Solar Realms Elite

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A title screen from Solar Realms Elite

Solar Realms Elite or SRE is a multi-player strategy door game for bulletin board systems[1] similar in design to its successor, Barren Realms Elite (BRE). SRE has been recognized as "advanced for its time" for offering players a range of strategy options "unseen in even most current titles in the genre." [2]

In Solar Realms Elite, players rule a solar empire. The goal is to become and remain the most powerful empire. Players gain strength by buying forces, and gain size by colonizing planets. Players start with several planets and a little bit of money. They must provide food and spend money to maintain the population, army, and planets, or suffer riots and civil unrest. New players are given a short period of protection, during which they cannot attack or be attacked. Players can forge alliances, interact with AI pirates, and wage war with competitors using conventional, guerilla, nuclear, chemical, and covert attacks.

Screen capture of a Solar Realms Elite gameplay session

Origins and influences

A diagram posted by Amit Patel in the newsgroup alt.bbs.doors explaining the relationships between several BBS door games

SRE was written by Amit Patel in 1990.[3][4] It started as a PC clone of Space Empire Elite, [5][6] a popular BBS door game for the Atari ST written by Jon Radoff. Patel has said he didn’t understand SEE's game design, so he instead used design ideas he had developed from years of writing his own games similar to those he found in the book "Computer Basic Games" by David Ahl.[7]

A similar PC game also inspired by SEE called Space Dynasty by Hollie Satterfield was in circulation around the same time. The last version of SRE (0.994b) was released in 1994.

After SRE was released, the author's brother, Mehul Patel, wrote a similar game called Alpha Colony VI. Mehul then wrote BRE, Falcon's Eye, and The Arcadian Legends, the so-called "SRGAMES." SRE was written C++, but BRE and AC6 were written in Turbo Pascal.[7] This collection of games was sold to John Dailey Software, but SRE was not included in the deal because Amit lost the game's source code in 1996.[8]

Break Into Chat blog articles

References

  1. Wolf, Mark J P (2012). Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming. ABC-CLIO. p. 568.
  2. Wolf, Mark J P (2007). The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond. ABC-CLIO. p. 155.
  3. Amit Patel. "SRE: Design Notes". http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/Articles/SRE-Design.html. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  4. Amit Patel. "Solar Realms Elite 0.995: Documentation". http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/Articles/SRE-Documentation.html. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  5. Amit Patel (Aug 9 1993). "Re: SRE". alt.bbs.doors. (Web link). Retrieved Dec 31 2012.
  6. Amit Patel (Jan 16 1999). "Solar Realms Elite". alt.bbs.doors. (Web link). Retrieved June 09 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Josh Renaud (2 February 2013). "Amit Patel, creator of Solar Realms Elite". http://breakintochat.com/blog/2013/02/18/amit-patel-creator-of-solar-realms-elite/. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  8. John Dailey. "John Dailey Software Frequently Asked Questions". John Dailey Software. http://www.johndaileysoftware.com/support/faq/index.asp#Anchor-37516. Retrieved 19 October 2012.

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