Posted - 2010.11.22 21:41:00 - [1
I was thinking today about EvE and where it's all headed (as you do), and it occurred to be, as it has with many others, that the core of our game: the ships we fly; ain't the prettiest things to look at. I'm aware that this has cropped up a few times on the forums, but I would like to take a slightly different slant at it.
Firstly, I'm not saying that there aren't models which made the transition gracefully into Premium EvE, there are certainly a few examples of very good ones, but even then the texures are consistently of low quality no matter what you do with the game settings. At the other end of the spectrum we have the Moa, Aeon and Blackbird which I'm sure many would agree could probably benefit from being remodeled from scratch and not necessarily in the image of their predecessors.
It's very obvious that the EvE graphical design team are very much preoccupied with the development of Incarna and we appreciate the immense amount of work going into making EvE a more social and interactive experience. The new character creation suite alone is absolutely mind blowing and beautifully developed.
And so I thought why not let selected members of the community work on texturing and redesigning some of these ships? While it sparked a great deal of controversy here on the forums, one thing the Deviant Art contest did show was that there is a very significant untapped skill hidden in the player base of EvE. Some of the artists partaking in the competition produced incredible work and I for one would love to fly their ships!
Many games have benefitted greatly from work carried out by members of their gaming communities. I need not give examples, because we can all at least think of one game which vastly outgrew its initial potential in this way. In some cases this work was voluntary, and in others, skilled people were hired and tasked with various jobs.
In addition to benefitting the quality of the game, community work also helps consolodate the community itself, fostering an almost patriotic relationship with the game in question, and for the artists there's something special about flying the ship you helped build. Costs also tend to be low since all work is by contract rather than by salary.
Perhaps it's something to consider as a developer, to hire a few select members of the community to undertake the monumental task of revamping that which forms the very heart of EvE itself - the ships we fly.
My 2 cents for the day...