GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Crimewatch 2.0: Redesigning EVE Online's Policing System

Matthew Woodward  |  Senior Game Designer, CCP Games

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Design
Vault Recording: Video

Game designer Matt Woodward explores how "Crimewatch," EVE Online's policing and aggression management system, got into such a bad state that an unofficial moratorium was placed on further development - and how his team went about redesigning it. This case study covers the history of the system, and walks through the development process, covering initial research, core design, adjustments necessitated by legacy features and player feedback, and how the redesign fared post-release. Special attention is given to the core design, using practical examples to illustrate the underlying design flaws of the original system, isolate the mistakes that led to them, and explain the reasoning that underpins the replacement system - and how that reasoning can be generalized to other designs.


Rules of thumb for managing complexity, capturing fairness, creating bomb-proof designs and dealing with messy realities, plus insights into approach, methodology and problems encountered, all in the context of a successful project to turn an ugly caterpillar of a feature into a beautiful butterfly.

Intended Audience

Anyone with an interest in effective systems design! Particularly relevant to MMOs, but should be broadly applicable.