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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:

Author: ChangYouZ

Zentia VideoCast - Trick-or-Treat!

Posted by ChangYouZ Wednesday October 27 2010 at 6:39PM
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Halloween Event
Starting on the 20th of October, there will be happenings most strange across the lands of Zentia. The sky will blacken, leaving the world in the clutch of darkness until November. There will be a new Serene City Night instance to conquer. You may see your fellow adventurers appear to you as imps and skeletons, but have no fear, these are merely the costumes purchased through the Token Shop. Yes... there are much darker things to fear... like a special Halloween Quiz with ghoulishly good, devilishly delightful prizes. You can also enjoy trick or treating, but we must warn you... the candy provides effects that are not easily controlled, so eat with care! There will be many other tricks and treats during the event, but we won’t spoil them all for you here…you will just have to log in and see for yourself! Head to the Zentia Forums for more details on this eerie event.

Zombie Invasion
Do you wake up in the morning, flick on the news channel, and cross your fingers in hopes of a Zombie Apocalypse? If you said yes, immediately seek psychiatric help. Then come to the Zombie Invasion on Friday, October 29th in Serene City! Bring your friends and best PvE gear and group up to fight Evil Brain Nomming Zombies. It's up to you to destroy the infestation before it takes over the city! Head to the Zentia Forums to find out how to get in on the action.
Token Shop Open
We are pleased to announce that the Token Shop will be open for business starting on October 20th... just one of the many treats you can expect this Halloween! There you will be able to find all kinds of goodies ranging from talisman stones, to potions, to profession enhancers, to things that are just downright fun (can you say spooky Halloween costumes?). It is time to get your spook on.

Zentia is teaming up with Raptr so you can Stal... I mean TALK to your clan, guildmates, and friends in real time. With Raptr you can see what your PC, Xbox, and PS3 friends are up to. Chat ingame across multiple IM platforms like AIM, Yahoo, and MSN. You'll be able to get to know your friends well... really well... AND, as long as you promise not to stalk anyone, you will get a Bamboo Horse for use in game once you download Raptr. Head to the Zentia Forums for details.
Sunday Search for knowledge
The Sunday Search for Knowledge is an event held every Sunday on Facebook. All you have to do is head there and answer a simple question. We will then randomly choose winners to win some cool prizes, from Dance books to Gold chips.  Check out Zentia’s Facebook for more details.
Keep on gaming,
Zentia Community Manager

Zentia Producer Blog - Day Before Open Beta

Posted by ChangYouZ Wednesday October 13 2010 at 4:06PM
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Zentia Producer Blog - Day Before Open Beta
I’m the Senior Producer at ChangYou. I’m going to try to keep track of the day so I can share it with you. Hopefully, it’ll give you all a bit of insight into what goes on right before we open the gates of our virtual world.
One day until Open Beta Launch.
Soundtrack for the day: ”I Want to be Sedated” by  the Ramones
8:58AM on October 12th; the day before Open Beta begins.  Tried to get into the office early in an attempt to get a head start on the day. Of course, traffic was awful. I did manage to get in early, however…..2 minutes early. The first thing the CEO wants to know is the status of the Open Beta (OB) tasks.  Six major items are still open. We have a quick meeting to reprioritize these remaining tasks. Every minute between now and server shutdown is officially filled with priority tasks. The whole team is moving like a well oiled machine. It is quite impressive to see. I wish I had a few minutes to watch them as they each complete their part of a task and deftly hand it off to the next person.
9:20AM - I am busy double and triple checking all the tasks listed as “Finished”. This should take a few hours at least.
12:30PM - Lunch! I have time for lunch. This is a good sign. Thai peanut salad was the food of choice, if you really must know. 
1:25PM – The first disaster has hit. The new client and installer are not correct. They have to be remade and re-tested. There is no open beta without the new client.  We are estimating that the new client will be ready for testing at about 2am. Luckily we have a nearly endless supply of coffee, snacks, and the number of a pizza place that delivers.
This isn’t my first open beta launch, but it is for much of the rest of my team and I hope they are prepared for the long haul we are in for today.
3:40PM - The last few hours have been a blur of final preparations.  Needed to make sure all the promotions are set to start tomorrow, the website is up to date, the leveling contest is set, and ensure that all of the data from the last 7 weeks is saved so nothing is lost in the move from Early Access Beta to Open Beta.  The ultimate disaster would be losing data. So rule of the day is back up the back up and make an extra copy of both.
3:56PM - Another quick meeting on the game client issue. I think we have a good resolution. Now to adjust the distribution schedule for the soon-to-be fixed client. Once again, I am thrilled to be working with such a professional group. It’s almost 4pm and the day has no visible end yet. Not one word of complaint from anyone. How awesome is that?
4:27PM - Time for the first casualty of the day! The ZTV episode had to be pushed back. The players love seeing Katealyst and we really wanted this video to come out today. Unfortunately, our design team is swamped with higher priority projects. The video should be out by the end of the week.
5:00PM -  Oh, nice win for the players. Grandpa Luck was only supposed to be giving out 5 Devil Essence but is instead giving out 10. No time to make a fix so it stays at 10.
6:30PM -  A wave of tiredness has just enveloped the whole team.  Time to get the coffee maker cranked up.  
7:04PM -  Haven’t even started my daily tasks yet. If I can get 60 uninterrupted minutes I can get the
critical daily stuff out of the way. The rest can wait until tomorrow (hopefully after I get 8 hours of sleep).
8:48PM -  We’ve hit a lull waiting for the new client to be made.  This is the worst part, we’re tired and we have no more urgent tasks to do while we wait. The new client is being made as fast as possible but we have no idea if it will be an hour or six before it is ready for testing. Everyone is trying to keep busy doing other tasks while we wait. It’s hard to concentrate on mundane tasks. The office is really quiet, just the sound of people typing away on their keyboards.
9:06PM -  A conference call with the dev team in China. Just a few small details left to iron out for the client. I think we are all resisting the urge to get irritated with each other.
9:27PM -  Sent everyone home except the Associate Producer and the Product Assistant and myself.
9:56PM -  New client will be ready for testing at 1am. We’re heading home to get a few hours of sleep.
Right now I feel like I just got on a rollercoaster. The car is slowly moving toward the top of the first hill. Click. Click. Click. The anxiety is building with each click.  The server shutdown will be the moment that we hit the top and everything seems to stop. Opening the servers tomorrow will be that first plunge down the hill. I know it will be a fun ride. See you on the other side!

Culture Corner #003: Death and Beyond

Posted by ChangYouZ Wednesday October 13 2010 at 3:41PM
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Welcome to the Culture Corner

Welcome back to the Culture Corner with Tao Jones. If you’re new to the Culture Corner, this is a little column that is your guide to the world. It’s great to be a hero, but if you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to save, then it’s a little harder to appreciate it. That’s what I’m here for. Each column, I’m going to take a part of Chinese culture in our games and explain it in a little more depth.

So You Died and Went to Hell. Or: A Travel Guide for the Recently Deceased

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they find their body undergoing some changes. There’s nothing to worry about. It’s perfectly normal, and everyone goes through it at some time or another. Perhaps you no longer breathe, or your heart stopped beating, or you find maggots growing where there were no maggots before. If this is the case, you are probably dead.

You may wonder what happens next. Well, according to traditional Chinese beliefs, you’ll have to leave your body behind and go visit a place called Dìyù. It’s got a large number of names, but it’s usually just translated as Hell. It’s not as bad as it sounds. There’s actually a funny story about this. See, when Christian missionaries went to China, they told people that people who did not accept Jesus would be sent to Hell when they died. Of course, according to Chinese beliefs, everyone, no matter who, goes to Dìyù after death. They thought “Hell” was the proper English term for the Chinese afterlife, so they adopted that word. Again, it’s not as bad as it sounds. This Hell isn’t the kind where your sins will bring you torment that lasts for eternity. It’s the kind where your sins may bring you a torment that eventually ends. It’s still a bit unpleasant, but it’s preferable to the alternative.

The first thing you’ll see after death are a pair of intimidating guys named Ox-Head and Horse-Face. They look exactly like their names suggest. They’re also never seen apart. They’re the guardians of Hell, often depicted as a vast network of underground caves and tunnels. They’ll escort you to the office of King Yama, god of death and ruler of Hell. He’s dressed like a judge, and that’s exactly what he’s there to do.

He’s like Santa, but without a Nice list.

For the full details on what happens next, head to the full version of the article.

Zentia's Latest Producer's Video - Episode 2

Posted by ChangYouZ Friday October 8 2010 at 9:07PM
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Zentia's latest Producer's Video exposed the newest features of Open Beta, Oct 13th, 2010.