David Braben launches Kickstarter for a modern day Elite game

The co-designer of one of the first home computer games to use wire-frame 3D graphics, Elite, is raising money through Kickstarter to fund a follow-up to the space-trading series that was first released in the 80s.

David Braben's U.K.-based studio, Frontier Developments, is asking for £1.25 million ($2 million) to fund Elite: Dangerous, a PC game which he describes as "an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breathtaking scope."

In an interview with BBC News, Braben said that Elite is a game he has wanted to come back for a very long time, and with the help of Kickstarter he may be able to bring it back while also identifying its audience.

"Publishers want to see the end result before they move forward and with a lot of games like this it's very important to balance the design of the game as you are going," he said.

"[Kickstarter] helps us at Frontier to validate that there is a market for this type of game out there. We then have the confidence that we know who we are making the game for."

The original Elite was first published in 1984 and was widely regarded as the first true 3D game. The space-trading adventure had its own legal system, economy and its entire universe was procedurally generated. Elite was followed by Frontier in 1993 and now Braben hopes that Elite: Dangerous will be able to launch in 2014 and do "so much more" than the first two games.

Elite: Dangerous' backer rewards range from £5 to get a digital code when the game is released to apply a transferable decal to your ship to £5,000 or more to have dinner with Braben and key team members from Frontier Developments, have an in-game central star system named after you and all other rewards like a copy of the game, access to the game's alpha and beta, access to the game's forum and access to a newsletter.

The game's Kickstarter page contains no images or video footage, but a video on the BBC shows Frontier Development's staff working on the game.

Elite: Dangerous has raised almost £10,000 at the time of writing with 59 days to go on its Kickstarter campaign.

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