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Author Topic: Open source remake of the classic game Elite  (Read 7347 times)
40hz
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« on: November 01, 2009, 08:02:37 PM »

With thanks to FreewareGenius.com for finding this one.

If you know what Elite is, you'll want to check this out. And if you've never heard of Elite...well, now might be a good time to find out why a game released by Acornsoft way back in 1984 (when Comodore64s and Apple IIs ruled the earth) still has such a loyal following.

Link to article: www.freewaregenius.com/2009/10/29/oolite-a-brilliant-remake-of-elite-the-classic-game-of-space-trade-and-exploration/

Quote
Oolite: a brilliant remake of Elite, the classic game of space trade and exploration
Submitted by Travis on October 29, 2009 – 11:51 pm

Oolite is an open source remake of the classic space simulator Elite. This non-linear title puts the player in control of their own experience. Trading, piracy, and mining are just a fraction of what you can do in this expansive universe.

[Editor’s note: this review was written by Freewaregenius contributor Travis B. Check out his new blog here].

Captain Jensen had traveled three systems to make this run. His cargo hold full of radioactives would fetch a hefty sum on this rich industrial planet. But the swarm of blips fast approaching on radar didn’t look like innocent freighters. The only policed sector surrounding the station was on the far side of the planet. This is what you get for trading with a lawless system…

Oolite takes something old and makes it new again. This open source remake of one of gaming’s great classics Elite is solid gaming gold. In this incredibly non-linear space simulator players can fly around the galaxy trading, fighting off pirates, pirating, or taking intergalactic taxi missions. With no story except the one you make for yourself, Oolite is a member of a dying type of game.


Link to Oolite homepage: http://www.oolite.org/

Quote
Oolite is a space sim game, inspired by Elite, powered by Objective-C and OpenGL, and designed as a small game that is easy for users to pick up, modify and expand upon. Almost every aspect of the game can be changed by using simple, free graphics packages and text editors.

Originally written for Mac OS X, and under continuous development for over five years, Oolite is available for Mac OS X (10.3.9 and higher) and PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Linux. It requires at least a 400 MHz processor, 256 MiB of memory, and a graphics card capable of accelerating OpenGL graphics.

This new version sports some graphics the original could only dream of. But even with these changes, Oolite still manages to retain that 'retro vibe' that makes most of these old games so enjoyable. Oolite has a gallery. Here's the view of a Trading Post (complete with gaudy billboards) as your ship makes its approach:



Video of the above can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnydSYRHhro

Available for Mac OSX, Windows XP/Vista, and Linux. (I've got it loaded on XP and it looks pretty good so far.  thumbs up)

Note: I had no problem downloading copies yesterday. I did have some trouble getting in today however. I'm guessing word is out and the site is seeing some volume. (Elite fans are a devoted bunch!) Wait a half hour and try again if the page keeps timing out. It's worth it.
 Cool

---

P.S. There's a decent Wikipedia article about Elite at this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w...ki/Elite_%28video_game%29
 Thmbsup

« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 08:09:35 PM by 40hz » Logged

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housetier
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2009, 10:03:09 PM »

sounds good!  Thmbsup
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Shades
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2009, 11:26:48 PM »

Guess I'm getting old, but this one could not capture me like the (rotating wire-frames from the) Commodore 64 version. That one I played for quite some time. Never got that far though Sad
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2009, 06:15:42 AM »

Guess I'm getting old, but this one could not capture me like the (rotating wire-frames from the) Commodore 64 version. That one I played for quite some time. Never got that far though Sad

I hear you.  Thmbsup I think it really all comes down to what we grew up with.

It occasionally shames me to admit I keep my old C64 handy for those rare occasions when I feel the need to play a computer game. Seven Cities of Gold, M.U.L.E., Ultima III: Exodus, and Elite still don't seem completely right to me unless I'm looking at sprite graphics, wire-frames - and listening to soundtracks coming from that paradoxically awful yet marvelous SID music chip.

The mid-80s were a great era for game innovation. Light on technology (since there wasn't much) - but long on playability and entertainment value. Maybe that's why I could never get into a game like Eve. To my mind, Eve seems less like a game and more like taking on a second job.

But that's probably just me.  Grin
« Last Edit: November 02, 2009, 06:21:35 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2009, 01:28:33 PM »

I thought I had posted on DC about Oolite before, but maybe I was mistaken...

I remember playing Elite on the C-64 (Every version for every platform was different with different features. I think the C-64 version was the version with the most features at the time). Took me months and months and months, but I finally made it to a ranking of Elite. All my friends thought I was insane to stick with that game for so long.
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MerleOne
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2009, 01:59:03 PM »

Hey, Elite worked first on the ZX - Spectrum !  With a clever optical device to copy-protect the game...
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2009, 06:29:37 PM »

Cooo what a blast from the past. Unfortunately my old BBC Micro (that I played Elite on) packed up after a year in the garage!

It will be kind of fun to see it again Wink
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2009, 09:46:21 PM »

I thought I had posted on DC about Oolite before, but maybe I was mistaken...

I ran a search for "Oolite" on the entire forum before I posted. Did you maybe call it something else or spell it differently? smiley

I remember playing Elite on the C-64 (Every version for every platform was different with different features. I think the C-64 version was the version with the most features at the time).

I always thought the C64 version was the best. The Elite opening theme song was particularly good on the Commodore.

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 03:28:24 AM »

Anyone manage to get version 1.73.4 to run on a GeForce 7 series card? I have updated the drivers and it still doesn't work.

The earlier version (1.6x) works fine.
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40hz
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 09:00:52 AM »

Anyone manage to get version 1.73.4 to run on a GeForce 7 series card? I have updated the drivers and it still doesn't work.

The earlier version (1.6x) works fine.

You might be able to find an answer on their forum: http://aegidian.org/bb/index.php



« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 09:03:26 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2009, 09:50:21 AM »

I ran a search for "Oolite" on the entire forum before I posted. Did you maybe call it something else or spell it differently? smiley

Probably just the early onset of Alzheimer's on my part. No worries....

Quote
I always thought the C64 version was the best. The Elite opening theme song was particularly good on the Commodore.

Indeed it was and I was just weird enough to load up Elite even when I didn't want to play it just so I could hear the theme song.
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 09:51:54 AM »

Hey, Elite worked first on the ZX - Spectrum !  With a clever optical device to copy-protect the game...

The first version of Elite for the C-64 had that stupid optical device as well. Fortunately, later on the company re-released the game without that silly thing & relied on a different protection scheme.
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40hz
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2009, 11:16:45 AM »

Indeed it was and I was just weird enough to load up Elite even when I didn't want to play it just so I could hear the theme song.

No shame there. I used to occasionally load up Ultima III and M.U.L.E. for the exact same reason. Grin

-----

<ADDENDUM>

For all you other closet SID music fans out there, be sure to check out the HVSC website:

Link: www.hvsc.c64.org

Quote
The High Voltage SID Collection - Commodore 64 music for the masses

The High Voltage SID Collection (HVSC) is a freeware hobby project which organises Commodore
64 music (also known as SID music) into an archive for both musicians and fans alike. The work
on the collection is done completely in the Team and contributors' spare time and is proudly
one of the largest and most accurate computer music collections known.

They don't have everything (the top rated Elite and Ultima themes are conspicuous by their absence) but they still have 70Mb worth of game tunes, demo jingles, and other SID-chip goodness free for the download. Load up a SID emulator* and you'll be set to drive everybody in your home absolutely crazy listening to music that sounds like a wind-up music box on 'acid.'

With something like 36k titles in the collection you're bound to find something in there to annoy delight just about everyone!

Time to get your geek on!  tongue

---

* Note: If you want to play SID files, sidplay2/w is probably the best choice for Windows users. Sounds very much like the actual Commodore SID chip. And it doesn't need to be installed. Just unzip to any folder and run. Info and download here: www.gsldata.se/c64/spw/

 Cool



« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 12:01:21 PM by 40hz » Logged

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2009, 12:11:28 PM »

Anyone manage to get version 1.73.4 to run on a GeForce 7 series card? I have updated the drivers and it still doesn't work.

The earlier version (1.6x) works fine.

You might be able to find an answer on their forum: http://aegidian.org/bb/index.php

Thanks I had looked there but didn't find the answer. On closer inspection I edited the Start menu shortcut and added the -nosplash option. Works fine now.

I can't really see why disabling the splash screen made a difference but it did Wink
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2009, 08:48:56 PM »

Absolutely loved the original Elite!  Kiss
Last game that reminded me a bit of that atmosphere was Indipendence War II: Edge of Chaos. Aside from the nice storyline and excellents combat & newtonian physics, it have a certain degree of liberty and commerce too.
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2009, 01:54:17 PM »

On closer inspection I edited the Start menu shortcut and added the -nosplash option. Works fine now.

I can't really see why disabling the splash screen made a difference but it did Wink

The only time I've seen something like that make a difference was if an app switched screen resolution and color depth after displaying the splash screen. Some cards are fussier than others about doing that.

A lot of older games threw a gorgeous splash up at whatever resolution you were currently set to, and then dropped down to a lower "game" resolution and color palette for performance reasons during actual play.

I'd have to look at the source to see if that's what's happening, but I'm guessing that's what caused it. Probably some minor glitch in the splash exit routine is borking something in the game initialization.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 01:57:25 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2009, 03:40:39 AM »

I guess I'm a little young for Elite. I never played it, but it was mentioned a lot when I was researching information on how to create a virtually infinite, randomly generated universe for a game. Now I'll have a chance to try it out!

I thought this was pretty funny:
Quote
Version 1.65, released in June 2006, is the latest full release of Oolite. However, the test releases are faster, prettier, more stable and use less memory, so ignoring the full release and using the test releases instead is recommended. Yes, we realize this sounds silly.

Thanks for posting this, and thanks to mouser for including it in the newsletter or I would have missed it!
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 06:21:43 AM »

Tau Ceti & Mercenary made more fun than Elite.
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2009, 06:42:52 AM »

Tau Ceti & Mercenary made more fun than Elite.
That remind me the time spent on the Amiga with Damocles, witch if I'm not wrong was a sort of remake / evolution of Mercenary.
Being able to go from planetary to inside a building gave an amazing scale to the game!
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2009, 07:48:21 AM »

Damocles was the follower and 4th part of the Mercenary Trilogy. This game was also great!
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JavaJones
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2009, 01:36:52 PM »

Speaking of infinite game universes, are any of you familiar with Infinity: The Quest for Earth? Deozaan, I imagine this might be particularly interesting for you. It's aimed at being an MMO, but the engine that powers it looks to be fantastically powerful (read the developer's blog, and check out videos of it on YouTube), so I hope it ends up being available for other game development (open source or commercially).

- Oshyan
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« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2009, 04:52:32 PM »

This is really cool, but is there a game coming up with more than only one galaxy? In our universe are at least 100.000.000.000 galaxies.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2009, 12:20:26 AM »

Speaking of infinite game universes, are any of you familiar with Infinity: The Quest for Earth? Deozaan, I imagine this might be particularly interesting for you. It's aimed at being an MMO, but the engine that powers it looks to be fantastically powerful (read the developer's blog, and check out videos of it on YouTube), so I hope it ends up being available for other game development (open source or commercially).

- Oshyan

Sounds awesome! Reminds me of EVE Online.
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2009, 12:28:34 AM »

Yes, like EVE, except even better graphics, fully simulated galaxy (maybe Universe?) of hundreds of thousands of stars, real-world planetary (and galactic) scales with planets you can fly down to from space right down to a few meters above ground, planets including mountains and vegetation and whatnot, and - my favorite - you can actually fly the ships directly, rather than the more RTS-like EVE ship control.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2009, 10:01:48 PM »

Yes, like EVE, except even better graphics, fully simulated galaxy (maybe Universe?) of hundreds of thousands of stars, real-world planetary (and galactic) scales with planets you can fly down to from space right down to a few meters above ground, planets including mountains and vegetation and whatnot, and - my favorite - you can actually fly the ships directly, rather than the more RTS-like EVE ship control.

- Oshyan

A couple years ago, shortly after I first tried EVE, I came across a game called Evochron Renegades (which was really interesting because at that time I believe the EVE subtitle was Renegade). Anyway, it's a game with similarities to what you just described, including flying from space down to crashing on the planet's surface and first person control of your ship.

In short, Evochron Renegades is unique among freeform space-sims in that it offers a wide range of gameplay choices and activities including buying, trading, negotiating, bribing, spying, racing, transporting, mining, exploring, cleaning equipment, clearing paths through asteroid fields, recruiting, protecting, hiring crew members, fuel harvesting, and designing your ship. The upgrades, ships, equipment, money, and commodities you earn in the game can be used in both the single player and multiplayer modes. You don't have to give up your progress in the game when switching between single player and multiplayer, nor do you have to give up what you earn when you join different multiplayer sessions.

  Also, everything you do in the game takes place in a seamless universe without system 'walls', there are no required warp gates or trade lanes to restrict your travel and hold you back. You can travel anywhere you want, with or without jump drives and gates, as long as you have the fuel and time to get there. You can descend into planet atmospheres (without loading screens or sudden environment flipping) to land at city trade stations or explore for hidden items. You can escape to nebula clouds for sensor cover or hide in a massive asteroid cave for protection. If you're low on fuel and don't have money, but you have a tractor beam and fuel converter, then retrieve photon particles from nearby stars and emissive nebulae which can be processed into fuel.

I bought it on one of those Deal of the Day things but for some reason never really played it, so I can't make a judgement as to whether or not it's a good game.

EDIT: Apparently a new game in the Evochron series came out earlier this year: Evochron Legends.

Here's the YouTube Preview for it.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 10:15:20 PM by Deozaan » Logged

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