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 Project Ion developers interview 2014

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PostSubject: Project Ion developers interview 2014   2014-10-18, 05:39



On July 29 2013 a interview was released with the Project Ion developers by Entropia Planets Forum.

Entropia is a game were till now most of Project Ion participants have roots.
Due to the reason so many people were compelled with the development of this new title they found it suitable to post the interview on their forum.

Several times it has been called a new PE, a EU detox, and it has been laughed off as a cheap clone from the both mentioned.

Believe it or not, but by now the interview is one of the most viewed topics on the forum there and still climbing up in the ranks.



A special thanks again to the Entropia Planets Forum crew and members for this first and official interview. For sure the best Entropia forum around! I love you
Be sure to check their interview from back then if you not yet did.

A few community members thought it would be a good time to do another interview so we collected these 20 questions and interviewed the developers.
These are the questions and answers from the new interview for 2014.  Rolling Eyes


First i would like to ask you some questions in common.

How many people are involved directly on this project until now?
Not sure what's implied by directly. John (Joey) and I (Jelle) started the fire and two friends are involved at this moment. There's Schlumpfsack & Kalamona who made us some awesome artwork giving Project Ion it's current look and feel. Add to that a bunch of die-hards staying in close touch with us and supporting us in any way possible. That only leaves us to mention the people that spent time to download the package and register at a website hosted at a consumer line ip address...

How many people have registered until now?
Hah, that's a good one! I could take this opportunity and say we have 5421 registered users. It is the actual amount of registered users while writing this. The amount of users entering Project Ion and making an avatar is 1955 though. And I'm sure there's a bunch of alts in there too – lol.

How many active accounts (used avatars) approximately?
Your guess is as good as ours. We'd be honored if 10-20% of the 1955 accounts are serious.
Development of 0.6 is taking it's precious time so we have regular visitors returning to keep an eye on things.


On what did you guys spend donations so far?
A Unity Pro license, a web host and some fresh assets for v0.6. We are on a very tight budget and reserving it for the bare essentials: An auto updater and beer for example Wink

Any black budget? O wait that is confidential or not?...
I'm too white to speak about black in public (these days...)

Some time has passed since someone asked you if there are any plans to make Project Ion a Real Cash Economy. Whats up with that idea?

This question was answered in our first interview with our friends over at Entropia Planets Forum. The trading currency mentioned there has been realized with the Project Ion Dinar. It's the base on which items and resources are valued in game. A payout system is (still) considered unviable. We have a couple of cool ideas but those are strictly confidential.



Are there gonna be EULA rules?
Only if there's an urgent reason to do so. Most people with common sense will probably enjoy themselves without the need for any rules. Intentionally harming the project or other people is bad, but even a EULA doesn't stop some people from doing so. In that sense we hope to suffice with a new kick/ban system for v0.6.

Are there gonna be in-game moderators or people with other special rights?
This functionality is actually built and tested already. In our case our names will be gold colored and preceded by [TB], to indicate we are from the TestBuilt team. In this state we can do some 'special' things to check for issues and/or support people who are stuck somewhere. The system was built with expandability in mind so expect to hear more about it next vu.

Not long from now the new Unity 5 will get released, do you guys have plans to migrate to that?
We've only got one Unity (5) license to work with at the moment so I'm sure we'll at least attempt the upgrade. The biggest challenge will probably be replacing the outdated hardware we're working with. The ACER laptops shut down during heavy load so we'll give ACER a chance to redeem themselves with a complimentary set of Predator G's or something Wink

Any plans to support the Oculus Rift?
We're clueless about the requirements for this device. Could be interesting if it's not too much work
but no plans yet.




Are you already on the payed (Pro) version of Unity 4 or still using the free one?
Yes Smile

Anything specific you guys would like to have as 3D model that maybe the community can help you with?
The only specific items we're looking for are wearables for the UMA avatar system. Neither of us are tailors so different sets of clothes will be much appreciated. The only requirement is that texture overlays share the same UV mapping as the base character. This is to ensure that clothes can be drawn directly on the avatar and still remain below any equipped armor part models.

Do you guys build your own models or are most taken from the Asset store?
We did build a lot of different models when we initially started the project. Combined with free assets from the web we had enough to see what the code was doing. When more people started testing the early versions there were also kind folks like Schlumpfsack and Kalamona to support us with a makeover for buildings and new mobs. There are still a couple homemade models in game.

"Open Season" was supported by the most shady society... What can you tell us about them? who and what they are?
I could, but then I'd have to kill you Wink



Is "Open Season" a event that will survive the test of time and can we expect similar events for the other professions?
Yes. There is no event system yet though we have some features that could be expanded upon. Hunting, mining and crafting will most likely be similar to how Open Season is done and we also want to do something for the PvP fight night events. Unfortunately the first PvP event organized by gK didn't work out due to networking issues. I can hardly wait to try this again with the Lidgren solution...



Now we left to these five last question. Would like to hear a answer from both of you.

What were the first thoughts when you guys started this game?
Joey: I just started tinkering and gained experience which resulted in what we have today.
Jelle: This is awesome. Free tools to learn (game)development in a fun way. Mankind has certainly come a long way since the Shoot'Em-Up Construction Kit for the C-64.


Are there any special things on your wish-list's what you want to acquire?
Joey: More than plenty, just not ready for disclosure.
Jelle: The absolute Nr 1 on my wish-list is to be part of a civilization capable of critical thinking.


What are your most time consuming tasks so far?
Joey: Everything has been time consuming. Too much to go into specifics for this interview.
Jelle: Research, communication, maintenance and administration. Basically everything that I don't want to bother Joey with while he's focused on performing his magic... Wink


What will be your most time consuming tasks after the ones mentioned in the question before?
Joey: Again everything. My attention will be directed at the interactive side of things. Developing
the interfaces for different (maintenance) tasks will consume a decent chunk of time.
Jelle: I'm looking for a new job to pay the bills so that's probably going to take it's toll on the time
available to do project related things.




What are your thoughts on the upcoming update, any visions of the future to share?
Joey: It's looking good so far. The visuals as well as the mechanics under the hood are a reason for optimism.
Jelle: The 0.6 update is a huge milestone for Project Ion. The future will be determined in large part by our ability to replace our old development hardware and scaling up to host a larger amount of concurrent users. A second unity license would make collaboration easier as well.


Thanks a lot both for your time and these answers and looking forward to all that is coming!
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