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Project Entropia Preview
publisher: MindArk AB
developer: MindArk AB
PIII 700, 128MB RAM, 32MB Video Card
|ESRB rating: n/a
release date: Jan 30, 03 (released)
|» All About Project Entropia on ActionTrip|
Gareth Von Kallenbach
Our ace reporter Gareth, has managed to track down Patric Sundström, Marketing Manager at Mind Ark, and grill him on the subject of Project Entropia. Interesting gameplay details inside:
Action Trip: For those who are not aware of the game, can you tell us a little about it, and how it will differ from previous titles in the genre?
Patric Sundström: Project Entropia is at the forefront of the next generation of interactive online entertainment, more than just a game. We prefer to see it as a new virtual universe. Project Entropia is set in a sci-fi environment in the distant future, on a planet called Calypso where you have the opportunity to live as you please and to be part of the development of the first true virtual universe.
AT: What would you say are the biggest challenges for your team in this game and what new features are you adding when comparing the game to other MMRPS programs in the market?
PS: To develop it :) All jokes aside though, one of the greatest challenges involved is the very construction of a world that can accommodate a million users simultaneously as opposed to using copies being dispersed over several servers. Another challenge has been the economic system that we are incorporating into Project Entropia. We are building a complete economy that will work just as economies work now in the real world. Then there is the size of the actual world itself. From the start, there will be three continents, each about 900 square kilometers or 348 square miles. Given that these continents will have contents and features, you may appreciate the size of this job.
AT: Can you describe some of the weapons and settings that the game will feature?
PS: Weapons will include firearms such as handguns, rifles and launchers as well as close combat melee weapons such as knives, swords and axes. All modern weapons use energy to inflict various forms of damage. Different methods of discharge include burning lasers, electric charges and even solid bolt projectiles. Close combat weapons will be generally more effective against personal energy shields than firearms. Firearms on the other hand, can be purchased with various extensions, allowing them to be equipped with extra accessories and upgrades.
AT: Will there be any vehicles or stationary weapons for players to use?
PS: Vehicles and transportation will be accessible in Project Entropia. We're not sure however when these functions will be implemented as we already have quite a lot to do at the moment :) It's quite possible that we will include stationary weapons in Project Entropia but this is still under discussion.
AT: Will the game be a straight multiplayer game, or will there be any solo play to the game?
PS: Project Entropia will only work by connecting to a server via the Internet, so while you can choose to explore by yourself, you will be in the same virtual world with many other participants.
AT: Do you have a general timetable for when the game is due as we all know release dates are far from an exact science?
PS: As soon as possible. It's difficult to predict an exact date at the moment. We are about to begin the second beta phase. After that there will be further closed tests concluding in an open beta test where anybody interested can participate. Those who would like to participate in future phases of the beta testing for Project Entropia are more than welcome to fill in the application form at http://www.project-entropia.com/betatest/apply.asp?topic=betatest
AT: What are the backgrounds and projects of the people who are creating the game?
PS: At the moment there are about 45 people at MindArk directly involved with the development of Project Entropia. This number increases by 2-3 people every month. As well as this, we have 5-15 people working externally as consultants depending on the workload. To introduce each individual here would take up the rest of the interview. What I can say is that we have a diverse group of people involved in Project Entropia. Many have worked with other software companies, some developing games and others in different areas. In short we believe that we have a very competent team working here at MindArk.
AT: Are you concerned with the flood of MMRPGS on the market and many on the way that PE could get lost in the shuffle and what are you doing to make it stand out?
PS: While there are many MMORPGs in development, we see Project Entropia as very different. It's not just a game, which means it will include much more for citizens to do than a game. In addition, we won't use the traditional revenue model of an initial purchase price plus monthly subscription fees. Instead, it will be possible to acquire Project Entropia for free and to participate without paying any monthly subscription cost other than personal Internet connection charges that have nothing to do with Project Entropia or MindArk. This mean people will have the chance to take part in a unique online experience without having to commit to a purchase and a monthly charge. As a result, I think we will appeal to a very different an much larger user base.
AT: What was the inspiration behind the game?
PS: We felt inspired to create the world's first truly virtual world, and to fill it with life. To achieve this, we plan to develop Project Entropia over the long term and to add quality content and features on a continuous basis so that we can come as close to reality as possible with the technology available to us. We want to feel the limits in order to always be one step ahead.
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