Fanfest Pics from Last Year

I figured I might as well migrate the pictures from my website to Flickr, so if you’re curious how Fanfest was last year then feel free to head over to my Fanfest 2006 photo set.

EVE TV’s been adding a whole ton of videos recorded during Fanfest this year, so head over to their Fanfest video page here and check them out. So far they’ve been putting in the lecture videos, but hopefully they put all the interviews and random goofy stuff from throughout the weekend there as well.

Post-Fanfest Depression

Sad PandaAnyone else suffering from this as well? Happened last year for me too, and it’s one of those things that folks who’ve gone to Fanfest for the first time probably are going through and wondering “What the hell?”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I never want Fanfest to end while I’m there. Iceland’s such a cool country to visit (no pun intended), with interesting people. It’s awesome to meet all the developers and shake their hand, and to meet all the players who come from every corner of the world and share the same common ground as you: a thorough enjoyment of EVE. Going home from that to your regular life is actually pretty tough, especially leaving all your new found and long time friends.

Maybe I should start a support group about this. 🙂

Fanfest 2007: Open Your Eyes

Everything All TogetherThe Trinity 2 engine seminar was one of the ones I was looking forward to seeing. The actual Fanfest content on Trinity 2 was spread around a lot, so I’m going to lump together as much as I can here for easier consumption.

We were shown a bunch of new details on specific effects being added with the new engine revamp. After seeing all the goodies being added I have to say that I’m pretty impressed so far with all big brain thinking going on over there. They’re working on individual technologies and effects which directly affect the realism of the rendering of the game’s visuals, taking what we have and launching it into orbit. At the same time, the enhancements are intended to drastically reduce the current workload imposed on your poor CPU by portioning off the work properly between the CPU and the GPU.

New videos were shown of ships like the Avatar, Megathron, some faction frigates, Rifter, Thorax, and more. Then we were shown the new teaser for the Trinity trailer (no word on when that’s coming out). Let me just say, the detail being shown on ships like the Nyx is just mind blowing. Each and every one has a level of polish that has to be seen to be believed, and the shakeycam footage and other screens you’ve probably seen does no justice for this stuff.

All of this makes it easier for CCP’s developers and artists to create and experiment, and get the most they can out of the new tech like they’ve taken the old tech as far as it has. In the meantime, models are being updated by an outsourced company to make sure the content is ready. Hopefully that process doesn’t introduce its own type of delays to Trinity2’s release.

First thing’s first though, and the initial releases will only deal with stations, some objects like stargates, and ships. What’s not getting the new coat of paint at this point are things like weapons effects, planets, starfields (nebulae apparently were rendered by a now-forgotten method, whoops), etc. Once they get the core material and technology in place, they’ll turn their eye towards things like the above.

One of the big gotcha moments was when someone asked how this was going to work with multiple clients on the same machine. Well on the scale of priorities, multi-client efficiency was not high on their list of things at least for the first releases. I expect given the reaction from the presenters when asked about this, that the results will NOT be pretty on day one for those who are used to doing this without the benefit of more than one PC.

The question of graphical lag came up, and this was quickly addressed. The amount of work the new engine does to get something rendered on the screen is being cut by a huge factor when compared to the old one. It was put to the audience that a nicely defragged hard drive would solve a lot of the current issues when the game client has to load all the textures and goodies of ships which jump through gates and such, which is why your client thinks for a critical second sometimes. T2 utilizes asynchronous loading, so instead you might get some lag time in the ship itself being rendered but the interface itself will not lag out. That means you can start killing the guy while your client works in the background to render things instead of locking up briefly. No no, allow me: o/

One thing’s for sure, EVE is about to look a hell of a lot prettier. CCP’s got some seriously talented technical guys working on this, and the results so far look insanely good.