Fanfest 2017: Kyonoke WrapupJakob Anedalle
TL;DR: CCP planned for the Kyonoke Inquest to appeal to a niche group of players. Instead the FanFest attendees engaged in larger numbers and in greater depth than expected. Eve players even found ways to exploit the game. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.
(Note: for the in-game events tune in to The Discourse. This is about the meta of the FanFest event. -Jakob)
Players were certainly still very active as we started the last day and the interest continued to be widely spread across attendees. At the Fanfest roundtable CCP Falcon and CCP Curtis found themselves fielding many comments about the Kyonoke event – perhaps more than all other topics combined.
Some just liked to watch, like one woman who told me “I haven’t participated in the games but I loved the sets, loved the cosplay, it felt more vibrant and inclusive.” People late to the party requested some way to get briefed on how the RP event mechanics worked. Others wanted a way to catch up on the plot. Perhaps it could have been advertised that the ARC players were the best source, though that would require their buy-in.
Not all of the feedback was positive, including a concern that it took up space that could have been used for other things and distress that the game encouraging players to “get in the face” of other participants.
People also wanted a way to interact with their friends who couldn’t make it to FanFest. For instance, a large screen that would show what is outside of the H4-RP4 citadel as a way to see the ships, fireworks, or fights happening nearby. CCP Curtis said this “Is a idea that we’ve wanted to do and will definitely do.”
CCP Falcon said he was very surprised and happy with the level of engagement. They had expected the Kyonoke Inquest to appeal only to a small niche of players and they briefed Company P to that end. Instead the Inquest Hall was jammed. CCP Falcon said that they “vastly underestimated” how much people would get involved. This fits the pattern I observed where people I interviewed on Day 1 who were passively interested were eagerly rushing about in the Inquest space by the end of the event.
This required a change of plans for Company P as well. The actors had a plot line set up that was fairly linear, expecting this lower level engagement. Instead they found they had to confer and readjust twice daily as the events of the game developed. Are we surprised that Eve players quickly looked for ways to min/max, bend, or break the system?
From talking to Cyrillian Voth there was a lot of freedom in the RP for the players. For instance when items were stolen the first response of one of the actors was “that can’t happen” but that quickly changed to “that’s what should happen.” The tenor definitely changed by Day 2 when actors were actively playing along with players who conspired to steal plot specific equipment (after buying the Inquest security guard multiple beers) or later stealing the vote tokens that were used to determine resolutions. The tenor of all of this was within the RP though, and not to troll the overall event.
In the end the capsuleer players uncovered and apprehended the mysterious Vulture, found the cure for Kyonoke, and made it available to the stricken baseliners. The empires agreed to share information under the Hope For All resolution, but will handle their own areas without transparency (the Official Secrets resolution). The Company P received ovations both at the end of the final vote and in the closing ceremonies, and I know some players were looking for the actors during the Party at the Top of the World to buy them drinks. I doubt CCP Seagull anticipated this level of success when she started the motion on this event.
The Kyonoke Inquest event hasn’t ended entirely with the end of Fanfest. There was lots of footage taken which will turn into episodes of The Discourse, the video series produced by the Arataka Research Consortium. They are also looking for photos and video taken by other players – please contact Makoto Priano or Jaret Victorian if you have content to share.