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Gamasutra Podcast Talks To Penny Arcade Adventures, EVE Devs

For the latest Gamasutra Podcast we present two interviews from the 2007 PAX, with Penny Arcade Adventures developer Hothead Games on the challenges and strategies for a new indie studio, and EVE Online devs CCP on tailoring the now four yea
Gamasutra is proud to present the latest Gamasutra Podcast, part of our regular weekly GDC Radio podcasts, which include both the Tom Kim-presented Gamasutra Podcast show, alongside the best lectures, tutorials, and roundtables from this and previous years' Game Developers Conferences. For today's program, we wrap up our interviews from this year's Penny Arcade Expo with double-header conversations with both president and CEO Vlad Ceraldi and COO Joel DeYoung of Penny Arcade Adventures developer Hothead Games, and CCP Whitewolf's Peter Golan and Noah Ward, marketing director and lead game designer of EVE Online. In the first part, Hothead Games' Ceraldi and DeYoung describe the challenges studios faces from quality of life for older employees with families, staffing and outsourcing pressures, new technologies, and as-yet still small installed bases. The two talk particular Hothead strategies such as taking advantage of alternate distribution platforms, adopting novel production models for games using a best-fit supplier model and scalable staffing to maximize efficiency. They also discuss how these strategies don't mean that a developer has to sacrifice on quality. Next, Peter Golan and Noah Ward discuss the longevity of their lead franchise, EVE Online. EVE has been on the marketplace since 2003, far longer than most MMOs. Interestingly, EVE has always had great subscriber retention and a steadily growing base since its launch. Golan and Ward explain how they aren't afraid to make a specialized experience for a hardcore audience, and in fact how their focus has lead to their ongoing success. In their upcoming expansions, they state that CCP has no plans to simplify their game, but are interested in providing tools to the player to more clearly introduce new players to the options their game has to offer. Although they don't seek to make their game more mainstream, they discuss their efforts to ensure that everyone has a significant role, regardless of their experience or rank. They talk about how most of the changes to the game to date have been directly driven by their player base and how their design philosophy has always allowed their players to dictate a remarkable level of input and control over the lore and design of the EVE universe. You can now download the Gamasutra Podcast: PAX 2007 Interviews with Hothead Games and CCP Whitewolf (.MP3, 32 minutes, 14.8 MB). In addition, you can subscribe to the Gamasutra podcasts by clicking this link for iTunes. You can manually subscribe to our feed in your favorite RSS reader that supports enclosures by using this URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GDCRadio.

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