|Like the TARDIS, it's a lot more impressive on the inside.|
I'm certain that this is the reason CCP Unifex, CCP Soundwave and CCP Guard took the time to attend and it's also the empowering effect that makes organising events like this and the much grander Fanfest worthwhile for CCP. There seems to be some kind of osmotic process which occurs when cramming crowds of spacegeeks into enclosed spaces, generating a creative ether that fuels the imagination [insert body odour joke here].
Of course it would be remiss of me not to give huge credit to the endlessly positive input from Diana Dial of EVETimeCode, who flew over from The States and stayed with my wife and I to attend the EVE meet. There has, however, been a heavy price to pay. Being outnumbered by women meant that I had little control over the schedule and my wife, electing herself tour guide and hostess, lined up a series of suspiciously un-scifi outings for us. I didn't so much mind wandering the historically-rich halls of nearby Hatfield House (after all, films like Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Tomb Raider and Elizabeth: The Golden Age shot scenes there), but the oestrogen-heavy stage show Hormonal Housewives was a terrifying experience, especially sitting in the front row. If death-cloning had been an escape option, I would have taken it.
Cleansing My Manhood With Beer (Figuratively)
|We few, we happy few, we band of... oh wait, that has different connotations in EVE, doesn't it.|
With only Nick and Mark (in-game names washed away with the other memories, sorry fellas) already in attendance, others began to trickle in, including tweetfleeters Rhapsodyy and JPS Dante. PR guy Nick was already working hard on getting things organised behind the scenes and we practically had to force that first Guinness down him. ;)
Politicians and Deejays
|EVE University and Red vs. Blue plot the downfall of Goonswarm. Maybe.|
A little later, Diana and I spent some time chatting with DJ Wiggles and DJ Squishy of EVE Radio. They were an oddly entertaining pair, reminding me a little of Penn and Teller. The amiable and introverted Squishy was quite hard to hear over the ever-increasing drone of spacegeek smalltalk, whereas the verbose man-mountain that was DJ Wiggles was quite the opposite. Even a simple question like "Would you like a drink?" would result in a five-minute diatribe. As a result we were entertained with our own private radio show, although despite his willingness to talk, I couldn't quite prise from Wiggles the "exciting thing" he claimed to know. It is now clear that the hot news nugget he was struggling to contain was the addition of CCP Affinity to the re-organised EVE Radio line-up.
An Icelander, a Dane and a Brit Walk into a Bar...
1. Hey you're an ally, let's have a beer.
2. Oh, you're the enemy [laugh awkwardly], let's have a beer anyway.
3. Never heard of them [tumbleweed]. Beer?
That said, the conversation content thankfully tends to diversify after that. Beer is everybody's friend.
Creative Feedback and Piratical Shenanigans
One particularly rewarding conversation I was part of involved a group of us discussing the quality of volume of player-made promotional material that is available despite CCP's lacklustre support for said material. Obviously CCP are happy to promote some of the material once it has been made, but with the vast talent in the community, it was widely agreed that better tools would be a great benefit to the creative community and ultimately EVE Online. I'll be tubthumping in greater detail about this in a separate post, but thanks to MofoAnimal, Rhapsodyy, Maxx Ender, Lotta Mullarkey and others for the input and support. St. Chisholm, patron saint of EVE creatives, is surely smiling upon you. ;)
By the end of my Guinness-fuelled evening, I had met many folk and was pleased at the amount of unsolicited positive feedback I'd received about the Tech4 News audio broadcasts. I'm becoming increasingly aware that our proof-of-concept marketing experiment was perhaps more far-reaching than I had initially believed. My drawing board might not have quite as much work cut out for it as previously thought.
Just as I was about to leave, buoyed by the creative goodwill but ready for food/bed, I was ganked by the infamous pirate corp The Bastards. They seemed like a good bunch of lads and rumours that Marco Drack, ReBeLSKuLL and TFS Tibbs stole my wallet and made me sing naked in the street to get it back are unfounded. However, they have invited me to participate in their morally wayward shenanigans by flying to their home system of Evati and joining their Independence in-game channel. What could possibly go wrong?
|The Bastards [L-R]; Marco Drack, (me), ReBeLSKuLL and TFS Tibbs. What's not to trust?|