Watch The Making of Space Sim Elite: Dangerous

David Braben and the development team talk about the making Elite: Dangerous.


Frontier Developments, the studio behind Elite: Dangerous, has released a short video about the making of the space sim and its roots in the original Elite released in 1984.

Frontier Developments CEO David Braben explains that one of the biggest challenges in developing the game was getting the feel of the combat right. "It isn't the sort of thing where by having a bigger ship you're immediately going to win. It's all in the details, the turn rates, how heavy should feel, how light," Braben said.

Game Designer Dan Davies added that part of the challenge was building great combat that takes place in an empty space. "Other games can use the environment and gravity to create the gameplay limitations that they need, whereas we had to use the flight model and the ships to essentially create those gameplay limitations," Davies said.

Elite: Dangerous recently rolled out the third stage of its Beta test to players, unlocking even more of the Milky Way for them to explore and introducing a tons of new features like the ability to own multiple ships and mining.

You can jump into the Beta 3 right now by buying the game for $75 through Frontier’s online store. The game is scheduled to launch by the end of the year, though Frontier Developments still hasn't settled on an exact date.

For more on the game, check out our previous coverage.

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Avatar image for Bugermeister

It says "This video is private"

Avatar image for Zloth2

<< LINK REMOVED >> And still does. Time to clean this up Gamespot!

Avatar image for MrEon256

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Wasn't actually Gamespots fault. ;)

FD themselves reuploaded a new version of the video with some new audio/music. They then made the old video private, which probably wasn't the smartest move since that link has been used in articles like this. The flagged it as Unlisted now so it works again.

Avatar image for Sanligo

I don't know if I am doing something wrong but I just bought the Beta and it feels pretty boring. It's impossible to find anything in space, it is all just random and very hard to stumble on and takes too long to travel anywhere. I guess I should have known better when I saw people cut out large chunks of gameplay videos to make the traveling and landing more entertaining for viewers.

Avatar image for MrEon256

<< LINK REMOVED >> Too long to travel?

It's a game that let's you travel across a true to scale representation of out galaxy by jumping several lightyears in seconds and then travel inside systems at many many times the speed of light. If anything it's to fast. :p

Neither is anything really random. The placement of things and what you find there is based on what type of system it is which is created by scientific principles, what resources are available and what form of political control (or lack of) that is used there.

At its core this first release is a game about flying spaceships. If you take out the whole flying/landing/takeoff thing there is no game left. It's like if someone wanted to play a Microsoft Flight Simulator but didn't enjoy landing, taking off or actually flying the plane... ;)

Having said that there is still lots more to come. It's a game that will be continuously developed even after release. Adding things like seamless planetary landings on planets with atmospheres/weather, settlements/cities, vegetation, wildlife...think No Man's Sky on steroids. ;) Also adding things like walking/driving around in first person on these planets/stations/ships.

The first release is in many ways "just" the framework for everything else planned later down the line. :)

I doubt you are going to regret buying the game in the long run...that will only happen if you are at least a little bit dead inside! :D :p

Avatar image for Sanligo

@MrEon256 @Sanligo I will definitely keep trying. The boring travel part I was mostly talking about was finding other ships to fight (also I'm not very good at measuring when to slow down and keep overshooting my destination). I got a mission to hunt down someone and I wandered aimlessly around the solar system they were in trying to find unidentified signal sources for awhile before giving up.

Basically I wish it was less tedious to track down your targets and find targets with bounties. They should add a way other than unidentified signal sources, in my opinion.

Avatar image for MrEon256

<< LINK REMOVED >> some degree they already have. If you equip your ship with an "interdictor-module" you can then target other ships (wanted or clean...that's up to you ;)) in supercruise and pull them out into normal space.

Also, have you been to the nav beacons (close to some of the stars in the core worlds) or resource extraction sites you can find in ring systems? There you often find other ships which you then can collect bounties from or just pirate if that's what you want. :)

There are also conflict zones in some systems where you can engage in combat. Check the newsfeeds at stations for where these can be found currently. Most these conflicts are currently around Eranin and the neighboring systems for the moment...things like this will become more dynamic (and more obvious) as the game gets closer to release and beyond.

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Already put down 110 hours in Alpha and Beta. I've never put down 110 hours in a Beta before.

This game is great now, and will be incredible as the updates come.

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Now you see, if I wanted to act like a spoiled child (i.e. mestremun), I could come on this article and bash this game everyway to Sunday and back (which wouldn't be far because today is Sunday)- but I :

1. Have better things to do.

2. Am not insane

3. Will enjoy both Star Citizen and this game!

Avatar image for korusuk

One of the best games I've played in a long time. Much more challenging than the X series but with a similar sort of depth. Open Play is a bit broken for me but the whole game just seems so well done even in beta form.

/watch?v=I1auKcl89Og - Check this out too for some gameplay!

Avatar image for grin89

ever since 3.0 came out i've been having fps issues but aside from that this is one of the best space sims i've ever played, This could even have the potential to be a eve killer.

Avatar image for Zloth2

<< LINK REMOVED >> What? NOOOO! I want to play EVE when I retire and have time to deal with its learning curve!

Avatar image for mkeezay22

This game is just insanely fun, especially since the start of beta 3, keep those updates coming FD.

Avatar image for InkOnTube

<< LINK REMOVED >> Beta 3 just made me a lot richer and I don't do mining - I became friendly with a faction now they offer more rewarding jobs.

Avatar image for deactivated-57f4a4251dfe9

This just blew my mind. I would give my left nut to have this now on an Oculus Rift or similar VR headset.

Avatar image for Monsterkillah

Star Citizen look better

Avatar image for bignick217

<< LINK REMOVED >>I think I'll just leave this here.


As you can see, even the Star Citizen dev's supported Elite Dangerous. Star Citizen is turning out great, but there's no point trying to create fanboy fanaticism around it. Or you'll just end up missing out on too many great games out of some vane attempt at picking sides when no sides exist. Proud backer of both Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous. Satisfied backer of Planetary Annihilation (although I'd probably never back another one of their projects given the last years experience with Uber's Dev's behavior). Very proud and happy supporter Kerbal Space Program. The only real disappointment I've had was failed kickstarter of Nexus 2 (Sequel to Nexus: The Jupiter Incident). I loved the original, and would have loved a sequel. I backed them, but the kickstarter failed. I'm here for the games! Not the imaginary lines of war some people seem intent on drawing.

Avatar image for InkOnTube

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> There is even interview where David and Chris are talking about games together. The video is on original YouTube Frontier Developments channel

Avatar image for bignick217

@Monsterkillah Here's a direct quote from that link I just posted.

Quoting Chris Roberts:

"You may say hey Chris, why do you want to support a competing project? Well I believe the world is big enough for multiple quality Space Sims. Having to compete against the Star Wars X-Wing games from Larry Holland certainly didn’t harm Wing Commander and I feel Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous are different types / styles of games. Star Citizen is more focused on a “crafted” approach to the universe – more detail, cinematic flair and more unique characters and locations whereas Elite will follow a more procedural approach which will allow it to have a much larger galaxy to explore as a lot of content will be computer generated. Besides wanting to see Space Sims make a comeback, I fondly remember playing the original Elite on the BBC Micro by David Braben and Ian Bell."

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@Monsterkillah What is the point of your comment? I'm a SC backer. You can see me posting on SC news here on Gamespot. But SC is another space sim with a different style. We have multiple RPGs all with their own style. And hopefully now we will have multiple space sims.

Also SC is not a 2014 space sim.

It's a 2015/2016 space sim. SC looks better? IT should. SC doesn't need to run on today's low range hardware. But Elite does. Because Elite is coming out this year.

3D Mark Vantage also looks better than Elite Dangerous. Then again, it's meant as a showcase of what is to come.

Also they are different games focusing on different things.

Let's enjoy Elite Dangerous for what it is. A sandbox space sim mmo that lets you explore the entire milky way. That is huge.

I love what both developers are doing.

Star Citizen looks amazing and I can't wait to for the final game.

But Elite Dangerous looks great as well. I'm looking forward to play it.

Avatar image for shadow580

<< LINK REMOVED >> Very different games.

Avatar image for grin89

<< LINK REMOVED >> 400 billion solar systems is A lot more then 115.

Avatar image for mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> Ryse looks better than Uncharted, what's your point, SC is so far from completion there is no point in comparing the two, and as an owner of Elite, I can tell you it's an amazing game,

Avatar image for skipper847

Will wait for right price.

Avatar image for mkeezay22

<< LINK REMOVED >> it's cheaper than a AAA game right now, the price isn't going to drop.

Avatar image for pelvist

I just got a new joystick and I am ready.

Avatar image for grin89

<< LINK REMOVED >> saitek x-55 due tomorrow.

Avatar image for Vojtass

<< LINK REMOVED >> Joystick is simply the best controller for space-combat sims. I remember the times, when joysticks were as common as mice.

Avatar image for justbefahad

Dammit, I really want this game. Too bad it won't be coming to consoles, and I don't have to a gaming PC. :/

Avatar image for grin89

<< LINK REMOVED >> I'm not sure if this game will show up on steam but if it does check out steam machines the price of a console for a powerful pc.

Avatar image for gajbutler

<< LINK REMOVED >> Just get rid of your consoles and build yourself a PC, they're cheap to build these days and buying the games is actually cheaper and there are no sub fees to play your games online.

Avatar image for CrouchingWeasel


I won't get rid of my consoles for the same reason that i don't get rid of my PC.... I love games. It's a pity that you PC beggar race tools just fail to understand that.

Avatar image for Gamerno6666

<< LINK REMOVED >> It will come to consoles. Braben confirmed it. But will be much later.