Elite: Dangerous Multiplayer Demonstrated

David Braben explains damage system, crashes into an asteroid

Frontier Developments has released a new video for those who've backed its Kickstarter campaign for Elite: Dangerous, the proposed new instalment in the long-running series of space games that started with Elite. The video provides proof of concept for some of the multiplayer aspects of the game, specifically ship-based combat.

The video is obviously not showing what the game will look like when it launches, so, for example, there is no cockpit view or HUD, and the trails behind the ship in front are placeholders. There's no sound, either, which leaves David Braben – the co-writer of the original Elite and founder of Frontier Developments – free to talk about some of the details for the game.

One interesting feature is that of damage. Instead of having ships either whole or destroyed, combat will see the state of targeted ships gradually worsen. Other players will be able to pick up things like cannons that have broken off these damaged ships, as well as salvage such items from “dead” ships they might find. Damaged ships will be more visible on radar, since they'll be giving off more heat, which means other players might pick them up at a longer range and come in to join the fight in the hope that they'll be able to pick clean the weakened victims. To stop high-powered players from simply attacking anyone and everyone (i.e. griefing), Braben says he hopes the system of policing and bounties will prove enough of a deterrent, but if it doesn't the team has a few other ideas.

At the moment of writing, the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter campaign has already received £585,743 towards its goal of £1,250,000, but if you want to make sure it hits that target before the closing date of January 4th, head over and make a pledge.