Last weekend, the EVE Online community team hosted a Twitch viewing party to help EVE players stave off COVID-19 isolation related boredom. The stream was a marathon of a machinima series called “Clear Skies,” beloved in the EVE community. CCP Convict, one of EVE’s community managers, hosted the event alongside the series’ creator and star Ian Chisholm.
“Clear Skies” is a space opera told in the universe of EVE Online, following the crew of the titular vessel, a Minmatar Tempest-class battleship. The crew of the Clear Skies get themselves in and out of quite a bit of trouble during the adventure, and Chisholm tells a very compelling story without too much unnecessary EVE specific jargon.
The original machinima video debuted in May of 2008, and features a combination of EVE Online gameplay footage and characters from Valve’s Source engine standing in scenes inside of various spaceships. The original release of “Clear Skies” was well received among the growing EVE community, being downloaded over 20,000 times in the first 48 hours. The series improved over time, with Chisholm using motion tracking software and even getting some help from the creators of the video game NeoTokyo, who allowed Chisholm to use the high resolution texture files from their game to create some truly impressive visuals.
Over a thousand EVE Online players joined the marathon stream on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the series and get some much-needed social bonding. After the two and a half hour series came to an end, Chisholm joined CCP Convict for a live Q&A session, where he announced to an immensely excited crowd that “Clear Skies 4” is currently in the works.
“Clear Skies” remains a testament to the creativity and love that EVE Online players routinely show for their shared pastime. Many fans of the series around the world are now eagerly awaiting the next installment, to see what happens to the crew of the Clear Skies and to see what innovations Chisholm has come up with in the series’ eight year absence.