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Braben on Elite Kickstarter: "I was a little nervous"

Veteran British developer David Braben has admitted to being a "little nervous" at around the midway point of his Kickstarter campaign for Elite: Dangerous and doubted if it was "the right thing to have done". The space-epic sequel eventually met its Kickstarter target of £1.25m, raising £1.58m in total.

Speaking to Gamasutra, David Braben has revealed that he was nervous that the Kickstarter for Elite: Dangerous wouldn't meet its £1.25m target and concedes that the criticism that his original pitch contained "too little prepared material" was a fair one.

The Kickstarter for Elite: Dangerous ended successfully, hitting its target with two days to spare and earning £1.58m in total. The additional funding has ensured that a Mac release will take place a few months after the PC launch.

Speaking of his experience of Kickstarter, Braben said "I started off confident, but in the middle I was a little nervous. All Kickstarter campaigns that are eventually successful seem to have a similar shape, so I was hopeful there would be an upturn at the end."

Speaking of the criticism elicited by the original Kickstarter pitch for Elite: Dangerous, Braben added, "I think one criticism was fair - that we went into our campaign with too little prepared material. We were going to have a video, but ended up doing an exclusive video with Rory Cellan Jones of the BBC so our video was delayed a little."

"It is strange but with Kickstarter there is a difficult balance between it being a way to start a project (and so you would have nothing) to requiring finished quality material in order to do the pitch (and so be almost finished)."

It worked out for the veteran developer in the end, though, and he admits to learning a valuable lesson.

"The biggest lesson I have learned is the level of engagement from the fans is vital. I have really enjoyed talking to the people on the comments pages, on Reddit, and privately. It can be hard work, but it is heart-warming, and as a rule people were very positive and supportive."

The PC version of Elite: Dangerous is expected early next year. It will feature some 100 billion procedurally generated star systems.

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Elite Dangerous

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

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Stace Harman