EVE:Valkyrie - What Will CCP Games' Oculus Rift Space Sim Offer?
Further to the recent announcement that CCP Games intends to develop their EVE-VR tech demo into a commercial game, they've left fans with little detail to go on. I'm starting to wonder if crowd-sourcing concepts is part of their brainstorming process - after all, they are "Crowd Control Productions".
Speculation amongst the playerbase and wider media is already rife on how the exhilarating but limited dogfighting engine will be brought to market. So many questions, so few answers. You'll not find the answers in this article, but the possibilities are certainly worth chewing over and we'd like to hear your thoughts.
Will there/should there be a single-player component?
CCP Games' usual modus operandi is exclusively the development of multiplayer games, but it would be fantastic to see a fully developed single-player campaign – after all, who doesn't have fond memories of X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Wing Commander, Starlancer – there is undoubtedly a market for such a game.
However, their oft-repeated mantra of "the players are the content" may preclude this option.
Can we expect EVE Universe Integration?
The message coming from CCP Games throughout Fanfest was very much one of integration, from the continuing development of the core EVE Universe through EVE Online and the interweaving of DUST 514, to more peripheral projects involving mobile games options such as the currently in-client Planetary Interaction component making its way onto tablets. So to develop EVE:Valkyrie without at least the potential to fit into the EVE Universe would be contrary to the overall vision. That said, the continued challenges presented by DUST 514's implementation may give them pause.
What platforms will EVE:Valkyrie be suited for?
With the Oculus Rift functioning as a peripheral to be used in conjunction with multiple gaming platforms, there are many options open for CCP Games. The vast majority of their current market is on the desktop platform, but having played EVE-VR (with a console controller), I hope there will be a console-based option – it's certainly harder to fall off a sofa than an office chair. As the Oculus Rift is presently not on the market, the announcement of a 2014 release must either be in conjunction with the commercial launch of the Oculus Rift or there will be a standard viewing option. It would surely make sense for CCP Games to not shackle their development to what will undoubtedly be an expensive peripheral.
What will be the payment model?
Star Conflict and Battlestar Galactica Online are amongst those already filling the F2P World of Tanks with spaceships model, so their continued existence shows sustainability but also is evidence of a crowded market.
With EVE Online staunchly remaining subscription-based, but DUST 514 adopting the in vogue free-to-play micro-transaction model, might we see EVE:Valkyrie as a one-off initial payment for a whole game without the constant nagging to spend more money?
In my dreams, right?
What ships will feature?
Well judging by the announcement video, this question at least we've got some evidence to provide an answer for.
It seems that CCP Games will certainly be sticking with the fighters as found in EVE Online, with the video showing the Amarr Templar fighter (and an as yet identified interior – answers on a postcard). So we can probably expect to see the other racial fighters – the Caldari Dragonfly, the Minmatar Einherji and the Gallente Firbolg. It would not be unreasonable to hope that we might also see the fighter-bombers; the Cyclops, Malleus, Mantis and Tyrfing. Perhaps even the rare Sansha Shadow.
[Edit: This tweet from CCP developer Sigurdur Gunnarsson suggests that as well as the predominant use of the Templar, a Einherji (pictured below) is visible somewhere in the video and that the launch tube cockpit is custom (or possibly that the launch tube itself is custom, it's not entirely clear).]
What would be really interesting is if there was facility to fly some of the player-controllable vessels from EVE Online itself. According to EVE's canon, some of the smaller ships – the frigates – can be crewed by a just few personnel, which might be a fun shared experience.
Integration and implementation would be a huge challenge I'm sure, but that doesn't make it impossible...