EVE Online to Remain as PiP-less as a Jaffa Orange
In what could have been some fantastic news for EVE Online fans is in fact a complete non-starter. Sorry.
Sadly, one of my favourite teases that came out of Fanfest 2012 was the above concept art of Picture-in-Picture functionality. It was first shown in Creative Director Torfi Frans Olafsson's keynote presentation. Alas, it is not to be.
At least not any time soon.
After rediscovering my magnificently Photoshopped PiP concept (see below) from 2011 during some screenshot archaeology for my retrospective slideshow, My Time in EVE Online: A Gallery of Internet Spaceship Memories, I thought I'd give Mr. Olafsson a prod. Well, a tweet.
I think Twitter is far too proletariat for the mysterious dream-weaving Viking, so I was unsurprised that his dormant Twitter account failed to respond. Fortunately, the more attentive CCP Sisyphus, overseer of the developer teams responsible for user experience (Team Player Experience) and the sound (Team Klang) stepped up instead.
@Freebooted @torfiFrans we had a kludge prototype, but it threatened to melt the computer....— CCP Sisyphus (@CCP_Sisyphus) July 3, 2013
I'd always held the belief that a Picture-in-Picture function be a great way to better utilise the visuals of EVE Online. After all, the artwork and ship designs are stunning, but gameplay demands that you rarely see anything up close besides your own ship. Not only would PiP be great eye candy, being able to automatically see your target's behaviour and weapons loadouts would be useful tactical intel and would make combat feel more connected.
CCP Sisyphus went on to explain that the project had been shelved until there was a “pressing need”. The requirement to process and display the necessary data including weapons, shield effects and nearby objects effectively demanded processing power almost equivalent to running a second EVE client.
Targeting Computers Only. No Jedi Allowed.
CCP Games' ongoing challenge of updating the decade-old UI of EVE Online continues produce results, with the most recent upgrades being the hypnotic sensor sweep and HUD overlay, as well as a new slick radial menu.
However, for now it seems combat will remain largely a submarine-like experience with almost total reliance on instrumentation to tell the story of the battle.
@ChiralityT @Freebooted I'd love to do it, just it'll be a lot of work to optimize performance - not sure if worth effort needed :( CQ pt2?— CCP Sisyphus (@CCP_Sisyphus) July 5, 2013
He makes a good point. On release in the 2011 Incarna expansion, Captain's Quarters famously did have an unfortunate effect on some graphics cards, prompting the need for a less demanding version.
The recently added tracking camera option goes a small way to making better use of EVE's visuals, but it would be great to see still further polish added to the visual combat experience.