Looking Back at 2018
Xenosystems 2018 in Review
A Letter from the Management
We’re a few weeks into 2019 and getting settled back into the regular swing of things; work, family, studies, etc. Our real life commitments differ for each member, but our commitment remains firm on allowing everyone to play together without sacrificing on the important things in our lives. Our stance on this won’t change, but it’s the subject of an ongoing conversation that becomes more relevant as we grow – but more on this as we progress through the letter. First, let’s look at what we’ve achieved in 2018.
In the space of 11 months, our organisation has grown from a vision shared by two founders, into a group comprised of 75 members from many different walks of life and locations around our beautiful, blue planet. Some of us are affiliates, some of us are still testing the waters, but many of us have become friends in the course of the year, adding a level of fulfilment we couldn’t be happier with.
A significant portion of our current team joined in the last few months of 2018, particularly around the latest patch-releases, the anniversary sale and the winter holidays. One of the hazards of taking on new members during these times of heightened excitement (which are common in the ongoing development of Star Citizen) is that it doesn’t reflect the periodic nature of interest shared by many in the community. This can lead to misconceptions of expected levels of activity. Couple this with the split between those playing the PU and the PTU and it becomes even harder to create activities that please everyone.
What this means is that, while we only exist as a Star Citizen organisation, it is difficult to maintain ongoing interest and activity with the limited gameplay options that we currently have available to us. Our management team of Directors and Founders has been generating regular events both in-house and with our partners, but member interest has been relatively sparse.This isn’t a criticism of our members. It’s simply a reality that we face.
What we’d love to know is “what are the barriers to participation for everyone?” so we can try and work around whatever obstacles we share. We’ll be starting to reach out on an individual basis to find out more, but hopefully we can get a better handle on this in the coming months to ensure everyone is enjoying the experiences they signed up for. If it’s a matter of “the gameplay I want to participate in isn’t implemented yet” there won’t be much we can do about it, but at least we’ll know the reasons for anyone not actively involved in our usual events. We’ll come back to activity some more, further on.
All in all, we see our rate of growth, and the quality of the members that have joined our team, as a huge positive. Our expectations have been exceeded in every possible way. We’re committed to ensuring that we don’t become another big org where no one knows each other, but we’ll need your help to make sure that doesn’t happen. Let’s build a responsive team, with everyone involved, together.
While nothing is set in stone, we’re doing our best to create a self-sustaining structure to our organisation that allows for real-life flexibility, but doesn’t limit anyone’s exposure to significant variety of gameplay that we’ll be involved in. We’re aiming for a mission-based framework to allow members to commit to certain missions/projects for predefined periods of time. This should reduce needless voyages across systems and provide sufficient amounts of time-flexibility for groups and individuals to work around their availability.
We think that this focus, on mission teams and project teams, will reduce a need for a traditional hierarchical approach to leadership, which is neither sustainable or enjoyable for anyone involved. We’ll still maintain some top-down direction, but only in a sense that the management will provide guidance and support to achieve our objectives. We aim to fly together as equals and friends, rather than managerial-egos and their subordinates. This doesn’t mean that anarchy will rule the day. Every mission or project will have a designated leadership role which members can assume on a flexible basis, so that we limit the detrimental side-effects of a fully democratic system, where a lack of rapid consensus might result in our space-people dying or suffering costly damage to their deployed assets.
Very early on, we received critical support, guidance and friendship from the Unified Armistice Association (UNARAS), led by Brewen Shaw. UNARAS is a service-based organisation which aims to promote diplomacy and humanitarianism throughout the verse, funding its own Altruistic Division through its luxury Aerozenith travel Division.
Through our association with UNARAS we became aware of the Citizen’s Coffee Company (CITCCO), run by Marshal Quinn, and began our relationship as an affiliated organisation within their professional network, comprised of hundreds of lawful organisations capable of sharing job postings and available contracts. Since then, the owners and operators of the CCC, ArmorEx (ARMOREX), invited us to become full-time partners in the running of the Coffee Company’s events program and future development. We’re still in the early stages of this new partnership, but we’re wholeheartedly looking forward to bringing value to their team and growing this fantastic, gameplay-oriented network right alongside them.
Other notable relationships are being developed with organisations such as Homestead Industries (HOMESTEAD) and Norseline (NORSELINE), with whom we hope to enjoy countless hours of cooperative gameplay, once the mechanisms for what we want to achieve are implemented into the game.
We’re extremely proud of these friends and partnerships we’ve made this year. We couldn’t have grown the way we have without them. As such, we’re very grateful to be part of their digital lives and we’re looking forward to keeping close in the years to come.
Projects & Events
How will we be leaders in our field? How will we succeed in our chosen endeavours? How can we equip our teams so that they can thrive within the ‘Verse?
These are questions we’re continuously asking ourselves. It’s one of the reasons that sets us apart from many of the other organisations out there. We’re driven to think ahead and develop the tools that we’ll need to maintain our future competitive edge. This can be seen in our release of the Star Systems Database, a matrix of information pulled from the Ark starmap and carefully crafted to collect data and extract insights, leads and opportunities. Another example is that our website is already capable of managing a limitless property portfolio, built in anticipation of land-claim mechanics being built into the game engine. You can also find the first iteration of our events calendar, featured on our website, where we will continue to populate more and more events in the weeks and months to come.
These are the most notable projects that we’ve successfully laid the groundwork for in 2018 and they are tools which we will continue to build upon in the coming years. We’re looking to work with programmers and create gameplay opportunities around these tools to keep them relevant and accessible for all.
For the time being, the future looks good. Star Citizen’s and S42’s development is looking to be filled with exciting new features with each patch release, throughout the year, and we’ll be looking to exploit and enjoy all those new features as they come online. However, there are fundamental challenges that we’re going to face together, and many that we are already being confronted with. We’d like to take this opportunity to address the one which is the most important in our eyes: How do we build the team?
The short answer is “together.”
We won’t achieve anything, let alone anything noteworthy, unless we come together and act on our initiative. As a real-life-first organisation, we will never be able to rely on a rigid management structure. We will never be capable of (or want) micromanagement. We’ll only be as great as the sum-total of our parts.
So, we’d like to appeal to you, our teammates: In order for all us us to realise the vision of Xenosystems Exploration & Survey, we’ll need to do it together.
In practical terms, this means that if you want to play with others in the verse, reach out and create a group. Organise times with others in your timezone. Be bold and meet your fellow org-mates. Tap a director or a founder as well. We like gaming, too, and we don’t consider ourselves above or better than anyone else.
If you don’t see any events that are in your timezone, set up a poll for others who work and sleep during the same hours as you do, and we can add anything to our events calendar for you.
Don’t restrict yourself to playing Star Citizen. We know there’s not a lot to do, at the moment. If you want to set up gaming nights for any other titles, we’ll support it. We won’t lose our Star Citizen focus, but there’s nothing wrong with getting to know each other whilst enjoying different games. Anything that strengthens the bonds of cooperation and fun within the organisation is something we’ll wholeheartedly support.
And lastly, we just want to say how excited we are to have you with us on what is undoubtedly going to be a wild ride. Thanks for joining our team. We’re looking forward to having an awesome time with you in 2019.
Happy New Year,
The Xenosystems Management
Information about the company:
Xenosystems Exploration & Survey provides a complete range of mineral extraction solutions to its partners and clients, based on its successes with data-driven prospecting. This includes the sale of mineral property assets, contract mining and refining, as well as the building of industrial outposts.
Known for its innovations, long-term strategic thinking and professionalism, the company embodies continuous-improvement practices and is extremely committed to the atmosphere it creates for its members.