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Ambitious Plans: The Marriage of EVE and Dust
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Ambitious Plans: The Marriage of EVE and Dust

September 2, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

EVE is well known for having a high level of player involvement and engagement, and people being very focused, all the way up to the people joining the CSM. This is a game that people really care about. Are you aiming for the same level of player involvement with Dust?

TF: I think yes and no. We use the same kind of security level system. So, you know, when you're entering the game in High Sec, you don't have as committed an experience, where you can come in and start to learn the ropes and start to make some ISK and learn about fitting and fitting your character.

So, for some players, that might be enough. It might just be these incredibly focused lone wolf players that just want to be the master mercenary. They can always get paid to fight in Null Sec, but they might not be involved in planetary management and things like that.

But they still get to be involved in that meaningful conflict. They're just not running it themselves. Through the different security levels, we support different types of players.

Player progression is going to be part of it, I anticipate.

TF: I mean, it's similar to what you see in EVE. There's a lot of players in High Sec, but a lot of the gameplay is driven from Null Sec.

The last time I spoke to [lead designer] Noah [Ward] he spoke about what EVE's been trying to do more recently -- adding a more accessible layer.

TF: The difficulty cliff. [laughs]

Yeah, the difficulty cliff. You have the benefit of coming in with the perspective of knowing where things are going already with EVE and what you want to accomplish. You have the perspective years of data of EVE and how EVE operates, where you're aiming.

TF: And I also think we wanted to get more people involved in New Eden, in the universe of EVE. The universe is attractive and interesting. I've heard people say, "I'm fascinated by the universe, but I can't give it that time investment that it deserves or that it needs." So, that's really something we're trying to offer with Dust. It is more accessible.

Through the connection to that universe and to the players of EVE, you still become part of that meaningful world.

It's a very appealing thought that through different styles of gameplay, you can plug into a universe that's got a robustness. Just like in real life, some people want to be musicians, and some people want to be astrophysicists.

TF: Actually, in an earlier version of that [Dust] presentation, I had slides of us talking about what we were thinking. It was like, "Okay, so we want to build this kind of persistent shooter that has meaning. What are we going to need to do that? Okay, we're going to need a huge persistent universe populated by thousands of players that's got like politics and intrigue and all of this stuff." You think, "Damn, that's going to be really bloody hard to create. But, oh, lucky -- we've already got one!" [laughs]

It's interesting because going to a console, you just might have this group of people who might be attracted to the game because they look at it and see a really nicely polished sci-fi shooter. "I can download this." Sure, they might be into Battlefield or whatever, and they might just want to flip over to Dust when it arrives. Maybe they'll get sucked in; maybe they won't. That's got to be a concern for you.

TF: Making an experience that captures people.

Yeah, captures people. Ultimately, not everyone is going to realize, up front, what you're offering. Especially when things like TV commercials are going to be like, dudes running through a battlefield shooting each other. People just might think, "Oh, this kind of looks like Halo," or Killzone, or whatever.

TF: I think when it comes to how we promote the game and stuff like that, we need to lean our focus toward that. That's kind of what we're trying to do with the movies and stuff, to show that link. Maybe we need to be more outspoken about that aspect of the game, because I think that's really where the game needs to grip you.

You know, it is through being exposed to that universe, just looking at the star map and realizing, "Oh, hang on a minute, this is kind of physically located somewhere. You know, these statistics that I'm reading on the screen, that's all real stuff."

Even when you're just using, say, the Battle Finder, which operates through the star map. We keep trying to expose the player to the actual universe, so they can see, "Okay, so I found the battle. The battle is here." It's not like this thing on the list, you know with a ping time next to it. "It's here. It's in this spot right here." [laughs]

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