Share this project


Share this project

Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally - trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.
Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally - trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.
25,681 backers pledged £1,578,316 to help bring this project to life.

Update #3 - Procedural Generation

Thanks again for all the support. It is great to see so many people who care so much about this game.

Today, we've added a video talking about procedural generation, and how it will be used in Elite: Dangerous, together with some wallpapers.




    1. Creator Blood Dragon on November 30, 2012

      Congrats to Frontier Developments on the successes in this Kickstarter so far. Let's keep those pledges going, folks! I'm so excited about getting to play this game that I just upped my own pledge, LOL!

    2. Creator Chris Neary on November 18, 2012

      Half a million with 46 days to go. Get networking.

    3. Creator Chris Neary on November 18, 2012

      @Dave Malone
      No problem. The last time I was on the booze and online my cleric ended up beginning part socerer in ddo.

    4. Creator Mark O'Toole on November 17, 2012

      @Mark Mealman same for me. I'm still playing Frontier, and was a bit sceptical at first but that video was fascinating and pledge-worthy!

    5. Creator Peter Reardon on November 17, 2012

      Wow. Now I understand how the galaxy charts on the beeb loaded like they did.
      How about a new drinking game, watch this update video and every time David says 'Procedural Generation' you have to slam a shot of your favourite spirit.
      Sorry David, just joshing....

    6. Creator Mark Mealman on November 16, 2012

      This update video is what got me to pledge. I really liked how you talked more about your vision and the experience of the player. How you described flying through a gas giant and so on I kind of got this feeling like you could see yourself in a Cobra Mk I silently drifting through a realistic universe and I'd like to experience that too.

      I'd love to see more updates like this.

    7. Creator Jorge del Valle Gracia on November 16, 2012

      Hello David. As other people have stated in the comments before me, the images posted on Kickstarter are not high resolution. If the problem is that Kickstarter is automatically sizing them down, maybe you could post them somewhere in the site and give us a link to them?
      I'd love to have some of those images high res enough to be able to use them for my desktop.

    8. Creator Jason S on November 16, 2012

      Woot new update, must check it out...

    9. Creator David Moloney on November 16, 2012

      @Chris Neary Thank you for reading my comments.
      I agree with you that today's paid coders in big commercial companies such as EA work to strict time constraints this is why we usually get an inferior bugged product at release which is later fixed with patches.

      I guess i didn't really think through my comment i was drinking a few last night when i posted it.

    10. Creator econundrum1977 on November 16, 2012

      Regarding SC it doesn't need our money it's already more than funded and elite dangerous still needs more to happen. I Wish SC well and if by chance I have a pc good enough when it comes out I will buy it. It's plain to me SC is already pretty far along development wise. Elite dangerous is just at a much earlier stage.

      But I'm stoked about the idea of battling in gas scapes.

    11. Creator Chris Neary on November 16, 2012

      @David Moloney - Read you comments. Interesting but..
      Procedural generation is only used to write the design, to do the labour intensive tasks at a repeatable level. Take for instance an asteroid. In C++ you would create a rendering system, then you would define an asteroid, then you would create the parameters for that asteroid. Now you can generate one, you can use that code to generate a million asteroids by reusing the code but changing the parameters. The PG is used to generate those parameters to create a million asteroids. So it doesn't make the running of the game any more efficient or better, it's used as an automated design tool.
      Today's programmers are not really sloppy, they are being asked to do a lot more in shorter time with less specialised knowledge.
      In 1985 a game was 12kb - 30kb of assembly language, took around 6 months to write and was usually written by a single programmer who did it all, AI graphics,music Design et.c. Programmers at that time were talented enthusiasts who thought nothing of spending 18 hours a day coding (and not getting paid!). But we weren't mathematicians. Most of us didn't know how to plot an object in 3D space. So most of us wrote 2D platformers which were easier to code and looked prettier. So we weren't better, we just programmed on limited systems and played to our strengths.
      In short Modern programmers are not better or worse . They just have a different skill set.

    12. Creator Chris Neary on November 16, 2012

      Dave we spoke a while back, so just in case you do actually monitor this forum. You know as well as I that this project needs to do what the original did. That was to present to the public something which was technically more advanced than anything available at that time. If you are talking about PG for gas giants as pretty back drop to scooping then you need to take it to the next stage. To take Elite a stage further then it needs to be able to do what "Mercenary" did. You need to get on to the planets fly around them and know that next time you go there they are still there. If you added to that the ability to do "Tradewars 2000" to those bases you could have players owning the real estate. Now that, is something which has only been skimmed by clone games of Elite.

      Another interesting Elite Clone was "WarHead". It imitated real-world physics, and particularly light Doppler effects which I always thought was a nice effect (and cheap too!).

    13. Creator Daniel L. Kovacs on November 16, 2012

      Procedural generation + theory of fractals (and self-similarity) = the perfect combination (with good artists and rich/richly variable content of course:)

    14. Creator Fave La on November 16, 2012

      Loving the updates, I could sit and watch DB yabber on all day! This will of course, be funded, just wish there was a little more razamataz about the KS campaign. Tea and Jumpers it seems at the moment... And yes - Hi-Res images for wallpapers? Oops. Really looking forward to switching between this and SC in 2014!!!

    15. Creator Sean Houlihane on November 16, 2012

      @FD - Other projects are putting content in their update messages, as well as maybe changing the front page to suit. This helps because people read the updates in their mail reader and may get the images embedded - or at least the you-tube links to go to directly.

    16. Creator Wes Cilldhaire on November 15, 2012

      I think the kickstarter system scaled and proxied your wallpaper images.. they're not much bigger than the originally posted ones - they're not even 800x600 :)

    17. Creator Mark Edwards on November 15, 2012

      Thanks for the update David.

      I have to say that those procedural clouds are looking awesome. Really looking forward to seeing some more in-engine footage of what you plan to do with respect to planetary surfaces / biomes and the transition from space to surface and back.

      looking forward to the next update....

    18. Creator John Eddowes on November 15, 2012

      I have a small package which I need to be delivered to the Leesti system. I'll pay 1500 credits now, and another 1500 on arrival.

    19. Creator Ashley Cockburn on November 15, 2012

      Sorry, being dim - got it now
      But a link to any 'new' updates wouldn't be a bad idea

    20. Creator ProtonAx on November 15, 2012

      I look forward to seeing what you can do with procedural generation now that you have much more storage and processing power at your disposal. The procedurally generated worlds and atmospheric flight were what set you apart from Privateer when you released Frontier, and again it looks like it will be what will set your apart from Star Citizen when you release Elite: Dangerous.

    21. Creator Jim Collins on November 15, 2012

      Thanks very much for the update David.

      What you are planning to do with procedural generation is amazing and you explained it really well. The results already look impressive and I think applied to the game would make it even more of a legend that the previous ones were.

      I really admire what you and your team are doing and I am thrilled that as each day passes this game has more and more of a possibility of becoming a reality. Keep up the excellent work.

    22. Creator Ashley Cockburn on November 15, 2012

      Where is this video - it is not obvious and it should be

    23. Creator Kieron Wilkinson on November 15, 2012

      Fascinating. Great work Mr. Braben! Hopefully with move videos like these, pledges will go through the roof :)

    24. Creator Nats on November 15, 2012

      Frontier thank you for the extra images and the procedural generation video which was fascinating to watch. Hope they do the trick in increasing pledges and look forward to see what tomorrow brings. David you certainly know your stuff and its great to see you so enthusiastic about all this still. I can tell how you could make a fantastic game given the funding - keep it up the information/communication flow!

    25. Creator Bil Irving on November 15, 2012

      @Duncan Worrell Try the home page, and scroll down. :)

      @Phil Chao And there's the rub... it ends in 3 days. This one has barely got started. Of course SC is going to look better at this moment in time!

    26. Creator Duncan Worrell on November 15, 2012

      Ah, on the main project page, not on this update page that the update email links to. That's not very obvious and a bit confusing.

    27. Creator Ozzie Orlowski on November 15, 2012

      I'm in the same situation as Duncan - I also can't see any thing :(.

    28. Creator Duncan Worrell on November 15, 2012

      Where? All I can see is two sentences.

    29. Creator Phil Chao on November 15, 2012

      i pledged for both this project AND Chris Roberts' Star Citizen project, and I have to say that this one isn't looking as good.. i hope you've all helped out with the Star Citizen project already as it already has so much more promised! (videos, screens, system + ship specs)

      and it ends in 3 days!!!

    30. Creator Ian on November 15, 2012

      There's a nice video and some more art for a start.
      Nice update actually, one of the things I've been wondering is how they might decide to handle the systems where we already know there are bodies.

    31. Creator Duncan Worrell on November 15, 2012

      I am probably being dense, but this update says there's something to see. Where? The update contains no links to anything. Same with yesterday's.

    32. Creator pid on November 15, 2012

      Also: push limits on that cool music! Fill it up, guys!

      What would be beyond awesome: play a video games on the ship's board computer while you wait for an event floating in space... like... C64 port of original Elite :)

      Even cooler: PDF of original Elite manual with all those ship descriptions that made my day back then...

    33. Creator pid on November 15, 2012

      3D procedural cloudy sky <3

    34. Creator Paul Crossley on November 15, 2012

      @Craig Fowler: Re ensuring players can meet in vastness of space. Rather than make the sola systems being made really small, I suggest long range scanners for viewing the system and short range scanners for fighting. The same 'style' of scanner could be used - just different colours and you can flip between the two types.

    35. Creator Rowan Wagstaff-Weston on November 15, 2012

      The idea of those gas-giant cloudscapes looks incredible! I think procedural generation is an excellent way to go for a game universe this large; it frees up the design team's time to work on specific areas (like Earth and the core systems) whilst leaving the rest of the universe still rendered in just as much detail. Now all I need to do is wait a year and a half and budget for a new PC....

    36. Creator Stian on November 15, 2012

      +1 large wallpapers please, 700px wide, what are we running on, the BBC Micro?? ;)

    37. Creator Ian Davies on November 15, 2012

      +1 for wallpapers that are bigger than my iPhone screen!

    38. Creator Michael Vase-Petersen on November 15, 2012

      Was expecting something else, like ingame screens or vide for this update, but was actually pleasantly surprised.

      Those gas clouds looks amazing, makes me wanner get chased by 2-3 ships and then find a gas cloud or nebula and hide (yes, like star trek). :)

      Very much looking forward to next update, whatever the contents might be.

    39. Creator David Moloney on November 15, 2012

      I think too many developers and programmers today are lazy and sloppy in their work because they can be because of the power of today's computers.

      Look at what David and Ian squeezed out of 22kb
      Procedural generation absolute genius.

      Back then programmers had to come up with new ways to improve software on existing systems.
      Compare that to today where hardware is moving so fast enabling this generation of developers to be lazy and get away with it.

      Imagine what the games of today could actually be like if the lazy developers were faced with the same problems faced by Mr Braben and Mr Bell when they set about creating Elite.

      Programmers today are ten a penny and not even that great at problem solving because they don't have to be because of the advances in computer hardware.

      They don't have to worry too much about memory, clock speeds or storage all major hurdles to old school coders back in the day.

      Maybe C++ should be taught on older systems like the Amiga to wake some of these people up.

    40. Creator Styggron on November 15, 2012

      Thank you so much David. I am VERY interested in tech videos and as one comment below says, I could listen to you talk about this all day. The clouds were simply breathtaking they looked so realistic and this is not even ALPHA my goodness. Using scoops amongst a Gas Giant is just a fantastic idea. You continue to innovate and lead as you have always done. The passion is there in your eyes and you got me into programming when I was little playing Elite in 1985 on my Commodore 64. You're a true visionary. This video just blew me away as I am incredibly interested in procedural generation and you are absolutely right it is severely underutilised. Look at what you and Ian did in ELITE and look at Frontier !! Goodness that was on 1 disk ! wow ! Looking forward to the next update and seeing kickstarter flare up with more and more pledges. Again I'm honoured to go through this phase for the 4th time with the 4th incarnation of your amazing game.

    41. Creator Nick.C on November 15, 2012

      Excellent video - thanks for your explanation of procedural generation.

      +1 for 1920 x 1080 wallpapers.... :)

    42. Creator CatInSpace on November 15, 2012

      Great update - as a gamer who is also a programmer I love learning about technical stuff like David talked about. It's amazing how the original Elite was so rich in scope, fitting in only a couple of kB. It indeed required creative programming, and that's exactly what happened.

      Looking forward to learn more about the game and its development! While I'll wait for that I'd better start displaying some Elite: Dangerous wallpapers at work, to spread the word. :)

    43. Creator Daniel Hughes on November 15, 2012

      Excellent. Videos like these will help to generate and maintain momentum.

      Couldn't be more excited. Keep it up.

    44. Creator Andrew Dieffenbach on November 15, 2012

      Good to hear the same principles of development are being applied to this version as the original. That approach will pay off.

      Trivia FYI: Activision's Pitfall! used this pseudo random sequence approach to generating all of the 256 screens.

    45. Creator Simon Gibson on November 15, 2012

      Thank you David! I particularly liked your ideas on the cloud generation and the surfaces of stars - these are ideas I don't remember seeing in other games. I also agree with Chris Booker about 'Science Fact' approach - As you have stated about other aspects of the game it needs to be a balance between science and playability to make it fun.

      These are the sort of videos and updates that draw people into your world. They set our imagination going following your ideas and vision for the new Elite. More of your plans and ideas posted regularly will give people a bigger and better picture of that vision. That creates talking points where we might want to show a friend the new Elite and the clever things they are doing with **insert fancy technique, idea, plan**

      There must be at least three distinct camps of people out there who are potential backers. The first and I'm sure includes those, like myself, who played the original Elite or Frontier and loved them for there innovation, immersion and excitement. We don't need lots of convincing but we still want to be drawn in and excited by the possibilities.

      The second group are those younger players (probably a bigger potential group) who have never played Elite and may or may not have heard of it. They want the same things as the first group but they need to know what you are making. They won't want to play the original because its too dated but they would be happy to support an exciting, groundbreaking, immersive idea as long as they can see enough to capture their imagination. This group NEEDS convincing and lots of updates and interviews where you share your passion with concept art, videos (like this excellent one), Q&A, FAQs, etc, etc. Basically good targeted activity is how you grab them. You can probably draw on the good nature of some of group one to spread the word providing you put it on in the first place.

      The last main group comprises those that will part with their money but only if they get something they want for it. They may have been people who have played Elite before or those that haven't. Their money is important. This group may see Kickstarter more as a finished article before the product is even made. I suspect this group will have a bigger impact the moment the initial target is hit. They are very valuable as they see the next exciting game and they want the goodies and to be in the beta (or whatever). They also NEED convincing and this is done by doing the same things as for the second group and HITTING THE TARGET as soon as possible.

      I am convinced that Elite: Dangerous should hit target easily but you will need to continue great updates and you will need more than those of us who drool over the prospect of a new Elite! :)

    46. Creator Coz on November 15, 2012

      Get me a napkin, my mouth is watering! Awesome video. Can't wait to be stealth-ing the opposition in a gas cloud and the results of procedural creation look fantastic - its even better than what I had imagined. I was excited before, now I feel like a kid on Christmas eve.

      Creating quality content for games is of course costly and time consuming and I think many a company will be carefully watching how it is achieved here.

      Where can I download a hi-res of some of those incredible desktop backgrounds?

      Keep up the great work.

    47. Creator Bil Irving on November 15, 2012

      David Braben, as a programmer ever since I first played Elite on the C64 and realised *that* was what I wanted to do with my life, I could sit at your feet and listen to you for hours. Brilliant stuff.

    48. Creator Dan Ormond on November 15, 2012

      What a great video! Thanks so much for taking the time to make and share it. I'm getting more and more excited by the day!

    49. Creator Pete Clements on November 15, 2012

      Clouds in a planets atmosphere! Dam that looked fine, and as others have said, not even alpha! This game NEEDS to be made, design decision forum pledge firmly in place!

    50. Creator Eilir Hughes on November 15, 2012

      My son (Daniel Hughes) and I played the original BBC B version (on cassette) of Elite and have NEVER found anything to compete with it. This project is just amazing and is good to think that we 2 are not the only people who have missed the best-ever gaming concept. One hope - PLEASE code it for the Mac as soon as possible since I have moved over from the PC, as I can imagine many original players will have done.

      Get in there!