Even now, prior to the incoming visual improvements, I often find myself attempting to find the perfect camera angle to admire a new ship or to orchestrate that perfect flyby shot. During combat I try to find the ideal camera perch from which to enjoy the action.
But alas, even with to so-called 'advanced camera options'* the viewing controls are limited. With some effort, it is possible to engineer some vaguely cinematic angles using the 'set as parent/interest' options. Also, use of the right mouse button does allow some additional rotational control, but this rubber-bands on release of the button and is essentially only a 'quick glance' function. [On a related note: Exploding ships, please let the camera linger on them rather than home back immediately.]
The existing camera interface could be vastly improved with only some minor control tweaks. The simple functionality of being able to anchor the camera to a specific point and direction would allow a multitude of functions. These could be provided as defaults or the player could simply be given the toolset to make custom camera anchors if this would reduce development demands.
The following are examples of what could be possible.
Static Ship Viewpoints
[eg. CNC Deck, Observation Towers, Views: fore/aft/left/right/up/down.]
|Naga: port-side forward view.|
|Naga: port-side aft view.|
Fixed Tailplane View
|Rifter: fixed tailplane view of incoming fire.|
Weapons Tracking View (Turret & Missile)
|Naga: Turret view to target.|
Picture-in-Picture/Zoomed Target Window
|Drake: Visual target tracking.|
Multiple Actor Tracking
|Try maintaining this shot manually.|
The selection could be managed via a checkbox interface as follows:
Select camera focus:
- Primary Target
- All Targets
Implementation and Summary
In conclusion, this feature would comprise three elements.
1. Custom camera toolset (anchor and point)
This would perhaps be the easiest to implement as it requires modification of existing functionality rather than the introduction of entirely new elements.
2. Multiple Actor Tracking
There is evidence to suggest that this functionality is entirely plausible with the Carbon engine and it could be a useful client-side tool.
3. Picture-in-Picture Functionality
Presumably a fairly non-trivial endeavour, this would require the most significant adaption of the existing user interface. However, it could perhaps be considered as part of a general UI overhaul.
A versatile and truly advanced camera suite would be a fantastic and useful toolset to further increase immersion and appreciation of EVE's arresting visuals. There's little point in CCP's artists spending so much effort making EVE look so good if no-one is really looking. Keeping the viewing tools as they currently are is like being at an art gallery but being forced to view everything through binoculars whilst spinning around.
Community spectacles like the Alliance Tournament would benefit greatly from these tools, making the experience far more engaging for the casual spectator. I have covered this in greater depth in Fanfest Flashback: The Spectacle of Combat, and the argument is as strong as ever.
Most players spend a lot of time traveling through the stunning New Eden environments, why not give them the tools to better enjoy the journey.
EVE is definitely ready for its close-up now Mr DeMille.
*Select the tickbox under miscellaneous in 'Display & Graphics' Escape menu to activate.
[This post was an entry in the EVE Blog Banter community discussion.]