When we spoke to Eve’s Senior Producer John Lander last month, he explained that CCP has some qualms about letting Eve players access certain in-game functions through their mobile devices. “What are we able to properly develop and support without taking away from the core spaceship game?” he asked, citing auction house access, ship fitting and skill training queues as elements they were uncertain to allow API access to. Yet, CCP’s Vita Neocom app for Dust 514 seems able to access all these elements.
When we talked to Lander he was clear; “All these things are already out there in our API... We’ve got this technology called Crest which is the outward facing part of the Eve universe and we can expose whatever we want to (from the API) on that. The limitation is ‘what do we want to expose gameplay-wise?’ Does mobile skill-training increase player interaction? The market? What about fitting? It’s an incredibly singular thing. Why not have that on your iPad, so that you can fit on the bus home from work, so you’re ready to go when you get home. We could expose everything.”
“The Dust-Eve simulation is hefty and the rendering engine showed the work we’ve been experimenting with DX11 at Fanfest. So how do you translate that experience? We want to make sure whatever we do looks great and is very polished. It’s the key part of Eve, that vision. What are we able to properly develop and support without taking away from the core spaceship game? We have the tech, it’s a key part of Dust interacting with Tranquility. We’ll take it easy to start with, as it would be incredibly easy to destabilise the game.”
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The Dust Neocom Vita app though, allows exactly these things. CCP are allowing players to customise their fittings (which the Eve API allows as well), browse and use the market, manage character skill trainin, see the starmap. Notably, it’s a CCP-made app, which we hope is a sign of things to come on PC too.
Knowing how console exclusives work, Dust 514 is almost certainly due on PC eventually. Even before that happens, Eve players will be asking about the lack of an official app, and especially one that allows such fine-grained control of their characters, corporations and ship.