At GDC this week the tech start-up Hadean came with something to prove, that they could host an in-game space battle with 10,000 ships. Partnering with EVE Online makers CCP Games, this partnership formed the EVE: Aether Wars tech demo.
And somehow, it actually worked, thanks in small part do thousands of EVE Online players who joined in on the tech demo, bolstered by thousands of additional AI units.
After a rocky, slightly delayed start the tech demo took place on the first morning of Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and 3,852 players from around the world fought in one, single, massive battle with AI-connected clients joining the clash and pushing overall ships total to 14,274 and hitting a record-setting concurrent combatants number of 10,412, a Guinness World Record held by EVE Online which hosted a battle in 2018 consisting of 6,142 players on January 13, 2018.
EVE: Aether Wars key stats from the one-hour playtest:
- 3,852 human pilots engage in glorious internet spaceship combat.
- A total of 14,274 pilots engaged in combat including AI pilots.
- A peak concurrent battlefield population of 10,412 pilots, including AI pilots.
- A peak concurrent population of 2,379 human pilots on the field.
- A total of 88,988 ships destroyed (I’m so proud of you guys!)
- A colossal 14,710,908 torpedoes fired. ALMOST FIFTEEN MILLION.
It's not just the sheer number of forces actively fighting in one instance that makes this demo stand out, it's that unlike EVE Online, it included physics, even for the hundreds of thousands of torpedos launched. The goal of the tech demo and milestone achievement is to test and try new things that could have large implications down the line for EVE Online, a game whose devs (and their new parent company Pearl Abyss) want to see last for the super long-term. And it's potentially just one of many tests that could occur in the future.
EVE: Aether Wars was created to showcase the power of Hadean’s Aether Engine, the world’s first distributed simulation engine. Powered by Microsoft Azure, the Aether Engine allows developers to seamlessly scale their applications at increased speed and ease across the cloud.
CCP Games provided Hadean with EVE Online and EVE: Valkyrie assets for use in the EVE: Aether Wars tech demo, along with its own industry-leading games development expertise. This allowed Hadean to focus on solving the technical challenges faced by developers within large-scale online multiplayer environments. The ongoing collaboration between the two companies will seek to explore the potential for substantial changes to the technical infrastructure of EVE Online.
Craig Beddis, Hadean’s CEO:
“We are thrilled to have successfully debuted the Aether Engine with EVE: Aether Wars. A deathmatch of this magnitude couldn’t have been achieved without the support of CCP and EVE Online’s amazing community. After such an incredible showing at GDC, we’re even more excited about the possibilities our partnership presents to push the technological boundaries of what’s possible in the MMO space.”
Hilmar V. Pétursson, CCP Games’ CEO:
“We knew that Hadean’s tech held massive potential, and I’m ecstatic to see that potential realized for the first time with EVE: Aether Wars. I remain convinced that our partnership will continue break new ground in virtual worlds, and we will continue to explore creative and exciting opportunities that ensure EVE will outlive us all!”
An offline version of EVE: Aether Wars was playable at Hadeon's GDC booth, where engineers from the team were also doing interviews and chatting with attendees. Stay tuned for more info on this tech demo as we post content from our interviews with devs at CCP Games in the coming weeks.
Next: EVEsterdam Interviews with CCP Games Coming Soon!