Monday, March 28, 2011

Watching Fanfest 2011 - Saturday's Coverage

I watched Eve TV's coverage of Fanfest on Saturday.  Quite frankly I was blown away by some of what I saw but I died at the end of the coverage.  Here are some of the highlights that caught my eye.

TQ's New Toys - This was a discussion about the database servers for Tranquility.  A lot of the information was shared in Friday's dev blog but there was some additional information given.  Some of the internal SLAs (service level agreements) were displayed, including less than 2 minutes for failovers.  Also, at least some of DUST 514 is going to run on Tranquility's database servers and that API takes up 10% of database use.  The planned DUST 514 use was compared to market and planetary interaction nodes.

Art - Much of what was shown was seen in the keynote on Friday.  One interesting piece of tech news concerning Captain's Quarters is that with only the one avatar that can be in the first iteration of Captain's Quarters that all the work is done by the client.  On following versions that allow multiple avatars, the servers will need to do a lot of work sending information.  So by rights the initial introduction of avatars in Incarna should not impact server performance.

CCP Presents -  First, I really hope the video of this presentation is posted quickly, because this presentation should be seen by all Eve players.  Here are some highlights.

The results of the CSM election were flashed up a bit faster than I could really read.  Showed results of CSM election.  The Mittani came in first, with Seleene second.

The next thing is that CCP is working with a lot of big names.  On the server side, CCP is working with IBM to increase capacity on Tranquility.  CCP has recently spent on $500,000 on server hardware.

On the client side CCP is working with Nvidia on graphics technology and the Carbon technology.  CCP is also working server side with Nvidia in connection with avatar rendering.  The Nvidia 8 series and above will have the character rendering occur on their video card's GPU, and if technology developement continues at its current pace, video cards will be able to support hundreds of characters using Carbon technology on screen.

CCP is also is working with another leading company, Framestore, in developing the new look to nebulas.  Framestore is a company that was nominated for its work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

CCP also gave players a look at some of the upcoming features in Incarna beyond Captain's Quarters.  These other areas where players can interact are called establishments.  These places will be places that sell mild legal boosters or engage in gambling.  Another idea involves a revamp in the contraband system in which to transfer contraband in high sec will require face-to-face meetings.  The other part of the contraband system will involve players hunting down smugglers instead of CONCORD or faction police.

Finally, the soon to be famous Future Vision trailer was unveiled.  If that is what the Eve universe is going to look like in a few years, well, I don't think any game will match it.  Of course, how long did it take CCP to implement walking in stations, which right now is just walking in a room?  But I so want to believe in the vision.

CCP Panel - After seeing that video, I kind of zoned out on the question and answer session that followed.  I did write down two items that were noteworthy.  The first is that CCP will never sell their Carbon technology.  For them, it is their ace-in-the-hole they believe gives them an edge over all other companies in the industry.  The second is that vanity items will probably come out for sale in June.  There are a lot of details that need to be worked out, but that seems to be the plan.

Incursions and Character Creator - I hope the videos come out soon, because I basically zoned out on these two sessions.  Between the awesomeness of the CCP Presents presentation and having watched about 18 hours of coverage while waking up early both days, I was wiped and just wanted to go to sleep.

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