Senior Producer Q&A

Hi guys,

Earlier this week we asked you if you would like to put some questions to Frontier's Senior producer for Xbox One - Gary Richards!

We compiled a list of your questions and have the answers here for you here.



n o o d l z: Do you know what the odds are that we're going to see a wipe of our data from the game preview? What things are most at risk for getting wiped (e.g. I would think first discovery data would be difficult to merge with PC)?

As we add content like CQC to Elite Dangerous on Xbox One we’re going to have to reset some data, but because the Game Preview is longer than our usual PC beta tests we’re aiming to keep as much progression as possible. Discovery data and Powerplay status will be reset, but we’re looking to ‘cash in’ everyone’s ships and modules so you won’t lose your financial progress, and you’ll be able to re-spec with a whole different kind of ship if you’d like. Best of all, we plan to preserve all the Commander data, such as Rank, Credits, Progress to Elite, Xbox Hero Stats and Achievements throughout the Game Preview and even into the full game.


Smokeybuzz: What are your plans to improve the friends list integration with the game? Will we be able to easily form wings within a party?

Yes. We’re working hard to integrate the Xbox Friends List into Elite Dangerous to allow players to easily form wings and group together for CQC Championship matches.

pirate0r: Hi, I'm really enjoying the game preview version of Elite Dangerous! I was in the premium beta PC and have the lifetime expansion pass, I was wondering if there are any plans for a similar plan for xbox one or if that pass will be transferable?

The lifetime expansion pass was briefly available for players who were kind enough to back our Kickstarter in the very early days of Elite Dangerous and we’d like to keep that as a special thing exclusive to those players, like yourself. We have to conform to Xbox One pricing models so we can’t offer to transfer the lifetime expansion pass over to Xbox One, unfortunately.


tastyhotschmoes: Will FD consider incorporating any support for the kinect? Head looking, voice etc?

It’s sort of a ‘yes’! We’re looking to support voice chat via Kinect, as well as over the headset, but gestures and voice control aren’t in our immediate plans.


Sidvicc: Is Power Play fully operational on Xbox? I have not seen the timer tick down for the expansion/preparation/control missions (days remaining has been 0 for a number of days)

Powerplay is implemented on Xbox, but we’ve been testing a number of other backend systems during the first weeks of the Game Preview. We’ll be testing the first cycle of Powerplay very soon, and we’re interested to see whether Xbox players swing the same way as our PC and Mac players! 


CivGalnet: Are planetary landings and the ability to walk around going to come to Xbox, and if so will it come at the same time as PC?

I’d love to talk about our future plans, but I can’t answer this one for a while. Watch this space.


JagerBlaze: Will there be an in game voice chat, intuitive comms feature in this version of the game?

Yes. We’re working to bring voice chat as part of the CQC Championship update, which is coming very soon. Expect an announcement any minute!


Ben Ryder : Will you be able to bypass hull armour by selecting modules as targets?

Yes. Targeting subsystems will cause that subsystem to take damage as well as the hull.


wstephenson: Given that PC/Mac and console players will not be interacting in moment to moment play, only via the shared universe, how do you feel about tweaking the moment to moment game balance to better meet console players' needs and play styles? Things like AI difficulty; response to player bounties; mission, USS and RES spawn rates; death penalty/rebuy cost and flight models could be made more arcadey, for example.

We believe tailoring the galaxy for a perceived type of gamer isn’t in the spirit of the game. Elite Dangerous is Elite Dangerous, and each version – PC, Mac, Xbox One – is just another way to access that experience. 

But bringing Elite Dangerous to Xbox One gave us the opportunity to develop CQC, and we’d rather offer options like that for players who prefer a faster, more instant experience than make changes to the open galaxy. We felt CQC suited the console play style, but even then we’re bringing CQC to PC and Mac, because those players exist in huge numbers there, too.


Spiff: Can we get customizable HUD? Add/remove components, change colors, set screens to auto-focus on a particular tab when switching to a specific panel, etc.

We’ve heard this request a number of times, and we’re listening. We’ve seen some amazing HUD colour schemes hacked together on PC and Mac, but putting HUD colours on a simple in-game slider requires some code re-wiring that’s not entirely arbitrary. It’s something we have on our list, though.


Lakehouse: when is it likely we are going to see the alien race turn up?

*Ahem* Frontier Developments categorically denies reports of alien life in the Milky Way.

(Personally, I want to believe. Nothing to reveal right now!)


diddycarter: Will there be a founders type status for us Xbox one owners of the game?

We’re looking at a number of ways to recognise players who joined us during the Game Preview, certainly. We’ll have more to say about this soon. Suffice to say: if you join us now, you’ll be recognised for it. 


Dictatus1: Why does this game not exist in the Microsoft store if you're in Sweden? Why cannot I purchase this game if I am Swedish? Do you have some secret grudge against Swedish people?

We love Sweden. We have nothing against the great people of Sweden. We will be bringing Elite Dangerous to Sweden and the whole of Scandinavia with the release of the CQC Championship update during the Game Preview Program. Also: Congratulations on winning Eurovision. 


BO55 VXR: Will there be a full-feature "Smart Glass" app to be able to control ship functions without a three-finger salute on the game pad?

We plan to support the SmartGlass virtual keyboard to speed up text entry, but a dedicated app isn’t among our plans right now.


xrem: How many bugs have been raised specifically for the xbox version (and what kind of severity)? I'm interested in the value of the beta test program in regards to consoles - as to whether console gamers just expect the game to work, or whether they do actually provide added value to the test process.

We are finding the Xbox Game Preview to be immensely useful. We had press ask at E3 whether console gamers were prepared for a ‘true beta,’ but all our feedback suggests everyone understands it just fine. The Dev Team gets a daily digest of items raised on the forums or via our Customer Services team ranging from blocking issues to simple UI changes to make the menu options clearer. Those issues are scheduled alongside ongoing development to help ensure we are focusing on making a great user experience.


Eggsavier: Will there be any flight stick support or voice attack for Xbox one?

We would love to support a flight stick on Xbox One, but it doesn’t exist! You’ll have to contact your favourite stick manufacturer about this one. 


Guywired: When/Will we be able to purchase ship skins from the XBL store?

Paintjobs are absolutely planned for Xbox One and will be purchased via the Xbox Marketplace. They’re coming soon.


Lock: I'd like to know if you'll give us a way to manually reconfigure joypad commands, as some combinations are not good for everyone.

We’ve tried to build a control scheme that works for everyone and offer enough customisation to support most preferences, but we’re aware that some players can have accessibility issues and we’re taking feedback on that. Any suggestions, let us know.


Johnnylebong: Never played this up until I downloaded the trial. Loved it, gonna pre order it! Just wondering how long I'll have to wait for it?

A softball question to end! You can play RIGHT NOW by buying the Game Preview version of Elite Dangerous for Xbox One for £24.99, and when we release the full game your Game Preview version will be updated to the full game at no extra cost. 

Thanks so much for your questions, everybody. The Xbox team put in a lot of late nights and long hours to bring Elite Dangerous to Xbox and to make CQC possible. We’re really glad people are enjoying it and care enough to ask about it on the forums. 

Fly Safe and Right on, Commander,