CCP Games’ Project Nova is very much still on its way (interview)

CCP Games' Project Nova
When the PlayStation 3 shooter Dust 514 finally came to a close last year, many players were left wanting more. Not just because it was a shooter, but that it was based in the EVE Online world. It was the only EVE game that was able to offer a different perspective of that universe. Players and fans alike were also given a taste of the future when CCP Games announced at last year’s Fanfest what seemed to be a successor to Dust called Project Nova.

While excitement was at a high, there were doubts that the game would actually release at all. Of course, there had been no talk of the game. At least not until now. We got to sit down and chat a bit with the managing director and executive producer at CCP Games Shanghai, Jean-Charles Gaudechon. He had some interesting things to say regarding Project Nova. 

Gaudechon talked about some of the delays that occurred with the development of the game. And he did state that a bit of it came due to moving the team from Shanghai to Reykjavik, Iceland:

“Something I pushed internally is to move development closer to Eve. So the development team actually is moving over to Reykjavik for Project Nova. To me though, the best way for a PC MMO product at CCP to succeed is to be as close as possible to one of the best PC MMO games ever done, being Eve… That’s actually a big thing, and it’s happening. You can say it may slow things down a bit again because there is a transition, which the transition is going really well. The soul is staying there from what was built in Shanghai, over to Reykjavik to shape that into something stronger.”

“It’s also awesome to be able to work along with such a great team as Eve, which it won’t be taking people away from Eve… The knowledge process has to feel Eve, and being here (Reykjavik) you can feel and smell Eve every day. When you’re on the other side of the world, it’s necessarily not as easy. We could have, in all honesty, finished it in Shanghai. But this gives us more chances to succeed.”

So despite the delays, they are still committed to delivering the best alternate EVE experience outside of EVE so to speak. It did draw the question though of how integrated into EVE Online did they want to go with Project Nova. Basically, how connected to the MMO will it be. To that, JC said:

“We want to focus more on the product than trying to link it to EVE directly, which can happen down the road. It has to be an awesome shooter that makes sense and can stand on its own. And then you can have it as a small brother or sister grow within EVE…I think there’s a bit of a spiritual successor to Dust 514, which was already boots on the ground, but an evolution from that. I think because it’s very much entrenched in our mind that it should be a shooter on a planet within EVE. The fiction works really well for a shooter. From the different factions, the tech and the lore, it all just works really well.”

With so many shooters today (especially on PC), it’s very hard to break into the market as a sort of unknown and deliver a top tier title. It makes you wonder what went into the decision to go the route of an FPS, rather than a different type of game. JC was able to give us a little insight on that as well:

“The inspiration isn’t fully from existing PC shooters, but more of what does it mean to be a shooter within EVE. And that’s the thing that drives most of our decisions on the product… The type of FPS it needs to be, I think it really needs to be its own vein. It’s not like, I want to be this shooter or that shooter. It’s more like okay, it has to be a AAA shooter; that’s clear. That user experiences to be insanely good, which today you can do. That’s not the most difficult one to crack, at least on PC. But on the MMO layer and the community layer, that’s where we need to be. And that’s where taking EVE as an example for this. You pretty much don’t have better examples to follow out there in terms of MMO-ness to it and community management and such.”

The Faithful and Hardcore Community

EVE certainly has one of the most faithful and hardcore compared to so many I’ve encountered. And that’s not a bad thing either. There’s a synergetic relationship between the developer and community that CCP has built. It’s certainly a testament to the success they’ve relished because of it. Their dedication to their fans and community is something that so many other franchises can benefit from. It’s also this that makes me believe that Project Nova will flourish at whatever point it is released.

Granted, we weren’t able to extract a ton of information regarding the game from JC. But it was great to get a lot of insight as to how their decisions are made. That and how their attention to detail and taking their time is important, rather than rushing just to push an incomplete game out. I’m sure many of you know what I’m eluding to as so many games today are like that. I’m looking forward to Project Nova, and quite hoping we’ll get to play it soon enough.

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Narvin Seegoolam
Narvin Seegoolam 679 posts

Narvin's middle name is FPS....ok maybe not, but he's like BOOM!! HEADSHOT!! I'm hungry...

  • Nomex Gallatin

    Excellent interview, helps clear up a bit of the fog, thanks.

    • Dr IvoRobotnik

      I miss getting in my Scout or Commando Anti-Vehicle dropsuit and taking out all the Tanks, LAVs and Dropships that were called in.

      • Godin Intaki

        Until I ran you over. VROOM VROOM!

        • Dr IvoRobotnik

          THAT WAS MY LAST DROPSUIT!!!!!!! ;n;

  • PuiuCS

    Can’t wait to see what they are doing.

  • Ephy

    But that doesn’t help. Many of us don’t actually care about “Getting it perfect,” Right now. We just want something we can play. We want to go back to sitting 450m out and snipping at redberries. We want to go back to sniping redberries some more with our Rail Cannons on our Madrugars. We want our Combat Rifles, Scrambler Rifles, Tactical Assualt Rifles, Shotguns. Officer Weapons. We want our suits. We want our clones. And if it isn’t perfect. We don’t care. We just want something. Give us a shitty beta!

    • Godin Intaki

      1: I want my Soma, Madrugar, And Surya back far more than sitting in the redline sniping.

      2: Blasters or you’re a scrub.

      3: It’s reddots you cretin 😛

      4: I’d rather have an Alpha than a shitty Beta.

      • Ephy

        Always been Redberries to my squad and everyone I played with. And the entire forum.

        And you obviously haven’t tried sniping at jumping beans with a rail cannon. Shit’s an art, son.

    • Nomex Gallatin

      I second this.

      I am more than willing to accept any alpha or beta to start working back into the New Eden universe as a ground (or spaceship) pounder.

      I am happy to accept all flaws, just let me back in with my friends to kill more clones.

    • Eldurian

      I really get what you mean. If Dust 514 still existed I’d still be playing it. I played it right up until my PS3 got a not-so refreshing drink of water and was considering getting a new PS3 despite the fact Dust 514 was literally the only game I ever played on it. In terms of my taste it was the best FPS ever made.

      I think the issue is perception. People can get turned off to a game by a lot of stupid things, and when people get turned off and give it bad reviews that can hurt the game for years to come. That’s really the issue we saw with Dust 514. People were angry that the link between Dust 514 and EVE wasn’t stronger because that’s what was promised to them. They weren’t critiquing the game for what it was (An amazing FPS with incredible customization and a really cool ISK system). They were critiquing it for what it wasn’t (Linked to EVE in a meaningful way.)

      That, (along with it’s PS3 only status) are what sunk Dust 514. So despite the fact that I could play Dust 514 unaltered other than it being ported to a more relevant platform like PC, and love every single moment of it, I understand them taking their time to get it right for the whiners which is a very large segment of today’s gamers.

  • JAWS

    They ended Dust 514 way too soon. Ending it without having something else was a stupid idea. Just bring back 514… God I miss that game!!!!!

  • Benjamin Barreto

    link Nova to planetary intervention forcing eve players to cooperate with mercenaries to hire them to defend a command center or to destroy another corporations command center in a fierce battle over control of planetary resources, it is the best way the passed Dust 514 or the new Nova would fit in the eve universe space has undergone many changes and this winter we will get the new forgeries with moon mining ops making the harvest more interactive now based upon that Nova, Dust successor, is about mercenaries in planets it would be a great way to involve the planetary intervention with mercenaries either defend or destroy command centers on each planet condition it is how i always imagine this FPS would go with this universe also could give it a mmo FPS to find rare stuff in caves or something i does not have to be like always killing each other -_- but Dust was my best FPS experience ever with upgrades to suit and weapons to me id beat all current FPS up to this day o7

  • deon edwin

    I just want to stab someone with a nova knife again…… sigh