Author's Note: This was rewritten. Revised chapters will have V2 next to the chapter name. Click here to see V1

Chapter 4- Player 1, Start!


            I looked at my watch as the last employee walked into the meeting room with a notepad and pen and took a seat. Good, they are all on time. Originally when I hired everyone, nobody was punctual. Being punctual is one of my pet peeves. It had taken several long years before I trained everyone to be as punctual as me.

"Okay, team. I am pretty sure you guys know why I called this meeting. As of last night, the new expansion for our flagship game PROJECT: EARTH went on the shelf, and it is officially going online next week for the East server. Everything went according to plan without a hitch. Give yourselves a round of applause for a job well done.”

           Cheers and claps resounded in the meeting board room. I waited for it die down before continuing with the meeting.

"We are expecting extra traffic loads to our East server due to the influx of players switching from the West coast so that they can play with the "Plus" contents. We have received the new servers that we ordered. Tecon, have the new servers hooked up before the end of the week. Stay overnight, order take-outs, bring a portable toilet into the server room, I don't care what you do. Just make sure you get it done before the deadline. I will make sure that you are compensated for your over time."

"Consider it done, boss."

           Another raised his hand.

"What will we do for the West server? Are we leaving it as is? The player base on the west server will inevitably complain about not having access to the new content."

"The official plan from our company is to leave West server the way it is. We will offer free server transfers for the next year so our customers can decide what they want to play. We will also make an announcement that the West Server will never have any "Plus" content implemented for the rest of its lifetime. After a year, the West server will be marketed as a separate game. We are planning to rebrand and rename the West Server shortly."

          He soon followed up with another question.

“Why are we not implementing the expansion on both servers anyway?”

“You want the short or the long version of the answer?”

          Everyone gave a quick chuckle at my reply. Are they laughing at him for not knowing the reason or are they laughing at the way I answered? I put the thought aside and continued without waiting for his reply. I took a sip of coffee from my "World Best Boss" mug before telling him the extended version of the answer.

"When I started to program Project: Earth, I was still studying at the university. It was intended as a simple simulation tool. A friend of mine asked me as a favor to program an interactive model to explore the idea of life expectancy, and it's role in the social structure. My other buddy that was studying immersion tech got a wind of my little project and offered to help me. Soon, it became the world's first DiveMMORPG.  Unfortunately, that also means the core code for the game stayed the same throughout the years.”

          I took another sip of the black coffee before continuing with my answer.

“Due to how I coded PROJECT: EARTH, we cannot implement any changes without wiping all the accumulated data. This was entirely my fault. We have tried to reimplement the elves and various race back into the game without touching the setting for humans. It won't work; we have tried multiple times. Humans have the perfect blend of reproduction rate, life expectancy, and xenophobia. We did not expect it to develop like this. Unless we wipe all the data and change the settings, humans will always wipe out all other races right from the start. Each year we have offered the data wipe so that the other races can be re-implemented. Every year, 70% of the player base voted no. Most people don't want to lose all their work for the ability to play a different race. By leaving the West server the way it is, we are giving our customer more options.”

        Aewyn chimed in with another fact.

“Giving customers options also means more money in our pocket. We are expecting extra revenue from the server transfer service after the year is up, so expect a bigger bonus for all of you at the end of next year."

         Everyone cheers at the good news. High fives were exchanged across the room. A few of the employees even started to discuss vacation plans with their colleagues.

"Settle down people, we are not finished with this meeting yet. Is there any other concerns that we have not talked about?"

"Are we sure that the humans are nerfed enough in the East servers?"

"We ran multiple simulations with the new setting. We are pretty confident that something like that wouldn’t happen again. If it does happen, we do have a backup plan. With the implementation of the new patch, we can apply changes without deleting any data. All we need to do is bring the server down for maintenance. However, players do not like down times. So if the game needs minor adjustments, we will try to use GM generated events as much as possible to make needed nerfs and buffs. As a side note, the "Sword in the Stone" event is still voted as the best by the players, thanks to Agorth."

          Agorth beamed a smile at everyone with pride. Everyone else gave a groan. Agorth has been bragging about it since forever. I knew this would happen, but I like to tease my employees from time to time. I want to invoke their competitiveness to make great events. I would be the happiest out of everyone if someone came up with a new idea that trumps “Sword in the Stone”.

"We have programmed it so that only the project leader, have the authority to bring the server down to make changes at the main terminal. Everyone still can host GM generated events as they see fit, but the option to change the setting only belongs to me. Make sure you remember to file the appropriate paperwork for the GM events."

          I took a small pause to see if there were any more questions or comments. Seeing that there were none, I decided to end the meeting.

"That should be it. If there are any concerns or questions, save it for the next weekly meeting. To celebrate the occasion lunch is on me today. We will meet at Café Metropolis. See you there guys."

         After seeing everyone out of the meeting room, I headed towards my office with my coffee in my hand. Once I was in the office, I pressed a few buttons on the keyboard to load the program. I put the virtual reality interface unit on my head. It resembled biker helmet. The only difference is that this helmet has a few long black cables coming out of the top of the helmet and a few green buttons on the side. After that, I lied down on a red psychologist chair, press a button on the helmet, and closed my eyes.

System Message: Loading Project: Earth+ 

         Since I had the power of an admin, I could access to the "Plus" content early, even though it was not officially out yet. Note to self. Optimize the code so that we can shorten the load time.

System Message: No character detected. Would you like to create new character? Y/N


System Message: Please assign a character name


System Message: Please choose a Gender. Female/Male


System Message: Please choose a race. Elf/Human...   


          Before the list is even completed, I knew exactly what race I want to play as.

"After all, I always like to play as myself in the game."

About the author


  • Slayer of Soles


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