Is this another 'nerds pay for name' thing?
The original Elite was notable only due to the primitive nature of gaming at the time.
All games are compared to their contemporaries. Elite was technically very impressive and had gameplay that was innovative for 1984.
Frontier was better in a lot of ways
The combat in Frontier was much less playable / fun than in Elite. It tried to be realistic and most people do not find realistic space combat fun.
but First Encounters literally never worked
Not during its original release history no but it has since been patched to a fairly decent state by fans.
Elite to me means awful combat, reams of fluff and no context.
I don't know what 'context' is supposed to mean.
And in that market, X already exists!
Why, do you think Firaxis will be remaking Xcom : Interceptor next?
Oh man planetary surfaces! Like that stuff in FE that never worked and was game irrelevant!
The planetary surfaces were in Frontier and worked fine (within the limitations of early 90s technology). What failed hard in FE was the plot missions, which were clearly tacked on at the end and never finnished.
Braben still clueless about game design etc etc.
He is more of a simulator programmer than a game designer. I am actually not that bothered by this if he was actually capable of completing a project.
Okay, add "worthlessly and entirely meaningless planetary surface modeling" to the list of shit I want them to stop doing.
No. Because modelling planets is not a problem on its own. Frontier & FE frankly had awful space combat, but immersion in a (relatively) realistic universe turned out to be a huge draw for many players. Things had realistic scales and the universe didn't just stop at low orbit the way other space games did. More expedient developers would chunk in a simple Mass Effect 1 style terrain renderer and call it a day, which would be fine. The problem with modelling planetary surfaces is the siren song it represents to OCD developers such as Braben, who will say 'the surface must look at least as good as Just Cause 2' and spend a year just writing the perfect procedural alien city generator... then wonder why the project failed.
I find it amusing that you want it to look like the concept art when that is ridiculously close range for any sort of even vaguely realistic combat. In Frontier & FE you spent most of your time shooting at tiny dots. I believe the Starkism for this is 'RADAR SIMULATOR LOL'.
I want to play a space game to be in space and play a game about space, not to land my space ship on a planet. There's lots of games on planets.
There are already plenty of space games you can play. There are about ten Elite 1 clones on Xbox Live Indie Games alone. If
the goal here is to make a next-gen Frontier / First Encounters, then that's fine, because no one else is doing that. I can appreciate immersion and exploration and flying around a well-realised virtual space, hardly any games give you that any more so I can forgive poor gameplay. I just don't think this project is likely to actually release a next-gen Frontier, certainly not on schedule. If
the goal is to make a next-gen Elite 1, then that's more of a problem, because Elite 1 has been cloned hundreds of times and the bar has been raised a great deal since Braben last released anything. An Elite 1 style game does hang on gameplay and as Stark said there doesn't seem to be anyone on the team qualified to design it, certainly not when graphics get the focus in the pitch.
Does he seriously want me to sit through the entire affair of my ship landing on planetary surface? Why would I want to do that anyway?
Ok, you don't care, go play Privateer instead. I'm sure you don't want to fly a 747 from New York to London in real time either, but a surprising amount of people pay good money for that.
Although that said planetary/atmospheric missions/objectives can actually add a lot to even a combat-focused arcadey game. Starglider II and Epic (contemporary with Frontier) both illustrated this, but again I don't trust Frontier Developments ability to design compelling missions. The closest they got in Frontier was 'shoot a missile at a dot on the planet'.
P.S. The backer rewards on this project are horrible and demonstrate that Braben does not understand the concept of Kickstarter at all. You have to pay 75 GBP just to access the 'backer forums'. The only rewards other than the game itself are 'get a horribly buggy beta/alpha copy a little earlier and be an unpaid tester for us' and 'get your name entered into our procedural generator somewhere'.