Eve on a mobile Device?
Welcome to the twelfth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month’s banter comes to us from CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: First there was the MMO on the PC, and now with the recent announcement of DUST 514, EVE will soon be moving onto consoles. But what about mobile? Allow your imagination to run wild for a second and describe how you would see EVE being ported to mobile devices, whether the iPhone/iPod touch, Blackberrys or Android-based devices. Dream the impossible for us!
(Out of Character:) As soon as I read this subject, I immediately thought of my character Akura, trying to access his corporation and alliance mail, live chat channels, intel channels, wallet, training queue….. why would anyone subject themselves to the torture of trying to do that on a mobile phone. anyway, the image it conjured made me inspired to write this little short story. Relevant or not, I hope you enjoy it.
Akura woke up and jumped out of bed with enthusiasm. He had been looking forward to this day for quite a while. Today was the day his many hundreds of millions of isk invested in his pet project were going to finally pay off. Today was the day his research and development agents had promised they would have a prototype ready.He quickly dressed, threw down a protein shake for breakfast, cleaned his teeth, ran a quick diagnostic on his neural implants and went out in to the hall to the elevator heading for the lab.
The research lab had two entrances; one for Pod pilots, leading into a luxurious lounge, with a bar and comfortable lounge chairs. This room was used for demonstrations and information sessions and was fitted out to ensure the elite, immortal pod pilots would have every comfort available. The second entrance was for the workers in the lab itself and lead directly to the research and development floors. Akura always preferred to enter via the second entrance. He had never quite made up his mind whether it was because he preferred to cut past the smoke and mirrors and see the technical details first-hand, or that he enjoyed the panic he caused amongst the researchers as they tripped over themselves to make themselves be noticed by a pod pilot.
When Akura arrived, everyone was buzzing around, making last minute adjustments to equipment. He stood there by the door for a while, just watching and enjoying being incognito until finally the lead project manager noticed him standing there and rushed over to greet him “Good morning Mr Kawanaka sir!” he said with a poorly executed bow. “It is a great honour for us to have you here this morning. Please, make yourself comfortable” he indicated the nearby couch “If it would please you I can send someone to fetch you a drink from the upstairs bar if you like, the demonstration will be ready to begin in 5 minutes or so sir”. “No thank you Peter” Akura said, laughing. “A can of Quafe from the vending machine will go down just fine.”
In short order, quafe in hand, and surrounded by a ring of eager R&D people, Akura was staring down at a small device sitting on the table in front of him. it was obviously not a finished product, wires sticking out all over the place, but it held a promise of a slick palm-sized gadget. The screen was about half the size of the device and the other half had some keys, with letters overlaid on numbers. “It’s a Mobile Neocom interface and Sub-space coupling device” started Peter, “It will link into the neocom network and allow you to access all the information you can normally access from your pod, but in a device small enough for you to carry around with you.”. Peter continued enthusiastically, pushing buttons and causing numbers and information to flow across the screen. “Corporation and alliance mail and live communication channels, Neural Training queues, bank account and market transactions, everything! My personal favorite is the ship fitting tool. you can order your ships stripped and modules interchanged all from this device.”
Akura was impressed, “This is all very good, however, I am rarely away from a computer terminal, and when I am, I’m either asleep or in my pod. I already have access to all this information the majority of the time. and with the new COSMOS network being released shortly, I’ll be able to access all this information from any terminal in any station that I can dock at.”
“Yes sir, but haven’t you often said yourself that you have wished you could read your mail or check your market transactions while you were in a corporation or alliance board meeting? This device will connect you with the neocom wherever you are and no matter how dull your surroundings are.”
“hmm, well I suppose it will enable voice communications with my alliance and corporation also?”
“of course sir, well…. actually it only allows you to contact one person at a time, but we’re working on that.”
Akura raised his eyebrows in surprise. “what? when I’m in a fleet, I can talk to hundreds of my corporation, alliance and coalition members simultaneously via our voice communications… are you telling me this device can only be used for one person at a time?”
Peter looked nervous “yes sir, I’m sorry but the station networks are somewhat out-dated and…”
“nevermind” Akura interrupted irritably “Tell me about how you’ve been progressing with the primary purpose of this project, the reason I have poured over five hundred million isk into this whole thing? How have you progressed with allowing me to fly my ships from this mobile device?”
The Project leader’s smile faltered. “yes, well, we’ve had a few issues with that. the sub-space coupling technology has been the largest stumbling block that this project has had to overcome. We’re breaking new technological ground here. We have rudimentary flight controls enabled, but the problem is, frankly, bandwidth.”
“you said you had rudimentary controls?”
“yes sir, very basic flight controls and the ability to turn on certain modules”
“well, let me give it a whirl then”
“let me try it out – I have a spare rifter in the cargo bay – let me see if I can shoot some pirates”
After an initial few minutes setting up and connecting the device, Akura was shown an image of the outside of his rifter, on the screen on the device. “great!” he said “let’s undock then” the undock button, while small, was fairly clearly labeled.
“so far, so good” Akura said, “let’s see if we can warp around a bit…. wait….where’s my intel channels”
“here sir” Peter touched the screen and it was immediately covered with windows and scrolling text.
“ahh, well, that’s no good, now I can’t see my ship….and the buttons are too small to push accurately.” he made an attempt at pressing the ‘warp to’ button. the screen shuddered and became pixellated, displaying the rifter in a jerky fashion. Finally, it loaded an image of an asteroid belt, but the image was still flashing and updating irregularly.
“that would be the bandwidth issue then?”
“possibly sir, although…..”
Peter reached over and pressed another button, a window with the ship fittings and shield, armour and hull integrity details were displayed.
“well, that can’t be right” muttered peter, “it’s showing the shields at zero… and now the armour is at zero…”
The screen of the device went blank with a small pop and smoke trailed out the top.
There was a deathly silence in the room. Then Akura started laughing. “my corporation told me I was crazy to continue with this project, they said: ‘Akura, nothing can compete with the control that a pod pilot has over their ship, a single rifter under the direct control of a good pod pilot is worth ten thousand remote controlled motherships.’ Perhaps I should have listened to them before I sold my carrier to pay for this dead end project. Mobile devices such as these may be useful for limited purposes, but it appears they are more trouble than they are worth.”
As he stood in the elevator as it traveled down to his hanger, Akura resigned himself to the fact that the pod itself was still the best possible device for communication and control of a ship, despite the risk inherent in flying in 0.0 combat and constant fear of being podded… the fraction of an instant of pain, turned into a fading memory of a nightmare as the mind claws its way back into conciousness in a new clone. The rest of humanity was fortunate, they only had to die once.
As the elevator doors opened, Akura stepped out onto the expansive platform, surveying all his docked ships. A smile crept into his lips as he stared past these, out through the force field covering the dock entrance and into the stars. “Yes, today is a good day to die”.
List of Blog Banter #12 Participants: