Frequently Asked Questions
XViREnt is the "experience", this is the system that includes the tools, the avatar creation room, a holographic training room, the world launchpad, and your own personal canvas (an advanced form of player housing, that's not just limited to a house but you can potentially become powerful enough to create an entire world for yourself).
Rex Palarum is the first developer-created "world" that you can access from the XViREnt launchpad, this world includes four planes of reality representing the four primary elements: Earth, Deva, Hell, and Atlantis (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water), and this world takes you through an amazing adventure based on The King of Spades: Dream or Reality, a book written by Salem Al-Tamimi in 2002 and published for free. Because of the popularity of the book (it was downloaded 1.5 million times+ since being published), we have decided to implement that story as the first world in XViREnt, note though that it is technically a reboot, so the storyline and character bios have changed slightly.
One Avatar can move from one reality to another back and forth seamlessly. Creatures, themes, and laws of physics vary from world to world, but the character can move across them without having to recreate a character in each world. The same combat skills, weapons, abilities, etc. can be used across all these worlds. These characters, for the lack of a better term, are akin to "Planeswalkers" (those of you that play MTG will know what we mean).
What this means for developers is that they can focus on just creating the game world and all the cool entities in that world, without having to worry about creating an avatar/character creation system, or an RPG system, or an NPC/dialog system, or a GUI, or Virtual Reality HMD support, or massively multiplayer networking capabilities, we've done all that, and all that is extensible to any 3rd party world plugged into XViREnt.Last updated:
Yes. Due to feedback from our TKOS fans, we decided to drop the VR HMD as a requirement to play and changed it to "optional". Non VR HMD players have the option to play in First person or third person view.Last updated:
No. Second Life, Minecraft and IMVU are awesome games that we love due to the creativity that they inspire, and the open world sandbox feel to it. That being said, those three games and XViREnt are a completely different ballgame, they are open world sandbox and social virtual worlds. XViREnt is first and foremost an MMORPG, with an overarching storyline, goals, and limitations to what you can or can't do based on your skills and experience level. In addition, XViREnt is primarily being developed with virtual reality headsets, while the other virtual worlds came to existence before VR HMD's were made mainstream by the Oculus Rift. (Note: the three games mentioned in the question will possibly have Oculus Rift support as well, so keep an eye on any news coming from their end).
Finally, just because we are building XViREnt, it doesn't mean that the players need to choose one game and abandon the rest, we think that competition is important for the economy and it also pushes us game developers to make bigger and better games to attract subscribers, and certainly a user can be a subscriber to all these different virtual worlds at the same time and enjoy what each of them has to offer.Last updated:
No, subscribing is free of charge as well as downloading the software and jumping into the system. You'll be able to browse the world and visit friends and hang out in your own "basic" pad (meaning it is not customizable). If you want to get a cooler pad, or get more space, or have premium furniture and premium content, then there will be an extra charge depending on what it is that you want. The reason we have to charge for customizable player housing is due to the cost of managing these persistent entities in the system, as well as the added software and technology costs needed to make the customization possible.Last updated:
No! The project's going to take a few months to develop to the point where a beta can be launched, during that time, new versions of the Oculus Rift headset for the consumers may be coming out, so you can grab it then right before our game launches (the consumer version of Oculus Rift is rumored to cost less than $400). If you currently already have a developer kit Oculus Rift (which is what we've tested and developed XViREnt on) then that's great, you're already ready! Also, make sure you read FAQ #2.Last updated:
Why are you only supporting the Oculus Rift HMD, what about other HMDs, like the PS4 HMD (Project Morpheus)?
The team has discussed supporting other HMDs, or even other 3D Engines, we've even created some rudimentary dev builds on other technologies just to compare, but right now, we just want to focus on getting it done right on Unity 4 and on the Oculus Rift, because we think that this combination is the best way forward for our goals. This does not mean that we won't have future support for other 3D engines or HMD technologies.Last updated:
No, please see our funding milestones list for a list of our funding goals, and what features will be implemented at what levels of funding. If the beta successfully implements all the items in the feature list, we'll be adding on more features, thus shrinking the timeline and lifecycle. The less funding we make, the slower it will take to implement all our desired features.Last updated:
We are already looking at other options for raising capital, including angel investors and VC's, we have a corporate and legal structure already in place for that. But before going to investors, we want to give people the opportunity to be a part of XViREnt's history.Last updated:
XViREnt started as a casual MMORPG development project (codenamed T3) back in 2009 with our infinitely evolving content technology in mind (the tech we implemented in The King of Spades from as far back as 1999). The bulk of the work was spent exploring and testing out technologies, character classes, combat, superpowers, effects, graphics, and lots of other things. When the Oculus Rift successfully got funded in November of 2012, leading the way for affordable VR HMD's, we shifted our focus to developing this for Virtual Reality on top of the infinitely evolving content technology, plus a couple of other "patent pending" inventions we came up with to make this virtual reality as amazing, seamless, fun, and productive as possible.Last updated:
Please take a look at our funding milestones list for a list of our funding goals and the corresponding number of simultaneous players we'll be supporting for those funding milestones. Note that "simultaneous connection" refers to people being inside the game world at the same time, it doesn't refer to the number of subscribers, the actual number of subscribers can be anywhere from 10 times to 100 times more than the limit of people in the game, since people from around the world will be logging in from different time zones. We have currently successfully tested with 20 CCUs with minimal or no lag, and the jump to a higher tier (like 100) is just a matter of upgrading a tier in our networking architecture. Because our networking architecture is on the cloud, these increases will be seamless as long as the funding is available. Please note, however, that there will be separation of regions for our network architecture, including North America, Europe, and Asia, this is necessary to ensure that there's minimal lag and that the experience is as enjoyable as possible for everyone. It will be possible for you to log in to a different region if you have to meet a friend, for example, but we can't guarantee that the game will run smoothly for you.Last updated:
XViREnt is run by a veteran team of online game developers. We've been building MMO's and MMORPGs for a couple of decades. In fact, you may have played some of the games our team has worked on, including classics like Electronic Arts & Origin Systems' Ultima Online, and UXO, SegaSoft's 10six (resurrected as Project Visitor) as well as relatively recent games like NCSoft's Tabula Rasa, and City of Heroes. Not only that, but our CTO Chris Lange is a Senior Engineer at Microsoft and has worked on the XBL and XBox One Live teams. And in regards to the infrastructure costs, by implementing our networking architecture on the cloud, we are able to gradually support an increasing user-base with minimal costs at first, and by the time the project becomes big and popular enough, the revenue streams will cover the increasing costs of supporting the rising load and bandwidth on the cloud.
Finally, to throw a couple of buzzwords around: we are following the "lean startup" and "agile" methodologies in implementing this platform. Meaning we start with a small, core set of features first, test it to make sure that it works without a hitch, release that, then add on more features in subsequent phases, and so on, until all features have been completed.Last updated:
If you're supporting players from all over the world, are you going to be providing 24-hour technical support?
It depends on how much funding we get, if we get enough funding that exceeds our expectations and we're able to afford to hire a technical support team, then that's what we'll do, otherwise, the support will be limited to the developers answering support e-mails whenever we have the time to do so.Last updated:
Yes, we had one last try at generating funds for the browser-based game (TKOS), and we fell short from that goal. What that told us is that our players wanted to see a change, and they wanted to see something new. And their worlds realized inside Virtual Reality is the ultimate embodiment of that dream.Last updated:
If you're interested in becoming a content provider partner and earn royalty, or interested in giving your content to XViREnt for free (with attributions belonging to you of course), then you can do so by filling the developer sign-up form on http://XViREnt.com. Also, join the XViREnt forums where players discuss the worlds that exist in the storyline and present their design ideas and form teams for world-building projects.Last updated:
We co-own the content, meaning that you are still recognized as the author, and the copyrights belong to you, but we also have the perpetual (but non-exclusive) right to host your content in XViREnt. Keep in mind, that if your content violates the copyrights of others in any way (for example, including non-licensed music), then your content may be taken down without notice. If your content becomes popular, and you get a book deal (or even better, a movie deal!) then since you're the copyright owner, all the money you'll make out of those third party deals are yours to keep, but we would appreciate getting an honorable mention!Last updated:
Well, this is embarrassing. :) The pet dragon is a limited gift for certain contribution milestones, for example the first pledge. Unfortunately, we can't tell you at what milestones we are giving away the dragon. And yes, the dragon is mountable when fully grown, and does breathe fire.Last updated:
I'm not really understanding how you say User Generated Content will not require programming experience, but yet you are going to offer a Software Development Kit for developers to contribute their content into the game? What gives?
I'm glad you asked that!
Let's clear the confusion:
There are two types of content in the game: User Generated Content created by in-game tools, this includes creating worlds in your personal canvas, meaning designing your terrain, placing waterfalls and mountains, placing flora & fauna, and so on. For these types of content, you require a certain skill in the game. For example, to "create" a creature, you need to be a beastmaster, your skills allows you to create baby animals, like an egg of a dragon. You then place this dragon egg in the appropriate incubator, then the egg hatches, and you then raise the dragon (or sell it to other players who don't have your skill). Alternatively, you can be an architect and "create" a blueprint of a building, you turn that blueprint into a construction site (after you've purchased an appropriately sized plot of land from a landlord), then you (or others) will need to gather raw materials to turn that construction site into an actual building. Players of TheKingOfSpades project are familiar with this system and have used these tools to create an intricate, and huge gaming universe. We are now taking these tools into XViREnt.
The second type of content, is developer content. If this was the Matrix, then the third party developer will be like a Neo, able to circumvant the laws of the game world, and do anything that their programming skills can do. As long as the content they create is of good quality, and passes our Quality Assurance testing, it will be integrated into XViREnt. Examples of this third party content includes:
1- A new type of creature (maybe the developer has invented this cool looking type of creature never before seen in any game or movie, and wants other players to experience this creature, whether as a pet, or a mount, or a terrible monster guarding a sacred treasure).
2- A new type of Avatar template (maybe a developer wants to create an Anime theme, which XViREnt currently does not have, so the developer will create avatar templates so players can create anime-type avatars).
3- A scene or planet (maybe a developer has this idea for this cool, amazing looking planet after being inspired by James Cameroon's Avatar movie, so the developer creates this world in Unity 4, and after it's approved, it is "connected" into XViREnt via the Launchpad, now your Avatar will be able to visit this world).Last updated:
First, you'll need to learn how to use UMA (Unity Multipurpose Avatar), an open source Avatar technology for Unity. Learn how to create your "race" in UMA, then when you're done, apply our "NPC", "Creature", or "Avatar" XViREnt scripts to your content, and submit it to us. We'll test it and make sure everything works and looks good, and if it does, we'll integrate it into the system. If you choose to sell your creation in the game, then you'll earn royalties.Last updated:
As long as your world is in the form of a Unity 4 scene and you submit the content to us (giving us the right to host it in XViREnt), then that's technically all you need to do. If you want to make entities in your world interactive (for example, for XViREnt to recognize a door as a portal that takes you to another location, or for XViREnt to recognize an enemy creature with loot), then you'll need to apply scripts from our SDK so that XViREnt can recognize that when our players explore your world. You will also need to identify spawn areas, these are the areas where our players' avatars can spawn inside your world. The area has to be fairly plain and open so that players can quickly get an overview of how the world looks like and exit if they don't like what they see.
Note that the following types of scripts will need to be stripped off in order to make it compatible:
Player controls, player camera, VR support, GUI, and Networking/multiplayer (these are all handled by XViREnt)Last updated:
You made a boo-boo on your logo, the letters "V" and "R" are off, and the other letters are on. It looks weird.
That is intentional. Why? Here's a hint:
Finish this sentence: "An elegant solution for keeping track of _________"Last updated:
So by "monetizing" you mean I will be able to earn real money from selling in-game things that I create?
Correct, one of the virtual currencies in the game will deal with trading unique creations like creatures, vehicles, outfits, buildings, and land that were created by you. As long as you can prove that you are the creator and/or own the copyright to the material, then you'll be able to monetize in the game and withdraw this virtual currency as real money. The only requirement for monetizing in the game is to purchase a merchant NPC from XViREnt or from other players.Last updated:
T3 was the original codename for this project when we started R&D back in 2009. The official name for the project is now XViREnt.Last updated:
I want to bid on the Family package, but I can't afford it till mid-April and/or want to group-purchase it, meaning a bunch of us are pitching in for an island. What do we do?
First of all, your pledge does not mean that the money gets withdrawn immediately from your credit card, it will only get withdrawn on April 20th if we exceed the project minimum of $8,000. So if you can't afford it till mid-April (but are sure that you will be able to pay it), then you can make the pledge now to reserve your package, and you won't get charged till April 20th.
For group-buys, we are OK with that, but only one person can be the actual "owner" of the island. You can always create "moderators" in your canvas, which gives other people the right to manage land plots and what gets built on it. So, for example, you can be the owner, and in the game, you can set your spouse and the other buyers to be moderators and give them their own individual portions of the island.Last updated:
No. Kickstarter supporters get placed in a priority queue for beta (November private beta or February open beta). There are limited spots available for both private and open beta, so we will first fill the beta spots with our Kickstarter supporters, then any spots remaining will go towards people who have signed up on the site.Last updated:
I created a game in Unity where 1 to 4 players can play this puzzle game, it's a lot of fun but isn't popular on any platform because there's tons of puzzle games everywhere. Now I'm afraid I wasted a lot of time developing it since no one is playing it.
Can your puzzle game be in the form of a tabletop? Meaning, if it's 2D, can it be placed on a flat surface, where players (in 3D) can play the game?
Most of the time, the answer to this question yes. For example, Poker and Chess are two games that we have successfully converted into tabletop games in XViREnt.
How can XViREnt help? You'll be able to offer your game as an app that can be downloaded in players' virtual apartment on their tabletop, once loaded on the player's tabletop, the game can then be played by 1 or more players using our Tabletop Rules SDK script. This is a very simple to learn script that merely requires a few fields to be filled in, which allows XViREnt to understand how your game is played. And since you already created your game in Unity and know that it works well, that's really all you need to do!
By hosting your game on XViREnt, you can potentially get more exposure for your game, and even earn some money by selling the downloads on XViREnt's unique VR App Store technology (patent pending). And because it operates like the Windows, Google, or Apple App Stores, it also comes with ratings, meaning that if your game really is a lot of fun, XViREnt citizens will rate it highly, which will in turn drive more people to download your game. All you have to do now is sit back and take in the fact that your efforts and skills are now being recognized, without costing you an expensive advertising budget.Last updated:
First of all, it would've been impossible for either Ernest or ourselves to have stolen each others' ideas. XViREnt (with its original codename, T3) has been in development since 2009, while Ernest published his book in 2012, which is a year and a half before we publicly announced any of our VR MMORPG plans.
The only thing that has changed in our project from 2009 to the Oculus Rift's successful funding in 2012 is our commitment to implementing immersive VR as the primary form of input for the game, and changing of the controls and interface to support total immersion. Everything else, including the launchpad to other worlds, a unified avatar system traveling to multiple realities, content creation tools, etc. were all elements taken or evolved from our original IP (The King of Spades), which started way back in 1999.
Second, thanks for letting us know about the book, no one on the team had heard of the book before your Kickstarter messages. We have ordered the book and promise to read it, but the ideas in the book from what its fans are describing sound great, and are somewhat similar to what we're starting to create, which is a cool but eerie coincidence.Last updated:
Not yet. We've learned from past mistakes. A few years ago, back when we were working on the T3 project, we uploaded a YouTube video of an early demo of an NPC dialog system created on Unity. The 3D assets we were using were purchased from third parties, and the graphics were very simple (we were using a free version of Unity at the time), but we did warn that we were demonstrating the NPC system, not the graphics, nor the assets.
Nevertheless, the YouTube comments got filled with scathing, libelous and negative comments describing how crappy the graphics were, and how the assets were "stolen" (even though they were legally purchased) from other people, simply because people didn't bother reading the description. There were almost no comments addressing the dialog system.
So we deleted the video, and vowed not to show any more demos or prototypes until we have something relatively decent, both graphics-wise, and asset-wise. Even if that takes us close to the actual beta release date. So, you just need to trust us on this one.Last updated:
We have not yet submitted an application for rating/certification to the ESRB, however, given the violence, language and sexuality present in the game, the game will likely be rated M (Mature) / 18+. In addition, given that people will be meeting and talking to other real people that they have never met before, this may not be safe for children.
That being said, the team has discussed a "protected" version of the game where the launchpad will only allow a player that's a child to go into worlds rated as "G", and these worlds will not have any violence or sexuality or profanity, they will either be moderated by Game Masters, or with chat disabled. Given the additional costs of running such a moderated world, the team has de-prioritized this and we put it on the list of "future nice-to-have features".Last updated:
We're building primarily for Windows. Future releases will be on the Mac and Linux since Unity supports those platforms as well.Last updated:
How do you handle the problem of User's environmental presence being disconnected from the Avatar experience?
This is the "embedding" problem described on this neuroscience paper back in 2002: http://tarrlabwiki.cnbc.cmu.edu/images/7/70/TaWa02.pdf
There are two parts to this problem, the first is the visual/auditory aspect, e.g. latency, resolution, and tracking prediction, and this problem is currently being solved by modern VR HMD's, like the Oculus Rift.
The second problem is what is known by VR researchers as "Reality Affinity", that is, the correlation of your conscious belief in what you're seeing is real, and your subconscious belief. Not in a sense where belief is suspended consciously (as when you're reading a fictional story that you want to believe is true, despite the reality inconsistencies), but rather, the conscious acceptance that what you are experiencing is real.
The ironic thing that, it's not hardware that solves that problem for us (although the hardware certainly helps with the immersive aspect, and taking care of the nausea issues), but it's XViREnt's story that is core in solving the second part of the embedding problem, and we thank Marie Laurie Ryan from Colorado State University for giving us the inspiration (http://pmc.iath.virginia.edu/text-only/issue.994/ryan.994).
So, what is the answer?
You'll just have to wait and experience it for yourself, because telling you will not convince you.Last updated:
I think this project is too ambitious. Let's assume you don't get any development studios to create content in XViREnt, does the project become a fail?
InEvoWare, the company that's building XViREnt is itself a gaming studio with steady revenue from consulting and third-party work that our team has been doing since 2008.
While this Kickstarter campaign is primarily to release the Beta, 200 CCU multiplayer capabilities, pledge rewards, the UGC tools, and the SDK (which is why we're only asking for the bare minimum of $8000). After all this is done, our plan is to develop Rex Palarum as the first non-canvas world launched from XViREnt.
Rex Palarum is a reboot of the story based on the book: The King of Spades: Dream or Reality. This book was the background storyline for our old browser-based game that we launched over a decade and a half ago. Funding for Rex Palarum will come either by exceeding our $8k minimum pledge, or through external funding sources we're currently negotiating. Rex Palarum in itself is a huge world (four actually), with many quests that will take the player at least a few months' worth of gameplay to complete, and these will be "intelligent" quests that requires the player to think, inspired by adventures brought to us by Infocom, Sierra, Lucasfilm/LucasArts games. Meaning that you need to seriously consider your actions, dialog-skipping and grinding does not work here.
Some developers we've talked to are excited and have already jumped on board with creating content (from as small as music to play in the game worlds, to as large as entire maps). Other developers we've talked to are doubtful on this campaign's success, and prefer to do everything (architecture, networking, infrastructure, VR support, etc) from scratch on their own, which is perfectly fine obviously, we're not here to force anybody to do anything. We're just trying to help developers get faster from concept to launch, and save them lots of money and time while they're at it, and focus on doing what they do best: creating amazing things, not reinventing the wheel.
That being said, the UGC tools we're creating will also allow non-developers to create content from within the game itself via their skills (this is like an advanced form of crafting and in-game world-building), so even without external third-party developers, the world still has room to grow, as it has been in The King of Spades project.
Personally, I don't think the project is too "ambitious", maybe a lot of people have doubts because it's a new idea, and something possibly revolutionary. But if new, ambitious ideas weren't scary or risky, then everybody would be doing them.
So, to answer your question, no, the project won't fail if we don't have external developer support, although the gaming universe will be much smaller than it would've been if other developers jumped on board.
The project may seem too ambitious to those that don't know InEvoWare or the team behind it, but we've got it covered.Last updated:
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