Interviews



Interview with David Braben

Published in Domination #13
Performed by Raver




R)
At first, please introduce our readers with yourself a bit!

D)
I'm David Braben. I co-wrote Elite, wrote Virus, and Frontier. I then started Frontier Developments Ltd.



R)
How and when did you started with computers and why you were involved with games making?

D)
I got interested in computers when I was 17, an Acorn Atom. This was in about 1981.


R)
What was your first big game project?

D)
Elite. This was started in 1982, and released in 1984 on the BBC Micro.


R)
Elite was revolutionary new game for 8 bit market. How do you think, why it was so successful?

D)
It was very different to the other games at the time, and it was pretty well the first 3D game.


R)
What pushed you to continue Elite idea after nearly 10 years with Frontier on Amiga/PC/ST?

D)
Frontier took a long time to write (5 and a half years), so it was really started only five years after Elite. In that gap, there were many different versions of Elite, and Also I did the games Lander, Zarch and Virus.



R)
Why wasn't Frontier released on Speccy?

D)
The Spectrum wasn't really up to doing the amount of work required for Frontier, particularly the amount of data. It was tricky enough putting it on the ST and Amiga.


R)
What do you prefer - Amiga or PC?

D)
The Amiga was better than the PC in its day, but now it has been left far far behind. So sadly I now prefer the PC.


R)
What are your future plans and will there ever be released Elite clone game again?

D)
Not sure what you mean by Elite clone. There was tons more in Frontier than in Elite - its funny that many people remember things that are in Frontier as being in Elite. I imagine there will be a future sequel to the Elite-Frontier-First Encounters sequence, but I'm currently in dispute with Gametek over problems with First Encounters.


R)
A couple of years ago, when there on Speccy scene was so much hype about Elite, some magazines wrote - there in game Elite is secret planet Raxxla. Is it true?

D)
No.


R)
What else secrets can be found in old 8 bit Elite versions?

D)
Various missions, there was a secret ship you could find (called the Constrictor), there were "Rock Hermits" to be discovered in some versions.



R)
What is your mate and elite co-author Ian Bell doing nowadays?

D)
I don't know what he's up to now.


R)
What's your opinion about games future and about Amiga and PC future?

D)
PC future is very exiting. I'm not sure of the Amiga's future. I hope Gateway don't simply use is as a brand name for a graphic card or something.

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