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Developer Interview – David Braben

by Nick Haywood on 13 August 2005, 00:00

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Developer Interview – David Braben

Developer Interview – David Braben

David Braben has to be one of THE programming gods of our time, a man who all should bow down to, a man who, with Ian Bell, wrote the seminal space trading and combat simulation, Elite.

Elite was the game that kicked off the entire genre… without it we wouldn’t have Privateer, Freelancer or the X series. You could even argue that the superb X-Wing games from Lucasarts owe a nod to Braben and Bell.

Braben talked a little about his first efforts in programming, writing games for his own and friend’s enjoyment. One he is particularly proud of was like a two player version of Missile Command, where you would launch missiles at your opponent’s base as well as defend yours from his attacks.

All of this was coded on Braben’s modified Acorn Atom… yes, David Braben not only co-wrote the superb Elite, he is also one of the original overclockers! The Acorn Atom had a 6502 processor running at a mighty 1 MHz. I don’t pretend to understand the electronic of it, but David says he managed to double the clock speed to a super-fast 2 MHz by cutting the track into the processor, then carefully resoldering the output through a gate, effectively knocking the input up, giving a higher clockspeed… I think…

Anyway, the reason David was at EIEF was to show off his latest work, Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, based on the upcoming film of the same name from Nick Park and Ardman Animation. You can have a look at the game in detail here.

Of course, any chat with David Braben will inevitably lead to questions about Elite and any possible updated release to give us long term gamers another fix of space combat and trading goodness. Sadly, David refused to be drawn, even batting my eyelashes didn’t work, save to scare the poor man into a corner where he did reveal that a new version of Elite IS in the pipeline but any other details are currently confidential. However, David did reveal that between now and the release o is new version of Elite, he has something special lined up for us… but whether this is a prequel to Elite or something different altogether, he wouldn’t say.

Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit is slated for a WHENEVER release.

HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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Thats not an interview. You made me dissapointed, evil Kez.

The link to the game isn't there.

Slap a code monkey.
The link to the game isn't there.
I'll fix that in a sec. I think the whiskey up there has taken it's toll on Nick ;) :iloveyou:
I'll fix that in a sec. I think the whiskey up there has taken it's toll on Nick ;) :iloveyou:

Does that means he's not bringing any back :(