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PC Gamer
PC Gamer
Rich Stanton

CCP reveals first details of survival game set on a single shard in the EVE universe, but wait: here comes the blockchain

Concept art for Project Awakening showing some kind of space settlements and a ship.

EVE developer CCP games announced last year it was working on a blockchain-based game set in the space MMO's universe, codenamed Project Awakening, and has now revealed the first details and an upcoming playtest. The Icelandic studio rather boldly says this is the next step in its quest to "create virtual worlds more meaningful than real life." Goodbye to my children: I love you but you really oughta try this new CCP joint.

Project Awakening is a "single-shard survival experience" and seems to share a lot of DNA with EVE's principles: player freedom, consequences, and "a universe that will evolve from the actions and efforts of its players." It is unsurprisingly set in space, "where civilization has decayed in the ruin of its own ambition", and promises a hostile cosmos in which players have to survive and rebuild.

So, what does it need the blockchain for? Well the $40 million in funding didn't hurt, but it's not enormously clear beyond a promise that "composability and programmability will enable players to build and collaborate on top, outside of and within the emergent game environment." If you know what that means then please drop me an email.

Alongside the first clues about Project Awakening, CCP has also announced that it will be making its Carbon Development Platform open source.

"We have been co-developing games with players for over 20 years: by making the Carbon Development Platform open source we are now taking the next step in this journey," CCP Games CEO, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson. "Our vision is to open up game development to everyone… as part of this, we are excited to reveal the first details about Project Awakening, which embodies this philosophy. Players will have a new series of tools at their disposal to add their own features and functionality to the experience, a new way of leaving their mark on the world. If you are a builder and want to be a part of this journey, then apply to PHASE III and join this new extension of the EVE Universe."

Interested players can sign up for a May playtest of Project Awakening here. Today's announcement is also accompanied by a page of text from an entity known as the Keeper, the first hint of the flavour this new universe is going for. It's called "The Time is Wrong" and reads:

The time is wrong.  

The Trinary is not in the correct configuration for a checkup. 

Instead, my oblivion is stirred by a distant echo of violence. One of our long-range sensor arrays had felt the murder of a star and the subsequent tremor in the Stillness. And, carried by the ripples, one simple fragment of music.  

A technological signature and evidence of a human society somewhere out there. The simulations reconstructing this sparse data into a synthetic spectre of a civilization are vague but pregnant with possibilities. A tangle of cultures, politics, and history that is complex yet strikingly familiar. It speaks of empires, corporate behemoths, and expansion spheres blooming into the unknown. A lost tribe capable of great beauty and destruction… 

A hope.

We are not alone after all.

Too long the gate network hasn’t carried thinking meat through its veins.  

Too long the trickle of souls was dry.  

Too long the frontier had lain empty, churned and torn by the fierce tides, a desolate void haunted by traitor automata.  

Our hecatomb will not be in vain. The decision was made to retrigger the program. A new crop is gestating.  

The music though… If I had tear-ducts I would have wept. 

The time has never been so right.

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