Look! It’s A Real Bigfoot! No, Wait, Elite IV Footage

Hopefully, a giant, planet-sized David Braben will not be part of the UI at all times in the final version.

Continuing in a very unfortunate trend of talking a lot and showing suspiciously little, David Braben and co have finally seen fit to take the wraps off a teensy tiny meteorite bite of Elite: Dangerous footage. Yes, that’s right: RPS can now well and truly and probably Universe And All Alternate Dimensions And Timelines Exclusively confirm that the new Elite game has graphics. There are rocks and stars and even some clouds! Also, Braben says some interesting things about procedural generation. But I know you. You’re here for seven-and-a-half minutes of excruciatingly slow background panning.

So the space part looks… early. Oh, but the clouds are quite lovely. I hope there’s a procedurally generated cotton candy planet. I think the technology would lend itself well to that.

Beyond that, Braben’s plans for procedural creation seem more ambitious than ever, but if nothing else, he’s got a plan in place. I was especially happy to hear him address the issue of samey-ness, given that computers can’t quite synthesize up their own works of tear-jerkingly majestic beauty… yet. That said, while his analogy – artists provide suitably varied ingredients, algorithms cook them up in every way imaginable – seems sound, I’m still skeptical. I mean, a lot of games have made procedural generation promises so large that they themselves were probably procedurally generated, but I can’t really think of one that hasn’t come down with the boredom bug at some point or another.

At this point, we can confirm that Elite: Dangerous has three whole things to randomly generate, so hopefully Braben will reveal something a bit more substantial soon. I mean, aren’t there supposed to be, you know, ships? We want to believe you, David. We really do. But please, at least give us something to go on here.


  1. astronaute says:

    Are we witnessing the birth of cloud gaming?

    Just kidding, it looks nice and cozy, come on David give us more!

    • Artist says:

      The apprentice made the asteroids and clouds 10mins before the filming! Im happy that they already mad that huge progress….

  2. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    C’mon Nathan – give this guy some breathing space. With time, I’m sure he’ll deliver something that will rock your world.

    • jimjames says:

      Theres some extra concept art at the bottom of the Kickstarter page now;

      heres a direct link to one of them

      I agree with the breathing space comment, its nice to see this gaining momentum.

    • Richie Shoemaker says:

      “But please, at least give us something to go on here.”

      The original game is enough for me to go on, plus I don’t really want to see a status update every time a concept artist sneezes.

      • AndrewC says:

        But what if his hanky stain looks like Jesus? Or Scarlett Johansson?

      • spindaden says:

        I think this was supposed to be a pun thread. But anyway, no. I don’t trust Braben to ever deliver Elite 4 in any shape worthy of the name if at all, I hope he doesn’t reach the target just so people don’t waste their money on this vapourware.

        Might be worth googling Ian Bell’s experience of the guy (the other programmer behind Elite).

        • Dana says:

          Remind me why we don’t like Braben again ?

          • jalf says:

            It depends, I think.

            Obviously, there’s the decade-long failure to actually deliver Elite IV (despite repeatedly claiming to be working on it), and there’s this kickstarter which feels like he can’t really be bothered.

            I believe Ian Bell had some not entirely glowing things to say about his behavior too (something about trying to wriggle out of the royalties deal they had).

            And don’t quote me on this, but I also have a vague memory that he said something controversial about piracy once. Maybe.

            I dunno, I don’t have strong feelings about him. I’m just not convinced by this kickstarter.

          • mrmalodor says:

            Because this dude called spindaden says he sucks.

        • spindaden says:

          Perhaps I stepped a little heavily on the harshness, but I view Braben like a worse Molyneux in the way he consistently makes promises he fails to deliver.

          But my main issue is with people throwing money at this just because he owns the word Elite.

          I’d have more faith in some upstart punk kid who put out a kickstarter (with more solid content) for something he was calling *Generic Superlative* based on similar ideas rather than this.

          Caveat – Frontier: Elite 2 is one of my top 5 most played games though and i would love someone to do a good spiritual sequel.

    • ninnisinni says:

      Am I the only one who thought this was a pun referring to the asteroids in the video? “ROCK your world”? No? Well I’ll just go then…

      • jimjames says:

        Sorry for being super-serious on a pun thread.

        I’ve got a lot of space between the ears.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      C’mon guys! I said space, rock and world. Was I too subtle?

  3. tobecooper says:

    There’s lots of sugar in your today’s posts Mr Grayson. Chocolate chips in Walking Dead, cotton candy here. I’m going to go to kitchen and eat something more nutritious now. I hope you do the same!

  4. yurusei says:

    Perhaps you should procedurally generate your content instead of always looking at a piece of paper Mr. Braben.

    Nothing much, but just annoying.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      The guy is doing a remake of Elite. So I think he should be your hero and not the subject of your behavioral fascism.

      • yurusei says:

        Sorry, but I like my heroes assured, confident, unabashed and have the Earth rotating to the gravity of his balls.

        Yes I’m an *drumroll* Elitist

        • Persus-9 says:

          I like the people who are going to make my space sims to be complete and utter geeks not self-assured marketing people. I don’t need someone who can confidently talk to camera. I need a massive geek. If I don’t see a massive geek then I worry there isn’t one. I wouldn’t trust Introversion nearly so much if Mark Morris handled all public relations and Chris Delay never showed his face to enthuse about computer simulated wiring or whatever. I think perhaps there is a balance to be struck and Introversion strike it pretty much perfectly.

  5. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I will never tired get of about hearing generation procedural

    • astronaute says:

      Procedural hearing will never generate about I getting tired of

      • Premium User Badge

        Rublore says:

        I hung a leering barefoot cad nitwit upon a retro veered grille.

  6. Zeewolf says:

    I keep forgetting that this Kickstarter exists, because they STILL haven’t managed to put it in the correct category on Kickstarter.

    Anyway, I think the dig at procedural generation in the article is kinda weird. Guess you haven’t played the earlier games in the series? Or something like Nethack and Spelunky, for that matter.

    Super-late edit: Oh, and Minecraft. Duh.

  7. Artist says:

    Thanks for letting me know what procedural generation can do.
    Come on David, thats all?

  8. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I think they either need to get a different spokesperson or Braben needs to learn to engage an audience. If he looked at the camera for more than ten seconds total I’d be surprised.

    • Zeewolf says:

      Naah, he comes across as someone who cares about these things, and a real guy instead of just some PR-tool.

      Look at the Wings-Kickstarter for a good example of how things go when the devs don’t want to speak for themselves.

    • Artist says:

      Dont underestimate the power of socks and teabags!!

    • hellboy says:

      The thing I like the most about this so far is that it comes across more as a labour of love by someone who is clearly a programming nerd passionate about the game. Give me that 100 times over rather than a slick PR scheme.

      I’ll just buy games from Origin if I want that.

      • Artist says:

        To me this rather looks as the only stuff he has to talk about yet. Seriously, thats the best he has to talk about? How about talking how to implement factions? Possible changes from Elite 2+3 to this installment and so on? Procedural generation? Oh please, come on!
        Mr Braben looks as if he has nothing more up his sleeves. Disappointing!

  9. The Tupper says:

    Minecraft makes a fair attempt at procedural generation. If Elite could do something similar with its planets (incorporating different ‘seeds’ perhaps) it could be great.

    • Artist says:

      Oh yes please! More blocky planets and spaceships! That woud be so ….. wait a second…. No, damit!

    • solidsquid says:

      Iirc, minecraft used random analog noise generation to create the maps. Other people have used the same technique for generating environments before, although generating a planet might take a bit of time (and a fair bit of storage too, unless you’re re-generating it every time you visit)

    • hello_mr.Trout says:

      if you like all things proceedural, i can’t recommend this website/development journal enough – as it is super interesting, and had lots of technical informations about things: link to procworld.blogspot.com.au

      edit; :/ beaten to the punch further down!

  10. jimmycrash says:

    Exciting stuff for a kickstarter project that has many more updates to come.. In fact, another update is scheduled for today I believe.

    The interesting thing for me is that it’s now clear that there will be a certain investment in diverse planetary detail. With the sheer amount of star systems that procedural generation brings to the table it will be possible to explore & chart worlds that nobody else has discovered long after the game has released.

  11. Prime says:

    Ah, The Curse of The Ancient, Willy-Teasing Developer and the Missing Credibility.

    This man, this video, makes me tear myself in two. One half wants this so very much I’d actually storm the gates of heaven for it. The other wants Braben crushed into paste for even daring to play with my heart again: my beautiful, fragile, space-adventure-loving heart.

    The problem being that he promises SO MUCH…but he’s been dropping hints of promise for the better part of two decades and I’m not sure I can take any more promises that go nowhere. ANGSTFACE.

  12. frightlever says:

    He’s little concrete to show, so he makes promises instead, but that will hang over his head, Molyneux fashion.

    Any actual game is three or more years away.

    I get that there are people who want to play a modern Elite – but Elite was pretty basic and most of this is rose-tinted nostalgia. Hey, it’s their money but one game called Elite and a later game called Elite are going to share a name and not much else. Why not just get behind one of the other space exploration/trading games that are actually substantially along in development?

    • jimmycrash says:

      Rose tinted nostalgia?.. Not so.

      I think you’ve got to see it in the context of when Elite, and Frontier Elite 2 were released. They were ambitious and different games for their time and I would argue that without the overbearance of a publisher to answer to, it’s likely that Braben will realise even wider ambitions with this one.

    • Prime says:

      Oh If I had a skull for every person who’d falsely trotted out the ‘Rose-tinted nostalgia’ charge I’d be living in a mountain made of them, furnished by skul lfurniture, chuckling, and calling myself Skeletor. Is it really that hard to accept that other people might want old things because they were, y’know, brilliant? Elite, Frontier and First Encounters were singularly unique in their scope and presentation. No other game (barring direct remakes) has come close to even replicating the achievements these pioneering pieces of software got right, usually enhacing one aspect of the mix to the detriment of the others: e.g, the X-series has always been more heavily skewed towards finance than any other aspect. Elite was the one that got them all in perfect balance.

      “Why not just get behind one of the other space exploration/trading games that are actually substantially along in development?”

      Such as? Name them and I’ll tell you what’s wrong with them and why Elite IV could be – should be – better.

    • fredc says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to say that this is rose-tinted nostalgia for Elite. Perhaps you missed Frontier or Frontier First Encounters, but what he tried to do with those was basically what appears to be proposed for the new Elite – it’s essentially an open galaxy where you can boldly go etc. etc. beyond the purely scripted environment to explore strange new (now “procedurally generated”) worlds.

      A lot of the frustration with Braben has basically been that F/FFE weren’t really able to deliver on the concept. And in FFE’s case the rest of the game was borked as well. If the proposition here is “I can make this work with today’s technology and the help of Kickstarter funding and I won’t just sit on it for 10 years”, I find that quite attractive.

      It’s also potentially believable. I mean, I detested older TES titles because the (basically similar) premise didn’t really work – the big, generic worlds with broken quests/narratives ended up being boring and frustrating in practice. But then with Skyrim, technology and some excellent work by the devs actually gave us a world worth exploring and an immersive storyline that worked.

      If Braben & co can pull off a similar feat with the premise of Frontier, it could be equally awesome.

      • Saiko Kila says:

        That Skyrim-related assertion invalidates all your other claims…

        • Werthead says:

          It would be more accurate to say that MORROWIND delivered on the promise of ARENA and DAGGERFALL, with a vast open world with a strong central narrative and lots of side-quests. What was lost there was the sense of real scale: DAGGERFALL, at 60,000 square miles, was the actual size of a kingdom whilst the later games are ridiculously out of scale; the Imperial Province in OBLIVION is hundreds of miles across and you can walk across it in a few in-game hours, and maybe an hour of real time.

          In that case, the loss of scale is bearable since it led to an improvement in gameplay: spending four hours walking through a procedurally-generated forest in DAGGERFALL to get from one small village to the next was realistic, but not much fun. This is something ELITE IV should probably try to avoid by using a lot more variety to create more interesting places to visit. The thing about FRONTIER was that it might indeed have a hundred billion star systems in it, but the overwhelming majority of players probably never ventured outside of the settled Imperial, Federation and Independent core worlds.

  13. pepper says:

    This is procedural generation: link to procworld.blogspot.nl

    Scroll a bit down to see building stuff in the world.

  14. remon says:

    The clouds footage looks awfully similar to the middleware Take on Helicopters uses, Simul Weather, down to the way the clouds seem to speed up near the edges of the screen.

  15. Carbonated Dan says:

    10 minutes of largely irelephant waffle and nothing to show for it – Roberts got $300 from me, Braben won’t be getting a penny

    on an unrelated note: the Constellation’s art made me feel ten years old

    • RogB says:

      irelephant – what a fabulous typo

      • Carbonated Dan says:

        wow, I was just talking to someone about that story ‘The Elephant Vanishes’ – my brain’s on vacation

    • derbefrier says:

      Yesterday I decided to give him 225 bucks so I could get my hands on that constellation(squee!!) and because he has successfully convinced me that he can pull this game off. This is the most I have ever paid for a video game, ever and the first kickstarter I have ever pledged for. I love his big ideas and he has convinced me he will be able to pull it off. I am having to try really hard not to let my imagination run wild and keep my expectations of the game realistic but when I saw the updated stretch goals(out of ship combat!!!! moonraker style!! Anti grav simulation!!) I couldn’t help myself. I wanna see if he can do it and I was willing to bet a good amount of money he could. I’ll admit I havent looked to closely at this elite thing since I really cant afford anymore kickstarters now but from what little I have seen he has failed to get me as excited about his project a Roberts did his. If he wants a million bucks hes gonna have to be a better salesman than that.

      • Carbonated Dan says:

        when a friend showed me the RSI site I took one look at the $5mil goal and said ‘How much?!?! *&^%$£!?! *&^%$£?!? *&^%$£!!?’

        but then his GDC [?] presentation just, oh god, it just blew me away [IGN.com]

        only two other games compelled me to spend over £30: a £40 special edition of DXHR (for nostalgia’s sake) and, more pertinently, £60 on Distant Worlds, because I was infatuated with the concept. Like distant worlds, RSI are promising a galactic civilisation. Unlike distant worlds (and E:D), there’s evidence of an eminently enjoyable game existing within that galaxy.

        If christmas was further off, I’d have dropped a full thou on SC; in the dim recesses of my memory there’s a kid who read Excession and watched TNG and pretended to be a tie fighter in the school yard.
        And RSI brought him back to me, his eyes wide with wonder.

  16. Inigo says:

    Pledges of $100 and upwards gain access to the unedited version of this video, which largely consists of Braben staring at the floor, mumbling something about “The Outsider” and quietly sobbing to himself.

  17. Lobotomist says:

    This is all really amazing. And I believe the game will be excellent.

    But will it be massively multiplayer ? How will it work ?

    Singleplayer only ? Small scale multiplayer with friends ?

    We need those answers David , before we invest

    • Werthead says:

      Good question. As far as I can gather, the game will be both: you can open it up with the option for friends to drop in and play alongside you or you can sit and solo it. I don’t think there’s an option to link it up into one massive MMO universe, but as you say Braben’s been unclear on this point so far.

  18. Rugged Malone says:

    My God, this could be Kickstarter’s version of “Life of Pi.” Surely what you think of this project tells you something about how you view the world: with mostly hope, or distrust! :)

    On the one hand: ELITE. I mean come on, to a programmer the sheer gall of procedurally generating the galaxy on a C64 approaches manic genius. The first time I heard how it was done earned Braben enough respect from me for six kickstarters!

    Unfortunately, he spent about four or five of those on the two sequels: so very much more grand in scope, and yet somehow so very much less able to remain fun.

    • wodin says:

      He did it first on the BBC B with 32k…and that was the best version aswell

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      My God, this could be Kickstarter’s version of “Life of Pi.”

      When the goal is met, a wave of insufferable smugness washes over you, and you want to find the person responsible and push them over?

  19. Swyyw says:

    Not sure why all the flak. Project eternity, Wasteland 2, and Shadowrun Returns had just as little to show.
    To me it’s a simple question “given all the risks, do you want to put your money down for this idea to become a game?”. It’s not a popularity contest about who has the better presentation.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Indeed. Well put.

      I’m not even sure what is the reason for so much acidity. Can it be that all these people misinterpreted Nathan’s tongue-in-cheek prose as being his depreciation of this project? I can’t speak for him, but if that’s the case, I can put my money on that they are sorely mistaken.

      And then there’s the game. This is Elite! When I came to the thread I was expecting a whole lot of love. People fainting, glasses of water and even possible casualties. Nothing… I’m not even sure these people know what Elite was.

      • Llewyn says:

        Oh, we know what Elite was. We know what Frontier was. We know what First Encounters was.

        We also know pretty much everything Braben’s alternately speculated on, promised and dismissed regarding Elite IV over the past 17 years. We know what Frontier Developments has worked on in the past decade. We’ve seen how half-hearted this Kickstarter has been, and frankly we’ve not been surprised.

        I would love a new space sim in the Elite lineage. I spent three full years playing Elite more than all the other C64 games I had combined. I bought Frontier even though I didn’t have a PC to play it on and carried the floppy with me everywhere on the off-chance that I might be able to borrow a machine somewhere for an hour or two to play, and played that career all I could until the decaying orbit bug eventually rendered it unplayable. In principle this is the game I want more than any other in any genre.

        What I don’t have is any faith that David Braben and Frontier Developments actually have the capability or the desire to deliver a new game that does the Elite name justice.

        • Mario Figueiredo says:

          Now, that’s more like it. An articulate reply. And even one I can sympathize with.

          Speaking of which, the absurdity of the funds being requested is another element that this may be yet another failed attempt.

        • Uncompetative says:

          I think Elite V would have been a better name, even though this is technically the 4th game in the series. This is because Dangerous was a lower rank than Elite in the original BBC Micro game, making this one sound less epic. Furthermore, skipping IV allows you to market the game as a PvP MMO, V as in Versus.

          Coincidentally, I already advocated independent developers selected an overlooked genre – such as Space Combat / Colonisation / Commerce:

          link to gamasutra.com

          Unfortunately, Elite Dangerous appears to be weak on the meat in that gameplay sandwich, preventing a “Civilisation in Space” nerdgasm. EVE Online / Dust 514 appear to be better at cultivating unique incident even if it comes at the cost of occasional player misery and boredom. Adding an RTS element to resource capture (continental / planetary conquest) would attract Supreme Commander and StarCraft players.

          If the first 20 hours of this game involve loading up my titchy Cobra with Food and Textiles and tentatively journeying from Lave to Zaonce to Tionisla (and back again… ad nauseum), to save up enough credits for a pathetic asteroid mining laser then forget it, I have my memories and don’t require such an uninspired nostalgia trip.

          If it lets me chase a Leviathan Class dreadnaught into the nebula surrounding a Wolf-Rayet star with my AI coordinated squadron of Affront Class interceptors in an attempt to “resolve” some intergalactic territorial dispute – then colour me interested.

    • InternetBatman says:

      There’s several differences. Wasteland’s basic tier was half of Elite’s. Elite’s basic tier (after early order one) is close to twice as expensive as Project Eternity’s. All of them started with a video, Elite couldn’t be bothered for that. None of them came in the middle of a Kickstarter for a far more convincing project in the same genre. None of them made the claim that it had been in development for years only to have so little to show for it.

      This Kickstarter is the current exemplar of an increasingly exploitative business model.

    • TimMc says:

      I think the problem is, alot of people never played Elite. I didn’t. I’ve played Obsidian RPGs and games by Chris Roberts – so they didn’t need much of a sell for me.

      I like the idea of procedural generation, but I hope there is random seeds for singleplayer. I don’t want the game to be identical, or at least not complete identical, for everyone. My understand is alot of the joy in original Elite was exploring places no one else would have.

    • Werthead says:

      “Not sure why all the flak. Project eternity, Wasteland 2, and Shadowrun Returns had just as little to show.”

      The difference is that ELITE IV was originally announced in, what, 1998 or thereabouts? Braben has said since then that the game is in development but shown nothing for it. He’s excused that on the basis that the game has been prototyped repeatedly throughout that time but a combination of not finding a good idea for the game (especially on integrated single player and multi-player; at one point they were even discussing two separate games to be launched simultaneously) and lack of publisher interest meant that Frontier couldn’t get the game really off the ground. Fair enough, but prior to this Kickstarter he hadn’t really communicated those problems to the fans.

      Another reason for the scepticism is that, since DNF came out, ELITE IV is probably the longest-running vapourwear gaming title in existence (even if HL3 is more famous). To put it into contex, this game has been on the horizon since before the original STARCRAFT and HALF-LIFE came out, and the previous game in the series came out the same year as the original PlayStation and the first JUDGE DREDD movie. Combined with the lack of hard info and what seems to be a half-assed sales pitch, it is unsurprising that people are cynical over it.

      As for the other titles, the talent behind PROJECT ETERNITY are a big, proper company making big, proper RPGs. They have a great (if somewhat buggy) track record and were very clear in what they wanted to do and communicating that. WASTELAND 2 also had a good pitch, although that’s a bit more of a leap of faith, as the talent behind that game, Avellone aside, hasn’t done anything major for a long time.

  20. WJonathan says:

    JOWELS. Massive, pointy, protruding jowels. JOOOOWWWWEEEELLLLLLLS

    Sorry what was this about?

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Like two lovely big rump steaks glued to the side of his manly face

  21. Freud says:

    Less talking about generating stuff and more talk about lasers, nerd.

  22. Iskariot says:

    I love Braben’s Elite. I still own all the original boxes and discs. If there is anybody who can do this, it is Braben.
    If this game will be MMO I will cry. I hate MMO. I want a Single Player experience.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      This worried me too. Not going through the text again out of laziness. But the kickstarter page for this project makes no mention to single-player mode. Only multiplayer, IIRC.

      Multiplayer is ok. Sure, whatever. But no single-player would just be disastrous to me. Here it was a lost opportunity to play a modern rendition of possibly my all-time favorite classic.

    • fredc says:

      I don’t see anything wrong with a multiplayer environment along the lines of, say, Dead island, where you can have co-op mode on and choose how much you want to work with other players, or turn it off and just focus on exploration/the narrative.

      For an Elite/Frontier type game, it would be quite cool to use other players to fill in the universe and provide traffic (maybe no PvP or an option to turn off PvP for each user), as long as the game mechanics don’t turn into more WoW/Everquest/etc awfulness.

      • Iskariot says:

        I do not mind a multiplayer environment added on top for those who want that.
        But personally I do not want it.
        I do not not want to be involved with other players at all when I play a game. I do not want anything to do with multiplayer of any form and shape.
        I want to immerse myself in a cool gaming universe without having to interact socially.
        I feel most of the time multiplayer destroys immersion.

  23. trjp says:

    The original Elite was an astonishing achievement – but all the procedural generation was a necessity because 22K can’t hold much of a ‘world’ without it.

    There’s little need for extensive procedural generation in modern games tho – we now have the capability to make beautifully designed, enormous and detailed universes packed with stuff we want the player to find rather than just random things which may or may not be worth searching through.

    Procedural worlds have their place for sure – but I’m not sure that PLAYERS care about this stuff – they want to know that the game contains a massive universe packed with stuff to explore and interact with but they don’t really care how it’s created anymore than they care what programming language or graphics tools you used to create it.

    Braben is acting like a classic nerd – he’s had some success with what he does but he’s completely out of touch with why people enjoyed it (and has been for decades which is quite an achievement).

    • Iskariot says:

      Procedural generation is not just necessary because of storage constrictions. PG is also the only option if you want to create a truly huge, open space environment.
      But perhaps it would be cool if a combination of manual creation and procedural generation would be used.

    • buzzmong says:

      Sorry, but this:
      There’s little need for extensive procedural generation in modern games tho
      is false.

      There’s *every* need with modern games to use procedural content generation simply because content assets are extremely expensive these days (as graphics improve, cost goes up) and unless an studio has a near unlimited budget and unlimited time, then there’s always going to be a trade off in the amount of content generated by the developers.

      I think your view is slightly coloured by older games that used a very small amount of created content and populated a world with it, which as you note, did result in a lot of quite samey content.

      If you can provide a big enough content pool or use detailed enough algorithms, using procedural generation can result in a very big yet very interesting world with lots of variety, which is what Braben is aiming for.

      • trjp says:

        You missed both of my points pretty effectively there

        1 – you don’t NEED PG in the way you needed it with the original Elite – you might want to use it but you don’t NEED it
        2 – players don’t give a fuck about it – it’s not a reason to Kickstart a game anymore than the face you’re writing it in Python or using an Ikea Chair whilst doing so

        He should be selling the game – not his nerdskills.

        • Odeskypher says:

          You do NEED procedural generation. Frontier Elite II had 100 billion star systems, there is absolutely no way ‘modern techniques’ could replicate such a feat without procedural generation without looking like they’ve just copy/pasted 5 variations 20 billion times.

          As for not caring about procedural generation, I’m not much for the technical aspect, but I’m excited to know we aren’t just going to have to settle for 50 hand made systems and be expected to be amazed by the size of it all.

          I am concerned though that they could come into a kickstarter so poorly prepared, jesus, they could’ve just looked at the Star Citizen campaign to know how to go about it. It’s almost as if the last 20 years has just been Braben torturing us with the prospect of Elite 4 and now that he’s announced it he’s trying to squeeze every last bit of agony out of us before his time is up and he actually has to deliver something.

  24. melnificent says:

    Wat I made in 10 minutes, by an 8 year old.

    He had all the “footage” in the background of the BBC video. Everyone was saying that was the ingame stuff, erm where is it?

    ps. Sorry for linking Frontiers public accounts in the last article. Instead here’s Ian Bell talking about Braben and elite…. link to iancgbell.clara.net

    • wodin says:

      I wonder how old that interview is..as it sounds like Ian hit the rave scene and I expect that was in the early nineties..unless he is still raving today..

  25. mispelledyouth says:

    7 minutes of talking about what your going to do is a really poor way of selling this. I want this to be brilliant but while DB absolutely has the credentials to do this he’s yet to demonstrate just how he’s going to pull it off. It’s been 20 years since his most successful project. If all those years have culminated merely in the idea of flying through procedurally generated nebulae ( cool enough, granted ) then how long is it going to take him to actually create this game from scratch?

    I periodically check on the seemingly abandoned Infinity Universe project because this was the game that I always wanted any new Frontier to look like. 7 minutes of flying through a procedurally generated asteroid ring with a seamless transition down to mountainous planetary terrain? Sold!

    Show me something like this David and I’ll give you all that I can afford.

    • Llewyn says:

      Or there’s the Pioneer project, a spiritual successor (or updated clone if you’re feeling uncharitable) to Frontier. As a hobby project I can’t help suspecting it will eventually be abandoned, but I’d far rather see how they could build on their current progress given £1.25m to spend!

      They’ve achieved far more Elite in their spare time over the last couple of years than Braben has in the last 17.

    • Cognitect says:

      There was an update on the Infinity website today: they’re planning to launch a Kickstarter in Q1 2013.

  26. mispelledyouth says:

    There’s a pretty interesting ( *cough * massively geeky *cough* ) deconstruction of how the elite II universe was constructed here

    Interesting to me at least because as a wee Amiga 500 owning nipster the scale of the game was the most awe inspiring gaming thing I’d encountered. The fact THE WHOLE UNIVERSE fit onto a floppy blew my mind at the time.

    Simon the Sorcerer was on 11 disks!

  27. wodin says:

    I think if Star Citizen hadn’t been announced this would be getting alot more favourable response. As it is Star Citizen has eaten all all Sci Fi lovers money I think, plus they had they amazing trailer..

    • RakeShark says:

      Trailer, working prototype, art, videos, EU-friendlier pledge options, and interviews given. I like to think Star Citizen has set a high standard for >1 million projects. That’s not a terrible thing to have happen.

  28. Beernut says:

    “I mean, aren’t there supposed to be, you know, ships?”

    Perhaps it’s just a cloud- and space-debris simulator. Since “Rock of ages” there have been so few attempts in the field of professional rock-simulators.

  29. Subjective Effect says:

    Nice ideas.

    Why do we have to go forward though? What is with this buzzword speak? I’m so sad. Elite was the first game I ever got, on my ZX Spectrum 48K+ and now you have to ruin my childhood with corporate jibberjabber :(

  30. mrmalodor says:

    Given how many Kickstarter projects show and tell even less and still get praised at RPS, I object to this unjustified bullying of Braben.

    • monkwon says:

      Bullying is a bit too strong a word for this, but it would be terrible if this didn’t get made because of the negative reaction to the Kickstarter.

      On a personal note, I would like to apologise to David for my gentle mocking of him on his blog on Develop about piracy.

    • fish99 says:

      Have to agree, are we going to get such a cynical piece every time he does an update? That would be fine if we’d seem a similar critique of every other kickstarter, but we’ve had the absolute opposite, RPS staff pimping every kickstarter in town, many with much less meat behind them than this. I still find it objectionable every time I see the kickstarter article on a saturday, encouraging me to put my money into games that don’t and may never exist, often based on nothing more than cool looking concept art.

    • melnificent says:

      I really love elite, and really hope it suceeds, but it’s really unlikely. After 14 nearly 15 years (Announced in 1998) there should be more than a hastily put together video of concept art and look moving pictures with his head taking up a good chunk of the video.

      He’s been trading on his shared fame from a game made in 1984 (28 years ago). With no really meaningful games since. Get the public company accounts if you want to see why this is a cynical cash grab by a desperate studio.

      Sadly this puts him and the game in pretty interesting company………
      Duke nukem forever, the only other game with a similar gestation period (elite’s will be longer est 2014), was a huge fail.
      Langdell “I own the edge” – Made a game in the 80’s and then sued everyone that used the word EDGE.

  31. Yosharian says:

    Oh my god check this guy’s jaw, jesus christ

    • Sleepymatt says:

      David Coulthard and Jimmy Hill would like to see you outside… just be glad Brucie is busy at the weekends!

  32. HighHill says:

    Gaming made me?
    Frontier: Elite 2 made me!

    Braben is the guy who managed to shove an entire galaxy onto 1,44 MB of disk space back in the days of Frontier. A new game in the Elite series is everything I’ve been waiting for in all my years as a gamer. All other games have been there to kill time while waiting.

  33. Redd says:

    During the last couple of minutes of the video I realised I had been willing the asteroids to smack into the back of his head.