in June, our focus will shift mostly to Gameplay, Quests and Story for a while, we have so many areas in ROCKtropia we want to bring to life with Quests… Further Expansion will come when our population grows.

3. Will there be Rocktropia events like the robot and mutant events in the past on Calypso?

We dont really have tools yet to adjust Spawn on the Fly.. So we have to be more strategic with our events and allow them to evolve between each VU.

4. How realistic is the idea of RL items dropping in loot. (I understand that video cards have droped on on Calypso in the past and Laptops are expected in loot for the Promotional start of Arkadia)

We will drop real life items in the future, concert tickets, music memorobilia, apparel etc.. 

5. When will the beergarden open up and start actually pumping beer out? (is there a set amount of decay or ped cycled on the planet required before it can become operational?)

The Beer Garden finally after 12 Months and is working, its great fun be careful, After the Next VU when more BP’s arrive, there will be uses for the Kegs

6. When will you make me my own Land area with RTOM mobs with maturities based off the actual rotm’s from last year?

I’m looking forward to seeing some private land ownership on ROCKtropia, when the economy is fixed and we start to see some population growth, it will become feasable. 

7. Do you have any plans for a Land Area with only low lvl mobs of similar maturity/hp to help with the creation of new player/low lvl ingame events?

We have this Planned for the City of Dreams area, but it may have to wait till after the summer, because Blueprints took up most of our time.

8. Will all Rocktropia BP’s be limited or will there be lines of unlimited prints as well?

Both, Im not sure what the Mix is on this first major BP VU, but hopefully we will see both.
After the next VU your feedback will be much appreceated.

9. What happened to Hard Rock/Ingot? Why cant anyone find it anymore?

It’s just tough to find,it is my understand that it is there though

10. What happened to Elvis and Neverdie Dragons? Why aren’t they around any more?

We do a lot of Spawn moving as we re-organize the World, perhaps you just have to look somewhere else for them, are you sure these mobs are missing?

11. Will we have ‘wave event’ areas like I hear they have on Calypso?

Yep they should be in after this next VU

12. Will we have our own ‘Beacon’ or ‘Instanced’ type missions available on Rocktropia any time soon?

We haven’t been provided any tools for this yet

13. Why are the icons in inventory so large? It was much easier to sort them when they were smaller.

Fixed now 

14. Will we be able to actually listen the albums and records we loot?

I think there are few other priorities on the Platform before we push for these things

15. When will different areas of RT get different genere of music? (for example Vampire cathedral are used to be promoted as a place for Gothic music)

We actually started out with this, then we moved into One Station, but after the Next VU, Digital abduction managed areas will have seperate streams, this is just the begining of diversity in Music

16. Any ingame concerts planned? there was an old rpg (gothic) who had a nice easter egg that you could activate and you had a german band playing non stop for a chapter with some npc’s dancing around… (donno: make a stage, put some metal, make the zombies dance.. )

I believe even more options are coming with the Voice system to support concerts. In the August VU will provide some areas for Player created music events.

17. When new blueprints are added do you have to “Turn them on” after a VU for them to start being found or are they added the moment a VU is launched

“MA control that”

18. Will the rest of the Rocktropians of the month get there stars added ingame (A few people have asked me to ask this)

Who is missing?

19. Once and for all who determines items that drop in RT/NI loot is it MA or NDS (For example if you wanted to add A-3 punisher MKII to drop from Forum trolls is it you guys or MA who would add this)

We determine which Mobs drop which items, that is essential for game design, we don’t control how or when, so we can’t predict when something will drop

20. There was mention a while ago that RT pioneers or Top hunters would be given a apartment on RT is this true and will it happen if it is?

We do events to win things.. but due to the early instability of the planet some of our events have become derailed… If anyone is due an outstanding Prize, please let us know.

21. Alot of people complain about Lag on RT who is responsible for the servers we use NDS or MA?

Well We have been Very Ambitious with our developed areas so we must keep optomizing them

22. What are there restrictions on Neverdie and the employees of Neverdie Studio? Does the studio have to report the names of the employees’ avatars to Mindark? Are there restrictions on how long a personal avatar cannot be used after employment in some sort of non-disclosure agreement or something (some folks on Linked in appear to have worked for NDS a couple of years ago, some probably as interns that were only there a few months – are they still under the prohibition? Are the interns considered a part of that when they are there if there are any interns?)

this is a question to be directed at MA. But I will say that I don’t believe anyone who has worked at NDS in the past has any knowledge on specific loots that they could exploit.

23. Will Blueprints start being fixed prior to releases so that L blueprints show up as L in auction and item info screens, and stuff that is not a blueprint does not show up as a blueprint in the item descriptions?

Are they fixed now?

24. Will there be a clarification about who the heck or what the heck Digital Abduction is and how it’s tied to Neverdie Studio? Does the prohibited end user activity apply to this company/individual/employee, or whatever the heck it is?

Digital Abduction, manage land areas for some of our Music Marketing partners, they do not own the land deeds, the deeds cannot be sold by them, we can reclaim them at any time… But it is neccesary for our artist partners to have someone manage the land areas, because they are busy being artists… Digital abduction manage the land areas and also will coordinate with the artists and labels on marketing issues.. Think of them as Virtual Web masters for Artists.. We don’t give DA any info on Loot. They do not have access to anything confidential at the studio.

25. Are the coins the only way to get in and out of hell? Will hell be hellish without any auction or terminals (sort of like a hardcore playing place?)… Will hell have revive terminals?

Hell Coins will be required to get to hell. Hell is evolving should be some more action Next VU

26. Any updates on Jango? http://www.planetcalypsoforum.com/fo…-Jango-Airplay

We really needed to focus on the economy before we can really get back to work with our marketing partners, I really Hope this Next VU catches us up.

27. Will there be hangers on Rocktropia?

We don’t yet have the skinny on the gameplay for Space, so we will have to wait and see.

28. Will monthly ‘rent’ fees for estates be removed on Rocktropia since there is not going to be any rent on estates on Calypso or Arkadia?

Possibly, we had problems getting our estates to work without rent, lets evaluate the success of this on the other planets, I think its a good thing. I dont like closed shops

29. Are there more plans for integration of user interactive and player generated music content in addition to that coming from your business side?

Currently we have no systems in development with Mindark, We have designed an elaborate Dance battle System, that I would like to Push for when Mindark have completed all the basics for space, taming, makeup etc, but i think alot will depend on the Popularity of our planet and theme

30. Are you negotiating with MA to get back to being able to fully use your avatar?

I’m not Negotiating… But I do not agree with NEVERDIE not being able to play.
If I wanted to try to exploit the system, I would be stupid to do it with my Known avatar..
I enjoy playing it inspires me… MA can monitor my activity and treat my like any other player.
So I think it would be more accurate to say I am Lobbying to be able to play, but not negotiating.

I would prefer Mindark Police the Planet partners avatar accounts, instead of the community.
I do understand the sensitivity of this issue and that there is a huge margin for misunderstanding in the community… But still what would people really prefer, that I play with an undercover avatar and MA monitor my undercover avatar to make sure that I dont cheat? Or I play with NEVERDIE and MA monitor me so that i dont cheat? At the end of the Day only MA can Know what a planet partner is really up to, only they can analyze the financial data, so why force me to use an underground Avatar, when I have a World Famous avatar that have invested heavily in, that would actually make my activities more transparent… I know that people will always speculate on what I’m doing, but I think there are alot more savvy hunters to follow rather than myself…”

 

31. Will neverdie.com be opened up more to allow mods and Admin’s to perform a more active role as at the moment what permissions are avalible is very limited.

I think so.

32. Will there be a review of blueprints such as the Creative Juice bp which seems to have an unnaturally low success rate due to its tt per click vs. tt of success ratio?
Is this whey the Creative Juice bp gives so many errors while clicking it?

We are fixing these issues Edit: Have fixed 

33. To begin, how are you all and how is it going? (Hello to ND, Taliesin, Tenacity, and Todd 😉

34. When will we hear more Ween? ( I just have to ask; having the music stream is great, well not so much the rap…, and hearing Ween would be so nice.)

I love ween too…. I will talk to the DJ

35. Also related to music, can we get an ingame feed of what is playing live?

Yes Edit: No, that would require coding 

36. Blueprints! For clothes, etc. where are they?

we finally have the tools for this hopefully you will see some V Soon!

37. Stars for the rest of the ROTMs and for the champions of Todd’s Fighting Federation? And will there be more for the new helpful people here?

Hopefully as we stabalize our economy we can also get to grips with our community interaction again

38. Beer cans and the beer stein?

Kegs!

39. Unlimited ZKs and axes, etc?

Look for more unlimited items in the future

40. Apartments for everyone who participated in the Squatters Unite thread Squatters Unite! ?

I will have to read the thread

41. When can we expect concerts, new music from participants, etc?

As soon as the Voice system gets to the next Phase I think we can tackle this properly

42. Jukeboxes, lootable music real life items, etc?

thats what we have to work towards

On a final note for this Q&A I would like to remind everyone that because of delays in the readiness of the platform we launched ROCKtropia before all the systems were provided to us to create a functional Economy, this can be seen with the latest planet on the platform launching with fundamentals we will not have until our next VU .We have paid a heavy price for this and this has been a big game of catch up for us and been extremely challenging emotionally and financially. For those Players who enjoy ROCKtropia, I sincerely hope we move a big step forward with this next VU to giving you a world that you can take pride in and build a community on and that We can market.

In another thread he also confirmed that NDS will be focusing only on Rocktropia now.
Posted in this thread.

Question # unknown:
How does Next Islands announcement of a new game producer affect NDS and Rocktropia?
Does it mean you are no longer working on Next Island and will be able to Dedicate full time to Rocktropia content?

Yes we are focused Solely on ROCKtropia content now

Local Copy: Q&A: SEE Virtual Worlds Part 2

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Q&A: SEE Virtual Worlds

Q&A: SEE Virtual Worlds
Part 2

Hello Calypsians!

I’ve worked directly with the team at SEE to look over the many questions you shared with us regarding the recent acquisition of First Planet Company. Together, we have responded to all Planet Calypso and Entropia-related questions. As always, your input and interest is of great value to us, and we’re looking forward to a great continued communication with our awesome colonists!

It is still too early to respond to all questions pertaining to Planet Michael, however,we will make sure to answer those once additional information is available.

Cheers,
Hanne

· Will you try to lower the play cost to a more normal level to be able to compete/increase the player base? 
We are always examining the needs of the monetary system to provide the best possible service and entertainment to our users.

· Will the acquiring of FPC by SEE mean disassociation with the urgency to which serious game play mechanics issues (team size limit, missing game play modules, server lag, caching leaks) are forwarded to MA and therefore addressed?
Not at all. SEE Digital Studios will continue to address the player’s needs and issues and be just as attentive with game-play mechanic issues.

· What are your plans to help grow the user base, retention rate and overall happiness of players?
We are currently taking many measures to ensure that our current players are satisfied, while our user base continues to grow. One of our top priorities is establishing a stronger relationship and enhancing interaction within the community.

· I understand, that you cannot give exact head counts who works on what. But is it possible to give a rough estimation how your budget is planned?
We are not at liberty to disclose this information at the time, however, we are making sure that we’re staffed accordingly so that Calypso can continue to thrive.

· What changes does SEE feel are necessary for the RCE concept to appeal to a broader market?
In an effort to appeal to a broader market, SEE will continue to work with MindArk as they casualize the gaming experience while maintaining the RCE structure.

· How do you plan to address the avatars involved in developing other planets and having knowledge of graphics created for future, knowledge of event mobs and released new lands on their planets? Can they still be equal players with all of us and have properties and businesses on Calypso or whatever the new name may be?
As with any organization, there are safeguards in place to ensure that all players everywhere are on an even playing field.

· Could a Beta testing area maybe be set aside (or planet) where we can help iron out bugs before implementation and maybe get some items, etc for helping?
Great idea. The suggestion will be taken into consideration.

· Will SDS also be developing the Universal Monsters planet? If not, who will?
We will be announcing news of our developer shortly.

· Where does the “planet calypso” game and player base fit into SEE’s overall business strategy?
Planet Calypso is our flagship planet and its overall existence is imperative to our overall business strategy.

· So how exactly are MA and SEE (and other Planet Partners) going to ensure that the other part of the relationship performs, and what is going to happen if one side doesn’t?
MindArk and SEE have been working together for quite some time and have spent countless hours on building a relationship to ensure all companies work together as a team.

· What pressure can you exert on MindArk to improve the deposit options for North Americans? 
SEE and MindArk will work closely together in our new ventures in order to expand and improve the deposit options for North America.

· Does a raised budget also mean raised cost to play?
No,despite our raised budget, our intention is to maintain a reasonable cost to play.

· Which categories of player are you hoping to attract with the playing cost Entropia has compared to any other MMO game on the market?
The Planet Calypso player tends to be older and more affluent than the traditional MMO gamer. We will continue to pursue this target audience.

· Will SEE cooperate with other planet owners to set standards on things like item and building statistics? For instance I see another planet partner is releasing shops with 1000 item points for a price that is next to nothing. Will SEE stick to their current item count for all estates, or will they change it (either for new or for existing estates) to be able to compete with other planet partners?
As you may already know, we make adjustments based on player demands, however, a lot of time is spent testing and balancing before any changes are implemented. Additionally, before anything is finalized, we make sure that changes will encourage activity and planetary growth.

· How do we contact SEE regarding commercial opportunities?
admin@seeglobalentertainment.com

· One of the planets is related to SCI-FI. Wouldn’t it be better to sell it to Arkadia? It would free resources for the new targets.
While we cannot speak for other partners,SEE currently has no plans to develop any further Sci-Fi related planets.

· When will SEE have a comment about Calypso and what their plans are to continue the story line and development of ‘our’ planet?
We plan on releasing a development plan very soon, but rest assured there will be no major changes in the story line – only some terrific enhancements!

· This is a monumental occasion, quite a big deal. Will we be seeing a TGA (Third Golden Age) to celebrate this major event???
Although we are not at liberty to disclose this information at the moment, we sure hope so.

· Will SEE keep a bigger bankroll to shorten withdraws to say 7 days? If withdraws fall under MindArk and planet partners can’t do anything about it then you really should start haggling with them for our sake.
Withdraws fall under MindArk.

· Seeing as how you’re now a part of SEE do you foresee any Japanese Anime
related planets being produced by SEE Virtual Worlds? This is a MAJOR
industry that far exceeds Universal Monsters and Michael and is worth looking
into.

This is an interesting idea and the suggestion will be taken into consideration.

· Can you explain further the relationship between MA and Planet Partners such as SEE? MindArk is the Entropia Universe platform provider and is responsible for the system as a whole, while SEE Digital Studios develops the content and game-play.

· Who is SEE? 
Special Entertainment Events, Inc. (“SEE”) has been in the business of themed entertainment for over a decade. For SEE this is a process of utilizing known entertainment titles and franchises in new and innovative ways to increase brand awareness and create lucrative additional revenue streams for licensors and project investors. SEE has worked with some of the most iconic names in show business, including Star Trek and Titanic. SEE has received numerous awards for excellence in touring attractions and other themed entertainment projects.

SEE Virtual Worlds, LLC is a division of the Los Angeles based SEE family of companies. A natural extension of the company’s core licensing business, SEE VW is bringing the world of themed entertainment online.

For more information on the SEE familyof companies their products and employees, please visit http://www.seeglobalentertainment.com.

· Can we see some CV’s for key persons working with SEE?
We are not at liberty to disclose this information, but bios for all key executives are posted on our corporate website located at http://www.seeglobalentertainment.com.

· How much capital the company has today?
We are not at liberty to disclose this information.

· How many investors are in SEE? Who are the main investors?
We are not at liberty to disclose this information at the time.

· Does SEE plan to do anything to increase the “fun ratio” of this game? Or will it continue to be a click/grind fest?
There are many plans to enhance the game play and much of those discussions stemmed from player ideas and comments. User feedback is always encouraged as it helps us understand the wants and needs of the community. So keep them coming!

· Is SEE a Swedish company? Self governed?
SEE Digital Studios was established and is currently located in Gothenburg, Sweden.

· Who is ultimately in charge now? Martin Biallas aka SEE or Marco aka “old FPC”?
Martin Biallas is the president and CEO of the SEE family of companies and Marco Behrmann is the managing director of SEE Digital Studios.

· What did SEE actually get for 6 million $? Did MA keep anything from you? Rephrase; what wasn’t included in the sale?
We are not at liberty to discuss the details of our agreement. However, the two companies are well organized and have everything they need to collectively continue, enhance and grow Planet Calyps

Local Copy: Q&A with SEE Digital Studios – PART 1

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SDS: Q&A (Part 1)

Q&A with SEE Digital Studios 

PART 1


Hello colonists!

We have taken a look at the many questions you shared with us regarding the recent acquisition of First Planet Company, and have responded to all Planet Calypso and Entropia-related questions. We greatly appreciate your interest and look forward to continuing to respond to your queries as we continue under our new structure as SEE Digital Studios. More great things to come!

*Please note that all questions pertaining to Planet Michael will be answered as additional information is made available.

Thank you for your patience! 
Hanne

So, let’s start!

General 
Q: How many full time staff will there be working on Planet Calypso? 
The staff at First Planet Company has been retained and is now at SEE Digital Studios where they will continue to enhance Planet Calypso. Currently, the Planet Calypso team is focusing on continued post-launch development and updates.

Q: What can we expect in 2011? Can we have a roadmap?
We are not at liberty to disclose this information at the time, but we assure you that there will be many exciting new developments in 2011.

Q: When will we be able to sit down and lay down again?
This functionality is provided by the platform supplier MindArk, and will return.

Q: Have you given any thought to competitions for ideas, storylines, and new products for the players to help with development?
Yes, we plan on integrating in-game competitions that will involve the community in our efforts to continue rolling out new content in Planet Calypso.

Q: Where are the power fists? I am a level 43 Brawler (hit) without a power fist available to hunt or skill with.
SEE Digital Studios will continue to add new items throughout the planet, including new power fists.

Q: How much time does the design team have available to fix things like texture issues, bugs like when you canQ:t place items on pedestals, shop bugs etc.
SEE Digital Studios is working with the AGILE software development model, which segments each SDS content release into a number of sprints and milestones. The total development time is usually between 1 Q: 2 months depending on the release content. Due to the separation of platform and content, bugs are allocated to either MindArk or SDS. Depending on when SDS receives a bug report within our sphere of influence, its fix will be added to the current or next release plan.

Q: Is MindForce going to be Calypso-exclusive or are we going to SEE that on other planets as well? Like… Moonwalk Chip II (L)?
MindForce is an activity available throughout the Entropia Universe, and therefore can be used by all colonists on other planets. However, while the underlying system is generic, colonists may individually express themselves through MindForce. For example, magic can be used on a medieval planet.

Q: 
Is removing/adding event content always going to take weeks/months to change?
Adding new content and events takes time to plan, create, execute and finalize. Therefore it is difficult to put a time-frame on the process.

Q: 
Is it currently possible for things to happen in real time on the servers? Or must patches be applied?
Even though SEE Digital Studios has some access to real time parameters, most changes require a patch.

Q: Does SEE have plans to upgrade the Beacon system, providing different types of Beacons maybe, which yield different types of missions, in different types of location, against different creatures, etc.?
MindArk is continuing to develop the underlying Beacon system. They are enhancing the old systems and reintroducing them to give colonists new and improved quests.

Q: Will corporations be introduced into the game?
As we have stated in the past, we would like to develop the idea of corporations along the lines of factions.

Q: Any plans for new storage containers that aren’t so restrictive? Weight reducing containers that arenQ:t so rare?
This suggestion is being taken into consideration.

Q: Are the equipment, weapons, etc., going to be added too? Will any new gear be released and looted?
Yes, we currently have plans to add new equipment, weapons and gear.

Q: Will the additional funds now available allow for one or more additional developers working on community requests only?
Increasing communication with the community is one of our top priorities for 2011. We are working at establishing a stronger relationship between the community and SDS.

Q: Will there be more vehicles released?
Yes, we have plans to release many more vehicles, starting with the spaceship, which goes with the hangar system.

Q: Where are Simon and Emma?
Simon and Emma are still very much involved, but are now focusing their efforts toward in-game events and item parameterization.

Forum and Communication

Q: Will there be more communication with the end user (via forums, bulletin or email) to keep them updated on the future of development of both planets, due to the increased number of staff working on both?

Increasing communication with the community is one of our top priorities for 2011. We are working at establishing a stronger relationship between the community and SDS.

Q: Will this be the official Michael Jackson Forum?
No, Planet Michael will have its own forum at planetmichael.com.

Q: With new staff can we get frequent updates about what is happening both In-game and development status?
Yes, as mentioned, SEE Digital Studios is working toward increasing our relationship with the community. With that said, communicating in-game content updates and development status is at the top of our list.

Q: Is this the beginning of a new and sustained dialogue with the community?
Yes, as mentioned, we are currently exploring different methods of ongoing community satisfaction within the areas of communication and overall development.

Q: Do you have the feeling, the communication between you and the player base is good or bad?
Following requests by the community we have certainly increased communication by hiring Hanne as our dedicated community manager, and taking over the Entropia Forum, rebranding it as the official Planet Calypso forum. We now we have a forum dedicated to Planet Calypso and a community manager with strong ties. With that said, we plan to continue enhancing our interaction with the community by becoming even more involved and listening to feedback.

Q: Are you concerned by all the hate topics in the forum, or do you think most of the players are happy?
User feedback is always encouraged as it helps us understand the wants and needs of the community. We pay close attention to the negative comments in order to make improvements and ensure that weQ:re responding to loyal players with the big changes theyQ:d like to see implemented wherever possible. This is a game for the community after all.

Q: What will change about these forums with this take over?
Initially there will be no major changes, however, over time we will improve the overall experience and connect more with the game and our player base.

Q: Will you be the official community manager regarding the MJ forum?
We are not at liberty to disclose this information at this time, but we assure you that HanneQ:s focus will continue to be on Planet Calypso.

Q: Will you (SDS) listen to what your community is telling you?
Absolutely, user feedback is constantly encouraged as it helps us understand the wants and needs of the community.

Q: How long before this latest spurt of interest in the player base wanes and it’s back to the normal wall of silence and no communication from anyone other than Hanne?
Hanne is the official community manager so the majority of SEE Digital Studios communication currently comes from her, however we are working at establishing a stronger relationship between the community and all of SDS.

Q: There is a wish list here on the forum that in quite a number of cases contains a huge number of great, and seemingly easy to implement, enhancements and ideas. Is there a staff member in your company thatQ:s responsible for actually checking this thread and passing the ideas on for further analysis?
The forum threads are closely monitored and both SEE Digital Studios and MindArk are very well aware of the wish list.

Q: Can we get quarterly ‘state of the game’ posts, about which direction you are taking the game.
The suggestion will be taken into consideration.

Economy

Q: What will be done to the current sweat crisis as there is only one use for ME on this planet and that is Teleport Chips?
WeQ:re taking a hard look at this situation to see what we can do in the near future.
Q:
With the constant introduction of more land without an equivalent growth in the player base the value of each plot keeps dropping. What are your policies on this? Can SEE/SDS release as much new land as they please or are there restrictions? If so, what are these?
SEE Virtual Worlds and SEE Digital Studios will continue to implement the platform restriction ratio of land areas to active users.

Q: What will be done to the Planet Calypso economy to ensure better return rates?
Return rates are a part of platform balancing, which is managed by MindArk. However, SEE Digital Studios is currently in discussions with MindArk about balancing matters in order to enhance the end user experience.

Q: Is it guaranteed that big yearly sales like Medusa will happen going forward?
No, like most in-game transactions, some years there will have larger yearly sales than others.

Q: 
Will there be more DNA dropping including new ones?
Yes.

Q: What steps will you take to correct the turmoil caused by VU 10.0 conversions of land areas and the introduction of iron missions for some mobs and not for others? Some of these changes were so drastic they reduced the value of some land areas by up to 80%. When if ever will you attempt to correct the remaining conversion issues, and at what point will you introduce iron missions for the remaining mobs to balance out the current imbalance?
We have been adjusting land areas since VU 10. It is our long-term goal to eventually have iron missions on all mobs.

Q: 
Will any land investment opportunities be added for smaller budgets? For example Land share market.
Yes, we are constantly looking at ways of expanding the economy for all budget sizes.

Q: 
What are your plans to address Squatters, in reference to Empty LA’s, Shops, etc., managed by inactive players?
SEE Digital Studios will continue to follow the terms set out in the Account Inactivity Policy, which will deem any account inactive if it has not been logged in to for a period of three hundred consecutive days.

Marketing

Q: Does this mean you now have a budget for some serious advertising?
We are not at liberty to disclose this information.
Concrete plan to attract a growing stream of new participants into the universe – is there one and if so what is it?
In very general terms, we intend to address retention and customer service, as well as acquisition.

Q: Are there any plans to have a more traditional marketing campaign, specifically television advertisements, on the scale of other major studios such as Blizzard, EA, and Ubisoft? Or do you not consider yourselves in the same league?
Several media campaigns are being considered to increase exposure of Planet Calypso.

Planet Calypso Specific
Q: Will the storyline of Calypso be actively developed?
Yes.

Q: Are you going to tie up all the loose ends from previous stories? Using what functions?
Yes, we will be providing answers to any unsolved stories that will be sure to satisfy on all levels. For example, a major focus this year will be the resolution of the infamous Q:Egg StoryQ:.

Q: What is your vision for the future of Calypso?
Our main vision for the future of Planet Calypso includes streamlining, adding new opportunities and content, introducing events, and focusing our efforts on the overall colonist experience.

Q: When will the rest of Planet Calypso be developed? Server remakes and the rest of Amethera?
The development of Planet Calypso will be ongoing. Gradually weQ:ll address more of the servers and the development status.

Q: Will the Hangar system still be back next VU?
Yes, we plan on bringing the hangers back later this year.

Q: Where are Kerberos and Umbranoids?
Rest assured, Kerberos and Umbranoids will also return later this year once technical issues have been remedied.

Q: What about big story events for all professions instead of just hunters?
We have already included miners and crafters, but part of our long-term plan includes involving all player groups.

Q: When are we going to actually be able to travel to Akbal and/or Cimi?
We think this is a great idea and will take this into consideration. Thanks!

Q: What will SEE do differently to make me want to stay on Planet Calypso?
Some of the many changes will include increased product quality and communication, as well as better customer service.

Q: LandGrab?
We have no information at this time.

Q: Are we at war with the robots still or did we win?
As you know machines never give up but at times they need rebooting. This being said, the war is not over!

Q: And will the migration of Eomon be an actual migration or will they teleport from one location to the next every few hours?
We do want to get back to an actual migration feel and have received a few basic tools from MindArk that should allow us to achieve this.