Elite: Dangerous is looking sexy

Discussion in 'Unrelated Discussion' started by sylvesterink, January 27, 2014.

  1. sylvesterink

    sylvesterink Active Member

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    So Elite: Dangerous just released Alpha 4, in which trading gameplay has been added, as well as hyperdrive (ftl between stars), supercruise (ftl insystem), several new ships, a starmap, and a ton of other features. The playable area is only something like 20 light years across, at the moment, but it will eventually be huge in size.
    Here's a video of the new, ftl drives, as well as the starmap (yes, you can travel to ALL of those stars . . . eventually).


    Trying to supercruise through planetary rings (bad idea):


    Flying close to rings at a more sane speed:


    Flying in supercruise mode with flight assist off:


    And finally, the usual combat video:
    chronosoul likes this.
  2. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Just wait until Star Citizen comes out :p.
  3. kvalheim

    kvalheim Post Master General

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    The one thing that annoys me about Elite is just how boring the ship designs look
  4. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Oh my god you're right they're all grey triangles.
  5. abubaba

    abubaba Well-Known Member

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    Elite Dangerous is really rubbing it in for Star Citizen..
  6. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Rubbing what?
  7. chronosoul

    chronosoul Well-Known Member

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    I saw the videos a little bit, I think star citizen has a little more excitment in its ship design. This one looks just a little bland.
  8. sylvesterink

    sylvesterink Active Member

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    I'm not sure why everyone is always banging on the ship design. Yes, the Sidewinder and Cobra have similar, triangular designs, but the Eagle, Lakon, and Anaconda (all in the latest alpha release) have different designs, and there are several others, like the Orca, and Asp, that will have differing designs. (The Viper is another one that's triangular, but it still looks pretty sweet.) Granted the designs are more sparse when it comes to tons of little bits/wings/guns hanging off here and there, but they're all very solid and substantial, and look like they're made to take a beating while still doing a job.

    The Star Citizen's ships look like detail was added for the sake of detail, and personally, I feel that the designs lack the elegance and style of the ED ships. (And to be honest, I find some of the designs, such as the Aurora, to be astoundingly ugly. Sorry, Aurora lovers! -_-; )

    For me, the best ship designs are those of Freespace and Freespace 2, even to this day. But those are all straightforward combat ships, whereas the ships of ED and SC are meant to be more general purpose.

    However that's all aesthetics, and people's preference will always lean in subjective directions with regards to it. But taking a closer look at Star Citizen as a game, I'm not so confident in the direction they're taking with regards to development. Since I last posted, they've had a chance to show their DFM progress at PAX and in more recent videos. Now I'm a developer, and I understand as well as anyone the challenges of trying to show off a piece of such a huge project like that is going to be a challenge, but what was shown at their demo was certainly not encouraging.

    I'm not a game developer by career, but I've done game development in the past, and I can tell you right now that the key to developing a game is to establish the foundations of a game, of which the focus should be the gameplay and game structure. Graphics, sound, models, and all that other stuff needs to come afterwards, because once those things are in place, it's very hard to go back and change the foundation of your game without redoing all the work done for those aspects.

    This is the problem in Star Citizen. Watching some of their development videos, I see them struggling with some of the bugs they had, and I can tell you easily those come from working on fancy ship models first, and game implementation later. When you, as a development team, are having those issues so close to a major demo, it's time to consider whether your design plan might need to be adjusted slightly. Of course, taking a game engine like Crysis and trying to make it do something so wildly different from what it was designed to do will cause problems, so while it's pretty, they really should have thought about it prior too even announcing the game. (There's a reason why Uber decided to roll their own engine, rather than use something like Unity, and as the PA players can see, that choice was certainly a good one.) As it is, I completely expected the problems they had during the PAX demo, and wasn't surprised when they did have it. (However, I was surprised that the hands-on stuff that the players got to tool around with was a bit more solid, so I'll give them props for that.)

    But okay, so they have issues with how they're putting the game together. Given time (and money) this can be straightened out. But the other issue is that they never really had a solid plan in place for their gameplay either. They were very vague on what they wanted to accomplish, and only really started fleshing it out after listening to their fan suggestions. As a result, they are now buried in feature creep, that will further exacerbate the problem they are already trying to dig themselves out of.

    Meanwhile, Frontier Developments has done nearly everything right when it comes to creating Elite Dangerous. They had a plan of exactly how they wanted the game to play before they started the Kickstarter. They used their own engine, and they programmed the game from the bottom up. They still had backer involvement in the Design Discussion Forums (which is where stuff like Supercruise came to be), but they still maintained the scope of the game to what they initially planned, while giving themselves openings for expanding the game in the future. (No, you can't land on planets yet, but that will come after they finish making it so that you can fly to any star in the entire galaxy.) The results of proper project management certainly show.

    (I mean, take a look at Limit Theory and the Evochron series. Both projects were entirely designed by 1 programmer, and yet they have far better results than Star Citizen in its current state. Especially Limit Theory, considering development on that game was started around the same time as Star Citizen. But then, Josh is probably not human, cuz dang . . .)

    Okay, so I've dealt out some harshness, but people need to understand this. As unlikely as it seems, I don't have anything against Star Citizen. I support the game, in fact, and had been planning for a long time to put my money towards it once Linux support was announced. But when it was announced, I had decided that realistically, Star Citizen needed to reorient its development, and so I'd rather wait until release to see how it turned out. I really do hope it succeeds, as it would really be a blow to crowdfunding if it doesn't. But if fans want it to succeed, they're going to need to tone down their expectations and give CIG some hard love, because otherwise the results will be disappointing to everyone.

    Sorry for writing a novel, but I had words that needed to be said, so I said them. (Perhaps not altogether coherently either.)

    tl;dr: Elite's ships aren't bad, SC's ships aren't great, SC's development needs work, SC's fans need to be realistic and take a hard look at the game they love, and you really should stop being lazy and read my entire ramblings cuz I have an overblown sense of importance and expect you to do so.
    tatsujb likes this.
  9. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    But they do have a plan. It's "everything Freelancer should've been but couldn't be".

    There's a plan for a 60(?) mission singleplayer and at least 100 star systems for MP.

    The Dogfighting Module will be available on the 29th with an AI swarm mode. They will slowly allow more and more people onto MP to avoid having a GTA V moment and having all their servers catch fire.
  10. sylvesterink

    sylvesterink Active Member

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    Yeah, and speaking of Freelancer, there's an example of why I was a bit skeptical of Roberts' involvement in the first place. Again, the game was a bit over-ambitious, and Roberts sure had some production delays. Microsoft's takeover certainly didn't help the vision, but it definitely did result in the game being released after a reasonable amount of time. (I followed the development of that one very closely after Starlancer. That's one of the other reasons I was hesitant to jump on board when the KS for SC rolled around.) For better or for worse, Roberts doesn't have a company like Microsoft pushing for release now, so the backers will have to provide that kick.

    I'm sure CIG has an overall plan in place for what they want to do, and I have no doubt that CR has a long and detailed plan about the story and missions he has planned for the singleplayer game. What concerns me is the most important part: the gameplay elements. Up until early this year, they were very vague on how certain things would work out. Like, Frontier Developments had the combat system for ED set up in detail from day 1, right down to the stealth and heat management. With the exception of what changed due to backer forum discussion, that's essentially what came to fruition in their alpha. SC only really started detailing stuff like combat early this year (to my knowledge), and I feel like that was mainly in response to the sudden appearance of the Elite alpha. (Though this is only a surmise from me.)

    It's probably a good thing that ED is around to provide that impetus that SC so badly needs. (If that is the case, of course.)
    Quitch likes this.
  11. sylvesterink

    sylvesterink Active Member

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    Okay, this dogfight is freaking amazing. It's a 1v2, where the lone ship is a Sidewinder, the weakest, most fragile ship in the game, vs 2 Cobras, which are fast, beefy fighters. The pilot is quite skilled and pulls off some fantastic maneuvering to put the fight in his favor:
  12. abubaba

    abubaba Well-Known Member

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    So.. turns out the game will have always online DRM. AKA "dynamic experience".

    http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=dcbf6b86b4b0c7d1c21b73b1e&id=cea4f4cd56

    It seems everybody is afraid of the dirty acronym: DRM.

    I don't know if this was clear to everybody but me, but I am disappointed. You have my pitchfork.
  13. Raevn

    Raevn Moderator Alumni

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    AND MY AXE!

    (sorry, couldn't resist!)
  14. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    AND MY SPACESHIP

    Wait...
  15. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    Deal with it. Every other MMO has an "online dynamic experience".
    tatsujb likes this.
  16. kvalheim

    kvalheim Post Master General

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    What annoys me is just the insane hype behind Star Citizen with little real reason besides "Chris basically screamed PC master race during the Kickstarter", "Name recognition for a guy who hasn't released a game in 10 years", and an ever growing ball of feature-creep that's making it seem like stuff is being planned exponentially faster than stuff is being finished.
    I've not been following Elite: Dangerous much, but it's gotten pretty big amongst people at my university and even runs on the PCs down in the bar; and it just looks more focussed, and people are already doing a bunch of stuff in the game. Star Citizen has taken like 2 years just to get a dogfighting game in it, and are still now adding in stuff like FPS segments when the bulk of the game isn't -nearly- done.
    Don't get me wrong - SC seems like entirely the sort of game I'd be into, especially if I could get a bunch of people in a little multi-crew ship and derp around. But probably partly because of that I'm not getting hyped, and staying skeptical.
  17. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Star Citizen isn't anywhere as near as close to its target release date.

    Also:
    https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14184-Letter-From-The-Chairman

    LOL quoting the entire chain overran the character limit.
  18. kvalheim

    kvalheim Post Master General

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    "You just don’t get this in the traditional game business."

    early.png

    The "We're an online game, we let players play before completion and you guys get to shape how the game ends up" doesn't really hold sway anymore, for me at least. There's been a ton of games that were playable long into their alpha / beta periods, and a fair number of failures of games that stagnated long before release.
  19. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Early Access isn't traditional.
  20. abubaba

    abubaba Well-Known Member

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    But this is not an MMO strictly, I play only single player "solo" mode.

    Hence: [​IMG]

    Anyway, I'll take this chance to say that TIE Fighter (the spacesim) is still as fantastic as ever. Works offline as well..hooray for the 1990s! (And gog.com.)
    Last edited: November 16, 2014

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