New blog post: Elite Dangerous and other space games

Inter-Stellar/Planetary Travel

Wow, you guys are just going crazy with all these blog posts.


Excellent blog post.

What stuck out to me was the instant relief when I read you weren’t a fan of the limiting yaw. This was(after playing elite) one of my biggest fears that IBS would limit maneuverability in a similar way and I can’t express how much better I feel that it won’t be.

Regarding super cruise in elite and its possible similar feature in IBS: have you guys brainstormed a system of travel that gets the job done like super cruise but without the tediousness of the 30 seconds of keeping your eta at 7 or doing multiple flybys? I feel like super cruise works in theory and at first its fine to deal with, bit after time it does get very tedious to do this for every station and outpost.

Lastly, do you plan to have different tiers of classes? For example, in elite there is no distinctly named “fighter” or frigate or what have you. Instead there is your sidewinder…and your entire shipline peaks at the next beginner ship, the eagle. So my question is asking will there be an eagle type 2 sort of thing. This really bothers me and is one of the areas that Eve absolutely nails in my opinion(especially after the recent effort into tiericide). I want an expensive eagle that is fast, maneuverable, and had a slight upgrade in shields or weapons capability. Instead I have to use the viper, who’s shields/weapons is great but handles like a freight truck(I play flight assist off and I can really feel during translations when docking). That’s a gripe with elite though.

All in all, good post and thank you for writing it! It’s nice to see things from your perspective and for reassurance that the engine and IBS is headed towards the right direction(at least my opinion of right direction)

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For instance in cruise mode you can’t go slower than 30 Km/s. Let’s say you’re trying to fly to a target space station; you’ll never see it appear on your screen in cruise mode, even as a dot - it is simply not rendered at all -. And as you disengage your drive, you get… teleported 10 Km away from the station. For me this was a shock. The same system is used for asteroid belts; all these act as “points of interest” in the system and you’ll get teleported to them as you disengage your drive.

This, along with the fact that you couldn’t land on planets yet, was a total immersion and deal breaker for me.

I have to buy a decent computer before I can play games like Elite or Infinity. So a game has to be really good for me to make that investment.


Again, I’m loving these blog posts! It really is awesome to see all of this activity and to hear your thoughts on these matters! :slight_smile:


Completely agree with that star citizen opinion! Still havent spent a dime on that game :joy: :joy: :joy:


Thanks for the review. It sounds like you are still the Flavien that we’ve gotten to know through the years.

The game only contains 4-5 station types ( with a couple of module variations ) and something like 15 ships to choose from.

I would rather that the game focus on my ability to interact with other players and with the environment. Give me one ship that allows me to do lots of stuff rather than 15 ships that really don’t do anything interesting. A laser line that zaps rocks to give me mining cargo? I got bored with that almost a decade ago in EVE Online. Challenge my skills as a player when I’m mining. Or fighting. Or building. Or anything else.

Sadly, Star Citizen is pulling in huge piles of money by selling ship models, while games with lots of gameplay options tend to languish and die. 'Tis a weird world.

The game strangely lacks a lot of social features.

I agree that this is a bizarre situation for a game company to be in, given the state of technology these days (i.e. social media).

Another interesting ( or curious, depending on where you’re coming from ) design choise is the lack of a third-party camera.

I like it. I think they should allow for ship selfies somehow, and even allow for a view unobstructed by the ship - but just don’t have that awful free-swinging third person camera.

I’ve seen some people on forums saying that 90% of your time in E:D is spent in cruise mode, aligning to your destination and waiting to arrive

We talked about this at length ITOF (in the old forums). I think it’s fairly obvious that it’s okay to have lengthy travel times only if players spend even more time at a given destination. I don’t know what the balance point is, but I’m fairly certain that if I spend 10 minutes in transit and 60 minutes in interaction, I’m going to be pretty content.

Note that time in transit makes interplanetary space a destination. In an EVE Online world, everything happens at planets, asteroids, moons, etc. In a game with long transit times, more things can happen in the space between. Maneuvering in interplanetary space becomes a thing (flanking, retreating). Interceptions in interplanetary space becomes a thing (piracy, combat intercepts). Anticipating the arrival of a ship becomes a thing (alert!). And so on.

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There may be the MWO option (regardless of one’s opinion on the game): have an actual game object camera launching from the ship and following it for 3rd person view. AFAICT, they implemented it to prevent the ‘third-person camera stealthily looking over an obstacle’ exploit, as the camera itself would be visible (and IIRC can be damaged).


Slightly harsh on No Man’s Sky, I thought. I’m not a fan of the small looking and tightly packed together planets, but the procedural wildlife makes up for that. This video where the dinosaur thing crashes through the trees and all the gazelle type animals scatter is pretty impressive.

I can’t say much about their vision, but I think they said there is an overall objective that is slowly revealed as you play. I think they are trying to go for mysterious, which may or may not work, but it’s a worthy goal for sci fi. We’ll see.

Agree with a lot of what you said about Elite. I don’t think lack of ships is much of problem (more always better of course), more characters to interact with, factions with history, goals and a reason to support them, interesting missions to complete.

Also the fact that the populated systems don’t really feel very different. All seem to have one honking great trade station (which only sells a handful of things anyway) and one or two outposts. IMO, it would have been better to have more back water colonies with smaller stations and not much going on and few major systems, with major trade hubs. Anarchy systems to be dangerous, democracies to be safe (at least until you start annoying the controlling interests), etc.

The basics are all there. I’m just giving it a rest for now in the hope they will make it more engaging over the next few months.

Supercruise is fine though, apart from the jarring exit (you don’t need to be a developer to spot that one).

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That’s one of the things that EVE really, really got wrong. There’s no space in their space game! Gameplay systems that allow for the tactical use of space would be really nice, I think.


Although the majority of eve gameplay happens inside points of interest, there are certain reasons to use interplanetary space, such as advanced tactical situations like safe spots or warpins. I’d like to see this happen in infinity to a much greater extent. Eve uses a grid system, if something is outside of the grid, which is usually 250km away from the player, then it can’t be seen on screen or in the overview. Not good. I hope battlescape really utilizes maneuverability in three dimensions in all possible scales and speed. It would make encounters a lot more engaging.


A few comments about your observations on E:D, flavien, just because i think it’s worth considering for infinity.

[quote]Especially as you approach stations and require
docking ( like on those Coriolis stations ) figuring out how to fly to
the entrance of the station can be annoying. I haven’t noticed any HUD
indicator that told me where the entrance was, which resulted in me
having to circle on a path around the station. This would be fine except
that since you’re in first person view, at any point in time you do not
exactly know where your ship is positionned in relation to the station
entrance, so you don’t know if you have to continue to fly “a little bit
further” or if you have to turn your ship now to face the station.
Which results in having to constantly stop along the path, turn your
ship to see where you’re at, decide that you have to continue a bit
more, turn back again and repeat the process… basically, aligning your
ship to certain station’s entrances is a chore and takes longer than
There is actually an indicator once you target the station to request docking, it’s on the little holographic representation of the station on your UI. But what i wanted to mention was freelook, whatever you have it bound to you can hold it then move your head around in the cockpit to see in various directions, no need for stop and go just to look out the window. Remember to include this in I:B! Youll need to if you plan on oculus support anyways. :stuck_out_tongue:

About your mention of travel time and doing nothing time, at least in eve that time is being spent in order to give a more rewarding ane believable experience in the context of an MMO, as you previously pointed out, E:D isn’t really an MMO. Time sinks like this can be very valuable in games, they can offer breaks and distraction (watch some star trek on that 2nd screen at the same time) while being vital to game balance and believability. Just something to consider though im not asking you to ever make it as extreme as eve in an infinite universe it’s inevitable. In eve you have other distractions like diplomacy and working on new fits and market research while your flying around, in E:D the chat system is worthless, and you cant access market data in flight. So its MUCH worse.

Im glad your going to go with a more ICP esque flight model than elite’s, best news all week!

(also this forum is silly, it posted early because i pressed enter while also holding ctrl a moment to long when pasting something, what?? stupid discourse)


Part of the MMO timesink aspect is that travel time makes transportation a service. You can start treating time as a commodity. That’s fine if you can get enough of the space trucker types to want to play your game, but it really bogs things down for others. And even the space truckers want to have things to do on their long hauls.

Travel in EVE ranges from harmless to gosh darned melon farming stroke inducing, depending on how far you’re going, and how frequently. I used to run a blockade runner from the deep south to the north-east. I also used to cry blood.


a big problem with travel with eve is that the autopilot intentionally lacked competency in order to encourage players to manually fly around despite how mind numblingly stupid the “travel gameplay” was. There’s no reason it’s necessary to do this in infinity.


Yup, gotta love how autopilot warps you 15km off gate.


And the only reason they did that, or had any need to do that, was because it isn’t truly possible to intercept people in warp. Warp bubbles be damned.


2 AU/min is 16.63 c/sec … just for making comparison to E:D easier and in case anyone else finds that representation easier.

[quote=“INovaeFlavien, post:1, topic:679”]
Especially as you approach stations and require docking ( like on those Coriolis stations ) figuring out how to fly to the entrance of the station can be annoying. I haven’t noticed any HUD indicator that told me where the entrance was, which resulted in me having to circle on a path around the station.[/quote]

As pointed out by mattk50. I think that point came down to using the freecam, that hidden feature of an indicator and practice. I like that docking isn’t that easy. The feeling once I mastered it was pretty cool :blush:

And I want to point it out now before alpha hits.
Elite:Dangerous configuration of controls are perfect. I’m not talking about the flight model. I talk about how you can configure the ship controls to you physical controller. It’s essential for me that every axis can be configure to any physical axis and allow to invert. Allow to bind the headlook to the mouse so I can use that at the same time. They used a system with max speed and then allowed me to configure the throttle to my mousewheel and additionally have a translation axis in that direction, allowing me to fire the forward thruster to brake for a turn, let go, and the ship tries to reach the speed of the throttle again.
Because once the configuration fits perfect, I feel home in my computer spaceship, and only then I can concentrate on all the gameplay thrown to me.

I need to make a short video of just how great that works.


Having studied UI design, I can tell you that a feature the majority of users don’t find or don’t know how to use is a major UI failure.


it could do to be a little more obvious.


Don’t have time for much of a post right now, but I want to put in my penny’s worth. Great article, nice to hear some thoughts! I’m quite liking E:D in short bursts and the slowish pace doesn’t really bother me. The super cruise travel and “teleporting” really does irritate me though, for the simple reason I feel like they haven’t even tried. It’s a huge procedural galaxy but it feels disjointed by travel methods!