|Welcome Guest | Login|
|Index | Recent Threads | Register | Search | Help | | View Unanswered Threads|
|Forums » List all forums » Forum: Hear ye! Announcements » Thread: Ubisoft to Publish Puzzle Pirates at Retail|
Thread Status: Locked
Total posts in this thread: 5
|[Add To My Favorites] [Watch this Thread] [Post new Thread]|
Joined: May 7, 2002
Ahoy mates! I bring good news for the future of Puzzle Pirates; we are to see a retail release courtesy of those fine pirates at Ubisoft!
The facts in brief are that Ubi will be publishing Puzzle Pirates in North America (initially) in April. The game will be sold at $19.99, including a month of play, a unique in-game item, and a single-player mode.
Some questions you doubtless have;
Q. Do I have to purchase the box to continue playing Puzzle Pirates?
No. The Ubisoft deal does not affect our existing players or our efforts to distribute Puzzle Pirates via download. We would, however love it if you bought the box and supported Three Rings and Ubisoft.
In partcular we hope to have a small incentive to encourage mates to pre-order the game. More details on this soon.
Q. If I'm already a subscriber, will I get a month in the box?
Yes. By entering your CD-key you'll be able to claim your free month.
Q. What's all this about Unique Items? Will I get one as an existing player?
Players who purchase the Puzzle Pirate retail box will be able to claim one of a few kinds of item. These items will only be availble to retail purchasers of the box, including existing players.
We've not yet announced what these unique items will be. Watch this space!
Q. What is the single-player game?
The Puzzle Pirates single-player game will have two modes; adventure mode, which introduces a few of the puzzles in the context of a little story, and practice mode, which lets you practice those puzzles. We're currently thinking that bilge, sailing, swords and alchemistry will be included, but the decision is not yet finalized!
We searched the high seas for a publisher who understood Puzzle Pirates and wanted to do the right thing by the game. Thanks to our friends at Wolfpack Studios, Ubisoft's San Francisco team were shanghai'd into playing the game, and of course, once they did they knew they had to publish it! That Ubi's office is one block from ours (and less than one block from our new one) just makes it that much more of a match well-made.
Feel free to ask more questions here;
Joined: May 7, 2002
Answer from the Q&A Thread
The download version will not initially include the single-player game, and will not grant you the opportunity to redeem the 'unique item'. Ubi because they're a great publisher who appreciate what we're doing with Puzzle Pirates and were ready to get behind the game.
We've not really decided yet, save that they will obviously not be 'must haves' or substantially affect gameplay. An example might be a mid-range sword; slightly better than a foil, but nothing like one of the high-end swords.
Good question. We are absolutely maintaining our independence and Ubi has no control over Puzzle Pirates apart from the rights to distribute it at retail in North America. Future products are not affected. No investment took place. The deal was very straightforward.
Our 'gold date' is mid-March so the version included will be whatever we have then -- obviously we need to do some stuff for the single-player etc. first. The retail client will update online the same as the download game with new releases. We will probably try to avoid making a major download release in between gold date and ship in April, but beyond that updates will continue as normal.
The plan is that they are not transferable and not able to be taken. Most likely they won't dust, either.
We will continue to distribute by download. We may be offering different free trials and we may also offer new pricing models, this remains to be determined, but rest assured that we have no plans to raise prices for our existing subscribers.
I believe that Ubi will be doing digital distribution of the retail product.
You will find it with full releases. The $19.99 category is not 'value' software, but rather a new price point that's been shown to do very, very well at Target, Walmart and other such stores. For example, Take Two/Sega's ESPN sports offerings that got EA running scared.
Not really. Hussar is on the case and we expect that he'll be able to take care of it fairly quickly. We are deliberately limiting the scope of the single player game because the online experience is really our only focus. The single player is just included to give people the chance to get started without feeling 'exposed' to all ya'll black-wearing Ultimates.
No, no, no. It should be taken to mean single player = a simple linear 'story style' exposition of the puzzles with hints to the depth of the online game.
Initially, yes. Eventually we anticipate distributing the single-player game online. It may be that if it's good enough we offer this as a $19.95 downloadable title (e.g. Jewel Quest) in conjunction with some online time. We'll have to see how things go.
You will. We already have one available here;
I'm going to roll my eyes at you. There. I appreciate your concern but the items concerned are not going to be material in terms of gameplay, and we aren't really seeing said cash. If we wanted to make money selling items then we would sell items online and take the money, not pass it through publishers and retailers etc.
You will have to wait to have a cow about such things.
Thanks for understanding.
We talked about including some real-life merchandise with Ubi for a while but unfortunately it's just not viable at that price point. Perhaps if we have a pre-order campaign we might do something like the above...
The retail release is scheduled for ~April 19th. Cobalt's opening is unrelated, but we're hoping to do that in February. We will need to open many more oceans to support a successful retail release.
Don't buy a lot of boxes, buy lots of annual accounts -- preferably tonight, so that I can make my monthly target for next week's board meeting!
Heh, seriously, you don't need to buy a lot to support us. Playing and helping new mates etc. is plenty of support.
Not sure, yet. Hopefully all of them! Obviously the specialist retailers like ebgames, but the big win for us will be if Target, Walmart and so on carry the game.
Not right away, but most likely after a while.
We did plan this. It just took a looong time to do the right deal. Hopefully you are right in your prediction.
More like a new clothing item or a new 'okay' sword.
The former is an interesting idea, the sword and cutter would be too good.
I would like that, too! Alas, this is the 'less special edition'. Maybe later once we've sold those 30k+ units!
Thanks! We are absolutely taking notes and the next release will see some features that help with new mates. The new player experience is something we'll be working hard on over the next few months.
Arrr! Can I be Wonka?
We will. So far as I know there will be no DRM required due to the online nature of the game. We certainly will advocate none, as we don't believe in that rubbish.
We'll be putting new players where we think best, we're working on the method now. Given the volume we anticipate having a number of new oceans for the Ubisoft players, but we'll make sure that Midnight gets some new mates as well.
Alas, no, it'll be NPP action only. We are trying not to create an enormous amount of new work such as that which this feature would require.
No, we'll still have the online intro, as the single player version won't show you the nuts and bolts of the isometric environment etc. It'll be much simpler.
Aye, that will be the bonus!
We have moved around 1/3rd of a block to spectacular new, very big offices. Ubi had better sell some copies, so we can make rent! Our new address is 25 Lusk Alley, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94107.
Two doors down there is a company called 'TART'. I kid you not. I have no idea what they do!
Mmmmmm, les tartes.
Lots and lots and lots of new servers, fear not.
Please wait on having a cow for a while. Thanks.
I think that we should have 190,000 subscribers... but we'll have to work at it to get there. Your ideas for single player are grand and grandoise. It won't include any of the real ocean, real sailing, commodities etc. It'll be a simple puzzle-focused experience more akin to the current successful downloadable single-player puzzle games.
I agree that your game sounds like more fun, to me, but it would be an astronomical amount of work that's not at all feasible right now, and I think most of our potential players would prefer something simpler. It's also in our best interests to get people into the online game swiftly.
All the sites will take a while to update. April 2005 is correct.
Not really. We have commitments to them to deliver the single-player game etc. but they have no formal role in long-term development.
Hopefully more mates, yes. More subscribers will lead to more Ringers, for sure. The Art Budget will increase somewhat, but we don't want to blow out downloads, because we still see this as an important part of our business, especially in the future. The retail launch is likely to be a boon, or perhaps a series of boons. Download is the long-haul.
Us, definitely. Ubi aren't developing anything, neither will they be involved in operations of the servers, support etc.
We do our best. We have some more corkers for you, coming soon.
Not in this release. Maybe as a sepratate toy, or perhaps Tyler's efforts.
I forgot to mention that the Ubi release includes 'Family Controls' and will launch with at least one 'Family Ocean' with restrictions such as menu-based chat and so on. This will also be available in the download version, allowing us to ease our age requirements somewhat.
Indeed, the ESRB's standards are different from ours for all sorts of reasons. PP could probably have an E for Everyone rating from the ESRB if we removed the Drinking game. We declined.
By all means do not do so. Your play experience will be unchanged save that you might see the odd person with something that you can't normally buy. Big deal. As for dumbed-down, I don't really know what you're referring to.
Actually the Yohoho! is still around -- it's on the box art -- but we don't really use it much in communications etc. It's clumsy. The official title is 'Puzzle Pirates' but you can still call it Yohoho! or Y!PP or whatnot. We still do.
Phew! What a lot of questions. Fortunately I have been enjoying answering them at my new desk in our new offices, with a fine bottle of Newcastle browne ale and my pirate hat on. Harr!
Thanks for the congratulations, too. This has been a long haul and we're really excited.
Joined: May 7, 2002
We havn't yet hooked this up as we're still in the process of moving the mail server etc. over, but we will hook it up soon. The bilge bingo sound is an annual subscription, btw. A month is the swords trumpet.
Alas, poor RoboDJ. We are retiring the room-wide music for now as it has become increasingly difficult to concur on what to listen to, and we are hoping to aim for a quiet-ish office. We also moved from roboDJ to a new open-source system, the name of which escapes me.
That's a nice idea. I'm not sure if it would be that useful to new players, though.
You will need to go around making Silverdawg on every Ocean. One of the advantages of a new Ocean is that it opens up namespace for other players. Not everyone will be as protective of their identity when we have 10+ Oceans!
We intend to do right by our subscribers no matter what other crazy business models we might adopt in the future.
We do have a design, aye, but it's not public yet -- Bluebeard is cranking on it right now. It won't be possible to transfer anything from the single-player version to the multi-player, alas.
Well, it's more a question of whether Ubisoft wants to -- we would love to! I am optimistic that this will come to pass, although for a full European release we will need to have partners for French, Spanish and perhaps other languages along with gamigo, our German partner.
Alas, no. The abuse potential is huge.
Or two, or three...
Windows, Mac and Linux users will be supported with the same CD. Har!
Yes, save that Midnight is not going anywhere.
Some puzzles will always be 'missing'. Where's fishing? Or foraging? Or flute-playing? Yes, I'm comfortable not having the crafting puzzles all implemented, we'll continue to produce them as quickly as possible.
The problem with reserving names is that it doesn't scale well -- what happens on the next server, which set of Pirates get to reserve their names there? Hopefully it won't be too much of a mad race, as many mates will be content to stay on Midnight. Deliberate name 'thefts' will of course be very much frowned upon and revoked.
Heh, that might be convenient for ye, but I fear the next one will be elsewhere... although actually Montreal does sound like fun, I've never been. We're actually thinking Vegas but please wait for an announcement as no decisions have been made.
We'll see if we can shanghai a couple of likely characters.
Good question. I think that most likely Ubi players will earn their shanghais when their first month ends.
We will try to make each Ocean unique. With the help of more ocean design competitions and the winners thereof, we might just make it!
I mean more Oceans. Ocean == Server in terms of hardware, give or take some database redundancy.
They only own the retail distribution rights, and there are limitations on that. If they don't ship retail boxes then after a while we got those rights back. I think your concern about price ponts is from an era with a different market. The $19.99 and under category has really blossomed into something other than mark-downs the last few years.
We could do this and considered it. Really, though, Ubi is excited about this for a reason; they think it'll sell. We have to defer to their judgement about the market.
This is not the front of the box. Bluebeard knocked this up for gamespot in about two minutes when they wanted a 'box image' to run our news. He's been working on the real thing for over two weeks, now!
Har! That's the *expansion* pack, coming soon for $74.95, and including a gen-uine doubloon and whisk potion.
Not yet. We'll be sure to announce it when you can.
Thanks all for the congratulations and good questions! Now back to getting those servers up!
Joined: May 7, 2002
We'll have some different forums for parlay and events for each Ocean, I expect.
Each account gets 3 pirates on every server.
What happens when Bob on Midnight lets his name expire on Cobalt, then Bob on Cobalt wants the name on Royal? Who gets it? This isn't scaleable.
Right now we do a free seven day trial. We're probably going to drop that a bit. I don't think that any of the mates signing up from Ubi will be optimising quite the way you seem to think they might, but yeah, you could squeeze a little extra out that way.
No plans right now but it would be nice!
I don't think a larger version of this fakey box exists.
You can do this. The free month starts from when you login and create your account etc. which you won't need to do for the single-player game.
Right. Alas, we have just found out that Ubi *is* planning to use some copy protection on the single-player (safedisc, I think). Very annoying and we don't approve, but we don't have much sway over that as it's Ubi corporate's decision.
I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to get it shipped internationally, no problem.
Our new machines are somewhat higher spec. The issues we have with the server are not really related to machine capacity, though, but more to do with Java's garbage collection which isn't helped by adding more memory (though the new machines have twice as much). We'll keep trying to optimise things, but I will note that after a fresh reboot the current server did quite fine with ~1,400 players online and ~500 of them in a blockade.
No, not unless we do another release of the single-player game later. We are only planning to include four single-player puzzles in the retail release.
Arr, me old Acorn! Alas, this sort of two-player frenzy would be fun, but falls outside of the scope of this effort. We have plenty to get on with as is!
I agree that this would be very handy for our existing players, but I don't feel that it would be the best introduction to PP. Perhaps if we do another release of the single-player later, for now we have to focus on the basics.
You will be able to have three characters on any subscription server without paying us any more money.
Our targets per server are mostly to do with capacity rather than whether the world is full. Indeed, we are designing things slightly differently in future Oceans to experiment with how best to distribute players. A bit more than half of colonisable Midnight is colonised, but if we waited til every island had a decent population then Alpha would be log-jammed and the server would melt. Isolated islands are always going to be quiet, I'm afraid.
This is a pretty good ballpark.
No. There'll be no such clean start for Cobalt. It would be waaay easy to bypass, anyway!
Joined: May 7, 2002
A couple of notes;
Boxes are Shipping!
Beating their own street date, Ubi has started sending out the boxes. You can still 'pre-order' and recieve free playing cards, but that offer will probably expire early next week.
Ubi mates will be arriving next week, then. They will be directed to Midnight and Cobalt oceans to start with.
International Pre-orders placed with us will go out when we receive the boxes
Most likely that will be towards the end of next week.
The Pre-Order Raffle has been Concluded
Ubisoft have notified all five winners and we are distributing prizes, some mates already have them! Thanks again to everyone who pre-ordered, I believe that it made a big difference to getting Ubi's sales force excited.
The Ubisoft 'Exclusive Items' have been decided
Players who buy the box will receive a special mission to collect a new sword called the 'Backsword' (it has a pattern that whilst it looks scary, has been determined by our panel of experts to be just 'okay') or a new hat called the 'Savvy hat' (it's a sort of a plain, front-facing tricorne). No doubt you'll all see a lot of these things around soon. They are non-tradeable, and do not decay. We may offer them some existing item choices, too.
We are no longer accepting International Orders on behalf of mates
We hope to re-introduce this service soon -- we've run out of boxes for now!
[Edit 1 times, last edit by Cleaver at Aug 22, 2005 10:09:35 PM]
|[Show Printable Version of Thread] [Post new Thread]|