In today's main feature, Gamasutra quizzes Elite
co-creator and Frontier Developments founder David Braben, a 23-year game industry veteran, following his winning of the Development Legend Award at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards in London last month.
Apart from the seminal space adventure Elite
, games Braben lists on his resume include classic filled-3D title Virus
(1988), as well as more contemporary titles such as Dog's Life, Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo
, the latest Roller Coaster Tycoon
title (in association with series creator Chris Sawyer), and the just-released movie adaptation, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Braben focuses in on the state of British game development and the Cambridge, UK development scene in the piece, commenting:
"'We've got a huge history of innovating,' Braben said of the U.K. development scene. 'Look at [the North American] NPD [charts]. Often, about a third of the games on those charts are developed in the U.K., even though it's not always apparent.' Still, Braben sees a streak of pessimism surrounding the U.K. from the larger game development society. 'There's a lot of negative talk around. There are conspicuous collapses in the last year or so, for example, Argonaut.'"...
Location does affect development, Braben contends. 'In theory, it shouldn't. In practice, it does. In Cambridge, we're at the doorstep of one of the best universities in the world. We've got very good graduates coming straight into the company.' And with the new technologies that are emerging, 'we need new blood, new ideas,' he said. Frontier's blessing of being so close to Cambridge University is two-fold. For one, the types of graduates who come out of that environment tend not to see limitations and 'don't know what's not possible.' Second, Cambridge is an attractive place to live, so many of the graduates want to stay there. 'It's very close to London, and in fact it's often faster to get to London from here than from the other side of London.'"
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
on the subject, including further conversation on Frontier's history, Elite
's genesis, and Braben's future (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).