Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 4, 2013.

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Read, Write and Direct your own story in the Elite Dangerous Universe

Update

Four new tiers are introduced at £1, £20, £60 and £100. All backers who pledged for more than £20 will get the Elite Chronicles Gamebook (a choose your adventure book in digital format). Also, the Gamebook will be partially illustrated.

Elite Chronicles

  • Do you want to write or direct your own sci-fi story in the Elite Dangerous Universe?
  • Do you want to name a star system, commander, planet or describe a planet and get them created in the official game?

  • Would you like to read more sci-fi fiction?

  • Or just simply want more Elite?

The project aims to raise £4500 for the Elite Dangerous Kickstarter Writer's Package.

By obtaining the rights for the book, I will provide and maintain a platform (website) for you and the other creative authors to write the book - Crowd writing for Elite Dangerous Universe. I will get the book published with professional cover design and illustration (as a poster). So everyone has the opportunity to get their writing published officially, along with their system name, commander name, planet name, planet description to be created in game.

How does it work?

Everyone can write, read and vote.

The book will be centred around one main character created by the winning author (voted for by you, the community). The main character will interact with various other characters through the adventure. These other characters will also have have their own self-contained mini stories. The most liked characters/mini stories (voted for by you) will be selected to be included in the final book. This technique is often used in other mediums, such as the TV series Star Trek, X-files, Heroes and films such as Sin City, Traffic and Crash.

In stage 1 (week 1-2):

David Braben, the creator of Elite, has kindly offered to kickstart Elite Chronicles with his own writing. (A few lines addressing the setting/tone or the first World Event). 

At the beginning, everyone is free to write their characters without any restrictions. The most liked (voted) character will be selected to be the main character. 

In stage 2 (week 3- 8):

For the next 6 weeks, every week one new character will be introduced. Their stories will unfold chronologically. Similarly, each week, the most liked character is selected to be included in the official book. Writers of these character will also write the interaction between their characters and the main character under loose restriction. (e.g. meet, share common fate, one's action directly affect the other's)

In stage 3 (week 9-16):

The most liked three characters by week 8 is invited to return to the main story line, and every one can write for the selected characters as long as there is no contradiction to the previous stories. The most likely chapter of each character will be selected for the book. One new most liked character is introduced.

In stage 4 (week 16-18):

Everyone can write about the main character, and wrap up the stories in the final two weeks. The most liked ending is selected for the book.

Writers whose work are selected will be fully credited.

Overall, the construction will be an organic process. While I will stick to the plan as much as possible, minor changes are to be expected. Nevertheless, the aim is always to encourage people to write, read, vote and contribute feedback. Give writers as much freedom as possible, while guarantee the quality of the final book. Let readers direct the story, and provide free and good quality fiction stories to read.

A forum is set up at http://elitechronicles.com/, you can freely ask any questions you may have, or tell us what your ideas and suggestions.

Is it even possible?

In 2007, Penguin Books and De Montfort University launched " A Million Penguins" , a crowd-sourced novel experiment. They got 10 hits every second in the first few days, created 1031 total pages in the database, with nearly 1500 contributors, and attracted authors such as Margaret Atwood to contribute.

McKenzie Wark, Associate Professor of Cultural and Media Studies at Eugene Lang College and the New School for Social Research, crowd-sourced the first version of his recently released social commentary, "Gamer Theory," now available as a printed book published by Harvard University Press.

Avon Books' "These Wicked Games," is a crowd-written Regency romance novella. Avon outlined competition rules and structured community interaction right down to supplying each chapter's basic plot line. After writers submitted their completed chapter drafts each week, fellow crowd members voted on the "best." Contestants submitted 1,705 chapters, and more than 147,000 votes were cast to determine the best efforts.

So, even the concept is not new, it certainly can be done. With more and more people reading their books on smartphone, kindle, tablet or PC, we are expecting a very positive response, and hoping to reach a much bigger reader base than they had ever hoped.

How do you guarantee the quality of the book?

A professional editor will be employed to edit the final book. At the same time, I will consult with the KS backers and professional writers, including the official book writer, author Michael Brookes, to set up God events to direct the pace and help the story to consolidate.

Meanwhile, I will promote the project by providing a user friendly website for readers and writers to use, and market the project effectively. So we will have many writers to contribute and a lot readers to vote, eventually you as a reader will ensure each chapter is a good read, and interesting characters are selected.

When would I get the EBook/printed book?

In July 2013, the online unformatted version will be finished. You can read all the stories on the website. The final edited EBook will be released in Jan 2014, and the printed books and posters will be delivered in Feb 2014, as the game will be released in March.

Why do you ask for more than £4500?

This is simply due to the fact that around 10% will need to be paid for Kickstarter fee + process fee. Although I am going to get many professional talents on board freely for this project, the estimated basic cost of production (printing books+posters) is still around £1000. So only £450 is left to cover a proportion of the production costs, and I will make up for any shortfall personally. 

What is Elite Dangerous Universe? What are the restrictions?

Elite: Dangerous” is the latest installment of a long series of epic space games, starting with "Elite" - one of the most successful games of all time. It is an open world space sim, which means you can go where you like, be what you like - pirate, bounty hunter, trader, assassin, or some mix of all of these. We will adopt the general spirit in the book. You will have total freedom in writing for the unformatted version online, as long as your story seems to fit within the same universe. For the final edited (publishing) version, in order to fit in with Elite Dangerous Universe, some minor changes may need to be carried out. For example, spaceships travel through hyperspace in the game, so your ship (if it's a normal one) needs to travel via hyperspace as well.

Finally, thanks for everyone who has contributed already for Elite Chronicles.

Thanks for J S Morgan's amazing art work for the project image, logo and banners.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As long as we achieve our goal, the website, updates and the final book is guaranteed. However, the story may not follow or evolve in the way you would like to. If in stage 3, very few contributor are involved, a cut down version will be in place: i.e. the final 4 chapters are open to all to write as one piece within 3 months time, and the most liked will be picked.

FAQ

  • If there is any, the money will go to a chosen charity by backers.

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  • Yes, of course. Elite Chronicles will even help you to promote your personal writing on our website. One of our fundamental goal is to unleash your creativity, encourage you to write and help you to reach your readers directly throughout your writing.

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  • I personally think E:D will be funded without any doubts. However, in the unlikely event, we are funded and E:D is not. Then, I'd like to cancel our funding. Most likely, the money won't have gone through before the end of E:D Kickstarter. But, I am still waiting to hear back from Kickstarter to confirm the details regarding this. Elitechronicles.com will still be alive, and all you fans out there can still come and write. However, a purposely build writing/reading/voting platform won't be set up, there won't be an E:D book. instead you can come and write directly in our forum, and our blog will act as a simple news feed of all the E:D books out there.

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  • Because there will just be one official book. The Gamebook is not a print book, it won't be sold. It's an add-on for the official book, so you have a choice to read it in a Gamebook format (where you make a decision and follow the narratives in a particular path) .

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  • Pledge £1 or more
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    16 backers

    Stardust: Thank you so much for your support. Every penny helps. A digital postcard is on its way to you and your name will be posted on our website as a supporter. Everyone who supports us, will get this! You'll also get special backer status on elitechronicles.com, which gives you the extra benefit of being able to promote your favorite writer or your own writing.

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    16 backers

    Space Debris: Weekly update of the selected official story send to you in your preferred format (a PDF file formatted for smartphones, kindle, tablets or PC)

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    96 backers

    Asteroid: Everything in Space Debris tier (£5) + the final edited EBook

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    5 backers

    Meteor: Everything in Asteroid tier + acknowledgement as a named individual on elitechronicles.com with a link to your chosen website (which is family friendly).

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  • Pledge £20 or more
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    27 backers

    Meteorite: meteor + a digital EBook of Elite Chronicles Gamebook ( a choose your adventure book, where the reader can participate in the story by making effective choices. The narrative branches along various path. )

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    5 backers

    Comet: Meteor + the audio book (mp3 format, download only)

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    14 backers

    Planet: Comet + the paper print book ( with professional cover design)

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  • Pledge £35 or more
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    13 backers Limited (2 left of 15)

    Writers' package: Planet + your writing (your character or your story lines) is GUARANTEED to appear in the Gamebook. (Basic restrictions apply: it needs to fit within the E:D universe. Our proofreader will help you to edit your writing.)

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  • Pledge £40 or more
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    2 backers

    Solar System: Planet + acknowledgement in both the printed book and the Elite Chronicles Gamebook

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  • Pledge £50 or more
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    1 backer

    Milky Way: Solar System + A4 colour poster (an illustration done for the book by a professional artist)

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  • Pledge £60 or more
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    3 backers All gone!

    Milky Way + pick your favourite ending to be included in the Elite Chronicles Gamebook. Yes, it can be your writing!

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  • Pledge £70 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Black Hole: Milky Way + introduce one God Event where main characters interact ( e.g. should they meet, share common fate, one's action affects the other; anything which is specific will be an inspiration for writers, but will not be mandatory)

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  • Pledge £100 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Milky Way + name a ship/character with your description/design, and have a concept artist to paint accordingly. The artwork will be included in the Elite Chronicles Gamebook.

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  • Pledge £100 or more
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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    Galaxy: Milky Way + introduce one World Event which will affect all major characters directly or indirectly and all writers will have to incorporate it into their writing (however this event does not have to be the focus of the narrative).

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  • Pledge £150 or more
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    2 backers All gone!

    Universe: Milky Way + name a planet/ship/station, including description, which will be one of the main 'stages' for the story

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Funding period

- (12 days)