EVE Online designer: narrative and multiplayer “not obvious bedfellows”

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 05:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Trying to shoehorn the enormous calloused paw of massively multiplayer gameplay into the pinching little brogues of narrative-driven experience is kind of silly, according to CCP’s Matthew Woodward.

Speaking to Gamasutra, the senior designer said trying to mash the two very disparate gameplay designs doesn’t make sense.

“It seems to me, from my very EVE-centric perspective, that there’s a lot of value in narrative gameplay, and there’s a lot of value in MMOs. It’s not crystal clear to me how merging those two things together is the best possible way to enhance them both,” he said.

“It seems like they’re pushing in different directions, and trying to be different kinds of games. For me, and for the way I look at games, those two types of games are not obvious bedfellows, and I wonder whether what kind of compromises you’re making when you’re trying to get those to mesh together nicely are worth what you’re trying to achieve.

“If you’re trying to achieve a single-player experience, it’s not obvious to me how that’s benefiting from a creative point of view from being embedded in a very highly-social multiplayer game.”

EVE Online, CCP’s enormously successful MMO, doesn’t give a hoot for game-directed narrative, but produces tons of amazing stories anyway. Did you hear about the time an alliance of the most notorious factions burned an entire solar system?