ANNOUNCEMENT Odyssey: Update on VR and Ship Interiors

It's worth pointing out that all ships in SC can (or will) be able to be bought in game. The dollar price is a shortcut / grind cutout only.

It's also worth pointing out that without a decent crew, a single seat fighter in SC is capable of WRECKING the larger ships in short order. They are not designed to be flown solo. Still, the whales buy them.

I'm in on SC - kickstarter backer, have pre-bought a space van (Constellation Taurus, pretty much equivalent to a Python I think) I bought with lifetime hull insurance so I always have it to get a start on in trading etc. I also have well in excess of 6,000 hours in Elite, have bought in on Odyssey etc. I've spent similar amounts of money on both (cosmetics and paintjobs for the FC and my favourite ships in Elite).

The two games have always been aiming at fairly similar targets, the approach has been different.

Oddly, SC has gone for a more simulation based approach in some regards (the physicality of pretty much everything) which means it's pretty much a glorified tech demo that may or may not evolve into a fun game. Some things make sense to me to include in a game, some are just, well, bleeding edge for bleeding edge's sake it feels, but that was an option presented to SC's customer/backer base and the vast majority went with allowing/encouraging CIG to see what they could push. It has, from an ex-games dev's point of view, certainly been interesting - embedded facial capture, physics grid interlinking and their initial attempts at describing a flexible server meshing mechanism (which still isn't working, some years later). Some bits (when they work correctly) are INSPIRED pieces of game dev. Atmospheric, fun, exciting. Drop dead gorgeous stuff.

Elite attempts to concentrate on gameplay relevance and stability with major releases but honestly often falls flat as the underlying systems (or procedural asset bases) just aren't complex enough so some things that you might expect to be easy, just aren't. FDev have to date avoided really incremental development of systems or indeed replacement of systems which are obstructive to further development (which CIG's perpetual alpha / early access approach allows for much more easily) but that has left some things apparently rather kludgy overall - and MUCH more apparent with the release of Odyssey. In particular here, the tie between player and ship/vehicle seems to be causing issues. Visually Elite is last / current gen. That's not a bad place to be, and with a consistent art style overall that takes advantage of that it's potentially a major benefit to the game. If everthing looks 'gamey' then there's no need to push to photorealistic characters or try to avoid uncanny valley since the uncanny valley is where we pretty much want to be. Odyssey has brought Elite down to alpha level though. There are things broken that should not be broken in a live game, and as I mentioned, there are things that definitely seem to be working in a way that will preclude further development toward the pitch made in the kickstarter for Elite. It's looking like a major refactor or rewrite of the game (front and back end) from top to bottom is needed to open things up and keep the project alive.

That's not necessarily a problem. If there's one thing that CIG / SC has proven it's that space game fans are for the most part patient, and moreso when the communication line is open. But the question arises: would that be the end of Elite: Dangerous, and rise of Elite V, or would FDev bite the bullet and roll one into the other (likely moving to a more microtransaction (or indeed transaction) based funding model)?
 
It's worth pointing out that all ships in SC can (or will) be able to be bought in game. The dollar price is a shortcut / grind cutout only.

It's also worth pointing out that without a decent crew, a single seat fighter in SC is capable of WRECKING the larger ships in short order. They are not designed to be flown solo. Still, the whales buy them.

I'm in on SC - kickstarter backer, have pre-bought a space van (Constellation Taurus, pretty much equivalent to a Python I think) I bought with lifetime hull insurance so I always have it to get a start on in trading etc. I also have well in excess of 6,000 hours in Elite, have bought in on Odyssey etc. I've spent similar amounts of money on both (cosmetics and paintjobs for the FC and my favourite ships in Elite).

The two games have always been aiming at fairly similar targets, the approach has been different.

Oddly, SC has gone for a more simulation based approach in some regards (the physicality of pretty much everything) which means it's pretty much a glorified tech demo that may or may not evolve into a fun game. Some things make sense to me to include in a game, some are just, well, bleeding edge for bleeding edge's sake it feels, but that was an option presented to SC's customer/backer base and the vast majority went with allowing/encouraging CIG to see what they could push. It has, from an ex-games dev's point of view, certainly been interesting - embedded facial capture, physics grid interlinking and their initial attempts at describing a flexible server meshing mechanism (which still isn't working, some years later). Some bits (when they work correctly) are INSPIRED pieces of game dev. Atmospheric, fun, exciting. Drop dead gorgeous stuff.

Elite attempts to concentrate on gameplay relevance and stability with major releases but honestly often falls flat as the underlying systems (or procedural asset bases) just aren't complex enough so some things that you might expect to be easy, just aren't. FDev have to date avoided really incremental development of systems or indeed replacement of systems which are obstructive to further development (which CIG's perpetual alpha / early access approach allows for much more easily) but that has left some things apparently rather kludgy overall - and MUCH more apparent with the release of Odyssey. In particular here, the tie between player and ship/vehicle seems to be causing issues. Visually Elite is last / current gen. That's not a bad place to be, and with a consistent art style overall that takes advantage of that it's potentially a major benefit to the game. If everthing looks 'gamey' then there's no need to push to photorealistic characters or try to avoid uncanny valley since the uncanny valley is where we pretty much want to be. Odyssey has brought Elite down to alpha level though. There are things broken that should not be broken in a live game, and as I mentioned, there are things that definitely seem to be working in a way that will preclude further development toward the pitch made in the kickstarter for Elite. It's looking like a major refactor or rewrite of the game (front and back end) from top to bottom is needed to open things up and keep the project alive.

That's not necessarily a problem. If there's one thing that CIG / SC has proven it's that space game fans are for the most part patient, and moreso when the communication line is open. But the question arises: would that be the end of Elite: Dangerous, and rise of Elite V, or would FDev bite the bullet and roll one into the other (likely moving to a more microtransaction (or indeed transaction) based funding model)?
I love mining, so I was interested in the Argo Mole, but I also liked the look of the Constellation explorer.

I just don't know if I can afford to spend any money, and my hard drives are already pretty full of stuff... so I don't know if I have the necessary hardware.

As someone who loves being immersed in the setting, even if it's just my ship, Star Citizen is hitting all the right notes for me... based on what I've seen in videos, which are clearly not objective at all. So, I don't believe I'll dip into that yet... but it's bouncing around my head now.
 
Greetings Commanders!

We hope you enjoyed our first dev diary release and stream. It was our pleasure to bring you the latest news on Odyssey and needless to say we can't wait to share more info around further locations, missions, combat and more in further episodes over the coming months.

We are aware that there are a lot of questions across the community and while we will be bringing a more detailed FAQ for these very soon we felt it was right to update you on a couple of the most discussed topics in the Elite Community at this time, specifically around VR in Odyssey, and ship interiors.

VR and Elite Dangerous Odyssey

We understand that our VR players are keen to know more about how the transition and gameplay will work in Odyssey in VR. With that in mind, we would like to share our current plan for how that will work.
In Odyssey, players will be able to fly down to planets, fly through atmospheres and drive along planet surfaces in their SRVs - all while remaining in VR.

When disembarking your ship or SRV, players will be presented with a projected flat game screen in their VR headset in order to continue on foot. Players will of course be able to remove headsets if they so choose, but this will not be a requirement to continue your adventure.

There will be no requirement to boot between Horizons and Odyssey in order to continue your journey.
We understand that VR is a big part of Elite Dangerous and is a feature that holds a dedicated and passionate community. However, we do strongly believe that VR should only be enabled for on foot gameplay when we have an experience that truly matches the same quality bar that we set for cockpits. That said, we do hope that this implementation will allow our VR players the best possible transition between their VR experience and exploration on foot.

Ship Interiors

Another topic we know players keen for more information on is around ship interiors, and we wanted to clarify our current position on this.

While Odyssey will see players explore a wide range of on and off world locations including station interiors, ship interiors will not be included at launch.

We understand that the bond between Commander and starship is incredibly strong and know this will disappointing news for some. However, we believe it is right to invest our development time in locations and features which offer the most meaningful experience and gameplay for all players. Rest assured that Odyssey will offer a great variety of long requested locations to explore, both on land and in space, which we'll be sharing more details around very soon.

As always, we value and appreciate your passion and feedback and cannot wait to share more with you.

-Arf

Is an in game keyboard in scope for VR so not to break the immersion.
 
I own both SC and Odyssey.

Both I have owned since their kickstarters.

One is perpetual alpha and the other just dropped to alpha.

Both are beautiful graphically and both are just as buggy.

Ships in Elite cost credits and they do alot, while ships in SC cost real money, but you can't do much. SC ships have walk around interiors while Elite ships have visible cockpit area's.

Both SC and Elite have shallow content.

Elite I have built quite a fleet and credits. SC is just a sandbox I wasted too much money on.

Which one? Elite was my first computer game in 1984 with many hours of fun and memories.
 
I own both SC and Odyssey.

Both I have owned since their kickstarters.

One is perpetual alpha and the other just dropped to alpha.

Both are beautiful graphically and both are just as buggy.

Ships in Elite cost credits and they do alot, while ships in SC cost real money, but you can't do much. SC ships have walk around interiors while Elite ships have visible cockpit area's.

Both SC and Elite have shallow content.

Elite I have built quite a fleet and credits. SC is just a sandbox I wasted too much money on.

Which one? Elite was my first computer game in 1984 with many hours of fun and memories.
I hear that. Back when I was looking at buying one of the two, I ended up choosing Elite more for the nostalgia than anything.

Indeed, one of my favourite moments was when I returned to Lave for the first time. It felt truly epic, returning "home" after 30 years.
 
I'm pretty much in the same boat as @Paul Eddington. Didn't back Elite at kickstarter/LEP stage, kind of wish I did as it wasn't really that much in the scheme of things. SC was cheaper at the time... but I've got tens of thousands of hours in Elite (from the original through F:E2, FFE and ED/Horizons/Odyssey).

You can grind for the entry level mining ship (mole I think) in the SC alpha in a reasonably short time if you run decent missions/trade routes (when/if the trading is working at the time). I've not actually played in a few patches, really should check it out, apparently the gas giant landing zone is dropping soon which could be interesting, especially if they rehash the racecourse there.

I disagree that you can't do much in SC - I think you can do 'more' than in Elite, but in a much, much more constrained space. The gameplay is much more 'immersive' - you definitely feel like a person, not a ship/business manager. But that's come with a massive development overhead. There are things being simulated which are borderline insane for a game project in my view. Conversely, Elite's ship-centric model definitely seems to be biting it in the butt right now.

As ever, Elite and SC are approaching the same target from different directions I think. One is historically overdeveloping and struggling under its own complexity to achieve feature stability, the other is underdeveloping and is built of oversimplified layers kludged together that at any point can't quite achieve the vision of the next stage.

It's worth saying if you're thinking of looking at SC that it's very, very resource-hungry. You absolutely need a decent rig (good CPU, 32Gb RAM, plenty VRAM and a chonky GPU), and critically, you really must install it on an SSD. Be prepared to spend a good amount of time fiddling with the config, too. They're really not bulling when they say it's alpha. It's interesting, can be fun, can be impressive, has some (mostly) stable gameplay loops, but it's not a full product yet. So, sort of like Odyssey cranked to ultra with more features in a single system.
 
Didn't they say next tuesday, or was that about something else? ...or answers, rather than questions. by tuesday, perhaps?
 
The decision not to commit to implementing ship interiors and on-foot VR anywhere down the line and after all fixes, even in a phased approach as has been suggested for both (step one being VR headcam on-foot, and just cockpits for interiors), is probably a good indicator of where immersion ranks in Frontier's current vision for the game, and by extension, an indicator of how much they've misunderstood the true appeal of this imagination-driven sim.
 
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Can someone clarify if VR is unsupported in the game from now on or is it just unsupported in the FPS section of Odyssey?

Are future expansions/DLC etc not going to have VR support?
Are FD going to support new headsets when they become available?
Are FD going to fix any issues which arise with VR in the future?

Is what we have now all we are going to get?
 
Can someone clarify if VR is unsupported in the game from now on or is it just unsupported in the FPS section of Odyssey?

Are future expansions/DLC etc not going to have VR support?
Are FD going to support new headsets when they become available?
Are FD going to fix any issues which arise with VR in the future?

Is what we have now all we are going to get?

There is no stated intention to remove existing VR functionality. Any more info than that would just be a guess.
 
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