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Sometimes Stan has some really fun Blog Banters

But this one.. this one is hard:

BB41: Director’s Cut

The universe of EVE is not without its drama and epic stories, both in and out of game. Imagine a publisher, movie studio or television network asked you to prepare a pitch for a new brand of EVE-flavoured entertainment. This could be your big break, what would be your synopsis to bring New Eden to the wider audience?

First off, no matter what form of Entertainment it is, if the story is solid, it will make money.  Star Wars would  have never been the hit it was if it didn’t have a compelling and solid story behind it.  The same thing with the Lord of the Rings, Snatch, Gone with the Wind, etc., etc.  So, the problem is, where do you get that story?

Well, the game lore ISN’T and can’t be the story.  It is the foundation, the canvas from which you can write the story.  Only in the perspective will any new form of entertainment be viable.  But are all forms of entertainment still viable in the Eve Storyline?

Le Television

So.. should we start with TV then?  Well, we could look at some humorous possibilities:

  • How about “Ganked!”, a hilarious Eve Online-based version of the popular comedy Ashton Krucher show, “Pranked!”
  • Or how about a daytime drama called, “As the Titan Turns”, profiling the life, and needs, of various male players when they compete for financial gain, only to to be subverted by the rare, and transient, female gamer who joins their corp only to turn weaker male gamers into jelly, while she seeks to take over the alliance for her own ends.
  • Perhaps, something unique is in order, like a variant of the show, “Survivor”, where FPS expert players are forced to play Eve Online and reach various goals, else they lose money.. or their family.

Sadly, I don’t think anything like TV would work.  First off, most viewers are completely unfamiliar with the very complex rules (or lack thereof) of Eve Online.  This means they have little to relate to.  On the flip side, the Lore of Eve Online, while having a ton of potential, lacks enough coherency to try and bring a solid fantasy TV series, in the typical fashion.  In addition, because Eve Online world is so vibrant, so active, trying to encapsulate a universe that changes constantly through a TV series would do very little but tick people off who were actually there and make everyone else who was even slightly interested (but not actual players) lost.

Yet when I think of Star Trek, Firefly and Battlestar Galatica (the new one), it might just be good enough to do a small story, one that doesn’t necessarily include everything that happens in the universe since the Eve Gate closed.

Hanging out with the REAL Siskel and Ebert.

So, if TV doesn’t look promising, how about movies?

For movies, there is potential.  Eve has some Lore advantages:

  • No Aliens
  • No Superhumans
  • Every Culture Imaginable

For example, a Trilogy could play off of these by  starting off with the Minmatar/Amarr conflict, then moving to the Caldari/Gallente conflict, and throwing a third one in that just leaves everything wide-wide open.  The problem will be, that in most trilogies of this sort there is always the Good Guy versus Bad Guy relationship.  You know who is who.  And that dynamic is something that isn’t so easily exploitable from Eve Online.  True, the “Amarr” tend to be the bad guys, per se.. but  how bad can the bad guys be if, through known lore, their slaves usually are living in better conditions than their “Good Guy Minmatar cousins?  Or “How Dare You Feed My People Steak, When They can have Moldy Bread and be Free.. though Sickly and Not Likely to Improve Their Lot in Life”.  Not really much of a selling point, ya know?

The big problem is that “Sci-Fi” movies are usually “Bad”.  Really, really bad.  We don’t see very many any more because the mass of them go straight to DVD now.  Because for every “Star Wars”, there are five or six “Wing Commander”s that keep the genre down.  The trick of course is finding a hook.  Something that puts a new, but interesting draw onto the movie.  This means you have to mix it with something compelling, but still popular:

  • Political Awareness/Social Commentary – I don’t see how this would work honestly, but you never know.. it can be rather creative.  Maybe a film about a single action between the Democratic Gallente and the Capitalist Caldari.  Perhaps the Obscenely Rich versus the Destitute Poor might work.
  • Horror/Mystery/Suspense – Probably the best option.  The setup from Lore is really great in that civilization from old Earth holds tons of potential for surprises and keeping in “non-alien”, which gives Eve Online its own niche.
  • High Theft/Spy – Something that Eve Online is signature for, and something, that might be fictionalized to good effect.  The only problem would be the ease directors and story writers  will use technology to escape bad situations.  Those always come off as cheap.

Another problem for Eve Online in particular is that the main aspect of Eve Online is Space Combat.. true, it is cheaper today to do good CGI, it would need to be very good, very believable, and very exciting.  That doesn’t come cheap, nor does it necessary get made well by everybody.  And CCP isn’t known for having a lot of cash lying around.

As I sit in the Library, wishing for a Latte

The last form of entertainment probably is the next natural extension and this is of course books.  So far, we have three Eve Online books.  I have read the Burning Life and Empyrean Age, while I wait for the local store to have Templar One.  The Empyrean Age was a pretty good starting book for the game, though it could have been a bit more.. mature in its delivery.  The Burning Life is more of a “Gamer’s novel” because it tries to do too many things, and the ending is pretty.. weak.  If anyone is that committed to do all the things the main character did, it is unlikely he won’t finish it when he finally gets there.  He would have had his “epiphany” long before he did what he did.  Still, with the cost of virtual publishing down, the pool of talent that CCP has access to, the only problem is them finding a highly skilled editor who can help form the story into something engaging and repeatable.

And that is all that I think about that…

Adding to the discussion: