Archives for : Vingtetun

ECM 2020 – Postponement

In light of the latest information from the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer and with fewer than 4 weeks to go before this year’s ECM, unfortunately, we’re going to have to postpone the event.

The advice given is that social gatherings should now not happen to help ensure everyone stays safe and the burden on the NHS is kept to within safe limits to care for those that need it.

We are massively disappointed, but fully understand this decision.

What about my tickets?
We will, of course refund everyone the price of their ticket, though we have noted that a number of you want us to either retain their ticket price against costs or as a charitable donation in lieu of the funds we would have raised. We’ll look at that on a case by case basis, but the default option is that if we don’t hear from you, we’ll refund you as a matter of course. If you have questions, or want to get in touch, our address is and you can access our discord channel if you want to talk to any of the team.

What next?
We will be talking to the venue about the possibility of postponing the event and will look to keep it in the same location with their assistance.

At this stage, we don’t have an answer for this. Options are potentially to look later in the year should the situation improve, or maybe look for the same time next year. It is a massive time sink for the volunteers and finding a time of year when we’re all free to build all the awesome fun is a challenge, but one we’ll start working on shortly.

What about the raffle prizes and all the great things we’ve made/supplied?
The team will be looking to create a digital event on the date of ECM itself and we intend at this stage to open up the raffle to all those who had tickets and provide a few hours entertainment and a big giveaway for charity of all the wonderful creations. We’ll be talking to our sponsors and offering them the chance to be involved, showcasing their own products and joining in the fun, but at this stage we can’t make any promises.

The event costs
As it stands, other than individual costs for things created, we’ve paid a deposit to the venue and paid for event insurance (which unfortunately specifically excludes the current situation). It is our hope that we can renegotiate to carry that forward and not leave us with costs in the hopes of running ECM Take 2 in the future.

My hotel isn’t letting me refund/my travel costs aren’t letting me refund
Whilst we can’t help directly with these, anything we can do in terms of confirmation of the cancellation of the event to support you getting a refund, or helping persuade them to give you a credit against a future stay or future travel, of course we are happy to give you a copy.

Update from Premier Inn:
The update from Premier Inn is that Non-flex bookings will be refundable should you rebook an equivalent booking with the chain before october. Even if that booking is for a future date.
This means you do not need to panic about your non-flex bookings, even if they have passed and been charged. When you make your replacement non-flex booking (paying again), you email the references and details to the specific email address and they will process a refund on your original booking. Now hopefully this means you won’t need to spend hours on the phone like me and can instead wait for the pressure on call centres to pass with knowledge you should be covered.

Thank you one and all for the support you give the event – it’s built by the community and it’s the community spirit that will keep us going until the next one. In the meantime, watch out for notification of the “Virtual ECM” that we’re hoping to put together and hope as many of you as possible can join us, even if only for a few hours.

ECM 2020 Tickets nearly sold out!

With 53 days to go before the event itself, we’re down to our last handful of tickets available!

Our thanks to Frontier, HCS Voice Packs, Spidermind, Tinman Games & Jonas Event Technology for sponsoring us and supporting the event with content and epic items for the raffle.

Also – to the Elite community.  250 of you…. you’re epic and thanks for booking to come and join us.

We have no fewer than NINE commanders coming with VR rigs and demonstrations with them, including one attached to a full motion setup.  An XBOX CQC corner, huge “retro” gaming area including Frontier’s own back catalogue.  We have Drew Wagar (Elite tie-in author and self confessed lore nut), a collection of community streamers including Obsidian Ant.  We have a demo of a new Elite app, a twin stick FAOFF setup, the Docking Darts challenge, a chess competition to Spank the Hankey (we’ll explain on the day), Hutton Orbital LIVE, an enormous charity raffle and representatives from all sorts of player groups. Plus lots more….

Jon and Oliver from Spidermind are bringing Battlecards, EDRPG and their stand-out stand-up success project – the Level Up.

There’s ACHunt and his awesome ship schematics, Beetlejude and her stunning Elite artwork, John Vanillah and pirate captain Defoe Smith who are the talented voices behind a number of the parody songs broadcast on Hutton orbital radio over the years.  CMDR Evenstar will be there with his etching gear and making CMDR dog tags in return for charity donations.

14 of Frontier’s team are joining us and kicking back to have a laugh for the day, including Will, Stephen and Zac.  We’ll all be saying a sad farewell to Paige who is moving to pastures new, but still coming along to say g’bye to everyone.

Baz and Ali from SpecialEffect will be in attendance, as will a rep from Hearing Dogs – showing us where all the funds raised go and how they bring joy and much needed help to those that need it.

Lunch is sponsored by Frontier.  Dinner will be extra at your own cost should you want it – more on this later.

Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting content!

And then, it was done…..


27602259488_025beab92d_zFriday – the day arrived when it was time for the crew to set up.  The Glasgow Funbus containing Psykokow and the tech monkey Simoof left at silly o’clock for the south.  Down on the South coast, one car was being loaded with zombies and another with gaming rigs.  Elsewhere, commanders were boarding planes, packing their games and readying their very best geeky t-shirts.  We received a call from a courier – he had FIFTEEN Noblechairs to deliver for us (thanks Noblechairs!). We mustn’t forget Alvin. He boarded his chariot and asked the driver Snos to go get other people so he could have more minions to boss around.

We arrived at the venue sometime around lunch, met the manager (top chap), the lady from food & bar (crazy lady) and checked that we DID indeed have an Internet.  A whole one. Not just a damp piece of string, but a honest to Alvin high speed wired Internet.  What’s more, we had a 3 phase power supply we could step down to something usable and power the whole thing.


Afternoon, more and more of the volunteer setup crew arrived, from Jim B and his magic box of networking gear through to the Funbus and the audio and Fletch with the power gubbins. Bill arrived with the rest of the Artemis gear and much beavering away was done.

Quick break for dinner. Buffet all round?  yes?  What’s that? Commander Wotherspoon only had the soup?  The lady in charge of service pretended she hadn’t seen him…. Nope, no Wotherspoons here.

Then – finish rigging and some heavy gaming in the bar until…. 2ish.



The Day Itself

26601611867_8ca01fb9fc_zThe crew were down for breakfast 7.30 sharp (ok, apart from Fletch) to finish rigging everything, from 8 people started arriving with their own gear.  The Retro area took shape – 10 computers ranging from the late 70’s through to the 90’s.  Names such as BBC Micro, Spectrum, Amiga, TomyTronic, Grandstand plus classic arcades.  The multiplayer Gang Beasts screen was prepped and ready and then onward round the room past the PC’s (four more VR rigs, one indie demo game, a full SpecialEffect setup, the stage, the console corner with Team HOTBOX and their PS4 buddies, the ENORMOUS raffle table, Russ Pitcher and his Epic Etcher, Blastard with a Full Motion VR Rig, a Water Cooled shiny glowing beast of a computer from Dobbo and a pair of full VR rigs that you could walk around in.


Phew.  Oh, and then there were 10 tables of board games.  Plus another Indie Developer.




We opened, people rocked up and we did the obligatory fire notice “if you see the crew running screaming that way” <points at door> “best bet is to follow us”.

Then – we got down to some heavy socialising.


Before we knew it – LUNCH!  121 hungry gamers queued up patiently.  A few were sent to the back for attempting to blag seconds before everyone had had their firsts.  ATR response was stern with them.

This year we changed the format of the Quiz.  Thanks to the efficiency of the UK Customs operation, we’d received the buzzers for the quiz only SECONDS before we opened the event.  Unfortunately, Commander Wotherspoon’s voice had left the building, so we recruited stunt voices to read the news, so he didn’t have to.  First up was Jon from Spidermind Games (a.k.a. the dude from ED:RPG) who did a sterling turn as quizmaster for the contestants from Slough Remand Centre College and Frontier College Cambridge (no connection to Frontier Developments but it did have Paige as team captain).


Quick break for…. more Artemis then round 2, this time compered by the incomparable Baz from SpecialEffect (Ali loaned him to us).  Team HOTBOX took the crown on this one from a motley crew of allcomers from the audience.


More games. Round 3 of Quiz, the final! Soundly won by Slough College of Blowing things Up, captained by Kate Russell.  Hosted this time by celebrity guest star “The Galactic Intern” – also known as “Ed Lewis”.

The raffle


248 prizes

60 minutes until dinner

1 Steph Wyeth (the voice of the raffle for years)

5 helpers

15 seconds a prize

We managed – goodies were handed out to the audience (and a small trolley of them for one commander who threw silly amounts of money at charity) with 60 seconds to spare before service

Onward to pie, fish’n’chips (and for our vegetarians, some delicious Gnocci), Hutton Orbital LIVE! then our house band, the rather piratical Boarding Crew, joined by CMDR Splendour on bashy box bass – with a set including “Station’s on Fire”


Evening shenanigans

We “officially” closed at midnight, stripped half the room ready for a small conference coming in the morning then got down to some seriously heavy gaming.  Plus some Alien Isolation (Kate screamed quite loudly when she was eaten by a Xenomorph).  Last man standing went to bed at around 5am much to the relief of the bar staff.  There was pink gin by this point, probably because everything else had gone.

All in all – our thanks to everyone – and to sign off, I’m going to quote one e-mail we received:

Still recovering from THE amazingest weekend – The first (and still the best) convention of the year!

The most wonderful thing about ECM (Elite Community Meet) is the middle word – It is backed, organised(ish) and run by the Elite COMMUNITY.

Imagine some loonie (not me for once) posting a message that says to everyone on FB (and on THE forums): “Hey I’m chucking a HUGE party, wanna come?”

Except, it’s in a big empty room in a hotel. There’s not enough electric points, no network gear, no PC’s or consoles. If we’re lucky, there might be a few chairs and tables. Oh… and by the way, you’ll have to pay for the privilege, buy your own beer at the hotel, and pay for your own rooms.

Then some peeps say: We’ve got an AV and PA rig that we could bring… Someone else says: Me and a few mates have some consoles. A couple more say: We’ve got some OLD (like 8 bit) computers and consoles that we might be able to get working. Even more say: I’ll bring my gaming PC’s and let others play with my kit (including some awesome VR rigs). Then someone else just “happens” to have some LAN switches hanging around spare. Someone else has some 32amp 3 phase kit that can drop down to 13 amps, so we don’t blow all the gear up. Someone else says: You’ll need some music, me and a few mates (they’re in a proper band) will entertain you. And… And… And… LOADS of RPG and board and card games and ELITE:darts and a brilliant quiz and a live radio show and TONS more.

Those guys then spend months giving up their free time to organise a venue, ticketing, marketing, contacting companies to provide sponsorship and give us stuff to raffle off. Then you say: Let’s not make a single red cent from this gig… and give any money we make away to charities.

To EVERYONE that came along and made the ECM the wonderful little escape from reality that enables us to survive the real world…. Friends old and new. I hope we managed to shake hands, chat, hug, have a beer or even play together. If not, there’s always next year!

My eternal thanks to the original EliteMeet loonies who had this daft idea and have kept it running over the years. No names, no pack drill… You know who you are – You beautifully mad, totally bonkers bunch of dirty filthy mother tuckers!

Our thanks to our sponsors, Noblechairs, ED:RPG, Frontier Developments, HCS VoicePacks, Tinman Games, Jonas Events for helping us put on a wonderful day.  To all the volunteers, people who brought games and prizes for the raffle.  To all 160 of you, you’re a great crowd and…. if you want us to…. we might consider doing it again next year.

Links to “more stuff” you found at the event:

The ENTIRE 13 hour video of the event


Dr Sinister’s Gallery

Tinman Games

HCS Voice Packs


The Boarding Crew

Jupiter Hell

Realm’s Edge

Blastard’s VR Rig

The Art of Dave Charlton-Whitaker


Raffle box filling up nicely….

Some of you may have seen Arithon’s work on the Frontier Forums – we’re planning a little special something for the raffle prizes…. snippet below (Specially for Goose as we know he loves the Adder)
Also the usual collection of gaming gear, Hutton Truckers goodies, a few bits and bobs from Frontier and a few money can’t buy items already in the list!  More soon….






Content is filling up fast!

Commander Mindwipe just sent us a picture of the banners for the “Retro Vault” corner of the event


Commander Pom had the first trial run of Space Base commander last week


And we’ve had confirmation that Hutton’s own Pirate Band – “The Boarding Crew” – the voices behind one of Hutton’s parody songs will be popping along for the day and might even be bringing an instrument or two


Tickets are LIVE

E.C.M. 2018 (Formerly Elitemeet) Tickets are now live!

Details of hotel can be found at Our Accommodation page

Bag your place, come and play games, raise money for charity, meet fellow gamers!

There are options to join us for lunch, or dinner as well – and a special Sunday Event – the Hutton Pizzameet at the Pizza Express in reading. Just put PIZZA in the “notes to seller” if you’re coming along – pay on the day.