Sunday, July 1, 2012

Players Guidebook to CCP Developer Interaction

Welcome new and existing EVE Online players and the new DUST 514 players to the Players Guidebook to CCP Developer Interaction. As a player in the EVE Universe you will find that you have an unparalleled access to the developers of the EVE Universe. This guidebook will help walk you through the various ways you can interact with the developers and guide you with pro-tips and hints to getting your voice heard.


EVE Online Player – Someone who past or present has played the game EVE Online. More often than not the player will be a current subscriber who regularly logs into the game to play. But there are those who no longer play but still wish to interact with developers.

DUST 514 Player – Someone who past or present has played the game DUST 514. As of writing of this guide the game has just started beta so all players are new. As with the EVE Online Player this doesn’t stop non-players from commenting on DUST 514 topics.

Player – The generic term for any of the EVE Universe players.

Developer – Those who currently work for CCP Games and develop the EVE Universe. This includes all employees from the janitor all the way up to the CEO (there is some debate as to the difference but not the focus of this guide). Past employees are not considered a developer even if they have achieved CSM chair status.

Interaction – Any method of communication with a Developer where you provide your thoughts, opinions, images, ideas, problems, solutions, desires and wants. Remember, you have a unique level of access and ability to interact that just doesn’t exist in other games. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

Methods of interaction

EVE Forums – This is one of the first places that a player will have interaction with a developer. There are new rules for interaction that have been implemented. I will paraphrase them here for you: “Assholes will be banned.

Pro-tip: You can avoid becoming an asshole by remembering that developers are real people with a job to do. Most of them love their job so much that they are willing to spend personal time to interact with the players or to simply do more than their job requires. As most people who have a job will tell you, when you have to deal with assholes every moment of your work day you immediately lose interest in doing anything extra and eventually you don’t want to even continue getting paid to do the job.
Developer Interaction Hint: You will have a huge chance to have your voice heard if you are not an asshole to the developer! Note there are some assholes that get to interact with developers because they have learned to suppress their asshole nature while interacting with developers. If you are normally an asshole you may need to take advantage of this technique. This hint is also applicable if you are a dick.

In Game Mail – Most developers do have an in game name (CCP_something). There is evidence that they do read their in game mail from time to time. The rules for the forums will also apply here. Again, summarized for you: “Assholes will be banned.” Previous pro-tips and hints are applicable her as well.

Pro-tip: If you are concerned the developer might not read their in game mail copy CSM chairman Seleene on all your correspondence. He will follow up with the developer for you.

Twitter – A number of developers are found on twitter. Some are here as their CCP_something personas and some are here as their developer selves. Twitter offers an interesting level of access to the developer. Some developers use it as immediate feedback and will engage in long conversations with players. Some developers like to tease and simply reply “Lets do it!” or “Sure, would love to” yet never offer any other way to contact them to continue with the interaction. And then there are those developers who enjoy posting about Hello Kitty, their latest snowboarding adventure or a simple bike ride up a volcano (sometimes all in the same day). This is simply proof that these are real people with real lives which should strengthen the bond between players and developers. Here, if you are an asshole, the developer can simply block you. Besides, only a few people are pro enough to be serious assholes in 140 characters.

Pro-tip: Interactions are the same as those between friends in that they will often go beyond the EVE Universe and that’s ok. Frankly, it’s hard to yell and call someone a dick about a feature in a game after seeing a picture of a fantastic green dragon birthday cake. Embrace the interactions on twitter, mingle, and get to know the developers as people. And let them get to know you. Your EVE Universe interactions will be all the better for it.
Developer Interaction Hint: It’s is yet unconfirmed if CCP_Diagoras is really a person or just a computer endlessly churning out statistics. It’s rumored that the CCP_Diagoras computer sits on the corner of CCP_Soundwave’s desk. Don’t however let this be a deterrent to interacting with him. He loves requests for data!

Blogs and Podcasts – Don’t want to settle for one on one interaction? Then start a blog or a podcast. There are many venues out there to get you started. And you can now gain access to the developers in the form of interviews and guest spots. While being an asshole or dick on your blog or podcast is your prerogative and maybe appropriate just keep in mind it may limit your opinion being heard by a developer.

Pro-tip: If you want developers to read or listen to what you have to say then don’t be an asshole. This is super important if you ever hope to interview on or have them on your show.
Developer Interaction Hint: Patience is needed for obtaining interviews. Stick with it but be polite in your requests for their time. Remember, you are more than likely using their own personal time regardless of the time of day your interview occurs. Treat them the same as if you were volunteering your time!

Player Gatherings – The developers are often willing to put themselves into horrible situations to interact with players. Places like the beaches of Greece and Las Vegas are very hard places to be serious about the serious internet spaceship business. Players who have joined the developers should recognize the plight the developers face. On the flip side, be very ready to talk spaceships and have your data ready if you plan to bring your interactions in person.

Pro-tip: Bring a spare liver if you have one. If you don’t use it someone will. Drinking will often be a part of the serious working environment found at a player gathering.
Developer Interaction Hint: The in person interaction is often in the middle of a thousand other personal interactions on the part of developers. Help the developer remember your very important point by bringing flashcards or a presentation. The very serious player will provide a USB memory stick with a full on PowerPoint presentation complete with years of data. If that seems too much provide it written down somehow so they can review it later.

FanfestOne would believe that being an asshole here is the key to success. Well, that maybe true if you are looking to be the leader of a gang of other assholes. But this is not true if you are looking to have serious developer interactions. Remembering that you are guests of their country, the company and their sponsored celebration of the game they love to make is very important. The player will find hundreds of opportunities to interact with developers while at fanfest.

Pro-tip: Come a few days early to adjust and explore Iceland so you can turn your focus 100% upon the serious internet spaceship business come day one of fanfest. There will be no time for any sightseeing.
Developer Interaction Hint: Learning to live on 3 hrs of sleep will be important to maximize your time at fanfest. Much of the best interactions come after hours at the many bars around town. Being an asshole here will probably just get you beat up by a giant Viking (possibly one only wearing underwear) so consider yourself warned. The hints from the player gathering is double important here unless you want your thoughts buried under a thousand other peoples opinions.

So armed with this handy guide I wish you luck in your interactions with CCP as we all continue working at making EVE Online the largest gaming universe! 

I will try to keep this guide up to date to reflect the new methods of interaction with CCP and to take into account the ever changing world of New Eden!


  1. Excellent guide! This was very helpful. Thanks for the pro-tips! :)

  2. Did you send this to Frfrmpukin? I think he needs it


    1. Oh yes, I forgot about the full listing of social media links and names on the wiki. I will incorporate it into the next revision.

      Thanks for linking it!!

  4. I really like this post. It starts like a technical manual but becomes quite incisive and even humorous while retaining the style. The informational content is nice and the issue raised genuinely pressing.

    For all their regular slips and blunders, CCP are a great company who give their customers i.e. the players a level of influence that is almost unprecedented. It would be very very sad if the antisocial behaviour of a few would result in that openness coming to an end. I hope many CCP devs read this and feel their great attitude reinforce by it rather than feeling like throwing it all out because of the haters.

    Good post Rundle