Life in Polaris – Inside Scoop on the ‘other side’

By way of an introduction I want to write about life on the other side. I am one of the many new additions to CCP, having come from the ranks of players. I have given up a career and another well paid life to take my passion for Eve to the ultimate level and help develop it. I am Chronotis, newest member of the rapidly expanding Game Design Cell.

Whilst working my notice in my previous job, I had much trepidation about what was expected of me and what I expected of CCP. I am no stranger to high stress environments but admit to having visions of twenty hour work days and punishing delivery schedules. Thankfully those fears were dismissed within the first few hours of my first day.

Life at CCP

Having arrived the day before, fresh from a weekend of farewell parties, I jumped on a plane and arrived in the tropical climate of Iceland where the cold air worked wonders for my hangover. TomB and Hammerhead picked me up (and having introduced me to the Icelandic national food of hotdogs), we headed for CCP. I have not looked back since that day.

The working day varies but has a core time of 10am till 4pm on a flexitime basis. Being able to start work at 10am helps a lot in a place where bars do not close until 1am and is a big help in waking up when you work for a company which has a very active social life attached to it. Generally the average work day goes something like this:

10am – Breakfast at work, the awesome chefs have fruit, cereal, toast, yoghurt, croissants and sandwiches for the staff,

10-11am– Read and follow up email whilst browsing forums, check for new tasks assigned to me by TomB and Hammerhead,

11-12pm – Work on current tasks (designs for Revelations 2.0, maintenance of existing systems, testing changes on internal server),

12-12.30pm – Lunch, hot and cold food for us all,

12.30-1pm – Browse forums some more, log in and play a little eve (it's great to be able to change skills from work),

1-6pm – Continuing on current tasks, writing up designs, creating data, game design meetings, general brain storming around people’s desks and monitoring TRAC, our internal wiki system,

6-6.30pm – Dinner time! Hot food for us all (we can raid the kitchen anytime we want and have free coffee/tea/soft drinks/sandwiches),

The Evening – Play Eve, whore forums (old habits die hard!), and enjoy the camaraderie of the CCP staff.

CCP Social Life

We had a big team-building event last week, all of us went out to Blue Lagoon, had a swim and sauna followed by a meal and karaoke that involved singing CCP to the tune of YMCA (the Yanks sure do love their karaoke!). We have our own ‘Fun Committee’ which handles all the social events for the year ahead and of course there are always many people going out for drinks or meals practically every night.

As one of CCP's 'transplants', we also do the tourist stuff when we can, I hope to get out and do some exploring, hiking and see a lot of what Iceland has to offer besides the nightlife and beautiful women!

So what’s the pay like?

Thanks to CCP providing all our food, gym membership, handling our apartments and cheap stuff from the eve store, the only real expense I have currently is my existing credit card and beer. Intern pay equates to about 25 beers a week, more than enough for a light weight like me. It never helps to try and keep up with Icelanders or Sharkbait who are much more proficient at it and able to party till 7am, something I have not done since the days of running around university in a toga.

Life in Game Design Cell

I sit next to three new members of Game Design Cell who all started in 2007 as well; we are busy working on current systems, Revelations 2.0 and beyond. It requires a lot of brainstorming sessions and time creating design documents for review by our lead designers. My focus is specifically on Science and Industry. Most of my current ongoing tasks revolve around monitoring existing systems such as invention, blueprints and manufacture of any items.

Recently I have been working on –

Invention

My tasks include monitoring supplies of invention skills, components and the effect of invention on tech 2 items. Fixing bugs with invention (items that should be inventible but were not due to attribute errors or lack of blueprints to produce copies from) and preparing drones and ammo to be inventible.

Boosters

We want to make booster manufacture and use more attractive so a number of changes have been proposed with this in mind. Some of those have already been implemented such as pirate factions selling the two core skills used to manufacture the boosters.

Revelations 2.0

Over the last few weeks the whole team crunched to finalize designs to make them ready for programmer review. I don’t want to spoil to surprises for a future dev blog by Oveur, but it’s going to be cool. There are a lot of overdue improvements coming that, as a player recently turned dev, make me warm and fuzzy inside particularly on the corporation management side. It’s going to be a hot patch, literally!

In Closing

I hope I have given you all some insight into the other side and what a pleasure it is to developing the game we all love. I'm certain that I am in for one hell of a ride and experience as I settle in at the top of world, working amongst the very best in the business and for the very best community out there.

Signing off – Chronotis.