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Project Entropia Interview

conducted by Chaerea, 2001-10-23

Display full imageProject Entropia is a massive Multiplayer on-line game in real 3D, played out in a futuristic environment on another planet - Calypso. To be able to play Project Entropia you must be connected to a game server through the internet. Project Entropia will not support single players. The idea is the creation of one huge game world where all players, irregardless of there being 10,000 or 100,000, find themselves together. Project Entropia is the biggest undertaking ever made by one single on-line game. Playing Project Entropia will be the next generation's definition of on-line gaming.

We had the chance to conduct an interview with the development team MindArk:


RPGDot: How large will the game be in terms of download size? Will there be a split download available for poeple with modem connecitons? 

MindArk: Although we are still in 'Beta Phase II' and only using a test world of 100 square kilometers, the size is over 200MB. How it will be when we reach the full release is hard to say now. Of course we hope that it will fit on a CD (650MB) but it could be more.

A split download will be available on the Internet as well as the option to download one large file in order to make Project Entropia as accessible as possible.

RPGDot: Will there be an option of CD distribution for this game? 

MindArk: Yes, Project Entropia will be partly distributed through various magazines that have accompanying CDs but it will also be possible to order it directly from MindArk for the price of its delivery i.e. the handling and postage costs to the country it is being sent.

RPGDot: Where will your server clusters be located? 

Display full imageMindArk: We will have several different server parks in Asia, Europe and North America to begin with. These will be linked by specially dedicated Internet connections that will allow you to move seamlessly between the different continents.

As well as this we will be setting up Routers in a number of countries, which will in turn be connected to our main server via dedicated Internet lines.

This means that as a user, your client will connect to the router with the shortest ping time when starting up. This is in order to minimize lag for as many players as possible.

RPGDot: Will the game be available for platforms other than the PC, eg the X-Box, on which NetImmerse also runs?

MindArk: To begin with we are only going to release a PC version. Once this has been achieved we will decide if we want to proceed to other platforms.

RPGDot: Will there be a beta test for this game? If so, when will it start?

MindArk: At the moment we are in 'Beta Phase II', which has been going on for two and a half months now. We are steadily coming closer to Phase III and will release more information on when it will begin and how many that it will involve in the near future. Until then you can still apply to be part of our beta program at 

RPGDot: You have set a very ambitious target of player numbers. Do you envisage people logging into Project Entropia and doing activities other than playing the game?

Display full imageMindArk: Yes, the idea with Project Entropia is to create a whole new virtual universe. A place where you can go and do a lot more than just go on missions and kill monsters.

We are working very hard on the social dimension of the game as a place where users can go and meet new people. 

There will even be a number of activities for people that are not that interested in the game itself. We will connect Project Entropia to the real world in different forms such as the ability to order various services and products from the real world through Project Entropia. 

When we look forward to a time when more people have access to broadband technology we can imagine the possibility of showing movies in the game, or showing the opening night of a big music tour live. These are some future ideas but part of the reason why we call Project Entropia interactive entertainment instead of just a game.

RPGDot: What kind of value are you expecting people to create in Project Entropia? For example, would players be able to craft valuable items to sell?

MindArk: Players will be able to create their own clothes, weapons, armour, tools and other objects. Not only will they be able to create their own copies of existing items at a cheaper prize (depending on their skill of course) but we will also provide players with the opportunity to create specially crafted objects - items that can only be created and aren't available in any shop on the open market. Such items will be rare and valuable, depending on how many players that have the skill to successfully create them.

RPGDot: If in-game money can be instantly exchanged for real money, will monsters drop money?

Yes, this will happen. Creatures and robots will carry different types of loot - occasionally several different items and sometimes even money. You won't be able to take for granted however that there will be booty on every creature and monster that you kill.

RPGDot: What will the exhcange rate be for your in-game currency?

PED and PEC (Project Entropia Dollars and cents) is the official currency in Project Entropia. The exchange rates are:
1 US dollar = 10 PED and 
1 PED = 100 PEC.

RPGDot: What happens if you are killed? Can another player kill you and steal your money?

When you are killed your soul is revealed and you walk among the dead. You have three options for revival. Someone else's MindForce may resurrect you. A rescue ship may fly by and revive you or your final option would be to walk back to the nearest city or outpost with a hospital.

Other players can kill you, but this is something that will not go unchecked. If you attack and kill another player you will be classed as an outlaw for X hours during which time your insurance is void and other players are free to attack and plunder you unpunished.

Insurance is available for everybody. Specific items may be insured, or a specific value as well as the option for full cover. Should you be killed, your insurance will ensure that your insured items are again present when your body is revived. This is to prevent others from killing you to get at your belongings. Without insurance however you will be fair game for anyone to loot your body.

Display full imageRPGDot: The comments about Online Community suggest that real-world merchants will be able to offer their goods within the game (eg being able to send flowers to someone else). How easy will it be to set up business in Project Entropia? Are there any costs involved?

It will be relatively easy to open real shops in Project Entropia if you already have a company in the real world. The costs will vary according to the type of business you wish to introduce.

We are developing tools that will make it easier for the companies themselves to administer their concerns inside Project Entropia.

It should be noted however that no company venture will be allowed without a formal application to MindArk. MindArk will examine all the companies that wish to be involved and approve those that meet the requirements set forth by MindArk.

RPGDot: Are there any plans for in-game advertising? If so, what form will it take?

Yes, there will be in-game advertising, but not in the form seen on the Internet today i.e. lots of banners all over the place. What is possible however is that some company from the real world opens an outlet in Project Entropia, or buys a sky scraper with their name on it. There will even be different types of billboards available with advertisements for things on Calypso as well as for real objects in the real world.

We will make sure that there won't be any spamming of billboards or advertisements in Project Entropia.

Display full imageRPGDot: When do you expect to release the game? Will the release be simultaneous around the world?

We will release Project Entropia as soon as we possibly can. Obviously we don't want to release a product that is still under beta tests. Project Entropia will be fully tested and functional when it is released. This is very important for us given that there is real money involved in the game.

RPGDot: Will the release be simultaneous around the world?

Yes, Project Entropia will have a simultaneous global release, something that has been a corner stone idea for the whole venture.

Average Reader Ratings: 5.25 (4 votes)
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