Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kim from Calypso Interview 2013 Transcript and recordings

Bonnie : Good evening everyone and welcome to Atlas Haven radio, This is Dj Bonnie and tonight we have a very special broadcast.

With me in the hot seat, I have the one and only Kim! - who will be taking part in what’s sure to be an exciting and maybe eventful interview on all things Entropia.

We have been bombarded with questions from all around the universe, covering a huge range of topics, So without any further ado, Lets get on with the show!

Good evening Kim and thank you for joining me here tonight, it’s a pleasure!

Kim: Hi Bonnie, and thanks for having me.

Bonnie : I can’t believe it’s nearly been a whole year since we last spoke, so much has happened and its really flew in!

Kim: Yeah its gone really fast, I think. We haven’t had that many releases but we did some major things. Especially with new player experience, the gateway - that took about…. a long time to do.

Bonnie : Yeah I can imagine, we do have a question on that one coming up a bit later, so hopefully we can find out loads more information about that.


Bonnie: Not everyone may have heard the interview last time, so can I ask you to tell us a bit about who you are your role within the company?

Kim: I’m a senior game designer working for Planet Calypso, that’s the company running Planet calypso. We changed the name again. For the third time I think.

Bonnie: So what’s the name of the company now?

Kim: Planet Calypso!

Bonnie: Well that makes things less confusing!

Kim: That makes it easier.

Bonnie: *laughs* yeah not half!

Kim: So I plan new releases, and design the creative content. I hand around tasks to other designer, artists. And make sure that things get done really.

Bonnie : Ok, and Last time we spoke, you were over in Mexico for a year, so where are you based now and how did it go in Mexico?

Kim: Now I'm in Sweden, Mexico was really nice, it’s a good place to work from. And I might be going back someday – maybe in October or something.

Bonnie: Excellent, must be good if you can get company vacations out there so to speak!

Kim: Yeah its perfect, nice to get some variation.

Bonnie: So are you missing the sunshine then in Mexico?

Kim: Yeah the weather has been horrible here in Sweden, we have been freezing for the past couple of months, makes you miss the warm weather of Mexico.

Bonnie: I can imagine and what about the team in Mexico? How are they doing now?

Kim: They are doing just fine; they are busy working on the next release for June. For Planet Calypso. We have some very nice things planned for you.

Bonnie: Ill quiz you on that a bit later I think

Kim: Yeah.

Bonnie: So I have to ask… last time you did the interview from home –because you were worried that your colleagues were going to throw stuff at you, so are you back home again tonight?

Kim: I am, mainly because there will be a lot of drunk kids about today, so best be home early!

Bonnie: Is it really that dangerous where you live?

Kim: Nah, just this particular day. The heathens of Sweden are out partying.

Bonnie: Ah I see, oh yeah – I read about that on the news actually.

Kim: yeah.

Bonnie: Ok so we have an absolute tonne of questions come in from the community, hope you have a comfy seat, might be here a while! Are you ready?

Kim: Sure!

Bonnie: We will have a short musical break half way through so everybody can nip to the loo….. or they can get a stiff drink which ever they prefer!

Bonnie: Let’s start on home ground shall, let’s start with Calypso.


Bonnie: John black knight asks - we have naglfars and some water based pvp areas, will there ever be some kind oil based rig in the sea , or a land area we can fight over?

Kim: The answer is yes. But it is not high on the priority list. I would guess maybe sometime next year we could get it done.

Bonnie: Excellent, certainly sounds like something that would be interesting to look forward too.

Kim: Yeah it could be really fun, but it has to be designed in a good way to make sense. It would need a good underwater area or something like that to control - With a land grab, oil rig or whatever.

Bonnie: Could be quite interesting trying to swim around underneath… and shoot at the same time! I don’t think I would be very good at it to be honest.

Kim: With even some lead boots! So you could walk on the bottom of the sea shooting creatures , that could be fun!

Bonnie: Could be! Sounds like a good idea, sounds like you have quite a creative mind there Kim.

Kim: Ah I’ve been thinking about this.

Bonnie: Excellent - ok so some of the new mf chips have been really great, seems like exciting times for mf users. I really like the kinda quirky ones like the metabolic inhibition chip, and these type of things. Bjorn asked the question – he wondered if we were going to see a revamp or new style of the old worm hole and resurrection chips?

Kim: Ok I forwarded this question to MindArk platform persons, since they mostly handle the mind force. And what they told me is that nothing has been decided on the matter, but it will be reviewed, sometime in the future. Together with the rest of the features of the mindforce system.

Bonnie: Ok so its something that’s kinda possibly in the pipeline

Kim: Yeah.

Bonnie: Ok as most people know the interview was scheduled a couple of times, and due to a few wee things we had to re-schedule, so some questions were slightly behind on the interview.

Bonnie: Bjorn had asked a question prior to the robot invasion – he had said that he had hoped for more in depth stories about the invasion and I remember you said before that you really enjoy creating the stories and designing the missions, so how do you feel this one has went with the reporter from Exodus space station and that sort of thing?

Kim : Well we spent a lot of time doing this, and I think it was appreciated, we wanted to finish the egg story line in a spectacular manner, that involved the whole community, not just Deathifier so to speak.

Bonnie : yeah

Kim: and the robot invasion got tied into that, and I think it worked really well actually.

Bonnie: and do you ever think that we will be able to see the robot fight head out into space? Like will we ever go towards Akbal –Cimi and fight them on their home territory?

Kim: I have been giving that a lot of thought actually, and I think yes! Its more than likely. Right now we have the beacon missions, so who knows!

Bonnie: I think that would be really exciting, I am getting carried away now with robot stories in space! *laughs*

Kim: yeah I think it could be really interesting.

Bonnie: Ok this next question comes in from Viperstrike- Last time we spoke you said the system was designed , a fishing system! so.. when can we fish!

Kim: Ok, it was designed as a system on paper, and unfortunately that’s where it remains.

Bonnie: Oh no!

Kim: Yeah , we’ve moved focus back to revamping old systems that don’t work so well, rather than introducing new ones on top of broken stuff. So yeah that’s why we are kinda slowing down on introducing new systems, but the fishing system is still something we want to do, but there are other things planned before.

Bonnie: Ok so if we are talking about designing older systems then you know which question is coming next. Kombinator’s and Roni both ask it –….. taming!! I know we can’t do specific dates on when it’s going to come out, but how’s the progress is coming with it?

Kim: Well lets say that I have bad news there…

Bonnie: Oh go on…

Kim: yeah.. its pretty much in the same state as fishing actually, for the moment. It only exists on paper. Simply because it’s a massive system, we want to do it right this time. But then the health maturities you saw the last time around with the taming system, and no I can’t give dates because we done it so many times in the past and schedules tend to change.

Bonnie: Yeah of course,

Kim: and I really want to get it done. That’s something we all share at MindArk. It just has to take its time.

Bonnie: Well that makes sense to get it right for sure. Pretty sure there would be nothing worse than releasing something half ready.

Kim: yeah and I think if we just re did the taming system as it was in the past, I don’t think people would appreciate that. Maybe some people would, but the majority won’t find it very useful. All you could do was have a mob move around , do some tricks.

Bonnie: Ok, now moving on to a slightly different subject, It is the Calypso Land deeds. Magyar asks,. Can you give us some insights into the development of the political system of and the role land deed owners will play in this?

Kim: Let me see, I asked MindArk about this. Ok unfortunately there are no details here yet. So I think it’s still very early in the development.

Bonnie: Ok so you don’t think it would be something we would see in 2013?

Kim: maybe, but it’s not something I'm involved in. Its really a platform issue.

Bonnie: Ok and on that note, I remember it was said that you would be able to build a house on the land deed type thing, and Nikita was asking about that too. I think they said if you have 9 of them or so, is that something you also had asked them?

Kim: Yeah that’s in the same category as the last question but that’s still the goal, if you have 9 clds, you will be able to build a house on land yeah.

Bonnie: Ok, sounds good to me.

Bonnie: Rentimore asked this question prior to the feffox event, he had wondered if there are any plans for some new calypso instances, so will this be a thing we will see more of?

Kim: Well let’s see, instances you said or?

Bonnie: yeah with instances.

Kim: Yeah there will be a new instance, in June actually.

Bonnie: Oh! Can you tell us anything more about it?

Kim: Hmmm

Bonnie: Go on!

Kim: Well I can give you a little something. It’s a huge instance. It takes about 30 mins to run through the quickest way if you don’t kill anything. And it is actually located I the jungle area of Calypso, the one near Fort Troy. But that’s all your getting!

Bonnie: *laughs* it sounds intriguing. We should do like a preview type thing before it so we can all have a wee look.

Kim: I think so, I think we might send out a newsletter a couple of weeks before it, so stay tuned for that one!

Bonnie: Definitely, I’d like to see some pictures for sure.

Kim: yeah.

Bonnie: Now had Jestina wonderd if there were any plans to rejuvenate the fort events? She said she really enjoyed them before but the kinda disappeared off.

Kim: Well, the way the for events were designed, I think the overestimated the number of players that would actually participate in them. They are pretty much deserted. We have done some internal experiments on doing a small fort event. Sort of like yeah, mini death match, with bases close to each other. With maybe just one or two ruins as a base, and they have been pretty funny so perhaps we will take that a step further and actually implement them.

Bonnie: ok so what you’re really saying is you are spending quite a lot of time killing each other in a little practice ring that you have made for forts… and calling it research!

Kim: Yeah exactly! Its major fun killing Charlie’s base all the time, with a test rocket launcher!

Bonnie: *laughs* sounds like a great job you have!

Kim: Yeah it was pretty fun!

Bonnie: Ok so you said there that you had feedback that the forts were nto really generating very much, so do you and the planet partners, platforms, do they get feedback as to how much they are getting in from events, instances, those type of things. So they can work out works and what doesn’t?

Kim: I think so, yeah we get some data, I'm not sure what everyone uses, all partners don’t really use the same systems to the same extent. But we rely heavily on some statistics yeah.

Bonnie: and a final question on Calypso, I had remembered you had mentioned before on the forums that Athena space port was going to be changed quite a bit, is that still happening?

Kim: Well that change was actually cancelled in the end because, MindArk didn’t really approve of the changes we had made. And they thought that it was too different from the original. So we are probably going to take another pass at it sometime.

Bonnie: ok. So for the time being, Athena space port is still going to remain quite pretty?

Kim: Yeah.

Bonnie: So we will shoot off to space now, you know this is my favourite place So I may have slightly more questions on space than a normal person might! *laughs*

Kim: Yeah


Bonnie: So John black knight was wondering - Is there a dedicated team who work on the development of space? Or is it you guys on Calypso who deal with it?

Kim: There isn’t a dedicated team for space really, but there is a dedicated design team for MindArk. And those guys handle space as well. So us Calypso guys don’t touch space at all.

Bonnie: Right ok, well hopefully you will still be about to answer some of these questions, will see if you got any answers for me.

Bonnie: Bjorn asked the Million dollar question, he wanted to know … will Hangars be functional again? Have you heard any word on this?

Kim: I haven’t heard anything on that , no. Umm, Let me check my notes here.

Bonnie: Ok.

Kim: no, no information on this for now unfortunately.

Bonnie: Ok I'm sure those guys will keep hanging on in there, ba boom tsh!

Bonnie: So, SoReal wonders if you do get inundated with quite a lot of suggestions about things, with space and I guess with Calypso as well, do you often are player suggestions put into practice

Kim: Well every time we receive a suggestion through support or some other channel, it actually gets posted on our internal forums. And most of them actually get read by one if not several developers. So sometimes suggestions get implemented, might take a very long time though because we only do releases a couple of times a year, so you may not even think about it but sometimes a suggestion of yours may get in.

Bonnie: Yeah that’s quite interesting, I never realised that they were posted on a forum as such, I thought maybe one person read it and threw it in the bin *laughs*

Kim: No we actually read them all, so it’s really good. Fuels internal discussions as well. Even if it doesn’t actually get into the game right away, it still contributes.

Bonnie: Yeah well there are quite a lot of creative people who play the game as well ive noticed, some people have really good ideas. So I guess it helps the more ideas that are out there.

Kim: The players play the game a lot more than we do. So it’s only natural that they very well better know what needs to be done.

Bonnie: Yup that makes sense.

Bonnie: Ok now I don’t know if you found out the answer to this one, this one is a particular bug bear of mine and it is the mothership gun turrets! Now as you know the schedule of the interview was rescedued a couple of times and just prior to this one the mothership gun turrets were changed, and I thought… This is great! They read the interview questions and thought - lets change this! But they are not quite working properly. Do you know if this is a work in progress?

Kim: Yeah, they say that it is something that is being worked on but they don’t have exact date for a release yet.

Bonnie: ok, as long as they are working on it , I think I can just about cope.

Kim: Yeah its being worked on. When walking around the office I often see space on screens and motherships, so some programmers are probably working on it.

Bonnie: Ah fantastic that’s good to hear! So do you know anything exciting, any of the details of things that are going to be happening in space then this year? Roni was asking this one.

Kim: Lets see… no I don’t really know what’s going to be happening for space. Unfortunately.

Bonnie: Sounds like I'm going to have to get a hold of one of them people and start drilling them questions.

Kim: Yeah it might be best to find a MindArk representative for that one.

Bonnie: I think I will! Ok so did you ask Banshee if I could have his RK50?

Kim: yeah well… maybe. If you kill him first.

Bonnie: aww ive done that already! Got some cracking space loot off him aswell!

Kim: Really??

Bonnie: Yeah he came out with his quad and we had a right good battle!

Bonnie: Ok so just a couple more space ones as I know you cant really answer them properly, but just to see if we can any more
tiny bits of information out of you.

Bonnie: This space question came in from Tass. Do you remember the concept art that was introduced about space, where there was loads of different styles of ships. Do you know if any of these are ever going to be introduced into the game?

Kim: I don’t know for sure but I think its more than likely that they would be eventually, its definitely an ambition to add more space craft content and space content and that would include more ships. And equipment for ships, you would really want some different
kinds of weapons. Not just the standard compliments.

Bonnie: Yeah particualry when the standard ones are not very effective currently!

Kim: Yeah. So its true that space could definitely use some more content. I think it will come.

Bonnie: Ok I live in hope Kim! Ok so shall we shoot off to see if we can glean any information about other planets. Just to hear if you’ve heard anything in the office.

Other Planets

Bonnie: Roni would like to know – is there any ETA on planet Toulon and any news of Theryon Wars?

Kim: No I can’t discuss that. Unfortunately.

Bonnie: Ok, now I think you might say the same to this next question, but I did promise I would ask, with the moon that was recently released we found out how much the moon manager was going to get percentage wise from the players that were based there. Is this in line with the different planets?

Kim: Let’s see, I'm reading my notes here.

Bonnie: No Problem.

Kim: Ok I can tell you that such statistics are being tracked by a revenue sharing machine – if you can call it that. But I can’t reveal the percentages.

Bonnie: yeah thought that might be too much detail! I would think.

Kim: yeah.

Bonnie: Ok this one is a rather blunt question, it comes straight in from Tewiaz, this has been nipping his brain since 2011! He wanted to know if there was a conclusion drawn on Planet Partners being allowed to play game?

Kim: OK , planet partners can’t use Entropia universe for personal profit. But they can participate as role playing characters or instrisctidly and survailed know your business activities, you know testing your game.

Bonnie: Ok, that’s quite interesting. I think that answers quite a lot of that question.

Kim: yeah.

Bonnie: and on that note what about the moon manager? Will he have the same restricitons?

Kim: I don’t know actually.

Bonnie: I am sure we will soon find out.

Kim: yeah

Bonnie: and what about next island, Narfi just has a really straight forward question - whats going on?

Kim: What sorry?

Bonnie: On Next Island, what happening with it? Do we know?

Kim: sorry no news there. Its still in limbo.

Bonnie: What I am going to do now is I'm going to move across to one of the more difficult sections, and we will do this section just
before we will go for our break. This is a really hot topic so hopefully we can get some great answers because this is things people have been asking over and over and over and over again.

Money and stuff

Bonnie: So we will start with Das’s Question. He pointed out that in the 2013 road map, there was a note saying that the average tt returns were set to increase. - can you tell us was there any percentage amount that they were set to increase by? Or any more information on that?

Kim: Well, no exact percentage was decided, but we did increase the payout. And that has actually happened. We also reduced the volatility. And people may still have bad runs, but overall returns are actually better than they have been.

Bonnie: That’s always good news I'm sure!

Kim: yeah, and of course then we removed the cost for missing as well. And that should really contribute.

Bonnie: mmhmm, oh definitely, particularly someone like myself who tends to shoot at trees for a couple of minutes before I realise to look at the screen.
*both laugh*

Bonnie: so at least it saves a lot of money when you don’t get charged for that!

Kim: yeah or that last shot on a corpse when you are trying to loot it.

Bonnie: yup yup, done that a few times.

Bonnie: Ok this is possibly a blonde question, but I do have to ask it just from my own perspective. When the TEN event period was started we got told there was going to be modified loot , What is modified loot?

Kim: Well, Modified loot. The loot lists themselves, well if you can call them that. Were change so that you could find more specific loot on each creature. So it should be less generic than it was before. A large part of that still remains but something that we are working on. We don’t want people to get 20 small stacks, when hunting diakiba or whatever. It should be a few specific things like diakiba wool, maybe one specific enhancer component, and a couple of other things. And that’s mainly what we call modified loot. But maybe the players are referring to something else. I'm not sure.

Bonnie: No I think that’s, just from reading that the modified loot had been introduced with the TEN and I just couldn’t get my head around what it was , but that certainly makes sense. So you would have to , if you wanted something in particular you would have to really hunt a particular mob.

Kim: Yeah and we did another thing during the TEN event as well, we simply increased the payout. So we took a smaller cut, that’s what we did. It was all for the benefit of the players.

Bonnie: Sounds great.

Bonnie: Ok now this question came in from Ewok, I'm sure you know Ewok does quite a large kinda business on crafting armours. He was asking if there is a reason for the imbalance of Armour BPs, specifically there is one or two bps that they find it really hard to get a hold of. Do you know if blueprints are supposed to drop level, or if they are supposed to be unbalanced like this? I know you can’t tell me which ones are going to drop and when they are going to drop, but – do you think for an armour set they should be balanced? Or is this deliberate?

Kim: Well, we are trying to address the imbalance, but its not an easy thing. I'm some cases its deliberate, in some cases it’s a coincidence. But its definitely something we are looking at.

Bonnie: Ok so Ewok should know at least you guys are looking into it and hopefully there will be a resolution for it?

Kim: It’s not being ignored, it’s something we are definitely looking at. But I cant promise what we are going to do, or if we are going to do something.

Bonnie: Ok well at least it gives a little bit of peace of mind possibly.

Kim: Yeah.

Bonnie: Ok, Bjorn was wondering - A large number of shopping booths and apartments lay unused. If these belong to closed accounts could they be recirculated?

Kim: Yeah we are looking over the technical and legal solutions for but then, again, we don’t have a final answer to that yet.

Bonnie: ok, and what about adding some more shopping booth type things in twin peaks, would that work?

Kim: That could work, and we have been thinking about doing that, perhaps it could be done.
Bonnie: I think they could be quite lucrative, in twin peaks.

Kim: yeah and whenever new outposts are designed, or if we ever redesign the major cities, which I actually think will happen. Then I’d like to have many more small estates, not just huge ones. Sort of like mixed player owned buildings, with like NPC on ones or just terminal buildings, whatever you want to call them. We could sort of create more living environments. I think that’s the key to making good cities.

Bonnie: yeah definitely, especially if everybody could have a little piece of it as well.

Kim: yeah I'm not a fan of just throwing 20 or 30 shopping booths in the corner of a city, I don’t think that’s how it should work. A little booth here and there, and perhaps buildings or whole shops, but that’s the style I'm going for later on.

Bonnie: yeah certainly sounds interesting, hopefully you can get your ideas across to get them made.

Kim: Yeah I hope so.

Bonnie: And with the booths that we were talking about, KikkiJikki had asked a question, about wether or not you would be able to buy additional item points for them, like you can do with shops or apartments for example. Is that something that we could expect?

Kim: The problem with the shopping booths is that the items are loaded for anyone who runs buy. And the more items you have in view, the more taxing it becomes on the persons computer. So that’s not something we are looking to introduce. Mainly for performance issues , But in enclosed shops is another matter. So many we could have some more small shop type buildings, who knows.

Bonnie: That would make more sense, so you don’t have to load them all up when you run past, but could still have more items for sale.

Kim: yeah precisely.

Bonnie: Ok Shoti asks a simple question, and Cybertrash asks the same. We discussed this one last time, where you had said it was a goal and hopefully someday, so can you tell us, are we any further on for designing of the melee amps?

Kim: Yes, it’s being worked on right now actually.

Bonnie: and can you give us a rough idea when they should expect them?

Kim: Emmm.. Probably sooner than they think actually. I saw it on a post it today actually sitting on the developers big white board. It was pretty far to the right. And that usually means its approaching testing.

Bonnie: *laughs* I like that theory, if its far to the right its nearly ready.

Kim: yea there is a lot of stuff on the right side.

Bonnie: it would be great if we could have a secret picture of that one day! See what’s all sitting there on the right side.

Kim: yeah, including a 64bit client. If someone’s interested in that.

Bonnie: Excellent! We should get a list of what’s all pinned to the right side of that board I think!

Kim: yeah.

Bonnie: Ok so Lokia and Rick want bigger things in life. Lokia wants a bigger whip and Rick wants
bigger chips. Will we see more of this higher level stuff coming out? Because we have a lot of big level guns but sometimes with the whips and the mf it just kinda tails off. Do you think we will get more of these in the future?

Kim: I definitely think so its an ambition to have ever profession stacked with appropriate tools there should never be a ceiling for new weapons. But it takes time because we have a lot of professions to fill up. You may have noticed we have added a lot of weapons in the past patches. Especially for the major professions, since they are also missed many tools for many skill levels. So its something we are working on.

Bonnie: Ok well that’s really great to know.

Bonnie: Now this next one, it’s not really something I know much about but it is a really hot topic on the forums, so you might have to help me out a little bit here. Das and Mistique both talk about the land grab tax split. Das wonders if there will ever be away to also split to sister socs? and mystique is questioning about whether they can balance it in their soc between people who actually play, and people who don’t play. Do you know anything about this?

Kim: Well there are no plans for the first thing, about splitting between different societies. Maybe if an alliance function was added, that could happen but, nothing concrete is planned.
Number 2, yup, we are definitely planning on changing the tax distribution.

Bonnie: Ok, so mystique wont have to worry too much for much longer you think?

Kim: No, and I'm pushing really hard for that one, because the way it works, or rather doesn’t work right now is just unacceptable and we will have to change it.

Bonnie: Ok that sounds conclusive to me and good to know, and right now das is just going to have to hope that an alliance gets pinned on the right hand side of the board.

Kim: Yeah

Bonnie: Ok the very last question I have now is from AJ on the Calypso and money section, he had heard that the tiering rates of some of the unlimited items was supposed to speed up a bit, he wonders has this actually happened, because he can see it.

Kim: Well it’s not in yet, but from my notes I can see that its actually planned for the second quarter, so that could mean really soon.

Bonnie: Ok so maybe in the June Update?

Kim: that’s more than likely I would say or maybe even in May, but I can’t promise anything of course but…. It says Q2.

Bonnie: Fantastic, good to hear.

Bonnie: Ok what we’ll do now is we will go for a little musical break, so that people can grab a cup of tea, have a beer, whatever they like – have a relax. I will play a couple of songs then we will come back to the rest of the interview. So we shall speak again soon.
*short musical break*

Bonnie: welcome back you are listening to Atlas Haven Radio, you are Listening to DJ Bonnie and I have with me today Kim, welcome back Kim!

Kim: Thankyou.

Bonnie: Ok we have been asking an absolute tonne of questions, and we stil have a whole bunch more. Are you ready for some more questions kim?

Kim: I sure am.

The egg

Bonnie: Ok so when I was a baby avatar I heard stories of the “aahhhh the egg” and now the story is hot news again! So was this always the plan for the egg? Or Why now?

Kim: well it was the story for the past year or so, we’ve worked on it for a long time to get it right to involve the community in a good way. That’s really why it took so long.

Bonnie: and how do you feel the story has unfolded, is it what you planned?

Kim: Yeah it’s been pretty good actually. I think the response has been good from the community, and we really wanted everyone to be involved. Not only deathifier. We wanted it to be an event for the whole community, and that’s really what it became. And that’s really why we made it such a public event.

Bonnie: and I noticed you were asking for feedback from the event on the forum just the other day, is that something that you plan to do more of?

Kim: Yeah, you players play the game a lot more than I do, So that’s why I want to hear what you think about many different things. It’s a unique perspective. I don’t get the same perspective when I play or test myself. Its really helpful. And we already have a lot of ideas on how to make the next event even better.

Bonnie: Excellent, and will you be adding in the timer like the guys were all asking for?

Kim: Well the thing about timers is that they seem to be very simple, but they are actually one of the most complicated things you could possibly add!

Bonnie: Really?

Kim: yeah they actually are, what happens when you crash, what happens when a server crashes, and how do you handle that. Do you start the timer again when the player logs in, when the server goes up. All those questions need to be answered, and its very difficult. But since many people seem to want it, we will certainly give it a lot of thought, and see if we can add some support for it.

The moon

Bonnie: Ok there was recently a new and exciting venture being launched – that was the moon. So there was quite a lot of people had asked questions on the moon, a lot of them were before the moon was actually auctioned off, so some of them are not really relevant now but there are still a few, and I guess people are still really interested in what’s happening with it, so can you tell me…

Bonnie: Are the Calypso Development Team in new project? Or is that more a MindArk type thing.

Kim: it’s a MindArk thing the Calypso development team isn’t involved in the development of the moon, we have other things we are working on. But its possible some of the shared resources between MindArk and Planet Calypso will be allocated to the moon for short while, maybe sound or some art, that’s the extent of it.

Bonnie: ok well that was one of the questions that was asked, it was said that you had designed the underground caves on Calypso.. Could we see those designs on the new Moon?

Kim: Not really, these assets will be used on other places, Calypso, they don’t really fit the moon.

Bonnie: ok and I wonder if you found out the answer to this question, Myself, Narfi and a few other people were wondering, - Why wont the moon be in space, where will its space station be? Did you find an answer for us?

Kim: Sorry, unfortunately I couldn’t get an answer for that.

Bonnie: ah ok, was worth a try anyway.

Kim: yeah.

Our avatars

Bonnie: Ok so the last time we spoke, The exciting new news you gave us during the interview was the revelation that the new avatar system was coming. Id like to know, How do you think its went? What did you think when you saw all the new avatars that were being created?

Kim: well, right now with the benefit of hindsight, I think the avatar system wasn’t ready to be released. It could have used a couple of months more of fine tuning. But now its out, we have been doing a lot of fixs to it and its been getting better and better, and I think it will be very good once all the bugs have been worked out of clothes and things, we are working really hard on that.

Bonnie: Roni and a few others had asked that about whether the clothes bug was something that was going to be resolved. So you guys are working hard on that just now you had said?

Kim: Yup we have them all listed and we are working through them one by one, fixing them.

Bonnie: So they are on the right hand side of the board too? *laughs*

Kim: Most of them are actually, the really bad ones actually.

Bonnie: good I really want to be able to wear my jeans again.

Kim: yeah.

Bonnie: ok so you mentioned last time that with the new avatar system, we were going to have the ability to put tattoos on our avatars, what’s happening with that?

Kim: its being worked on and our estimate is in the 3rd or 4th quarter or this year.

Bonnie: Ok so we should have tattoos on our avatars before Christmas.

Kim: I think so.

Bonnie: I'm looking forward to that, can you tell us anything about how we will be able to apply them, is there any more information on that?

Kim: I actually don’t know how its going to work, its in the design phase right now, so I'm sure it will change a lot of times before its implemented.

Bonnie: Now this was another question that was asked prior to our first reschedule, Aeon asks, will we be able to smile, now obviously you have brought in some fantastic new facial features, But I was wondering with our more detailed faces that we have now, how much expression can our new faces actually have?

Kim: Well they can have a lot, its just a question on spending resources on doing it. I think we will be adding a couple of more but, I don’t really know when that’s going to happen. We have added a couple and maybe some more are coming.

Bonnie: That’s good to know, its always nice when you can pull a funny face at your fellow avatars.

Bonnie: ok this question I'm sure is not really high up on your list of priorities, but I really want to know, Why did our avatars become lazy and stop dancing after 30 seconds? Its really annoying!

Kim: *laughs* Yeah the note here says “ you have spoiled them”
*both laugh*

Kim: Joke aside, they are looking into, we can do it so…

Bonnie: I was thinking we had had too many troxxy burgers or something along the line
*both laugh*

Bonnie: Now I did notice as well one of the other questions that I'm just going to skim over, because it has been fixed, its acutally been great to see so many questions that were put forward actually got fixed or were implemented while we were waiting for the interview - and that one was us not having any nipples! But now apparently we have nipples, so that’s very important that that’s back of course.

Kim: Oh absolutely! Very important.


Bonnie: ok so this next topic, there’s a bit of talking involved in this one, as it is about communication, This is a really big one for our guys, it seemed a hot topic for many. We have Lugzan, Bjorn, Nor Alien , SoReal and Tiewaz all come up with the same kind of question – so I'm just going to elaborate on what they were saying.
Last time we spoke a bit about how it’s really great that you come on and chat with us on the forums when you get a chance, and even being here today in the Lion’s den is really appreciated by so many people I'm sure!
Some people can be a bit, er – less than cheery , with some of the questions that they out forward. Obviously they love the game and they invest in it, and they want so much from it, and I want to know is ,being one of the faces of the organization, does it get quite tough, does it get any easier over time?

Kim: Well, I don’t really take criticism personally, I mean, I would be more concerned if people didn’t care about the product that is Entropia and Planet Calypso, than if they weren’t upset. If they are upset about something wrong, or have criticism, that means they care. And we all care. So yeah, I can understand frustration, I mean I have played mmo’s myself. When I think something is bad I can get pissed off aswell – from the player perspective. But no, it’s not difficult for me.

Bonnie: Ok, well that’s good to know, although it might mean we get a lot more critisims now they know your fine with it, *laughs*

Kim: yeah, if someone has a problem id much rather hear about it, than not hear about it.

Bonnie: that’s very true, I guess with any business you would rather they told you and you got a chance to fix it, rather than the just buggering off. I suppose.

Kim: Yeah definitely.

Bonnie: Ok so Lugzan almost asked a question, but decided to make a statement. He said we want regular updates on new things and progress. Do you think this would be something we could see more of? Obviously you cant say dates and stuff incase you cant reach them, but I think the guys just want to know a bit more about what’s happening and what’s going on with the game.

Kim: yeah both me and MindArk, and the rest of the Planet Calypso team, we think that we could really do more there, and it will be our ambition to add more to the buzz on our website, and some more newsletters as well. With more interesting content. So that’s what we are planning to do.

Bonnie: Yeah, sounds good.

Bonnie: Bjorn has a pondering… he noticed that Arkadia has a Community Manager who is very accessible - they were wondering if Community Manager for Calypso, who is online a lot and accessible? Nor Alien seconds this. SoReal elaborates on it a bit, Like when people are stuck in space yet, could we have somebody who we could just contact quite fast?

Kim: Ok well that’s two different questions really. A community manager, sure, maybe we will add that position sometime. But for now we will split that duty between us developers. Its good for us to have a dialogue with the players, and it can be good to have that contact directly.

Bonnie: so what would you say would be the best way for the guys if they wanted to contact the developers directly, would it be via one of the forums, or is there another way?

Kim: well it depends on why. If its something really critical then it might be good to send it on both the forum and support case. But like I said, if they send a suggestion or a remark or a statement to support it actually gets forwarded to our internal forum and that’s how it gets the most views, if you put it that way, from the developers and designers, so that’s really the best way.

Bonnie: so you would say more in game is the best way to contact you guys rather than trying to get through a forum or such?

Kim: yeah a forum is good for getting a discussion between other players and raising a common issue, but if you really have a strong proposition or suggestion then the best approach is to send it through a support case. We actually read it.

Bonnie: *laughs*

Kim: Believe it or not

Bonnie: That’s good to know I'm sure. Ok we will move onto the next subtopic I have here, this one is quite a hot one, also quite a bone of contention for many. Its about Exploiting.


Bonnie: Now Remontoire wants to know if there are any plans to change or toughing up the stance that we have on cheating and exploiting? We know it’s a hard balance between you don’t want to locking/banning too soon but there seems to be quite a few innocent players getting cheated out of things.

Kim: Yeah it’s a very complicated issue. We do take these matters very seriously. But the perception of the community isn’t always the reality. It may look like we are not doing anything in a certain case, but we could very well have inacted severe disciple in differnt cases, but we don’t publicise what we do really. Exploiting is dealt with seriously.

Bonnie: do you think it would maybe help for people to know that it was being dealt with, like for someone to post and say “we know this is going on and we are looking into it” .

Kim: yeah it maybe better to change the way we communicate about these matters. That’s something to be discusses certainly, but you also run the risk of making the problem worse. So usually we just try to get a fix out as soon as possible. Fixes are better than policing really.

Bonnie: yeah that makes sense.

Bonnie: There was a lot of talk on the forums over the past few months about trades going wrong like people trading the wrong person by mistake. There was Lokia and a few other people thought if we brought back face to face trading, that this could resolve this problem.

Kim: Face to face trading, you mean seeing the face of the other avatar?

Bonnie: yeah yeah.

Kim: umm I don’t know actually, maybe that could help but I'm not sure if it would makes these problems go away. Its not like it didn’t happen before when we had that.

Bonnie: ok , so even when there was a face to face trading, there was still these issues.

Kim: yeah I mean, its nothing new, but its certainly worth exploring, its terrible when these things happen.

Bonnie: There was a few suggestions from people Like Chopper, they had said aboutif you could like lock an item, so if you had something very expensive you could do like an item lock so you couldn’t trade it without unlocking it again. Do these suggestions get looked at by you guys?

Kim: yeah we are discussing several options currently, but an item lock, it could stil have weaknesses, like people forgetting to set the lock and selling the item anyway. Any system has holes really. We are trying to find a solution to this, we recognise that there is a problem.

Bonnie: OK well its good to know that at least the concerns have been recognised and hopefully there will be some kind of fool proof solution in the future one would like to hope. I know I panic when I think ive lost something, I cant imagine what it would be like, to actually lose something properly expensive!

Bonnie: Ok we will move onto one of our last sections now, this one is about the company

The company

Bonnie: So you mentioned at the start that there is now a new company or its been renamed to Planet Calypso. Which helps us all I think – trying to understand it!

Bonnie: Peezle is curious… With Eu being so awesome – he doesn’t like seeing lesser platforms pinching all the players. Him and Spongey both ask - What is MA doing right now to encourage new players in way of media & advertising?

Kim: yeah we are doing a lot of pr and online advertisings. Trying to get n different sites like game breaker .tv that you saw a couple of weeks ago and our online advertsiign has been going really well actually. Some of you may have noticed a large amount of new players in game perhaps during the last couple of months. I can tell you that the active user base on Planet Calypso is actually up by 28% since the 1st of January.

Bonnie: wow that’s quite an increase, do you think that’s a combination of the advertising as well as the new player area that was developed?

Kim: Yeah we think those are both components of the same thing, I mean getting a thousand accounts created means a lot more if more of them stay. That’s why it’s so critical to have good content in the beginning. That’s why we wanted to do the gateway and the new start room before we really started with our online advertising.

Bonnie: Ok well I'm sure that makes plenty sense to lots of people.

Bonnie: Shy was wondering if there are Any plans about ingame advertising from sponsors? So like, could we ever see some designer brand clothes or somthing like that.

Kim: there are currently no plans for ingame advertising.

Bonnie: Ok that’s short and sweet!

Bonnie: Thoruea wants to know if there are any updates or additions planned for the virtual tycoon app? That was certainly something that was exciting when it was launched.

Kim: ok we will release Virtual Tycoon 2.0 during the second half of this year, the features are a combination of what have been suggested by users and posted on our forums, and it adds more components that you are used to seeing in Entropia.

Bonnie: Ok so we will get to do more in the virtual tycoon than we can do just now then.

Kim: yeah more and more feature will be included.

Bonnie: sounds good, sounds like we are gonna crash the memory on my phone right enough!
*both laugh*

Kim: yeah

Bonnie: Aander is asking – do you have any info of the affiliate program that was mentioned in the developers notes to be released apparently in Q1 2013 ? this was allowing the existing participants to get rewarded for helping to expand the Universe.

Kim: Yeah, like I said previously, we’ve moved back many systems, in favour of looking at older systems that are in dire need of revamp, and this has been postponed as a result of that, but like the other systems its still definitely in the pipe line.

Bonnie: ok so should hopefully be something we see this year do you think?

Kim: Maybe, maybe this year maybe next year

Bonnie: *laughs* you definitely don’t like giving me dates…

Bonnie: Ok well Narfi had actually asked a bit about the population, you had said obviously it has increased, do you have any predictions of the 3-5yr expectations of the population of Claypso.

Kim: Umm. No, I don’t really have that, but we are obviously trying to maintain the progress we are having right now. And lets see where that takes us.

Bonnie: yeah long may it continue for sure if its going at that rate!

Kim: Yeah.

Bonnie: Tass was asking about Face book Emissary program, did that work? Did it have the impact that people though it was going to have?

Kim: I actually wasn’t involved in that so, I don’t really know. Unfortunately.

Bonnie: that’s no problem at all.

Bonnie: and Lee was asking about Awesomium, Now I'm sure Lee just wanted to as the question to get me to say that word!

Kim: Yeah

Bonnie: Do you know anything this? This is the cinematic cut scenes in the game? It was actually yourself who announced that it was going to be able to process of integrating web-browser into eu. Whats happening with that?

Kim: yeah the foundations of the Awesomium platform have been integrated into Entropia, that was done last year I think. Or even in 2011. But the extentions into other systems like missions and advertising, the advertising boards, that’s going to take longer, like many things they have been pushed back in favour of revamps.

Bonnie: OK now this is a really important question - What happened to VU13!!!

Kim: Vu13?

Bonnie: Yup we went from 12 to 14.

Kim: Oh… well 13 is an {sic}”un?” unlucky number you know…

Bonnie: *laughs* so they are superstitious at MindArk?

Kim: Well you don’t want to tempt the wrath of whatever hide up the thing right? I think that’s why you don’t have a row number 13 on some airplanes.

Bonnie: that’s right, or in hotels they don’t usually have a room 13 do they?

Kim: Yeah exactly.

Bonnie: Ok so we are coming close to the end of the interview now. So just going to elaborate on some of the stuff that you had mentioned. So you had said that a lot of things had been pushed back in order to fix a lot of the older systems. What type of things do we see that are happening right now, that are getting dealt with?

Kim: Well, we are spending a lot of resources working on the support for social aspects in Entropia. We are talking about complete redesign of the chat window, with new channels, you will be able to create your own channels, invite people to those. Its gonna put a lot more functions really.

Bonnie: Ok so almost like a kinda skype chat in game type thing? Where you can add groups and all sorts?

Kim: yeah and it will have a more intuitive user interface that what you have right now, it will have a combat log as well I think, where all the combat messages are collected. Its not just a chat change, its changing other social aspects as well. Such as combining the many player lists, like player register, mentor register, friends list, into a combined social UI. Might combine society into that as well, removing the society terminal, making it a whole other UI. So that’s something we are spending a lot of resources on right now.

Bonnie: yeah it sounds like quite a dramatic overhaul of that system.

Kim: yeah I really it and it think it will make the game feel a lot more modern.

Bonnie: and when do you think we might have progress on that?

Kim: It might come before the summer, but I'm not sure so don’t quote me on that. We’ll see I guess. Once we have confirmed it in the development, its pretty late now anyway , so maybes its in the second half of the year. But its definitely this year.

Bonnie: ok yeah, well that certainly sounds interesting, would certainly be a huge change I would think If we don’t have soc terminals or anything any more.

Kim: yeah I mean if you are out hunting with someone, you don’t want to have to run back to the society terminal to recruit them. And we will see what kind of features are added to that one.

Bonnie: So I just have a couple more questions left for you Kim.


Bonnie: So can you tel me, what’s been your favourite part of all the recent VU’s?

Kim: My favourite part of all the recent vus?

Bonnie: mm hmm, which one and which part?

Kim: Hmmm I really liked working on this feffox cave, Yeah I really like that, I like to spend a lot of time working on the small interesting areas, really make them high quality. Really make them shine. That’s what I like to do.

Bonnie: Ok and Last time we spoke you told us of how you would like to see Calypso in the future, you told us what your goals were for it were things and getting rid of old mistakes that type of thing,
So can you tell me, have your goals changed over the past year, and what new goals have you set yourself?

Kim: well, there are a lot of things that need to be done on Calypso, and one area that we are looking close to right now is creature spawns and resource spawns. Both of those could really be redesigned in some ways to make them better. More intuitive it should really make sense that some creatures are in certain areas.

Bonnie: ok so less of a kind of random distribution of the mobs?

Kim: Yeah less of a random distribution, it should make sense. Biotopes. In a biological sense that you have carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, in a balanced way. And you amphibian creatures only in watery areas. You have simple creatures near newb areas. A lot of that could really use some more work. We are hoping to do that starting this summer. Continuing for a couple of months.

Bonnie: sounds good so it does sound like there is a lot of new stuff that’s kind of planned for this year, are there are like, really exciting stuff you could give our listeners an insight into today?

Kim: Well, other than the huge instance coming , there’s not much else planned right now. But I can tell you that if they have looked around the crater area they will have probably seen some … ruins. And theres more underneath the surface than they might think.

Bonnie: ahhh sounds interesting! So we should start digging?

Kim: yeah. And I think that instance will be really something it will have more function than we are used to, more complicated boss fights, requiring actually tactics to kill. I think its going to be a lot of fun.

Bonnie: it does sounds really interesting, that’s actually kinda tied in with the last question that we have, and it came in from Uri , he was asking What are you personally most looking forward to that is currently on the roadmap for this year?

Kim: oh that’s a tough one, but I think Calypso wise its definitely this instance. And perhaps an improvement of outposts that we may be doing later this year. Some of them are pretty old looking and could really be designs in a more unique way. So just twin peaks or atlas haven or other towns that could really be developed. And when it comes to platform development the social UI is really the most important thing right now. I think that will be a game changer really, I think that it will be very well received.

Bonnie: certainly sounds as though it will be exciting, Well Kim It has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you, thank you for taking the time to come on with me tonight.
I am sure the player base really appreciate you taking the time to answer as may questions as you possibly could - and I really hope we can do this again soon.

Kim: Thank you.

Bonnie: OK You have been listening to DJ Bonnie and Special guest Kim, I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as we did here at Atlas Haven Radio. And I wish you a very good evening and thank you for tuning in .

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking the time to transcribe this -- and for doing the interview in the first place; very nice...



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