Frontier: Elite II
Written in five and a half years by David Braben, with Konami Inc of Japan as publisher, the game was released in October 1993 and was in the top few slots in the UK Gallup chart for the best part of the following year. It was the best selling game in Europe 1993 according to Gallup.
"Frontier" also set a number of firsts. It was the first game to have real-sized planets, where cities could be viewed from orbit, it was the first to use curved surfaces (Bezier), the only game to do a palette-fit every frame to get best use of colours (Amiga and ST only), and (apart from First Encounters and Elite: Dangerous) is the only piece of software (games or otherwise) that attempts to simulate our entire galaxy.
Planets orbit and rotate correctly, so if you stay in one spot you will see sunrises, and the progression of stars, planets and moons through the night sky. It is possible to watch Saturn-rise from one of its moons.
Frontier also contextualised events along the Elite fiction timeline created by David Braben (augmented in further sequels):
|1950s||First man in space, controlled nuclear fission, transistor, start of the nuclear arms race.|
|1960s||First man on Moon, commercial fission power, integrated circuits, computers.|
|1970s||Unmanned probes in Solar system.|
|1980s||End of first nuclear arms race.|
|1990s||First serious environmental problems on Earth.|
|2000s||First (minor) armed conflict between a nation and a "multi-national" corporation.|
First serious population problems on Earth. Religious and political unrest.
Many minor wars.
First international environmental protection agency, first commercial space station.
Widespread religious uprisings. Widespread resource problems.
First controlled nuclear fusion.
Major World Energy Crisis. Fossil Fuel restrictions imposed.
Widespread religious and political unrest.
First baby born off Earth.
World War III. Later dubbed "The Energy War"
Huge technological advancements, huge loss of life, dreadful environmental damage.
|2050s||War gradually abandoned due to popular rebellions. Commercial fusion power.|
|2060s||Rebuilding. Dominance of corporations increased.|
|2070s||First Man on Mars. Permanent Moonbase founded.|
Manned exploration of solar system, orbital cities around Earth.
First interstellar probes launched.
|2090s||First Permanent Mars Base. Heavy industrial activity begins on the moon.|
Mars Fossils discovered. Hyper-spacial technology invented.
Humans spread through solar system.
Arrival of message from first interstellar probe to Alpha Centauri system.
First close-up pictures of an extra solar planet in the Lagrange point of the two main stars.
Presence of life on Tau Ceti 3 detected.
First armed conflict in space over rights in the asteroid belt.
|2130s||Hyperspace capable probes sent to all nearby systems.|
|2140s||Manned spacecraft sent to Tau Ceti.|
|2150s||Colony established on Tau Ceti. Major Corporations sending first private colony ships.|
The race for the stars.
Enormous production effort to produce colony ships and mass exodus starts.
|2170s||First attempt to terra-form Mars started.|
|2190s||Discovery of life on Beta Hydri 4, Altair 5. Human colonials spreading out of control.|
|2200s||Earth Environment Recovery Program started. Terra-forming of Mars abandoned.|
|2230s||Ultimatum sent to Tau Ceti is ignored.|
Formation of the Federation.
Founder members, Earth, Tau Ceti, Delta Pavonis, Altair, Beta Hydri.
|2260s||Spread of Federal influence.|
|2270s||Second attempt to terra-form Mars started.|
|2280s||Discovery of first non-human relic in space. Origin still unknown in 3300.|
|2300s||Remaining indigenous life on Tau Ceti 3 preserved in special enclosures.|
Beginning of spread of Empire from Achenar to surrounding worlds.
Continuing war between Empire and Federation.
|2340s||Continuing battles between Empire and Federation.|