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The NTBI Conglomerate (also known as NTBI Group) is the partnership of Szym Motors/ TAHDA, Lusch Motors, LMD, MCC, GTMD, K-ACE, Gentek Technologies, Astaro and Tredpro. Founded in 2008, the partnership was created to acknowledge the union of these different creators and their brands as one creative faction. The majority of the products purchasable from these stores are directed at the modern roleplay nitche market of Second Life. When it was founded, SZYM, Lusch, LMD, Astaro and Tredpro were listed as members.
The first NTBI-related project was the creation and sale of attachment light kits produced by Tredpro for the LMD Interceptor and Enforcer in 2008. Later on, the stores of all NTBI brands (with the exception of LMD) were moved to one area to maximize store traffic by being placed alongside similar businesses.
In December of 2011, GTMD and K-ACE became members the partnership. In March 2012, MCC (Motor City Cars) also became a partner.
NTBI's newest brand is TAHDA Prefabricated. It was launched in December of 2011 and is operated/ created by Will Szymborska alongside the SZYM brand motor vehicle products. It sells a large collection of urban roleplay buildings.
While land by NTBI is shared, the costs each member contributes to group land fee's varys depending on their resource usage. NTBI does not share or split any profits. Instead, these are kept by each brand owner. The combined profits yearly of NTBI's brands have extended into the millions of Linden Dollars in value each year since 2008. It is one of the highest earning roleplay product partnerships in Second Life, proven by these statistics. It's competators include other emergency roleplay equipment companys as well as general vehicle brands that exist in Second Life.
SIGNIFICANCE AND MEANING
While the overall point of the partnership is to recognize all the listed companys are one group, the individual talents that make up the framework of the group include modelling, scripting, texturing, web design, machinima creation/ video editing, and others. Knowledge of these skills has helped improve the overall quality of all the associated brands at one time or another. Members are also contract product specific work between others to aide in their own projects. An example of this is the EVHUD, which is a NTBI-wide vehicle controls HUD which was created by Gentek and is shipped with every SZYM, ASTARO and LUSCH product. More importantly, the EVHUD simplifies HUD use with these products where previously, multiple HUD's were required for each brands products. Overall, the union of the said brands is aimed to improve quality and efficency of products sold by NTBI's members.
LMD, Lusch, SZYM, Astaro and MCC are established roleplay vehicle building business and are represented alongside Tredpro, GTMD, K-ACE and Gentek Technologies (roleplay equipment & misc. product creators). The products of the later include (but are not limited to) elevator systems, telephone/ radio communication systems, buildings/ prefabs, lighting, Siren/ Warning Systems, fire alarms and road signage. Popular NTBI products include the TPF (Tredpro/ Astaro) firefighting system, the SZYM Entourage, SZYM Paladin and SZYM Intruder, the Astaro Imperial, the LUSCH Tempo and others widely used throughout the roleplay community since 2007. The Gentek EVHUD, which is given free with NTBI vehicles, features a internal siren store that allows users to purchase and setup their own desired batches of siren sounds for use with all their NTBI vehicles. Since all NTBI vehicles now use the same protocols for siren/ light control, the EVHUD prevents users from having to switch between multiple HUDs when using various vehicles in rapid sucession.
OTHER PRODUCTS/ SERVICES
Also in March 2012, NTBI began production of its media brand "GBC" (Grid Broadcasting Network). Planned programming includes various roleplay news and general Second Life News.
Since 2008, all NTBI affiliated brands have been located in the region "Prototype". The region has previous featured race tracks and various other motoring themed backdrops. In late 2011, the theme was changed to feature a large mall area housing all the different brands by all content creators in one area.NTBI's Headquarters was located in Celaeno in 2008 - 2009, moved to Dominatium in 2010 then to Lionheart Mufasa in 2011. In 2012, it returned and was rebuilt at the same site it was originally located at. The NTBI Celano compound houses the offices for all NTBI brands, private residences of several NTBI affiliated employees and the studios for the GBC. It also features a list of other amenities.
SZYM, Astaro, Gentek & LUSCH have funded and hosted CGR (Cross Grid Rally, http://crossgridrally.webs.com/ ) two times. It is a gridwide mainland high speed rally style compeition. Competetors are evaluated on how long they take to complete a stage, each event consisting of multiple stages. The rally event planning each year has called for the development of grid-way point reading HUDs, setting up and funding START and FINISH locations for each stage, as well as route planning and merchandise. A trial event was hosted amongst several NTBI members in 2007, with official large scale rallies publicly held in 2008 and 2011. Attendies are required to pay a sign-up fee for participation in the event.
NTBI also hosted the 'UPDATE WAR' event at City of Concord in 2011 for the release of the new 2012 SZYM INTRUDER and the 2012 ASTARO IMPERIAL updates. After customers bought or recieved the product update, they were later asked to 'vote' for their favorite product by use of a voting booth in the prototype region.
The NTBI Security Service was NTBI's paid in-house protective staff for its properties including the home region, residences and was also responsible for carrying out close protection services to important company employees. It was founded in 2008 and was in service on and off until early 2011. Members were regularly trained to handle dangerous roleplay scenarios and avoid them while visiting sensitive roleplay sims. The staff was also responsible for driving NTBI owned vehicles and managing land ban lists, handling greifing incidents and other misc. duties. While there are still security service employees, the full-time nature of the NTBISS program is no longer in affect as of 2012.
The creators that makeup the NTBI Partnership include ac14 Hutson (Astaro/ Tredpro), Will Szymborska (SZYMMotors/ TAHDA), Owen Lusch (Lusch Motors), Nelson Jenkins (Gentek Technologies), Hal Berkmans (K-ACE), Adel Button (GTMD), Wolf Lumin (LMD) and Lyte Rae (Motor City Cars). NTBI's only paid staff member is Ozark Mayo (in charge of affiliate vendor requests and product support for SZYM, Astaro & Lusch).
CURRENT MAJOR PRODUCTS IN DEVELOPMENT
Gentek is currently developing the GNTK Mark1 Computer, which will be Second Life's first "official" working computer system. It will include file storage and creation, program storage and use, feature a color multi-charactor display, removable media, gaming, a terminal, text editing and plug-in's for control of GENTEK products TBA in addition to other features.
K-ACE is currently developing a gridwide television system in conjunction with Gentek to bring quality animated textures and synced sound to Second Life for roleplay use in simulation of realife television. It will feature multiple channels as well as some NTBI GBC programming, NTBI brand commercials and other self-made media.