David John Braben

best known for co-writing Elite, a hugely popular and influential space trading computer game, in the early 1980s, and for his work as a trustee for the Raspberry Pi Foundation who in 2012 launched a low-cost computer for education.

Hosted AMAs

Highest Rated Comments

DavidBraben24 karma

We're on friendly terms now, but we had some pretty major differences...

DavidBraben15 karma

Yes - though we haven't decided on the exaclt level of detail. We will discuss in the design forums.

DavidBraben15 karma

There has been publisher interest in E4 but early discussions suggested they would want significant input on the game design. You are right in that there is heartache over this sort of thing, but I have already gone through a dreadful publisher relationship with Gametek, and never want to do that again.

And yes, The Kickstarter campaign has attracted a lot of helpful interest, which may lead to Elite: Dangerous appearing on more platforms.

DavidBraben15 karma

Jameson wasn't all that important at the start, but has become so as he has become part of the Elite lore. The initial reason was I wanted a 7 letter commander name that would work as a filename on both the BBC micro and Acorn Atom. Ian an I discussed a few possible names. I liked Jameson as it is one of the best blended whiskys!

I plan to be pretty anonymous, as otherwise people won't be able to resist killing me! (though I may try going as Commander Braben in the Betas)

DavidBraben14 karma

I don't think it was particularly sinister (though the C64 version was published by a public company - British Telecom - just before it was privatised so in effect it WAS published by the government). It may have been a demonstration of British games at the time.

Alternatively it was simply that a great deal of computing in the early 1980s was done on BBC Micros and they were being used to play Elite in their down time. People may not realise but the BBC was the only machine at that time that supported networked data.

Ian and I appeared on ITN news in the UK in November 1984 because John Taplin, the the editor, was amazed that all his journalists in the newsroom were playing Elite, so decided to make a story of it!

DavidBraben14 karma

It runs on our own engine, which supports both DirectX and OpenGL. The demos you have seen are all DirectX.

DavidBraben13 karma

David here now - yes, if we don't reach the funding goal I would hope it would still be developed, but we would have to find another route so it would by no means be certain.

Outsider may be picked up again in time, but currently we have no plans to do so.

A good Computer Science degree from a reputable University for a programmer would be the best. For a game development degree, we'd like to see something that shows what you've managed to do - I'm assuming this is something specialising in game design, so we'd like to see something that is well designed (!) and substantially your own work.

I give talks regularly at universities and schools and colleges - often in relation to Raspberry Pi, but in practice I cannot do all of them, so concentrate on those that are nearer to Cambridge.

DavidBraben12 karma

Yes, with time, but not on the first release. I discuss this further in the "Development Plan" Dev Diary (this can be seen on our Kickstarter site)

DavidBraben12 karma

Yes. We are already using procedurally generated textures. Aging and dirtying up of surfaces will also help make a new ship look shiny and an older ship look travel-worn. I like the idea of being able to get an idea by looking at a landed ship how much experience the pilot is likely to have. I love the idea that a battered ship is a sort of 'badge of office'.

DavidBraben11 karma

No, but I do still have an Amiga 1000 and 3000 and various other machines (including one of the first ARM prototypes).