Elite: Dangerous Footage Shows Complex Convoy Raid

By Jim Rossignol on December 12th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.


The Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter trundles onwards to its hefty £1.25m goal, with a fancy £719,935 at the time of writing. Frontier have begun posting regular dev diary video updates, and the latest is probably the most impressive so far, illustrating the kind of roles that players can expect to play in the game with a long piece of footage showing off an attack on a convoy. Lots to consider in there, and it’s definitely worth a look, below.

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84 Comments »

  1. webwielder says:

    I know it’s silly, but my enthusiasm for this game is dimmed somewhat by the fact that its subtitle is “Dangerous”. Sounds stupid.

    • Cuddlefish says:

      It is a really, really weak title.

      • clownst0pper says:

        I was just thinking the same thing! It’s a title I always read out with a question mark. Elite: Dangerous?

        I’m Ron Burgundy?

        • StarTux says:

          Title is fine as it relates to a certain prestige you get in Elite (all the way back to the original in ’84!), basically you go from Harmless, Mostly Harmless all the way through Dangerous to finally Elite. Douglas Adams, of Hitch hikers guide to the Galaxy fame actually suggested the these titles, especially the Mostly Harmless one.

          Yes the 20 GBP level is sold out, they were an early bird special, but even at 30 GBP it will be worth it as you do get to reserve your name in the online game and you get a decal, but with Kickstarter if it doesn’t at least get to the funded level then you will not be able to get it retail. David Braben wants to avoid the publisher route as they will either not back it as its too unique (no data for return of investment calculations), or they will want to change too much of the gameplay so it becomes a clone of something else.

          There is more information coming still, we don’t have details for all the at least 15 ships coming, nor the factions/races. It will be a sandbox game, so you won’t be stuck on rails and there will be missions available,again FD like to reveal these in dev diaries so more to come :). It is a very unique game, different from Star Citizen and anything else out there.

          What am I looking forward to aside from the game? Notch, Chris Roberts and David Braben having a dogfight against each other during the Alpha, I hope it gets filmed! :)

    • ocelotwildly says:

      Rejected alternatives:

      Elite: XtreMe

      Elite: Space Bastards

      Elite: HardCore 4Eva

    • Antsy says:

      I think it’s harmless, or mostly harmless. Certainly it would sound more competent if it was something like Deadly.

    • MiniMatt says:

      I played the original on a Speccy for basically my entire teenage years. To this day, given half a dozen vectors I can still identify a Cobra Mk3, a Python, those tricky bastard Asps, or the fuggin Thargoids.

      I can dock at a coriolis space station with perfect precision. I can’t reverse park to save my life.

      I remember the best trade routes from Lave. I can’t remember how to get to my Mum’s house without the satnav.

      And despite all this misspent youth, I remember my combat rating never got beyond “Dangerous”.

      • jonfitt says:

        Sol to Barnard’s Star. That’s your bread and butter run there. Work in van Maanens Star when you have more cash.

        • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          In my day we started with an interplanetary shuttle in Sol system and we liked it.

          It were up the gravity well on take off and landing, and we didn’t have any of your fancy schmancy “docking computers” and “jump drives”! We had a shoe-box strapped to a fire extinguisher and it were the fanciest space-ship we ever did see. We didn’t have any money, so to get cargo we had to sell our ship at a loss, buy the cargo, and then buy our ship back at twice the price before we could take off. The only cargo space we had was in the cockpit, so if we were running freight we sent the ship on ahead and followed it on foot.

          Only the very luckiest of us could afford anything as lah-di-dah luxurious as atmospheric shielding, most of us burned up on re-entry and had to buy a new ship to get back up into orbit! And even those of us who had ships that could get down to ground level without exploding couldn’t afford landing gear so we had to jump out during re-entry, catch the ship before it crashed, and hold it up with our legs while it was on the ground.

          You whippersnappers don’t know you’re born.

          • MiniMatt says:

            When I were a lad it were all nebulae round ‘ere

          • jonfitt says:

            Cargo?! Cargo!? Get a load of little-lord-cargo-baron. We didn’t have anything so fancy as cargo. We carried rubbish 40 light years to the tip in somebody else’s ship. Then they’d leave us there and we’d have to make our own way back by hitching a ride on an Imperial slave ship. No life support mind you, just all the air you could hold in your lungs.

          • Mrs Columbo says:

            I floated through interstellar space for thirteen thousand seven hundred and forty-six years inside a frozen turd.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            Rubbish, jonfitt? There were days when I prayed, prayed, for a good cargo of rubbish. I were makin’ an honest living lugging radioactive waste from ground to orbit and back again in a damp cardboard box sitting on my lap, and I were grateful for’t! Sometimes they couldn’t afford to pay me and I had to make do with payment in even more radioactives! When times was lean I’d have to eat what radioactives I couldn’t sell.

    • Noc says:

      Clearly it needs an additional subtitle, like Elite: Dangerous: The Cold Frontier.

      You know, so “Dangerous” could be its middle name.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Elite: The hand that rocks the cradle.

    • Atic Atac says:

      Eliteface!

  2. Alextended says:

    I like that it aims for both simplicity and complexity. Like ELITE.

  3. webwielder says:

    3D space flight is really fucking disorienting. Can we get a 2D demake as a stretch goal?

    • frightlever says:

      I sometimes think I need a space-fighting 101 tutorial video. Elite was pretty much unwinnable unless you locked on to the stern of your enemy and matched speeds. I think it got a bit easier with the X-Wing games – they had an intelligent cross-hair didn’t they?

      • maninahat says:

        I found the problem was more down to navigation – in the X-wing games, the craft fly more like aeroplanes than space ships, and that is much easier to keep track of than in Frontier’s Newtonian approach. I had a tendency to over shoot entire planets because I could never get the hang of slowing down..

    • Cinek says:

      How about making some interesting graphics first? Cause right now it looks like yearly project made by a student of programming where he created space-boxes-battle sequence in 1 month all by himself.

      No… to be honest: I seen better student projects then the demo they presented.

      No idea how they plan to justify all these money for a game. IMHO seeing what they showed and how they plan to randomly generate half of the content – it’s not worth founding.

  4. P-Dazzle says:

    I have a feeling the £1.25mil needed for this game is just to recoup money spent already developing this game. They have a playable alpha/beta as stated in the video above so they must have been working on it for some time. They are taking the p!ss.
    I’m really glad to see this and Godus struggling to raise funds for their multi-millionaire developers! Greedy buggers.

    • Entitled says:

      Yeah, how DARE they trying to ask fundings for a project that is already more than just hopes and plans!

      Kickstarter ought to be about throwing money at teenagers in their mothers’ basements with totally revolutionary WoW-killer MMO ideas! This is all a betrayal of that noble dream!

  5. AmateurScience says:

    This is looking increasingly fundable.

  6. Iskariot says:

    Its mouthwatering to see this and fantasize about what this game will eventually become.
    I hope the gameplay gets some depth. I want to be able to see some of the hardware upgrades on the ships, so I can visually analyze an opponent to a certain extent.
    I also would like there to be a distinction between active and passive sensor systems.
    I hope we do not only get weapon, engine and hull upgrades and other hardware upgrades, but also software upgrades for our ships.

  7. jonfitt says:

    I’m a backer, but it looks a bit arcadey and not as grounded in newtonian physics like I remember Elite Frontier being. The ships there could generate massive amounts of forward thrust (like you would need to travel the distances) leading to more jousty combat. I’m not saying it was a better experience (it was undoubtedly worse), but it felt plausibe.

    • Caiman says:

      Thank god. I hated the realistic jousting combat in Frontier, a prime example of what you get when you listen to pedants. Most disappointing sequel ever, especially after the initial joy of launching from the planet directly into space.

      • Pockets says:

        While FE2 and FFE did end up being “point at it and hold down the buttons”, I’d be more impressed if they made this more like I-War 2 and had a little bit of that sort of physics without trying to go OTT. That game was awesome.

      • drzaius says:

        Talk for yourself.. I really can stand the stupid furballs you could find in most space games: turn turn shoot turn turn turn.. not even in ww1 they fought that way! I really liked the deady and precise nature of the Frontier combat system realism or not. I-War system was very good too.

      • fredc says:

        I agree – while I appreciated the realistic physics in theory, the combat remained unrealistic. You have these highly advanced spacecraft capable of interplanetary travel, but combat is conducted by pointing the nose of the ship at the enemy and visually targeting them at close range? The later two games had irritating combat that wasn’t actually plausible in its own context.

        • drzaius says:

          The one shown is even less plausible.. How is that a ship capable of interplanetary speeds slows down to ww1 era range of velocity to fight?
          But in theory they could implemente both systems.. one for atmosfere fights (they didn’t in frontier) an the other for space..

    • Mad Hamish says:

      I feel like I should say LOL. The jousting was what you did when you didn’t understand how to fight properly. Though you may be hurtling towards a planet at hundreds of km/s the speed is all relative and once you realise this the combat was no less acrobatic that Xwing/TIE Fighter. Matching speed with your target, staying on his tail, all that stuff. It took me ages to figure this out. Though I still enjoyed the game doing the jousting.

  8. JiminyJickers says:

    It looks good, but I hope it all works well in single player also.

    • Beybars says:

      Offline Single Player is confirmed to be a feature in the game.

      • JiminyJickers says:

        I know about offline single player and happy about that.

        I just hope the features he was talking about in the clip works well in single player. Like agreeing to help the big ships and getting paid etc. The way he talked about it made it seem like he was talking about multi player instead.

  9. Uthred says:

    Have to imagine that the fact the minimum cost to KS and get a copy of the game is £30 is going to slow it down a bit. Also still not entirely clear on how this is a sequel to Frontier, etc. rather than a weird attempt to make Not-EVE Online

    • ocelotwildly says:

      Yes, I noticed that too – I don’t think it helps that the sold out £20 early adopter tier is so visible. I probably would have lumped on for that price, having seen the video, but £30 just seems too steep for me at this stage.

      That said, a lot of Kickstarters seem to get remarkable spurts towards the end, and with 23 days to go this should easily be within a ‘spurts reach’ of success by the end.

      On the issue of last minute kickstarter success splurges, I’ve often wondered what the protocol is with the initial Kickstarter proposers ponying up the extra cash themselves to get them over the line. If your KS needs £5000 in 24 hrs to get £100,000, say, is there anything stopping you from getting out a bank loan just to make sure that the rest of the money comes your way? Has anyone noticed any KS successes getting there with mysterious high tier pledges in the last 24 hrs?

      • Entitled says:

        ” is there anything stopping you from getting out a bank loan just to make sure that the rest of the money comes your way”

        Yes, Kickstarter’s rules.

        Of course, it’s possible to send that money through a friend to lower the risk of getting caught, but if you *do* get caught anyways, you can get sued for breaking the contract with KS.

    • jpvg says:

      Actually from the people that I know that have had projects go through(and more importantly fail) on Kickstarter, they agree on one thing -> “Don’t do the small $ tiers”. I can’t say whether that goes up to 30$ or not but it’s still an interesting thing to note.

    • Chaz says:

      Well I pledged £30 for Sir, You Are Being Hunted. I don’t think £30 is an unreasonable amount to pay for a game, assuming of course that it lives up to all its KS promises.

  10. GibletHead2000 says:

    I did back this initially because “OMG Elite!” but cancelled it because I’m nervous about the state of the company. From what I’ve heard, it isn’t doing particularly well and employs quite a lot of people. For a company with 235 people, £1.25m might get lost quite quickly if it does not perform well revenue-wise. Has this been addressed anywhere?

    • Entitled says:

      Well, if it’s such a big company, then at least they must have enough assets and property that even in case they do go bankrupt, there might be enough to redistribute at least SOME money to the backers after it’s liquidation, following a successful class action.

      Unlike with some of the shadier pitches, that were made by some random hobo with no property, who already spent the KS money on hookers, so he can be debted, but the money is unrecoverable.

    • melnificent says:

      No word yet, I’ve been pushing for answers directly from Frontier, but there is complete silence from them.
      It looks like we’ll have to wait until the accounts are released in February (after the kickstarter), to find out ourselves.

      I do have the public accounts, but RPS don’t like links to them (the comments containing them gets deleted). And lets just say backing them is a long shot :D

      • fredc says:

        I’m not sure why RPS is doing this, if they’re doing this. Limited companies’ public accounts are public information, although they don’t necessarily say anything conclusive about the financial health of a company.

        If kickstarter funding were being solicited for a project that is being conducted (and all the IP owned) by a company which were already in financial difficulty, I would have thought that’s something backers should be able to consider or assess before putting their money in. We don’t know whether this is the case with Braben’s company, but it’s certainly a legitimate issue with any entity seeking kickstarter funding, especially if that entity is an existing business with legacy obligations and risks unrelated to making the game in question.

  11. Caiman says:

    Finally ready to back this. The initial pitch was poor, but they’ve demonstrated over the last few weeks a commitment to communicate with backers and share enough to convince me they can deliver on their pitch. Also nice to hear in the recent interview David acknowledging their failures in the initial pitch.

    Uh oh, just noticed their UKP20 level is sold out, so I have to pay UKP30 for the basic package. That’s a full price game right there, with no additional benefits, which makes me wonder why I just don’t wait until the game is released and buy it then? At least there’s no risk that way. Yes, yes, KS is not a pre-order service, thank you Captain Obvious, but not using an early backer discount as incentive to back strikes me as counterproductive.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      My thoughts exactly written down by yourself. Thanks

      I’m practically the spokesperson for KS is not a pre-order but I have to admit, despite this actually encouraging video I still don’t have a whole lot of confidence in Braben & Co to, despite increased confidence from the initial, a. deliver the product we hope for and b. deliver a product at all. So in that light, £30 is quite a risk for me when, as you say, I can wait and see if they make it then pick up a copy when its released anyway – if its released – for the same or less.

  12. Wedge says:

    I don’t know anything about this, but I assume there are some manner of “capital” sized ships to be around eventually? If you don’t have some form of structural aspect to the battlefield, it becomes painfully clear that you’re just blandly flying around in circles over and over….

  13. Cognitect says:

    The simple arcade flight model and weapons on display in this vid are quite disappointing. I’ve already backed Star Citizen so I was hoping that Elite would differentiate itself with a slightly more hardcore approach to modeling spaceflight. Something similar to I-War 2 would’ve been awesome.

  14. SuicideKing says:

    No HUD?

    And the FS2 SCP loops slightly better than this, at the moment…plus you can put in over a hundred ships in the game at the same freaking time.

    • wcanyon says:

      I thought the same thing: “Oh I’ll just shoot at anyone that gets in my cross hairs, that’ll work out fine.”

      Came away less impressed than I was yesterday.

  15. Fedaykin says:

    I have infinitely more faith into Limit Theory and what Josh Parnell posted in the updates than what i see in the Elite:Dangerous updates. It’s even more glaring since LT is developed by one person and has put up more believable gameplay and feature updates than both Elite and Start Citizen.

    Frankly I’m surprised that i don’t see more comparisons on RPS between Elite and Lt since they are both procedural generation based games.

  16. chackosan says:

    It bugs me that the planet is so tiny.

  17. mxxcon says:

    I’m disappointed by 2 things:
    They are playing on gamepads
    Gameplay has non-Newtonian physics, unlike previous Elite..
    :(

    • Unaco says:

      Original Elite had non-Newtonian physics (aeroplane in space style controls). It was only with Frontier: Elite 2 that Newtonian physics were introduced.

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