Just a quickie.
Suppose you were driving from Los Angeles to New York. You know the overall goal: get to New York. You'd probably lay out a day-by-day plan on how to get there. But the plan would change from time to time based on road conditions, construction, toll roads you discovered, and rush hour conditions in some of the cities you passed through. But you'd lay down a general idea of the roads and interstates that you'd want to use. Each day would have a day's plan and you might even enlist a navigator to help you with the GPS or the maps and figure out how that day's driving worked within the overall plan.
Suppose you were developing a video game like EVE Online.
We know in general who's driving the overall "vision" of the game. That's CCP t0rfifrans. His eye seems to be fixed about four or five years down the road. But he's not a nuts-and-bolts guy, he's the creative director. We know who's in the driver's seat. That's CCP Ripley. Her eye is focused four or five months down the road. From everything I'm hearing, she's an excellent manager and ideal for helping a team meet a schedule set by someone else. But I also understand that she's not into the game as such either.
But who has their eye fixed in between? Who's making the decisions about what's going to be in the spring expansion, and what's going to be in the winter expansion? We know we're going to New York: that's t0rfi's job. We know about today's drive: that's Ripley's job. But who's keeping it in context? Who's making changes to the plan based on development realities or changing market conditions? In short, who's navigating?
I don't think it's CCP Unifex any more. This was his job. But I get the impression his promotion means he's more focused about how DUST and EVE interact, not the exact direction EVE is going. I don't think it's CCP Soundwave. I think he's a big part of advising whomever is making the decisions. But this year, he's been all but exclusively focused on the Unified Inventory and database topics. I don't think it's CCP Greyscale. He's gone from "I'd like to remove all jump bridges from null" in late 2010 to writing sweeping changes to null on a white-board in 2011 to "I'd like to remove all divisions from your Orca corporate hangar" in late 2012.
I don't have an answer to this question. Sometimes I don't have answers to the questions that I ask. But it sure would be interesting to know this particular answer! Does anyone know?
How can the CSM influence CCP's decision-makers if it's not clear who the decision-makers are? If decisions are being made by committee (as seems most likely), who's running the committee?
EDIT (13/Dec/2012): An anonymous commenter below assures me this role is being filled by Unifex. I've asked for a citation. This article assures me that this role is being filled by Soundwave, who is described as EVE's Lead Game Designer.