Thursday, March 3, 2011

GDC 2011: Elite Status

Part of the on-going Game Developers Conference is a series of lectures highlighting gaming's past. Yesterday's lecture featured David Braben, who along with Ian Bell developed the space trading game Elite for the BBC Micro computer in 1984, and multiple platforms soon after.

Elite was a watershed game, that laid the foundation for a genre now known as 4X: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate. Other entries into this field of games that followed in the space wake of Elite are: Star Control 2 (Accolade, 1992), X: Beyond the Frontier (1999), Freelancer (Microsoft, 2003), and EVE Online (Crucial, 2003).

Armed with a B&W wireframe graphics engine and the mathematical algorithms to create an almost endless number of galaxies to explore, Braben and his Elite proved the sky was definitely NOT the limit for computer games.

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