GDC Online 2012: CCP on keeping players cheaply

GDC Online 2012 - CCP on keeping players cheaply
Sandboxes get a lot of flak in today's themepark-dominated MMO industry. That said, sandbox developers who do it right will be laughing all the way to bank, according to CCP senior designer Matthew Woodward.

Woodward recently gave a talk at GDC Online titled The Other White Meat: Design Architecture for Sandbox Games. The presentation focused on the three pillars used by the firm to power its long-running EVE Online MMORPG. Woodward stressed social aspects, goals and goal-driven players, and most importantly, emergent gameplay.

"The big win is that emergence is cheap. A lot of emergent gameplay discussion is about the One Big Moment. In EVE, the big heist that happened six years ago, in Ultima Online, the assassination of Lord British," Woodward explained. "If you do this well, people will play your game forever. People will pay for it forever."

Massively sent two plucky game journalists -- Beau Hindman and Karen Bryan -- to Austin, Texas, for this year's GDC Online, where they'll be reporting back on MMO trends, community theory, old favorites, and new classics. Stay tuned for even more highlights from the show!
This article was originally published on Massively.