Introducing a new tech demo - EVE: Aether Wars
Greetings capsuleers of New Eden,
It's been a while since I wrote a dev blog and I thought it would be good to use my first one in some time to talk to the intrepid capsuleers of New Eden about some collaboration CCP is involved in that will hopefully chart a path to the next major revolution of the EVE technical-genome.
This is something that has been slowly coming together for about a year now and is about to have its first public moment in a couple of weeks. It’s a tech demo called EVE: Aether Wars and the aim is to make radical and drastic improvements to the technical infrastructure that power our internet spaceships.
For the first phase and potentially more, we have partnered up with Hadean, a UK-based tech company. These guys are on the cutting edge of developing the next generation of operating systems, completely based in the cloud with the potential for unprecedented scalability. You can read more about Hadean and their super ambitious vision for cloud based operating systems over on their website here.
At the same time as exploring exciting new avenues to improve the performance of EVE, we also need to stay grounded in the here and now. You can rest assured that we are also planning shorter to mid-term changes to improve the current state of EVE´s technical foundations, as you can read in the 64-bit blog that was released by the EVE Dev Team last week.
After a super-productive summit with the CSM, we’re also developing plans to address key community concerns including capital balance (and balance in general), wealth distribution, war declarations and the abundance of ISK faucets in New Eden. We will of course also be continuing the never-ending war on botting and RMT and are currently in the process of setting up a sizable internal taskforce to look at botting in more depth.
You’ll hear more about short to mid-term plans over the course of the next few weeks and months via dev blogs and announcements at EVE Invasion World Tour events, so stay tuned for more details.
The partnership with Hadean is about more drastic, fundamental changes and is currently in the domain of cutting-edge tech research and development. Given that it’s still in its early stages, it’s not possible to put any timeframe on at this point, or even if the various attempts will work out the way we want them to. I do believe though, that this type of activities will be huge steps in the process of making sure that EVE really is forever.
Watching you guys setting the Guinness world record last year was a bittersweet moment for me. On the one hand, watching the stream on Twitch and everything surrounding it left me in awe of the amazing social engineering mastery it takes to pull something like this off. You guys have spent decades honing your skills in this and this peak moment was a true testament of the ingenuity and cohesion of the EVE community. On the other hand, it was also the final nail in the coffin of a tech architecture we put together in 2002 when I was CTO of CCP.
While we have done a lot to keep up with you guys and there is still some progress we can make, if we want to realize the dream of 10,000+ pilot fleet fights then we need to accept that the current hamsters simply won’t do. We have developed new services in the past few years as micro-services outside EVE’s foundation framework (which is written in Stackless Python); but the core of New Eden is still full-mesh nodes in a super-computing cluster, where each node is a monolithic single-threaded application.
Shortly after 9-4RP2, I coincidentally met up with Craig and Rashid of Hadean. I have met a lot of smart people over the past decades attempting to tackle the problem of building cutting edge foundations for large scale virtual worlds, but nothing has really passed my filters. These guys were able to do so, and after a year of advising and knowledge sharing with them (e.g. CCP & Hadean - What Happens When Gaming Pioneers Meet Tech Pioneers!), we are taking the leap to see if the tech holds up.
So, I would like to invite you all on this journey with us as we start working together with the EVE: Aether Wars tech demo. There is no better gaming community on Earth to take on this monumental and ground-breaking mission. Our pilots are always at the forefront of treading new ground and you’re always happy to crush whatever challenges we throw your way!
EVE: Aether Wars tech demo
Later this month at GDC 2019 we will run a technical test to see if we can get 10,000 EVE internet spaceships fighting on Hadean’s Aether engine. If you'd like to participate, then sign up by simply visiting aetherengine.io/pvp-10k and providing your info.
Be warned though, what you will be experiencing is not a game, it´s not even a prototype of a game. This is the raw Aether engine with EVE spaceship assets and some interaction dynamics, which are nothing like EVE Online or EVE: Valkyrie. CCP is providing our visual assets for use in the Aether Engine, enabling Hadean to focus on addressing the challenges we face with large-scale online multiplayer environments. This will almost certainly blow up if you guys show up in force, so please do because R&D is about breaking things!
Imagine this like putting internet spaceships and the Aether engine into a particle accelerator and you are the force that will smash them together, break them into a billion pieces and from that we will find the next step and chart a path together to a new reality for EVE.
EVE Needs You! - Come Join Us For The Battle!
As previously mentioned, at GDC 2019 there will be a technical test to see if we can get 10,000 spaceships fighting on Hadean’s Aether engine. If you'd like to participate, then sign up by simply visiting aetherengine.io/pvp-10k and providing your info.
We'd like to see as many EVE players there as possible!
It’s been a long and epic journey to have EVE Online match the ambitions and ability of its amazing player base. We’re constantly fighting the unwinnable war to support our community's ingenuity, tenacity and love for New Eden.
We’ll have more information soon about this test, so stay tuned!
We’d love for you all to take this small step with us and make it a giant leap for EVE!