Triggersoft / Seven Hearts / R.O.S.E. Online History

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Triggersoft / Seven Hearts / R.O.S.E. Online History

Postby Fred on Thu Jan 04, 2024 5:46 pm

I see that there was a fair amount of value placed on this game by many people over the years and in the early days of its international existence. I thought I would hereby briefly outline the history that is not so well known. This will make many realise why it is that this game went down in 2005 and did not get any more loving development. The game officially turns 20 years old if you consider the first post on the beta website (source) (copy) as the start of its existence on 21/11/2003.

Thank you to titanRose's game master Donan for discovering the GameMeca 2003 article and the information regarding the R.O.S.E. Online Taiwan lawsuit.

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Triggersoft was a company that developed computer games for the South Korean market from about 1995 to 2001, also reaching our market with the Diablo clone Akuma: Demon Spawn around 1998. From 2002 the company went largely silent while it was transitioning from packaged computer games to online games with the title Seven Hearts. The entire workforce was turned around during this period. The company had about 20 employees (source) (copy), with everyone being a developer. Even the director was just a developer. One of the two directors left in 2002 for both personal and career-oriented reasons. (source) (copy)

Here is a video tour of the offices in the year 2000:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=ULkP5PLVc50

The first person is director Kim MoonKue who is pretty much the father of R.O.S.E. Online. The third person is director Jung Musik who left in 2002.

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The first public showing of Triggersoft their new game called Seven Hearts came in an article by GameMeca written on 25/09/2003:

https://gamemeca.com/view.php?gid=45239 (copy)

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Not a little longer followed the beta website. You can still visit it in part on the internet archive:

https://web.archive.org/web/20031123084 ... arts.co.kr (copy)

On 28 October 2003 Triggersoft had signed a contract with Gravity to publish their game. They had considered a few publishers but had chosen Gravity because of their experience with Ragnorak. (source) (copy) This was Gravity's first third-party game they were going to publish. Triggersoft was tied to certain conditions. They had 22 months to get the game fully finished and each period such as closed and open beta releases were assigned a date. If these conditions were not met Gravity could state non-compliance and claim compensation. This financially or if not possible, in shares:

https://contracts.onecle.com/gravity/tr ... 0.28.shtml (copy part 1) (copy part 2) (copy part 3) (copy part 4)

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A total of four closed betas were released. Each beta was active for one to two weeks, with the game being open for a certain time throughout the day. This was done from January until August 2004. Only if you achieved a sufficient level were you allowed to move on to the next beta. (source) (copy)

In the first beta there were no classes. Only melee combat was possible. The sun was always shining. A few beginner environments were available including Adventurer's Plain, Valley of Luxem Tower, Canyon City of Zant and Breezy Hills.

In subsequent beta releases classes and a day and night cycle were introduced. The login screen and character selection screen were also added. (source) (copy)

More missions, environments and skills were also put in. (source) (copy) The transport system was included. Enemies could now use skills. The latest beta brought with it the change of name to R.O.S.E. Online.

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In September 2004 the open beta for South Korea was made available, and to the surprise of many the Japanese open beta was also announced. The following statistics were communicated with the world regarding the South Korean opening:

"Rose Online had more than 6,000 concurrent users within 30 minutes of opening the server, more than 10,000 at 15:00, and more than 15,000 at 17:00, and as students were dismissed from school in the afternoon, the number of concurrent users began a steeper upward curve, reaching 27,000 by 23:00. In response, Gravity will be adding two more world servers in the coming days."

They had many servers and channels to accommodate this. One of their servers was even only allowed for adults. (source) (copy) The star-like environment Birth Island was developed to deal with the bottleneck by letting everyone start at a different point in the game. (source) (copy) During this period, the Castle Gear transport system, the Goblin Cave environment and the planet Luna were introduced. (source) (copy)

The game received a lot of attention and was highlighted at many events. One event even featured official Choropy and Moldie merchandise. Another event featured a giant Castle Gear prop.

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Early 2005 is where it started for most here. Exactly on the first day of the year the international beta opened. Around this time the Korean version of the game transitioned from the beta to the commercial release and got a shop of digital goods right from the start.

Shortly after this, we experienced the end of the game as we loved it. Gravity already had a reputation in South Korea for being a commercially aggressive company. Certain Seven Hearts review pages show sceptical comments from people that they should be careful because it is a game published by Gravity, the same developer of Ragnorak. (source) (copy part one) (copy part two) Triggersoft was now dealing with a very different corporate culture and was fairly under pressure by Gravity, mainly because of those contract terms they had to comply with.

As many of you know a reset had happened in the game in May 2005. (source) (copy) After this reset, there was no sign of any employee at all within the game, and the problems that the reset was supposed to solve were only amplified. This is because Triggersoft had lost their last independence. Gravity had managed to gain complete control over Triggersoft:

May 3, 2005 - Share Transfer Agreement
https://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/131 ... xv4w10.htm (copy)

Here officially ends Triggersoft R.O.S.E. Online, and further development can now be considered Gravity R.O.S.E. Online. Many of you understandably disagreed with this because the quality of the game only deteriorated. The publisher of R.O.S.E. Online Taiwan disagreed as well and took Gravity to court. In 2009, this publisher won the lawsuit because Gravity had supplied them with a game that did not reflect the game demonstrated in the international version of R.O.S.E. Online. (source) (copy)

In 2007, Gravity brought the company Triggersoft to an end, although it primarily already faced its demise in 2005:

"TriggerSoft Corporation went into liquidation in May 2007 and the liquidation was completed in October 2007." - GRAVITY CO, LTD (copy)

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Here is some additional information to show how big the game actually was. And what some of the developers later achieved.

Gravity launched a "G-Learning" project using R.O.S.E. Online to aid in studying mathematics in schools. Both in South Korea and The United States of America.

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Lead programmer Cho Wook-sang later started his own studio with the game Heva Online which had taken an awful lot of characteristic from R.O.S.E. Online. (source) (copy)

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Office photos during the game's development around the time of the fourth beta in the middle of 2004.

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The game received manga releases under Gravity in 2006.

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A list of all R.O.S.E. Online releases.

http://narose.free.fr/forum/g_serveurs.php (copy part one) (copy part two)

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For those who still have not read enough can here see how the graphical platform developer spent his time in his student years just before being hired by Triggersoft in 2002.

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=6082 (copy part one) (copy part two)

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Fred
Little soul
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