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“This is the game I have wanted Frontier to make for a very long time. The next game in the Elite series – an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope, and also fully multi-player.” said Frontier founder and CEO David Braben. “Frontier has been working on this project, in the background, for several years now, building a foundation of technology and tools.
Imagine what is now possible, squeezing the last drop of performance from modern computers in the way the previous games did in their days? It is not only a question of raw performance, though of course this will make it a gorgeous and incredibly rich experience, but we are pushing the multi-player networking implementation too.”
David Braben co-authored “Elite”, which was one of the most successful games of the 1980s, being the first ‘open world’ game, the first true 3D game which also set many other benchmarks. It made extensive use of procedural generation of content to fit eight galaxies each with 256 star systems and associated planets, economies. legal systems and so on into 22k bytes, less than the size of a typical email today.
His “Frontier” sequel, which his company is named after, greatly pushed such techniques further, containing a model of the whole of the Milky Way galaxy with all 1011 or so star systems, and many more planets and moons, each of which players could visit.
Frontier is using Kickstarter both as a means of test-marketing the concept to verify there is broader interest in such a game, extending beyond the fans and press who regularly contact David about the game, and raising £1.25M / $2M funds to complete it.
“Kickstarter is great because as long as we hit the threshold, it commits us to making the game.” added Braben. “From where we are now, £1.25M/$2M will get us the minimum game based on our tech and artist-directed procedural generation techniques, but I am of course hoping we can get more than that as it will allow us to be even more ambitious and potentially cover other platforms – the community of contributors will be part of the discussion about the specifics of any such decisions.”
Be part of it here.