Well kiss our cultured grits: We've now lived to see the day in which the New Yorker has devoted an article to an MMO. The magazine commented on the techniques that Elite: Dangerous
is using to map out its replication of the Milky Way
Lead Developer David Braben
said that he is using actual astronomy to map out the in-game galaxy: "I wanted to make the galaxy as accurate as possible so that the results of that exploration would make sense to people. In the game, every single star in the real night sky is present, some hundred and fifty thousand of them, and you can visit each one."
Braben and his team drew from sky surveys and utilized procedural techniques to fill out sketchier sections that aren't as well-known. He said that the team had to add space dust to mimic the actual dust in space that obscures our view of much of the Milky Way.