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Friday, August 7, 2009

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Playing Among The Stars In EVE Online
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GamesIndustry.biz has published a new interview with CCP Games executive producer Nathan Richardsson about the company's sci-fi MMO EVE Online. The interview covers a variety of topics including future plans for EVE, improvements to the new player experience, and the usefulness of having a real-life economist on staff.

Q: One of the things I've always found fascinating is the in-game market, where the more people that contribute, the more interesting it becomes. Are there more tools planned for the economic side of the game?
Nathan Richardsson: Yes - it's always a question of how manipulative it is. If it's new gameplay, for example, we tend to have a hands-off approach to running the economy. We don't have a central bank or anything like that. It's more about evolving what's already in there, and at the same time providing our economist, Dr Eyjo, with more tools to analyse what's happening.

There's always something happening around the economy, whether that's in the back end for analysis, or making new resources more accessible. In general I think that getting Eyjo on board, getting a proper economist to look at that part of the game and see how we could improve it - but also see if real-world economic theories actually work in-game - was good.

Q: Has it helped from a game design point of view, and if so, how?
Nathan Richardsson: Yes - the thing is that you think about so many things as a value chain, with lots of links in-between. With this we've been seeing things like mistakes in resource distribution and fixed scarcity of moon minerals.

We've seen when more people have come in, that fixed scarcity has really upset the entire balance, which means that we're moving more towards resources that are just totally player-dependent. It's still scarcity-based, but it's more that there's not a totally finite number that doesn't scale.

So especially on the resource and industrial level, the economy has improved on that perspective, both by seeing where the major holes are and by seeing how small changes can affect the entire thing. It's more awareness-based.
Visit the page below to read the full Q&A.

GamesIndustry.biz: EVE Online Interview
CCP Games
EVE Online

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