Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A look back - FanFest 2005

Check out dem spikes!

I'm back, folks!  Sorry for the huge gap in blogs but I have been traveling around almost constantly for the past two weeks, including this past weekend to FanFest. I've got about three blogs in the works right now that I'll be releasing before the weekend dealing with FanFest 2011, CCP's plans for the future and my recent CSM run. However, before I get into serious mode, I wanted to take a step back and reflect for a moment.

EVE players that travel to Iceland are one of a kind. It's one thing to fly to a media hub city like Las Vegas, Seattle, Atlanta or London for an event or gathering, but Iceland?  There's not another game I know of that inspires people from all over the world to travel to a cold and windy volcanic rock in the middle of the North Atlantic that some crazy Vikings thought would make a good place to settle down.  In that respect, you really do have to pay homage to CCP for creating something special.

FanFest 2011 was my 6th Fanfest, but only my second as a player. One of the things that struck me was not only how much the event has grown, but also how many new players were there. Not only were there a ton of people that came for the first time, but many of the players I spoke with hadn't even been playing more than 2-3 years. It really made me think back to what this event used to be like and want to share it.

My first FanFest was back in 2005, which just happened to be FanFest number two.  Like many people that had never been to Iceland, I didn't really know what to expect. So here's what most people see of Iceland as the plane turns to land.  For most, this is their first view of Iceland:

I think Neil Armstrong is familiar with this sort of thing...
At first glace, it doesn't look like much, but it does get better! :)

Now, for those of you who are used to the grandeur of the stadium-like venue and hundreds of players of the past years, let me give you a glance to what things were like just a few years ago:

Loft Kastalinn - 2005
The venue was this little place with a couple floors and a few rooms. There were no big flags out front, no security in red Concord t-shirts and no lines. I actually walked by the place twice before I even realized this was where I was supposed to be going. Once inside, check in was a very informal procedure and then I started to mingle with the other 20-odd players that had already shown up in the morning.

The 2005 EVE 'Store'
For those that have been to FanFest in the past few years, the EVE Store is absolutely packed with stuff. This year there was even a custom made leather jacket for $500 along with books and magnets and clothing and backpacks and even Vitoc (one year). So if you check out the pic, this set of tables in one corner of the second floor of the venue, you get an idea of how things used to be. There were t-shirts and a few posters. Mostly, the devs working there at the time still seemed to be coming to grips with the fact that, "Hey, we can really make some money off this shit!".  By FanFest 2006, which was moved to the Nordica / Hilton hotel, this 'problem' had been solved.

This was the main 'hang-out'. There was a larger area just off of this one that was reserved for the final night party and Roxxor (the CCP Band) to play, but for most of FanFest 2005, this was it. I'm not sure what the total attendance was, but I didn't have a difficult time finding a place to sit and everyone was very friendly.

The big stage.
This was the main presentation area; actually, it was the only presentation area. The concept of 'round tables' with the devs consisted of going into one of the small back rooms that looked like abandoned old classrooms and sitting down for an informal chat. When it was time for something 'official', everyone piled into this small auditorium.

CCP - 2005
Every FanFest, the main presentation has this slide which shows all of the main statistics. Anyone familiar with the numbers of today will look at this and probably laugh, especially when you consider that, at the time, we were all amazed at over 16,000 people online at once!
Nathan Richardson - CCP Oveur
For the longest time, Nathan was quite simply the face of EVE. This man accepted my humble offering and posed proudly for this picture with all the grace and humility (okay, not really) he is famous for. In many ways, this picture sums up both FanFest and CCP of a different time, before things turned all corporate and 'serious business'.  I'll be blogging a bit more about that tomorrow but, for now, I hope you all enjoyed this trip in the Way Back Machine.


  1. Glad its not just me feeling the change, pretty much everyone I spoke to this year it was their first year.

    I miss the old FF, but I guess change is inevitable.

  2. I spy my then-future wife in one of those pics! Odd that we were in the same room, but wouldn't meet for another year :)