My Life With Elite: Celebrating a Classic Videogame

My Life With Elite: Celebrating a Classic Videogame

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GameCity and the National Videogame Archive in the U.K. have announced My Life With Elite, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the influential space trading game that will include presentations, celebrity appearances and even some origami.

Elite was released in 1984 for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron personal computers, eventually finding its way to numerous other systems including the Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari ST, IBM PC and even the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game featured advanced three-dimensional wireframe graphics and open-ended gameplay, and is now recognized as one of the most influential games of all time, having a visible impact on everything from Wing Commander: Privateer to EVE Online.

Now, in recognition of that influence, comes My Life With Elite, a series of events being held on October 28 as part of the GameCity festival in Nottingham, taking place from Oct. 27-31. The event will be opened by Lord David Puttnam, a politician and film producer, who will talk about the "influence and impact of British creative work throughout the world" over the past quarter-century, after which the National Videogame Archive will introduce the audience to the world of Elite.

All the "key players" in the creation of Elite will contribute to the event, including co-creator David Braben, who said, "I look forward to meeting everyone. This should be a fantastic and fun celebration." Of particular interest to fans will be the reconstruction of the "lost origami" models, a series of plans for making paper models of the Elite starships that was intended to be included with the game. That idea ultimately fell through but the original origami artist, Mark Bolitho, is working with GameCity to recreate the designs and offer them to the public, who will be encouraged to make their own Elite ships for inclusion in a hangar-sized "Elite Paper Universe."

At the end of the event, sci-fi author Robert Holdstock will read from his novel The Dark Wheel, which was included with the original release of the game, while the Nottingham Trent University Orchestra performs "The Blue Danube" in the background. "I'm delighted to have been invited to attend the Elite day, and look forward to meeting quite a few people who actually made it to Elite status (I was always killed very, very quickly indeed) and to meeting Ian and David again," Holdstock said. "Here's to a fun day!"

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I am SO there. Elite was the first game I played as if it meant something. You could easily call it the precursor to Eve, even a precursor to MMOs in general.

While the screen whited out and the discdrive chugged, you could easily imagine you were out in the cold, darkness of space. Just watch out for that guy selling that small, furry thing.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I am SO there. Elite was the first game I played as if it meant something. You could easily call it the precursor to Eve, even a precursor to MMOs in general.

While the screen whited out and the discdrive chugged, you could easily imagine you were out in the cold, darkness of space. Just watch out for that guy selling that small, furry thing.

Me as well, will have to get the train up from London but will be well worth it. I remember being so impressed with the models. You could just stamp your own imagination all over it as well

HELL YES, it makes me feel good I've played every game mentioned here.

Wish I could go there, but I'm sure someone will have a great time for me. :)

And Elite/Privateer were some of the most awesome "concepts" I've seen in a long time.

Personally I've kind of been hoping they would do a real remake of Elite and release it for XBL Arcade or the PSN store (or just for the PC). Yes I know they have done other games, but aside from maybe Elite 2 none of them really did it right.

I played "Frontier: Elite II" extensively and was amazed by the vast open universe and the ability to seamlessly fly between cities on planet surfaces and space, something which I have yet to see in a modern space game.
It was a good time. The frequent encounters with hostiles got a little frustrating though as combat was extremely difficuilt, often ending with the player being shot to bits in mere seconds.

I only got into the Elite series in the last couple of years, but even twenty-five years after its release on the BBC Micro, Elite still feels like one of the freshest games that I've ever played. The technological prowess that must have went into fitting something that complex into a computer with such a small amount of RAM is unbelievable, and the Frontier series proves that Braben could innovate on a level with a single megabyte that most developers can't match with a full Blu-ray disc.

Dang I love this game! A few years a go my mum gave both our BBCs (yes, two) to charity, not realising they are worth ALOT nowadays. I downloaded the game and it sits peacefully on my desktop. If you want to download a colour version, search oolite. Dunno why they changed the name, but its still decent.

Edit: THOSE BLASTED DUDES IN THE OCTAGONAL SHIPS WITH Auto-Rape lasers

Frontier Elite 2 was great with gobsmackingly realistic space flight that makes EVE's appalling underwater fishbowl physics engine look like the lame turkey that it is. Frontier even had gravity, planetary flight, and the ability to land craft on planets, stuff that EVE's dev team will probably dither about for another ten years at least before even thinking about implementing (especially at the rate they're going currently with Walking In Stations). The combat was a bit unworkable though with most enemy ships simply suiciding against your hull, but the original Elite has good (if less realistic) combat.

If someone wants to do a space MMO they should just do Frontier as an MMO but without the bugs. Oh and with walking in stations, and in ships and on planets. A decent dev team could probably knock all that up in the amount of time it takes CCP to bling out an asteroid.

Pipotchi:

Me as well, will have to get the train up from London but will be well worth it. I remember being so impressed with the models. You could just stamp your own imagination all over it as well

I'll try and be there for most of the days, but if you see a tall guy with an "Are You My Mummy?" T-shirt, that's probably me. :)

The_root_of_all_evil:

Pipotchi:

Me as well, will have to get the train up from London but will be well worth it. I remember being so impressed with the models. You could just stamp your own imagination all over it as well

I'll try and be there for most of the days, but if you see a tall guy with an "Are You My Mummy?" T-shirt, that's probably me. :)

Will keep an eye out, if you see a 70's style Monkey with an Afro thats probably me :)

Saul B:

Edit: THOSE BLASTED DUDES IN THE OCTAGONAL SHIPS WITH Auto-Rape lasers

Thargoids? Upgrade to Militaries and skim missiledrop on them under their ECM shields :)

Elite! Too bad the series never really went anywhere and petered out after awhile (oh wait, i mean the entire space genre.) even though they were great.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Saul B:

Edit: THOSE BLASTED DUDES IN THE OCTAGONAL SHIPS WITH Auto-Rape lasers

Thargoids? Upgrade to Militaries and skim missiledrop on them under their ECM shields :)

No skim missiles in my version :( got militaries on forward, port and starboard though :)

All you need to do is fly directly above them so your shields scream and the launch a missile. Even if they ECM the blast hits their hull.

 

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