BB62: Walking in Stations

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 62nd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Niden (@niden_GMVA) tweeted this: “It’s not cool to want walking in stations, right?”

That tweet got a few positive agreements, but on the other side of the coin we have Xander Phoena of Crossing Zebras being mentioned in the current minutes: “Xander said that he would officially like to be documented as protesting any art time going to avatars instead of spaceships.”

What is and/or should be the future for walking in stations?

Of course, ‘is’ and ‘should be’ are two very different things when it comes to Walking in Stations. ‘Is’ is basically unknown to us as players and perhaps even a little misty when it comes to the devs within CCP itself at this point. CCP has continued churning out cosmetic clothing items for our 3 dimensional avatars here and there, populating the NeX and giving out codes for free jackets and things like that – which is cool. It probably doesn’t take too much time to make a new style of jacket in the art department, with templating and familiarity with the avatar engine, etc.

However, when we start talking about ‘Should Be’ when it comes to the future of Walking in Stations, we really begin to plunge into ‘Fearless’ CCP territory – and a certain part of me enjoys that. In fact, I’d wager that there are quite a lot of people who are still impressed by the potential of Walking in Stations and would like to see it more fully developed. Hell, other games got by for a pretty long time with almost nothing else to show but their own version of avatars walking around hangars, and raised quite a lot of money while doing so.

The next step for Walking in Stations should be undoubtedly to open that damn door in our Captain’s Quarters. When docked, guests of the station should be able to transition from their single player CQ to a multiplayer lobby. What should be in that lobby, you ask? At first it can be as little as just having other players and a shared voice chat. However, it isn’t hard to imagine some virtual board games getting developed to pass the time in stations – CCP already implemented one minigame within Eve, why not add another? This time, though, don’t be afraid to make it marginally more complicated than a Kindergarten-version-of-Minesweeper, guys. It’s okay, pretty sure we can handle it.

I’d also be interested in seeing the idea of exploring coupled with avatars in a more solid way. A lot of the backdrops to Relic and Data sites look amazing, and would make for some great horror-game-esque content if handled well within the Carbon engine. If there’s anyone left from the team that was developing World of Darkness, this is almost certainly what I’d stick them into a closet in Reykjavik to produce. With the engine already coded, it’d be a shame to not capitalize on it somehow within the Eve interface – at least, somehow meaning a way in which thousands of players don’t instantly start rioting.

In closing, I will say that the part of the Blog Banter prompt that stood out to me most wasn’t the topic, but the comment of Xander Phoena in the CSM Minutes. And for what it’s worth, I’d like to officially be documented as believing that the CSM shouldn’t make business decisions for CCP, up to and including the allocation of human resources towards revitalizing parts of the game that were created, then left to wither and die (isn’t iteration on game features what we all wanted anyways?).