EVE Online development in 2013 and beyond
Hi everyone, I'm CCP Seagull.
CCP Unifex has asked me to take on the role of Senior Producer of EVE Online Development, to lead work on the product vision and roadmap for EVE Online. I’m humbled and honored to take on this job, and very excited for the future of EVE Online. To get a sense for what my plan is, here are some stakes in the ground for what we will do in 2013 and beyond:
Make themed expansions of what you can do in EVE Online
EVE is a universe where you can do all sorts of things, and we will continue improving stuff that’s already in the game and also expanding on what’s available to do. We'll do this with releases that are themed around some aspect of the New Eden universe and we will continue to develop EVE as a rich, coherent sci-fi world with a distinct and awe-inspiring look and deep setting.
This means that rather than having individual teams take on a particular system in the game, we will find a theme that can connect features and changes that touch multiple play styles in EVE across a spectrum of activities like exploration, industry, resource gathering and conflict.
Design for “Enablers” & “Instigators”
There are some people who make things work - they pre-fit ships for a fleet op, they run mega-spreadsheets for the industry production lines needed to equip the war effort, build tools to manage a corporation or command large fleets. Their activities enable others to have fun in EVE. And then there are some people who instigate big plans that others can help realize. Whether in null, low or high sec, the dreams and ambitions of these people inspire others with purpose.
We will start working to give the ”Enablers” better tools, and to make sure “Instigators” have cool and worthwhile ways to make an impact on the EVE universe when they inspire others to join them. We believe that helping these two archetypes achieve their own goals is the best way to have the sandbox of EVE thrive - by supporting them in creating their own exciting plans and schemes that people can be excited to join both when they arrive fresh out of a starter system or when they are looking for the next adventure in their ongoing EVE career.
Giving third party developers better tools and more powerful access through CREST will be a big part of making life better for ”Enablers”.
Ask "What should I do now?" a lot
We want to make EVE more accessible, but without making it casual, removing sophistication or dumbing it down. We think that today there are a lot of situations in EVE where you are left without any good answers when pondering what you should do next - unless you find someone already on the inside who can tell you. So for both new and experienced players, we'll be looking at what kind of answers we are providing to this question - both as a way to better point people to things that are already in the game, and as a way to find new features to develop for play styles or time requirements where we have gaps today.
So, what's next?
A point release currently planned for February 12th will introduce tweaks to Retribution features, war declarations and further ship balancing changes among other things. Further details will be published later in January.
The first thing that is happening for us as a development team in 2013 is that we are going into a pre-production phase for the summer expansion of EVE Online, where we establish what the theme will be and what features and changes will be part of that theme. We will involve the CSM in this process as one of the stakeholders, so make sure you use your representatives! You'll hear more from me in the beginning of 2013 about the progress of our work.
Who's this "we"?
While I will lead work on the vision and product direction for EVE Online, this game is created by a development team full of some of the most amazing people I've worked with - and their skills and passion will be as much part of the future of EVE as my producer work. CCP Unifex, CCP Ripley and I will be working closely together to make sure this great development team can ship you more of EVE Online.
So who's CCP Seagull, really?
You may know me from my work on CREST and the Devtrack at Fanfest. While Seagull is my dev name (it was the call sign of the first woman in space, if you were wondering), in that life outside CCP that I won't have from now on, my name is Andie Nordgren, and I've been with CCP since May 2010. Before that, I've done things like produce an Emmy-winning ARG, work on a hallucinatory mobile audio app, create comics about soldering, and work on the product concept for Soundcloud. I am fairly young as an EVE player, but old as a traveler in fictional worlds - I've been part of the Nordic Larp community for more than 10 years now, creating alternate realities in "meatspace". Nordic Larp is very much about creating ambitious fictional worlds that you can do stuff in, which makes a lot of the thinking tools developed in that design community relevant for EVE. Not so much for the gameplay in detail, but for thinking about how to make worlds that are interesting to be in, and where your actions can impact reality for other people who are in that same world.
I'll be hanging out in the comments thread for this post, to answer questions you may have - but some of the answers may need to wait because we might not have them until the pre-production phase is done. But ask away, and I'll see what I can do!
Thanks for your attention, and see you on the forum!
Senior Producer, EVE Online Development