Smá brot úr greininni sem ég fann á Eve foruminu…

When you're at the hard man's edge of the viking colonies, the unexpected is expected. Just not this. “Come you've got to see how we create worlds,” speaks our genial host in ever perfect English, leading us into the kitchen.
Edge is presented with the following sight:a slightly murky fishtank rests by the window, overlooking sunny Reykjavik. Above it is affixed an expensive digital camera. Into this voluminous container, two of the team's artists are scooping foodstuffs:a layer of milk, Pollock-styled splatters of jam, yoghurt, long circles of golden syrup. They are being manipulated by a lenghty twig. When a suitably organic array is formed, a photo is taken. This image is then taken into photoshop, manipulated and coloured appropriately, and imported into the engine. And a beautifuk, completely-random organic gas-sphere is formed. Providing again that ‘Blue Peter’-level tech beats the best rendering Hollywood can offer.
Edge is impressed. And, looking at the golden syrup jar, more than a bit peckish.CCP is currently approaching the first beta-testing of it's massively multiplayer online epic space game Eve: The Second Genesis and busily thinking outside the box. Just not always outside it's cereal boxes.
You really wouldn't expect less from a team formed and staffed in Iceland-a country where there's a massive bandwidth penetration and where, according to some surveys, 80 percent still believe in the existence of elves. CCP is the speartip of the Icelandic gaming industry. Moreover it's the entire spear, being the only major developer of note in the isle. This has several advantages in the process., “Since the population is small, you know anyone who knows anything about something,” explains chief technology officer Hilmar Petursson, grinning. “And it's very easy to keep them together, as there's no distractions from other games companies.”
while the aim of the Elite influenced game in which galaxies of space pirates may interact in a freeform fashion has been a holy grail for videogamers, and bandied around in conversation, Eve's roots lie back in 1995. Then, according to lead designer, Dr Kjartan Pierre Emilsson, the idea for Eve was “simply doing some kind of 3D Elite with better graphics and multiplayer”. This eureka was prior to the formation of CCP, when the core of the team splintered from an icelandic internet-boom company. The script and form were hammered out in 1997, with the rest of CCP slowly forming around this template. Elite for the next generation-or at least in theme. Having returned to the 80's wireframe motherload, Kjartan acknowledges how times have changed, “I realised by visiting nostalgic things like that it reduces them. It's better to keep it good like it is in the memory, but try to recreate the same feeling today.”
However, while Elite is the formative cause, it's far from the only influence. When asked about the early developement of Eve, art director Reynir Hardarson elaborates at length on the influence of his time spwent on Ultima Online and it's effect on coalescing what they wished to create. Copared to latecomers to the online world, Ultima is, according to reynir; a harsh place.


Whearas in everquest, it's impossible to be attacked by a fellow player unless you choose to have a player-killing flag on, in Ultima everyone's vulnerable. This lead to a genuine demonisation of the players who would prey on other players. they were-make no doubt about this-hated.
Reynir describes how the majority of anti-social players, who rather than attempting to roleplay in codfantasy ‘thees’ and ‘thous’, would speak in the ever-popular string of net shorthands and l33t-speak. Players who wished to live in peace argued that they were spoiling the fun for everyone, and started to wipe them out. However, argues Reynir, this says someting far more important about the possibilities of a freeform closed system in gaming. “The meta-game which came out of that was the struggle between good and evil. You had the players who spoke hacker-speech as the bad guys and the roleplayers as the nice guys who spoke elvish. This tremendously expanded the depth of the game, as you weren't fighting a computer-controlled artificial evil, but were fighting something you really, really hated. And you got an incredible kick out of killing the people who were spoiling the game for everyone.”
It's a convincing argument. You can only hate the Evil Bydo empire so much-it's far easier to loathe another human being who is trying to make your life hell. Reynir points out that this modern foible for online roleplaying games to be cooperative is an anomaly. “All the multiplayer games are abut playing against an opponent-and if you take that away from a massively multiplayer game, what have you left?” This turned Eve's vision into a player-versus-player warfare ona a galactic level for the highest stakes. Conflict would, primarily, come from the players and so, provoke a truly immersive universe.
“You can never enforce roleplaying, but you will find yourself doing so in Eve , because the setting is part of the game-not just a mood,” says Reynir. “You're involved, through the missions.” In other words, you're defined by your actions in the system, not the ephemera that surrounds you.
So Eve has created a deeply compelling world full of factions which interact with the player through a contact and mission system. At the start of the game, you choose between which of the 15 major organisations you're aligned to, which provides you with a contact who'll offer suitable tasks. While, at low level, this involves minimal interaction or competition with other players, allowing people to dabble in the 50,000 solar-body star galaxy that makes up Eve's playfield, swiftly you find your interests clashing with others, both computer-controlled and human.
After succeeding on a number of missions, you're provided with a new contact higher up the organisation-and the jobs you choose define which contact you rwach. Naturall, rasing your popularity with one organisation will lead to lowering it with their opponents, and the whole mission-system can be side-stepped by performing critical actions. For example, if you find a powerful pirate and annihilate him from the space lanes, expect Eve's equivalent of Interpol to contact you. As a system, it recalls Grand Theft Auto -another useful reference point when thinking about the similarly dark Eve.
And equally, this ties into the facet of reputation. Kjartan stresses, “The goal ogf the game is respect. That's the most important thing. Respect is earned mostly through money. Everything can be bought. Everything has a price.” To say the least, Eve has a brutally capatilistic edge. While the missions provide a structure for slow investigation into the world, the actual players experience of play in the world manifests in either low, medium or high-scale interactions. The low-scale play includes events such as space combat and mining, and involves direct conflict with one another. Medium scale events occur when a player has ammased sufficient funds to purchase real-estate such as factories or space stations, or fees capable of fulfilling contracts. Rather than having an infinite economy, Eve relies on player actions to create all the items in the world. Resources must be gathered from planets, transferred to factories and constructed into the useful tools for sale-and people can make a profitable niche on any one of these levels.
Finally, when basic trading is not enough, there is the high sclae battle between corporations, controlling trade-routes and owning solar systems, each consisting of many individuals who've chosen to co-operate. Due to the game world being constructed in a manner akin to a Risk board-withjumpgates in each system leading to a small number of others-it's possible tro secure areas and secure you're domain.
Three things about the corporations strike Edge as fascinating. Firstly, this large-scale and game-defining structure is created ingame through the implementation of very simple systems. A secure payment and a secure voting system for corporations allow payment for any interaction or service the player can consider to offer.
Secondly, most interaction between corporations will happen outside the game-through e-mail, message boards and late night threatening phone-calls. Rarely has Sony's ‘I have conquered worlds’ slogan seemed so apposite. By day you could be a mild mannered games journalist, but by night you're the most feared robber baron in the galaxy.
And, thirdly, the corporations already exist and are playing the meta-game of political intrigue without the Eve galaxy at all, proto-Microsofts in waiting. As Kjartan notes, the central question Eve asks is simple, “Can you ove the genre of space-simulation from being just combat to this very large-scale kind of gaming?”
And large-scale is isEve all over. While games are all about creating coherent worlds that exist in and of their own rules, Reynir, a founder member of CCP, is sure of the sort of world they wish to create. “What we found lacking in the big sci-fi things, is the realism of ‘Blade Runner’. We look more to ‘Alien’ or ‘Blade Runner’ in style and mood. We don't like the humanoid alien. in our world, it's a dark world; a cold, harsh world. Not just one with good or evil-they're all sort of dark and decadent. We wanted to make it a believable world with stories and politics and no aliens.” He grins, “Well-alien lifeforms, but no ‘Star Trek’. You go into combat, and it's not going to be Wagner, industrial techno or really hard drum and bass.” So dark, then.
As Edge leaves Iceland, we leave CCP working to create it's fetishistically charged capitalistic universe, where friends just mean “enemies that are more profitable to keep alive”. As the lights of Aurora Borealis dissapear behind us and the harsh city lights of Europe come into view, we have a moment of realisation of what a selfish world full of competing, greedy humans would be like. Of course, in Eve, we'll all have spaceships. To the final frontier:infinite profit.
*Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.*