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Zentia Developer Blog

Thoughts from ChangYou's Zentia Dev. Team about F2P gaming, and living life in the game industry including happenings, experiences, and all other things gamer. To find out more info about Zentia,check out: http://z.us.changyou.com/

Author: ChangYouZ

Live streaming insanity!

Posted by ChangYouZ Wednesday March 23 2011 at 1:11PM
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Live streaming insanity!

March 22, 2011

 
Anyone who has played with a team in an MMO such as Zentia knows the challenges involved in organizing that team – keeping everyone together, maintaining a common goal, and working strategically as a team to overcome obstacles in order to achieve that goal.  Well, on top of those challenges, try adding: conducting a live stream with real time audio commentary, managing other office/work tasks, being accompanied by a group of diehard fans who want to show you all of their amazing outfits, mounts, pets, and skills and ask every possible question they can think of, and maintaining a good “face” so other users don’t think you’re crazy, mean, confused, or all three.  Then you’ll have an idea of what our weekly Livestream events are like. :p
 
We just recently started running this event on Thursdays (at 3pm PST) in which our entire team plays Zentia while broadcasting our session live through Livestream.com/Zentia.  We all started from the very beginning with new characters (I decided we should all be monkeys because I figured what’s better than a team of monkeys ravaging the lands of Zentia?), choosing a balance of classes so that we could work together (and hopefully succeed) as a team.  Of course, what happens once we’re in game?  We all go separate ways at different speeds completing the various quests.  And then Susan, our Senior Producer gets called away to an important meeting.  And then the live stream starts having intermittent problems cutting out.  And then a herd of Zentia fans starts following our GM and asking him all sorts of questions (and of course it’s not the easiest thing to do to play the game, chat with players, and manage a live broadcast all at once).  Needless to say, it wasn’t the smoothest gaming session…
 
 
However, we’re pushing on and doing it again this Thursday.  You know why?  Because despite all of the hang-ups, it was fun!  And that’s what MMOs are all about – having fun playing with other people.  So come join the fun in Serene City (we finished all of the quests in Mulberry last week, so we’ll be playing in Serene this week) or on Livestream on Thursday March 24 at 3pm PST and see what kind of havoc a group of crazy monkeys can wreak upon Zentia!  (we may be crazy, but we’re certainly not mean, and most of the time we try not to be too confused)
 
Hope to see you on Thursdays,
 
David Markowitz
Zentia Associate Producer

Drink, Be Merry, and Get Lucky

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday March 10 2011 at 2:15PM
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Hey fellow Zentians

Of all of the unofficial holidays (unofficial in the US anyway), St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite.  Afterall, how could a day in which you get to drink beer, eat corned beef, and listen to Celtic jigs be bad?  Of course, my love of Ireland (and Scotland) and desire to be an honorary Irishman (or Scotsman) may bias me a wee bit (my trip to Ireland and Scotland years ago was quite possibly the best three weeks of my life).  It also doesn’t hurt that my best friend and his wife used to host an annual St. Patrick’s Day party and cook some of the best corned beef I’ve ever had.
 
Well this glorious holiday is almost upon us, and it certainly won’t pass the world of Zentia by unnoticed.  For an entire week, March 16-23, players will have fun collecting four-leaf clovers, buying golden pots, and making green beer.  Yes, green beer!  And it will make you happy and give you buffs to boot!  On top of that, our GMs and Community Manager will be running some great in-game events for you to win even more goodies.  We’ll also have updates to the Token Shop and Lucky Wheel.  So drop into Zentia, drink, be merry, and just maybe you’ll get lucky!
 
And for those of you who love trivia, riddle me these:
1)      What color was first associated with Saint Patrick?
2)      What’s the significance of the clover (specifically the 3-leaf one)?
 
David Markowitz
Zentia Associate Producer

Goldilocks and the Three Game Producers

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday March 3 2011 at 8:04PM
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Goldilocks and the Three Game Producers
 
 
Greetings fellow Zentians,
 
Let me tell you a story. 
 
Once upon a time, there were three Producers who lived in a nice cottage in the woods.  There was Papa Producer, Mama Producer, and Baby Producer.
 
One day, they were getting ready to release an update to their fabulous game.  However, they were having trouble figuring out just how much information to tell their game community about this update.  They each wrote down a list of features and updates at their desks and then compared their notes.  After comparing, Papa Producer decided that he had written too much.  Mama Producer stated she had written too little.  And Baby Producer thought that he had written just the right amount but had eaten part of the paper, because afterall, he was a hungry baby.  However, none of the Producers were convinced that any of the lists were the best solution.  So they decided to take a walk in the woods to talk it over.
 
A few minutes after they left, who should happen upon the cottage but a young girl gamer by the name of Goldilocks.  She was hungry for some new gaming content.  She saw the big sign on the cottage front door that said “Games Made Here”, and she just couldn’t resist.  Being a gamer, she barged right in, micro-trained fingers and smart retorts at the ready.  She of course found the three lists of updates and poured over them for an hour, her emotions riding a roller coaster of reactions.
 
Finally, the three Producers returned to their cottage.  Much to their shock and dismay, they found an irate little girl tearing up their papers, furniture, socks, bedsheets… everything she could get her perfectly agile fingers on.  She was like a Tasmanian Devil, foaming at the mouth, spouting off chatcronyms (yes, I made up that word) left and right.
 
Upon seeing the three Producers, Goldilocks stormed up to them and began a tirade of nearly nonsensical gibberish.  Fortunately, they had just the right tool: a GM.  They called over their GM to translate and mediate.  The GM listened and then related what she said to the Producers.  Here is that dialog, as translated by the GM:
 
“Are you nuts?  Do you guys have any idea what you’re doing?  I read those three lists of updates.  In that first list, the longest one, those changes are ridiculous!  They’ll totally unbalance the game!  My friends and I will totally leave if you make all those changes.  And what about the ones we asked for??  And that second list, the short one, what the heck is that?  How are we supposed to know what the update will be like or how it’ll affect our characters??  And that third one, that’s the worst of all!  You THINK you’re doing us a favor by telling us about the most significant updates, but you leave out all of the really important details!  What do you think we are?  Lemmings who will follow you off the cliffs of insanity that is your game update?? Z.O.M.G.!!” (the GM just couldn’t translate that last chatcronym, because really, how do you say that out loud without following it with LOLZ, which just wouldn’t have been appropriate in this situation)
 
After hearing all of the complaints reiterated by the GM, the Producers said “Oh, is that all she’s angry about?  We were just talking about that outside with the marketing team, and we have the perfect solution!”
 
The Producers gave Goldilocks a nice bowl of soup and then a plate of hot chocolate chip cookies.  And all was well.
 
So what’s the moral of this story?  I’m not really sure, but soup and cookies are always good to eat (though maybe not together).
 
David Markowitz
Associate Producer Zentia

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