During FanFest 2015 I sat down to talk with EVE Online’s executive producer Andie Nordgren about communication and EVE Online. It’s a game with a reputation for being hardcore. As Nordgren puts it herself later in our chat, “You have this idea that people who play EVE are some weird spreadsheet masochists, right?” So, with that in mind, how do you go about attracting and keeping players? How do you teach them to play in a way that’s actually useful and doesn’t involve a wall-o-text? And who do potential players listen to anyway?
As a starting point I asked about a recent talk she had given called Remembering To Get Over Yourself. It was inspired by a blog post from Kathy Sierra who advised that instead of caring what users think about YOU, you should care what they think about themselves after interacting with whatever it is you’ve created. Success is when “users will talk about themselves, instead of talking about you”. It’s a philosophy which underpins how Nordgren is approaching the growth of EVE Online and informs the company’s interactions with its playerbase.