Sunday, July 26, 2009


Fluidity is important to increasing player immersion. Immersion is important for enhancing the player experience. When the player is involved in a fluid world, it is easy to get lost in the moment and attain high levels of enjoyment.

The realization that fluidity is paramount to an immersive experience came to me while watching the film Children of Men. Alfonso CuarĂ³n the director of this film, Implemented the longest single shot sequences I have ever seen, and the result was total immersion. Watching Clive Owen run though a battlefield of explosions, smoke, gunfire, and wounded people without ever cutting was an accomplishment most directors will never achieve.

Fluidity: the property of flowing easily. When put into the context of Eve I take it to mean uninterrupted gameplay and visuals. Some games have attempted to do this with tricks for eliminating loading between levels or zones. This is precisely what I think eve could use.

Side Note: Eve is the only game that I spend time thinking about improving. The reason I focus on improving Eve so much is because I believe the game design of Eve has the potential to last indefinitely if CCP continues to further develop the game as they have been.

Alright back to fluidity. Eve still uses many design elements that haven't changed since 2003. Back in 03 the visual quality of Eve was superb and with the technology and expectations from games it was in no ways lacking finesse.

Now in 2009, I feel that Eve needs to polish many of the design elements that have remained unchanged since its launch. The unchanged element that impacts fluidity most is zone transitions. Never once, have I seen my spaceship dock in a station, or enter a jump gate. I am tired of imagining a docking animation, or how a ship might look as it enters a jump gate.

CCP could kill two birds with one stone by creating station docking animations and jump gate entrance animations. When these animation sequences are initiated the client would begin to load the next zone. By the time the animation ends the zone would be loaded and there would be no black loading screens or scene changes where a ship appears docked without knowing how it got there.

Jump Gate Animation - This animation would function quite simply by creating a smooth transition into a warp animation similar to that seen by the millennium falcon in Star Wars. Other players will continue to see ships burst forth from the jump gate in balls of light while the gate jumper will see the space around them turn into the inside of wormhole-like space. While this sequence is occurring the new zone will be loading. While jumping players will still be able to access all their menus, and interact in market activities as well as chat, so it appears that the game is not on hold.

Station Docking Animation - When ships reach the distance mark in which the "docking request has been accepted" the ship will then be guided into a docking animation where we see the ship enter the station and dock in an appropriate area. While this sequence is occurring players should still be able to access all their menus. This could also show a visual explanation of why it take so long to switch between spaceships as the game currently gives you a countdown explaining that the ship is still docking even though it appears to be sitting in the hangar.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like those changes to be made as well. :)