Elite : Dangerous - Space Sim ( kickstarter ) and Original, remakes article

I thought to myself tonight that it was time to write up a small article about Elite, the Elite remakes and the new Dangerous kickstarter project. With regards to my play time of Elite it was very brief as I was well into FOFT(Federation of Free Traders) which was a similar game of trading/battles in space and on the planet surface (Frontier: Elite II). Elite was originally on the BBC and Acorn Systems released in 1984 at which time I was 5yrs old, by two developers David Braben and Ian Bell.




At the time Elite was the first type of game to use wire-frame 3d graphics it also had a very open ended game model and an advanced engine which ensured that it was ported to virtually every computer system. It was a massive success so much so that even today we have games of it's type like X, freelancer, jumpgate and the like.. Elite took about 2 years to create and within it's release on the BBC it sold nearly 150,000 copies now that's alot!. It was so popular that other companies wanted in on the fame and of cause the money. It was from there on that the porting to other systems began. Amiga, Atari ST, Apple II, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, MSX, Tatung Einstein and IBM PC compatible, also the Nintendo Entertainment System. I had the Amiga version of Frontier:Elite II!

So what exactly do you do in the game you might ask, well Elite is basically a massive opened ended space game of Trading, Combat, Ship upgrading the list goes on. You could also go on military missions and bounty hunting or if boredom is your thing ;) Mining!. Most of the money made goes towards fuel and your ship upgrades with such enhancements as better weapons, increased cargo capacity, an automated docking system, and more. Also you have a limited fuel capacity in the early part of the game and you are limited by distance to each planet/system by the amount of fuel you have, though by visiting a station in orbit you can refuel.  Be warned without a docking computer, docking with a station isn't an easy task! *BOOM*.  Luckily a helping upgrade is also provided to your ship via the spending of money called the fuel scoop, which allows raw fuel to be skimmed from the surface of stars.

Want more?, when being attacked by those nasty Thargoid, if you attack and destroy them you can collect the free-floating cargo canisters and escape capsules, I believe you can attack other ships as well ( going from memory here ). The Elite universe contains eight galaxies, each galaxy containing 256 planets to explore. Due to the limited capabilities of 8-bit computers, these worlds are procedurally generated, which is very impressive for it's day and age another reason why it was so popular. But being able to do all this on your first computer with no other game like it must've felt like a gift from the gods, amazing!.

In 1993 we finally had a sequel and it was called Frontier Elite II as we were sometime ahead in system development, everything was upgraded. No longer limited by BBC/ACORN system power and lower graphical ports, they had the full potential of the Amiga, Atari and IBM systems. Yes the original Elite was on those systems too but we are years ahead now. Frontier Elite II was very similar it had to be, however the first thing you will notice are the graphics. The graphics engine was very advanced for its time, featuring curved polygons, and texture mapping in the PC version.  You can also land on planets which blew me away, imagine going from system to system, trading in space stations then landing on planets and doing the same. Most of the stars in this game also have a system of planets around them, while in the previous game there would only be a single planet and space station in every system. Another big up from the original, ships!. In the original you are stuck with one ship  Cobra Mk. III and you are only able to upgrade it, but in this you have multiple ships, From Traders to Fast fighters and Cruisers. You of cause still had all the trading, missions and battles like the first game but then you need that to make lots of money, who doesn't like money?.



Frontier Elite II was again very popular with Amiga magazines raving about it in endless articles of high end scores, however a few did rate it lower due the lack of combat compared to the first and it ran rather slow on non AGA versions. Frontier: First Encounters was the next game in the line up but never appeared on the AMIGA as it was never finished however it did appear on the PC. This game wasn't well received as the first release was rather buggy and needed patching, however it did contain a major part that the previous did not, A STORYLINE concerning an alien race!. Lastly you also had the addition of journals that report on happenings within the known universe, really gives you that extra immersion.



Fast forward today and we have a new Elite called Elite : Dangerous. This time the developer(s) of the original need the funding to get it done and out to the public.  We are so far ahead in computer power that we can actually run old computer systems like the Amiga in the background while watching a movie and playing music, just think of the ability to enhance Elite over the original!.  Here's some teasers, in Elite:Dangerous you will be able to play Multiplayer against other players by working together or killing each other to gain the bounty on the person's head. Play the game your way: dangerous pirate, famous explorer or notorious assassin, yes you can play as a bad ass!. All the other great bits are still in from the original, Trading, new ships, more planets, asteroids, solar systems and the biggest addition you will notice is the Graphics. If the pictures are anything to go by, this game will blow you away and keep you hooked. I really hope it's as good as the original, because this Kickstarter has A LOT to live up to, can it dethrone Elite?. But if you don't pledge, you'll never see this game it's as simple as that!


David Braben Talks about the kickstarter



I'll let the pledge website speak for itself and as I say " DO IT NOW ", please :)
ELITE DANGEROUS KICKSTARTER


Oh yes and I almost forgot, IT'S REMAKE TIME!

The first remake is called OOlite and is actually inspired on the original, here's a snippet from the developer

 Powered by Objective-C and OpenGL, and designed as a small game that is easy for users to pick up, modify and expand upon. Almost every aspect of the game can be changed by using simple, free graphics packages and text editors.


Oolite Website/Download


The second remake is Pioneer a Frontier: Elite 2 remake


The game is open-ended, and you are free to explore the millions of star systems in the game. You can land on planets, slingshot past gas giants, and burn yourself to a crisp flying between binary star systems.
When Pioneer is finished there will be many ways to make ends meet: piracy, smuggling, bounty-hunting, mining, doing missions for the various factions fighting for power, freedom or self-determination.


Pioneer Website/Download

Hope you enjoy reading the article as much as i did writing it, don't forget to comment and give me feedback as I do love a good discussion and remember to pledge at
ELITE DANGEROUS KICKSTARTER

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