EVE Online designer: “People like boring”

By Brenna Hillier
30 March 2012 00:08 GMT

EVE Online lead producer Kristoffer Touborg has said part of the MMO’s appeal is that it’s so boring. No, seriously.

Speaking to PC Gamer, Touborg said that he likes to take “mundane” activities and put them in games, where they somehow become interesting.

“Like hauling minerals across EVE: it’s viciously boring, but people still spend eight hours a day doing something [in real life] and then they go haul minerals in EVE,” he said.

“I met a truck driver who did this. He drove a truck in real life, and when he got home he drove a space truck. There’s so many real things that we think of as mundane, but they become great game features.”

As an example of something every day that becomes really interesting in light of EVE’s mechanics – and which will probably never happen – Touborg mentioned marriage.

“They’d have shared inventory and shared bank accounts and all that stuff. There’s all these dynamics that come out of sharing,” he noted.

“Something as mundane as having shared credit cards, in EVE, becomes a feature. It doesn’t have to be like the biggest dragon you could ever find. Just take something from real life that might be slightly boring and put it in a different environment, and just watch what happens.”

The designer said that “people like boring” – or at least, performing dull, low risk actions for a guaranteed reward, as opposed to exciting but deadly.

“I think that not every game was meant to be Counter-Strike. Not everything has to be twitch action-based, super-intense, in-the-zone, adrenaline rush 24/7,” he concluded.

“Everybody complains about mining, but I think it’s the finest hangover feature you could ever do. I’d just switch the miner on, I’d watch sports on Sunday and be hungover and eat pizza. I think that’s great. Not everything has to be super wild.”

EVE Online isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but tie-in shooter DUST 514 offers a more high octane approach for those keen to have some stake in the rapidly evolving MMO; it releases for PlayStation 3 this year.


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