Author Introductions: Alastair Kelly
Good evening everyone! I've another author Q&A for you from Alastair Kelly, who will be writing a short story for you when this Kickstarter has concluded successfully :-)
I'll get right on with it, as I'm approaching a space station at high speed in Oolite (is this the most unforgiving game ever or what?!) and the cops are after me.....
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am obsessed with Archer, David Braben space sims, Futurama and Star Wars (probably in that order).
When did you first discover the Elite games?
That was with my Amiga 500 and a copy of Frontier when I was a young teenager. I remember jumping out of bed as soon as my eyes opened at the weekends and racing over the computer to get back into the pilots seat. It says something about how amazing that game was when you can rouse a teenager so easily at 6am...
What's your favourite Elite memory?
I vividly remember the majesty and the sheer scale of it all. To me this was the first game I ever played that actually felt like an alternate reality because what you chose to do was entirely up to you. I think it was the attention to detail that really impressed. I had a hyperspace mis-jump once that sent my ship hundreds of light years across the galaxy to a uninhabited start system a long way from the central systems. I could have just quit and reloaded my last save, but I decided to play it out as far as possible. What I found was an immense galaxy full of systems that I doubt anyone else had ever visited before interspersed with a small trail of inhabited (but very lawless) systems spread out like breadcrumbs leading me home. It took several days, but I made it.
Have you written before or is this a fresh challenge? What made you back the project?
A great deal of my time at work is spent writing - it just isn't works of fiction. I have always wanted to write a book but have never really had to the time to put pen to paper beyond sketching out plot lines and writing the first few chapters. If anything is going to push me to find the time to wrote then this is it. I hope that once I write this story it will gives me the spur to finish what I have wanted to do for a while. I am really looking forward to the challenge and really hope this book, and Elite Dangerous comes to fruition.
Do you know what you want to write a story about?
My favourite characters in the Star Wars films are R2D2 and C3PO. I love the fact you have these two characters swept up in events far bigger than themselves with no real understanding of what is happening at a bigger level, yet never-the-less are absolutely central to events as they unfold. I think using characters like these to tell a story is really absorbing and darkly humorous. Also, I am really interested in looking at the slightly seedier side of the game. I made millions in Frontier by smuggling narcotics and slaves but never once had a pang of conscience about my actions even if my Frontier-self did cause a whole heap of human misery. I think a story using these two elements and looking into the more human aspects of the Elite universe would (hopefully) be pretty interesting and could really help flesh out the back story on the galaxy.
What one thing most excites you about Elite: Dangerous? Something that's already been revealed or some feature you're secretly hoping for?
To me Elite: Dangerous means freedom. I am waiting for that point in development when you can quite literally go anywhere and do anything in the game from dogfights in space, to owing your own space station, to walking on a distant planet. At that point it really will be the game I have always wanted to play. It is only going to happen if enough people pledge, so if you are reading this and you haven’t done so already, get over to the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter page now and back that game! (but only after supporting this project first...)