54: Development in a Vacuum

"Being stuck on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean definitely carves deep markings into the way we approach game design." Shannon Drake interviews Magnus Bergsson, of Icelandik developer CCP.

Development in a Vacuum

You're dead on Shannon. The freedom is both a scary thing to newbies (what do you mean I can fly any ship, do anything, train everything?) and an immense benefit to the older player base, who can switch careers when they get bored - I've been a miner, hauler, and trader so far, and I'm finally getting into PVP.

As for the fact that there isolation has been a benefit to them rather then a hindrance, that's what I discussed with Oveur (Nathan Richardsson) while in Vegas earlier this year at the EVE Gathering. The fact that Iceland is such small country, with a very unique culture and the fact that most of the early CCP team was from a telecommunication background also benefited the game early on.

Very curious about "other games" that they eventually get into. We've been hearing about it here and there, but nothing concrete so far.

Yea, Nathan was one of the guys we talked to at E3. What really impressed me, and what I hope I conveyed in the article, is how much everyone on the team knew and loved their game. Magnus was able to talk about big battles we'd flown in, because he'd been flying for an opposing corp, for example. It really was a lot like when you and your friends sit around and talk about a game, but they happen to actually run the game.

I've played EVE on and off since Beta, and I keep going back. While other MMOs tout their subscriber numbers, it also means that they have to cater to almost EVERYONE. EVE makes no apologies for it's complexity, and that strength of conviction on CCP's part is what makes EVE stand out. It may be the isolation, but for any developer these days to truely have the sack to "make the game that they want to play" is even more noteworthy.

Shannon Drake:
...What really impressed me, and what I hope I conveyed in the article, is how much everyone on the team knew and loved their game. Magnus was able to talk about big battles we'd flown in, because he'd been flying for an opposing corp, for example. It really was a lot like when you and your friends sit around and talk about a game, but they happen to actually run the game.

If that was your main intent, then it came across loud and clear. That and the fact that "freedom" for the players as well as the developers, is one of the most important concepts of EVE.

The Escapist has, since its beginning, well understood this little (but growing) MMO from Iceland; something mainstream gaming media has not, but we're getting there. That's probably due to the fact that a lot of its editors have or are playing it! Correct me if I'm wrong though! =)

When it comes to EVE, I'm like Fox Mulder: "I want to believe."

crazykinux:

Shannon Drake:
...What really impressed me, and what I hope I conveyed in the article, is how much everyone on the team knew and loved their game. Magnus was able to talk about big battles we'd flown in, because he'd been flying for an opposing corp, for example. It really was a lot like when you and your friends sit around and talk about a game, but they happen to actually run the game.

If that was your main intent, then it came across loud and clear. That and the fact that "freedom" for the players as well as the developers, is one of the most important concepts of EVE.

The Escapist has, since its beginning, well understood this little (but growing) MMO from Iceland; something mainstream gaming media has not, but we're getting there. That's probably due to the fact that a lot of its editors have or are playing it! Correct me if I'm wrong though! =)

Magnus is a pretty hardcore player, moreso than a lot of CCP. He certainly knows his game a lot more than the marketing drones who pump words for the big players in the industry.

- Z

 

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