I thought it might be a good time to give you short update of how our project is proceeding. I'm on a short holiday, always a perfect moment for a step back and some reflection. It is evening, it's cold and wet outside, there's a fireplace, a comfortable chair, a beer on the table next to me, dinner is being prepared (not by me so it will actually be good!), so let's go!
Our goal for 2020 was to:
1. Present the game design online and establish whether there is enough of a fan base for it.
2. Continue to build a team around the project on a 'work for shares' basis to increase our expertise.
3. Create some community focused early prototyping and early community content involvement.
4. Look for investors when we're confident about 1 and 2.
And that is we did! So on the whole 2020 went according to plan, despite a little bit of COVID and other 'two steps forward, one step back' events.
Two things were most rewarding for me: First there was you. The supporter, the fan, the forumite, the person that loves the project and hopes for it to become a reality. It is hard to explain how truly meaningful it is to share a dream with strangers from around the world and getting to know them. Secondly there was the team, a group of people that share the dream and agree to work on it, in their spare time, for a stake in the project. Exceptional people that take a risk for a dream. Finer people than those among our community and our team I can certainly not imagine to find.
Certainly COVID has not helped in the focus on the project for our fans, who often had bigger concerns in their lives. But despite this we reached more than fifty-thousand followers two months ago, which was remarkable, considering our small budget. Our supporters and team also raised more than seventy-thousand dollars, which we use for advertisement and costs of subscriptions and resources. We felt this was the point where the 'proof of concept' was strong. So we started approaching (game) investment funds.
So where did this get us so far with investors?
There were good responses. Several game investment funds indicated they were interested. They thought we had achieved a lot with little, and also felt confident that we have a viable product in that we've proven there are enough people that want it. Those were the pluses. But investment funds also look at the risks and will err on the side of caution with the money of their investors. A MMORPG is a big project, so even though we're at the lower end budget for such a project it is still a lot of money. We heard a few of the same responses: You're a new studio, you haven't rolled out a game before (true), and you don't have a working prototype yet (true). They indicated that if we find a lead investor, they'd be interested in filling out the investment. In short: call us when you're further along and then we might be interested in putting a few million in.
And you know? Fair enough. They are professional investment funds and will choose as least risk as possible. A big project, running in the millions, from a fledgling company, is a higher risk investment. Not the first thing they are looking for. I found it quite a compliment that they actually would consider us if we're further along. That's probably not something projects like us often get to hear. And that is because we do tick some boxes. But not yet all.
We also had further advanced talks with a large Asian publisher. I'm not allowed to say who. They approached us initially. It was tricky because you know a publisher that bankrolls your project is going to want a lot of influence, especially commercially. And we do have certain principles and values in this regard. So there were mutual questions on whether we'd be a match. But in the end the outcome was that they had a change of strategy in the boardroom and decided to take on less early stage projects. But we were also not so sure, initially, whether it was a wise match.
We had some extensive talks with market experts in game investment, and the advice for the future is to look for initial seed or angel investment. These investments are smaller and can be used to advance the project. This can be the worm on the hook to catch the larger investors. This advice is not a big surprise, we always imagined this might be the outcome, but we did want to try the investment funds first, wouldn't it have been great if we did find someone that wanted to take the risk with out project for the total funds?
In any case, if our future strategy is to look for smaller investors to create more prototyping, we'll have to make some revisions in the plan of attack for the project. Because we also have to see how we can use less to create more.
The project has two potentials for funding. Firstly we can develop either stand-alone segments of the game design, or more dressed down versions of the game design, or a combination of both, and monetise those as a pre-full-game version. This might get us additional funds on top of the seed- or angel investment, to work up to the full design. Secondly there still is a potential for more crowd funding if we set up a serious campaign, with the advantage that the community will be in charge. This can rest on the sales of gamer shares, as we have done in 2020 too. We can also seek to combine seed- and angel investment, community investment and early monetisation. And perhaps through these means we can work up to a good budget to finish the project, or at least to then get large investment involvement later because of the value created in the project.
Another, perhaps more rogue approach, is to make the project even more of a community project than we are already planning. We could create a much larger team of 'volunteers' that get a stake in the project, to develop with minimal costs. That is already how we are developing now. We know we can easily raise the cash to run such a project, we've already proven that. The only issue is that such projects are notoriously difficult to plan and manage.
In any case, all these different strategies will lead to a more complicated project, and for that we, as a team, need to go back to the drawing board. We're going to do that in late January, when as a team we're going to consider all paths and then work out some new strategies.
In the mean time we have all types of irons in the fire. It is still entirely possible that tomorrow someone will turn up that will take on the complete funding or a good starting capital. Talks are still going on. People are still being approached. There are also several people that are helping us in this regard.
To summarise: we've done what we aimed for in 2020! In not the easiest of circumstances. And we've learned a lot from the experience which gives us lots of ideas for future strategies. No-one ever said it was going to be easy to create a niche and unique historical MMORPG. But we're not done yet! In the mean time the Deadeye Games team has grown with new and talented members, and we're not done there either. As we are increasingly seen as a serious project with commitment, increasingly more experienced people start applying. Each new talent provides a great boost and more possibilities.
As Winston Churchill said: At first we need to have the courage to follow our dreams, then we need to courage to continue until they are achieved.
We hope you will honour us by continuing to stick with our dream for 2021!
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
when i read "The Close to the End" as the shortened name i had a mini heart attack, glad its not bad news. Ive been super happy with how things are going with Covid looming over the project. Especially with the forum and discord community growing.
We have news! It is not necessarily good news, but it certainly is not bad news either. I think I can say that the community is willing to help however we can... now I don’t think any of us have any investors on speed dial, but we might be of use elsewhere.
“I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? ” - Ben Franklin
I think it is great how far the team has come. A year ago there was nothing and now we all share a concept of a whole world. I never expected this to be fully financed and going in a year. This is a long haul project, it will need much perseverance and creativity to get it going. But once it does, and it will, it will be an astounding success. Keep up the good fight, Sir! We're in it with you!
"Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive sagacity." Sun Tzu
I never expected this to be fully financed and going in a year. This is a long haul project, it will need much perseverance and creativity to get it going.
I second that. "Most people fail because they quit after their first attempt." I have confidence this team has many attempts yet in them!
We hope you will honour us by continuing to stick with our dream for 2021!
Count on it! We really want to see this game become a reality.
Thank you for sharing your dream, Peter, and leading the way. Thrilled and honoured to be part of this team and community.
Let's make it happen!
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
The project is getting much clearer shape and growing compared to the foggy and uncertain 2019 echo of it. Times got harder worldwide, but we're making perhaps slow, but steady progress. Even though forums became slightly less active, we're still out here in big numbers on RotS discord server, speaking and discussing daily, all sorts of things. Happily supporting and patiently waiting to see more progress and new things yet to come in 2021!
Avast, avast! Belay, belay! Skippy aye, skippy aye yo!
I think there is still a path which has not been tried yet: This project is not just a game like any other, but also a social experiment (devs have declared here and there occasionally), that of alternative history and societies in historic costume struggling for dominance, reenacting everything from business, culture and politics from 1750 on, in many nations simultaneously. I guess there was nothing like this tried before.
In the sum, it has a scientific value, experimental nature. Therefor I suggest you not only try to find private and company investors, but contact universities with a media/sociology/humanitarian sciences department which might get interested to accompany the project and partially fund it for that reason by sponsorship, while they get an unique study object in return. There may already exist some programs for which RotS might be interesting, or one could be started because of it. This is a matter of negotiations between you and them. I just want to hint at that possibility in case nobody has thought of it already.
That's a good suggestion. We are looking at that too, but I didn't mention it. That is mainly because if this is going to be a source of funding, educational institutions usually require funding, not so much provide it. It can be a great source for help and expertise in some partnership, but likely will not get us the funds we need.
Those funds, however, if you have an educational and/or research purpose, can come through subsidies. There are two subsidies we've got our eyes on for 2021, a Dutch one and a EU one. They both have been delayed because of COVID. But for both we have a good chance, we tick all the boxes and we'll enter applications as soon as they open. But the amounts for these subsidies are limited, they will get us a few hundred thousand. Which is enough to build stand-alone proto-types for the game (or parts of it). That will certainly help! But it won't cover the entire project budget (by a long shot).
However, having a partnership with universities and academics also opens new networks and adds credibility to the project. And that might lead to more interest from investors too. So it is still worthwhile. In the team Anne-Marie (Education Program Manager, @inspector-annie ) is working on this, and we'll start reaching out, building a network, in the beginning of 2021. So we hope this will lead to interesting opportunities!
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
What glorious news to return to, have a merry christmas and a happy new year.
Loyalty to the family must be merged into loyalty to the community, loyalty to the community into loyalty to the nation, and loyalty to the nation into loyalty to mankind. The citizen of the future must be a citizen of the world. - Thomas Cochrane
Great news Peter. I can't wait to see a prototype of the game.
March 1, 2020
The following definitions apply to these Terms and Conditions of Administration:
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Deadeye Games B.V. is a private company with limited liability and incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands, having its registered office in The Hague and its principal place of business at XX . Deadeye Games is the developer of the RotS game. Deadeye Games B.V. is sometimes also referred to as “Deadeye Games”; “we”, “us” or “our”.
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Welcome to the Rulers of the Sea (hereinafter referred to as “RotS”) Support Community Terms and Guidelines (the “Community Terms”).
Thanks for choosing the RotS Support Community (the “Community”). The Community is a place for discussions and exchange of information, tips, and other materials related to the RotS Service.
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Deadeye Games B.V. is a private company with limited liability and incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands, having its registered office in The Hague and its principal place of business at XX. Deadeye Games is the developer of the RotS game. Deadeye Games B.V. is sometimes also referred to as “Deadeye Games”; “we”, “us” or “our”.
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Thank you for using Rulers of the Sea. At Rulers of the Sea, we want to give you the best possible gaming experience to ensure that you enjoy our service today, tomorrow, and in the future. To do this we need to understand your gaming habits so we can deliver an exceptional service specifically for you. That said, your privacy and the security of your Personal Data is, and will always be, enormously important to us. So, we want to transparently explain how and why we gather, store, share and use your Personal Data – as well as outline the controls and choices you have around when and how you choose to share your Personal Data.
This Policy sets out the essential details relating to your Personal Data relationship with Deadeye Games B.V., a private company with limited liability and existing under the laws of the Netherlands, having its registered office in The Hague and its principal place of business at XX and developer of the Rulers of the Sea game. The Policy applies to all Rulers of the Sea Services and any associated Services. The terms governing your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services are defined in our Terms of Services (the “Terms of Services”).
From time to time, we may develop new or offer additional Services. If the introduction of these new or additional Services results in any change to the way we collect or process your Personal Data we will provide you with more information and additional terms or policies. Unless stated otherwise when we introduce these new or additional services, they will be subject to this Policy.
The aim of this Policy is to:
We hope this helps you to understand our privacy commitments to you. For information on how to contact us if you ever have any questions or concerns, please see the ‘How to Contact Us’ Section 15 below. Alternatively, if you do not agree with the content of this Policy, then please remember it is your choice whether you want to use the Rulers of the Sea Services.
“Personal Data” is Data that we have collected from you that identifies you, or which, in conjunction with other data that is in our possession, or is likely to come into our possession, may be used to identify you.
“Non-Personal Data”, is information that we have collected from you which cannot be used to identify you.
You may be aware that European Union law, called the General Data Protection Regulation or “GDPR” gives certain rights to individuals in relation to their Personal Data. Accordingly, we have implemented additional transparency and access controls in our Privacy Center to help users take advantage of those rights. As available and except as limited under applicable law, the rights afforded to individuals are:
In order to enable you to exercise these rights with ease and to record your preferences in relation to how Deadeye Games BV uses your Personal Data, we provide you with access to the following settings via your Account Settings page:
The Privacy Center puts you in control of how Rulers of the Sea processes your Personal Data. It provides you with information about what happens if you adjust your settings on your Account Settings page and how to opt out of receiving certain messages from Deadeye Games BV and/or Rulers of the Sea. If we send you electronic marketing messages based on your consent or as otherwise permitted by applicable law, you may, at any time, respectively withdraw such consent or declare your objection (“opt-out”) at no cost. The electronic marketing messages you receive from Deadeye Games BV and/or Rulers of the Sea (e.g. those sent via email) also will include an opt-out mechanism within the message itself (e.g. an unsubscribe link in the emails we send to you).
If you have any questions about your privacy, your rights, or how to exercise them, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the ‘Contact Us’ form on the Privacy Center. We will respond to your request within a reasonable period of time upon verification of your identity. If you are unhappy with the way we are using your Personal Data you can also contact and are free to lodge a complaint with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoongegevens) or your local Data Protection Authority.
We process your Personal Data in the following ways:
Through your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services – when you use the Rulers of the Sea Services, we collect Personal Data about your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services such as your email address, date of birth, gender and country;
Personal Data collected that enables us to provide you with additional features/functionalities – from time to time, you also may provide us with additional Personal Data or give us your permission to collect additional Personal Data e.g. to provide you with more features or functionalities. As described further below (see Voluntary Data), we will not collect photos, precise mobile device location, voice data, or contacts from your device without your prior consent. You always will have the option to change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time.
In general, we use log files to monitor traffic on our Website and to troubleshoot technical problems. In the event of user abuse of our Website, we may block certain IP addresses.
We (will) use anonymised and aggregated information to optimize your experience of the Rulers of the Sea Services but also for purposes that include testing our IT systems, research, data analysis, creating marketing and promotion models, improving the Rulers of the Sea Services, and developing new features and functionality within the Rulers of the Sea Services.
In addition to Sections 5.1 and 5.2, if we reasonably suspect that any of the Rulers of the Sea Services or your Account is being or has been misused, including without limitation, by virtue of any:
Deadeye Games B.V. may collect further Personal Data and Non-Personal Data to verify or refute such suspicions within the limits of applicable law and taking into account your reasonable data protection interests. We will use this Data to comply with applicable law and enforce our rights under civil and penal law against the respective users.
Optionally you may choose to send crash reports or contact Customer Support for any technical and commercial issues.
In addition to the data collected in Sections 5.1 to 5.3 above, the data provided by you may include:
The collection of the data set out in this Section 5.4 is not mandatory. However, we might not be able to fix bugs or handle the technical and commercial issues you have without this data. For legal reasons this information will be stored as long as your account remains open and for the applicable statues of limitations thereafter.
We have set out in the tables below the categories of Personal Data we collect and process about you:
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Account Registration Data and Commercial transaction||This is the Personal Data that is provided by you or collected by us to enable you to sign up for and use the Rulers of the Sea Services. This includes your email address, date of birth, gender and country.|
Some of the Personal Data we will ask you to provide is required in order to create your account such as account ID, login ID, display name, password, community moniker, user handle, and referral code. You also have the option to provide us with some additional Personal Data in order to make your account more personalized such as birth date.
The exact Personal Data we will collect depends on the type of Rulers of the Sea Services you sign up for (paid or non-paid).
Personal data collected through your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Rulers of the Sea Service Usage Data||This is the Personal Data that is collected about you when you are using the Rulers of the Sea Services – this may include:|
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Voluntary Mobile Data||In addition to the mobile data we collect to provide you with the Rulers of the Sea Services (outlined above), you also have the option to give us your consent to collect additional Personal Data from your (mobile) device to provide you with features/functionalities that will enhance your Rulers of the Sea Services experiences.|
We will not access any of the Personal Data listed below without first obtaining your consent:
|Payment Data||We may collect such Personal Data if you sign up for a Trial or purchase any of our Paid Subscriptions (as defined in the Terms of Services) or make other purchases through the Rulers of the Sea Services. The exact personal data collected will vary depending on the payment method (e.g. direct via your mobile phone carrier or by invoice) but will include information such as:|
|Marketing Data||This Personal Data is used to enable Deadeye Games B.V. (and our partners / service providers) to send you marketing communications either:|
You can find out more about the Personal Data collected and the controls you have in relation to the marketing communications you receive via the Privacy Center.
When you use or interact with the Rulers of the Sea Services, we use a variety of technologies to process the personal data we collect about you for various reasons. We have set out in the table below the reasons why we process your personal data, the associated legal bases we rely upon to legally permit us to process your personal data, and the categories of personal data (identified in Section 6 ‘What personal data do we collect from you?’) used for these purposes:
|Description of why Rulers of the Sea processes your Personal Data (‘processing purpose’)||Legal Basis for the processing purpose||Categories of Personal Data used by Rulers of the Sea for the processing purpose|
|To provide, personalize, and improve your experience with the Rulers of the Sea Service and other services and products provided by Deadeye Games B.V., for example by providing customized, personalized, or localized content, features, and advertising on or outside of the Rulers of the Sea Services (including for third party products and services).|
|To understand how you access and use the Rulers of the Sea Services to ensure technical functionality of the Rulers of the Sea Services, develop new products and services, and analyse your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services, including your interaction with applications, advertising, products, and services that are made available, linked to, or offered through the Rulers of the Sea Services.|
|To communicate with you for Rulers of the Sea Services-related purposes.|
|To process your payment to prevent or detect fraud including fraudulent payments and fraudulent use of the Rulers of the Sea Service.|
|To communicate with you, either directly or through one of our partners, for:|
via emails, notifications, or other messages, consistent with any permissions you may have communicated to us (e.g., through your Account Settings page).
|To provide you with features, information, advertising, or other content which is based on your specific location.|
If you require further information about the balancing test that Rulers of the Sea has undertaken to justify its reliance on the legitimate interest legal basis under GDPR, please see Section 15 ‘How to contact us’ for further details on how to contact us.
The following Personal Data will always be publicly available on the Rulers of the Sea Services: your ID and/or username and potentially a profile picture.
The following personal data will only be shared with the categories of recipients outlined in the table below if:
|Categories of Recipients||Reason for sharing|
|Support Community||When you register for Rulers of the Sea Support Account on the Rulers of the Sea Support Community, we will ask you to create a specific Rulers of the Sea Support Community username. This will be publicly displayed to anyone who accesses the Rulers of the Sea Support Community along with any questions or comments you post.|
|Your Rulers of the Sea Followers||There also may be times when you want us to share certain Service Usage Data, specifically information about your use of Rulers of the Sea, with other Rulers of the Sea users known as ‘Your Rulers of the Sea Followers’.|
Learn more about how to manage notifications, your publicly available information, and what you share with others in the ‘Your rights and your preferences: Giving you choice and control’ Section 4 of this Policy and on the Privacy Center.
|Categories of Recipients||Reason for sharing|
|Service Providers and Others||We may use technical service providers which operate the technical infrastructure that we need to provide the Rulers of the Sea Services; in particular providers which host, store, manage, and maintain the Rulers of the Sea application.|
We may use technical service providers to help us communicate with you, as described in Section 7 of this Policy.
We use marketing (and advertising partners) to show you more tailored content, or to help us understand your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services, to provide you with a better experience. We also may share Personal Data with certain marketing and advertising partners to send you promotional communications about Rulers of the Sea.
|Rulers of the Sea Partners||We might share your Personal Data in a pseudonymised format with marketing partners who help us with promotional efforts and with advertisers that allow us to offer a free service.|
|Academic Researchers||We may share your Personal Data for activities such as statistical analysis and academic study but only in a pseudonymised format.|
|Other Rulers of the Sea Group Companies||We might share your Personal Data with other Deadeye Games B.V. Group Companies to carry out our daily business operations and to enable us to maintain and provide the Rulers of the Sea Services to you.|
|Law Enforcement and Data Protection Authorities||We will share your Personal Data when we in good faith believe it is necessary for us to do so in order to comply with a legal obligation under applicable law, or respond to valid legal process, such as a search warrant, a court order, or a subpoena.|
We also will share your personal data where we in good faith believe that it is necessary for the purpose of our own, or a third party’s legitimate interest relating to national security, law enforcement, litigation, criminal investigation, protecting the safety of any person, or to prevent death or imminent bodily harm, provided that we deem that such interest is not overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms requiring the protection of your Personal Data.
We keep your Personal Data only as long as necessary to provide you with the Rulers of the Sea Service and for legitimate and essential business purposes, such as maintaining the performance of the Deadeye Games Services, making data-driven business decisions about new features and offerings, complying with our legal obligations, and resolving disputes. We keep some of your Personal Data for as long as you are a user of the game.
If you request, we will delete or anonymise your Personal Data so that it no longer identifies you, unless, we are legally allowed or required to maintain certain Personal Data, including situations such as the following:
Deadeye Games B.V. might share your Personal Data globally with other companies in the Deadeye Games B.V. Group in order to carry out the activities specified in this Policy. Deadeye Games B.V. may also subcontract processing to, or share your Personal Data with, third parties located in countries other than your home country. Your personal data, therefore, may be subject to privacy laws that are different from those in your country of residence.
Personal Data collected within the European Union and Switzerland may, for example, be transferred to and processed by third parties located in a country outside of the European Union and Switzerland. In such instances Deadeye Games B.V. will ensure that the transfer of your Personal Data is carried out in accordance with applicable privacy laws and, in particular, that appropriate contractual, technical, and organizational measures are in place such as the Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the EU Commission.
For further details of the security measures we use to protect your Personal Data, please see the ‘Keeping your personal data safe’ Section 12 of this Policy.
We may display advertisements from third parties and other content that links to third-party websites. We cannot control or be held responsible for third parties’ privacy practices and content. If you click on a third-party advertisement or link, please understand that you are leaving the Rulers of the Sea Service and any Personal Data you provide will not be covered by this Policy. Please read their privacy policies to find out how they collect process and protect your Personal Data.
We are committed to protecting our users’ Personal Data. We implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to help protect the security of your Personal Data; however, please note that no system is ever completely secure. We have implemented various policies including pseudonymisation, encryption, access, and retention policies to guard against unauthorized access and unnecessary retention of Personal Data in our systems.
Your password protects your user account, so we encourage you to use a unique and strong password, limit access to your computer and browser, and log out after having used the Rulers of the Sea Services.
The Rulers of the Sea Services are not directed to children under the age of 13 years. However, in some countries, stricter age limits may apply under local law. Please see our Terms of Services for further details.
We do not knowingly collect Personal Data from children under 13 years or under the applicable age limit (the “Age Limit”). If you are under the Age Limit, please do not use the Rulers of the Sea Services, and do not provide any Personal Data to us.
If you are a parent of a child under the Age Limit and become aware that your child has provided Personal Data to Rulers of the Sea, please contact us using the form on the Privacy Center, and you may request exercise of your applicable rights detailed in the ‘Your rights and your preferences: Giving you choice and control’ Section 4 of this Policy.
If we learn that we have collected the Personal Data of a child under the age of 13 years, we will take reasonable steps to delete the Personal Data. This may require us to delete the Rulers of the Sea account for that child.
We will occasionally update this Policy. When we make material updates to this Policy, we will provide you with prominent notice as appropriate under the circumstances, e.g., by displaying a prominent notice within the Rulers of the Sea Services or by sending you an email.
Please, therefore, make sure you read any such notice carefully. Annually this Policy will be reviewed for accuracy and changes in GDPR. If no material changes are made, you will not be notified.
If you want to find out more about this Policy and how Deadeye Games B.V. uses your Personal Data, please visit the Privacy Center on RulersoftheSea.com to find out more.
Deadeye Games BV is the data processor for the purposes of the personal data processed under this Policy.