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Creators Hour 21/1/2009

<Markb> Right, good evening ladies and gentlemen
<Markb> Welcome to the last ever Planetarion Creators Hour :'(
<Lunar_Lamp> Yes, as many of you may know by now, this will be the last ever round of Planetarion.
<Markb> If you wish to ask any questions to put to PATeam, please /msg CH_Bot with them
<Lunar_Lamp> No doubt many of you will have questions about this, so please ask them as Markb just said.
<Lunar_Lamp> Also, questions about the upcoming round are welcome too!
<Lunar_Lamp> Remember, there is still a whole round to go, and no doubt there are many who want to be able to claim to be the winner of the last every round of Planetarion.
<Lunar_Lamp> (there have so far been very few questions, so your questions have a good chance of getting answered)
<Appocomaster> ok
<Appocomaster> we've had about 3 questions :(
<Appocomaster> so obviously no one is very concerned or interested in what's going on!
<CH_Bot> (Q 1): <AndroX> I do not have anything to ask at this moment, but I do want to thank all of PACREW for the work they have done for this community and the game itself the past years. So, thank you all! :)
<Lunar_Lamp> Well, that wasn't an expected start, but thank you AndroX.
<Lunar_Lamp> However, I think it goes without saying that this game has had strong foundations to be built upon after years of hard work, and all of us now are reaping the rewards (and some pain at times!) from the vast quantities of work done before we were ever involved.
<Lunar_Lamp> Our current coders, however, have put in astronimical amounts of effort over a long period of time, so I think it only right that that Cin and Appoco get the appreciation they deserve for their otherwise thankless task.
* Fiery blows kisses to Markb
<Lunar_Lamp> So, on behalf of the rest of PAteam, and no doubt on your behalf too, thank you guys!
<Appocomaster> Cin has done especially large amounts of coding in recent months
<Appocomaster> I've been the flunky who dashed around like a headless chicken at the last minute :p
<CH_Bot> (Q 2): <MRG|work> OMAC wish to retain the name and intellectual property of Planetarion, but are unwilling to host the game. ---- What intellectual property?
<Lunar_Lamp> OK, straight up I'm going to make it clear that communications with OMAC have been slightly hard - they've never been *easy* in all the time we've been owned by them.
<Lunar_Lamp> To fill others in on this question's background, when we were told a while ago that PA was going to lose it's support, we tried to organise a way for the game to continue.
<Lunar_Lamp> That failed unfortunately.
<Lunar_Lamp> However, the code will be given to us to do, largely, what we like with.
<Lunar_Lamp> As for the intellectual property, we believe that to basically entail little more than the name itself. However, we need to get fuller details from OMAC on this. It could possibly include things like ship names etc.
<CH_Bot> (Q 3): <Xeolyte> What was the precise quantity of the substantial amount asked for the planetarion name?
<Lunar_Lamp> I wasn't personally involved in that portion of negotiations, and nor was anyone in PAteam privvy to the monetary discussions.
<Lunar_Lamp> Therefore we can't know for certain, and I don't want to fuel rumours further by spreading possibly misinformed gossip.
<Lunar_Lamp> I'm sorry, I know that sounds like I'm dodging the question, but in short: we don't know.
<CH_Bot> (Q 4): <Zeyi> Are you going to make sure there is just one PA successor so we don't end up with several clones with very few people playing each?
<Lunar_Lamp> That is a good question.
<Lunar_Lamp> We would definitely prefer to keep the community intact, and we believe that fracturing the community into many sections, each following their own spin-off would be a sad thing, and would ultimately lead to the death of the community.
<Lunar_Lamp> It is our current aim to do what we can to ensure the continuation of the current community, and it's growth back to the levels we believe it deserves.
<CH_Bot> (Q 5): <tobbe^eee> Whats going on?
<Markb> a Creator's Hour :)
<Appocomaster> :p
<Lunar_Lamp> Hopefully the second part of this announcement should help: http://www.planetarion.com/news/new...ound-30-signups
<Lunar_Lamp> I think I gave a good overview earlier though.
<CH_Bot> (Q 6): <A2> Is this really the end, or is there a masterplan for carrying on in some form?
<Appocomaster> I think masterplan is a bit strong at the moment :)
<Lunar_Lamp> We have plans, but their mastery will be seen in the future. We do aim to continue with a new project to take up the helm - though it's viability is still uncertain.
<Appocomaster> I have to say that we've had quite a few offers of support and help for things like hosting
<Lunar_Lamp> Many of you know details, but I'm not willing to use this moment or opportunity to advertise. Our immediate focus is on Planetarion.
<Appocomaster> and I'd like to thank the community for such a large amount of support shown in helping us to look to keep things going
<Lunar_Lamp> Indeed, I have had *countless* PMs over the last few days offering support and help.
<Lunar_Lamp> (I'm sorry if I haven't responded to all of you, but I have tried)
<Lunar_Lamp> Rest assured that we are working hard (too hard?) behind the scenes to do what we can.
<CH_Bot> (Q 7): <posi> Are the forums going to be relocated and if they are can i keep my pos reps
<Appocomaster> we will certainly remove posi's pos rep
<Appocomaster> :(
<Appocomaster> but others might keep theirs
<Lunar_Lamp> This is, unsurprisingly, yet to be decided.
<Fiery> In fact, you will start with -1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 rep, posi
<Lunar_Lamp> It is viable to transport the forums with us - though details will be decided closer to the time.
<Appocomaster> I think it's probable that if we're moving everything somewhere, we'll probably take a backup of the forums and set it up elsewhere
<Lunar_Lamp> Indeed - I've done it once recently, so I already know the pain and tears that will cause me.
<CH_Bot> (Q 8): <Kan3> How much are OMAC selling the rights to the brand for?
<Lunar_Lamp> As mentioned earlier, we're a little out of the loop with regards to pricing. Nobody but OMAC can set a value on Planetarion, so if you want to hear it, you'll have to talk to them I'm afraid.
<Appocomaster> I've heard conflicting messages about if they're willing to sell
<CH_Bot> (Q 9): <darts> is the new pa gonna be payed or free
<Appocomaster> but I'd speculate that, because of the reputation, they'll want to keep a hold of the name until they've got time for developers to make a new version. Therefore, they'll keep it until way above the 'market price'
<Appocomaster> sorry :p
<Appocomaster> (I've finsihed btw)
<Lunar_Lamp> We would love to see it be free, but we don't know how viable that is currently. We're still planning our attack on the project, we haven't even organised our fleets yet, let alone launched (to use a PA metaphor ;-))
<CH_Bot> (Q 10): <neroon> when the heck do u put up new quests :P?
<Appocomaster> that's mine!
<Appocomaster> to be honest, when I've typed them all in :(
<Appocomaster> most of them are more complicated anyway
<Appocomaster> but I will try and get them done asap
<Appocomaster> work things keep coming up :(
<CH_Bot> (Q 11): <]x[> How many credits are sold already cause loads of people might have spares, so that could save another loads of people to buy a credit for this round :p
<Appocomaster> we currently have 199 "sold" credits that are unused
<Appocomaster> on active accounts
<Appocomaster> we have a few more that were sold, I think :)
<Appocomaster> so there are some out there, though we've got more than enough planets to upgrade
<Appocomaster> and a good 40-50 people haven't used their credit(s) yet
<Appocomaster> so we'll see how it goes
<Appocomaster> I have asked people to give spares away
<Appocomaster> though I'm sure more will go to friends first :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 12): <M0|afk> dunno if it was asked before as i am late. How is the status of getting the code from OMAC, is that definate or still something to work on ?
<Appocomaster> we've been told we can use the code as we wish
<Appocomaster> they're just interested in the name
<Appocomaster> so we can use it pretty much as we wish
<Appocomaster> :)
<Appocomaster> to be honest, only one of their admins can even access the code
<Appocomaster> whereas Cin, I and Lunar can
<Appocomaster> and Kal ... and probably Markb :p
<CH_Bot> (Q 13): <Misty|wrk> Will we see the alliance intel in the running game, its in beta but not ingame atm ..
<Appocomaster> I believe it's going to be migrated soon :)
<Appocomaster> Cin is working on things like that as the round starts
<Appocomaster> I haven't got an eta yet though
<CH_Bot> (Q 14): <posi> is the PATeam going to be the same staff in the 'new planetarion' or will that one have the same terrible line up
<Appocomaster> I think it's going to be roughly the same - and I don't think it's terrible, thanks ;(
<Lunar_Lamp> There may be changes, and additions, but that is not the kind of detail we've looked at yet.
<Lunar_Lamp> Our focus is primarily on the coming round of Planetarion at the moment.
<Appocomaster> I have to admit I might take a slightly more background role in future
<Appocomaster> I've actually got a lot of work planned over the next months
<Appocomaster> for things I actually get paid for ;)
<Appocomaster> but I'm sure I'll still be around fidling and breaking things
<Lunar_Lamp> In short - we don't know what the future PAteam will look like. We might look to get more people involved if we need them, and people may leave if they don't have the time to dedicate to PA.
<CH_Bot> (Q 15): <ick> are galexies going to get smaller as mine has 43 members
<Lunar_Lamp> ick: yes.
<Lunar_Lamp> At tick 36 the universe will be shuffled into smaller galaxies.
<Appocomaster> the shuffler shalst come among you and fling you into far-off galaxies
<Appocomaster> we're aiming to have galaxies of ...
<Appocomaster> wait
<Markb> *waits* :P
<Lunar_Lamp> (this could be the moment where we find that Appocomaster has forgotten to code in galaxies this round people...)
<Appocomaster> lol
<Appocomaster> well
<Appocomaster> I think we need to encourage more people to create buddy packs
<Appocomaster> as galaxies will still be quite big at the moment
<Appocomaster> (though under 20 :p)
<Appocomaster> so find more friends!
<Appocomaster> join those galaxies, people!
<CH_Bot> (Q 16): <Sin> If I win this round will the community be willing to pay for me to get married to drinker?
<Appocomaster> I doubt it :p
<Lunar_Lamp> I'm with Appocomaster on this one - it doesn't sound likely.
<Lunar_Lamp> But hey, I've been shocked at the response they've given over the past few days with the bad news about Planetarion - so who knows Sin, who knows? :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 17): <Salminator> well tell us whats happendends after this round?
<Appocomaster> I think we've made an effort :p
<Appocomaster> we're still planning
<Appocomaster> and officially we're still contracted to work on (just) Planetarion for Jolt (and OMAC)
<Appocomaster> s/contracted/NDAed
<Appocomaster> so there's no real possibility of running two games at the same time, but we can certainly plan :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 18): <Lostchild> What are the chances that another group or person could pick it up and cost of doing so?
<Appocomaster> well, firstly they have to get the code
<Appocomaster> gah
<Appocomaster> stop laughing, csi :p
<Lunar_Lamp> As we've said, we haven't really got a plan to distribute the code publically at the moment.
<Appocomaster> so the chances are low
<Lunar_Lamp> We would much prefer to host it ourselves moving forward (or give it to a single group we believed could do it justice).
<Appocomaster> :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 19): <Salminator> will the last set of quests be introdused tonite?
<Appocomaster> probably not
<Appocomaster> I forgot this was planned
<Appocomaster> and there was football a couple of nights ago
<Appocomaster> it's all gone a bit wrong on the coding front :(
<Appocomaster> sorry guys
<Appocomaster> but it'll be soon!
<CH_Bot> (Q 20): <alexis> What will happen with Pirate.Planetarion.com forums?
<Appocomaster> I think we've covered that!
<CH_Bot> (Q 21): <Bullbars> so if OMAC want to keep the game , whats stopping us using the code , the player base, alliance base, and making a game elsewhere
<Appocomaster> I assume you mean "the name" by "the game". nothing is, tbh
<Appocomaster> it's what we're looking to do
<CH_Bot> (Q 22): <[DDK]gm> considering so many games have copied the IP of planetarion, any idea if OMAC can enforce anything over the concept and ideas of PA?
<Lunar_Lamp> We still need to cover with OMAC exactly what they consider to be their IP.
<Appocomaster> I think it was actually just the servers
<Appocomaster> which aren't really IP :/
<Appocomaster> but that's what they said when I last asked
<Appocomaster> "
<Appocomaster> "Afaik, this will refer to the name and domain only as we are happy to hand
<Appocomaster> the rest over.
<Appocomaster> "
<Appocomaster> is a direct quote
<Appocomaster> so not even the servers
<Appocomaster> so that gives us quite a lot of leeway on what we can take with us [i.e., anything not bolted down]
<Appocomaster> but we'll probably need to clarify
<CH_Bot> (Q 23): <M0|afk> who will be involved in the whatever called new game ? hows the team looking like atm ? and what do you still need?
<Appocomaster> covered, I think
<Appocomaster> roughlyish the same people
<CH_Bot> (Q 24): <HaNzI> Any chance spinner is coming back to get involved in one way or another? ...aaand is the creators hour really 1 hour?
<Appocomaster> it's an hour unless we overrun
<Appocomaster> Spinner does know (of) the situation, but he's busy for the moment
<Appocomaster> I think he's shown some interest, but there'd have to be a lot of discussion to cover how things would work were he to get more involved
<Lunar_Lamp> He's keeping an eye on the situation though.
<CH_Bot> (Q 25): <[NoAlly]GhostWK> Appologies if i've completely overlooked something but if PA Team were not privvy to the conversations with OMAC, who was it that had the discussions with them?
<Appocomaster> Cin and I got an e-mail
<Appocomaster> and I played e-mail tennis with Dylan, the CEO of OMAC Industries
<Appocomaster> in which he said that they were going to move their resources (basically their servers) elsewhere
<Appocomaster> he also mentioned that he'd look into the situation with the hermes server (which makes up 1/3 of NetGamers)
<Appocomaster> but that's going to be taken up by the NetGamers staff, rather than ourselves, in the near future
<CH_Bot> (Q 26): <darts> when u guys launch the new pa will it be smart 2 get everyones email and mail em its back up for playing so if it takes a while 2 set the game up people get mail and come back
<Appocomaster> that's kinda illegal :(
<Appocomaster> we can use the data to get people back for the last round
<Appocomaster> and when I have time after I've done the quests, I'll automate a script to crash the beta server and do this :-)
<Lunar_Lamp> My poor server :-s
<Appocomaster> we're already blacklisted from some e-mails, but even if 100-200 e-mails get though out of the 40k or so we'll send, that's still some
<Appocomaster> but we can't then use the personal data given when signing up to Planetarion to advertise another game
<Appocomaster> that'd be against all sorts of data protection rules that we'd not want to break
<Appocomaster> we're not stopping alliances from mailing old members htough :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 27): <HaNzI> will there be changes in the PA-team when the "new" game starts?
<Appocomaster> covered
<CH_Bot> (Q 28): <Light> Will you be prepared to do a naked PA Team Calender to help raise the funds to buy the Planetarion name?
<Appocomaster> not personally, though if you want to ... :-)
<Lunar_Lamp> There is no photographer in the world who would be willing to attend that shoot.
<CH_Bot> (Q 29): <M0|afk> do you believe in OMAC keeping this last round running as promised, aka the full length and the known stable servers, or can we expect crap servers and like 5 weeks to play ?
<Appocomaster> I don't believe they'll cut us off
<Lunar_Lamp> (I've got a few contingency plans if needs be)
<Appocomaster> we get on with their server admin fairly well (though he does tend to hide when Lunar and I start looking for him)
<Appocomaster> we will, of course, keep backups of code :)
<Appocomaster> I don't think they'll break this promise
<Appocomaster> so we should be fine :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 30): <munkee`> if omac were to decide, they want to keep rights.. names.. the "idea" of pa... what you guys gonna do next? pack it in?
<Appocomaster> they've already said they don't mind
<Appocomaster> and to be honest, I don't think they will mind
<Appocomaster> if they were to not allow us to use the code either
<Appocomaster> then we'd be kinda stuck
<Appocomaster> as we'd have no servers, and no code
<Appocomaster> and no one with enough time to make a whole game from scratch
<Appocomaster> that'd be 6+ months of design, development and testing tbh
<Appocomaster> which none of us have time for
<Appocomaster> but we're ok with the code :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 31): <AndroX> There've been alot of questions on where to find the NEW building battlecalculator you guys programmed. Is there a link (public) so everyone can bookmark that?
<Appocomaster> it's up at http://game.planetarion.com/bcalc.pl (I think)
<Appocomaster> Cin is working on adding links to all the skins
<Lunar_Lamp> (it is)
<CH_Bot> (Q 32): <Mystic> who is your spokesperson with OMAC anyway???
<Appocomaster> Dylan is the person we've been in contact with. he owns the company, so there's no higher person to speak to
<Appocomaster> he does genuinely seem to care about doing justice to the game, but he's putting all his resources on other areas at the moment
<Appocomaster> in a years time ... he may have those resources remaking the game for a more "causal" playerbase, and that'd be more interesting :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 33): <[VGN]green_cat> Will multihunters team be same in new PA?
<Appocomaster> possibly
<Appocomaster> the same as with the current pa team
<CH_Bot> (Q 34): <Hiding> Does the current financing model bring in enough revenue to simply host the same code under a different name?
<Appocomaster> we honestly don't know
<Appocomaster> depending on how much we want to host - one game server and a portal, or a beta server, speedgame server, forums, irc server, mail server, etc ...
<Appocomaster> and also depending on the number of players [and if we charge them or if they click on advertising]
<Appocomaster> leaves a lot of unknown variables
<Appocomaster> and to be honest, most of us don't have a huge experience in this - especially the current cost of advertising
<Lunar_Lamp> It's very hard to calculate revenue from advertising - even google say that the best way to tell is to put their adverts on your site.
<Appocomaster> I bet they make you pay though :(
<Appocomaster> wait that doesn't make sense
<Appocomaster> anyway
<CH_Bot> (Q 35): <Misty|wrk> what will happen about netgamers (irc) affliation to the game ?
<Appocomaster> as I mentioned earlier, I believe that the NetGamers staff will take this up with OMAC separately
<Appocomaster> there was a slight miscommunication as I was meant to poke them to do it earlier :(
<Appocomaster> but they still have 3 months or so
<Appocomaster> so hopefully, OMAC will see value in supporting the NetGamers network
<CH_Bot> (Q 36): <jesterina> will contributing to GAteam require signing an NDA?
<Appocomaster> any future setups would be up for discussion
<Appocomaster> but I'm not sure that we'd need some sort of huge NDA
<Appocomaster> it depends how many people get involved and how trustworthy they are
<Appocomaster> :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 37): <|Darky|> who is that markb dude?
<Appocomaster> he's our IRC guy
* Appocomaster pokes Markb
<Markb> I'm the channels manager :)
<Markb> I look after all the channels, and run the ops team who look after this channel :)
<Lunar_Lamp> ("herds cats")
<CH_Bot> (Q 38): <damo8> who will actually own the code? the whole pa team equally or one person in particular?
<Appocomaster> :p
<Appocomaster> the pa team won't really be owned
<Appocomaster> i guess (?)
<Lunar_Lamp> (I think he misread the question there people)
<Appocomaster> it'll just be something on the servers that only we can view the code of or edit
<Appocomaster> m?
<Appocomaster> *me
<Appocomaster> ?
<Appocomaster> my typing is going awfully nopw
<Lunar_Lamp> (he meant "the code won't really be owned")
<CH_Bot> (Q 39): <damo8> Whats the thoughts with regards to extending the round length?
<Appocomaster> more time :)
<Appocomaster> I meant code!
<Appocomaster> to be honest, the main reason is more time
<Appocomaster> an extra 3 weeks is a lifetime
<Appocomaster> and whilst you might get bored
<Appocomaster> (a bit )
<Appocomaster> it might be the difference between being able to move straight into a new setup that's working
<Appocomaster> and spending the best part of a month hanging around and wandering off
<Lunar_Lamp> (use that time to organise killing the biggest alliances/galaxies etc)
<Appocomaster> it's easier to extend something we know we're going to have
<Appocomaster> rather than bet we'll have it all done in 2 months
<CH_Bot> (Q 40): <Xeophex> Do you have any information about what Omac plans to do with the name exactly?
<Appocomaster> no
<Appocomaster> though I've speculated once or twice above :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 41): <[DDK]gm> Large galaxys are crap, why not limit them to 10 people, i know it messes up your exile thing but there isnt enough players for 20 planet galaxys
<Appocomaster> limiting has inherent problems that have been discussed elsewhere
<Appocomaster> I'll pressgang people into galaxies
<Appocomaster> alliances: make more buddy packs!
<CH_Bot> (Q 42): <Zeth> Alot of have changed from round 1 to round 30.. are ya satisfied with it's current state (gamewise) or do ya have plans for any major changes in the future?? that is ofc if the game continues under a new name which i'm pretty sure the entire commumity hopes for.. if so what do ya plan to add and/or change??
<Appocomaster> I think we're more concerned about keeping the game going than its content for the moment
<Appocomaster> if we solve the issue in the next 2-3 weeks, then we can look at considering how to change the game
<Lunar_Lamp> We have lots of things we'd like to work on, but time is a major constraint on us, so we've learned the hard way not to announce our plans too far in advance.
<CH_Bot> (Q 43): <neroon> cant u somehow redo the shuffler or what so ever (dont know the coding stuff, etc) to get smaller gals.. like 10 man gals in the beginning or sth ? 20 man gals midround is already pain
<CH_Bot> (Q 44): <coops> I don't get the OMAC/Jolt thing. What's the relationship with each, and how can one "pull the plug" without the other?
<Appocomaster> I'll try and explain it
<Appocomaster> from how I understand it
<Fiery> OMAC owns Jolt
<Appocomaster> it's more complicated :p
<Fiery> not really
<Lunar_Lamp> (fiery's explanation is good enough though)
<Appocomaster> it's the simple answer :p
<CH_Bot> (Q 45): <Gabriel> Appocomaster: and officially we're still contracted to work on (just) Planetarion for Jolt (and OMAC) Appocomaster: so there's no real possibility of running two games at the same time, but we can certainly plan :) So when can you guys start working on it? As soon as the round ends? After havoc? After all the games are stopped? When?
<Appocomaster> Planetarion used to be owned by 5th Season, who Spinner was kinda in charge of. He sold it to 2 members of Jolt who'd formed the holding company "Simtech", as Jolt was undergoing internal restructing. Simtech gave all the rights to Jolt. Jolt were bought in June by OMAC.
<Appocomaster> they're terminated as soon as Round 30 ends
<Appocomaster> I'd say something like as soon as they remove our servers / access to our servers
<Appocomaster> we're free
<Appocomaster> though if we stop using them, then that's as good imo :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 46): <Salminator> is it true Lunar_Lamp has yellow boxers with pink roids on?
<Appocomaster> haha
<Appocomaster> more likely to be eee's
<Lunar_Lamp> No - they didn't have them in my size.
<Fiery> pink bunnies
<CH_Bot> (Q 47): <damo8> What can the community do to help PA team keep the game alive?
<Appocomaster> to be honest, just be patient :) the support you've given us is amazing
<Appocomaster> if you're good at things like advertising and have ideas (the caveat being that you are personally willing to implement them, too) then feel free to get in contact with Lunar or one of us
<Appocomaster> in terms of looking for new servers, I think we're currently digesting the 10 or so offers that we've been given
<Appocomaster> with various strengths and weaknesses
<Appocomaster> that's the last one
<Appocomaster> sorry for overrunning slightly
<Appocomaster> we started a bit late though due to my dinner being late :p
<Appocomaster> i'll try and get a log of this up later
<Appocomaster> many thanks!
<Markb> Thank you Appocomaster :)