- Spotlight Interview with CCP Dopamine - 10 mins
- Streaming Interview with DTM135 - 40 mins
- Interview with EVE News 24 (New!)
- TL;DR version of my Campaign Video
Long-Form Campaign Video
(I explain the Single Transferable Vote system & my platform)
- CSM15: Who I Think You Should Vote For
Links to my ballot selections:
Your EVE Online Story:
I first started playing EVE Online in the mid-2000’s, and then as many players do I stopped playing the game because I found it to be caustically inhospitable to new players. In the interim I moved to Vancouver and a friend from University suggested I should try EVE Online again. He had started playing, joined TEST, and remarked that the New Player Experience (NPE) had come a long way - or that it existed at all. This was a big improvement over my previous experience of the game and I decided to give it another shot.
I joined EVE University, learned to mine, pvp, do Planetary Interaction (PI), build, and so on. I decided that I wanted to learn more about the game, and the best way to learn is to teach. It really helps to highlight the things you don’t know when you get asked questions you don’t know the answer to, so I started learning. People responded positively to my classes, and I eventually took my teaching to YouTube where I could invest in a greater focus on the polish and presentation of course materials. Eventually I joined the event staff and became the education coordinator for the Solitude campus.
In 2016 I expanded my connections with the community by becoming a real-world host of monthly meetup events in Vancouver. This was where I met Tridgit, CEO of Iron.Guard, and Meredudd, co-host of the Mindclash Podcast. These nerds convinced me to graduate from EVE University and join Iron Armada. With Iron Armada I’ve been able to grow into a null-sec industrialist, build capitals, and focus on expanding my social presence and instruction of newbros. I’ve attended EVE Vegas with these awesome nerds and directly contributed to the development of in-game features. (Thanks to ex-CCP Lebowski for the shout-out at EVE North last year!)
Your areas of expertise. In which areas of the game do you feel you are the most knowledgeable? What qualities set you apart from other candidates?
My greatest area of expertise is in the attraction, training, and retention of new players. I have made it the focus of my EVE career: on YouTube, on Twitch, writing for Imperium News, contributing to Talking in Stations, and hosting and coordinating meetups and player attraction events. I care a great deal about what keeps people engaged in this game and helps people to combat burnout. EVE is too expansive a game and too awesome a community to let it flounder, and I’m very happy to see that CCP has upped their development game in the last two years.
In the real world I’m a Microsoft stack infrastructure specialist (sysadmin and senior project specialist). I’ve been a large infrastructure projects manager and I’ve run an Australian software company in the legal space. I have a very real understanding of the development cycle and the demands on the devs, and I work very hard to make sure that any feature requests or ideas that I forward be put into terms that are actionable, iterative on existing code or game features, and achievable on reasonable timelines.
What are your positions on the current health of the game and how do your strengths and expertise lend to your platform?
To CCP’s credit they are at least aware that the new player attrition numbers are abysmal (no pun intended). During EVE North last year there was specific note made during the keynote and two other presentations by CCP devs that the game has a problem grabbing new players and holding onto them past the first week. What followed those statements by CCP, however, were talk of art improvements, ship balance passes, resource redistribution, structure changes, and capital changes. None of these are things which new players substantially engage with during their onboarding to the game. This is the herd of elephants in the room and I honestly think CCP needs help here.
When it comes to the experience of the loyal and dedicated players who are already playing the game, I think that there are a lot of small things quality of life improvements which would go to making the game more enjoyable, playable, and engaging.
The first would be a greater degree of communication from CCP about the road map. Radical transparency on both the numbers being generated by the shortage phase and the A/B tests being run on the NPE. If they can step-up their development tic-toc cycle to quarterly or even as brief as bi-weekly, they can tell us what those numbers are informing.
The second would be a greatly revised corporate management and corporate recruitment system in the game. The activity tracker shown off by CCP Nagual and others at EVE Vegas 2018 is in the game and is a hugely under-advertised and under-utilized feature which has been passively aggregating data about new player and existing player behavior and preferences.
There is no reason this data can’t be incorporated into an opt-in referral system for corporate recruitment - both as a “here’s some corps aligned with your skills, experience, and timezone” and also as a “here are some promising potential recruits”.
If this could be piggy-backed with a community-led team of mentors and impartial advocates to guide new players to copacetic corporations, this would be a win-win for everyone. (Note, such a system would need to have an opt-out option for corporations that are purely skill-farms. I.e. a checkbox that says “This corp is a skill farm”.)
The third is that I like a lot of what CCP has been doing with balancing the capital meta and introducing changes to combat structure spam/sprawl. However, I think more needs to be done at the front line of the alpha experience to accelerate their ability to engage with PVP and other core activities of the game. “What’s that? I need to train for 23 days to pass the threshold for entry into PVP without getting eaten alive?” Noping out intensifies.
I think that CCP really needs to closely examine the requirements for new players - and existing corporations looking for new players - in terms of identifying where the best balance can be struck between encouraging people to subscribe to the game and where those same manipulations drive players away. If I were to take a stab at it, I’d say eliminating skill requirements for all T1 modules is a good place to start.
Why are you applying for the CSM?
I am in a place in my development in the game where it’s the next logical step for my EVE Career. Having more face time with the developers, and being able to have any degree of greater insight into the road map and their anticipated development timelines, will empower myself and others to grow the game. It’ll allow us to accommodate and plan for the upcoming changes and setup communications, media, and hype trains to build on the successes of CCP to an even greater effect - in essence we have the opportunity to be force multipliers for their efforts.
I don’t think it’s a mistake that there are so many media-savvy individuals and active streamers/content producers running for CSM this year; it’s not just a personality bid. We do what we do because we care about this game and we want to see it grow. Being able to act as a focus group for the developers and provide front-line feedback on planned changes and upcoming developments is our first chance to help them get it right, whatever it is or will be.
What can players expect from you?
EVE players can expect that I will always be available to them and communicative; example - I am one of the few people I know who reads and responds to literally every YouTube comment (despite the warnings from others to “never read the comments”). This community is just too awesome not to carry forward and hear your concerns, thoughts, and ideas for improvement.
That said, I strongly advise everyone to remember that it’s not the purpose of the CSM to tell CCP what they should/shouldn’t be developing, but to act as a focus group and to counsel them on their approach to new features which they already have in their development sprints/road map. We can ask for features, and we can shine a spotlight on those areas of the game that need some love, but how the developers address those gaps is ultimately up to CCP.
My role will be to help be a positive voice for the community and players of New Eden before the developers, to counsel reason and moderation in changes, and to act as a go-between for the players so that they can be certain their concerns are heard and their questions answered.
Where can players learn more about you and what you do?
And, hey, since Xenuria did it, I’ll throw my personality profile in there, too! Read it Here
If you’d like to support me, you can:
VOTE HERE from June 1-8, 2020