Elite: Dangerous will have variations when it comes to station designs, according to Frontier Developments, and this will be accomplished through “procedural algorithms” which will construct stations out of “a range of modular assets.”
The developer said this would allow for “a wide range of possible station designs,” and allowing it to make the most of its library assets.
According to the latest newsletter, posted by Massively, the modular approach will allow players to watch stations expand over time or as a response to player-driven events.
“Beyond designs for more conventional stations, we also plan to have a few specialist station types that fulfill specific roles; each constructed using their own sets of rules and modules,” states the newsletter. “This will help to establish some stylistic differences between the stations, which will make it easier for players to define what the role of one is upon approach.”
Frontier said station designs need to be “structurally feasible, and make sense practically,” and one of the ideas the team is exploring is the concept that a station “does not need to be a single structure, but can have multiple satellite components around a central structure, linked only by rapid transport routes.”
“This idea is not only plausible but would offer the Elite stations a unique aesthetic that would be visually striking,” it was said. “As stations are such a huge part of the game, the aesthetic direction that we choose is not a decision that we’re going to rush.
“We have literally hundreds of ideas at this point for what we want to do with this area of the game, our task now is to choose what we believe will be the best ones for a new Elite.”
Other topics of note in the newsletter touch upon designing a docking cylinder, constructing stations through the Event System, building a Federal Battle Cruiser, gravity, and more.
Elite: Dangerous is expected on PC in March 2014 and Mac a few months after that.