Elite: Dangerous generates its galaxy with NASA data

    
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This was not actually complex.

Elite: Dangerous is a work of science fiction; that’s not under discussion. So as in all science fiction, the developers just created a galaxy by selecting random areas and dropping in planets or stars. By which we of course mean that the game has based as much of its space as possible on NASA data about what’s out there in the galaxy.

Obviously, NASA has only a picture of what’s present in a small portion of our galaxy. The game uses a bit of technology called Stellar Forge to take what data is available about points of the galaxy, however, and match it to in-game representations. So if you’re gliding through a system with four planets, one covered in ice and one a breathtaking gas giant, that’s meant to be as close as possible to what you’d see in the real world, assuming you could get there. Ain’t science grand?

In other Elite news, PC Gamer reports that space destruction derbies are back, so you can stop spamming Twitter with goat pictures now.

[Source: Gamesradar]
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Cotic_OP
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Cotic_OP

Obviously not everyone cares about the astronomy side of things but it’s pretty cool for those of us that like the idea of visiting something we can see in the night sky.

Kataq
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Kataq

LordOfBread Kataq Because exploring a galaxy that is as close to scientifically correct as possible is fun, a learning experience and feels like an actual achievement.

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

Kataq LordOfBread It´s cool to have the stuff correctly placed and makes for a nice headline, but how exactly does any of this make the game better? Is the game better with 2 billion instead of 1 billion maps? Could as well be “Infinite” variations

Kataq
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Kataq

LordOfBread Your response shows you have no understanding of the article (“randmized maps”), never mind the game itself.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Vikingr GoJammit Rheem Octuris Ah. I stand corrected.

schlag sweetleaf
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schlag sweetleaf

LordOfBread

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

yeah enough with the number crunching, no one cares. The initial buyers fell for the gazillion whatever random stuff they wrote on the box, now they start finding out there’s no actual gameplay behind the randomized maps. Cool marketing gag and no substance. Next stop Star Wars Battlefront

McSleaz
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McSleaz

Rustybladez Thats actually on my steam wish list, just haven’t bought it yet :)

Vikingr
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Vikingr

FlyinDutchman 
Yeah, I agree with most of what you say. But I’m optimistic about ED’s future because sooner or later they’ve added so much content that it can hold player’s interest. IMO Frontier need to add more exploration items, better and more complex mining, planet landings, planet real estate, player run space stations and factories, and, of course, insides of ships. Several of these are planned already so I’m not very concerned.
However, they have a long way to go before the game changes from shallow to rich in gameplay. It’s all in the details … thousands of details players can discover, do, work and interact with.

So far Frontier has focused primarily on getting the game released and converting it to more platforms. It’s the moneymaker’s must-do. Frontier has commitments towards its stock holders and investors to take care of.

Vikingr
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Vikingr

GoJammit Rheem Octuris
Frontier uses a number of established star catalogs (not just from NASA), including at least one with exo planets discovered until today.This means you can actually travel to one of the systems with exo planets and see them for yourself! Of course, they’re artistically made, but made from actual recorded data. It’s the closest thing we come today to see the newly discovered planets outside our own solar system.