Elite Dangerous contains over 400 billion star system

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#1 Edited by CroidX (1555 posts) -

PC GAMER

The Final Alpha phase build is due May 15th

I'm no expert on numbers, like the guy out of Numb-three-ers, but even I know that 400 billion is a really big number. Like, really big. In addition to being the number of The Beast's second cousin, Alan, 400bn is also the number of star systems that will feature in Elite Dangerous' final alpha phase. Alpha 4 "genuinely contains over 400 billion star systems,” Frontier Developments state in the most recent newsletter, star systems that will “[move] correctly; spinning, orbiting each other in an incredible astronomical ballet.” Alpha 4 will go live on May 15th, if Frontier can stop waxing poetic about the wonders of space in the meantime.

"We are also modelling interstellar molecular clouds," Frontier continue, "and though some of the detail in these (particularly for nebulae) will come after Alpha 4, wherever you are, the ‘night sky’ is accurate. Beyond our galaxy, perhaps surprisingly we do still have a ‘skydome’ - but it is now a staggering 100,000 light years away, containing all the other galaxies, including the Magellanic Clouds."

Alpha 4 "sets you free in a 200 cubic light year volume of space in the Milky Way galaxy, far from Earth". You won't be able to fly to Earth, incidentally, but as you presumably live there, you're probably not too cut up about that.

On May 30th, as previously mentioned here, Elite: Dangerous will enter the first phase of its Premium Beta, which will ship to all backers who stumped for the appropriate reward tiers. The rest of us will have to wait until the end of the year, when Elite is set to be loosed upon the universe for real.

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#2 Edited by deactivated-59d151f079814 (47239 posts) -

... To me that just sounds like we are going to get a bunch of generic copy and pasted stuff shoveled to us in large volumes.... Size does not some how mean quality, in fact now a days when ever I hear a dev bragging how "large" their game, I roll my eyes. Because it usually means they are going to be shipping the exact same sh!t with "slight" differences and claim how diverse their game is while your mowing through recycled stuff over and over again.

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#3 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

Its Astrology Porn Nirvana ! :D

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#4 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@sSubZerOo

It might Generate each System Procedurally. :)

The Size of the game (Giggabytes) should be in indicator

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#5 Posted by Wasdie (53525 posts) -

Procedural generation is pretty damn impressive. That said I am hoping that the AI can adapt to such a scale and the game world doesn't feel lifeless and empty because of it. I understand that most star systems won't have NPCs flying around, but I do hope there are active economic hubs where missions are created and whatnot.

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#6 Edited by Wasdie (53525 posts) -

@sSubZerOo said:

... To me that just sounds like we are going to get a bunch of generic copy and pasted stuff shoveled to us in large volumes.... Size does not some how mean quality, in fact now a days when ever I hear a dev bragging how "large" their game, I roll my eyes. Because it usually means they are going to be shipping the exact same sh!t with "slight" differences and claim how diverse their game is while your mowing through recycled stuff over and over again.

A legitimate concern no doubt. However with procedural generation there is much less "copy and paste" than your traditional hand craft world. Not to say a lot of content won't feel very similar (I mean they are just planets/stars/asteroids in the end), but with procedural generation the content can be extremely diverse without taking up a lot of disk space.

Elite Dangrous isn't going to be a big game file size wise. The universal is generated each time you fire the game up with a consistent seed across all platforms. This means each player has the same world but only little data needs to be stored on the disk. Everything is generated and slightly changing the variables of the algorithms that generate the content can dynamically change the entire universe.

Though in the end since all of the missions and whatnot are procedural generated, a lot of the content is going to feel the same until the devs develop more algorithms for more content. As time goes on it should get more and more diverse.

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#7 Edited by CroidX (1555 posts) -

It has procedure generation so it won't be the exact same

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#8 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@CroidX

Indeed... It will only be Extremely Simular ! :p

Whos excited for No Man's Sky ?

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#9 Edited by Cloud_imperium (14406 posts) -

Hopefully , all of them will look different and won't become boring because of being procedurally generated , after sometime .

Can't wait for full release of the game , going to be awesome .

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#10 Posted by ShepardCommandr (4939 posts) -

So everything will be copy pasted then

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#11 Posted by DeathLordCrime (893 posts) -

@ShepardCommandr said:

So everything will be copy pasted then

no it has procedural generation so it won't be copied and paste

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#12 Posted by osan0 (15030 posts) -

@Wasdie: that would be one of my big concerns with procedurally generated missions and things to do....the variety can take a nose dive. freelancer and skyrim (just to name two that spring to mind. i think the companion missions are randomly generated for example...outside the story stuff) suffer from this problem....unlimited missions....but not much surprise. go there..kill that....get reward.

maybe they can add procedurally generated chance elements to each stage of a procedurally generated mission....make it more unpredictable. so you go on a bounty hunt to kill some guy in a one man ship.....but when you get there there is a chance of them having a much better ship than expected. but you manage to beat him when, possibly, someone else then swoops in and steals your prize. so you chase that ship down and just before you set back to get you reward you get a distress signal from a planet where an astroid is about to hit and so on.

not that they should overdo it either. you dont always want a mission thats supposed to take a few minutes taking a few hours because the game keeps throwing crazy stuff at you.

emergent gameplay, i think its called, (where procedurally generated content plays a big role) is a fascinating area and something badly under researched in the industry.

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#13 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@osan0

Or They can just use UGC. Let the Algorithim procedurally generate the simple stuff and then let the Community do the actuall work.... Its much better that way. :p

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#14 Posted by Effec_Tor (911 posts) -

400 billion star systems .. O_o

How big is the download going to be?

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#15 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@Effec_Tor

Normal Size ! :)

Fuel by codemasters was the ssame... They managed to squeeze 5000 square miles of various terrains using shading techniques and Procedural Generation into a single 4GB DVD !

Samething with Spore but even more impressive.

And Technically Speaking theres no limit on the amount of content.... Its INFINITE !

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#17 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

That's pretty amazing. But star citizen contains over 400 sexists.

Please ban this guy.

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#18 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@Kinthalis

He's telling the truth and Why are you trying to down play a serious problem ?

Are you a Sexist Sympathizer ?

You can't sweep this under the rug !

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#19 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

Also, pretty sure you guys are miss-reading the announcement. Not just you, it seems but also the journalists reporting on this.

Elite dangerous USED to have a skybox, like all games. Like all skyboxes, it's composed of textures with painted elements, in this case stars and interstellar clouds.

They aren't doing that anymore. The Sky is actually a model of the galaxy with 4 billion stars out to 100,000 light years, THEN the skybox hits again with high resolution images of other nearby intergalactic bodies.

The game itself only takes place in a (relatively speaking of course!) smaller sector of the galaxy about 200(cubic) light years in volume.

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#20 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (18733 posts) -

@Kinthalis said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

That's pretty amazing. But star citizen contains over 400 sexists.

Please ban this guy.

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#21 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@Kinthalis

He's telling the truth and Why are you trying to down play a serious problem ?

Are you a Sexist Sympathizer ?

You can't sweep this under the rug !

I don't want him banned because he wants to score points with some non-issue.

I want him banned because he's thread-shitting. This game has NOTHING to do with what he's talking about.

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#23 Posted by Wasdie (53525 posts) -

Keep this thread on topic.

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#24 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

Deleted in light of Wasdie's moderation.

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#25 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@Kinthalis

A fair point I guess... We'l just put womans rights on next week's to do list.

So whats this I hear about not being able to visit star systems ?

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#26 Edited by uninspiredcup (26461 posts) -

So essentially tons and tons of nothing? Yep, it's a pc game.

All it needs now is some kobolds.

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#27 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (18733 posts) -

To be completey fair I did say 400 billion star systems was pretty rad, I just Kanye'ified it.

The direction procedural generation is taking is pretty exciting.

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#28 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@Kinthalis

A fair point I guess... We'l just put womans rights on next week's to do list.

So whats this I hear about not being able to visit star systems ?

OR we can continue to discuss it today, but in a thread dealign with it. Or should we inject it into all the other threads in the forum?

-"Your e3 2014 wish list" - I wish the 400 sexists in star citizen were banned!

-"John Tarmack has stolen technology!" - It's Carmack you idiot - probably a sexist too like those guys from the Star Citizen forum.

- "Xbox TV is already beocmign pointless" - yeah! like those sexists in all those space sim forums! The bastards!

Moreover, as you WELL know, ReadingRainbow wasn't attemptng to bring about interesting, thought provoking discourse on the issues in that forum or issues about sexism. He was trolling. He was ussing the issue of sexism to troll. Kind of the opposite of what you seme to be interesting in doing.

Anyway, back on topic, yes, you will get to visit many other systems, within the playable arena (200 cubic light years is a LOT of space - and my guess is that it's probably going to have a lot more interesting things to do than you know, real space, which si kind of boring for the most part ;) - but not 4 billion.

The 4 billion figure is simply about the accurate position of stars in the 100,000 light year deep "skybox" for lack of a better term.

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#29 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -

i'm happy with that

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#30 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@Kinthalis

I suppose thats actually better.

As women like to say: "Size isn't everything"

its still rather large. Its gona have a "Skyrim Effext".

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#31 Posted by deactivated-5acbb9993d0bd (12449 posts) -

absolutely pointless...

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#32 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@MBirdy88 said:

absolutely pointless...

I don't think so. For a game that thrives in authenticity, it sounds like it fits well. IT's probably a lot more convincing and compelling than a simple skybox too.

People into this kind of games like to geek out on science stuff too, lookign at the stars and having it be something that is actuallya simulaiton, perhaps even useful in navigation or in some other gameplay mechanic, its just another piece of the puzzle that makes up the whole of the game.

No less interesting (to some) than finding some piece of lore ina Skyrim game, for example. It's those little touches that add to the atmosphere and immersion of the game. Besides, it's a simulation I doubt it took a huge amount of resources to set up.

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#33 Posted by deactivated-5acbb9993d0bd (12449 posts) -

absolutely pointless...

@Kinthalis said:

@MBirdy88 said:

absolutely pointless...

I don't think so. For a game that thrives in authenticity, it sounds like it fits well. IT's probably a lot more convincing and compelling than a simple skybox too.

People into this kind of games like to geek out on science stuff too, lookign at the stars and having it be something that is actuallya simulaiton, perhaps even useful in navigation or in some other gameplay mechanic, its just another piece of the puzzle that makes up the whole of the game.

No less interesting (to some) than finding some piece of lore ina Skyrim game, for example. It's those little touches that add to the atmosphere and immersion of the game. Besides, it's a simulation I doubt it took a huge amount of resources to set up.

Thats some lovely fantasy talk there.... but in the end its randomly generated copy paste that will in likely.... a small less-popular game like this be far too large to feel like a community led game. I understand the concept. I just don't think it will translate into a good gaming experience... there is a balance.

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#34 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@Kinthalis

I guess what you're saying is that it has alot of intrinsic appeal.... I like that, Skyrim doesn't have that, atleast not for everyone.... Its mostly Extrinsic.

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#35 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@MBirdy88

Well.... Its a Sim. Not a game, authenticity 1st.... Lasers and Sexy Aliens 2nd.

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#36 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@MBirdy88 said:

absolutely pointless...

@Kinthalis said:

@MBirdy88 said:

absolutely pointless...

I don't think so. For a game that thrives in authenticity, it sounds like it fits well. IT's probably a lot more convincing and compelling than a simple skybox too.

People into this kind of games like to geek out on science stuff too, lookign at the stars and having it be something that is actuallya simulaiton, perhaps even useful in navigation or in some other gameplay mechanic, its just another piece of the puzzle that makes up the whole of the game.

No less interesting (to some) than finding some piece of lore ina Skyrim game, for example. It's those little touches that add to the atmosphere and immersion of the game. Besides, it's a simulation I doubt it took a huge amount of resources to set up.

Thats some lovely fantasy talk there.... but in the end its randomly generated copy paste that will in likely.... a small less-popular game like this be far too large to feel like a community led game. I understand the concept. I just don't think it will translate into a good gaming experience... there is a balance.

Did you read the part where I explained how this is not 4 billion systems you cna visit? The game is much mroe compact than that.

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#37 Posted by uninspiredcup (26461 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@MBirdy88

Well.... Its a Sim. Not a game, authenticity 1st.... Lasers and Sexy Aliens 2nd.

We dont have spaceships that can travel beyond our own solar system. It would take 3 years just to get to mars.

Not realistic.

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#38 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@uninspiredcup

Didn't say anything about Realism.

A sims job is to be authentic.... And I'm sure it simulates theoretical technology that would allow for deep space travel. Thats authenticity ! ;)

what do you think of my mental gymnastics ? Hehe !

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#39 Edited by uninspiredcup (26461 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

A sims job is to be authentic.... And I'm sure it simulates theoretical technology that would allow for deep space travel.

Magic.

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#40 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@uninspiredcup

Thank You ! :)

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#41 Posted by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@MBirdy88

Well.... Its a Sim. Not a game, authenticity 1st.... Lasers and Sexy Aliens 2nd.

We dont have spaceships that can travel beyond our own solar system. It would take 3 years just to get to mars.

Not realistic.

I think we can do better than 3 years to Mars I'd say 6 to 9 months is realistic with current know-how, though it would involve developing new kinds of engines which would probably be pretty expensive.

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#42 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -

@Kinthalis said:

@uninspiredcup said:

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@MBirdy88

Well.... Its a Sim. Not a game, authenticity 1st.... Lasers and Sexy Aliens 2nd.

We dont have spaceships that can travel beyond our own solar system. It would take 3 years just to get to mars.

Not realistic.

I think we can do better than 3 years to Mars I'd say 6 to 9 months is realistic with current know-how, though it would involve developing new kinds of engines which would probably be pretty expensive.

about 9 months

http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/q2811.html

seems the mars science laboratory rover took 253 days to cruise to mars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Science_Laboratory#Launch

~8.3 months

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#43 Edited by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@CrownKingArthur said:

@Kinthalis said:

@uninspiredcup said:

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@MBirdy88

Well.... Its a Sim. Not a game, authenticity 1st.... Lasers and Sexy Aliens 2nd.

We dont have spaceships that can travel beyond our own solar system. It would take 3 years just to get to mars.

Not realistic.

I think we can do better than 3 years to Mars I'd say 6 to 9 months is realistic with current know-how, though it would involve developing new kinds of engines which would probably be pretty expensive.

about 9 months

http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/q2811.html

seems the mars science laboratory rover took 253 days to cruise to mars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Science_Laboratory#Launch

~8.3 months

We might be able to cut that time down by a couple of months using nuclear thermal engines.

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#44 Edited by lamprey263 (35175 posts) -

Never heard of it, went and watched some YouTube videos, it seems like a pretty cool game. Though I don't know about boasting 400 billion star systems accomplishes, is there a need for all this in any way? Is the game more than just space battles? Like is there a need for mining resources and setting up colonies and such?

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#45 Posted by Masculus (2878 posts) -

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

@Kinthalis said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

That's pretty amazing. But star citizen contains over 400 sexists.

Please ban this guy.

lol.

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#46 Posted by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@lamprey263 said:

Never heard of it, went and watched some YouTube videos, it seems like a pretty cool game. Though I don't know about boasting 400 billion star systems accomplishes, is there a need for all this in any way? Is the game more than just space battles? Like is there a need for mining resources and setting up colonies and such?

Yeah, it's supposed to offer story missions, trade, mining, the ability to pirate other vessels, etc, etc.

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#47 Posted by lamprey263 (35175 posts) -

@Kinthalis said:

@lamprey263 said:

Never heard of it, went and watched some YouTube videos, it seems like a pretty cool game. Though I don't know about boasting 400 billion star systems accomplishes, is there a need for all this in any way? Is the game more than just space battles? Like is there a need for mining resources and setting up colonies and such?

Yeah, it's supposed to offer story missions, trade, mining, the ability to pirate other vessels, etc, etc.

Sounds even more cool then.

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#49 Posted by DeathLordCrime (893 posts) -

Damn why does it cost so much to test it

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#50 Posted by Kinthalis (5503 posts) -

@deathlordcrime: 'cause you're not just testing it at this point, you're supporting development.

If that's not your thing, that's cool. Wait for it to come out, when it will be $40.