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  1. You get the sequel to one of the most influential games in history, which is responsible for me being where I am today: hunting black holes for NASA ! Here's an attention-grabbing video that in typically British understated style, was used to announce the composer . The game is Elite Dangerous, and was funded by British Kickstarter in January 2012. Now that the first stages of alpha are out (if you backed to an insane level like me ), it's already looking better than this video. We have had the single player alpha out since mid December. Here is a video I made (and there are hundreds of others) in one of the combat scenarios (though I was just flying around) Stealth will be a big part; sound doesn't travel in space but heat is visible, so gattling guns are stealth weapons! Here is my video of a scenario where I have to pick off 3 ships in an asteroid field, while avoiding the gaze of a much more powerful ship The original ELITE was a revelation when it was released in 1984. At a time where we expected 3 lives and a score, and games lasting 10 minutes, ELITE gave us 8 galaxies and games that could last for weeks. ELITE was the first open world game; there was no particular story or goal, we started with a spaceship and 100 credits, and explored, struck deals, and fought off pirates (earning bounties) and forged a bloody path to wealth and glory. Those valiant few who made it to the ELITE combat rating could send off for special gold badges, so long as they had proof. Like No Man's Sky, ELITE was created by a small team (just two students at Cambridge University, David Braben an Ian Bell). Also like No Man's Sky, ELITE was a technical marvel: it gave us 8 galaxies containing 2000 stars, each with a planet to fly to, a space station to trade with, and its own indigenous life (though we never saw it). This was all rendered into wireframe 3D (another gaming first), and procedurally generated; galaxies were all produced from a single seed value, and beauty contests were held to make sure the player could fly everywhere, and no system had very rude names. Oh, and this was all crammed into just 22k (probably smaller than this postl). David Braben established Frontier Games and released two sequels in the 90's, ans there have been rumours of a 4th game for as long as I can remember. Then last year, when the UK Kickstarter opened, a little game called Elite: Dangerous got funded, breaking the record for the achieving the highest target ever: 1.25 million GBP (about $2 million). It's a space sim from the daddy of all space sims! Nearly 1 year on everything seems pretty much on track, and I have been consistently blown away with what they've come up with. The core game (you in a ship) is going through alpha right now, with multiplayer coming next week, followed by beta testing and a "gamma" phase where all backers get access to the game, and the final polish can be applied. Planetary landings and walking around stations etc. (No Man's Sky territory) will come as expansions as they want to do them properly. This new game will model the entire Milky Way galaxy (about 400 billion stars) using procedural generation and hopefully clever ways to keep things interesting. The local star map will be painted onto the sky, so you can travel to any star you can see. What is more crazy, the nearest 100,000 stars or so will be hand crafted to match what we know, and every known exoplanet will be included. We will make our way as explorers, traders, pirates, bounty hunters, miners... basically doing anything we please (there are no classes, but different occupations call for different types of ships). There will be a single evolving universe, where the concerted actions of players can alter the fates of worlds. What has been really great has been the "Design Discussion Forum", where committed (crazy) backers get to interact with the developers during many aspects of the design. I'm one of those crazy backers, and one of the most significant achievements of this forum was to change in-system travel between planets etc. from a points-of-interest, "room" model to free flight. The response was absolute genius. Once Frontier decides that the topics have been sufficiently discussed, then they go into the Design Discussion Archive, which is available to anybody who wants to see it. This new game has brought together a passionate and vibrant community who have set up podcasts (e.g., an audio drama (Escape Velocity, and a substantial number have pledged to write official fiction. The first game came with a novella, the Dark Wheel, and there has been a strong tradition of supporting fiction since. Everyone should check it out!