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 #12 - The road forward...

1 like


Michael here for today's update, although you'll be pleased to hear it's still David in the video. Let me start by giving a big thank you to all of our backers so far. We still have a way to go but together we can get there. I'm sure everyone knows, but I will reiterate how excited we all are to get started on this game.

In the video for today's update David talks about the the development plan for Elite: Dangerous. This includes features like landing on planets and exploring ships and space stations. You can watch the video here:

I'll be in the Kickstarter comments section to answer any questions people might have. I'll also update the main page and the FAQ for the extra information contained in the video.

We also have some lovely new concept art, shown below:

We also have some exciting new Kickstarters for authors wanting to create fiction for the Elite universe. Here are the various projects, please give them your support. Speaking personally I can't wait to get started on the official novel!

Books Set in the Elite: Dangerous world:
"Elite - Reclamation"  by Drew Wagar. It was the first to reach its funding level through Kickstarter and funding is still open:

"The Cost of Exploration" by Commander Boz. It is partially funded through Kickstarter, and successfully reached its funding level on December 2nd, just before funding closed:

"Elite: Dangerous - The Novel" (working title) by Vasileios Kalampakas. This is currently partially funded on here:

"...And Here the Wheel" by John Harper. This is also currently partially funded on, here:

"Elite: Dangerous - Out of the Darkness" by T. James. This is currently part funded on Kickstarter here:

"Elite Anthology: Tales from the Frontier" by Chris Booker. This is currently part funded on Kickstarter here:

"Survivor - An Elite: Dangerous Gamebook" by Nathanael Page. This is currently part funded on Kickstarter here:

We have also added new pledge upgrades to the main Kickstarter page. You can now get an Elite: Dangerous mug on its own and signed A3 concept art prints. Check the main Kickstarter page for more details.

I would also like to ask that we continue spreading the word as much as possible. We don't want to just hit the target, we want to smash it so we can include extra features that people are wanting. If you tweet then include the #elitedangerous hashtag, I'll personally rewteet any tweets :-)

I'll be back on Sunday for a mini update, but in the meantime you can find me on the comments section.

Thanks again to everyone who have contributed so far.


Doctor Doom likes this update.


    1. intrepidis on January 4, 2013

      Yes that's what I think, but it seems to go against what Frontier are saying.

    2. Missing avatar

      Chris Handley on December 16, 2012

      I rather doubt save-game exploits will allowed in multi-player. Unless you are in true single-player mode (which never connects to servers), it makes sense that the servers will remember your last player state, so if you try to revert it you will be prevented from using multi-player (or whatever).

    3. intrepidis on December 15, 2012

      @Robert Hadfield: I think maybe you didn't fully read Gordon's comment properly. His query was about selling a ship to a friend then loading a save and getting the ship back... but the friend will also have it. The friend could even load a save back to before buying the ship and then get his money back.

    4. Missing avatar

      Duncan Evans on December 15, 2012

      I think artificial boundaries are fine and sensible for the development of the game, so long as they are implemented in a way that doesn't shatter the fantasy. Maybe you can't land on planets because the re-entry hull-coating isn't for sale anywhere yet. You get warnings from your ship when you try to land, and eventually burn up. Systems that are "reserved" might require a permit to enter (like in frontier). There is nothing stopping you jumping into the system, but they might be protected by irresistible defenses that give you a short time to leave (not long enough to get a look at anything) before destroying your ship.

    5. Missing avatar

      Robert Hadfield on December 15, 2012

      So, in your scenario, if you save your game state, go steal a ship then go back to your previous saved point you will be doing exactly that. your particular game world will not have moved past where you saved you will never have stollen a ship and the owner of that ship will still be the exact same owner of that exact same ship.

    6. Missing avatar

      Robert Hadfield on December 15, 2012

      @intrepidis and gordon, It's going to be a single player with multiplayer features. The game universe is not going to be persistent like a MMOG. When you save and exit the game world is saved down as well at that point until you restart and reload your character at which point it resumes where you left off. That's how it should be working. It will be multiplayer in a similar way to CoD is multiplayer not multiplayer in the same way WoW is.

    7. Nyamiou The Galeanthrope on December 15, 2012

      This video should be on the project page.

    8. intrepidis on December 15, 2012

      I think this is how it works: When you quit the game you and your ship are put into stasis (or something similar). The game world continues to evolve. When you return you come out of stasis and the world might have changed quite a bit.
      As for smashing into a space-station... your spaceship will blow up. Somehow (escape capsule?) you'll get back to a space-station. You will still have all your credits (money). I may be wrong on this though...

    9. Missing avatar

      Pavel on December 15, 2012

      no land on planet=no freedom! & no realism :(
      i'm angry

    10. Gordon Shumway on December 15, 2012

      @intrepidis - Ah, that would stop it then. But you must be able to restart from some sort of last saved position if you're killed. Or is it going to be some hard core type of game where accidentally crashing into a space station means starting from scratch again!

    11. intrepidis on December 15, 2012

      @Gordon: In a persistent online multiplayer game you cannot reload a previous save.

    12. intrepidis on December 15, 2012

      @Zarch: I agree implicitly. I actually assumed this is what DB was thinking, he just wasn't articulate enough to explain it.
      @Robin Chaddock: Your point 1 worries me immensely. Surely they could have micro-jumps instead of stardreamer temporality. So if you're travelling from Earth to the Moon then it would be a smooth transition, rather than a single jump. Obviously, if you see others in close vicinity micro-jumping then it would look like they are moving very very fast. Maybe your onboard computer could automatically match their speed, so you can dog fight, and perhaps later you would be able to jam someone's ability to micro-jump.

    13. Gordon Shumway on December 15, 2012

      Then sell the ship and repeat the steal, reload save cycle again for loads of cash. Seems like a can of worms to me.

    14. Gordon Shumway on December 15, 2012

      The ship stealing scenario seems like a way for easy cheating. One player has an extremely upgraded ship. They then allow their friend to steal it. They then reload their last save and hey presto, now they both have the same ship. Repeat ad-infinitum.

    15. Missing avatar

      Zarch on December 15, 2012

      I understand the choice to want to do planets properly and it makes a lot of sense that the space ships at first release would not be equipped for atmospheric flight, so I like that.

      However I absolutely hate any artificial regions that cannot be entered simply to allow expansion. It's incredibly immersion breaking and also entirely avoidable.

      If you want an area to be "off limit" then there are plenty of technobable approaches to do it. For example a galactic cluster could be antimatter instead of standard matter - no-one can go in there without blowing up until some future technology allows it. Clouds of corrosive gas or massive radiation emissions...again over time the emissions can dissipate or new technology allow it to be entered. Unstable space warps that prevent FTL travel in the region ... again improved drive technology or reduction of the effect would allow entry when time came.

      There are lots of ways to "seal off" areas without doing it artificially and those methods in of themselves then provide inspiration for what could be in there once it is opened without constraining it. For example the space warp/radiation/whatever could be the shockwave from a massive doomsday weapon, inside you find the shattered remains of two civilisations that virtually wiped each other out.

      Or there could be a weird physics effect going on, as soon as the radiation drops every science team in the galaxy is going to be contracting for transport there and guards once they get in. Maybe the radiation will allow some new weapon/shield giving the possessors an advantage so many nations are all competing to get their science team in there and/or destroy the hostile science teams.


    16. Missing avatar

      parablax on December 15, 2012

      Dino dini - still playing planetoid?......

    17. Drew Wagar on December 15, 2012

      I've just watched the Update 12 video and I have to say (with 10 years experience as a Project/Programme Manager, both Prince and more recently Agile) that this is *extremely* reassuring. This appears to be a foundational step with incremental updates. This is a very sound approach given the enormous scope of this project. DB and Frontier are being *very* wise in breaking this down into deliverable chunks.

      They are also doing an excellent job of managing stakeholder (fans in this case) expectations, by coming clean about this sort of stuff at this point. This is absolutely a professional approach, we should be relieved that this gives a much greater chance of delivery post KS.

      I believe we're going to be in receipt of, not so much a game, but a decade's worth of experiences, each one fresh and new as parts of the game become available. The fact that the foundation work has already been laid (as described by the video) to underpin something of this size means that an enormous amount of work has already been carried out - again, very re-assuring.

      I'd love to see the user stories on their scrum board (if they're using scrum).

      "As a pilot I want a kick ass military laser so that I can fry a Thargoid in a couple of shots." :)

      Thanks for the plugs on behalf of the authors. If it's not been mentioned already this is much appreciated. It's fantastic to see the engagement with he fans. Right on, Commanders.

    18. Missing avatar

      David Bond [Mac 1.4m, +10 ships 1.5m] on December 14, 2012

      2 questions...

      @Ian Bell... are you the same as co-produced the original elite, or just same name?


      If a suitable level of funding was reached, would landing be implemented from the start even of it meant a delay in release

    19. Missing avatar

      doa (deleted) on December 14, 2012

      This franchise was all about the freedom, so its understandable sentitivities will be triggered amongst some when the he developer announces that one of those core freedoms will not be there on the release date.

      He could argue that he is not taking seamless planetary landings (SPLs) away and that it will being implemented in the future, but are we funding this project for promises, or what they are obliged to actually deliver ? We back the project based on information provided by the creator. In this case, I can't remember anywhere where DB actually said there will be SPLs - but I had just assumed it would be there on release date. This assumption was based on comments made by him that ED will be an expansion and imrovement on its predecessors. He wasnt talking about Elite Deadly, he was talking about Elite Dangerous. Regardless, we all have the right to change our pledges before the deadline, and so far it looks like there hasnt been too much of a negative reaction when compared to the positive. Its all about risk management I guess.

      Instead of vaporizing SPLs on release date because they are not ready, he should have simply extended the release date until they were. We have already waited about 10 years, another year or 2 won't hurt. Release without SPLs will be seen by many to be simply releasing an unfinished product .. deja vu.

    20. Samuel Bond Luxton on December 14, 2012

      I am very happy to hear that things will be done properly and not rushed just to meet the release deadline. What we will end up with is a far richer and deeper experience because of it, good things come to those who wait you know! Anyway with a whole universe to explore I am sure investigating deep space will keep me busy until the day I can land on planets anyway.

      Great update, count me as excited!

    21. Missing avatar

      T3KL3R on December 14, 2012

      @Dino Dini

      I would argue that "constrained" gameplay is the opposite of what Elite and its sequels are about. I suspect if DB and IB had been able to create seamless planetary landings in Elite back in the day, they would have. But at the time, what they did was way more free and "sprawling" than anything else available and the technology could only go so far.

      But then we got seamless planetary landings in Frontier. Why would we want to go backwards and take that away? And I don't want to sound like a jerk, but if you want constrained gameplay, why is E:D even on your radar? Aren't there other more constrained space games already available?

      I think for a lot of people, a new Elite represented a chance to have a space game that had a more seamless and cohesive galaxy to play in compared to what's been available over the last 15-20 years. So seeing comments suggesting it's not necessary or even unwanted is somewhat startling. It seems there are already plenty of games available for people uninterested in this ability.

    22. Missing avatar

      Gordon Moon on December 14, 2012

      These things would have been Day 1 if Frontier did things right from the first place and earned more money, but oh well. I do worry of other projects that put lots of stretch goals that might not be able to finish the game on time.

    23. Shadowfax on December 14, 2012

      Thanks DB for that update. Glad to hear you are saving planetary landings until you can implement them in a way that will do the idea justice.

    24. Shadowfax on December 14, 2012

      @Dino Dini but Frontier did what Elite did, and did it better, with planetary landings.

    25. Dino Dini on December 14, 2012

      Would planetary landings really work? From a game design point of view, I have to think that planetary landings would break the identity of the game. It's about flying spaceships, not commuting through cities or exploring scenery. Everyone always wants more, but less is often better. Constrain the design and fill that design well, rather than create some kind of sprawling mess.

      If you have planetary landings, there is just so much that can break immersion in the attempt to enhance it. The power of Elite was that the universe made sense and was consistent. Stupid things never happened, because the design was carefully controlled and the possibility of stupid occurrences eliminated.

      This is part of what made the original game so good.

      As soon as you introduce more freedom, as Ian asks for, the danger is that the world's response to your actions can become much more difficult to achieve convincingly. You don't believe me? Then think of Grand Theft Auto. It's all well and good and we accept it for what it is, but in the end it's a toy. There's just too many stupid things you can do (or can't) that you just have to accept. Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine as a game, but it misses the opportunity to make a world that is completely consistent. *That* is the thing that made Elite special, and I would rather have constrained gameplay that lives to this ideal than some kind of sprawling mass of a game where I can do anything no matter how stupid, or get the world to respond in a stupid way.

    26. Missing avatar

      doa (deleted) on December 14, 2012

      @ Robin

      Very good point.

      There will also be no way to anticipate, take action or even against, or probably even compute all the unpredicted barriers in your path at such high speeds. Although the risks are very low that you will actually hit anything, they raise the point that space is so vast that in essence multiplayer interaction can only really take place in a very ... very .. very small percentage of what should be available. And if that is the case, you will begin to wonder at the reasoning of allowing multiplayer support to eliminate the use of time compression.

    27. Missing avatar

      doa (deleted) on December 14, 2012


      That was the one thing that seperated Elite from the crowd. Not allowing players to land on planets or blocking their path due to 'reserved' areas in the galaxy will have an immense impact on the immersion of this game when it is released.

      DB had a choice of using 2 strategies of getting the content ready in time - restrictions or upgrades, and unfortunately he has chosen the restriction path.

      In effect, he has imposed similar restrictions on players in the game world to those publishers were imposing on him in the business world. I understand his fears in releasing a product he believes does not meet his expectations, however, releasing ED without the core element of PL is will not meet a player's expectations.

      In the end, ED is his baby. I just wished he told us about this strategy at the start. At this point we have no idea when PL will be released. ED *now* pretty much falls under the same class as other games like X3, EVE and SC, both of which share the same restrictions as ED now does, but will implement other gaming elements better or at worst, the same level as the unreleased ED.

      Some free advice to ignore .. do not delay or hide the very quality that seperated you from the crowd. Embrace it, and we will support you in its growth. I would much rather the release of even the basic function of PL without any animals or cities. Its the implemented concept thats important, NOT the eye candy, and for have that eye candy to delay its release to us is just not criket.

    28. Missing avatar

      Robin Chaddock on December 14, 2012

      I'm disappointed & somewhat surprised that planetary landings are not a feature anticipated to be present at release, however my real worry is that their temporary exclusion is going to hide more fundamental problems brought in by design decisions made elsewhere.

      [Universe continuity, scale of distances & time compression]

      It's already been established that time compression à la stardreamer is a non-starter because of the concessions necessary for multiplayer.
      However, what hasn't been explained is how the consequential loss of scale in playable distances is going to be compensated for.
      Let me elaborate:

      London to Moon: ~385,000 KM
      London to Jupiter: 600,000,000 KM - 900,000,000 KM

      Now obviously without time compression, space ships are going to need to accelerate, cruise & decelerate at extreme velocities to traverse these vast interplanetary distances in real-time. It has already been stated that this will be achieved using some kind of in-system hyperspace jump.

      However, vast distances *do not* exist solely *between* planetary bodies.

      London to Paris: ~350KM
      London to Wellington(NZ): ~19,000 KM
      Circumference of Jupiter: ~450,000 KM

      If we first examine London to Paris.
      For flying over the Earth's terrain to be at all meaningful, this journey needs to take at least 1 minute - any less than this and you'll be passing the surface features at such a pace that it'll be little more than a blur.

      Now let's take a look at London to Wellington(NZ); 50 times further. I doubt players will be willing to wait 50 times longer, thus we must travel a great deal faster.
      There-in lies a serious problem with the lack of time compression; if you travel fast enough for moderate planetary distances (like London->Wellington) to be trivially fast, the very concept of planetary scenery becomes quite irrelevant - it'll be flying past your cockpit so fast that it might as well not be there.

      If we then examine the most extreme situation (at least, the most extreme for our solar system); the circumference of Jupiter, we find it's greater than the Earth->Moon distance!

      We've already established that without time compression travel between the Earth & Moon will only be viable with in-system jumps, yet here we have a planetary body so large that navigating its circumference without in-system jumps is apparently going to be non-viable.

      There are only 2 solutions I can see to this issue, and both have (for me at least) immersion breaking consequences:

      1) In-system jumps become the de facto means of navigating any distance
      The world will lack any kind of continuity; docking ports (on planets or stations) will become little more than a hotspot where incidents can occur. Everything in-between will become completely irrelevant.

      2) Planetary bodies are scaled down so that planetary travel & interplanetary travel are at different scales, and thus are incomparable.
      Doing this would not be true to what I consider to be the spirit of Elite & would break immersion.

      To me the Elite franchise is Elite 2, and the fundamental USP of Elite 2 was the stardreamer time acceleration, and every aspect of the game that flowed naturally from this mechanic.

    29. Andre Czausov on December 14, 2012

      @David : +500 Great update with straight-up info.

    30. Missing avatar

      Nicholas Tindall on December 14, 2012

      I'm pleased to hear about planetary landings; I like the fact everything won't be in place from day one. It will be something to look forward to; I am especially relieved the delay is at least partly because you want it to be a worthwhile experience.

    31. deusx_ophc on December 14, 2012

      another fitting and great update - thanks for sharing your vision and explaining plans afoot

      @pyros see you the party ^^

    32. Will Lowe on December 14, 2012

      A bit miffed about planetary landings too, plans ahead seem very solid and the amount of content available at launch should keep people going for quite a while.

      Very impressed the way these big decisions have been taken so soon on and we aren't left feeling cheated on release. I for one want to be part of the great vision, I want to be part of the amazing immersive, immense universe that reaches far beyond any game we have yet seen.

    33. Maalak on December 14, 2012

      "About planetary landings, this is wrong! You should be able to land on planets at first (except maybe Earth). We will be happy with F:E2 quality to begin with. When an update comes for better quality planets you should send an APB to all players telling them that if they are near, or on, a planet then they will be instantly teleported a safe distance from the planet. I think F:E2 quality is fine at first (not FFE )."

      I approve this (well, I would prefer graphics a liitle better than F:E2 though). Too much people are waiting for this feature and disabling it in the first release would lead to disppointment.
      I'm quite satidfied to learn it will be possible one day, but saying negative comments is not something that would push people to pledge for the game, they will think "if this important feature is for later, then I will give my money later".
      Furthermore, by not including planetary landing, this will also means that ground missions like destroing bases will not be possible, so it's a bigger part of the game that would not be here than only flying above the ground.

      So, in the whole, I think it would be better to integrate this feature right from the start, even at an early development stage, so people will not be frustrated by seeing some kind of decline since FE:2 and will understand better that it will be enhanced later.

    34. Missing avatar

      Daniel Hughes on December 14, 2012

      [the sound of Dan soiling himself]

    35. Joerg Starkmuth on December 14, 2012

      I wonder whether detailed planet simulations with cities and even living beings are feasible. After all, for the game to be consistent, that would also mean players would be able to damage or destroy buildings, and if they can walk around in their ships, they should also be able to interact with persons and animals on planets - so the spaceship simulation would turn into FPS-like game. I doubt that such a level of *interactive* detail is possible with procedural generation and generic AI. But if they can do it, it would be the greatest game ever.

    36. Missing avatar

      T3KL3R on December 14, 2012

      I can be understanding of the necessity to make sure things are implemented well. But I most likely won't play until seamless planetary landings are possible. There are a ton of reasons why I want to play this game, but planetary landings are the #1 reason. It will greatly increase the immersion, the sense of scale (something very few games do right), and feeling of actually have your own ship to go around the galaxy in.

      The very first thing I will do when I start playing will be to fly down to the surface of a planetary body. Without a doubt, the very first thing thing.

      Again, I can and will be patient, but I hope this doesn't take to long to get into the game.

      Still excited, but a little disappointed at the moment. But thanks for keeping at it, David and FD. I look forward to hearing more.

    37. Shepard on December 14, 2012

      So all I got from this video - we have a lot of cool stuff planned but none of that stuff will be in game at release...

    38. Missing avatar

      Ed Carter on December 14, 2012

      Wow! Lots of great ideas, new options and more immersion for the future. Glad to see Elite will continue to get developed after the kickstarter. Everyone see this completly unofficial promo yet?…

    39. Nyamiou The Galeanthrope on December 14, 2012

      Best update ever ! You've answered the most important questions I had about the game and we are going to have stretch goals. I've increase my pledge of £145, if everyone do that you are going to hit all your stretch goals even before you publish them.

    40. intrepidis on December 14, 2012

      About planetary landings, this is wrong! You should be able to land on planets at first (except maybe Earth). We will be happy with F:E2 quality to begin with. When an update comes for better quality planets you should send an APB to all players telling them that if they are near, or on, a planet then they will be instantly teleported a safe distance from the planet. I think F:E2 quality is fine at first (not FFE ).

    41. Missing avatar

      Von Paulus on December 14, 2012

      Actually I'm very please to hear that landing on planets will be on hold. From my experience playing other games, like Evochron, landing on planets soon become rather dull. I really don't mind to wait for a future expansion with a well implemented landing on planets feature.

    42. Richard Harrison on December 14, 2012

      Firstly, excellent update - cheers guys!

      So now, I think we really need to find out where backers stand with content releases after the 'basic' game is released and also how these further developments will be funded and (if possible) their esitmated release timeframe. If backers are going to have to pay for future content (or a part thereof) I'd like three summary lists producing, which outline:

      1) The 'basic' game functions/attributes so we know for certain what we're getting 'out of the box' just so we have that clarity - its going to get muddled over the next 21 days or so!

      2) The free backer DLC expansions that are planned (however finger in the air this may be)*

      3) The pay for content DLC expansions that are planned (however finger in the air this may be)*

      These things would give me a more informed opinion and allow me to evaluate where I stand as a backer just like the latest update has clarified many things but has led to the above queries.

      * Appreciate that not all backers may get free content so there may need to be further information as to what pledge tiers benefit from any free content (assuming that to be the case). I'm also not including bug-fixes/patches as DLC - it's more to do with mission expansions, ship updates, planetary landing expansion, space station interior access, etc.

    43. Pete Sayers on December 14, 2012

      Did I miss the bit where he talks about Seamless Planetary Landings - DB mentions Planetary Landing - post release, but didn't discuss seamless. I'm picking they will be but I'd like to be absolutely sure. I like the direction and the vision, I'd like to see some of the modelling, or an update on the lines of code created, and modified since last update and in what areas of the game - we've updated 20,000 lines of code relating to FP combat, or 12,000 lines of code on the physics engine and how we deal with the gravitational effect of small vessels and large vessels in close proximity...etc. I like the vision very much!

    44. Missing avatar

      Chris Handley on December 14, 2012

      Good to finally know were we stand with landing on planets. More than a bit disappointed it won't be there on release day, but I expect there will be lots of other cool stuff to keep me distracted until it is.

      David seems worried about populating planets with cities, trees, animals, etc. Fair enough. But what about *airless planets* and moons? They don't have any of that stuff (well except cities), so what about being able to land on them? That would keep me MORE than happy.

    45. Joerg Starkmuth on December 14, 2012

      Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate the verbal information, which is really interesting and exciting. But a sceptic (any there are many after decades of waiting for Elite IV) would probably be more convinced by more than words. Something like "Here's a little model we built just to get a feeling of where this might be heading, and even though it's absolutely preliminary, we decided to share it with you at this time." That would have a very positive effect, I think.

    46. Joerg Starkmuth on December 14, 2012

      Suggestion for future updates: Always show at least a little bit of 3D graphics, even if it's pre-alpha. You already have a model of a damaged Anaconda, why not show a closer look from outside and inside, even without textures? It would give a feeling of how it might become.

    47. Pyros on December 14, 2012

      (and the UK launch party...)

    48. Pyros on December 14, 2012

      Suddenly, the design forum looks really enticing...