I think this is going to see a resurgence in role playinggames and board
games etc as more people move away from computer gaming. I havent bought a
computer game in months - probably the last one was Empire Total War. I dont
have any plans to buy another.
On a scale from:
Being never completed
Being completed when we're too old to keep a joystick in hand
Being a crappy multiplayer only game
Beign a multiplayer only game
Being a crappy game
the copy protection system is, frankly, zero kelvins ...
> On a scale from:
> Being never completed
> Being completed when we're too old to keep a joystick in hand
> Being a crappy multiplayer only game
> Beign a multiplayer only game
> Being a crappy game
> the copy protection system is, frankly, zero kelvins ...
I really don't understand Braben's attitude towards Elite. Assuming he's
not just full of BS as some suspect, his desire to make Elite IV some sort
of ultimate never-to-be-bettered final ever space game is flawed on so
many levels. With modern games, especially those with a production
schedule as sedate as Frontier Developments' output, you'll either be
forever chasing the cutting edge or -- worse still -- when you finally
release your world-beating game you'll bask in the glory for a matter of
mere weeks if you're lucky before someone comes along and betters it.
That's just the nature of living at the forefront.
Moreover, I honestly think Braben has failed to grasp just what makes
Elite and Frontier so special to their fans. It's not the gameplay, or the
way in which each iteration eked the best from the limited hardware of the
time (although those are to be admired). It's the way that Elite created a
living, breathing universe in the minds of its players. In that way it's
more like a movie or TV franchise than a computer game, and IMO it's that
aspect that Braben should be leveraging.
If you take a perfectly average space engine, with acceptable mechanics
and acceptable gameplay, and you release it with its own set of ship
skins, planet names etc. you'll have an average game. Take the same
product and re-skin it so that everything looks like Stargate, and
Stargate fans will lap it up. Re-skin it to resemble Star Trek, and the
Trekkers will love you for it.
This isn't a cynical suggestion that any old pile of crap will sell if it
has a franchise name on it (although that has certainly been true in the
past). It's more of an observation that a merely acceptable game becomes
so much more than that when used as a vehicle for a well-loved universe.
The Elite Force games were fairly standard shooters, but by dressing up in
Star Trek clothing they appealed to the fans and became much more
immersive. The same was true of Tron 2.0, which garnered mediocre reviews
from the mainstream but has become almost as much as a cult for Tron fans
as the movie that spawned it.
It's also worth noting how popular certain games are in the modding scene,
long after their shelf life is more or less over, thanks to the ability to
give them the persona of a well-loved franchise. I'm thinking here of the
Star Wars, Babylon 5 and Galactica mods for the venerable Homeworld, but
there are others. Few modders talk of revamping these game engines to
embrace the latest technologies and techniques; they just want a playable
game that exists in the universe they love.
Established worlds don't need bleeding edge technology in their game
incarnations because the imaginations of the players will fill in the
gaps. Elite has this in spades, but so far only Oolite has come close to
The downside of this from Elite's perspective is that because it's been so
long since an official game was released, those imaginative players are
getting older and in many cases leaving the scene. If Braben doesn't
leverage this legacy soon he's going to lose any hope of recapturing the
minds of those original Elite and Frontier players.
By aiming for the pinnacle of gaming with Elite IV, with all the delays
that entails, he risks losing his current core audience. And if the new
audience he's hoping to capture with his cutting-edge spectacle doesn't
buy in -- possibly because they lack the nostalgia of having grown up with
the originals -- he could well lose on both fronts.
"Is it kinda weird that I'm getting a little bit emotionable?"
Well for me it was the immersive gameplay clear and simple - no other game
provided planetary landings like that before, or where you could actually
drive into a starport like that without a rubbish cutscene, or where the
combat was actually tactical and you could actually escape from the enemies
ships by being intelligent and clever. It was a game that actually rewarded
more playing time through becoming better at the game but you could also
drop into it and play the game for an hour and get some great playing in
that hour. It felt like the whole universe was there to expolre and you knew
you would never reach the end so there was this massively enigmatic feel to
the whole game. You couldmenter a solar system and imagine it would actually
be like that for real and you could see planets rotating around their suns
and massive red giants buring their moons. And finally it had some cool
ships with cockpits!
Theres never been a game like it and there probably wont be ever again.
Youre right that its never been about visuals or complexity. And it doesnt
need to be the best looking or designed game ever. It just needs a bit of
imagination. Its sadly lacking these days in any kind of gaming software
development unfortunately. IUt used to be quite wide spread in those days. I
dont know why it has happened but I think greed and commercialism had a lot
to do with it.
So now we are faced with the situation of the present day - endless clones,
unimaginative pretty 'games', frenetic activities that leave you dazed after
a few hours, and a couple of long boring over the top simulations for techno
DB wouldnt have to do a lot to produce a great game in todays market, and it
wouldnt take a very long time either, but will there be anyone left around
who would appreciate it by the time he does?
That would suck - last night the hotel internet was down, so I
couldn't play anything online. Also, round at my friends' place they
don't have wireless internet, and only one PC can be online at a time,
so if I take my laptop around I can't play anything that requires the
A bad idea would also be not to release it under other operating
systems than MS WIN. When I played the previous versions I was a user
of the system, but after recognizing the unethical nature of it, I
parted to choose another. There's no way DB can get me back just to
play E4 even though I think its predecessors were probably the best
computer games ever made.
E4's been waiting for too long time, I just got old and I no longer
have as many hours I can spend in front of the computer. Maybe it's
never meant to be released?