Elite hyperjumps to Kickstarter, decloaks as Elite: Dangerous
The cycle is complete: A brand new Elite game has just materialised on Kickstarter, with David 'Don't mention The Outsider' Braben behind the wheel/at the bridge/making the damn game with his company Frontier Developments. He's asking for £1.25 million (around $2 million) to make Elite: Dangerous, the fourth in the series, happen, and- hang on, you've already backed it, haven't you? Well fine. As for the rest of you, prepare to somewhat cumbersomely dock after the break for more information.
As Kickstarter pages go, we've seen better. (We've also, just about, seen worse). So without a video or any images to go on, Braben's pitch is relying heavily on legacy and promises - and what promises they are.
"Elite: Dangerous is the game I have wanted Frontier to make for a very long time," he explains on the page. "The next game in the Elite series - an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope, but this time you can play with your friends too. I want a game that feels more like the original 'Elite' to fly, and with more rapid travel (to allow for the multi-player nature of the game) – so you travel quickly using local 'hyperspace' travel rather than by fast-forwarding time – but with the rich galaxy of Frontier – and more, so much more."
The game will rely heavily on procedural generation, and without explaining how Braben promises that Dangerous will "go further" than the randomised planets and star systems of Frontier.
He admits to a couple of "false starts" over the years - we're presuming that Elite: Dangerous is in fact Elite 4, which has been talked about since at least 2006 - but he expects the risk of non-delivery to be "small", citing previous Frontier Development games such as Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and Kinectimals as signs that his company can deliver a high quality product. Braben reassures us that "key high-risk components (like networking) are already in place", but surely it's madness to compare a giant space trading game such as Elite with a game where you stroke lions via motion control?
Regardless, this is a project that's clearly going to raise a ton of money - it's already at nearly £80,000 and steadily rising. Hopefully Braben and Frontier Developments will return with some concrete info or images soon, probably after we've already pledged the money. In the meantime, you can find the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter page, such as it is, right here. There are 59 days left to go.