Courtesy of the GDC Vault is another fascinating postmortem, this time from the Game Developers Conference 2011.
Often credited as a genre-defining space flight simulator, Elite stood out among a sea of formulaic arcade games in 1984. Publishers wanted to feed players quick experiences with a few lives, high score goals, and steep difficulty spikes, but Elite's developers were not interested in conforming. Co-creator David Braben, now Chairman of Frontier Developments, discusses here the challenges faced in developing and later pitching a game that went firmly against the arcade grain.
Even after Braben and co-creator Ian Bell had found publisher Acornsoft, the game had a drastic change weeks before mass production. The two felt strongly about implementing a new radar system, and fortunately Acornsoft agreed. That change seemed to have paid off ultimately; Braben states that Elite had sold a million copies over 17 platforms.
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