WF 2.0 The Past and The Future
As I mentioned in the previous post, we’re updating the entire Wormhole Fundamentals series, naming it WF 2.0. I would like to explain the idea behind this project as well as talk a little about the future of the series. This is the longest ongoing project Adhocracy has been involved in since the corporation was founded, and it’s probably what we are the most known for.
Wormhole Fundamentals in its original form started in July 2012. Some of the story behind the series was described in the Community Spotlight DevBlog by CCP Eterne. It had been 3 years since the introduction of wormhole space in the Apocrypha expansion, but there was still not that many pilots aware of what the sleeper infested depths of the unknown had to offer. In fact, many corporations living there were struggling to keep up activity and member numbers. Small corporations had trouble growing, while big alliances ruled the battlefields. Adhocracy was relatively big for a wormhole corporation at the time, but as we all know, membership numbers often lie, and the truth was that the majority of our own pilots were alts of members and the time zone coverage was far from ideal.
During my time as an EVE University student, and later graduate and mentor, I always found the teaching aspect of the social interaction in EVE fun and most of all very rewarding. I started playing EVE right around the time Apocrypha has been deployed on Tranquility, and I have been hearing about sleepers, wormholes and T3 cruisers most of my early days. Once I’ve tried dwelling into the unknown by myself, I was instantly in love. Wormhole space to me was what the promise of “exploration, danger, risk and reward” truly is. However, there was always a bit of a lack of information regarding W-Space, trial and error was the main way to go at the time. Right before I left the University to join ADHC, there was a Wiki Editorial Contest held by one of the directors. I took the time and wrote a, what I thought was, pretty comprehensive article titled “Living in Wormhole Space“. It became pretty popular, judging by the pageviews it was getting at the time, indicating to me that there is, in fact, a niche in available information out there. Something, that later on, lead to the creation of the series.
Hoping to boost our own recruitment, as well as getting more people in general into W-Space, the idea was born. The goal was simple: get people interested in wormhole space, highlight all the features that make it unique and different.
I asked the corporation for help with creating an educational series of videos about Wormhole Space mechanics on July 9 2012. The first, pilot episode, was done only 3 days later. Only hours after that the second episode, describing the various system effects you experience in the unknown was uploaded to youtube, along with a third episode, on the topic of Directional Scanner and Local chat. First 8 episodes were done by the end of the summer and the series started attracting attention, generating way more hits than our most popular PVP video at the time. We even had a little help from websites like themittani.com when it comes to promotion of the series.
The series concluded nearly 12 months after the first episode was released. In total, 12 videos were created, scoring over 200,000 views on YouTube.
WF 2.0 Production
Since the Apocrypha expansion release and until the series was in its final form nothing really changed about wormhole space. Nearly all of the mechanics were kept unchanged, and the only thing that affected people living here were ships being rebalanced, but that was often enough just a side effect of what was happening elsewhere in New Eden, not directly connected to wormholes.
That was all about to change. The past two years introduced changes to system effects at first, trying to address various issues people were complaining about, later on moving to how systems in wormhole space interconnect, changing the way exploration sites worked, and finally introducing new systems, mechanics and ships that could be produced from the resources found here. The original series started becoming less and less relevant and more of a history lesson on how things used to be.
Not only the mechanics inside wormhole space changed, but the unknown has started to play a role in the newly unfolding storyline of EVE itself. No longer were we on a island separated from New Eden, pumping out T3 Cruisers and keeping to ourselves. We are now a part of something much bigger. Much like capsuleers visiting wormhole space to hunt down sleepers before, the sleepers started exploring known space, opening a new chapter in EVE’s history, and boy, is it exciting.
Shortly after my CSM term finished, with all the changes in mind, I started thinking about what’s next for the series. The answer was simple, since everything changed, let’s start from scratch. New mechanics, new graphics and new content meant we need to start making a new series. Of course, we could keep some of the old episodes that have touched on things that haven’t changed much at all, but I think it would be a mistake not taking the opportunity of overhauling all the videos while I have the chance. After all, I have learned a few new tricks since 2012, when it comes to video production, and it would be a shame not to use them.
At the end of April I introduced the idea of WF 2.0 to my corporation. Just like before I was met with very positive response and the pre-production has started nearly right away. Being more of a community than a typical EVE corporation, the original team behind the series is mostly present, with Memoocan doing the narration, Yanaoo taking care of the audio, but new members took upon themselves the task of overhauling the old scripts from the original series, as well as writing new ones regarding things like Thera.
While the majority of the work has been completed already, at least when it comes to writing, we’re still putting finishing touches on scripts, and I am slowly gathering new footage, as I am not planning on reusing any of the old recordings. It will take some time until the series is done, but I think the wait will be worth it. This time around the production is much better organized, as opposed to the hectic ducktaping things together to make it work way we used 3 years ago. Art assets I plan on using in the series are nearly done, and there’s even something you might call ‘concept art’ in place – Images you can see throughout this blog post.
Planning for The Future
One of the things that we have learned is that a video series on game mechanics are very hard to maintain. If anything that is covered in a video has been tweaked in game, that usually means the entire video is now invalid, and a new one should take its place. The thing we have not been very good at so far. With that in mind, we have a new plan on keeping the series relevant and as much up to date as possible.
The core of the series consists of 16 episodes. Those videos will cover game mechanics similar to what the original series did. Videos on system effects, connectivity, collapsing wormholes etc. Most of the things covered in those videos have already seen their re-iteration in the past 2 years and are likely not to change drastically in the near future, or so I hope.
After the core is complete, we are planning on releasing ‘Update‘ videos on a semi-regular basis. What this means is that every time something is added or changed in Wormhole Space, we will create a new video mentioning the changes, and how they affect the mechanics previously described in the series. With the new release cadence from CCP, what this means in practice is that we will produce an Update video every 2-3 months, consisting of descriptions of the game mechanic changes that happened in relevant game releases. I hope that makes sense.