Author Introductions: Darren Grey
Elite: Dangerous has raised £779k as I write this, so it's picking up nicely and closing in on its target. No room for complacency, so I'm hoping we can do our bit with a great book. Please spread the word wherever you think people might be interested, we need more readers!
In the meantime, I have a new author to introduce to you: Darren Grey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm 29, from Dublin, currently living in London working as a research co-ordinator for an energy research institute. I've a background in physics and am far too much of a science geek. As a hobby I develop my own little games (http://gamesofgrey.com) - roguelikes with an emphasis on tight gameplay. I host a game design podcast called Roguelike Radio (http://roguelikeradio.com) where some other designers and I chat about games and game elements. I also write for pleasure, including numerous short stories and exposition texts for the fantasy RPG Tales of Maj'Eyal (http://te4.org) and some bits of poetry (http://gamepoems.com).
When did you first discover the Elite games?
My first encounter was with Frontier on my Amiga 1200 in my early teenage years. I can't describe just how much this sucked me in. I was in awe of its amazing breadth, this fantastically huge galaxy to explore, all fitting on a single-sided floppy disk. The realistic physics was also a big draw for me. I loved sling-shotting round gas giants, scooping hydrogen from the surface of stars, and being really really bad at manual landings...
I also played a lot of Elite later, and a bit of First Encounters, but Frontier was my first love and always will be.
What's your favourite Elite memory?
Saving up to get a Boa and decking it out with waaay too many shields, and changing my battle tactic to auto-pilot + ramming. "What's that police Viper, you want to arrest me? Let me just get close so I can show you my license!" BAAM! Ahh, bliss ;)
Have you written before or is this a fresh challenge? What made you back the project?
I have a lot of experience with hobby writing, which has become more serious lately as my works have been incorporated into the fantasy RPG Tales of Maj'Eyal (http://te4.org), helping to structure and flesh out its story and world. There's been a lot of positive reception to the lore I've written in the game, which now totals over 50k words of text. Here's an example of a 15k word story I've recently completed which is now in the game: http://goo.gl/2t2Au
I think short stories are a great way of fleshing out games with large worlds / universes. They provide flashpoints of activity, giving a great sense of depth spread across both space and time in the game's fiction. This project is absolutely perfect for Elite: Dangerous and I'm really thrilled to be a part of it.
Do you know what you want to write a story about?
I've a lot of different story ideas in my head. I'll have to explore a few and see which works out best. I want to have something set on the frontiers of the galaxy, where law has little influence and colonies have to protect their own. My most mature idea is about a bounty hunter named Maria seeking Elite status. She ends up the target of a mysterious hunter of bounty hunters who works for a criminal syndicate. It'll involve tense space fights, desperate chases, sharp ingenuity and a few surreal elements. I'm looking forward to sharing work with and bouncing ideas off the other writers who sign up.
What one thing most excites you about Elite: Dangerous? Something that's already been revealed or some feature you're secretly hoping for?
The most exciting thing in the announcements so far has been the promise of an evolving galaxy, with stations and factions rising and falling. We're used to this big static universe in the old games - imagine just how much more enthralling it'll be with a living, breathing galaxy full of change and diversity! This is the real promise of a next generation Elite, not something that's just copying what's come before but a game that builds on previous releases and reaches into new and exciting areas.