Wednesday, May 23, 3304
OoC: About Elite
Elite was a seminal space combat and trading game in 1984, written by David Braben and Ian Bell for the Acorn BBC Microcomputer and published by Acornsoft. The complete game fitted in 22 kilobytes of memory, which was possible because of the procedurally generated universe.
Original Acorn BBC Elite
It was a highly original game, which had a great influence on computer game development. It was in several aspects the first or one of the first to have certain properties we find in many computer games that came after:
The game was ported to (or in some cases completely rewritten for) several computers of the era, including the ZX Spectrum, Commodore C-64 & Amiga, IBM PC, MSX, Apple ][, Atari ST, Amstrad/Schneider CPC, Acorn Electron & Archimedes, NES, and CP/M systems such as the Tatung Einstein.
Commodore-64 version of David Braben & Ian Bell's Elite, 1984-1985
Acorn Archimedes version of Elite by Warren Burch & Clive Gringras
Several versions of the game have been produced:
- Elite (1984)
- Elite II (unreleased)
- Elite-A (a.k.a. Elite III - late 1980s, released 1997)
- Elite Plus (MS-DOS, 1991)
- Arc Elite (1991)
Elite has been cloned many times, the most notable remake being the open source Oolite which has hundreds of expansion packs.
Oolite by Giles Williams and the Oolite Community
2. Frontier: Elite II
Frontier: Elite II was released in 1993 on Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and IBM PC. It was possible to seamlessly land on planets and its Newtonian mechanics allowed for manoeuvres like gravitational slingshots around planets.
Frontier: Elite 2 on Commodore Amiga
3. Frontier: First Encounters
F:FE (a.k.a. Elite III - again!) was published in 1995 for MS-DOS computers. It was the first game to use procedural texturing to generate the vegetation, snow and other features on the planet surfaces.
Frontier: First Encounters
FFED3DAJ is an updated version of F:FE for present-day computers:
4. Elite: Dangerous
Elite:Dangerous (a.k.a. the long awaited Elite IV) was Kickstarted in 2012 and is currently (October 2014) in Beta 2.
An overview of what the game is about and what it is intended to become is in "Elite Dangerous. The Beginning. Early Game Designs. 2014".