This interview was kindly provided by TibiaME.com.pl.
Hello Balinor, How old are you?
Hi Mertuch. First question is the easiest one I'm 29 years old, married and awaiting the birth of my son just around the autumn update.
When did you start work on TibiaME?
CipSoft started to work on TibiaME as early as 2002. The first version of the game ran on a Siemens phone and only had akward graphics, more symbols actually. The game launched with T-Mobile in May 2003 and became the first MMO for mobile phones worldwide.
Were you working on TibiaME from beginning?
Actually no. I joined CipSoft as a Product Manager about 2 1/2 years ago. At that time the game only had two islands (Aurea and Solahmar) and a few gameworlds. Since then a lot has changed and I think most players will agree that we have added a lot of features and content to the game since then. I think with two big updates and 12 episodes every year, the game has a lot to offer.
How many hour per day do you work?
A normal workday is 8 hours and I work 5 days a week. If there are any bugs, technical problems or the like, work can take longer though - same for big updates like the upcoming autumn update. There is so much work to do then...
What do you think about players?
We respect our players and listen carefully to what they say. Many of the players' ideas have been realised in the game and that makes it to "your" game as well. It is important to us that new features are fun and helpful for players. We strive for keeping up a good relationship with the community and try to answer in the official website forum as often as possible, even in our free time.
Are you thinking about money or about players' smiles while upgrading game? (for example episodes)
Well, when we plan the updates there are many things that influence our decisions. Money is not one of them, though, since we are convinced that a high quality game like TibiaME will also be economically successful in the end. We usually have a big meeting first where all the ideas from the community are being presented and discussed along side with our own ideas. Then there is a strategic component of course, a vision of where we want the game to go and what it should be like. And, last but not least, there are technical issues. All these things come together and we then pick the features for the next update. We always think about the players while doing this: Will you like the feature? Will it be helpful for you? Would you rather want to have something else? Can we do that? Episodes are actually an exception here, as they are solely created by Judigator. He only wants to see happy players in the end, so he always strives for creating something new and fun to play. No strategic decisions are made here at all.
How many people work on Tibia Micro Edition?
All together, about 14 people are regularly involved in creating and running TibiaME. We have got three programmers who create the new clients and add features to the game server. Then, you all know Judigator who creates the new islands and quests in the game. And many of you have met a customer support representative already when writing an email to us. With 26 game worlds and a great website we also need some talented technical staff that keeps everything running and online. Ogrey takes care of the fansite programme, and Durin and myself are in charge of the product management of TibiaME.
Are you looking for new retainers?
Actually we have been working on expanding our reseller network for quite a while now. The result is a new portal, called the business shop, where our official resellers can sell not only premium for TibiaME, but now also for Tibia and our upcoming new game FictionFighters. So there might just be a reseller coming for Poland...
Have you planned make subscription option in Poland (by sms)?
We are looking into new payment options on a regular basis. From a business point we concentrated on the countries where most players come from, resulting in the cooperation with Indosat. But we are planning on making payment easier for all of our players, and we will be introducing new methods in the future, also for Poland. At the moment it is not clear, yet, whether it will be SMS or something else. Of course, we are looking for methods that can be accessed directly from the game.
Were you thinking about Trade system?
I guess yes, so can you tell me something about that system? Any plans?
Yes. We were thinking about a trade system quite a lot actually. It is very high up on our to-do list and we would have loved to make it for the autumn update. But there are many technical background works needed for the new high resolution client and for some of the other important features. So, sadly, we had to postpone the trade system to a future update. It will, of course, enable safe trade between two players, and we were also thinking about some other interesting features, like a house where you can offer items for sale.
© Mertuch, TibiaME.com.pl