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Tony Gonzales Interview About EVE Online, Incarna, And DUST 514

Posted Mon, Apr 11, 2011 by Space Junkie

Tony Gonzales is works on content at CCP, and is the author of EVE: The Empyrean Age, as well as an upcoming sequel, called Templar One, that will introduce and incorporate the upcoming DUST 514 console game.

What are you excited about in EVE Online?

It comes at you all at once. I am thrilled with Incarna because the game is becoming a lot more personal. It's been a long road. We talked about it, we agonized over it, and we iterated on it. We got great technology to support it. To take these first small steps into this brave new world is, well I don't think I can ever fully articulate the potential that this adds. It's a brave new world, and EVE will never be the same.

You sound pretty excited.

Well, it's small steps. I think that sometimes people forget that ambitious things take time. We work our way there, a little bit at a time. Everyone wants it all at once, and that's flattering. We are marching on a steady path that is opening up a whole new world.

During one of your Fanfest presentations, you worried that older EVE players might be turned off by new content. Do you have something you'd like to say directly to them?

EVE Online

Templar One will show how DUST 514 fits into the world of EVE Online.

Yes: I'd say thank you for your passion. Thank you for holding on so dear. It means that what we've created so far is extremely compelling to you and you don't want to see anything get in the way and detract from that. We're not abandoning anything, we're making it better.

The game is about to become a lot more accessible to a lot more people. The folks who are so impassioned by the flying in space component of EVE will be able to engage more people about it, in sort of a "hey guys, check this game out" way. And because you will start the EVE experience as a fully-rendered avatar as opposed of a rotating frigate, you are going to connect to it a little more.

People are always averse to change, and that's natural. But we're not really changing anything, just complementing it. We're peeling back a perspective of this universe that they've been in all this time. They'll be seeing that universe in a new way.

You published a book on behalf of CCP, called EVE: The Empyrean Age. How did it do?

Really well. It sold 70,000 copies worldwide, is translated into German and Italian. I think there is a deal for Russian in the works. I'm just shocked. What it tells me is that the world is ready for EVE Online. The world is eager for it.

There are a lot of reboots of old science fiction brands out there, but not too many new ones. Look at the success of Battlestar Galactica. I think we're on the verge of EVE breaking through, and we just need to get it in front of more eyes. People aspire to it because it's very human.

It's getting more human all the time, too.

Yes, exactly. We're twenty-thousand years in the future, and we're bringing the good, the bad, and the ugly with us. People latch onto that. It's interesting and it never really gets old. You may change the outfit and give them a laser gun instead of a sword, but it's still fundamentally about people being people. EVE doesn't have any Cylons, cyborgs or Ewoks to get in the way. It's just people in your face, all the time.

How much of your first book tied into EVE content?

It turns out that with Empyrean Age we had a good deal of it. There were two main goals for Empyrean Age, on the business side. The first one was that it aligned with the introduction of factional warfare to the game. The book told the story of how this war happened. The second was to kind of give the layman a whirl around EVE Online universe. That was the hardest thing to reconcile, actually, because I think that at least fifty percent of the book was exposition.

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