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Elite: Dangerous
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JonasBeckman
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Default Elite: Dangerous - 11-06-2012, 04:58 | posts: 9,618 | Location: Sweden

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...lite-dangerous

Quote:
Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally - trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.
Quote:
“Elite” has gone down in history as one of the most successful games of the 1980s. It was the first ‘open world’ game in which the player can freely roam a vast space. It was the first true 3D game too, and set many other benchmarks. Ian Bell and I set out to make a game for ourselves rather than for some imagined market. We were sick of games with three lives then a new life every 10,000 score; we wanted something new.

Mostly Harmless.

The original “Elite” fitted into around 22K of memory, out of a total of 32K on the BBC Micro Model B computer on which it was launched (8K was needed for the screen, 2K for the system). This is less than a single typical email today. In it were eight galaxies each with 256 star systems. Each planet in those systems had its own legal system, economy and so on. Clearly some magic had to happen to fit it into 22K, and that magic was procedural generation.

Competent

“Frontier” followed in 1993 on 16 bit computers, and pushed these procedural techniques further. In it I made a model of the whole of the Milky Way galaxy with all 100,000,000,000 or so star systems, and many more planets and moons, each of which you could visit. It is something I am really proud of, as it was as scientifically accurate as I could make it, and provided a great backdrop for a game. I loved the richness of the galaxy, but with the benefit of hindsight I think the way the ships flew detracted from the joyous immediacy of those in “Elite”.

Dangerous

Imagine what is now possible, squeezing the last drop of performance from modern computers in the way “Elite” and “Frontier” did in their days? It is not just a question of raw performance (though of course these elements will make it look gorgeous), but we can push the way the networking works too – something very few people had access to in the days of Frontier.

Frontier Developments, the company I founded in January 1994 (and whose first product was a version of the “Frontier” game for the CD32 console), is now a very well established game development company with 235 people in the UK and Canada, with its own technology and tools and a great team of game developers. We have a long track record of delivering high quality games on time and to budget, both published by ourselves and through big publishers like Microsoft, LucasArts, Atari, and Sony.

Elite: Dangerous is the game I have wanted Frontier to make for a very long time. The next game in the Elite series - an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope, but this time you can play with your friends too. I want a game that feels more like the original “Elite” to fly, and with more rapid travel (to allow for the multi-player nature of the game) – so you travel quickly using local ‘hyperspace’ travel rather than by fast-forwarding time – but with the rich galaxy of Frontier – and more, so much more.

I’ll be frank - we have had a couple of false starts on this over the years, where progress wasn’t as good as I wanted. Also, understandably, other projects have been prioritised – projects with announced dates or other commitments. Up to now “Elite” has been worked upon by a small team as a ‘skunk-works’ activity in the background as availability permits. Nevertheless, we have been preparing; laying the technology and design foundations for when the time is right. And that time is now.

Why Kickstarter?

We’re using Kickstarter both as a means of test-marketing the concept to verify there is still interest in such a game that extends beyond the individuals who regularly contact me about the game, and raising the funds to do so. There is also the fact that as long as we hit the threshold, it commits us to making the game. From where we are now, $2M/£1.25M will get us the minimum game, but I am hoping we can get more than that as it will allow us to be more ambitious with content and platforms; something the design decision forum members (the £300 reward tier and above) will be part of a discussion about.

We will rely heavily on artist-directed procedural generation, using techniques that are a logical expansion of what was done in the previous “Elite” and “Frontier” games. This will greatly reduce the required budget – bringing it to within reach of Kickstarter. It also means it becomes a viable project to avoid the conventional publishing route – something that I don’t believe can deliver a game like this successfully.

Procedural Content

Procedural generation of content is a technique where content is generated from rules. It abstracts repetitive or arbitrary elements of content creation in a very efficient way. Imagine a medieval landscape. Laying out towns, roads, castles, farm land, forests and so on can be done by a system of rules – putting castles widely spaced out on vantage points, towns near rivers but under the protection of such a castle, roads between them, then with farm land to support them all. An artist can still design the castle, the houses in the towns, but this approach greatly magnifies the content that can be created. “Frontier” did this for the star systems, and planets, and with Elite: Dangerous, we will go further.

The Game

In the game, you will of course begin with a spacecraft and a small sum of Credits. You will be able to trade, pirate, bounty-hunt, explore, and salvage your way to wealth and fame, building on those key elements of the previous games, and with sumptuous graphics only now possible with the performance of today’s machines. Only this time some of the ships out there will be other players like yourself – other members of a secret ‘Elite’ group of space-farers…

· Multiplayer: you will be able to control who else you might encounter in your game – perhaps limit it to just your friends? Cooperate on adventures or chase your friends down to get that booty. The game will work in a seamless, lobby-less way, with the ability to rendezvous with friends as you choose. This technology is already working, using a combination of peer-to-peer (to reduce lag) and server connections.

· Play it your way: Your reputation is affected by your personal choices. Play the game your way: dangerous pirate, famous explorer or notorious assassin - the choice is yours to make. Take on missions and affect the world around you, alone or with your friends.

· Trade: Buy low, sell high and discover the most profitable trade-routes. Keep an eye on the markets, supply and demand may create opportunities for quick profit. Unscrupulous players may even try distorting those markets.

· Fight: take on the pirates, or become one yourself. Engage in combat missions within a rich and dynamic simulation to earn a reputation, or perhaps you want to become a famous bounty-hunter – feared by those that you chase, but staying the right side of the law.

· Travel: Travel across star systems and between them. Risk leaving the relative safety of the Corporate-run space station to explore distant planets or stars. Space is big and you never know what you might find; perhaps a salvageable freighter wreck or some valuable asteroids? There are secrets and startling beauty waiting to be discovered by the intrepid explorer.

· Ships: save your credits and upgrade your ship. Get new weapons, engines and equipment and customize your ship the way you want it. Check out the body-kits and paint jobs on offer, give your ship that personal touch.

The game is planned to be released on the PC in March 2014. Make no mistake – this is a massive game, but by using procedural techniques that we have been cultivating over the years, a new approach to multiplayer, and bringing the raw power of today’s machines to bear, it is astonishing what is possible. This is your chance to help make it happen. Become one of “The Elite” once more.

David Braben

*All names must not be offensive, trademarks, or in any way problematic for us to include in the game, and must follow our naming guidelines.
   
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Mufflore
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Default 11-06-2012, 05:18 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Oh my.
I hope he doesnt create a VR version, I'll live there!

I hope it doesnt require you to be connected to a server if playing single player.
   
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Default 11-06-2012, 09:04 | posts: 10,269 | Location: United kingdom

One of my favourite games of all time,i spent more than afew thousand hrs on the Elite franchise consisting of 3 games and then you had the clones like FOFT(federation of free traders) glad its getting an update, i will be sending a donation.

Last edited by Veteran; 11-06-2012 at 09:09.
   
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Default 11-06-2012, 12:03 | posts: 26,031 | Location: Hampshire UK

lol, was just gonna say veteran is going to be happy about this. I'm beginning to like kickstarter. seems like there's a lot of potential for quality games to come from it. let's have our fingers crossed they all fulfill what they promise.
   
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Default 11-06-2012, 14:18 | posts: 618

Lame rewards, vague description, no concept art, not even a video? It feels like they want to ride the wave of Star Citizen and quickly throw their idea out there.

They ask for the same amount of money as Chris Roberts with SC ($2 million in total) yet have nothing to show so far (SC at least has a basic prototype ready)
   
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Default 11-06-2012, 14:42 | posts: 996 | Location: Herts, UK

Setting aside any cynicism about the fundraising, I'm pretty excited by this. David Braben is a very capable guy, although I think he has some weird ideas about what makes a game enjoyable. If you don't know what I'm talking about have look at the walkthrough of the main First Encounters missions.
   
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Veteran
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Default 11-06-2012, 15:20 | posts: 10,269 | Location: United kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by KodY View Post
Lame rewards, vague description, no concept art, not even a video? It feels like they want to ride the wave of Star Citizen and quickly throw their idea out there.

They ask for the same amount of money as Chris Roberts with SC ($2 million in total) yet have nothing to show so far (SC at least has a basic prototype ready)
Although SC looks good i do prefer the ships of Elite like the Viper, Imperial Trader and Panther Clipper, They all have much more charisma than the ones in SC so far as ive seen, not saying SC isnt gonna be good, but at the end of the day its still a clone and not a sequel to the original.

David Braben isnt as DUMB as what DICE are, He will give people what they want, If its not broke why fix it, Im sure this game will be great, He also said that people who have donated on kickstarter will be part of the creation and development process, I can see this game epic as long as the money targets are hit as its being co-developed with ideas from the hardcore playing fans of the originals.....DICE take NOTE!!

@eclap funny how we discussed this the other day in the Pcars thread with regards to Ian Bell, Maybe David Braben read my post lol

Last edited by Veteran; 11-06-2012 at 15:31.
   
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])rStrangelove
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Default 11-06-2012, 15:38 | posts: 3,645 | Location: Northcoast of Germany

Hmmm. Really happy it is done and i'm very anxious to see how he does things differently since the 90ies.

BUT if you think back XvT and other games have totally changed the gameplay how space combat should be: fast, daring and using technical tricks.

Elite didnt have this. Fights were just about who had more MIL-LASERS aboard.

I hope to the gods of gaming that David takes a deep look at XvT before he starts working on a modern Elite.


Still, much appreciated
   
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Veteran
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Default 11-06-2012, 20:47 | posts: 10,269 | Location: United kingdom

You can contribute to an official wishlist over at the official forums.
http://forums.frontier.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=8
   
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Default 11-07-2012, 14:08 | posts: 1,178 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Exciting news, I played Frontier Elite II on the Amiga back in the day.
   
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-=Seany=-
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Default 11-07-2012, 19:49 | posts: 114

Great news (Big Frontier fan), but any chance of a Guru3D news article..to spread the word?
   
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Veteran
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Default 11-07-2012, 21:19 | posts: 10,269 | Location: United kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Seany=- View Post
Great news (Big Frontier fan), but any chance of a Guru3D news article..to spread the word?
Yeah i agree, It deserves it Hilbert, Groundbreaking in its day, Spawned lots of clones even today like EvE, definitley deserves the extra coverage.

Many people have been waiting 20 years or more for this game to be remade properly by the great Man himself.
   
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Default 11-07-2012, 21:34 | posts: 3,527 | Location: UK

and meeee! Seems like yesterday that I was playing Elite on the BBC Micro at school and the ZX Spectrum at home.

Played Elite II and Frontier on the Amiga 1200 and really wished I had the money to buy memeory, graphics accelerator, new CPU/FPU add-on for it!

Now I play it via WinUAE at hundreds of fps

Loved the news paper articles that some times stared you in them in Frontier. Gave you a feeling of being part of it and other things going on in the galaxy.
   
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Veteran
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Default 11-07-2012, 22:18 | posts: 10,269 | Location: United kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by HonoredShadow View Post
and meeee! Seems like yesterday that I was playing Elite on the BBC Micro at school and the ZX Spectrum at home.

Played Elite II and Frontier on the Amiga 1200 and really wished I had the money to buy memeory, graphics accelerator, new CPU/FPU add-on for it!

Now I play it via WinUAE at hundreds of fps

Loved the news paper articles that some times stared you in them in Frontier. Gave you a feeling of being part of it and other things going on in the galaxy.
Forget Winuae for now, Try this remake its pretty good with Highres graphics and mods!
The original save games from PC first encounters works with this also i still have my save from 20 years back!
http://www.frontierastro.co.uk/Hires/hiresffe.html
   
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Vandrende Pind
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Default 11-08-2012, 09:13 | posts: 1,178 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Multiplayer in this will be awesome I'm sure.
   
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Default 11-08-2012, 14:51 | posts: 9,618 | Location: Sweden

Some interesting info, not about the game though but about the company and this Kickstarter campaign.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...omment-1125451

Quote:
I love elite, but I want to raise some concerns about this kickstarter and the company behind it.

It’s been in development for over 10 years (14 years at present), like duke nukem forever.
It is being made by a proper commercial entity, like duke nukem forever.
The company has produced a couple of good hits (lost winds) amongst a sea of mediocrity (generic kinect stuff), like duke nukem forevers parent company.

There are no screenshots, concept art or any assets at all. Unlike Duke nukem Forever, which did have concept art and a trailer video.

As it stands at the moment it’s on course to be even more vapour like than DNF. It’s already past the same timescale.
Ask yourself, why would a company that has been around for years suddenly need money upfront without proof of anything. Especially, after promising the game from as far back as 1998.

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/qanda-da...-today-6162140

This is a cash grab to keep the studio going for a few more months. Traded on the back of a promise, looking at nostalgia.

The company accounts show that from 2009 they have blown through almost £5m in 2 years (down to £1m) and at that rate will be bankrupt by next year.
The shares have dropped £4m in a year. And the liabilities have more than doubled.

This £1.2m kickstarter is to make sure they can get through to the next financial year. Nothing more. The expected delivery date is AFTER they have run out of cash even with kickstarter backing.

http://companycheck.co.uk/company/02892559

Most damning of all their last game (announced 2008) has yet to materialise. Beyond a trailer from a few years back.

I really do want to be proven wrong as I’d love another elite, but I’m afraid the writing is on the wall. This will most likely be a high profile kickstarter failure. And the collapse of a company to boot.
We'll have to see how it goes, maybe it is just a attempt to save the company for a while longer or maybe they are actually getting somewhere with the game.
   
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Default 11-08-2012, 14:57 | posts: 23,360 | Location: Hoek van Holland, Netherlands

14 years in development ? wow
   
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Default 11-08-2012, 19:53 | posts: 10,269 | Location: United kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonasBeckman View Post
Some interesting info, not about the game though but about the company and this Kickstarter campaign.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...omment-1125451



We'll have to see how it goes, maybe it is just a attempt to save the company for a while longer or maybe they are actually getting somewhere with the game.
If the target of 1.25 is not hit everyone gets a refund, If the target gets hit 2 things can happen.

1. The game is made and everyone is happy
2. The game dont get made and company claims bankruptcy, Nobody gets there money back.

Many people are willing to bet a small amount of cash if it means a brand new original Elite!!

If company goes bankrupt then Elite will truly die and Braben wont be trusted ever again, He will be tarnished forever in the world of Video games and it could ruin his career as a games dev.

I dont think Braben would do that tbh to all the Elite fans, Not to mention possibly be hated by the world wide gaming community.

If you look at it factually its worth the risk in my opinion.

New content and a Video is being uploaded tomorrow on kickstarter.
   
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Default 11-09-2012, 04:32 | posts: 9,618 | Location: Sweden

Yes I read that they planned to release some footage, will be interesting to see.
(It will likely also help this campaign if they have something to show of the product.)
   
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Veteran
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Default 11-09-2012, 14:38 | posts: 10,269 | Location: United kingdom

New video and art work is up on kickstarter.
   
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Default 11-09-2012, 14:49 | posts: 3,527 | Location: UK

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...lite-dangerous
   
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Vandrende Pind
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Default 11-10-2012, 08:49 | posts: 1,178 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Nice video, it sounds very good. With this and Star Citizen, very exciting pc gaming time to come.
   
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Default 11-10-2012, 08:56 | posts: 2,865 | Location: The Freak Show - Earth.

Lol, I got the wrong impression when I read the thread title.
   
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Vandrende Pind
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Default 11-10-2012, 10:42 | posts: 1,178 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Well, it's a bit goofy title.
   
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Default 11-10-2012, 12:07 | posts: 69 | Location: UK - at the seaside :D

This annoys me... Kickstarter is such a lazy way to make an "Elite" game....

If he could be bothered, HD remakes of Elite and Frontier: Elite 2 released to Steam,iOS and Android would give him way more than the 2 million he's asking for...

I know I'd certainly buy them....

I won't be getting Elite: Dangerous though, multiplayer only? that sucks..
   
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