Fanfest 2014 - A Festival for the Best of Fans
CCP Legion here to bring you a detailed look of what’s happening at this year’s Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland 1-3 May. This blog will give an overview of the session schedule and all of the different events during and around Fanfest.
EVE Fanfest is the annual gathering of those who call New Eden their home—whether cunning capsuleers in EVE Online, deadly mercenaries in DUST 514 , or aspiring pilots in EVE: Valkyrie . It is three days stuffed with presentations, roundtables and special events where developers and players interact, swap stories and revel in a unique camaraderie in the northernmost capital of the world
Eleven years ago Fanfest started as a humble gathering for the early players of EVE Online and it has since grown and expanded into something much bigger. With three games represented, fans are guaranteed quality and breadth of content and fun. The mostest fun.
Ask anyone at the CCP what their favorite time of the year is, they will say Fanfest. It is not just the players who look forward to attending, it’s a highlight for us developers as well because interacting with the community is both the soul of our games and a thrilling reward. Even though everyone is hard at work on their projects, presentations and plans are still falling into place for the greatest celebration in all of gaming.
What’s on the session menu?
The core of Fanfest is the smaller sessions bracketed by larger game-specific presentations, where our dev teams reveal new information and explore all manner of topics.
Many of the popular EVE Online sessions from previous years are making a return: presentations on EVE’s economy, ship and module balance, performance and security; panels for game design, art, community and the CSM; roundtables on fan-favorite topics like wormholes, null sec, art and many more. On top of this there are many unique sessions as well as a few player-hosted talks, such as a fleet commander’s view of the Bloodbath of B-R5RB.
The EVE Online keynote taking place Friday afternoon will detail what is coming during the summer period and touch on the journey ahead. On top of that, there will be sessions to explore the summer release’s key theme of industry.
If you are a DUST 514 fan, Friday and Saturday offer non-stop presentations and roundtables on DUST’s future vision, progression, graphics, sandbox experience and more. During the day on Friday, the DUST 514 keynote will highlight future plans for the game.
At last year’s Fanfest, CCP unveiled “EVE-VR”, a prototype dogfighting experience designed for virtual reality. Since then the concept has made huge strides and is now in full development as EVE: Valkyrie, slated for release for Oculus Rift on PC and Sony’s “Project Morpheus” on the PlayStation 4. The EVE: Valkyrie keynote on Thursday afternoon will detail where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. Afterwards, the development team will host several more intimate sessions discussing topics ranging from the challenges faced in creating a brand new type of game, to the art of EVE: Valkyrie, to how the game was first conceived.
On Saturday afternoon the CCP Presents keynote will cover all the other topics surrounding CCP and the EVE Universe, from CSM election results, to player gatherings, to Fanfest 2015 dates and of course the Fanfest trailer!
What else is there?
In addition to the sessions taking place during the day, there are many other activities that contribute to the magic of Fanfest. Things kick off on Wednesday and run straight through Sunday.
Last year, the night before Fanfest featured the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra playing the EVE Online sound track. This year we will unveil the EVE Monument on Wednesday @ 17:00, honoring all EVE players throughout the years and those that contributed to the EVE universe in one way or another. If you want to read more about “Worlds Within a World,” you can check www.eve.com/monument. If you will be in Reykjavik during Fanfest or any point in the future, be sure to visit it!
For those wanting to see the amazing nature of Iceland without missing a beat of the other action, you can join in on the Golden Circle with a Dev tour. This popular excursion introduces you to some of the best known historical sites and natural phenomena in Iceland, including the mighty Gullfoss waterfall and the original Geysir. Last year more than 500 attendees took part and if you want to join in on the fun this year you can find out more here. The attendees will be back in Reykjavik in time for the EVE Monument unveiling at 17:00, so you don’t have to miss anything.
On Thursday evening CCP will again host the Charity Dinner in support of Get-Well Gamers, a charity formed in 2001 with the goal of bringing video game systems and games to children’s hospitals. This sold-out event will take place in the restaurant on the top floor of the Fanfest venue where participants break bread with CCP developers for a great cause.
“That's it, man. Game over, man! Game over! What the [fudge] are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?” We suggest heading to the local cinema Bio Paradis where we’ve arranged a screening of Aliens at 20:00 for those who want to up their space vibe levels.
If you are in the mood for some excellent live music, CCP Hunter will be performing at Café Rósenberg at 21:00.
If instead you want to warm up your vocal chords for the coming days of mingling and debating, there will be a Karaoke Party at Harlem Bar at 21:00.
Not everyone coming to Iceland wants to discuss the intricacies of ship fittings or market dynamics. For those wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, or just friends, we offer the opportunity to go on the Sisters of EVE excursion to see the beauty of Iceland. This full day adventure of the south coast of Iceland in super jeeps includes a glacier hike, beautiful waterfalls, black beaches, geothermal power and more. You can book your tickets and find out more here.
If you browsed through the schedule already, the EVE OF DESTRUCTION event on Friday evening probably caught your eye. CCP has been a proud sponsor of the local Icelandic MMA fighter Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson as he has traveled around the world defeating opponents left and right (12-0-1) in a glorious and emotionless Viking fashion. During the EVE OF DESTRUCTION event he will face his biggest challenge yet, as he takes on the toughest CCP developers and some special guests one by one in a submission wrestling event. Witness the limitless ferocity of our developers and their chiseled physiques in the ultimate showdown--a rare sport of game developer MMA! I’m definitely not going to miss this and neither should you.
After the fight of the millennia, the legendary "Pub Crawl With a Dev" procession begins. In this annual event, attendees lay siege to Reykjavik’s nightlife in squads accompanied by CCP developers/mascots, inevitably ending with fuzzy heads and pangs of regret the next morning. This night is all about having fun and enjoying Reykjavik. There are still a few tickets left to take part in this epic evening, so it is not too late to reserve yours!
…armor down, we’re into structure!
Last year we had several exciting guest presenters speak about how we can “Make EVE Real.” The tradition continues this year with another exciting presentation on how the reality of New Eden is actually closer than we have imagined. Les Johnson’s "Going Interstellar" talk will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by interstellar travel.
The finale of Fanfest is the "Party at the Top of the World" on Saturday night. This year features turbo-charged performances from international and local live bands and DJs, including; Z-Trip, Ásgeir and FM Belfast! Last year DJ Z-Trip blew the roof off Harpa and this world class DJ and founder of the mashup movement will be making a return appearance this year.
All the activities and parties do take their toll, but luckily Iceland has one of the best hangover cures in the world: the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa and its soothing, milky blue waters. The Blue Lagoon Hangover Party takes place on Sunday with unearthly blue waters nursing tired dance muscles and aching heads to the sound of more live performances. Last year this event was sold out with nearly 400 attendees. It is a unique event, you won’t find an experience like this anywhere else.
On top of the sessions and other activities, there are multiple things to see and experience throughout Fanfest. Here’s a list of most of them.
- Like last year there will be a dedicated gaming area where you will find arcade machines, board and card games, foosball tables and other activities.
- Hands-on and/or tournaments for EVE Online, DUST 514, and EVE: Valkyrie
- CCP artists will be doing live portrait drawings of attendees, as well as hosting one-on-one ship design sessions.
- There will be a QR code hunt to have a chance to win swag, beverages and other special prizes.
- The tattoo station will be present again this year, giving you the chance to ink up EVE style!
- If a tattoo sounds too permanent, you can drop by the EVE Hair & Makeup Station to get properly customized for Fanfest.
- A Character Customization booth will put you into space thanks to the inexplicable magic of green screens.
- The silent auction makes a return with even more unique items, with proceeds going to the Get-Well Gamers charity.
- The EVE Store offers spectacular EVE Universe wares for the discerning purchaser.
- The Poker Tournament will be hosted in a slightly different manner this year. Instead of one big tournament where you have to commit 3-4 hours, we will be hosting several smaller sit-and-go charity tournaments throughout Fanfest. These should take you less than an hour but still give you the chance for prizes and glory.
- Fanfest attendees will receive discounts at various bars, restaurants and other venues throughout Reykjavik. Be on the lookout for any Fanfest Partner signs you see!
If you are not able to come to Reykjavik this year, fear not as EVE TV will keep you covered throughout the event. CCP will be live streaming sessions, hosting interviews and covering all of Fanfest from the opening moments to the final party. You can watch the standard definition stream for free on our Twitch.TV channel. If you prefer high definition or want access to other perks and unique in-game EVE items, you can purchase the HD stream for a one-time fee of USD 19.95 or one PLEX. For more details and benefits you can check out the HD-stream page. Keep your eyes open for another dev blog coming out before Fanfest which will detail the EVE TV schedule and what you can expect.
On 24 April at 18:00 UTC we will host a live pre-Fanfest event via Twitch.TV to preview what fans can expect at the event. Join hosts CCP Guard and CCP Mimic as they grill developers from all our games and try to get them to spill the beans early.
If you are having a watching party, you can send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org, but please make sure they are “safe for work.” If you aren’t at Fanfest, holding a watching party or chatting it up in an in game channel while checking out the stream, you are probably doing it wrong.
Due to a potential strike by the Association of Airport Employees in Iceland, your travel to Iceland may be impacted. We recommend anyone flying into Iceland keep an eye on the airport website and get in touch with their airline before departure.
See you soon!
Fanfest is next week and hopefully this blog has given you an overview of what you can expect to see and experience this year, even if you aren’t physically attending. If you want to discuss any Fanfest related topics, you can use the comments thread for this blog, find me on Twitter @CCP_Legion or come join the Fanfest roundtable on Saturday to talk to our new lead event organizer CCP Curtis and myself.
If you see me walking around the venue or sitting in a pub, don’t hesitate to come talk to me or any other developer for that matter, that’s what we are there for!
See you there!