By Alec Meer on November 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am.
Elite: Dangerous generated a fair bit of ill will when its Kickstarter first launched, so short on detail or assets was its initial appeal for alms. With Peter Molyneux’s similarly vague Project GODUS setting up its crowd-funded stall a few weeks later, we’re now in the midst of the first major Kickstarter backlash – concern that big developers who arguably might not struggle to get publishing deals might be milking their fans’ nostalgia with surprise resurrections of the series and concepts they’ve for various reasons left alone for decades. It’s not for me to judge whether Braben and Molyneux are truly earnest in their intentions for these games or have just spotted an opportunity to make a fast buck, but I am relieved to see people are voting with their feet – demanding more concrete evidence of what’s being promised before they’ll cough up the internet-bucks. So it is that Elite Dangerous isn’t even halfway to its absurd £1.25 million goal even after several weeks, while Project GODUS has brought in ‘only’ £125k so far.
Elite seems to be on the long road back to doing what it should have done in the first place at least, with a slow trickle of real information and brief glimpses rather than generalised promises – and now it’s got a significant amount of in-game footage too.
I suppose we can’t know for sure this HUD-free scene of two ships fighting in an asteroid field wasn’t hastily created from scratch once the Kickstarter seemd to be faltering, even though it’s fairly pretty and with lovely lighting, but in either case it’s a not a bad feeling to look at something in action and know that, impossibly, it’s yer actual Elite 4.
David Braben is your commentator, and as he points out there’s a lot of stuff either missing or using placeholder graphics. Even so, we’re not in wireframe Kansas anymore.
He also talks in fair detail about how multiplayer will work. That’s going to be a very popular version of the game, I imagine, but he reassures us that there’ll be a fully-fledged solo game too.
Also: this dude is Kickstarting his own Elite fan-fiction novel in the hope of being able to then afford the £4500 Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter tier which gets the backer the opportunity to write an official Elite: Dangerous story. Meta-funding! Is all this good for Britain’s ailing GDP? Or will it be the final straw that triggers us into a triple-dip recession? Are single mothers stealing migrant workers’ mortgages? Are leftist feminists something something conspiracy tax conspiracy the bible conspiracy? Do I know what I’m talking about even slightly? Of course I don’t. I’m tired.