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25yrs of Elite, now 40yrs


DarkOne
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Can't believe I didn't post something on this before now. But since I came across this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8261272.stm I thought I should post something. Nevermind the fact that I feel very old knowing that I played this in 1984 🙂 But for people to still be talking about Elite and it's sequels today is a testament to its ingenuity and creativeness that put this classic epic game in just 22-25k of space.

The Elite franchise is one of the most remade games on the web and some day we should see another Elite. Can't wait to see what comes next in this saga....? Here is the BBC article.

 

Quote:

Gaming milestone for Elite game

By Daniel Emery

Technology reporter, BBC News

Taking a flight around the 1984 game with co-developer David Braben

The classic computer space-trading game Elite has celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Elite was released on 20 September 1984 for the BBC Microcomputer and was one of the first games to use 3D graphics.

Many developers regard the title as the forerunner of many modern games and have described it as a "milestone".

David Braben, who co-developed Elite, confirmed that his company, Frontier Developments, were working on a sequel to the game.

"We'd be mad not to go back to the world of Elite and I'm very excited about it," he told BBC News.

However, he would not be drawn on a possible release date saying it would happen "when its ready".

Elite game tape box

The original game was co-developed by Mr Braben and Ian Bell and was an overnight hit, selling hundreds of thousands of copies and influencing game development for years.

Elite was one of the first open-ended games, spanning eight vast universes, where the only real goal was to increase a player's reputation rating from "Harmless" to "Elite".

Mr Braben said that they never set out to write a commercial game, but wrote something that they themselves would want to play.

"This was a game we wrote many years ago for an ancient computer called the BBC Micro.

"We did this while we were at university and never expected it to be popular, let alone such a life-changing event," he added.

Ian Livingstone, creative director at games firm Eidos, said Elite was a "milestone in gaming history".

"This was one of the premier British titles that put UK development on the map and was very influential in inspiring people to get into gaming," he told BBC News.

Compact code

However, Mr Braben said that the pair originally had some difficulty finding a publisher, despite the game being popular with their friends.

He said that the game was so different from traditional coin-operated games, not least because Elite did not actually have a score, that most publishers rejected it.

"They just didn't get it, they wanted a high score and they wanted players to have three lives," he said.

The game was eventually published by AcornSoft, the software arm of Acorn computers, which produced and manufactured the BBC Microcomputer . It is estimated that Acorn eventually sold more copies of Elite than its Microcomputer.

Elite did many things differently from other titles of that era. It was player, rather than story driven, lacked a final end point (other than getting your player an Elite rating) and required gamers to use their imagination.

"We didn't want a menu, such as you would find in a role-playing game, to determine what sort of person you were," said Mr Braben.

"In Elite, you can do lots of different roles, but it is driven by your actions within the game, he said.

Mass market computers were still in their infancy in 1984, with computers capable of four-channel sound, sixteen colours and little in the way of storage or memory.

"The BBC Micro only had 32k of memory, but out of that came the screen and machine use, so Elite had to fit into 22k which is less than most emails these days," said Mr Braben

"We crafted every single byte and would work for hours just to free up three or four bytes so we could put in a new feature or ability.

"That level of concentration on things have been lost today when you have things that are many megabytes or even gigabytes in size," he added.

Mr Livingstone said Elite was as influential on videogame development as Monopoly was on board game development.

"These classics only come along every now and again and you never forget them; they help define the genre," he said.

This topic was modified 6 months ago by Pinback

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Pinback
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Theres a tv documentary about the game here,but take some of the claims with a pinch

of salt.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 5786&hl=en

Just been over the X3 forum and its quit laughable whatching the X3 fanboys trying to justife the

x games against the 25 year old Elite. 😆


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Stardreamer
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lol, it's so obvious that Egosoft took Elite apart and reassembled it in just enough of a different way to avoid getting sued but in doing so actually came up with a lesser product that only grants you access to its shiniest features if you devote yourself to the utter tedium of becoming an Industrial-scale capitalist. It restricts you in so many ways compared to Elite it's not even funny.

Let me qualify that statement by saying I have every iteration of the X series on my shelf apart from the last one - Terran Conflict. I've spent MONTHS in the X universe but there always comes a point whereupon I have exhausted the map, the combat, the trading and can only see hours and hours of yawn-inducing capitalism stretching out in front of me, so I give up, usually long before even reaching the point of owning an M1 class battleship. With Terran conflict I was interested...but ultimately couldn't bring myself to start all over for, like, the fourth time with no hope of getting any further than my previous attempts. Good fun while it lasted but a proper sequel to Elite would bring its many flaws screaming into the light of day. I'm quite glad there won't be another one.

But fanboys will be fanboys...bless 'em. 🙂


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Pinback
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Stardreamer wrote:
lol, it's so obvious that Egosoft took Elite apart and reassembled it in just enough of a different way to avoid getting sued but in doing so actually came up with a lesser product that only grants you access to its shiniest features if you devote yourself to the utter tedium of becoming an Industrial-scale capitalist. It restricts you in so many ways compared to Elite it's not even funny.

But fanboys will be fanboys...bless 'em. 🙂

Total agree with that.

Its amazing that you can still do things in Elite which you cannot do X3 like fly around

the planets goto the sun and sundive for fuel.

Seeing how Braden seems to be getting all the all accolades for Elite heres the link

to Ian Bells site.

http://www.iancgbell.clara.net/elite/

you can download all the different version of Elite there,but you may

need to google for better emulator.

D1 As he not mentioned anything about the 25 anniversary on his site it might be worth

dropping him an email.Iam sure we all be interested in his thought about the game.

just found this tv ad on youtube for Elite

Great voiceover. 😆


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DarkOne
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PINBACK wrote:
D1 As he not mentioned anything about the 25 anniversary on his site it might be worth

dropping him an email.Iam sure we all be interested in his thought about the game.

Well sent Ian an email and with any luck I will get a response or he'll stop by SSC and say hello 🙂 Would be great to have a legend stop into lil ole SSC.


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Pinback
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Ive been playing a bit of Elite on the emulator.now I seem to have got better at docking or theres

something wrong with the emulator. 😀


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DarkOne
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Or you have gotten better over the past 25yrs Pinback... you have lots of practice 🙂

Well... I got a bounce back email for Ian Bell's address at ibell@ibell.co.uk. Guess this one is invalid. If someone has a valid email address I will try again.


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Pinback
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The pair of them are going to be at a sin dig next month

http://gamecity.org/

So we might be some news then?.


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classyk
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I hope it's OK to resurface an old thread but... it's the 40th anniversary of Elite!

The Register have a pretty good article about it, including a new interview with Ian Bell.

Also if people are interested in a really deep dive into how the game was made, one of my favourite websites of the last few years is this project to fully document how each line of code in the original BBC Micro Elite works.

In a 100 years they'll still be talking about Elite.


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Pinback
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Holy crap 40 years!!!!!!!!!.

Funny how that has stirred a memory as I remember a friend going on about this game called Elite that he was playing on his Acorn Electron and nice to hear something from Bell.  

I changed the thread title as well.

This post was modified 6 months ago by Pinback

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