27 June 2013

FanFest 2013: Saturday

Today was always going to be a monster day. Not only was there a full day of talks to go, there was also the famous Party At The Top Of The World to attend at night. To add to all that I had yet to visit the imposing Hallgr√≠mskirkja church and was determined to do so before going home. With all this planned it was probably inevitable that I would sleep in and miss the EVE Movie Morning where I had promised to meet friends. This first I knew of that was a text message asking where I was. Oh well, guess I also missed breakfast...

I made it to Harpa in time to meet up with everyone at the end of the movie session. Apparently I didn't miss much. In my imagination I'd pictured the complete Clear Skies trilogy to  be played, but it wasn't to be. The EVE in China talk was very interesting. Their nullsec is even more homogenised that what we find in the west. Not only that but the price of PLEX in the China server is something like 5 times what we pay. This price pretty much matches up with inflated prices of minerals and battleships so life isn't as bad as it may first seem for our Chinese counterparts. The presentation from the Chinese team ended with a great clip of many players on the China server saying hello to us on the other server.

Next up was the final Make EVE Real talk. This one was from Michael Laine of LiftPort Group. The talk started discussing the difficulties of making a space elevator from Earth due to current known materials not being strong enough. The solution discussed was to build a space elevator down to the Moon from the Lagrange point between the Moon and Earth. This would have the two benefits of proving space elevator technology could work in practice while also claiming the microgravity environment of the Lagrange point for LiftPort Group. Truth be told, this second point seemed to be more of interest to Michael Laine. Out of the three talks this one set up the shortest timescale yet the speaker seemed the least confident that he would succeed. He started with talking about his failures and continued through the talk mentioning it and how close to running out of money his group is. The highlight of the talk was Michael announcing his EVE character name. Last time I looked the bounty on him was well into the billions.

I thought the Games as Art - EVE at the MoMA talk would be a nice change of pace. After grabbing something to eat I went in a bit late and missed the very start. I quickly decided I wasn't enjoying the "comfy chair coffee table chat on a stage" discussion and headed off for a walk to the Hallgr√≠mskirkja church. Did I mention it was cold, windy and I was wearing a kilt? It didn't take too long to get to the church. There is a long road leading up to the imposing structure, which just keeps getting bigger and bigger as you walk up to it. Outside there is a statue to Leif Ericson who is regarded as the first European to land in North America. Inside the church you can pay to go to the top of the tower and look out across Reykjavik. Bizarrely, while up there I ended up explaining to a tourist who wasn't in Iceland for fanfest what EVE was all about. He said he'd give the game a go when he got home. Walking back to the Harpa attracted some attention to my kilt. Some kids stopped me to ask if I was cold - I wasn't particularly. Another car stopped when I was crossing and I got a thumbs up from the driver followed by his son shouting "Axl Rose" at me - I was in a red kilt and black leather jacket. I was glad to get back to Harpa though, I wasn't cold but I was definitely warmer indoors.

CCP Presents was the final presentation of FanFest. As with the previous end-of-day talks there was a certain feeling of surreality that I was there. This was the magical end to FanFest where CCP likes to tease with things that are coming and things that are dreamt of. Collectors Edition box set, Books, TV series, Player-built stargates. Wait... player built stargates? Holy shit!

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