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Emerging Patterns: Charting EVE Online's Evolution
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Emerging Patterns: Charting EVE Online's Evolution

September 23, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

It is exciting, because it's something that no one else is really doing. You just turned your game into a shared universe between two games, running two fundamentally different game types in the same universe. That's highly innovative.

TFO: It is really exciting. It goes back to the fact that EVE is single shard. We have always had these discussions, and we've been tempted, but always, "No. One world." If your name is XXX-Death in EVE, than you are that guy in EVE. You're not just on that particular server, that shard in the U.S. region, or whatever. And that has allowed us to see socioeconomic structures which you simply can't see in other games.

Kjartan Pierre Emilsson, our lead designer, our original EVE designer, he's a PhD in chaos physics, and he studied emergence. That was the topic of his dissertation.

And he talks about patterns in nature that only emerge at particular scales. Like vortices, the red dot in Jupiter, you wouldn't see that pattern emerge on a planet the size of Earth. There are just particular patterns that only appear at certain sizes.

The same with communities and sizes. Like towns, they have certain patterns, and cities. And once you start going over 50,000 people or 100,000 people, there are patterns -- just like small towns and cities -- patterns that just could not exist in these small communities.

So, that's what so exciting about EVE. And having this influx of new players through Dust makes it still more exciting.

Something I've gathered across different conversations I've had with different people at CCP, is while you started to lay down the foundations for Dust in 2008, you still could only implement certain things in your game as it reaches these complexity levels or population levels. You have to try to anticipate, or stay ready for, when things can actually emerge from the way the universe works.

TFO: Yeah. The best thing is we can look. We can predict, but we truly don't know. So, we have to keep an incredibly tight relationship with our community. Both watch all the analytics of our server, but also listen to the community and react to both.

Then you have the CSM, which is a whole other story.

TFO: Exactly.

You have a deeply engaged player base who has certain expectations for the game, and you're also going to try to, from my understanding, create that kind of level of engagement in a shooter player base.

TFO: Right.

It's just ambitious to say you want to create a shooter and get people to care about it as much as they care about EVE.

TFO: Well, I mean, 15 years ago, people wouldn't have told you that somebody would care about as much about EVE as they do about an MMO. Or 20 years ago, before MMOs existed. We think the shooter market is ready for this. People want to do this. They have been assembling in clans, and they've been fighting, but never for a proper purpose -- always for a position on a leaderboard, or some random achievement. But conquering the universe with tens of thousands of other people? That's just mind-numbingly cool, I think.

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