Retrospective: How was the CSM Summit in Iceland?
In short, the answer to the question is nothing less than "The CSM4 summit in Iceland has been the best summit so far." The CSM1 summit was also very good, but for a different reason. Back then we were going in blind and much of the summit, although nowhere stated specifically, was about testing the theory and establishing work methods and traditions. The CSM2 summit was mostly about polishing and getting the small nuisances out of the way when it came to having the CSM and the CCP representatives talking together. After the CSM3 summit it was clear that further enhancements had to be done to the CSM as a whole, so we made several more steps there.
So, how was the fourth CSM summit different? Several key things were changed. First of all we had two days of CCP discussing current and future design ideas while we had only one for CSM3 and none for the first two. And not just discussing but brainstorming with the CSM. And not only that, because by having the CSM in Iceland so early in the development process of Tyrannis a subtle effect is noticeable in the overall design course EVE is on. Taking a conscious step backwards and have the CSM discuss macro designs and the general heading of EVE's development was taken.
Another change is that we had a dedicated secretary taking the minutes, instead of having the Secretary of the CSM taking them. That resulted in the minutes being published six days after the CSM was in Iceland! The minutes are available here. And it left the CSM secretary free to participate in the discussions as keeping up with 11 to 13 people is doable but leaves little room for the person to express itself.
As the minutes indicate there is solid progress going on with the CSM and you should all keep an eye on this space over the next weeks when we will give you further insight into it. Some quantitative data will be given out at a later date and the changes being made to the CSM will also be detailed.
But what did the CSM members feel about the summit?
Tim, aka Sokratesz commented that ''I was very skeptical initially, but the trip has convinced me that CCP has an active interest in the playerbase and is willing to listen. One of the best moments for me was when Noah CCP Hammer grabbed a pen to take notes during a heated debate between council members.'' He also noted that ''The goons weren't living up to their reputation. They were actually being useful''
Greg, aka Alekseyev Karrde states that "Making the CSM an official stakeholder in the development process was extremely significant. It will be in a much better position to address the long standing concerns of the player base while still remaining a valuable sounding board for CCP. From this, to our discussion with the GM department, to the sincere debates with CCP staff on features both large and small I believe we had an extremely productive summit."
Jason, aka TeaDaze: "I wasn't sure what to expect from the summit other than further debating the issues we'd already raised with CCP. I was pleasantly surprised that whilst we did spend over a full day on those issues that a large amount of the time was spent on discussion and feedback about current and future plans. I can see improvements in the CSM process but going forward it needs to gather even more support from the player base. If the stakeholder promise works out I think the CSM is in a good position to achieve something unique in the gaming world."
John, aka Zastrow, the only reelected member of the CSM has the word: "While there has been very little communication between CCP and the CSM between summits, at the summit it is very clear that CCP takes the CSM very seriously. For 3 days straight we sit down for all day meetings with the Executive Producer, Lead Game Designer, and a senior programmer and go over their proposals for the next expansion and our summit agenda."
Until the next blog!