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MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 05/06/03)  | Pub:CCP Games
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Senior Producer Interview

By Garrett Fuller on September 29, 2009 | Interviews | Comments

Senior Producer Interview
MMORPG.com:

Tell us about the Dominion Expansion.

Torfi Olafsson:

Our next expansion for EVE Online which will be our twelfth free expansion to our subscribers is called Dominion and it is coming out this winter and we're pretty excited about it. It is already on our test server Singularity. In Dominion our focus was providing tools and mechanisms for stories to emerge themselves. What that means is? As you are familiar with EVE is a sandbox heavy game. Our most cherished feature is the fact that our most interesting story is; our most compelling interactions come from alliances and players interacting with each other. So years ago we built a sovereignty system which allowed you to lay claim to solar systems, constellations, and regions. This system has been used a lot and has been the setting for many exciting battles and adventures in the game, but it was sorely needed an iteration. We knew and our players knew that it could be better, more cerebral, and more tactical. It needed a good polish. So we put our best people on collecting ideas and feedback from our community and our Council of Stellar Management and mixing those with ideas that had been brewing within the company for years. This manifested into a system that we feel is a highly engaging and an interesting system for claiming sovereignty, owning it, maintaining it, developing them and building infrastructure.

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MMORPG.com:

Tell us about the upcoming Fanfest you have planned in Iceland. What can fans expect?

Torfi Olafsson:

At Fan Fest we'll definitely be talking about Dominion. We'll have really interesting round tables and talks from developers about the thinking that went on into making the new expansion. We also want to collect feedback from people who will be there. There is a lot of excitement about CCP's upcoming console title DUST 514. There will be some big announcements on DUST 514 and some very cool stuff to see. That is pretty much all I can say. We are keeping a tight lid on it until Fan Fest.

MMORPG.com:

Can you talk about Ambulation; it has been a while since it was announced.

Torfi Olafsson:

Building an MMO is a highly complicated task. The interactions, the systems, and the interaction between the systems are far more challenging than a single player game that will be finished in thirty hours of game play. The initial plans for Ambulation did not lean very high on the game design part of it. It was more a venue for socializing and player interactions. As we went deeper into it our ambitions grew and we realized that since we were providing this extra dimension to game play we really wanted to make it as engaging as possible. So we are victims of our own ambition in that sense. We feel that we're going to release it when it is ready. We have people working on it. We are working on both the technology and the game design. I can tell you a little about it. Our approach to it to date is that you are a pod pilot in EVE. You spend most of your time locked in your pod, floating in goo. You are jacked into your ship. You can launch a volley of missile with a single thought. You can destroy industrial ships with a blink of an eye. You are almost god-like in how your ship is an extension of your mind and your will. That is the back ground. That is who you are. So for you to leave that ship and be thrown on the floor of a smelly, stinky, space station being nothing more than a weak human frail piece of flesh is both revolting to you and humiliating. So what is driving you to go into the stations is you go in there to do stuff which cannot register on any network, on any electronic communication network at all. So your reason for going into the space station is to go offline basically. So that is going to be the interaction with people in the dark smelly stations.


Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

I know a lot of game companies have been talking about playing offline. Or staying connected to the game offline. EVE has been a leader in keeping players connected to the game when not logged in. Can you talk about some of your plans to continue this format?

Torfi Olafsson:

Sure, we are developing a feature that we refer to internally as Cosmos, which is a web portal into the game. Which will give you access to your in game email, your corporation profile, your character profile, your contacts list etc. We're building the architecture in such a way that it directly talks to a server and on a road map we are looking at deep interactions with the game system, even going as far as changing skills, doing industry, working the market, interacting with everything that is not about blowing shit up. I travel a lot and I live on my Blackberry, I get frustrated, I want to go in there, I want to do stuff when I am sitting in an airport. It is annoying. So it is the way things are moving right now. We have always felt that the game is bigger than the client. Being able to interact with the game outside that regular client, it makes perfect sense to us.

MMORPG.com:

Give us a little taste of DUST 514. How is it going on the project?

Torfi Olafsson:

The DUST team is doing incredible work. From the demos, videos, the artwork that is coming out of that team, it is just amazing. They have managed to capture the essence of EVE and translate it into the console space and deepen it further, more than I ever expected. It is amazing seeing that previously unknown part of the EVE universe being born. So it is incredibly exciting for people like us, like me who has been on the team with the EVE world for a very long time. I've been here for years. I have been working on it for ten years and it is really exciting for me.

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