Project of Planets Interview: Combining Mechs and FPS

Questions by Rickee Charbonneau (Jammart), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Terry Jin

Terry Jin of the Project of Planets team graced us at Onrpg with a very detailed interview. This specific article will answer diverse questions about the game, and seeing as it is not so widely known, this is the ultimate tool to lean further about this unique game. So what is so interesting about this game? “So far POP is the only game which has a good integration of those 2 features in a single game.  No matter you are a fan of Mech games, or an FPS game lover, you will find yourself a place in it” said Terry. Unique combination for a free MMORPG!

Onrpg: Simply put, what is this game all about? Why do you think it will be a success?
In brief – Project of Planets (POP) is a 3D MMORPG, also featured as a Mech game with combined FPS (First Person Shooter) and TPS (Third Person Shooter) modes.  Moreover, it’s a game that is free to play and enjoy. We always found it difficult to describe the game well in short words.

Personally, I am having great confidence and expectations on POP. Especially from some interesting features the game possesses:
FPS mode is definitely one of my favorites. Players would be able to patrol and fight through the TPS (Third Person Shooter) mode. But when necessary, switch into FPS mode immediately, sneak, snipe and enjoy the unique shooting experience. I haven’t played any other Mech games like this before…

PoP FPS mode Close Up

Mech is one of the sci-fi themes that are very popular among the world players. Being a Mech fan, I won’t just stay satisfied by reading or watching some Mech materials as an audience. Just imagining sitting myself “inside” the Mech body, patrolling, rushing and shooting things will really cheer me up.

PVP (Player Vs Player) function is underway. We are planning to introduce PVP in very near future. We will offer various kinds of combat mode, such as 1v1, 2v2 and even more. Players will be allowed to take those battles in special Arenas. Much less rules and more fun – I am looking forward to trying that out with a bunch of friends.

CEP (Compose, Enhance and Plug-in) mode – the unlimited evolution for your Mech’s equipments. Looking forward to the ultimate weapon and Mechbody? Here you go! CEP offers the full evolution of all your equipments, and it’s totally your own style.

I just love this special mechanism – allow me a few more words on that. It’s aiming at upgrading your equipments to the limit all the time, and through various ways. You can Compose and always be able to combine two equipments under the same class to the next level, and it applies to all the current 5 classes that we have released. You Mech will be strengthened by obtaining a random new attribute and upgrading its rate of quality. Electromagnetic Resistance, Hit Rating, Counter Strike and Damage Absorb will be gained and improved. It’s not the best part yet – if you are not satisfied with the new attributed obtained, you can downgrade your Mech to the former class, wiping off the old one and have another try for your favorites.

Enhance will really give you the opportunity to increase the attribute value! There are 12 levels now for enhancement. You can choose your own focus in terms of upgrading. It brings great difference to your Mech’s battle power. In addition, when enhancing your weapon to a certain level, there will be aura glowing around it, it’s pretty cool.

Apart from Compose and Enhance, you will also be able to strengthen your mech by using “Plug-in“. There are 10 slots on your Mechbody, and you can embed your plug-in items there, thus the extra attributes will be obtained. The better the plug-in items is, the more the quality would be raised. And, rumor from the underground scientists is – if you plug-in items are following a secret order and meeting a specific requirement, there will be something really unexpected for your Mech…

Onrpg: What sets apart Project of Planets from conventional MMOS?
There are few Mech theme MMOs, and there are fewer FPS MMOs. So far POP is the only game which has a good integration of those 2 features in a single game.  No matter you are a fan of Mech games, or an FPS game lover, you will find yourself a place in it. The experience will be unique, and you can definitely expect more when you play a bit more.

Onrpg: It has been brought to my attention via the official website that you host a great deal of events in this testing phase! What kind of events do players seem to prefer the most, and what other events do you hold regularly?
Glad that you have noticed those events. We always encourage the interaction among all the players. The experience has been interesting so far for players, as well as our game masters.

Mech Sporting Competition – players will be able to demonstrate their controlling skills towards their own Mech bodies, and they could compete with others. The winner will be awarded special items in the game.

Bosses Killing Events – In certain area and certain time period, there will be some special bosses refreshed randomly.

Where is GM Effi Events – In another event, 1 of our game masters would sneak into a few secret spots on the wide map, players would spread out immediately and searching for the GM. The first one who found the GM will also get the award.

Regular events – We also have regular weekend events. Players will gain 300% experience in Base Abergate and Base Karl, 200% experience in Cross River Plain. Between every Friday 0:00- Sunday 0:00 PST. Also the drop rates for certain items will be adjusted upwards in the same time. No matter you are a newbie or skillful veteran, you will find fun in our various events.

PoP Teamwork Victory

Onrpg: What are you currently developing for this game? What can players expect to see in the game in the near future? In the late future?
In a very close release we will enable the PVP function, together with the Arena maps. Players will be able to play 1v1 or 2 v2 for combat. Also, the legion war will be opened soon. Each legion will have its own territories and be able to defend that with iron and blood (or say oil?)… Looking bit further into the future, I would say there is much more fun coming through. Will you be interested if your own Mech is able to transform? Or exploring in some real huge maps? Or leveling up your own Mech towards higher levels, with more advanced functions and various scenarios? Well, you really got me started on the future topic. But the confidentially policy prevents me from revealing too much at this moment. The current POP is exciting enough, so I would suggest starting with all the current features before it’s getting big and complicated…Do you think it a good idea?

Onrpg: What makes PVP interesting in this MMO? Any unique features for PVP lovers out there?
On top of my mind, the combination of TPS and FPS would be a very interesting experience for players. The tricky part is to learn how to switch between FPS and TPS to maximize the damage towards your enemies.  Also, when playing PVP, players need to learn and develop all the skills appropriately, combining gliding in the right timing. All above would require sophisticated skills in controlling the Mech. When expanding PVP from 1v1, players will be able to experience many other battle forms, including multiple PVPs to gain special game ranks, or well structured Team Vs Team. Also, we will be activating Legion War in the future. The scale and complexity of the PVP mode will be largely increased by then.

Onrpg: Could you offer us a little info on the context of this game? Is there any particular storyline?
I won’t bring much detail here. In short the battle took place between alien and human being. Human being liked to fight among themselves a lot, that just lead to wars instead of real development… Until a day all human were driven underground by the alien invasion, and they stayed underground ever since, united and fought back, until a day the Nerve Conduction Nuclear Mech technology was invented… You may also find the whole story on our official website.

PoP Spaceship

Onrpg: What is the POP Words Polishing Project?
I touched that a bit just now. During the series of tests, we just sensed the strong passion from the POP players. They helped to test the game, challenged the game settings and provided many suggestions to improve the game. They just love the game as much as we do, sometimes even more… POP Words Polishing Project came just from that circumstance. Our players are having high standards on the Mech terminologies; they won’t tolerate any tiny flaws in specific wordings of the game. With the appreciation on the players’ requests, also an effort to meet our players’ criteria, we kicked off this project in August 2009. Players keep providing their findings and suggestions, game masters collect them and we make final judgment. The project is an ongoing effort. And of course, the players’ efforts has been recognized and awarded with honor and well designed game items. The outcome so far is just great. We found players are more than happy to help on this. Many clauses were polished and help guides being updated. And we liked this model so much that we are applying it to the other games as well.

Onrpg: How do battles take place in Project of Planets?
Once you are out of the base, just be prepared for battles at anytime! Choosing the right weapon, bullet, laser or EM that matches your own Mech, carrying as much ammo as the Mech is able to load, putting your finger on the trigger all the time to fight the alien invaders. Set out deep into the plains, mountains and desert, or adventure special battlefields like Alien zones, go solo or in a team, higher or lower your view when necessary, or open FPS directly, you can define your own way to fight! Just feel free to enjoy the fierce battle, whirl of energy, fatal explosions, and the collapse of your enemies’ Mech…

Onrpg: How do you treat newbies in the game?
There have been some special treatments for newbies in the game.

Underground Base for newbies – if you ever joined any earlier versions of the game, you won’t find such a place called underground base. We designed the whole base especially for the newbies. In the current version, underground base is the first stop for every new player. There are plenty of guiding tasks teaching you how to equip and fight. You will learn how to glide as well as shooting in FPS. And once you are qualified for surviving in “real” world, there will be a task sending you out…

Newbie Parcel – a fortune for the newbies. It’s lucky to be newbies now in the game, you will be offered with a parcel including Armors and recovery items. Those nice equipments won’t need to be replaced before you reach level 15. Also, you will be able to use the parcel when you reach level 5, 15, 25, 35. Each time there is surprise

Onrpg: What would you say that the learning curve is in the game?
For basic Mech operating skills, with the help of the guiding tasks in the Underground Base, along with our player manuals, a new user will learn most of the knowledge when reaching level 7. The rest part will need further experience in game and interactions with other players.

PoP Controller Skills

Onrpg: What are the many landscapes of the game?
Earth landscapes filled with desire to revive the human civilization. After the alien invasion, the human civilization was once exterminated. Under that atmosphere, we will be able to patrol our Mech in huge human base, wide desert, steep valleys, abandoned mines, ruined cities, alien regions and large space cabins.

Onrpg: What kinds of actions do you make to ensure that players love this game?
The game is free to play. Players will be able to survive and play with minimum costs. Also, hunting brings not only equipments and experiences, there are opportunities for players to get P-Points through that, with those points they would be able to purchase special items in the Item Mall. And you know we host a lot of events – regular ones and those surprises, all are well planned to bring different experiences for players

Onrpg: Have you modified anything in-game so far according to player’s interest? If so, what?
The Underground Base is a best sample that we offer tailor made service for our newbies. Also the ongoing Word Polishing Project is receiving nice feedbacks. In addition, the Item Bin capacity will be expanded to bring practical benefits for players.

Onrpg: What plans do you have for this game’s payment? P2P, B2P, F2P, item mall?
We offer F2P for this game, and our Item Mall will open shortly. Apart from shopping in Wal-Mart, getting some fancy items for your own Mech will also be nice, isn’t it?

PoP Orefield

Onrpg: When do you plan to fully release Project of Planets? Any specific dates in mind?
Well, we do plan to raise the max level by end of the year, vertically there needs to be more challenges, players just love that all the time. Also, we plan to expand the maps with new tasks and battlefields; we hope our players will have more variety of choices in the game. In terms of fully release, we just wouldn’t use that term in our games. The game grows along with the players together. It’s a living thing in our eyes. We will manage the release frequency with a balance of the content for each new version.

Onrpg: thank you for your time!

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