Notch considering Elite-like space trading game

Minecraft creator says he'd like to make a sandbox game along the lines of 1984 computer classic, but with a Firefly-like twist.

Elite creator David Braben has for years been planning to get back to the space trading genre he pioneered, but it looks like Minecraft maestro Markus "Notch" Persson may beat him to it.

Space is a very big sandbox indeed.

Speaking with PC Gamer, Persson said he'd like to start work this summer on an Elite-like sandbox space trading game. But where Braben's original computer game had players in control of a simple 3D ship, Persson wants to give the genre a more personal touch.

"I want the space game that's more like Firefly," Persson told PC Gamer. "I want to run around on my ship and have to put out a fire. Like, oh crap, the cooling system failed, I have to put out the fire here."

Much as he did with Minecraft, Persson said he'd likely start on the project himself and start charging people for it while it's still in beta. PC Gamer quoted the developer as saying it would be like Elite, "except done right." However, Persson took to Twitter today to clarify that comment, saying, "Please note that I did not wish to imply Elite wasn't done right. I wanted to imply it hasn't been done right since."

For a closer look at the original Elite and the full story behind its development, check out GameSpot's coverage of Braben's 2011 Game Developers Conference postmortem of the space trading sim.

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36 comments
tristan_palmer
tristan_palmer

The game notch is describing here is already being developed. Look up "Faster than Light". Can't wait for release!

Teo_Fan
Teo_Fan

Elite hasn't been done right since? What about Privateer, Escape Velocity and Freelancer?

theKSMM
theKSMM

Wait...will the new game look like it was set in the world of Duplo blocks too?

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

He does come out with some good ideas, I'd buy it.

selbie
selbie

I hope Notch is able to make this. Like adventure games, there are far too few space combat & trading games around. If he went to kickstarter I would definitely pledge $100 or more.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

Cheers. Bring it on. Actually, I'd like it to be more like a synthesis of Privateer and Elite, without the cut-throat elements of EVE Online (where other players gang up on you to rob you / kill you - stay single-player, please). With real support, you could make it into what Mass Effect could have been, and so much more. But do NOT use a damn cover system. Use a real 3D FPS, where you can have direct control of your character as to cover, jumping, etc. Defending your ship with personal weapons in a hangar bay would be nice effect, considering the Anarchic planets you visited in the original Elite. Also, deals done in-person on planets or in space, with the occasional "misunderstanding" leading to combat. So much you could do with this that never got done...even Grand Theft Spaceship... ;)

starduke
starduke

Well, he's got to use the money he got from Minecraft for something. If he does it, hopefully it will turn out well.

TezzaMM
TezzaMM

I was actually thinking about an Elite-type game where you could explore your own ship the other day, whilst playing ME3. This game should be made... now... :)

Pikdum
Pikdum

@baal46 Its not vaporware. The devs still do twitter updates. They just have put the game development on halt to finish their engine. He's even done some updates on the engine progress. And if that is not enough proof that its real you can play the Infinity Combat Prototype that he built on the actual engine a few years ago so people would stop calling it vaporware.

Shredwolf
Shredwolf

By all means yes, yes and yes. With the modern technology, it should look fantastic. Developers these days are forgetting about space sim.

thomanji
thomanji

Very cool, I did Live the Original Elite and Played it a lot of my Amstrad Schneider CPC464, it took 10 minutes to load from my cassette tape but it was worth it. I put in hours over hours and my mom had to cut power to have me make my homework. Ever expanding universe and trading stuff on different planets. It would have lots of potential and maybe the Xbox 740 is ready for a real MMPO.

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

YES. But instead of making it Firefly-like get the license and just make FIREFLY. Honestly, why has this not happened yet?

Slash_out
Slash_out

@supertome The quake thing... He challenged them. And Bethesda didn't answer obviously. Nothing to do with him. You can't force bethesda to accept. The Psychonaut thing. He said he was willing to invest. He didn't say later that he joked about it. He just retracted his offer because the dev he contacted wanted a kickstart project for the game. Notch wanted an investement with return, not giving away 13 millions and get nothing back (obviously). Really, what's the point of your post? It's just misinformation.

Slash_out
Slash_out

I really want to play that kind of game. I can't wait.

supertom221
supertom221

Minecraft creator says he intends to fight Bethesda over a game of Quake: Got settled in a suit. Minecraft creator say he is willing to work on a new Psychonauts game: Says he joked later on. Minecraft creator say he is considering a space-like service: You guys know the rest.

stakex007
stakex007

Notch should quit while hes way ahead. He caught lightning in a bottle with Minecraft, but its unlikely anything else he does will ever be as popular... and could in fact hurt him more then anything else. I say that because Notch really isn't that good of game maker, despite his legion of casual gamer fans who would disagree.Was Minecraft fun? Absolutely. It was however by Notch's own admission not an original idea at all... and under the hood the game looks like it was writen by a 12 year old with a poor understanding of game programming. Thats not just me saying that either, thats the general belief of most of the Minecraft modding community. So not only does Notch clearly not have an original idea in his head, he also doesn't have very good programming skills kicking around up there either. Thats a horrible combination for a guy making games for a living... and one would have to think there is no way that combination is going to produce two hit titles.Thats why I think Notch should pack it in, bask in the warm glow of success, and just focus on Mineceaft.

jamyskis
jamyskis

As long as it stays offline and doesn't follow the MMO insanity that EVE Online does (admittedly the best of the Elite clones out there) and Braben with recent statements is likely to do with Elite 4, I'm interested. I always found the prospect of transitioning smoothly between walking around your ship and maintaining it and then flying it through space to be an intriguing one. Hell, what I wouldn't give to be able to explore algorithmically generated space ports, space stations and planetary cities on foot.

BertisAU
BertisAU

Notch is a fat turd. Never liked him.

DFalcon999
DFalcon999

He says a LOT of things. Actually try doing it, then I might care.

luckjon
luckjon

Can't beat Eve Online.

baal46
baal46

@Pikdum Until I see something more substantial and current, I'm classifying "Infinity Universe" as vaporware. Notch will have a hard time competing with games like Evochron series, X: Rebirth, and yes, EVE Online.

nomoredroids
nomoredroids

*something like EVE but fun? Fixed it for you, megakick

megakick
megakick

something like EVE but fun for all?

Hillsy_
Hillsy_

What happened to David Braben's 'Outsiders' and 'Elite IV'?

dragondoom01
dragondoom01

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

BuBsay
BuBsay

@Lanarchy EVE is not exactly what I would call "Firefly" inspired. It's also an MMO, he's most likely talking about a same structure as Minecraft (where you have the choice of a persistent single player world, or a number of multiplayer worlds). Besides it's not like you can only have one game series per genre (though I wish someone would tell the cover based/ modern military FPS makers to calm down already).