Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jita cam - the proposal

I know this has been discussed before, but I'd like to mention it once again: the Jita cam. Between the matches of the last Alliance Tournaments, CCP streamed a live view of the undock area of one of the busiest trading stations in Eve Online, as a backdrop for the commentators discussing those matches. Many pilots enjoyed the view! All sorts of ships coming and going, piloted by real players going about their business (literally, often); occassionally you would see laser fire.

I would really like to have this as a permanent live cam! It could be a nice screensaver, it could be displayed on a tv, or be used as a backdrop for Eve Radio. It would certainly beat my mother's fireplace DVD (it has a special feature, an interview with the director.. go figure)

It would be even better if the Jita Cam would change positions every now and then. Stations in trade centers such as Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Oursulaert, Rens, Hek, or the busiest star gates along the trade routes between them, could provide enough interesting scenery.

But let's take this one step further. From a technical point of view, I'm not sure what's required to produce the imagery, but I imagine it requires in game recording: something (a ship?) needs to be in game, in the camera position in order to acquire the images being transmitted. If that is true, couldn't that ship move? What if the stream could be hooked up to a Polaris frigate, piloted by an ISD volunteer? CCP is often aware of large battles about to take place (for instance because it has been reported in order to have the server hardware node reinforced in time); wouldn't it be interesting if Jita cam could provide live imagery of these battles? This was more or less done when CCP pilots staged their own 'incursion' in November 2011, which ended in a battle near Tama; live footage of the event was broadcasted via eve radio, where it can still be viewed.

Ideally there would be a few 'streaming enabled' clients available to CCP and/or designated ISD volunteers. CCP would stream either a live feed of the aforementioned undock areas of the busiest stations in New Eden, the traffic at star gates, or if possible live footage of ongoing battles. Prerecorded visuals of interesting locations in New Eden, and reruns of previously acquired imagery of interest could also be used.

From experience I've learned not to say "it can be done easily, and it's cheap!" when it comes to implementing new ICT related stuff, but I'm sure it can be done in this case. I'm just not sure about the cost, and of course there has to be a benefit to CCP as well. That benefit is probably in the area of marketing: it would allow CCP to advertise live, dynamic content (scenery, events) from within New Eden, to those outside of it. Of course Youtube clips offer somewhat the same, but those are often player made and CCP doesn't have much control over how Eve Online is presented in those.

Knowing the Eve Online player base, I'm pretty sure there would be some entertaining 'emergent gameplay' surrounding these camera vantage points or ISD reporter ships, too. What would be more cool than to have your kill recorded by the ISD Jita Cam operator! Or attempt to kill that operator, of course :)

Anyway, did I mention I'm volunteering for the position of ISD Jita Cam operator..? I'd happily spend time flying around New Eden (in a Polaris frigate of course) to gather the footage :-)


Mark726 said...

Ha, I thought I commented on this already, but I approve 100% of this idea. I'd just be happy with the Jita Cam, but the more the better :-D

Sered Woollahra said...

Hey Mark,
Yes, Jita Cam in itself would be a good start.. but to make it worth their while, the ability to stream live events would be a nice selling point. Or so I hope :)