Monday, January 28, 2013

Variations on a Theme

Just a quick update on how CSM's involvement in CCP's planning process is proceeding.

On Friday, January 18th, we sent our sample themes to CCP Seagull. In return, on January 23rd, CSM got a package of the themes created by CCP teams, performed a quick analysis of them, and sent her our recommendations.

While I can't go into any specifics, I found the CCP themes to be very interesting reading, and they gave me more insight into how people at CCP are addressing the new planning system.

Today, Monday the 28th, we had a followup meeting with CCP Seagull.  She gave us a broad overview of the overall theme that had been decided upon, which the CSM members present strongly endorsed. Over the next week, CCP will be determining what set of features best fits the theme and is practical given time and resource constraints.

CSM will receive a package of materials on Friday related to CCP's initial prioritization decisions and will provide our trademark :48hour: turnaround on them.

Based on what has happened so far, I am cautiously optimistic that the new planning process is going to do a good job of ensuring that CCP does a better job of delivering an expansion with good "bang-for-buck" when it comes to pleasing the community.


  1. Thanks for the update :) It sounds that CSM likes what CCP has chosen to do and thats cool. But... I must say that, even though I think the new 'themed' approach might be cool, the fact that the theme is chosen first and only then they start to think of the features that would fit it is a tad worrying. As I see it, with this approach some features that are in serious need of attention (wether adding new or iterating) might not get it, because in the chosen theme of the expansion 'it wasnt a good fit'. Dont know if that kind of situation is likely, but I would personally like to see it be the other way around - look at the features that need work/could be added and make up a theme around them. As I dont have any 'inside information' I might be worrying too much, but thats just what jumped out at me, while reading this.

    My 0.02ISK :P

    1. Read my previous blog post for some more insight into the process. In short:

      1) Teams were asked to give presentations on what kinds of things they could/would like to work on.

      2) Everyone (including CSM) then took these possibilities and tried to come up with feature sets that had a unified theme.

      3) CCP looked at these and decided which overall thematic idea was best. Multiple themes developed in (2) fit into this overall theme.

      Or to put it another way, CCP has determined the country they want to visit. Now they're figuring out what cities they want to visit, and how to arrange the trip and stay within their budget.

    2. "Dont know if that kind of situation is likely, but I would personally like to see it be the other way around - look at the features that need work/could be added and make up a theme around them."

      This played a big part during the weekend we produced our original theme proposals. The challenge was to fit features together that the players needed (like POS fixes) into a theme package that was compelling and deepened the sci-fi universe. So its a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg argument at this point. At this stage its more of a refinement, and the current theme in the running indeed has lots of room for items that will make players happy.

    3. Well there you go - you have the inside info on things :) This is pretty much what I wanted to hear, so thanks for the clarification Hans. Anyways... thinking more about this, I guess more or less the best way this could (and from your post, it seems IS) working, would be 1)to determine the things that need work 2)Come up with a theme 3)pick out the things form the 1) list that fit with the theme. If Iv understood correctly then its quite nice system :)

  2. hope to see a good theme soon!

    good news!