Elite: Dangerous Alpha 4 Releases May 15, Features 400 Billion Systems, 200 Cubic Light Years of Space

Elite: Dangerous Alpha 4 Releases May 15, Features 400 Billion Systems, 200 Cubic Light Years of Space

In a recently published newsletter from England-based developer Frontier Developments (the studio behind the sequel to the original Elite ), founder David Braben–who also co-wrote Elite with Ian Bell–revealed that the fourth Alpha of the crowd-funded Elite: Dangerous is set to release on Thursday, May 15. This release will also be followed by the Premium Beta at the end of the month on Friday, May 30.

The end of Alpha is now in sight and it is amazing looking back to see how far we have come since the start of the Kickstarter campaign, ” Braben wrote as a thank you in the newsletter. “ Support from you all has been fantastic, and input especially from the Design Discussion Forum has been a great help–in fact we are about to deliver one of the features we changed very significantly as a result of discussion on the DDF–’super-cruise’.

Premium Beta backers already have access to the combat test, and we look forward to welcoming them when the Premium Beta itself starts, ” he continued, “ and seeing many more people actually playing the game. We couldn’t have done this without your support, which is something we really appreciate. Thank you!

Elite: Dangerous’ Alpha 4 will feature staggering attention to detail regarding interstellar bodies. Later on in the newsletter, it was revealed that Elite: Dangerous’ Alpha 4 “ genuinely contains over 400 billion star systems, ” the same amount the Milky Way galaxy is calculated to have.

These systems are all touted to move correctly; they spin and orbit each other like what you may expect for cosmic bodies to behave. Ambitiously, Frontier is also modelling interstellar molecular clouds, meaning that wherever you are within the game the “night sky” will be accurate. More details on these  will be revealed after Alpha 4. What’s more, Sol (our solar system, which won’t be available to travel to in the Alpha, but it is viewable via the galactic map) will have over 130,000 individually modelled objects in the night sky, including the ones visible to the naked eye. These objects will also move in their own way in space.

Furthermore, Alpha 4 will set you free in an unbelievably large space of 200 cubic light years in volume, offering you more than enough territory to explore our Milky Way galaxy. Given the sheer size of the galaxy itself though, 200 cubic light years of volume is an exceptionally small number in the grand scheme of things. The center of this volume is situated around the Boötes constellation, which is part of the Ursa Major constellation family in the night sky.

You can read the full newspaper via the source link below. Elite: Dangerous is slated to release worldwide on PC at the end of 2014, with a Mac release following three months later. Below is a developer diary of the the game’s Alpha 3, showcasing a starport and how it works and you work with it.


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