Fascinating look at the BBC Micro game Elite

BBC Micro EditeThis is somewhat off-topic and a little bit of self-indulgence because (a) it’s about a computer that existed over 36 years ago and (b) a game that was programmed in 6502 assembler. It’s also a game I played a lot back in 1984.

The reason for including it here is because a British Web Developer called Mark Moxon has created an excellent website about the game, looking at the algorithms, source code etc. of the BBC Micro version of Elite. Everything you wanted to know about how it works.

I’d sum up this website as the “Cliff’s Notes” to the BBC Micro version of Elite. Be sure to click the three bars at the top left as the Navigation Bar gives an idea of just how much there is in this website. There’s bit by bit breakdowns of variables for example, in generating System Data.

  The government is given by a 3-bit value, taken from bits 3-5 of w1_lo. This
  value determine the type of government as follows:
    0 = Anarchy
    1 = Feudal
    2 = Multi-government
    3 = Dictatorship
    4 = Communist
    5 = Confederacy
    6 = Democracy
    7 = Corporate State

This is a remarkable piece of work, I can’t imagine how many hours Mark has put into it. Possibly as many as it took to develop the game originally!