Elite 4 Comes Dangerously Close To Showing Something

So yeah, it's in space, and there are ships, now gizza million quid

There are the good Kickstarters – the ones with prototypes, extensive mechanic breakdowns or videos of an eerily earless Jim Rossignol* demonstrating in-game footage at length – and then there are the bad ones, the ones that dangle a name but not a lot more. Tom Hall and Brenda Romero’s Old School RPG rightfully acknowledged its own (perhaps accidental) cynicism and pulled the plug, but it was this week’s Elite: Dangerous project by Frontier Developments that really offended me. I obviously don’t know the circumstances of the fund’s creation, but it had at least the appearance of being hastily arranged and trading on pure nostalgia rather than any definite promises. No artwork, no video, no concrete features – just a vague outline very heavily based on what Braben & Bell’s original spaceship sim already did. After decades of Elite 4-based promises and talk of ongoing development, I for one felt insulted, entitled little shmuck that I am.

Now, the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter page is in more like the shape it should have been at first, with artwork and videos added to the pitch at last. “At last,” he says, as though three days is an eternity. What have you done to me, internet?

The four-minute video’s mostly Braben chatting about the game, and cutely managing to fluff the word ‘pledge’ within the first couple of seconds of it. Again, the conversation is mostly maybes and wouldn’t it be nices and remember thats rather than ‘we have made this’, but at least it humanises matters somewhat.

There’s also a smattering of concept art up on the page (on of which is above), which obviously can’t tell us much about the resultant project but after all these years anything that suggests Elite could actually happen rather than being an on-off promise made between Frontier’s Kinect games is more than welcome.

But we need more still, at some point over the 56 days left on the Kick-clock. I appreciate that this can be a big ask at the earliest stages of development, but Frontier are a reasonably-sized company with plenty of cash kicking about. Show us your teeth if you want £1.25million out of us, eh?

* Important Corruption Alert: I work for Jim Rossignol/Jim Rossignol works for me on RPS.


  1. moocow says:

    But will it run on my Raspberry Pi?

    • RogB says:

      in the FAQ, believe it or not.
      alongside ‘will space be blue’….

      i’d have thought the most frequently asked question was ‘why has it taken you so long to do this and why have you got absolutely nothing to show for it’?

      • zeekthegeek says:

        The why is quite easy to answer: they were busy making such great core PC games as Kinectimals.

        • KDR_11k says:

          Lost Winds was pretty decent. A bit deceptive that they didn’t mention that it was just the first episode but it was among the better WiiWare launch titles. I think overall NyxQuest (formerly Icarian) was a better implementation of pointer-based wind though.

  2. quercus says:

    I agree completely with the author’s comments. Having seen the work and preparation that Chris Roberts has put into Star Citizen (and he let’s not forget left the gaming industry and has only come back to it now), as much as I would love to see a new Elite game Braben has been promising this for well over a decade but never managed to get round to it because of other gaming projects he was working on (many of which have been abandoned).
    So I am more than a little sceptical with this new announcement.

    • skittles says:

      It is actually incredibly easy to see why this game has never got publisher backing. If this is the effort he puts into a publisher pitch, then I can’t see any publisher willing to give him a brass razoo. He has had so many years to work and plan with this and all he had to show for it was a single 3D model in the video and some artwork. Get a project leader with a clue, please, I certainly am not giving anything at this rate.

      And yes, a kickstarter should be similar to or better than a publisher pitch. People must remember that a publisher pitch may simply be to fund a prototype to prove the concept before full funding. Kickstarter is asking for full funding right from the beginning, creators need to improve their pitch to match this.

      • Shadowcat says:

        A typical Kickstarter pitch is asking its viewer to risk money in the double-figures, not five-to-seven. I’m not sure the two types of pitch are especially comparable.

        • Cooper says:

          No they aren’t the same.
          But if he’s been pitching this at publishers for years, then the pitch to someone for 10 quid should bloody well blow them away.

          The point is; it doesn’t. If he can’t produce something that convinces someone to part with £10 it’s no wonder he hasn;t managed to get publishers to part with many times that…

          • S Jay says:

            Let’s not forget that publishers risk the funding for PROFIT. While Kickstarters DONATE money to create some game they might enjoy (and that allows the developer to profit too).

            So I think in certain ways it should be more detailed than a publisher pitch.

      • Seafort says:

        The pitch David Braben made to kickstarter seemed very arrogant and sure he would raise the kind of funding he was asking for just because it was Elite.

        Many gamers don’t even know what Elite is so for him to make little to no effort with no screenshots or videos and ask for £1.25 million is a bit cheeky.

        I have pledged but I can just as easily cancel it if I don’t see any more effort on the part of Frontier and David Braben to sell this kickstarter to the pledgers.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Amusing how now, that’s required, when others were all “your video is too high quality!”

      • eks says:

        Well, those people were idiots. I always required a decent pitch with plenty of information to back a project (and I don’t just back video game projects).

  3. Anguy says:

    I have to say it sounds a lot like Star Citizen. The amount already pledged is really astonishing, considering Star Citizen is asking for funds at the same time.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely. Star Citizen is by far the better candidate. I was not crazy about them doing their own crowd-funding ( a business model that’s already disadvantageous to customers now has no intermediary parties that could possibly intervene) or their pricing tiers, but he had what looked like seriously impressive tech to back him up, and a thought-out pitch was a serious discussion of the process of making the game and his goals beyond the game.

      This had a kickstarter page with no video and didn’t even label the early backer tier as an early backer tier. I wouldn’t be surprised if he made it when he was blackout drunk and woke up to see it on all the gaming sites.

  4. FriendlyFire says:

    I’d have supported this if they’d made half the effort of Roberts. For all the flaws I can see with Star Citizen, at least he came out with something to show for it, lots of details, sound plans, clear goals with additional financing, etc.

    This just looks like it was cobbled together when they saw that people were willing to pledge for space sims. They won’t see my money until I get some more info than wishful thinking. Harsh? Perhaps, but I dislike the attitude shown.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely. This has been a shameful excuse for a kickstarter and I hope it is rejected.

      • Odeskypher says:

        That’s a bit spiteful isn’t it ? I mean sure, the kickstarter opening was a bit crap, but this is Elite we’re talking about here.

    • rawrty says:

      my thoughts exactly.

  5. Tom De Roeck says:

    Also, Alec, did you read about that strange naming thing, where an “elite clone/alike” has Dangerous as a full title already, and Elite is refusing to comment?

    Was also commented on my Simon Roth, it should be here: link to reddit.com

    • frightlever says:

      No matter what happen this could be the best thing that happens to them all year. SO MUCH free publicity if this turns into a nasty spat.

      Oh this is kinda funny: one of the devs has adopted the screen name Elite on their Steam Greenlight page.

      link to steamcommunity.com

      • KDR_11k says:

        Wasn’t there a whole game developer or publisher called Elite back in the C64 days? I recall seeing a logo like that on other games.

        • lazy8 says:

          Yes, and the entire catalog is now available on the I-thingies.

      • Anguy says:

        Thanks for the link that game looks promising, can’t believe I overlooked it!

    • KDR_11k says:

      Dangerous is a neat game though I’m getting kinda sick of seeing the RT3D assets in pretty much all indie space games these days. It even has a fairly unnecessary romance option (it sounds like the game is planning to kill the character you romance off, there’s a specific part in the story where it says “they’re gonna go back in time and kill one of your wingmen! Now go and get to know them better” which is where I stopped playing because the goal is so damn vague), conforming to the idea that Sci Fi is written for single nerds who need wanking material.

      Anyway, as I understand the game is designed around the combat system of EVE Online which works well enough on a touchscreen device. Not much choice on those Android phones.

      Ever since I first saw that game I thought that just calling your game “Dangerous” is a bloody stupid idea.

  6. tags 4 lyf says:

    Call me jaded and cynical, but I’m very tired of space games with ship designs and physics cribbed from Star Wars.

    • Iskariot says:

      I guess you never played elite?

      • tags 4 lyf says:

        No, I have never had that opportunity. Does it differ significantly from the other “battleships and warplanes in space” games that seem to float by so often?

        • Ich Will says:

          Yes it does.. Go educate yourself before making ignorant blanket statements.

          By educate yourself, I mean play the games, not ask other people to explain it for you.

          • KDR_11k says:

            Well, the first one doesn’t differ from that, it’s still dogfights in space.

          • tags 4 lyf says:

            No, I think I’ll ask people who have played it what they think before I decide to sit down and try it. We don’t all have infinite disposable income and time, you know.

            Incidentally, the Newtonian modeling looks interesting.

          • zeroskill says:

            Since, as you state, you havn’t got infinite time why are you wasting it commenting on a subject you obviously have no clue about?

          • Ich Will says:

            I wasn’t having a go because you didn’t have the time or cash to play the games, that’s fine. I was having a go because you pretended to have a legitimate and derogatory opinion on the previous 3 games without disclosing that slightly important fact that you hadn’t actually played the bloody things! By all means play them and say what you like about them, don’t play them and ask opinion, but don’t slag them off with literally zero knowledge of them, and don’t get all defensive about how broke you are when we called you out on it.

            On a slightly politer note, Elite and frontier are available legitimately for free, have fun!

          • tags 4 lyf says:

            You misunderstand- as an outsider, the image I’m getting of Elite is that it tries to be an ambitious space exploration game, but it falls flat on its face because the developers haven’t thought through what sort of societies and technologies would emerge from existing in space. It looks like just another game where the developers have defaulted to Federations and Empires and laser guns and spaceships with jet engines.

          • Ich Will says:

            There were certainly lasers of various types and wattages, there were thrust type engines – not jets – in fact, one of my most memorable moments in frontier was the first time I used my fuel scoop! Ordinarily you bought hydrogen fuel at space stations, but with a fuel scoop, you could skim hydrogen from the atmosphere of suns!

            Anyway, I’ll leave it to someone else to see if they can be bothered to give you a good overview of what the game is like and try to figure out whether you will like it. My instinct is not to bother, you have a whiff of troll about you.

          • Lanfranc says:

            @ tags 4 lyf: “It looks like just another game where the developers have defaulted to Federations and Empires and laser guns and spaceships with jet engines”

            Are you aware this is a game from 1984 we’re talking about? They didn’t just “default” to those things, because there was barely any precedents at the time; if anything, they created that default by defining the whole genre.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Play Independence War 2, if you haven’t already. It’s still basically “WW2 fighters in space,” but it’s the only recent game that tried to do something interesting and different with semi-Newtonian physics.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Evochron uses Newtonian physics too (though it acts like light speed is 8 km/sec) but I’m not sure that really makes the combat more entertaining. You basically fling yourself at the enemy blob and try to fling just far enough to the side that you don’t end up in firing range of more than 1-2 enemies at a time. Then turn around and accelerate for another attack run.

        If you don’t see the Newtonian physics then remember to turn the IDS off, that thing uses your thrusters to act like there’s friction in space.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I don’t have the current Evochron version, I think the one i tried is one or two versions back. I remember turning off the IDS, but the real deal-breaker for me was the speed limit (unless it’s been changed). You can accelerate up to a point and then you can’t go any faster, which always feel WRONG and arbitrary for a space game. It’s typical for most of these games, but Independence War (and Elite, if I’m not mistaken) got around that, and allowed constant acceleration and the resulting huge star systems to fight in.

          The size of the combat area is directly proportional to the relative speeds you can attain, which is why “star systems” always feel so cramped in games like the X series. And there are the things that no space combat game (yet) has bothered to model, like the cloaking effect of light speed delay when the range-to-target is distant enough.

          • KDR_11k says:

            Hard weapon range limitations are the bigger factor in Evochron, even with unbounded speed you wouldn’t want to go that fast because your weapon range stays at something like 700 – 900 meters.

            Star Ruler is a 4X RTS with newtonian physics but it doesn’t allow manual ship control and again has arbitrary range limitations.

            That said, the reason for many of those range limits is simply that games have wrong scales. Planets are tiny, distances are even tinier. Planetary economics are tiny. Fleets are tiny. All to keep things manageable for the human in front of the game. How big of an army would a real inhabited planet be able to field? Hell, how likely is it that a fully populated planet has a single government? If Earth tried to fight an external threat how large could the Earth Defense Force/X-Com be? If we could easily get the resources for starships into space and man them with single people how many could we field?

    • Oathbreaker says:

      Hey bro. Just google it. Please.

  7. frightlever says:

    That first render of the docking procedure is making me dangerously nostalgic. Hit up Google until I found this:

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Who remembers that?

    • Prime says:

      OH MY GOD. I do, I do!

      THAT was the very first game I ever remember playing! We had two BBC Micro B’s and a BBC Master at our school and that was on one of the 5″ floppy disks we got with the machines! I remembered the game but could never recall the name! Thank you!

    • Redd says:

      Yes! Thanks! I always misremembered the name of this title and ended up searching for Star Control instead.

      • mrd says:

        Was Star Control the vertical shooter (think Galaga) where your ship was made up of 3 parts where your ‘lifes’ were when one of the ‘levels’ of your ship got shot away?

        • jrodman says:

          Star Control was a 1v1 ship vs ship 2d combat game with a step-zoomed camera and around 32 directions of facing, with around 16 types of ships and 2 abilities per ship type. It had some strategy window dressing. It was released around 1990/1991 or so?

          The sequel is a PC gaming classic, from 1992/3, with more of an adventure format, though a similar style of combat.

          See link to sc2.sourceforge.net

        • t1gerdog says:

          That was Moon Cresta

    • mrd says:

      Remember it? It was one of my favourites even though it was tough. What I didn’t know though (learned from Wiki link) is that the guy that did that went on to do Exile. Holy moly… that’s a skill progression right there.

      Exile was… phenomenal. Totally amazing. Man, I hated the birds…

    • Caiman says:

      I was obsessed with Starship Command for years, having played it once when I was about 12 and then a couple of times a few years later. You can play it now on an emulator of course, and it actually holds up extremely well. It’s not as deep as I once thought it could be (my imagination got away from me when I was 12!) but it’s still highly playable. I love it, and the way in which the vector models break apart still appeals to me.

    • Jubaal says:

      Blimey, I’d forgotten all about that game until you posted that. It was like flying the Liberator from Blake’s Seven (still love the theme tune).

      I’m now thinking of the old BBC classics like Cholo, Strykers Run and Dunjunz! Good times.

  8. Dudeist says:

    Good title!

  9. derbefrier says:

    I pledged(quite a bit) to star Citizen because Roberts had a lot to show and had very specific Ideas and goals that I liked. It also didn’t hurt he pandered quite well the the PC master race gamer in me. Plus I am old enough to have played some of the Wing Commander Games when they were released unlike this elite thingy I had never heard of until now. So the nostalgia bit wont work with me on this game. Start Citizen just reached the 3 million mark yesterday and with about 10 more days to go I would rather help make a push to the 4 million mark rather than take a chance on this, which has a lot less to show.

  10. MOKKA says:

    Looks like their campaign slowed down a bit after this big surge at the start. Let’s hope it comes to a screeching hold within the next few days. There are other projects out there who deserve way more to be backed then this thing.

  11. x1501 says:

    What, cooperative multiplayer? But the X series devs said it couldn’t be done!

    • KDR_11k says:

      That depends on the game. I don’t think Elite has to simulate the economy of the entire galaxy, I don’t think the original had any persistence of NPCs.

      • x1501 says:

        The main argument of the X devs, as I understood it, has nothing to do with simulating “the economy of the entire galaxy” (also known as about 150 scarcely populated sectors; talk about exaggeration), but rather is that if they decide to invest in multiplayer, they may as well make it an MMO. And since making an MMO, of course, is prohibitively expensive, implementing even the most basic kind of co-op MP imaginable (‘sharing’ host player’s empire, instead of using separate resources) is just out of the question, you see.

        • KDR_11k says:

          That’s not something that’s trivial to do though. You need a netcode that can deal with a gigantic number of entities along with a low latency player entity. Depending on your accuracy needs that can get really nasty. RTSes use a synchronized netcode where all participating computers need to perform exactly the same calculations and always get the exact same results. That’s not very good for action though, action games usually go for a server-client model where the server does all the calculations and just tells the clients the results. That’s limited by bandwidth, you can’t have too many active entities at once then because it’ll overuse your bandwidth. The problem with synced is that joining in progress becomes difficult as you have to synchronize every last bit of the game state, Server-Client can fudge that a lot more because inaccuracies in the client’s game state don’t matter.

          Add that more players mean that more parts of the game area must be run at full simulation (it simplifies the parts that are far away from the player) and you quickly reach the point where it can no longer be run on a residential connection and would need some fat servers.

          Terraria isn’t a good example either, that uses extremely trusting netcode that just takes whatever the client claims as truth. The advantage is that what the client sees is what happens so lag matters less, the downside is that a hacked client can cheat big time.

          So in short while it may be doable it’s certainly no trivial feat and I guess it just doesn’t look like it’s worth the effort to Egosoft.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            I’m sorry but systems which have no players in them very likely are NOT simulated anywhere near what you believe they are. Chances are they’re just modelled with dice rolls and very simple approximations compared to the system the player is in, because it’s entirely useless to waste CPU cycles on this.

            The difficulty is not a technical one, it’s just that Egosoft doesn’t seem interested in MP games. Which, honestly, is fine by me, though it means I’m not interested in their games either as a result.

          • x1501 says:

            Jesus. Ever heard of the client-server model where the host does nearly same damn things it has to do in regular singleplayer and then transmits the key results of its—again, pretty much regular—calculations to the connected clients, so they can maintain their own accurate representation of the game’s world? It’s been only used in, I don’t know, nearly every multiplayer game since the late 80s? We’re talking about simple 2- to 4-player co-op here. No one is asking you to add hundreds of players and complicate things needlessly. Also, you’re quoting directly from the forums (Who mentioned anything about Terraria?) and seem to be using the exact same twisted logic and vocabulary as one of the devs or mods on the forum did. You may as well introduce yourself as an Egosoft employee while you’re at it.

          • KDR_11k says:

            I haven’t even seen the Egosoft forums, that’s simply the terminology for these technologies. My background is as a Spring RTS modder, Spring uses a 100% synchronized game state and dealing with that becomes very necessary once you want to write any Lua scripts. BTW, synchronized game states are also quite common, the 2D GTAs used that (you could desynchronize their game states with a bad connection) and from the sound of it Doom 3 was planned to go for a synchronized game state initially (Carmack talking about no join-in-progress because of the physics). Interestingly Planetary Annihilation is planning to go for a server-client model but I have to wonder what kind of connection that will require for multiplayer. Spring works on friggin’ dialup due to the synchronized approach but a full gamestate sending will require a lot more than that.

            I know the simulation fidelity of systems the player isn’t in is near nil but more players = more systems that players are in. X3 was capable of overloading contemporary CPUs with only one player.

            Server-Client has the issue of bandwidth, can you transmit the game state from the server to the clients multiple times per second? On a residential connection? I’m assuming no professionally hosted dedicated servers here, those would need to allow MANY players on there to warrant people paying for them which again amplifies the problem. The game state of something on the scale of your average RTS is too large to fit through the network multiple times per second. Sporadic sending and client prediction results in a very jumpy experience as the client prediction will naturally diverge from the true game state over time (even a couple of frames can be enough, if the server is under load it may even run slower than the client prediction which means jumps at every update).

            I mentioned Terraria to preempt mentions of netcode like that. Leaving a lot to the client just isn’t an option unless you know you will NEVER play with strangers. Cheaters could obliterate an entire world in seconds in Terraria.

            Freelancer and Evochron allow large MP servers AFAIK but don’t have much persistence, buildings simply stay where they are and I’m not sure NPCs still exist when they leave the vicinity of a player. They have much smaller game states.

            It could probably be done but it would require significant effort, not to mention a rewrite of major parts of the game (games that aren’t designed for MP from the start are very difficult to get online).

  12. pupsikaso says:

    The Kickstarter is getting dangerously close to filling…

  13. rustybroomhandle says:

    Please have a look at link to companycheck.co.uk and click on “Key Financials”.

    Frontier Developments is running out of money fast. And even with the money from this Kickstarter I don’t see how the company’s going to stay afloat until this game is meant to be delivered. :/

    • pupsikaso says:

      To be fair all development studios are in that kind of financial situation in between projects. They have money from publishers when they develop a project, then once that’s down they slowly start dieing until they an get a new project funded. It’s the nature of the business.
      There’s nothing wrong or strange about their financials right now. They are running out of time and money and are looking for a way to secure funding for their next project to stay alive. Perfectly normal.

      However I still don’t like that kickstarter and cannot condone it.

    • Diving Duck says:

      It would be a great way to justify a big loan from a bank when needed… just point them to the kickstarter page to show there was a case for it.

      I only hope the he doesn’t dumb it down as is the trend in these times, especially as he has spent the last decade or two churning out console ‘games’. I have backed it, but only as it is the one game I have longed for, and am firmly going with nostalgia not sense this time around.

      • t1gerdog says:

        I don’t understand why everyone is hating on it so much.. I know he isn’t the most popular guy but he seems genuinely enthusiastic about it and that got me pumped.

        Why is everyone else not feelin’ it?

        • Diving Duck says:

          Hating is much too strong a term… I’d put myself more in the optimistic yet slightly concerned box. I grew up on Elite, it was probably the first game I ever truly lost myself in as a young ‘un and my longing for Elite 4 has been long term… I even haunted the Frontier forums a few times a year hoping for a nugget of info that rarely ever arrived.

          The dumbing down comment is more an experience of the last few years – Fallout3, BF3 etc. I hope the trend doesn’t show in this case, I just worry that as Frontier has a lot more recent experience catering for console requirements and that those who yearn for more traditional complexity may find themselves disappointed.

          As David Braben is so excited about this I really would have thought that he might have had more content to shout about for the time spent developing on and off. Even things from older iterations of the project would be nice.

  14. Zenicetus says:

    In the video, he managed to make this sound like a multiplayer-only game. Which may or may not be true, but it sure sounds like that’s the focus. So he lost me as a contributor.

    I understand the obvious attractions — from the developer side — of focusing on multiplayer. Saves a lot of AI programming and story-writing, etc. But I wonder if they realize just how many hardcore fans of space games they’re turning off? We don’t all have the time schedules for multiplayer games, or the patience to deal with the juvenile “communities” they tend to devolve into.

  15. nepenthes says:

    To be honest, I’m only supporting this because I’ve been waiting so, so long for a new Elite game.

  16. Prime says:

    God damn it. God DAMN it.

    I wanted to hate this with every fiber of my being. “Elite IV is vapourware”, I said. Not even that: ‘Half-assed-promise-ware’, is more like it. “Braben has lost all desire to produce this and should move aside to let others have a go”, I said.

    And then Kickstarter happens. I scoffed mightily at the first announcement, although there was some surprise there too. But scoffing came easy when the initial presentation was so lame. But now with all the shiny shiny pictures and the shockingly high total gathered already…

    God DAMN IT. This might actually happen. 2014 might be the year I’ve been waiting for since 1995.

    I want this. I always have. I was just trying to save myself the pain of having to yet wait another goddam year to hear sweet fanny adams. I may even contribute: haven’t decided.

    Damn you, Braben.

    • Citrus says:

      “But now with all the shiny shiny pictures and the shockingly high total gathered already…”

      It is like luring kids into a van by tempting them with a promise of ice-cream.

  17. Branthog says:

    It may be a case of too little too late. You have two big peaks with crowd-funding. The first week and the last week. Sometimes not even that long at each peak. You need to launch with all of this stuff ready, to capitalize on the initial flood of potential backers. They failed big-time by not having ANY video content at all. I mean, it’s one thing if they didn’t have a video showing game content. But they didn’t even have a video with a guy sitting there talking about the project. It was just a static logo and then a bunch of stuff that would mean very little to anyone who didn’t happy to play the game two or three decades ago. That’s a big mistake, when a lot of the people who may potentially be your backers now are not familiar with your game.

    I can’t say it enough — you need a video. You need to show whatever you have, even if it’s just concepts. And you need to make the team behind it a central part of the project, because people are backing the PEOPLE making the thing just as much as THE THING ITSELF.

    This may still succeed. That isn’t the point. The point is that, by these not-uncommon miss-steps, a lot of potential *additional* funding may have been left on the table. I’ve seen other projects leave a ton of money on the table, too. Just scraping by at the end, but not achieving the massive funding they could have if they’d hit on all cylinders at fund-raising launch.

    • Kadayi says:

      Pretty much. Coming out the gate with practically zero and nothing of late to demonstrate commitment is exactly the same pitfall that Loop drop fell into. A video with some proof of concept/prototype footage at launch was what was required.

  18. Scrofa says:

    First Encounters is the game that made me, I still think it’s the best space game ever made.

  19. Ergates_Antius says:

    The thing that amazes me is that anyone believes that Braben has the talent or imagination needed to make a modern successor to Elite that will have the same impact.

    Elite was amazing when it came out – in comparrison to what was available at the time. That was 30 years ago! Computers have moved on, games have moved on, the world has moved on. Other games have done space combat better. Other games have done trading better. Elite will always have a place in my gaming heart, but don’t let your rationality be clouded by nostalgia. Braben has done nothing in the last 20 years to indicate any inkling of talent or ability.

    It’s as if Charlie Chaplin reappeared and people started throwing money at him expecting him to make a brilliant new movie.

    • Lemming says:

      Um, to be fair he made Frontier. Which, IMO, IS WAY better than Elite.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I think the larger problem here is that he’s stressing the wrong things, especially multiplayer, which is what makes it sound so much like jumping on Chris Roberts’ coattails. That’s not what made Elite a classic game.

      An indie outfit could make a decent successor to Elite by keeping the graphics fairly minimal and stressing the procedural generation of a galaxy where you can make your own story.

      You don’t need a $2 million dollar Kickstarter for that kind of project, or years and years of background development before getting to this point. A new Elite-alike should be made by a smaller outfit, with some fresh ideas. We really need fresh ideas for this type of game.

  20. Lemming says:

    What I find absurd, is that Braben has confirmed that’s the game running on the monitors in the background. Why the fuck isn’t footage on the Kickstarter?

    Has anyone told him how a Kickstarter works? This isn’t the time to play all your cards so close to your chest like you are cock-teasing rabid fans. You want their funding! You have to show us what you’ve got! ALL. OF. IT.

    • RobF says:

      That’s like a short looping video over 7 monitors started at different times with one monitor showing Visual Studio or something, whatever codey looking thing they had to hand.

      If you watch carefully, you can see that it’s all the same thing on those monitors. It’s all a bit smoke & mirrors and if he does have some footage of ACTUAL REAL GAME then you’re right, that’s certainly not the way to show it.

  21. celozzip says:

    they want HOW MUCH?!?

  22. Slinkyboy says:

    Some people just want to watch the wor- err Universe burn.

  23. caddyB says:

    So far I’m not convinced that it will be better than Star Citizen. I’m not even convinced that it will be good.

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  25. TimMc says:

    I’m a little scared off by the idea of multiplayer. To me, elite is about exploring a procedurally generated world and talking about things you find because of it. Sure, inviting your friend into the world would be nice but he talks about ‘finding people’ which suggests some sort of persistence and multiplayer servers.

    Do not want.

  26. somnolentsurfer says:

    It’s charming how excited he looks about it all. It’s just a shame he basically seems to be describing Eve.

  27. Tuckey says:

    Play Eve. it’s already existed for years.

  28. bill says:

    I find it a little odd that we now seem to require people to have a working game BEFORE we’ll fund them.

    Isn’t the idea of Kickstarter to help people to get their ideas off the ground – the ones that they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

    I understand that all the professional developers jumping onboard have skewed the system. But let’s say I had a great idea for a game, but no free time to make it – wouldn’t kickstarter money allow me to cut back my work hours and work on it? But only if I’ve already made it?

    The comparisons to Star Citizen seem a little odd, considering that was already in development and also has a ton of non-crowd funded money to throw into the pot. Unless that’s also the case with elite?

    • MOKKA says:

      It’s not only the lack of a working prototype. It’s the lack of any information at all. The first draft of this campaign consisted mostly of nostalgia and four short paragraphs about the new ‘Elite’. All of which sounded like they were written by some PR-dude and therefore didn’t hold any information at all.

      Besides, it says in the text, that he had a small number of people working on this thing, so why doesn’t he show it? If I want peoples money I throw every tiny bit of information at them I have, simply to show them, that I’m serious with this.
      All Mr. Braben (or Frontier in general) did was to produce a lot of smoke and I find it really worrisome that so many people are eager to throw their money at a bunch of nothing.

    • caddyB says:

      It’s not a small developer project asking for a few thousand to make a game based on an idea.

      When you’re a professional developer on an ambitious project asking for millions, there will be (and should be ) expectations before people pay you for it. It might be easier than talking to big publishers, but it should never be as simple as writing a few words about how great the old game was and how great it would be if it was multiplayer and 3d in today’s tech and asking for money. That should never succeed, because in the end one of the big guys collecting millions will fail and everyone will lose faith in kickstarter.

    • Lemming says:

      He has a working prototype on the monitors in the background of the video. A prototype he hasn’t been willing to put forward into a video itself. What do you say to that?

  29. Rawrian says:

    On the first picture: the toughest boss of the original game, Space Station Docking Orifice.

  30. SolCommand says:

    I just don’t trust this project, it just seems like a lot of “smoke” and presents no actual information about the game rather than some general info which frankly tells us nothing about the game. It’s by far the worst presented BIG project I’ve seen so far and tries too much to rely on nostalgia to get things done. I doubt the project will reach its goal if they don’t come with better info soon.