Elite: Dangerous Heads Into Alpha Testing and Announces Future Plans for Avatar Gameplay

Somewhere in Cambridge, UK, re-imagined Cobra Mk. IIIs and Sidewinders are spooling up their hyperdrives and charging their pulse lasers for the first time in decades.

Forthcoming space sim Elite: Dangerous is heading into its alpha testing phase.

According to the 14th newsletter, as the crowd-funded reboot of the game which launched a genre reaches £2m (US$3.25m), Frontier Developments is looking to test the “ship handling and combat in close quarters”  in a number of scenarios including dense asteroid fields.

The initial testing phase will focus on the single-player experience with new features, including multiplayer, to be added at later stages before progressing into beta testing. The latest newsletter explains:

“This will let us work with the Alpha testers to hone the flight controls in a relatively controlled way, before letting them all loose against each other in player vs player mayhem!

“There are still spaces in the Alpha test, so if you’d like to take part then you can upgrade your pledge through the backers app (before 6th December!), or if you aren’t a backer yet through our website: http://elite.frontier.co.uk.”

Extra-Vehicular Activity

Frontier Developments has also announced its plans to include avatar content following retail release: “we are also making good progress with planning for the subsequent expansions that will enable you to leave the cockpit.”

Embracing the virtual reality headset revolution, Elite: Dangerous will include support for the Oculus Rift and fully realised cockpits will add to the immersion. Beyond that, plans are being laid out for space walks and the traversing of walkways and floors in zero gravity environments and even zero-G combat.

There's no word on whether Oculus Rift support will include crash mats.

 Elite: Dangerous website.

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Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.

Published Nov. 27th 2013

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