EVE Online developer Noah Ward on player drama in the sandbox

There's been no shortage of player-driven drama in EVE Online over the past few months. The things players can do within the game is a testament to EVE's sandbox design, but also to the developers who allow the players accomplish whatever their devious little hearts desire. It's true that most who play the game don't embezzle virtual currency from player-run banks, engage in spycraft or turn double agent, much less publicly assassinate another player during a PvP tournament, but all players in the game benefit from the risk these activities inject into the game. It all becomes part of the game's setting and ultimately makes New Eden a gritter place.

This is a topic of discussion over at MTV Multiplayer this week. EVEOnline's lead game designer Noah Ward (aka CCP Hammerhead) sat down with MTV Multiplayer's Tracey John, to discuss some of the potential within the EVE sandbox. The interview focuses on CCP Games' hands-off approach to what the players are doing in the game. As long as players aren't spouting racial epithets or making real-life threats against one another, EVE's gamers can basically do whatever they choose on an individual or collective level.

Many people first heard about EVE through some of the infamous things written about the game, most notably The Great Scam (largely fictitious) and Murder Incorporated (quite real), which chronicles the Guiding Hand Social Club's in-game assassination of a player, nearly one year in the making. It's exactly this kind of unpredictability about EVE that's a large part of the game's allure, and it even catches the developers by surprise. Ward says, "We could've never scripted that; you would never be able to come up with something like that. It's what the people like, they have this freedom and that's why this stuff is happening."

Check out the MTV Multiplayer interview with Noah Ward for a closer look at the game's player-driven drama and CCP's perspective on it all.