Elite: Dangerous

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
And it looks like it's doing pretty well in the first hours.

Surprisingly well, even, given how "much" detail the presentation offers. After all the effort put into the Star Citizen pitch (the weeks of building up attention before the crowdfunding begun, the impressive trailer, conference presentation, etc.), David Braben responds with... a bit of text, and procedural content generation as one of the key features? I wonder if his Kickstarter campaign wasn't rushed forward in response to Star Citizen.
 

Pedro

Admiral
There's absolutely no doubt that it was in my mind. I've long heard rumours about the next Elite being in development on the back-burner though, I'm really quite surprised the presentation didn't come with anything to show. Either the rumours were wrong, or they're holding it back until the final push, or it's development is progressing in a worryingly slow manner, in which case I wouldn't want sink my money into that hole...
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
There's a video interview with David Braben on BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20187897

Visually, the main thing he's got to show is the original Elite from 1984. Supposedly, you can see some new stuff on the screens behind him - if anybody cares enough to do still-frame analysis or something :p.

There doesn't seem to be anything spectacular for him to say in the interview, either. Half the time is spent talking about how important the original Elite was, and how wonderful Kickstarter is. As for the game itself, the only bits of info divulged are pretty similar to Star Citizen. Online component? Check. It's not an MMO, you can play alone? Check. PC only? Check (ok, on that last count, he suggests there may be console versions eventually). Mind you, it's not surprising that these features are the same as in Star Citizen. These are the core, most obvious innovations that are a must-have for a game of this kind today. But it's still unfortunate that this is all he has to say about the project right now. Doesn't seem to matter, though - the money's flowing in.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Could be one of those situations where he's counting on name recognition alone. This is Elite...and that's all you need to know.

Can't say I ever played the original Elite, though I did try out Oolite a few years ago. Decent enough game - but it was basically Privateer without a plot. Mostly pointless to someone who likes a good story (like me).
 

Kyle Maverick

Rear Admiral
I never played Elite, but I did play Frontier: Elite II and Frontier First Encounters. Played the third one so well that I suddenly realised that my pilot was over 1000 years old in the end
 

Silent Hunter

Commodore
Could be one of those situations where he's counting on name recognition alone. This is Elite...and that's all you need to know.

Can't say I ever played the original Elite, though I did try out Oolite a few years ago. Decent enough game - but it was basically Privateer without a plot. Mostly pointless to someone who likes a good story (like me).

Probably wouldn't have half of the space trading games without it, though.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Probably wouldn't have half of the space trading games without it, though.

I dare say Star Citizen could have hit it's $2million target on the basis of fond memories alone - but I think it would have been somewhat disrespectful to do so. There are now 3 space sims on Kickstarter, asking individuals to put their hard-earned money down but Elite Dangerous is the only not showing game footage. When a developer pitches an idea to a publisher they will usually do so with a comprehensive design (usually several iterations of varying depth), and more often than not a prototype demo before anything gets funded. I don't like the idea of crowd-funding being used as an easy way out, if anything I personally feel that the expectations should be higher.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I dare say Star Citizen could have hit it's $2million target on the basis of fond memories alone - but I think it would have been somewhat disrespectful to do so.
I don't know about that. In truth, Star Citizen is performing worse than I had expected - with a trailer that impressive, I thought it would easily beat Double Fine Adventure. As it is, it still hasn't reached $3 million. Granted, the average contribution is twice that of most other projects, which indicates that there's a lot of big contributors who are probably going mainly on trust in Chris Roberts' vision. But still, I am not at all convinced it could reach $2 million without that trailer.

But I guess we'll soon find out, right? If Elite reaches its goal, we'll know Star Citizen probably would have as well.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
A very unusual way to pitch a game concept but Braben has always been keen on the techy end of things. On the other hand he does produce great games.
I don't know about producing great games, but it seems like he's starting to understand the concepts of viral marketing, for example deploying folks to register at various internet forums to post updates on his project in a seemingly neutral "I'm just a bystander who likes Braben's games" manner, Mr. Named-after-the-player-character-from-Elite ;).

The kickstarter is doing pretty well given the pretty poor marketing:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1461411552/elite-dangerous
Well, actually - and I suppose your bosses realise this, if they're paying you to post here - the kickstarter is doing pretty badly. With 46 days to go, its daily income is dropping, and the last few days has actually been below 10,000 pounds a day. If this trend continues, it's actually possible that the project will fall short of its goal in the end. I don't think this is a serious danger yet, because releasing more materials like the (unfortunately, disappointing) video you posted above will help boost the daily income, and besides, projects tend to pick up towards the very end of the fundraising.

Either way, though, barely meeting your goals is not the same as surpassing it several times over, as many other projects spearheaded by famous game designers have achieved. From that perspective, Elite 4, sadly, an utter failure. And sadly, that failure is entirely its own doing. Elite 4 should be a huge success - but so far, there simply hasn't been anything exciting about it.

I don't know if you're employed at Frontier Developments, or if you're just paid to post on the net, but if you do have the opportunity to give feedback to the folks at Frontier, you may want to suggest that their next video is about something that can actually excite players. Procedural generations does not. I'm not even able to endure listening to that video - it's dull as heck, and it deals with a subject that's in itself dull as heck. Fitting a universe in 32K was technically impressive back in 1984, but nobody played the game for its technical prowess. People played it for the fun. For that very reason, having David Braben drone about procedural generation for seven minutes achieves nothing. For me personally, it's actually discouraging - if I were considering putting money into this project (I'm not, but mainly because I don't have a cent to spare these days), I would actually step back and wait after seeing this video. Because the video implies that David Braben just doesn't get what made Elite enjoyable, he doesn't get what his audience is looking for, and there is no guarantee whatsoever that this game will be interesting at all. It would be a very, very good idea at this stage to start talking about how much fun the gameplay will be, what the player will be able to do in the universe, et cetera, et cetera, instead of driving off potential customers with technobabble.

(by the way, don't feel unwelcome just because I openly claim that your post is paid for by Frontier Developments - you are, of course, welcome to post updates here, and the fact that you're paid to do it doesn't make them any less worthwhile)
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I find procedural generation interesting on a technical level.. But this video is really pathetic. I get to see... clouds? How is this interesting or in anyway representative of the kind of gameplay I'm going to see in the game? As far as convincing me that a procedurally generated world and star system amongs thousands or hundreds would be interesting an involving to play in, I think this videos does anything but.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
If you like procedural generation you should look at the videos the Infinity project posted. Those are impressive, although they are from an early alpha without trees on the planets and stuff. browse a bit on youtube, there are some more.
With Elite: Dangerous I got the problem that they have shown nothing but talking people. For all we know the graphics might be like the original Elite :D
 

Magamo

Rear Admiral
I don't know about producing great games, but it seems like he's starting to understand the concepts of viral marketing, for example deploying folks to register at various internet forums to post updates on his project in a seemingly neutral "I'm just a bystander who likes Braben's games" manner, Mr. Named-after-the-player-character-from-Elite ;).


Well, actually - and I suppose your bosses realise this, if they're paying you to post here - the kickstarter is doing pretty badly. With 46 days to go, its daily income is dropping, and the last few days has actually been below 10,000 pounds a day. If this trend continues, it's actually possible that the project will fall short of its goal in the end. I don't think this is a serious danger yet, because releasing more materials like the (unfortunately, disappointing) video you posted above will help boost the daily income, and besides, projects tend to pick up towards the very end of the fundraising.

Something I'm personally finding telling about all of this, and the idea of this KS project trying to do nothing but feed on nostalgia for the original Elite: there is precisely zero mention of the one game in the series that did not have the Elite name in it, Frontier: First Encounters (AKA Elite 3), which was both a technical and commercial failure. At one point in my life I would've been really excited about an Elite 4. That time was around 2006, when I thought that it might actually come out. Now it's been vaporware for 6 years, and Frontier hasn't produced a game that I've cared about since 1995. As much as I may miss the original Elite, Elite 4, or Elite: Dangerous as it is now called, just doesn't currently interest me that much.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
I was not impressed by Elite IV KS video and I will not pledge on that game.
When it comes to Infinity then from what I know the project is done by one guy + some helpers and I haven't seen any progress for the last year or so. The video looks impressive, though. I wish SC used this technology to implement the planet landing/atmospheric missions.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
The lack of updates on Infinity has mainly two reasons:
- most work was done on the engine side, so there wasn't much to show the fans (there were entries in the developer diary, but they were quite technical so most people didn't care.)
- the main priority for the developers (for years there was just one, now I think it is two full-time and also one or two part-time guys now) is not the Infinity game but the I-Novae engine. The engine will be sold for third parties making games with it, and that will be the main source of money to really build the game.

But I am curious what the Kickstarter in early 2012 will be for: the engine or the game? Whether I am going to pledge or not will depend quite heavily on that.
 
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