Developer: Nice Tech Ltd
Genre: Children’s MMOG
Number of Players: Massively Multiplayer Online
Nice Tech, the leading MMO and virtual development studio, with its groundbreaking AliceServer technology, is making excellent progress on a unique Children’s MMO based around the Ragdoll IP: Tronji. With only a 12 month development schedule, Nice Tech is on schedule to complete the game in early 2008.
Ragdoll, BBC Worldwide and CBBC have selected Nice Tech to produce and develop an MMO children’s world that will compliment their forthcoming CBBC Children’s programme. As custodians of the Tronji IP, Nice Tech enjoys a fruitful working relationship with Ragdoll Productions. Paul Baker, CEO of Nice Tech, explains:“This is a complicated development process which incorporates a series of approval benchmarks. We really respect the success of Ragdoll and are keen to emulate its design quality and high production values. We will implement the highest of development standards to rise to the challenge of doing justice to this prestigious IP. We have drawn up tight development processes, specifying regular milestones, detailed design levels, asset lists and test processes. We have reviewed our production systems to ensure that the development process can be continuously tuned, tracked and improved.”
Ragdoll and the BBC have been playing in the Tronji world since March this year. New builds are released and auto-updated every Friday, ensuring that no-one involved in the development and approval process is more than five working days behind when a build is reviewed. This ensures a near“real time” tracking process. Nice Tech believes that all parties should be able to provide immediate feedback, which is particularly important when working with such a strong client led IP, where clarity and accuracy are essential. Ben Simpson, COO, commented“Working alongside a studio with a global reputation and strong IP, has been a positive challenge for us. We have been keen to learn from their experience and streamline our own working practices. We feel we have really grown through this partnership– and in such a short time!”
Tronji is now ready for its first focus testing sessions which will involve many children over the next four months. A pre-alpha testing strategy was adopted to allow early feedback and to ensure that the development meets its tight deadlines. The team at Nice Tech is able to rapidly re-think any design issue that needs moderation based on the feedback from the young testers. Ben Simpson added“This mid-development, pre-alpha, core gameplay testing ensures that we get critical feedback from the players at an early stage. We can conduct online testing and follow what the players are doing and enjoy and use metrics to discover what’s working or needs modification.
About the Alice server Technology
AliceServer delivers high performance real-time dynamics and networking that can accommodate large numbers of players reliably on standard server infrastructure. The run-time programmable AliceServer client-engine allows all the high performance game logic to be coded in a proprietary scripting language. The Display engine supports HDR, perspective shadowing and rendering-to-texture and runs on a range of PCs, from those with Intel’s on-board graphics to those with graphic cards that support the latest Vertex and Pixel shaders v3.
About Nice Tech Ltd
Nice Tech was formed in 2005 in Cambridge, England to design and develop Massively Multiplayer Online Games, providing the player with an experience that will ultimately rival reality. Nice Tech is incorporated in the UK with development and research facilities in Cambridge, England. Nice Tech develops technology to allow hundreds of thousands of players to interact in a persistent world and designs games that leverage that technology to provide an engaging and absorbing real-time online entertainment experience.
About BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has seven core businesses: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, Magazines, Content&Production, Home Entertainment, Children's and Digital Media. In 2005/06 BBC Worldwide generated profits of£89 million on sales of£784 million.
Ragdoll, a privately owned family company, was founded by acclaimed children’s television programme maker, Anne Wood, in 1984 and has produced more than 1,400 programmes aimed at the youngest viewers. Ragdoll produced series for children can be seen in more than 120 countries and territories around the world, and in the UK are screened by the BBC, ITV and Five. Ragdoll and its children’s programming including the phenomenally successful Teletubbies, the super-brave superhero Brum, those mischievous ragdolls Rosie and Jim, the adventures of Tots TV, the imaginative and magical Boohbah, BadJelly the Witch and Open a Door have all achieved international recognition. Ragdoll’s latest series, Blips, premiered in the UK on CiTV from 2005. Currently Ragdoll is in production with two new commissions for BBC Television for broadcast in the UK in 2007, In the Night Garden and Tronji. In September 2006, Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide announced a new joint venture, Ragdoll Worldwide, to manage and exploit the Ragdoll catalogue, which includes Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Brum and Boohbah. Ragdoll retains all UK broadcast rights and Ragdoll USA Inc, part of the new joint venture, will continue to manage the Ragdoll portfolio in North America.
For more information on Ragdoll Limited, visit website www.ragdoll.co.uk