A sequel to classic space-faring series Elite has appeared on Kickstarter.
Elite: Dangerous is looking for £1.25m of funding and as of writing has already almost hit the £300,000 mark with 58 days to go.
On the Kickstarter page, Elite developer David Braben states that work on a new Elite game has been ticking over for quite some time now, with small teams developing the title as they become available.
'I’ll be frank - we have had a couple of false starts on this over the years, where progress wasn’t as good as I wanted,' said Braben. 'Also, understandably, other projects have been prioritised – projects with announced dates or other commitments.'
The Kickstarter platform has been chosen to not only raise the required funds, but also as a method of test-marketing the game itself to check that there is widespread interest in the game beyond a core group of fans. Braben also states that he doesn't believe the traditional game publishing method can deliver a game like Elite successfully and the Kickstarter project will allow them to avoid that route.
Specific details and screenshots of Elite: Dangerous have not yet been released, but the title will rely heavily on procedural generation, much like previous entries in the series.
The original Elite was released in 1984 on the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron and fitted into approximately 22K of memory which as Braben points out, is smaller than a typical email. In that 22K of memory, Elite managed to cram in eight galaxies, 256 star systems and individual planets with their own legal systems and economies.
Elite spawned two sequels in Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters, released on Amiga, Atari and PC. Work on Elite 4 has apparently been ongoing since 1998.