Walking in stations

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An early character design for the Ambulation project.

Incarna (Also known as Ambulation or Walking in Stations) is an expansion for Eve Online which introduces the ability for pilots to step out of their pods and explore the Space Stations throughout the galaxy. Walking in stations was first announced in 2006 [1]. The title Incarna was given as the official patch name during the 2009 Fanfest, as part of an update revealing the release to be sometime in 2010. The expansion will be released in stages, the first of which was on 21st of June 2011. [2]

Contents


Game Design

The expansion is initially going to be relatively bare-bones, due to the nature of the challenges of creating the technology and creating game play that does not encroach on the methods people play Eve Online today.

A Tactical Map is a major feature being planned for the expansion. [3]

"Through the course of our work on Ambulation, we’ve come to realize the potential a Tactical Map could have when it comes to things like war planning, logistics and complex fleet movements. The Tactical Map would be a 3D holographic image of the universe. The difference between the Tactical Map and the F10 map is that the Tactical Map would allow interaction of multiple people simultaneously - with the expected moderator privileges, obviously. It's a collaborative tool, meant to aid corporations and alliances in dealing with the complexities inherent in tactically coordinating large numbers of people."

On release, the primary content will be the ability to run shops inside of stations, ranging from Plastic Surgeons to Fashion Outlets. Players will also be able to set up corporate offices where they can hold meetings and introduce recruits. Player scripted NPCs will deliver dialogue to people looking for information.

Mini Games are an expected feature of the Walking in Stations expansion, with a thread on the Eve Online forums taking player suggestions for games to include. Gambling is one of the primary functions that is planned for inclusion, with the ability to place anything from ISK to Ships in a wager.

Custom, player made clothing is another major feature. It will be possible for anyone to have a custom made uniform or outfit, but to prevent "visual griefing," the color palette is being kept subdued and realistic. CCP has also hired fashion designers to aid in the development of clothing and fabrics within the Walking in Stations expansion.

Locations

Players will be able to ambulate inside of Space Stations, the offices, and the ships located within them. In addition, the captain's quarters of a ship will also be a visitable location where the player can decorate and furnish their quarters to some degree.

Art Direction

"Macarena-dancing aliens have nothing to do with science fiction in my book. I recommend watching Aliens, Blade Runner and The Empire Strikes Back. This is what true science fiction is about and the reason we made EVE."

The design and art for the Walking in Stations expansion, much like the rest of Eve Online, pushes for grittiness, functionality, and a grim reality. The player visible areas of the space stations will be expansive, with a lot of space to visit. Since there will not be running in Ambulation, special accelerated walkways will be provided to allow faster transport from place to place.

Graphics Technology

Incarna will make use of a radiosity based lighting system licensed from Geometrics. This gives Incarna a softer, warmer look when compared with Eve. As described at the CCP Presents! panel at Fanfest 2009[4]:

"It means that you can have just one light source and then that light source will bounce all over the room; it will pick up the light that is already on the wall and then bounce that light back. So if you have a green wall lit by a white light there will actually be a greenish hue on the entire room. And this gives you a really warm, fuzzy look to the interiors. This is actually something we're working hard on because the look for the space is really crafted in Eve to be a harsh, and dark contrasty look; partially because that's how space looks, but also because we want to give you that feeling that Eve is a dark and cold place, and people can really screw you over, right? So we deliver that through the visuals when you're in space. However in stations, as we're deploying Incarna, you won't be able to kill people, at least not in the first iterations, so it makes a lot of sense for us to develop a different kind of lighting model. So we want this [to be] more of a soft, warmer model and that's what this technology allows us to do."