Elite: Dangerous’ David Braben on PC vs. console development

    
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Last week at GDC Frontier announced that Elite: Dangerous is headed to the Xbox One in 2015. Predictably, this caused a bit of consternation amongst the space sim’s PC user base. Frontier boss David Braben took to the forums to elaborate, and soon after we peppered him with questions to further clarify how the console and PC builds of E:D are shaping up.

Click past the cut to see what he had to say.

Massively OP: Your recent forum post indicated that PC and Xbox One builds of Elite: Dangerous will be similar. Will they be getting patches, updates, and DLC simultaneously?

David Braben: The games will be much the same, but we won’t necessarily be getting the updates at the same time. What we don’t want to do is slow down what we think has been an excellent cadence of updates on PC or change that at all because of Xbox. What that may mean — and we’re still looking into it — is cross-platform play may not happen for that reason or may not happen all the time. But certainly it is a possibility.

Can you elaborate on cross-platform play, then? You mentioned It’s a possibility but do you think there will be advantages to playing on one platform vs. the other?

Well, straight out of the gate, we supported console controllers in the game, and actually I play a lot with an Xbox controller anyway. It’s easy to carry around when I’m traveling. So the control scheme is already very similar. From a development point of view (or in fact developing for console vs. PC), one of the problems with PC is that there is such a wide range of PCs — different CPUs, memory speed, audio solutions. All of those mean that one PC isn’t the same as the next, and so we can’t be sure that our experience that we have in the office is the same as your experience that you have at home, whereas with XBox, we can be a lot more confident because all of the machines are the same. So we can tune it. Really what I’m getting at is that the question already applies due to the differences between PCs. And it’s actually less likely to apply between Xbox and PC for that reason.

Having said that, we’re looking to cross-platform play and we’ll see what we can do. We genuinely don’t know one way or the other at the moment. But the update issue is probably something that would mean it’s less likely.

Do you have any concerns with console hardware being able to handle Elite: Dangerous‘ plans for planetary updates and outside-the-ship stuff?

We haven’t announced the details of what we’re doing on consoles yet, but the Xbox is a capable machine. It does some impressive things with some great games as you can see, but we’ll talk about those things as we announce the updates.

Thanks for chatting with us!

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rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

stkmks rioinsignia CR has indeed had to resort to various ways of saying “we don’t know right now” and being vague in his answers over the last few years. 
However, it’s one thing to say “I don’t know right now” during an alpha stage, but another to say it post launch in regards to what is obviously a major design consideration.  The two situations are quite different.  The former is certainly more understandable than the latter.
As for the 10ftc questions, they’ve admitted that they “cherry pick” them, for a multitude of reasons.  For instance, they sometimes use questions which have been answered before, so
that “newcomers” can hear the answers.  So it’s not really a case of the
community “trolling” CR.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

manzes rioinsignia Lol.  The king of trolls chooses to accuse people of “bullshit and propaganda” as well as a “lack of coherence and bias.”
Oh the irony.  Hypocrisy…thy name is manzes..
As for your accusations that I “never worry” about SC, such assumptions can sometimes make you look foolish….
Oh …too late ;)

manzes
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manzes

rioinsignia Always worried with E:D, never worried with SC.
http://selfdeprecate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/obama-laugh-300×200.jpg

djnesh
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djnesh

racccoon FFXIV PS4 port got them 1-1.5M new accounts so from the business side it’s a great idea. Not sure if XBOne will have same impact as they will be forced so segregate players due to MS policy tho.

djnesh
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djnesh

… “we’re looking to cross-platform play and we’ll see what we can do.”
Tough luck, as seen in previous cases MS policy do not allow cross play with another systems (AFAIK FFXI is the only cross platform play title there).

As for performance … that greatly depends on developer (and engine) not on hardware. Targeting known HW setup and not having to worry about 1000+ different combinations paired with no OS overhead (and ton’s of background junk running) can make engine that runs on the “less powerful” hardware even faster on the PC. FFXIV runs on PS4 on high without any problems BTW.

As one who is writing code from the time machines had 48Kb of memory with 3.5Mhz CPUs (and no gfx hardware at all) I can say that in the most of the cases one can code around most of the HW limitations. (First Elite was running on 1Mhz 6502 CPU with IIRC 32Kb BBC B).

There is no technical reason to have it running slower / worse gfx except developer “laziness” to optimize for the platform (we had same situation other way around at the time when lot’s of games where ported from consoles to PC).
Also, having a Euro Truck Simulator ;)  in space will not cut it at all for any platform IMHO. As much I love Elite franchise (played them all from the 1st one) this one do not have any content which will make me spend money on it (Evolve anyone) regardless of platform.

When they add content to the game (and MMO part) I may look at it again, as for now I think that my money is much better spend on something which has it even if it’s in early alpha (Repop, CU, Crowfall,…).

Walah
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Walah

racccoon

I’d rather be happy that devs can get business in many different areas. 

…..and I wouldn’t call any business lightside…

racccoon
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racccoon

No matter what these game devs say to get begging rights they always end up on the darkside of the console business. 
PC RULES & FU silly box’s

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

Syntho He said that the Xbox One exclusivity was time limited.

Syntho
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Syntho

Someone told me that he made a declaration on Twitter about making a ps4 version but slight later compared to xboxone. Is that true?

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

BalsBigBrother Cotic_OP EO_Lonegun

“If you would all kindly log off to let me finish up and then form an orderly queue behind me I would much appreciate it :-)”

  Hehe.