BB #73: More EVE-Inspired Games, Please

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 73rd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are, please visit the Blog Banter page.

So soon™ we will have Eve Online, Valkyrie, Gunjack and the as yet untitled FPS to replace DUST514/Project Legion. Are we missing anything else? Are then any other games CCP should be looking into? Colony building simulators in the style of Sim City or Rimworld? Should it be on a grander scale link Civilization or Stronghold Kingdoms? How about RTS games like Command and Conquer? Survival games such as Rust? Planet-based combat like World of Tanks? Would you like to see other game types expanding the Eve Universe, or should CCP stick to what it knows?

More games inspired by the EVE universe? Yes, please!

At past Fanfests, CCP Games have displayed some EVE Online-inspired arcade games, which attendees could play. I always took the opportunity to give them a whirl, and they were fun, though they are laughably much less sophisticated than EVE Online, both in graphics quality and in gameplay.

EVE Offline, an EVE-inspired arcade game displayed at Fanfest 2013.

Still, despite their relative simple side-scrolling designs, I liked playing them, mostly because they were tenuously connected to the EVE universe. And I'm a sucker for just about anything fun that is somehow affiliated with EVE.

At last year's Fanfest, I had the opportunity to try the prototype Gunjack game, and though its gameplay was very similar in feel to the arcade games, it was a completely different and much more entertaining experience, thanks to the 3-D virtual reality design.

Would I have enjoyed Gunjack as much if it was not set in the EVE universe? I doubt it - using my turret to defend against an onslaught of EVE ships was a special thrill. If they had been generic sci-fi ships or monsters, I'm sure it would still be interesting, but not nearly as immersive for me, as I was already familiar with the enemy ship designs.

If CCP Games continues to leverage the art assets from the EVE Online world in other kinds of games, it can only help more players to feel that kind of connection to the EVE Universe. After more people play EVE: Valkyrie, for example, and become more familiar the ship designs, they will probably feel the kind of connection in another EVE-inspired title, even if they never try EVE Online.

In a previous blog post, I described an idea for a "game within the game" in EVE Online: an enhancement or replacement for planetary interaction that would simulate the struggle for capsuleer control of planetary surfaces - the opportunity to become a regent of an entire world, or of many worlds. I envisioned something that would play like a simplified version of multiplayer Civilization, integrated into the EVE Online client. But it wouldn't have to operate that way - it could be separated entirely from the EVE client, and run with a different interface altogether.

At one time, CCP Games played with the idea of mobile-device based games and services connected to EVE Online. But this project lost steam after CCP Unifex left. Perhaps it is time to take another look at this idea, and use different platforms to interact with different aspects of New Eden. Why can't I update my planetary interaction or market orders on my iPad, for example? Or use my mobile phone to log orders for planetary surface conquests within EVE Online?

When DUST 514 came out, I wanted to try it, but I don't own a game console and have no desire to get one. I play games on my PC. When Project Legion was described a couple Fanfests ago, I was excited, even though it was a kick in the teeth to the Playstation users. I'd like to be able to use my PC to play both EVE Online and whatever EVE-inspired first-person shooter that CCP ultimately releases. Ideally, I'd like to see these integrated into the same universe, but I'll play the EVE-inspired FPS even if it isn't directly connected to my exploits in EVE Online.

After the Incarna expansion disaster, CCP gave up on developing "walking in stations" - ever since, the station door in our captains quarters has remained closed. But now I wonder if CCP could build upon its expertise in VR development, and make the captains quarters and walking in stations a virtual reality experience?

Imagine docking in station, accessing the captains quarters, and then strapping on an Oculus Rift to experience that as a first-person three-dimensional virtual world, and then being able to open the door to interact with other player avatars in a realistic setting? I can see how players could interact in casinos and markets, talk to agents, or swap intel with each other. I can see how some games could be simulated into this virtual world. At Fanfest last year, CCP demonstrated a prototype VR game where two players hurled fireballs at each other - it was a lot of fun, once you got the hang of it. I can see how this could be expanded for use within a simulated station environment in EVE Online - perhaps even as Mind Clash bouts between players, with significant wagering options. I know I'd certainly give it a try.

The opportunity for more EVE-inspired games, either standalone or integrated in some way with EVE Online, is limitless. I hope CCP Games' new commercial ventures - EVE: Valkyrie and Gunjack - are successful, so they can continue to experiment with more game experience ideas. It's going to be a lot of fun to see where they go.

Fly safe! o7