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In YC110 Mixed Metaphor corporation declared war to stop distribution of the NHB Ultra Happy Chip™? It didn't work out.

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Author Topic: RIP - Captain's Quarters  (Read 1989 times)

Uriel Anteovnuecci

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #60 on: 20 Jan 2018, 14:08 »

T-T-Triple post!

Shit like this is why I quit, by the way. It was increasingly frustrating seeing the potential for us to pioneer a new kind of approach to narrative / worldbuilding / PvE design, the kind that if successfull would've potentially blazed trails in the industry...and instead, to be treated like I'm working on World of Warcraft. Other reasons too, but boy that was a big one.

 :bash: :bash: :psyccp:

Belatedly, hi Nick :) You left CCP before my time (and for good reasons it seems lol), but I just wanna toss in that tons of people are definitely still deeply enjoying the things you were instrumental in setting up~~

The deep-level mysteries and pseudo-alien feel of the Jove & Sleepers are what drew me into EVE in the first place, and they're definitely remained a huge part of what keeps me going. Inter-factional political strife is cool and important too, but you can't say EVE would be EVE without both of these types of lore ;)
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Uriel Anteovnuecci

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #61 on: 20 Jan 2018, 15:03 »

Ah, also (doing my own triple-post here), has anyone by chance thrown the "Hydrostatic Podcast" at you yet, Nick? The show has drastically reduced in frequency, but some of the episodes were probably some of the most informative & fun discussions of EVE lore we've had in a long time :)

These two in particular contained what was probably some of the best back-and-forth on Jove/Sleepers/Drifter lore we ever had:

Hydrostatic Podcast - Entosis Lore Panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reaTqvczfXg
Hydrostatic Podcast - Tiamat Lore Panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyT6CbG4LYg

And some voice clips from one episode were actually put into the Emergent Threats trailer Makoto linked here earlier, in fact~ (which was a pretty big highlight in life for me tbh) ;)
« Last Edit: 20 Jan 2018, 15:07 by Uriel Anteovnuecci »
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Samira Kernher

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #62 on: 20 Jan 2018, 16:04 »

Spoiler (hover to show)

This was a really good reply. Thank you. :)
« Last Edit: 20 Jan 2018, 16:05 by Samira Kernher »
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Mizhara

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #63 on: 20 Jan 2018, 18:26 »

Yeah, FurryFromAbove here is right, of course. Pure fluff would never be enough to solve everything perfectly, and I didn't mean to imply that it was. I was more thinking of that theoretical initial work being a road map that could be used as the framework for exactly that kind of more dynamic progression of New Eden. If the hurdles of bureaucracy and corporate politics could somehow be overcome, that storyline 'framework' hammered out by these interested and experienced people could be a driving force for what Nickles and Silly Vitalia is talking about. Raise a little hype and story about X faction and its Y actions through a few news pieces, then in an ideal world it really shouldn't require much dev time to do exactly the kinds of things DropTeddy and Aqua Velva Vitalia are mentioning.

... however, in lieu of a perfect world, I still think the closest thing to a 'realistically possible' hope we could have would be if CCP made more effective use of the quite significant resource we turbonerds who fucking love this setting are. I mean, look at us. A decade and a half in and we still nerd just as hard about this stuff as ever. We're probably more experienced with the setting than most of the devs by now, and collectively we've probably done more world-building and nerding over it than CCP has.

Best of all, from CCP's side of things... we're fucking paying them to do so. Talk about free labor. It wouldn't be easy, and it probably isn't even entirely possible, for the reasons you've mentioned like personal little internal kingdoms, lack of freedom to do a job without a lot of oversight and so on, but... it's almost depressing how this could be a very huge resource for CCP and the game.

Of course, it's not just 'push butan' right now. It could be, though. I can't even imagine it'd be difficult, if CCP's higher ups aren't being colossal dicks about certain things.

Makoto, by the way, that I'm waging a war against the Amarr bloc right now is in spite of the problems I've been mentioning. It's also damn near impossible to effectively do. This is a bit of a sidetrack, but somewhat relevant: I was talking to a guy in Electus Matari and the war came up, and also some structures I'd scouted out and noticed, etc. I mentioned that as a solo pilot, I'd have to resort to mercs to lay down any pain on those. (As it should be, you should never be able to take down citadels solo, even when unfit I feel.) His response to that was that he'd actually love to help out with that stuff, but most pilots in EM couldn't even enter Amarr space because of standings. It wasn't even that bad before, when you could just avoid the stuff with Amarr NPCs, but now you can't even do storylines etc without incurring negative faction standings.

This game now pretty actively discourage this kind of loyalist play.

All the best PvE rewards in this game? Gotta leave the nations behind for those. PvP on behalf of the nations? Wreck your standings so you can't even do stuff in enemy space really, and limited to a really bad warzone where T1 frigs and dessie is pretty permanently required to be the standard, or you'll be screwed hard. The best industry in the game happens in wormholes and Sov Null.

Loyalist gameplay is pretty discouraged, and pretty much all PvP players who like to roleplay end up in the null alliances, w-space alliances or the few lowsec specialists that still exists but as pirates. I'm not lamenting your ability to play as relatively neutral. I'm lamenting that it's pretty much mandatory if you're not going to be very much stuck in a rut there's no way out of without pretty much having to forgo said loyalist stance.

EDITED TO ADD: Storyline desperately needs more GRRR. Give Catiz a seizure and turn her into Catiz Rex damn it. This kind of setting thrives on conflict as a driver, and the nations could all be pretty badass in that regard.
« Last Edit: 20 Jan 2018, 18:35 by Mizhara »
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Ursa Dropsus

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #64 on: 20 Jan 2018, 22:21 »

Great points Miz.

What you’re preaching resonates with me a great deal. It’s exactly the kind of thing I tried to push for. There is a dichotomy in how CCP approaches its game that doesn’t do justice to its potential, and it doesn’t just apply to the PvP/PvE split like I was describing previously. It equally applies to the storyline too, as you suggest.

And it is very frustrating, especially given the unique opportunities that EVE (a single-server world) offers up. It makes player-driven storyline significantly easier for one, and profoundly more effective (relative to multiple instances ala World of Warcraft) for another. There’s even potentially the argument to be made this it’s only possible in a single server environment. This could be a huge “comparative advantage” for CCP in the MMO market – the only game capable of pulling this kind of thing off (cost-)effectively, perhaps even at all. It was so frustrating being unable to communicate the potential here to the Marketing guys.

If PvP is the embodiment of EVE Online, then PvE is far closer to World of Warcraft, as I was saying. And if the PvP driven content is the embodiment of “bottom-up” player-driven storyline, then the core storyline is the embodiment of traditional “top-down” narrative approaches – what I’d call the “Hollywood model”.

The Hollywood model is how narrative has been created forever; in film, in literature, and so on. This is almost necessarily how it must be in a passively-consumed non-interactive medium like a film or novel. Games offer the opportunity and potential for a different approach, however, due to their uniquely interactive nature.

In the Hollywood model, the author is the “god-creator” and hands down their narrative from on high like scripture to the grateful peasants (a top-down model). The player-driven model, by contrast, is a bottom-up approach. The role of the author is lessened to something closer to “demigod-secretary-gatekeeper”. While they might still throw down some narrative of their own and do so with a unique authority, they also serve another function: to take what offerings are placed at their feet and put it on a pedestal beside their own scripture.

And perhaps, therein lay one huge obstacle for me in pushing it. Some folks in storyline seemed to like being gods. Some seemed incapable of, or resistant to, imagining any other way. Some outright balked at the notion of giving such “power” to the players. Even White Wolf folks struggled to get it, despite a history of making tabletop games that echo the model of giving players tools to make their own stories.

Ego? Hubris? A lack of imagination? Distrust? I couldn’t ever understand why they weren’t pissing-my-pants excited about the prospect as I was, and I doubt I ever will. I am in no way throwing either of these guys under the bus because both are lovely humans, but I got the distinct impression that Tony and Abraxas weren’t warm to the idea, and they both had a lot of clout. I invoke their names only because it illustrates perhaps an important point. They and others had this whole-hearted embrace of the Hollywood model as the writers of EVE novels (and in the case of other storyline folks, as people who desperately wanted to have a crack at writing a novel too). I don’t fault them individually, but nonetheless was frustrated by the glorification of the novels as the pinnacle of “making it” in the storyline department. To me they were kind of vanity projects, in a sense, that pushed things further towards traditional approaches when we should’ve been boldly going in the exact opposite direction.

In the time since leaving I’ve also wondered if there was a political element I sucked at navigating (I was young and naïve in my time there, now I’m just old and naïve). I’m also pretty sure I did a terrible job of communicating all this. Perhaps the storyline crew felt threatened by the idea, and I didn’t do enough to assuage their fears. Who knows, ultimately.

But the whole purpose of Arek’Jalaan from my end was to demonstrate how this could work, and show just how much could be done with it. It was a rebellion against the traditional approach (hence its name, taken from player-created Caldari language that translates roughly as “to make a rebellion”, if I recall).
 
With just me, one developer, on the task (and only part time), and my player army of turbonerd content creators (who as you rightly point out are PAYING CCP TO WORK FOR THEM), I wanted to show just how much content we could shit out. The answer? A whole fucking lot. More than I anticipated, and more than I could handle at times, honestly. That’s why I set the EVElopedia project up and encouraged people to create content. I needed a body of work to show around internally. That’s also why, after we had created content, I then put some of it in-game: to show this wasn’t just fluff. Granted, it was in-game fluff, but that was only because I lacked any programming/art resources and not for any other reason. The whole thing was supposed to be a prototype that convinced people.   

Even with what amounted to working proof of the concept in front of them, few seemed convinced. I wasn’t taken very seriously in my time at CCP (probably as much my own fault in communicating, as it was a lack of vision). That’s around the time I lost hope and got out. I wouldn’t describe the lost opportunity personally as “almost” depressing. For me it was just…crushing. I was very depressed, very bitter, and so incredibly angry. It took a long time to get past it (years, honestly).

These days I study sustainability and it’s good for giving me perspective. As much as all this frustrates me, I’ve come to appreciate there are bigger problems in our world, and that gives me a strange kind of comfort to know. I may have fucked all this up, but there are bigger challenges, and brighter opportunities, ahead. I learned many lessons from my time at CCP that I think will help with all that.

There’s a YouTuber called CleanPrinceGaming who does video essays, often critiquing the industry. He recently claimed that the failure of Pokemon Go represents one of the biggest public failures of the industry in the last decade. I reached out to him and asked “Do you want to know what I think the biggest private/under-the-radar failing is? Cause I got a story for you!”. Perhaps one day this essay here will be a YouTube video that can inspire other developers and even gamers to push their studios for this kind of model. We’ll see~
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Ursa Dropsus

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #65 on: 20 Jan 2018, 22:23 »


Belatedly, hi Nick :) You left CCP before my time (and for good reasons it seems lol), but I just wanna toss in that tons of people are definitely still deeply enjoying the things you were instrumental in setting up~~

I'm super-glad to hear it!  :D I may listen to those podcasts on the bus sometime...or not. Some of this stuff, when I bask into it, it breaks my heart.  :P

@Samira, cheers. It does me some good to offload all this stuff. I'm glad folks appreciate the insights, imperfect as they are.
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Mizhara

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #66 on: 21 Jan 2018, 02:41 »

Don't really have much to add to that, other than looking forwards to the potential video essay.
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MakotoPriano

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #67 on: 21 Jan 2018, 12:31 »

There's certainly a balance, I think, when it comes to narrative. On one hand, some of it necessarily needs to be driven by development and production plans; on the other hand, players friggin' love it when they show up in the news, even if it's a casual mention of participants in a CCP-run event that they weren't necessarily driving.

What's more, I'd say the current story developers realize that the existing roleplay and lore communities loved A'J and the interaction it afforded, even as they realize the amount of work that'd go into it.

My hope is that Ragni, CCP Loki, will be able to start back up on the Scope News videos, even if it's at a lower production rate of once every few weeks, once a month. That was an amazing avenue for CCP notices of player happenings, and for pushing major news for development. :x
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Haruchai Vidaraltyr

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #68 on: 21 Jan 2018, 15:14 »

This is a really informative conversation, thank you all.

I've always been interested in why game companies don't utilise players for story development far more. As noted above, EvE seems particularly well placed for this.

I then recall that early in Ultima Online we had an initiative that might have developed into a model for this, the volunteer Companion program. That was brought to a screeching halt when some of the volunteers sued Origin for 'avoiding the minimum wage' 'unpaid overtime' and so forth. The program was promptly cancelled.

One wonders if game companies are significantly worried about the precedent, particularly in terms of intellectual property, copyright and the inevitable willingness of somebody to sue for something. If they only use employees, these legal concerns are removed.

I don't know the game industry well enough to claim that this has prevented all player contributions (in a formal relationship sense) but I've not heard of any major game that has that kind of relationship.
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Mizhara

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #69 on: 21 Jan 2018, 18:45 »

What's more, I'd say the current story developers realize that the existing roleplay and lore communities loved A'J and the interaction it afforded, even as they realize the amount of work that'd go into it.

My problem with A'J was that it forced loyalists to stop being loyalists if they wanted to be part of it, since there was no barrier to entry. The model was fine, but there would need to be some granularity and separation of things I feel. When it's more Angel, Gurista and Sani Sabik involved than anyone else, it becomes a bit of a "How the everloving hell can my character do anything but shoot at this?" thing.

To this day, Miz regrets heavily helping Hilen Tukoss get a defense fleet on his exodus. She wishes she'd shot him and his freighter down instead.
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MakotoPriano

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #70 on: 21 Jan 2018, 20:27 »

Miz, you can of course understand the interesting position Itsukame-Zainou is when it had involvement with the remains of Hilen Tukoss. ;)

That said, Dropbear, I think you'll be entertained to hear that we just concluded SeyCon YC120 at the Burreau Memorial Laboratory in Eram today. (yeah, we've moved it from Seyllin! It's a thing.)

Also, I took the liberty of messaging you some questions. Advice on how to organize things/inspire more participation/enable content creators would be much appreciated. :x
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Mizhara

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #71 on: 21 Jan 2018, 20:50 »

Burreau Memorial Laboratory in Eram today. (yeah, we've moved it from Seyllin! It's a thing.)

Could you like... move it back? So many baddies in my space, unshootable in a Citadel.
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MakotoPriano

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #72 on: 21 Jan 2018, 21:39 »

Sorry! Freeports. :(

If it's any consolation, specifically excluded Val until I could do a cargo scan to make sure no JOVE MEME WORMS shenanigans would be engaged in. ;)
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Ché Biko

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #73 on: 22 Jan 2018, 11:56 »

the kind of thing I tried to push for
Nick...stahp! I was and still am sad you left CCP. If you make me miss you any more I'm gonna cry.
 :cry: Wait, too late...
But I'm happy that things are working out for you with working on more serious stuff than internet spaceships. Keep it up.  :cube:
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-OOChé

Louella Dougans

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Re: RIP - Captain's Quarters
« Reply #74 on: 22 Jan 2018, 14:16 »

When it's more Angel, Gurista and Sani Sabik involved than anyone else, it becomes a bit of a "How the everloving hell can my character do anything but shoot at this?" thing.

Was that actually the case ?

from what I remember, most of the projects were from people who weren't especially "roleplayers".
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