Frontier is the 1993 published successors of the computer game elite and predecessor of roofridge Encounters. As also with elite the player slips into the role of an owner of spaceship and can work from now on as space dealers, Pirat, head money hunters, mercenaries or Rohstoffsucher or explore also simply only space. Opposite the predecessor there are however numerous innovations: Thus a substantially more realistic play world presents itself, for the first time gives it complex solar systems to the player, like also our own. New it is also that one can land not only on space stations, but also on planets. In the course of the play the player can likewise change its spaceship. Further there are numerous new operation types as for instance transport of packages, passenger transport, military orders for clearing-up, assassination attempts or mining industry on Planeten.Ausserdem can one as a soldier to the service one of two competitive powers, the federation or the Imperium place and keeps with rising rank ever more dangerous, in addition, better and possibly even medal paid orders.
An outstanding characteristic of the play Frontier is the realistic simulation.
The simulated galaxy the Milky Way covers approx. 100.000.000.000 (100 billion) solar systems. Each of these systems possesses its own name and individual characteristics. There are systems with and systems with several Zentralgestirnen. For each star are indicated size, luminosity, mass and The planets circle on elliptical courses, it give it in different forms such as gas giants, substellaren objects or small Felsbrocken, their courses and rotation axles can against the ecliptic bent to be and them be able again moons to possess. In the closer environment star systems present are after the current astronomical data modelled, e.g. Vega, Barnards arrow star, wolf 359, Ross 128, Fomalhaut, rope Ceti or alpha Centauri.Unterschiede to the exist in the degree of detail, in the simulation of the remaining systems with a deterministic pseudo-random number generator and in the distribution of the systems, which are simulated in a flatter and even distribution, than this is actual in a spiral galaxy the case.
To the interplanetary flight the well-known physical laws over the force of gravity, inertia, acceleration and impulse apply. In order to accelerate a spaceship, the drive is activated. If one switches the drive off, the spaceship stops not, but maintains in accordance with the inertia its flight path. The flight path is naturally affected by the gravitation of the different heavenly bodies. The close-to-reality simulation makes it for the player possible to use even the Swing By method.
The physical laws find also for space stations application. Space stations are positioned at points of lying rank around a planet and produce by rotation the artificial force of gravity. For landing in a space station the pilot must adapt the rotation of its spacecraft to those to the station.
Even the temporal operational sequence is realistically simulated. The spaceships use an acceleration of some few G. a flight from the earth for the interplanetary flight to Mars take so several hours. In the play the player uses a time acceleration mechanism, in order to reduce the times on few seconds. This mechanism is avowed in the manual as time-feeling-changing drug, which is to the pilot in the spaceship at the disposal. This drug was developed, after numerous pilots steered their spaceships due to the boredom during the space flight into stellar objects to only experience in order finally times again something and so around the life came.
For the interstellar flight the spaceships have a hyperspace drive (see also fourth dimension), which produces a wormhole, which the pilot flies through subjectively in few seconds, objectively however within fewer days.
Even the combat simulation is very realistic. Since there is no sound-transferring medium in space, one can hear only the drive of the own spaceship, if turned on. Of other spaceships one does not hear drive. The audible noises of the hostile weapon systems are produced by the own on board computer. The spaceships are equipped with laser or plasma acceleration weapons. The laser beams spread with speed of light and accelerated plasma with sew on-ground speed of light out, these weapons show thus no noticeable delay.
In order to fight another ship, it is not sufficient to select a flight path which crosses the flight path of the other ship. Due to the different flight vectors and the inertia the ships would by-race together, without the pilots would see each other at all. Instead a flight path is to be selected, which adapts itself to the flight path of the other ship in such a manner that the ships receive approximately the same position and the same vector. Usually one uses in addition the autopilot.
Some players feel realism as exaggerated and difficult. Other players see straight in large realism a special attraction of the play.