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.
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. ;-)