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David Braben launches Kickstarter project for Elite: Dangerous

Laura Barnes
David Braben launches Kickstarter project for Elite: Dangerous

The 1980s cult classic could be getting a new sequel if famed UK developer David Braben’s Kickstarter project is a success.

Elite: Dangerous is seeking an ambitious £1.25m, of which it has currently raised £75,439 from 1,436 backers.

“The original Elite fitted into around 22K of memory, out of a total of 32K on the BBC Micro Model B computer on which it was launched (8K was needed for the screen, 2K for the system),” Braben wrote in the pitch.

“This is less than a single typical email today. In it were eight galaxies each with 256 star systems. Each planet in those systems had its own legal system, economy and so on. Clearly some magic had to happen to fit it into 22K, and that magic was procedural generation.

“Imagine what is now possible, squeezing the last drop of performance from modern computers in the way Elite and Frontier did in their days? It is not just a question of raw performance (though of course these elements will make it look gorgeous), but we can push the way the networking works too – something very few people had access to in the days of Frontier.

Elite: Dangerous is the game I have wanted Frontier to make for a very long time. The next game in the Elite series – an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope, but this time you can play with your friends too.

“We’re using Kickstarter both as a means of test-marketing the concept to verify there is still interest in such a game that extends beyond the individuals who regularly contact me about the game, and raising the funds to do so.”

Although best known for co-writing Elite in the earlier 1980s, more recent project of Braben’s is the Raspberry Pi – a credit card sized personal PC aimed at teaching basic computer science in schools.

There’s still 59 days to go and plenty of pledges to get involved in, check out the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter page for more information.

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Tags: Games, gaming, raspberry pi, elite, Kickstarter, Elite: Dangerous, David Braben

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