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Elite: Dangerous

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Elite: Dangerous

Postby Extreme_One » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:44 pm

http://elite.frontier.co.uk/

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/146 ... -dangerous

“Elite” has gone down in history as one of the most successful games of the 1980s. It was the first ‘open world’ game in which the player can freely roam a vast space. It was the first true 3D game too, and set many other benchmarks. Ian Bell and I set out to make a game for ourselves rather than for some imagined market. We were sick of games with three lives then a new life every 10,000 score; we wanted something new.

The original “Elite” fitted into around 22K of memory, out of a total of 32K on the BBC Micro Model B computer on which it was launched (8K was needed for the screen, 2K for the system). This is less than a single typical email today. In it were eight galaxies each with 256 star systems. Each planet in those systems had its own legal system, economy and so on. Clearly some magic had to happen to fit it into 22K, and that magic was procedural generation.

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Combat in the original "Elite" on the BBC MicroCombat in the original "Elite" on the BBC Micro

Competent

“Frontier” followed in 1993 on 16 bit computers, and pushed these procedural techniques further. In it I made a model of the whole of the Milky Way galaxy with all 100,000,000,000 or so star systems, and many more planets and moons, each of which you could visit. It is something I am really proud of, as it was as scientifically accurate as I could make it, and provided a great backdrop for a game. I loved the richness of the galaxy, but with the benefit of hindsight I think the way the ships flew detracted from the joyous immediacy of those in “Elite”.

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Data on the Fomalhaut system in "Frontier" on the AmigaData on the Fomalhaut system in "Frontier" on the Amiga

Dangerous...

Imagine what is now possible, squeezing the last drop of performance from modern computers in the way “Elite” and “Frontier” did in their days? It is not just a question of raw performance (though of course these elements will make it look gorgeous), but we can push the way the networking works too – something very few people had access to in the days of Frontier.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby SpaceMadMonkey » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:52 pm

Looking forward to this!
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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby SpaceMadMonkey » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:45 pm

Elite: Dangerous holds “over 100 billion” star systems, says Frontier Developments

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Elite: Dangerous project head David Braben has spoken before about procedural generation in the upcoming space trading sim, describing how the computer’s roll of the dice creates whole star systems and majestic nebulae on the fly as you, er, fly. Before the depths of space overwhelms your consciousness, know that Braben claimed (via PCGamesN) “over 100 billion” star systems will exist as navigable destinations.

Braben summarized the colossal constellation count as “a truly giant galaxy of vast numbers.” How very Sagan-esque. The designer also said each star could feature up to 100 objects orbiting it, including fuel-rich gas giants and space stations.

Hundreds? Billions? Hunillions? Such sky(space?)-high numbers seemed a little too good to be true, so we asked Braben for clarification on what exactly a player will encounter out in the vast blackness.

“Yes, Elite: Dangerous has over 100 billion star systems, each of which have up to 100 or more bodies in them (these are secondary and tertiary stars—the bigger single systems have up to six stars— then there are the planets, moons, even moons-of-moons and so on),” he wrote over email. “Each of these can be visited in game, though it’s not realistic that any one player will do so, even in a lifetime. These systems are created using a rule-based procedural system. Things can still be changed through gameplay—effectively, this gets built into the rules. The reason [for] this number is this is the number of star systems thought to be in the real-life Milky Way.”

A near-perfect recreation of a to-scale Milky Way sounds exciting, indeed, and we’ll learn more about Elite: Dangerous as Frontier cruises ahead to its targeted March 2014 release date. One thing’s for sure: my planned Bubba the Space Trucker character has a long haul ahead of him.
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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby Extreme_One » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:38 am

This is going to be an amazing game, no doubt!

Without publisher interference, with decent community involvement, a great idea and an accomplished head developer there are definitely good times ahead.
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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby SpaceMadMonkey » Mon May 05, 2014 5:19 pm



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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby SpaceMadMonkey » Mon May 05, 2014 5:25 pm

Elite Dangerous' final alpha phase landing May 15th, contains "over 400 billion star systems"
by Tom Sykes at PCGamer

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I'm no expert on numbers, like the guy out of Numb-three-ers, but even I know that 400 billion is a really big number. Like, really big. In addition to being the number of The Beast's second cousin, Alan, 400bn is also the number of star systems that will feature in Elite Dangerous' final alpha phase. Alpha 4 "genuinely contains over 400 billion star systems,” Frontier Developments state in the most recent newsletter, star systems that will “[move] correctly; spinning, orbiting each other in an incredible astronomical ballet.” Alpha 4 will go live on May 15th, if Frontier can stop waxing poetic about the wonders of space in the meantime.

"We are also modelling interstellar molecular clouds," Frontier continue, "and though some of the detail in these (particularly for nebulae) will come after Alpha 4, wherever you are, the ‘night sky’ is accurate. Beyond our galaxy, perhaps surprisingly we do still have a ‘skydome’ - but it is now a staggering 100,000 light years away, containing all the other galaxies, including the Magellanic Clouds."

Alpha 4 "sets you free in a 200 cubic light year volume of space in the Milky Way galaxy, far from Earth". You won't be able to fly to Earth, incidentally, but as you presumably live there, you're probably not too cut up about that.

On May 30th, Elite: Dangerous will enter the first phase of its Premium Beta, which will ship to all backers who stumped for the appropriate reward tiers. The rest of us will have to wait until the end of the year, when Elite is set to be loosed upon the universe for real.
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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby SpaceMadMonkey » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:27 pm

Elite: Dangerous 1.2 preview: flying together with Wings
by Phil Savage from PCGamer

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With community goals, Elite: Dangerous's first post-launch update let the community collaborate in an abstract, large-scale sense. For the upcoming patch 1.2, co-operation will more intimate and immediate. It's called the 'Wings' update, and it will let up to four players group together to patrol the galaxies as a single unit.

"Players will be able to share lots of feedback across the wing—who is targeting who, hull and shield statuses, etc.—and more easily follow each other in and out of Super Cruise," says Sandro Sammarco, Elite: Dangerous lead designer. The status of your wingmen will be displayed on your ship UI, and wing members will be colour-coded on the scanner and comms window, making it easy to keep track of your squadron.

"Players will start to see larger, more dangerous signal sources."


More than just knowing where your friends are, players in a wing will be able to share the bounty on any ship that they bring down together. To counteract this increase in firepower, the game will respond with tougher challenges. "In 1.2, players will start to see larger, more dangerous signal sources, where single ships would be at serious risk," Sammarco says. "Those signal sources will be perfect battlegrounds for coordinated squadrons, and they’ll find the rewards—in terms of bounties and cargo—will be suitably elevated in line with the challenge."

While the coordinated firepower of a wing will be much increased, the four-pilot limit has been designed to prevent a squadron from owning a system. "It allows multiple wings to be present at any given location and it prevents a single wing from being able to completely dominate through sheer numbers," says Sammarco of the pilot cap. "There’s always room in any star system for more players than any single wing can accommodate, but at the same time, a wing of four still represents a significant increase of capability over a lone vessel provided players cooperate effectively."

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Rather than elect a wing leader, each player will act as an autonomous individual within the group. "Everyone in a wing has equal status and makes their own decisions," says Sammarco. "The wing is meant to be flexible and adaptable, always."

That extends to Super Cruise. When jumping, pilots can choose to lock-on to any member of their wing, and so automatically follow them in and out of Super Cruise. In addition, the rules around manually entering and exiting a jump are slightly relaxed for wing members—allowing them to more easily arrive in the same corner of space.

Importantly, wing members aren't forced to stay together. “Wingmen don’t need to be in the same star system all the time, " says Sammarco. "This really enhances the leverage that you can get by working together, by distributing your efforts through the galaxy. If one of you gets into trouble you can immediately call the others for help from far away.

“You can leave and join a wing at any time. Any member of a wing can invite others, and as people leave the wing others can join. Theoretically a wing could end up with a totally different set of members than it started with and persist over a long time.”

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As for future support, Sammarco says that wings are now an integral part of development. "I can’t go into details on all our plans, of course, but Wings will open a number of doors for us. For instance, we could create even more dangerous encounters, both in normal space and in Super Cruise.

"We could add things like cargo depots which allow multiple wingmen to load and deliver cargo for the same mission, and offer new ways for ships in a wing to interact with one another, like having limpets to transfer fuel between the wing or allowing players to take formation around stellar bodies and perform advanced linked scans."

Sammarco assures that solo players aren't being cut out of the game's development plans. "Lone wolves will have to be able take on those dangerous encounters at great risk, and deliver those massive amounts of cargo using multiple trips. Elite: Dangerous is playable alone, and we always have those lone players in mind when designing new features."

Elite: Dangerous's 1.2 update will enter beta in the first week of March.
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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby Extreme_One » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:35 pm

Sounds great
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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby SpaceMadMonkey » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:47 pm

My EDTracker in action, mostly.



and a picture of my ship :)

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Re: Elite: Dangerous

Postby SpaceMadMonkey » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:27 pm

Power And Upgrades Guide

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