Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Team behind Tales of Pirates: Project
it is the Project team that works behind the scenes making problems disappear"
IGG has prepared a series of articles to help
our players get more familiar with the whole TOP Team, including our renowned
Customer Service, Event Group, Marketing Group and much more. Last time
IGG introduced the public face of the Tales of Pirates’
Customer Service team. Today they will be pulling back the curtain to give
us a glimpse of the magic behind the scenes, where important decisions are made,
and the course of development is decided – the Project Team.
The Project team was the first part
of the ToP team to be put together, and although they are a young group (average
age – 23), they all have years of experience in the gaming industry. There are a
variety of tasks that they are responsible for, including writing press releases
for the official website and for other media sites, developing events and
activities, preparing game guides and communicating with the game developers on
updates. They form the core of the ToP team, like the CPU on the computer
sitting in front of you.
Similarities between a CPU and the Project Team:
1. Process and distribute
information and ideas
The CPU, is essentially the heart, soul and brains of your computer. Orders are
inputted and the CPU ‘processes’ them and decides how best to execute them.
Whether routing to a different part of the computer, or working it out itself,
everything must go through the CPU first. This is also true of the Project team.
Take game updates for example, the customer service group may receive reports
from players of a game bug or an idea for improvement, which is relayed to the
Project team. They will then set up a meeting with the developer to discuss what
to do, and when a decision is made they implement it. The Phyllis Crusader is a
perfect example of a player request becoming reality…well almost, it’s actually
still in testing, but it won’t be long now!
For all the praise that is heaped on
the customer service team, it is the Project team that works behind the scenes
making problems disappear and evaluating player concerns to determine where the
game can be improved. One of the main problems for them this year has been fraud
and scamming. It became an almost daily problem that perplexed the Project team
as they searched for a solution – not long after, Player Cops were born and have
been an amazing success in combating the worst offenders.
2. Communication and
Slapping together the best parts available may sound like the best way to build
your very own super computer, but if the parts are not designed to work
together, or don’t work well with other parts, you may get something more like
Frankenstein and less like HAL. Ensuring the different parts of the ToP team
work together the way they’re supposed to is also part of the Project team’s
responsibilities. Weekly meetings among ToP staff and constant communication
among the different departments they rely on is the key to their success. After
all, it can take a lot of patience and persistence to work with the customer
service center, the marketing dept, the technical department, and the
translation department, especially the last one, all in one day. But no one ever
said being the brains of the operation would be easy!
3. Timely upgrades
The IT field is an industry that grows at warp speed, and can change drastically
from one year to the next. Even a month or two can mean big changes in where
companies advertise, what games they may release, what kind of updates they will
include…the list goes on and on! Staying on pace with this kind of constantly
evolving business requires attention to detail, enough self confidence to know
when you’ve made a mistake and fix it, and the experience to recognize trends
and exploit them. The Project team listens to players everyday and uses their
vast experience to anticipate what players want and bring it to them. Whether
it’s a new game system, an update, new pets, or just a bug fix, they are always
ready to meet the challenge.
* * *
There you go! The heart of the Tales
of Pirates team have laid bare their soul and shown how they effectively manage
such a large and popular game. Using their experience and dedication they are
the silent magicians moving the game along smoothly. Like your computer’s CPU,
you’ll never see them working, or talk with them, and you probably don’t even
know their names, but they are there, and you see the results of their tireless