Thursday, January 13, 2011

Incarna - The Razor's Edge

You have to admire CCP's daring if nothing else. A moderately successful space combat game and they are going to open up the completely unfamiliar interior of space stations with new technology, environments, and no actual game play? Very daring indeed.

They have a hard spot here. On one hand, they can't develop it into a full free standing game or feature because they are only building the basic architecture for the first iteration. On the other hand, you just know they are going to be pilloried for releasing a feature with limited game play and/or no relation to the current game. Their protestations that they are going to keep coming back to it fall on ears and hearts hardened by numerous areas of the game seemingly left in disrepair for years with no sign of revisiting.

They are walking on a razor edge with disaster (or at least bad press) on either side. Fail to release because they want to add more content and its a failure all round, but release and have the community pan it and they have to work extra hard to get good press.

I do not envy them their current position.

On the upside, the avatars in the new character creator are gorgeous so as long as Incarna has a bare minimum of functionality, such as a bar and some mini-games, it could hold water. But its a razor's edge, and a long climb back up if they fall into either side.


  1. I guess it all depends on your perspective. Personally I've never been one to be that upset about parts of the game that haven't been updated in awhile or developed more, in fact it happens to be something I like about this crazy game. They keep trying things, throwing stuff on the wall and seeing what sticks and what doesn't.

    I have mixed feelings about walking around in stations, but either it works or it doesn't. Either way won't change the way I feel about the game - which for me will always be outside the station.

    I agree though, the new avatar creator is pretty sweet.

  2. I see Incarna as the first step towards new games for CCP. I would imagine their thinking as such: "we're a small game company with only one product. We expand or die. We can cover costs for making new games by inserting the new game technology into our current game. This increases the old game's playability while building the foundation for new games. Win-win!"

    Incarna should not be considered EVE, only a part of another game that leaked into EVE. Come for the new avatars, stay for the space ships.

  3. Anonymous2:50 am

    You could be right. CCP may be working from precedence - think how many true 'game play' features existed when EVE was released? But it had gorgeous graphics for the time and pulled people in who went on to create their own content. Maybe Incarna will be the same?