This game has to be made: Elite: Dangerous

<Update> The Kickstarter reached it’s funding goal, and also the stretch goal of 1.4 mio GBP for a Mac version. With a few hours to go it’s still possible to accomplish the 1.5 mio stretch goal for 10 additional playable ships. </Update>

There is currently a Kickstarter by David Braben to create a sequel to the lengendary Elite computer game. I want this game, and so I want to point some additional people to this kickstarter. Now here’s my personal story why.

When I was a kid of about 8 or 9 years (in the late 80ies), we regularly visited my uncle and aunt in the black forest. In this house lived a young guy that had an Amiga and played Elite, and I was allowed to play it. That was my first contact. Whenever we visited, I played my own commander and eventually I made it into the second galaxy on his Amiga.

We moved there a few years later on, and that guy moved away. In the early 90ies I found out that someone in the next village had a copy of the original PC Elite, which I bought from him. It is still in a good condition (even though I don’t have a 5 1/4″ floppy drive anymore to read the disc). See this picture I just made:

My copy of Elite for PC
My copy of Elite for PC

I loved this game, played it through various galaxies and even blew away some Thargoids.

Until now, there are some games that try to resembly the original elite.
I’m not talking about the two more or less official sequels Frontier (‘Elite II’) and Frontier: First Encounters. They were in the spirit of Elite (David Braben, one of the original Elite programmers, was the head here), but I personally disliked the way too realistic physics. More than a few times I ended up drifting into endless space with all the fuel used in what one would call a dogfight. I’d call it turn, burn fuel to change direction to the target, fire a few times by passing through it, turn, burn fuel etc – until one of the ships eventually runs out of fuel or gets hit.

Frontier and Frontier: First Encounters were a nice idea, but totally failed by being too realistic in physics.

What I liked to play too:

  • Wing Commander: Privateer
  • Freelancer
  • All parts of the X – Series
  • EVE Online

In my opinion the X-series games from Egosoft (a german game studio) are very good in resembling the old Elite feeling. Especially that one can build his own space stations, produce goods, own multiple ships and have them fly on auto pilot to trade is a very nice idea and I love to see the next part X: Rebirth on a totally new game engine.

Eve is a very good massive multiplayer game, but the dogfight capabilities are very limited and I really miss the pilot’s perspective from the cockpit.

Nevertheless, the original Elite with his legendary ships like the Cobra, the galaxies you can level through (without jump gates like in X) and the whole feeling of total freedom is unique, and I’d love to see a sequel.

So I backed Elite: Dangerous in the hope that David Braben won’t mess up the physics again and I really do hope that they get the missing 200 Pounds in the next few days.

I’m a proud backer of the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter, and I say: This game has to be made.

Windows Server 2012 – First impressions

I thought I could play a little bit with Windows Server 2012. Said that, I logged into my Windows Azure management portal and created an extra small VM with Windows Server 2012 on it.

A few minutes later my VM was provisioned and ready. The virtual hard disk is sized to 30 GB and fits in the free storage that is part of my MSDN subscription. The VM already had a remote desktop endpoint configured and I added a new endpoint for port 80. I then logged into the VM.

At login, the server automatically started the server management application on the desktop. The new console in the ‘Modern UI’ style (heck, I propably stick with Metro forever), so, the Metro UI console is very clean and lean. With a few clicks the web server role was added and installed.

Even with only about 765 MB of ram the server runs smoothly and fast. The new task manager gives a lot of additional information compared to the old one, and the server manager dashboard hints directly to potential problems.

At a first glance, the system seems very capable and I think it’s worth spending some more time with that VM.