Thursday, April 18, 2013

Eve Online Senior Producer CCP Seagull On The CSM

As of the scheduled time this post will appear, 12 hours will remain in the voting for CSM 8 (to vote, click here).  I haven't covered the election itself but instead have written a couple of posts concerning the Council of Stellar Management based on the CSM White Paper.  Yesterday CCP Dolan published a dev blog with a lot of quotes from CCP employees explaining why the CSM is important.

On Tuesday CCP held a live chat with important people like outgoing Executive Producer CCP Unifex, Creative Director CCP Torfifrans, Development Director CCP Ripley and Senior Producer CCP Seagull.  Current CSM 7 member Hans Jagerblitzen managed to sneak in a question about the CSM:
"In what way have you found the CSM useful in the past year and how do you see the role expanding during the next term?"
The reply came from CCP Seagull...

"For me, the CSM functions as one of my main stakeholders.  So, it's not the same kind of stakeholders as many of the internal ones because there is a difference in terms of  how we can work.  But the CSM, since I started working in the Eve project in the beginning of this year, function as a really, really good sounding board for a lot of stuff that we're doing.  

"And they had, in the process of Odyssey -- for example I invited the CSM to be part of the same product discovery process that we were doing internally.  So part of coming up with what should be in Odyssey and what theme we should pick for this kind of tenth anniversary expansion of ours, I invited everyone to come up with a theme.  So we gathered all of the things that we could potentially do and the teams that would potentially do them were presenting them to just make a survey of like what's in the domain of the possible.  Because there is no point in talking about fun cool ideas that are not possible to deliver for the summer expansion.  That's a waste of everyone's time.  So we drew out all of these components and then I put the question out there like come up with theme candidates where a theme is a combination of, like, a coherent cool reason to pick things together that has to do with our science-fiction universe.  It's not how it makes sense to us because the features are related in code or you have something like that, but something coherent that has to do with this universe that we have.  

"And I invited the CSM to do the same.  And got, I think, you know, multiple themes, or theme candidates from the CSM that frankly shaped a lot of what we were doing.  Of course together with all of the other input, because this was a way to listen to a lot of, like, input out there.  Find the signal, find the kind of main choices that we could make in terms of the direction we would pick.  And then, put my foot down and say here's the direction we should be going.  

"And so in that process there was the CSM was acting as an internal team pretty much.  So if it is a CSM that is willing to work and really give that kind of input there's a huge amount of opportunity to really influence what we are doing.  Not in a way where the CSM gets to dictate what we are doing but where the CSM has the type of seat in our development process where there's real opportunity to influence what we are doing.  So I would love to see a CSM that really comes in with strong support from the community and can really represent and voice all of those concerns.  So for me it's an important stakeholder and I really treat it as the voice of the community." 
I wish that real life hadn't gotten in the way and allowed me to publish this yesterday.  I also wish that this live chat along with CCP Dolan's dev blog had come out last week.  But this type of information is useful to have around anyway to remind the players what CSM could and should be.


  1. If CCP was really serious about the CSM, they would not have put an incompetent like Dolan in charge of CSM relations.

    Dolan is Soundwave's idea for keeping the CSM out of the way during this next year. He expects them to take out their frustrations on Dolan, and, if he screws things up, it won't be anything new and unexpected from Dolan - ie. nothing much more for the players to rage about. And, if it actually does get bad, they can make it all better by just handing Dolan his exit visa. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

    1. Pretty clever? No, not really. That's politics 101.

      P.S.: Can you delete the other comment I made, Nosy? Sorry about that.

    2. LOL ... no problem, it's deleted.

    3. If you want a real tin-foil hat conspiracy, I have one in mind that would actually include this little bit. But remember that Soundwave wouldn't be doing this. He doesn't rank high enough.

    4. Maybe Soundwave doesn't rank high (yet), but he has the ears of the right people, and they do listen to him. Particularly with regards to Dolan, since Dolan is at CCP in large part due to Soundwave's recommendation. Unfortunately, their relationship has soured since NEO and since Dolan isn't panning out even a fraction as well as Fozzie (who also received a Soundwave job recommendation).