Singapore, 27 March 2002 – You can now play a pivotal role in unifying ancient China as part of a new locally developed online bilingual game. StarHub Internet, GIME International and Cyber Business Network (CBN) have teamed up to introduce Century of Three Kingdoms (C3K), a massively-multiplayer game (see Editor’s Note) where thousands of players can simultaneously compete and/or cooperate with one another as they try to unify a divided China.
C3K, which comes in English and Chinese languages, combines elements of real-time strategy and role-playing in a persistent universe (see Editor’s Note). The game is based on actual Chinese history (from 179 AD to 280 AD) as well as the Chinese classic, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and will essentially emphasise cooperation, communications and community development. The game will be available in all StarHub shops and participating outlets from 29 March 2002.
GIME International is the developer of C3K with both StarHub Internet and CBN acting as strategic marketing partners in Singapore. C3K is the first in a series of new multi-player games that will be hosted on StarHub Internet’s gaming portal ( http://gaming.starhub.net.sg ) as part of StarHub Internet’s move into a truly interactive e-lifestyle platform.
"Online entertainment is one of the major drivers in Singapore that has encouraged people to adopt an active e-lifestyle. StarHub Internet is thrilled to be involved in a game that will expand on that trend with a theme that will surely capture the hearts and minds of Singapore gamers," said Mr David Ho, Assistant Vice President, Product Marketing, StarHub Internet. "C3K also signals the start of a new phase for StarHub Internet to provide interactive IP-based multimedia content and applications to Singapore's vibrant Internet culture - online entertainment being the cornerstone of that strategy."
"The massively-multiplayer online gaming scene is a vast untapped market for Asia and we are confident that C3K will chart its own course in the gaming industry by being distinctive in two ways," said Mr Oliver Wu, President, GIME International.
"First, as one of a very few massively-multiplayer online strategy games that has an in-built persistent-universe game design, and second, that it integrates both Chinese- and English-speaking communities on the same platform."
Gamers will be able to purchase and play the game by the following ways (also see Editor’s Note):
Through CD-ROM Starter Kits and Game Cards . The CD-ROM starter kits and game cards can be found at all StarHub shops and participating outlets. A CD-ROM starter kit with five hours of free game time will cost S$4.90. Alternatively, gamers can purchase Game Cards at S$19.00 each for 30 consecutive days of game time and receive the CD-ROM starter kit for free. Once the 30 days are over, gamers will have to purchase another Game Card in order to continue playing;
Online Through Secured Credit Card Payment Gateway Provided By CBN. Customers can sign-up for the game at: http://gaming.starhub.net.sg/c3k/ . The monthly subscription is S$19.00 for one Game Key Code. Each Game Key Code will allow the customer to play the game for 30 consecutive days. Currently, only VISA and MasterCard transactions are recognised. For new players, the CD-ROM starter kit (with an extra five hours of free game time) will be delivered free to them via regular post. They may also download the 147MB game from StarHub Internet’s gaming portal;
Online Through StarHub Internet Billing . StarHub Internet paying customers (Access and Mail-Plan Users only) can sign-up for the game at: http://gaming.starhub.net.sg/c3k/). The monthly subscription is S$19 for 30 consecutive days. For new players, the CD-ROM starter kit (with an extra five hours of free game time) will be delivered free to them via regular post. They may also download the game from StarHub Internet’s gaming portal.
Commented Ms Caroline Ee-Lee, Chief Operating Officer, CBN, "We’re excited to be part of this world-class online strategy game. The interest in online gaming is very strong and the market is very large. We are confident that this game will be successful through its innovative design, addictive gameplay and focus on virtual community development."
What does ‘massively-multiplayer’ mean?
Traditional multiplayer online games allow 2 to 32 gamers to compete or cooperate with each other at any one time (depending on the game). A ‘massively-multiplayer’ game allows hundreds, even thousands, of players to play the game at any one time. Examples of massively-multiplayer games include EverQuest, Asheron’s Call and Ultima Online.
What is a ‘persistent universe’?
Traditional online games tend to end when players quit from the game. In a persistent universe game, the game does not end but continues to operate independently through pre-set instructions given by the player. This is achieved by having the game reside on the game developer’s server, which does not rely on inputs from the player’s PC. All massively-multiplayer games feature this persistent universe characteristic.
What are the features of C3K? Features of the C3K game include:
- Control of up to 10 troops at one time - each troop is able to have up to 20,000 soldier units. These troops can range from foot soldiers to archers and cavalry. Optimisation of troop formations, troop training and unit morale is essential. Weather/geographical effects will also affect troop movement, morale and performance;
- A comprehensive, yet simple-to-use spell-casting system allows players to change the weather and affect ground formations. There are more than 20 offensive and defensive spells;
- A complex war support system which integrates economic, diplomatic and government mechanics into the gameplay;
- A sophisticated player-to-player communications system that integrates web chat functionalities within the game. The game also features a unique multi-lingual emote system which enables Chinese- and English-speaking players to interact with each other in the game;
- Intelligent non-player characters that can help or hinder players with the mission objectives. The artificial intelligence system will also take over the player characters once they log off from the game;
- The game also features strong server technologies that are able to support thousands of players in one single game.
- Minimum system requirements for the game are as follows – Pentium II 166 Mhz, Windows 95/98/2000/XP, 32MB RAM, 200 MB Hard Drive Space and 14.4kbps Modem.
- Note that the BETA version of C3K will no longer function once the game officially launches on 29 March 2002.
Where can I obtain the game?
- All StarHub shops (StarHub Centre, Tampines Mall and OUB Centre);
- Tec-Drome (Sim Lim Square);
- Harvey Norman (Millenia Walk, Suntec City, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Hougang Mall, North Point, Bukit Panjang Plaza, and Parkway Parade);
- E+G (Raffles City, Tampines Mall);
- Goland Books (Great World City);
- FunCraft (International Plaza);
- Ouni InfoHighway (Sim Lim Square)
What activities will you have to celebrate the launch of C3K?
To celebrate the launch of C3K, StarHub Internet, CBN and GIME International will have exclusive promotions for the game. These are:
For the first 2000 customers:
- If they purchase 2 Game Cards (@S$38.00) at any participating outlets, they will get a third Game Card free. The CD-ROM starter kit will also be given free.
- For credit card purchases, if customers subscribe to 2 Game Key Codes (@S$38.00), they will get a third Game Key Code for free. The CD-ROM starter kit will also be given free.
- For payment through StarHub Internet billing, customers can sign up for the game @S$19.00 per month and they will get the first month of game play free. The CD-ROM starter kit will also be given free.
For the first 500 registered customers that have created a Game ID and Online Character, they will get an exclusive C3K Cloth Map of ancient China free. Note that this offer is not extended to those who only purchased the CD-ROM starter kit and use the five free hours of game play.
StarHub Internet, CBN and GIME International will also be organising the C3K online competition. The competition starts from 29 March 2002 onwards and will challenge Singapore gamers to unify ancient China as quickly as possible.
- The first Singapore player who manages to unite ancient China and becomes Emperor will win a cash prize of S$2,000.00.
- The Top 10 ranked players at http://gaming.starhub.net.sg/c3k/ will each win S$200.00.
- 10 players will also be able to win S$100.00 each in a lucky draw held on the day when ancient China is unified within the game.
- Note: this competition is not open to players who only purchase the CD-ROM start kit and use the five free hours of game play.