The key line in his forum post?
- The look, feel, and general impressions on the Captain's Quarters as a replacement for the current hangar-view
Oh sure. CCP Tanis and the other members of the dev team will say that this is isn't "Walking in Stations." It's just the first tiny bit. It's one Captain's Quarters, on one station, on a test server, with no other environments completed or possibly even started. The total distance you'll be able to walk might be a whole dozen steps. But at the end of the day, there are only three numbers that are going to matter to the Captain's Quarters. All three numbers measure time:
- FOUR YEARS. This is how long, in most estimates, CCP has been working on this.
- THIRTY SECONDS. This is the amount of time that it takes a mission runner to dock, complete an active mission, request a new one, accept it, change out hardeners, and undock in his mission ship while waiting out the first session timer.
- SIXTY SECONDS. This is the amount of time that it takes a PvPer to dock, wait out the first session timer, then drag a new ship to fly on top of the old ship, then click the undock button, then wait out the second session timer before appearing in space, ready to fight.
Make no mistake: CCP is betting their company on those three numbers.
If you have to (::takes a deep breath::) undock, wait for the catwalk to load, walk down the catwalk, wait for a door to open, wait for the CQ environment to load, walk into the CQ, walk to a screen, bring up a user interface, select your mission agent or ship, wait through several more interfaces, click a Submit button, walk back across the room, wait for a door to open, wait for the catwalk environment to load, walk down the catwalk, and then look up at your ship to reboard?
Yeah. If that happens, God help the Incarna team. TeaDaze's ghost will appear and eviscerate them body and soul, and Tea isn't even dead. ;-)
Out in New York, there's a new Broadway musical you've probably heard of: Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.
Traditionally, musicals on Broadway have several preview showings before they officially open. These preview performances are intended to work out the kinks in the production, let the actors get used to performing in front of audiences, let the director identify and correct gaps in the marks, and so forth. These previews are held without critics weighing in on the production in public. The New York press patiently waits for the preview period to end, and only when Opening Night comes do the reviews start to appear.
Spider-Man is going a bit differently. ;-) It was supposed to open in November 2010. Preview performances began. They were widely panned on the Internet. Changes were made to the production, then more changes. Opening Night was delayed, then delayed again. Then delayed again. Yet more preview performances were scheduled. There have been more than 100 of these now. Finally, the New York press gave up. Scathing reviews began appearing. It still hasn't officially opened. It won't officially open until June.
The producers of the show were outraged when the press reviews began appearing. "We're still in previews!" they cried. "When are you going to get out of previews?" the press replied calmly and reasonably. The public's opinion of the show was already hardening thanks to the instant gratification Internet era. The mainstream Broadway press was in serious danger of being made completely irrelevant. And with so many preview performances, critics and potential customers weren't prepared to give the show's producers any more slack. To be frank, they weren't going to wait around for seven months.
This is the position that CCP now finds itself in.
And they don't get to say "we're still in previews!" because everyone knows CCP has been working on this thing for four years.
They've only got one chance to get it right, and if CCP hasn't kept an eye on those thirty seconds and those sixty seconds, then whatever they have been keeping an eye on for the last four years isn't going to matter.
More on this topic in a day or two, after I've tried it out, but I've got my fingers crossed. ;-) I really want this to succeed. As I've said already, EVE needs it.