In defence of development, Elite, but also of what could be.

I've not posted here in a long time.

This might be more long-winded than my original Twitter thread (which you can read here) but given some of the posts highlighted by Drew Wager about the state of ED at the moment I thought I'd jump to both defend Frontier but also highlight that change is possible if they were willing to put some of that Tencent investment back into the engine.

In August last year I left my job to pursue building a huge open world game, I'd say the concept was if you took the best bits of Elite, Eve, Skyrim, SW: Galaxies and stuck them in a blender, then Gateway was the result. Firstly, before the baying Reddit mob jumps in, I'm not a developer but I do understand technology so this was a studio effort from the ground up and I was the Founder. I found myself working with people with vastly more experience than I'll ever dream to have, people with 20 years apiece in the industry; Creative Director from DMC, Narrative Designer, ex-Sony Producers, Concept Artists from the movie industry, ex-studio head of Wargaming, stuff happened which attracted them to the design overall. Game design, concept art design, narrative design was all worked on while a procedural engine was created in the background to simulate the environment a la Elite/ No Man's Sky. We worked with the Astrophysics Dept at St Andrews University and also discussed propulsion gameplay design with Icarus Interstellar.

We chatted to Syd Mead, Chris Foss, Chris Moore, Fred Gambino... all the old lags of sci-fi (Foss' words, not mine) about the overall look and feel of the game; this was to be a retro sci-fi game, less industrial looking than Elite or Eve and more like an old Asimov book cover. We spoke with Kevin J Anderson to knock out some novellas based on the original concepts. Titan Books showed interest in a 'Art of Gateway' hardcover, and we had a few brands like Aston Martin, Bugatti, Bosch wanting to get involved in designing something in context in-game (Aston wanted a sleek cruiser ship for players for example)

The game was designed to take place within a 'peculiar galaxy', one which was colliding with another, but events took a turn which meant we'd need to base it back in the old Milky Way. That is, we had agreement in principal to work on with Frederik Pohl's Gateway universe from his novels, and tie the game to a new TV series in the works by Skybound (them what does The Walking Dead). Things were on a roll.

We had technical partners to help design and build out the player driven economy model, we had technical partners to design and build out a new NPC AI system which fed player interaction back into their own learning systems so they started to 'behave' and learn from your input, after all living in a galaxy needs to feel like it's alive. That same system would also help generate stories in-game along with the narrative team so there was ever evolving content to chase across the galaxy for.
Part of the design was also to make the galaxy an unknown, exploration is hazardous and so you'd really only start with a partial map of the Milky Way. Resources needed to be managed if you wanted to colonise a portion of space, but it was definitely designed to be more like Elite (cockpit) than Eve (Spreadsheet) here for exploration. We wanted aliens, after all they were part of Pohl's original novels too, but we'd hide them so discovery would mean something, something rewarding to be the first player to find a new race (like, if you discovered a new trade route, you'd own the right to skim a percentage of trades because you found it). I toyed with the concept of allowing players to write their own lore and ingest this in-game somehow, rather than sit on a web server or forum someplace else. Players needed to drive the game after launch as much as we needed to make it ourselves, but how to manage this content would also be an issue and a full time job at the start.

We sought investment to take it further. We failed. We spoke to Sony, Microsoft, various VCs, all were gushing in platitudes but the wallets remained closed (many are only interested in jumping in when the game is almost complete, not at the start)
The games industry is notorious for wanting huge vertical slices of gameplay over pretty much everything else, something we just didn't have the money to produce. We had an engine but they wanted to see much more. They're also fixated on teams that have worked together, despite the pedigree behind the names we were misfits, and not even acquiring a known IP like Gateway itself was enough to carry it over the line.

During those several months I had a lot of conversations throughout the industry, developers, publishers, and more. I spoke with people involved in Elite Dangerous in various capacities, it's a small world despite a big galaxy.
Game development is hard, full of failures, full of people making the same mistakes over and over again. I look at Elite and others with fresh eyes and appreciate the effort to get them this far, the fact it raised that amount on Kickstarter when so many others barely scratch a living out of it (Infinity: Battlescape for example). I also understand a little more that the design decisions taken early on have painted Frontier and Elite into corners they can't get out of, and it shows the limitations of the COBRA engine here. It's also a good indication when comparing Elite to something like Space Engine as to how limiting creating a game on top of a high-grade astrophysics engine can be (they still struggle with planetary clipping for example). You won't get planetary landings because I don't believe the engine can cope with the world sizes, which is why we're restricted to moons. You won't get planetary landings because of the amount of new designs and content needed to make a planet like Lave feel alive and lived on. Creating it for one planet would be bad enough, creating it for the hundreds of occupied worlds across the bubble is insane.

Getting Elite this far is an incredible achievement but it will never be the game each of us want it to be. It won't have a player based economy that thrives itself, it won't have player driven content because the tools and engine just aren't built that way. I see the ability to design ship skins and commander suits a reality, sell them on the FD store and they skim a cut, but I doubt there will be real player crafting in-game to sell on a station. Games this big need player tools but they also need content, a lot of it, and writing narratives for a play area as big as the Milky Way is not easy which is why we wanted the community involved. Frontier could still do this but it requires a complete overhaul of the core design and engine. I took a brief look at the roadmap for Beyond, it's incremental and won't bring sweeping changes some yearn for. I recently read the Powerplay proposals, it staggers me a little why this is still in the game. Most of what happened with the Thargoids was scripted gameplay triggers, and decyphering all the little hints and clues only played to a hardcore minority while the rest of us watched then chased the results for ourselves. If you wanted an emergent war you'd need to rebuild the AI completely to react that way. Beyond is more like Destiny 2. More of the same but with more skins.

In fact, to change Elite Dangerous to be more than it will ever be (narrative, player economy, living NPCs etc) requires the same kind of transformation that took Elite 1984 to Frontier: Elite 2. It would be an entirely new game from the ground up.

I find playing Elite a good way to wind down because nothing goes on. Much like No Man's Sky, or Eve, I log in, play a little, don't really progress much because nothing pushes me to, log off. It's not the game I wanted to make, and failed at. But having tried getting one off the ground I can see the potential for Elite if Frontier let go of a few things. Suffice to say, I'm using my original concepts for Gateway before the IP to create a novel from myself, seems a waste to let it die.

Final thoughts, and unrelated to Elite in a way: Indie developers are a funny bunch. Having failed I took a look at the scene and saw just how saturated the sci-fi space genre is with small teams all building the same thing. Some have phenomenal tech, like Infinity: Battlescape (planetary rendering is epic, real MMO space battles which I always wanted in Elite) and others like Prosperous Universe build completely different experiences based on trading and exploration (purely browser based stuff, very heavy on realism). If only some of these folks understood that working together to build something bigger had more value in my mind to players than trying to eke out an existence alone.

Maybe something Frontier could take a note of, and talk to other teams building things that could one day benefit Elite.

See you out in the black o7
 
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There's a landable planet not far from me with a radius of just over 20,000km (~3 earth radii), and there are bigger ones out there - the engine copes just fine.
Was just gonna point out the same. Not sure why he is making claims about a topic he earlier stated he is not an expert in, even more when making claims that are easily demonstrated to be false.

But beyond that: yeah, making stuff like ED is hard, and people will never get their 'dream game'. Not with ED, not with anything else.
 
I've not posted here in a long time.

This might be more long-winded than my original Twitter thread (which you can read here) but given some of the posts highlighted by Drew Wager about the state of ED at the moment I thought I'd jump to both defend Frontier but also highlight that change is possible if they were willing to put some of that Tencent investment back into the engine.

In August last year I left my job to pursue building a huge open world game, I'd say the concept was if you took the best bits of Elite, Eve, Skyrim, SW: Galaxies and stuck them in a blender, then Gateway was the result. Firstly, before the baying Reddit mob jumps in, I'm not a developer but I do understand technology so this was a studio effort from the ground up and I was the Founder. I found myself working with people with vastly more experience than I'll ever dream to have, people with 20 years apiece in the industry; Creative Director from DMC, Narrative Designer, ex-Sony Producers, Concept Artists from the movie industry, ex-studio head of Wargaming, stuff happened which attracted them to the design overall. Game design, concept art design, narrative design was all worked on while a procedural engine was created in the background to simulate the environment a la Elite/ No Man's Sky. We worked with the Astrophysics Dept at St Andrews University and also discussed propulsion gameplay design with Icarus Interstellar.

We chatted to Syd Mead, Chris Foss, Chris Moore, Fred Gambino... all the old lags of sci-fi (Foss' words, not mine) about the overall look and feel of the game; this was to be a retro sci-fi game, less industrial looking than Elite or Eve and more like an old Asimov book cover. We spoke with Kevin J Anderson to knock out some novellas based on the original concepts. Titan Books showed interest in a 'Art of Gateway' hardcover, and we had a few brands like Aston Martin, Bugatti, Bosch wanting to get involved in designing something in context in-game (Aston wanted a sleek cruiser ship for players for example)

The game was designed to take place within a 'peculiar galaxy', one which was colliding with another, but events took a turn which meant we'd need to base it back in the old Milky Way. That is, we had agreement in principal to work on with Frederik Pohl's Gateway universe from his novels, and tie the game to a new TV series in the works by Skybound (them what does The Walking Dead). Things were on a roll.

We had technical partners to help design and build out the player driven economy model, we had technical partners to design and build out a new NPC AI system which fed player interaction back into their own learning systems so they started to 'behave' and learn from your input, after all living in a galaxy needs to feel like it's alive. That same system would also help generate stories in-game along with the narrative team so there was ever evolving content to chase across the galaxy for.
Part of the design was also to make the galaxy an unknown, exploration is hazardous and so you'd really only start with a partial map of the Milky Way. Resources needed to be managed if you wanted to colonise a portion of space, but it was definitely designed to be more like Elite (cockpit) than Eve (Spreadsheet) here for exploration. We wanted aliens, after all they were part of Pohl's original novels too, but we'd hide them so discovery would mean something, something rewarding to be the first player to find a new race (like, if you discovered a new trade route, you'd own the right to skim a percentage of trades because you found it). I toyed with the concept of allowing players to write their own lore and ingest this in-game somehow, rather than sit on a web server or forum someplace else. Players needed to drive the game after launch as much as we needed to make it ourselves, but how to manage this content would also be an issue and a full time job at the start.

We sought investment to take it further. We failed. We spoke to Sony, Microsoft, various VCs, all were gushing in platitudes but the wallets remained closed (many are only interested in jumping in when the game is almost complete, not at the start)
The games industry is notorious for wanting huge vertical slices of gameplay over pretty much everything else, something we just didn't have the money to produce. We had an engine but they wanted to see much more. They're also fixated on teams that have worked together, despite the pedigree behind the names we were misfits, and not even acquiring a known IP like Gateway itself was enough to carry it over the line.

During those several months I had a lot of conversations throughout the industry, developers, publishers, and more. I spoke with people involved in Elite Dangerous in various capacities, it's a small world despite a big galaxy.
Game development is hard, full of failures, full of people making the same mistakes over and over again. I look at Elite and others with fresh eyes and appreciate the effort to get them this far, the fact it raised that amount on Kickstarter when so many others barely scratch a living out of it (Infinity: Battlescape for example). I also understand a little more that the design decisions taken early on have painted Frontier and Elite into corners they can't get out of, and it shows the limitations of the COBRA engine here. It's also a good indication when comparing Elite to something like Space Engine as to how limiting creating a game on top of a high-grade astrophysics engine can be (they still struggle with planetary clipping for example). You won't get planetary landings because I don't believe the engine can cope with the world sizes, which is why we're restricted to moons. You won't get planetary landings because of the amount of new designs and content needed to make a planet like Lave feel alive and lived on. Creating it for one planet would be bad enough, creating it for the hundreds of occupied worlds across the bubble is insane.

Getting Elite this far is an incredible achievement but it will never be the game each of us want it to be. It won't have a player based economy that thrives itself, it won't have player driven content because the tools and engine just aren't built that way. I see the ability to design ship skins and commander suits a reality, sell them on the FD store and they skim a cut, but I doubt there will be real player crafting in-game to sell on a station. Games this big need player tools but they also need content, a lot of it, and writing narratives for a play area as big as the Milky Way is not easy which is why we wanted the community involved. Frontier could still do this but it requires a complete overhaul of the core design and engine. I took a brief look at the roadmap for Beyond, it's incremental and won't bring sweeping changes some yearn for. I recently read the Powerplay proposals, it staggers me a little why this is still in the game. Most of what happened with the Thargoids was scripted gameplay triggers, and decyphering all the little hints and clues only played to a hardcore minority while the rest of us watched then chased the results for ourselves. If you wanted an emergent war you'd need to rebuild the AI completely to react that way. Beyond is more like Destiny 2. More of the same but with more skins.

In fact, to change Elite Dangerous to be more than it will ever be (narrative, player economy, living NPCs etc) requires the same kind of transformation that took Elite 1984 to Frontier: Elite 2. It would be an entirely new game from the ground up.

I find playing Elite a good way to wind down because nothing goes on. Much like No Man's Sky, or Eve, I log in, play a little, don't really progress much because nothing pushes me to, log off. It's not the game I wanted to make, and failed at. But having tried getting one off the ground I can see the potential for Elite if Frontier let go of a few things. Suffice to say, I'm using my original concepts for Gateway before the IP to create a novel from myself, seems a waste to let it die.

Final thoughts, and unrelated to Elite in a way: Indie developers are a funny bunch. Having failed I took a look at the scene and saw just how saturated the sci-fi space genre is with small teams all building the same thing. Some have phenomenal tech, like Infinity: Battlescape (planetary rendering is epic, real MMO space battles which I always wanted in Elite) and others like Prosperous Universe build completely different experiences based on trading and exploration (purely browser based stuff, very heavy on realism). If only some of these folks understood that working together to build something bigger had more value in my mind to players than trying to eke out an existence alone.

Maybe something Frontier could take a note of, and talk to other teams building things that could one day benefit Elite.

See you out in the black o7
+Rep

Thanks for sharing your story.

For Elite, I think it comes down to priorities, and we as the customer don't always understand why simple fixes aren't made.

In the end, Elite is FDev's game and they can take it in any direction they want.

And while I think most of their decisions have been really good ones, I wish they would spend a little time on the simple things like:
- Balancing mission payouts so those with big ships can make decent credits
- Adding in game hud color choices - we know the current solution is not perfect but it's better than nothing (especially on consoles)
- Allow messages to launch in game video (not just audio logs)
- Celebrate our in game achievements with more than a text message. "I became a King/Admiral/Elite and all I got was this one line text message :-( "
 
Thanks for sharing the story, interesting read.

One question: you seem to have a lot of insight about the capability of Cobra engine, as you are basing several assumptions on it.

I wonder how the very same engine is able to pull off a lot of things in PC or JWE that would be desireable in Elite (landscapes, assets, NPCs, weather model etc.) Why do you think these capabilities of the engine cannot be used in Elite? Maybe you can got a bit more into technical details, I would be very interested to learn about this.
 
Amazing story, thanks for the read. Solidly impressive about the Gateway IP, one of the classics of sci-fi. Interesting premise for players to gradually discover the galaxy along the lines of the novel in an mmo. imo, the story in OP also confirms in perspective what a massive undertaking and achievement that Frontier and FD have done so far, and how it's hardly a simple or instantly feasible undertaking to transform ED into the "holy grail" of a spacegame of successfully combined massive scope & fidelity.

(side note: The Gateway story was also made into early pc adventure games:
http://www.old-games.com/download/1329/frederick-pohl-s-gateway
http://www.old-games.com/download/1337/gateway-2-homeworld
)
 
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Thanks for sharing the story, interesting read.

One question: you seem to have a lot of insight about the capability of Cobra engine, as you are basing several assumptions on it.

I wonder how the very same engine is able to pull off a lot of things in PC or JWE that would be desireable in Elite (landscapes, assets, NPCs, weather model etc.) Why do you think these capabilities of the engine cannot be used in Elite? Maybe you can got a bit more into technical details, I would be very interested to learn about this.

I guess that in PC and JWE the engine is just producing a very limited area that players can interact with.

Upscale that to a whole planet with multiple players and scenarios and you're increasing the complexity to a whole new level.

And then upscale that again to a galaxy full off landable planets (with atmosphere and weather patterns) and you'd be pushing any engine to cope with!
 
I guess that in PC and JWE the engine is just producing a very limited area that players can interact with.

Upscale that to a whole planet with multiple players and scenarios and you're increasing the complexity to a whole new level.

And then upscale that again to a galaxy full off landable planets (with atmosphere and weather patterns) and you'd be pushing any engine to cope with!
Yeah, at the moment the engine just has to hold the planet's surface map and then do some kind of procedural generation of rocks and such (I guess using a seed so that players in the same instance all see the same thing...??) and although I suppose it'd be possible to procedurally generate weather it'd have to be done such that everyone in the same instance saw the same thing (or close enough) but it'd also have to continually keep track of changes - gusts of wind and moving clouds and such so that one ship following another would experience the same thing. And it would probably have to encompass the whole planet in case some lunatics decide to cirucm-fliv-igate it - so that the changes were continuous as they went along...

I don't think you'd need to upscale it to a full galaxy - the engine would only need to handle the planet you're on, but even top of my head (i.e. likely wrong) thinking on a hot and lazy afternoon this sounds complex and given what we have now is on the way to pushing the limits, it might be tricky.

Anyway time to see if I remembered to put a few beers in the fridge...
 
Beyond is more like Destiny 2. More of the same but with more skins.
I enjoyed your story and your perspective, but you're completely wrong here. Beyond is exactly what the community (here and on reddit) has been asking for multiple times during the Horizons season:
For Frontier to stop adding new features and start improving the existing ones. They're doing exactly that, but obviously some people don't know this or they have the memory of a snail.

And I'm truly sorry your game was not successful, but honestly it was pretty well known that big publishers do not touch this genre. There's a good reason why Elite and Star Citizen needed Kickstarter campaigns to lift off.
 
I wonder how the very same engine is able to pull off a lot of things in PC or JWE that would be desireable in Elite (landscapes, assets, NPCs, weather model etc.) Why do you think these capabilities of the engine cannot be used in Elite? Maybe you can got a bit more into technical details, I would be very interested to learn about this.
I have 0 dev experience, but I play a large variety of games. I'd say the first thing is that PC and JWE are singleplayer games. There's a good reason why big multiplayer games (e.g. PUBG, Fortnite) don't have crazy detailed graphics like Witcher 3 or God of War.
Now also consider that most big multiplayer games use dedicated servers, not the limited and unstable peer-to-peer networking Elite uses.

In my opinion, Frontier will most likely wait a few more years for networking worldwide to become a lot better, before even attempting extremely detailed planets that we all want. But, hopefully they'll start with a few types of lifeless atmospheric planets so they can gather as much data as possible with the live playerbase.
 
I have zero dev experience but then this was about building a business as much as it was about building a game, I knew I couldn't build anything at this scale so looked for someone who could help create a procedural open world in space.

I don't really have an interest in hearing from the business man behind games development, you would comment on whats NOT possible and how much things cost and where corners should be cut. Games development is hard, sure but nothing is impossible and when you have the proper motivation and skilled team then incredible things can be done. I'm not game developer either but honestly I feel like I know more about the Elite Dangerous engine then you do but I am still not going to make claims about what can and can't be done with it or on top of it. There are several things I take issue with in your post.

What I will say though is Elite is made off the magic of procedural generation. Land-able atmo planets can be made in the same way. They will take more props, textures and objects etc but If done right, does not need manual designing for each planet as you suggest. The "it will be like designing a new game" is one we hear often by the corporate money man behind the scene saying usually, not the designers and programmers. They tend to have bigger dreams and aspirations then the suits and tend to know better what can and can't be done.
 
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I disagree with your general assumptions about what "each of us" want it to be and also none of us truly know what is or is not with-in the capabilities of the engine in terms of detailed specifics. As a software engineer myself with over 20years experience, I do know that what seems to be possible or impossible from an outside perspective does not always reflect the reality of the situation.

The complications regarding atmospheric planets and airless planets and planetoids are substantially different. We already have support for landing on airless planets, not just moons.

The landing on atmospheric planets seems to be perfectly feasible from a technical standpoint, the only thing is that people in general will need to keep their expectations in check wrt what is modelled, to what detail, and how big a continuous area will be covered in a player instance.

Not all of us are expecting a player driven economy either. Some highly vocal players constantly blatt on about it whenever they get the chance but don't confuse such vocal filibustering with true popular desire.
 
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people will never get their 'dream game'. Not with ED, not with anything else.
Oh I don't know, 7 days to die is pretty much my dream game, sunk so many hours into that the last few years. For me thats pretty much my 'dream game'. I have and still could literally play nothing else and its not even in release yet.
 
I also understand a little more that the design decisions taken early on have painted Frontier and Elite into corners they can't get out of, and it shows the limitations of the COBRA engine here. It's also a good indication when comparing Elite to something like Space Engine as to how limiting creating a game on top of a high-grade astrophysics engine can be (they still struggle with planetary clipping for example). You won't get planetary landings because I don't believe the engine can cope with the world sizes, which is why we're restricted to moons. You won't get planetary landings because of the amount of new designs and content needed to make a planet like Lave feel alive and lived on. Creating it for one planet would be bad enough, creating it for the hundreds of occupied worlds across the bubble is insane.
We have been able to land on moons and planets since horizons launched, not sure how you could have played horizons and not noticed that. Most of the major high G planets are above 20,000km's radius.

The only real hurdle for atmospheric landings is keeping performance levels acceptable for mid to low end hardware, that is the majority of the ED player base, volumetric clouds can be a huge FPS killer.

I doubt anyone is expecting Lave and other Earth likes to be GTA level of detail, however creating the feeling of a living city is certainly achievable, like with Engineer bases they can create detailed unique cities for the major hubs, the rest would be carbon copy's like regular bases.

We are still a long way from landing on an Earth like, the next Gen of CPU's GPU's will be out long before I land at a port in London or Tokyo.
 
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We have been able to land on moons and planets since horizons launched, not sure how you could have played horizons and not noticed that. Most of the major high G planets are above 20,000km's radius.

The only real hurdle for atmospheric landings is keeping performance levels acceptable for mid to low end hardware, that is the majority of the ED player base, volumetric clouds can be a huge FPS killer.

I doubt anyone is expecting Lave and other Earth likes to be GTA level of detail, however creating the feeling of a living city is certainly achievable, like with Engineer bases they can create detailed unique cities for the major hubs, the rest would be carbon copy's like regular bases.

We are still a long way from landing on an Earth like, the next Gen of CPU's GPU's will be out long before I land at a port in London or Tokyo.
Man, I remember on my last rig when the steam effects in the docks were harder on my framerate than almost anything else.
 
Just to pick out a key thing that they've actually said they're going to attempt:

You won't get planetary landings because I don't believe the engine can cope with the world sizes, which is why we're restricted to moons. You won't get planetary landings because of the amount of new designs and content needed to make a planet like Lave feel alive and lived on. Creating it for one planet would be bad enough, creating it for the hundreds of occupied worlds across the bubble is insane.
As you say, stating atmos landings are a technical impossibility is an assumption. (The bits and pieces I've heard from dev types suggest that volumetric clouds will be a killer challenge, and liquid on proc gen surfaces, for sure. But there are gains too, such as draw distances being reduced by atmospheres etc).

Braben has been fairly upbeat on the challenges in the past. IE in this interview, at 1hr50mins, he talks about how 1000km wide craters & associated draw distances were a challenge for non-atmos landings that they met etc, and he seems as determined to take on Atmos variants in a similar vein. (Broader summary here).

They may well be still scratching their heads, or waiting on technical advances, but ruling it out outright is probably jumping the gun.

[EDIT: Oh and as 777Driver points out, massive planets are indeed in the game and landable already, not just moons :D]

---

On landing on occupied planets, I wouldn't be surprised if you're right on deeply populated places like Mars / the Moon etc, but it seems they're mulling domed cities as the solution for the general human diaspora (1hr 55mins in the above interview). Seems plausible to me.


---
EDIT:

If you can safely share any anonymous stuff by FDev devs on specific challenges and red lines for the Cobra engine / design decisions to date that would be interesting though :)
 
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I've not posted here in a long time.
In fact, to change Elite Dangerous to be more than it will ever be (narrative, player economy, living NPCs etc) requires the same kind of transformation that took Elite 1984 to Frontier: Elite 2. It would be an entirely new game from the ground up.
I was thinking of this the other day, after reading a suggestion to make sending messages easier in VR. My immediate reply would have been to suggest FDev just stick a VR keyboard into the game. But I recall a while ago, someone suggesting this wouldn't be easy for FDev to do. I may have got that wrong, but to me, doing something like putting a VR keyboard into Elite should not be tough. It's in all other VR games. It takes about 10 minutes to do. Unless it'd be tough to do something like this using the Cobra engine. And you see all kinds of suggestions...from making gameplay more personal to just adding more SUV's..and you get the same reply "it's tough to do, FDev should conentrate on other things". If copy-pasting and altering an SRV and calling it a skimmer is tough using the Cobra engine, the real question is should they rebuild the engine. Which may mean restarting the galaxy.

Or make a new engine, called the Black Mamba or something, use the bux you get from JWE etc, and make Elite : Supreme. Set it up for pre-order.

Thats not to say Im not happy with Elite : Dangerous. I play it enough time as it is. But if they were to build/release a new Elite game, Im sure I'd play it even more.
 
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