As someone who’s been to a number of game development studios across the years (yes, even Blizzard’s), the chance to win a tour of CCP’s recently completed offices (though, sadly, not their old ones) is not a competition I’m all that interested in entering. Don’t let me put you off as it’s all for a good cause, but you have to understand that I’ve been through CCP’s new fish hut enough times already. For instance, I know by heart the warning that’s taped above each lavatory should visitors be tempted to improperly dispose of paper towels.
Hilmar, CCP’s CEO, will be giving the guided tour, which will certainly make the wandering a worthwhile investment should you be as keen an aquarium buff as he is. However, aside from the Fanfest-friendly date and the fact that the winner will enjoy the undivided attention of CCP’s Great Leader (which itself is worth a small fortune), not much is known about what stopovers are planned for the tour. For the asking price, a raid on the EVE Store is a sure thing, but I also hope there are planned pauses at two of CCP’s most popular and worthy destinations; the coffee machine down by where I think the GMs live, and the crow’s nest dining room.
Now I’m not a massive coffee fan, but that machine makes such a good brew I swear it’s sentient (a possibility backed-up by the mechanical marvel being on Facebook). As for the food at CCP, let me just say that it beats the fare offered by any establishment I’ve ever worked at… and I work from home. In a country that can’t seem to make a decent sandwich and where a fresh tomato is rarer than fish legs, it’s quite a feat that so many fresh ingredients can be found in the same room, let alone combined and cooked to such great effect.
My advice to those keen on bidding is to insist you get coffee and dinner. Also, when going through the Art Department, don’t let Hilmar whisk you too quickly past all the desks. You can be sure than if you look carefully enough you’ll see some designs for new ships, or discarded designs for old ones. Elsewhere on your adventure, if you pass a whiteboard be sure to read what’s on it as you’ll probably glean many development secrets. Don’t make it look like you’re reading it too intently though, or you’ll be taken out and shot as a spy. If you survive all that, don’t forget to email me if you find anything interesting. Finally, of course, don’t flush paper towels down the toilet. It’s bad for the hamsters.