Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The vision thing

Author's note: The following post was written before I read the CSM December Summit Minutes.  It might therefore be invalidated in whole or in part by what I find there.  If so, I will issue a correction then.  There are only so many hours in a day, even for me.  ;-)

Cripes, this is turning out to be a busy week.

As I said yesterday, CCP is clearly preparing for a major marketing push.  The target: you and I.  They've got some ideas about where they want to go with this game, but don't want to scare us off and they don't want to make us angry.  In their current delicate state, that could be wounding or fatal.  So they have to get buy-in on their plans from all of us.  The timing of the marketing push is partially coincidence, partially fate.  A lot of what CCP has to say to us is clearly going to be in the CSM December Summit Minutes.  As that gets released in public, they also had to release the coinciding dev-blogs... and, as it turned out, a piece in EON Magazine as well.

The subject of the EON piece was CCP's new... let me make sure I have this right... Senior Producer of EVE Online Development, aka CCP Seagull, aka Andie Nordgren.

CCP Seagull.  Photo credit EON Magazine.
Their property / copyright, no infringment intended.
Two quickies first, one joking, one serious.  Before the Venture was released, it was apparently intended to be called the "Dasher."  The CSM objected to a ship named after a reindeer, so CCP (unaware of the connection) renamed it.  CCP Seagull is a manager who clearly isn't too familiar with the U.S. jokes about "seagull managers."  I kid, I kid...

The more serious one: completely coincidentally, last month I wrote a piece ("You are the navigator") in which I asked who was driving EVE's overall development.  CSM members were quick to comment on the post that they knew the answer but weren't sure if they could tell me the answer based on the :NDA:.  In that piece, I mentioned that the owner of the EVE vision appeared to be CCP t0rfifrans.(1)  And now it looks like I was completely wrong because it sure looks like CCP Seagull is taking over that role.

The EON piece is pure promotional fluff.  The interviewer doesn't quite ask Seagull "Why are you so awesome?", but it's a pretty close thing.  But it also hints that CCP Ripley has been demoted very slightly to something called Development Director.  Unifex's own dev-blog confirms that impression.  The navigator post has one thing correct: Ripley is going to be the manager that drives the schedules set by Unifex and Seagull.  Where Unifex's responsibility stops and Seagull's starts, though, is a tiny bit more blurry.  Seagull reports to Unifex, that much is clear enough.  But where will the decisions originate?  Not as clear.

One other thing that is clear, though: Seagull is the visionary.  She's the one tasked by Unifex to look at the game as more than a set of existing features and play styles and come up with a picture of what EVE is about, rather than what EVE is like.  We all know what EVE is like: EVE's interface and controls make it very hard to love.  But when it comes to what EVE is about?

EVE players love what EVE is about.

It's a subtle distinction, and you know what?  That subtle distinction is apparently Seagull's job description: she has to rebuild EVE keeping what EVE is about while improving what EVE is like.  For myself, I've got to say that's quite an interesting way to think about the game!  Heaven knows I hadn't thought of it that way.  But the more I think about it, the more I like it.  A lot.


(1) I also made a joke about how torfi was "getting us to New York" that it took people a while to get.  Subtle humor is such a lost art.  ;-)

11 comments:

  1. Seagull = Valentina Tereshkova

    Now you know.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Unfortunately, the vision doesn't seem to contain modular, scalable POSes anymore (in the foreseeable future, at least).

    Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Read CSM minutes looking for validation of my view that the CSM is nothing more than a group of useful idiots used by CCP as part of their public relations efforts.

    Left satisfied after 20 pages. What a crock of shit the CSM is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Left satisfied after 20 pages. What a crock of shit the _this_ CSM is."

      FYP

      Delete
  4. They can't expand the playerbase, because everything is overcrowded already.
    You can't do Nullsec, because the blue blob claims it all (well, you can join the blue blob maybe).
    You can't do anything in lowsec, because you will die
    You can't go to a wormhole as a new player (if you find one unoccupied...I doubt it)
    You can't do exploration, because there is fierce competition in Hisec (and the old players have Tengus)
    Leaves missions and mining in Hisec. Which will become boring very soon.
    So without expanding the universe (factor 5 maybe?) there is no room for new players.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good luck to CCP going forward. An obvious counterpart to CCP Unifex would be CCP Unibrow. She does seem to be rather caught up in CREST, though, and the suggestion that CCP has changed their view on out-of-game skill queue management is a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the valuable insight Jester!:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. "The CSM objected to a ship named after a reindeer"

    There is a metaphor for CSM7 in that.

    Would they similarly threaten to vote Hans off the island, should they be given the power, since his last name contains the name of a reindeer as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the interest of transparency - my only objection was that they picked the -wrong- reindeer. :)

      Delete
  8. is that seriously a pic of CCP Seagull? looks like a 12 yr old boy and the name andie really makes me want to agree with that but I keep seeing references to she.. any chance on clarification/age/better pic??

    Also, if you stopped reading the minutes after 20 pages, then you basically missed EVERYTHING mr anonymous. CSM is at least trying and doing a damn good job from what I can tell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is CCP Seagull. What's your point?

      Delete

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