Designing Features

Alongside my usual speculative ramblings I’ve decided to embark upon a little project:  Through the medium of this blog I will be designing a EVE Online game play feature.

Now I have always been fascinated by the idea at least of designing games, even as a youngster I would sit for hours scribbling down rules and concepts for board games that didn’t exist.  But just how difficult is it to come up with a new and unique feature for EVE?  I hope to find out.

First off I should point out there are some ‘minor’ limitations to this experiment.  To start with I’m no programmer, nor do I have any prior experience within the PC games development industry – so perhaps I should qualify this little venture to the realm of imagination rather than what is practically possible.

I have also chosen to apply a few fundamental ground rules for my proposed feature, to help channel it’s direction and prevent me from disappearing down too many rabbit holes.  I’ll list these here:

1. It should be a feature that is easily accessible regardless of how long a player has played EVE for, or where they are in the universe.

2. It should be scalable – so you can tinker with it on the surface, or delve into more complex elements.

3. It should be in keeping with the EVE Universe – dark, gritty and suitably “sci-fi”.

Where possible I will try and include relevant flow charts, data, diagrams and images – again I’m no artist so these may be way of what you would call ‘rather basic’.  I expect any data values (ISK cost, time, associated skill levels etc etc) to be rather rudimentary at least initially but I’ll try and make them as ‘balanced’ as possible.

Anyway, off to the notebook and lets see where my concept is going…a rough list of ideas:

Diplomacy Interface – Ability to establish formalised treaties, trade embargoes, sanctions and limited wars (or peace treaties). Pros – could be a nice addition for the otherwise vagueness of pacts and agreements between corps etc. Cons – really only practical at corp or alliance level, which conflicts with Rule # 1.

Population Management & Planetary Governance – set up your own governmental structures on a planet to control and coerce your NPC minions. Pros – something I think is missing from PI and would allow players to interact with Planets on a ‘non – industrial’ scale.  Cons – PI is pretty new and we dont know all of the ramifications of it yet, could be an expansion to soon.

Interbus – moving stuff by ‘magic’! Pros – likely to be of use to all. Cons – could disproportionally effect haulers and traders across eve? To high sec centric? Could be at odds with Rule # 1?

Smuggling & Bounty Hunting Ver 2.0 – Pros – a bit of a hobby horse for me, often lamented by players as a weak area of EVE. Cons – already ‘done to death’ by others on the forums??

Stores Fronts – run your own shop in EVE? Retail is something of a mixed bag in EVE, could we make it more personalised? Pros – almost existed at one point so definitely on CCPs radar. Cons – database issues abound, dropped by CCP for good reason?

Hmm.  A pretty wide ranging heap of stuff there.  I’m leaning towards either the ‘Store Fronts’ idea, or ‘Smuggling & Bounty Hunting Ver 2.0′.

Perhaps I’ll just toss a coin….

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2 Responses to “Designing Features”

  1. [...] the hydrostatic capsule Just another WordPress.com weblog « Designing Features [...]

  2. [...] capsule has posted a bunch of his design ideas regarding smuggling and bounty hunting starting here (5 parts). I posted my thoughts on the matter in response on his last design [...]

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