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David John Braben, OBE, is a British game developer, game designer and game programmer. Braben is best known for creating the Elite series. He co-developed the original Elite with Ian Bell in 1984. He is the founder and CEO of Frontier Developments since January 1994. He's also a co-founder of and works as a trustee for the Raspberry Pi Foundation which in 2012 launched a low-cost computer for education.[1][2]

Braben attended Buckhurst Hill County High School in Chigwell in Essex.[3] He studied Natural Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge and specialized in Electrical Science in his final year.[4] He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates from Abertay University (2013), The Open University (2014), and York University (15 July 2015).

Braben is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He sits on the BAFTA Games Board. Braben also chairs the Government Skillset board for approval of University courses.[5]

David Braben is a leading figure in the computer games industry, one of the most influential computer game programmers of all time[6] and a radical innovator in game design. The sprawling open-world game-play and classic science-fiction setting of Elite made it a cult hit in the 1980s. He also made Frontier: Elite II in 1993, Frontier: First Encounters in 1995 and is the director of Elite: Dangerous since 2014. The success of the original Elite helped to create the UK games industry, which now has an annual turnover of £3 billion (2015).[5]

In May 2011, David Braben announced a new prototype computer, Raspberry Pi, mounted on a printed-circuit board not much bigger than a credit card, and intended to stimulate the teaching of basic computer science in schools. Since then, more than 5,000,000 Raspberry Pis have been sold. The initiative came from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The charity, of which David Braben is a trustee, aims to promote the study of computer science and to put the fun back into learning computing.[5]

David Braben is married to Wendy Irvin-Braben and has two sons. He lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom.[2]

Awards Edit

Development Legend Award Edit

On 5 September 2005, Braben received the Development Legend Award at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards in Cambridge.[7]

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering Edit

In 2012, Braben was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.[8]

Tech Personality of the Year Edit

In 2013, Braben was co-award winner of Tech Personality of the Year at the UK Tech Awards 2013.[9][10]

Doctor of Technology Edit

David-Braben-Honorary-Doctorate-Degree-From-Abertay-University

David Braben receives honorary doctorate from Abertay University

In 2013, David Braben was awarded an honorary degree as Doctor of Technology from Abertay University.[11] Braben said: "I’m delighted to receive an honorary degree today from Abertay University. As the first university in the world to teach a Computer Games Technology degree, and the organiser of the wonderful Dare to be Digital game design competition, Abertay has proven itself to be fantastically committed to educating the next generation of game developers. Computer science education is absolutely key to the future success of the UK, and linking strong school education – powered by initiatives like the Raspberry Pi – to world-leading university courses is exactly what we need to grow more great companies here."[11]

Queen-Elizabeth-II-David-Braben-OBE-2014

Queen Elizabeth II presents David Braben with his OBE

Officer of the Order of the British Empire Edit

Braben was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to the UK computer and video games industry. It celebrates the work he has done for both of the UK’s video game and computer industries.[12][13] Braben said "I now have my medal! A huge honour, and I am very grateful to all those at Frontier that made this possible."[14]

David-Braben-OBE-Order-of-the-British-Empire-Award

David Braben, OBE, Officer of the Order of the British Empire award

Honorary Doctorate Edit

In 2014, Braben received an honorary doctorate from The Open University.[15]

Pioneer, Game Developers Choice Award Edit

In January 2015, he received the 2015 Pioneer, Game Developers Choice Award (GDCA), for his work on the Raspberry Pi and for working more than 30 years as a game developer.[16]

BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award Edit

David-Braben-BAFTA-Academy-Fellowship-Award

David Braben, BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award

At the British Academy Games Awards on Thursday 12 March 2015, David Braben OBE received the BAFTA Fellowship. Awarded anually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games. Braben said: "I am absolutely delighted to be receiving a BAFTA Fellowship; it is an incredible honour. I have a truly great team behind me at Frontier, and without them I would not be receiving this, so the honour is effectively for all of us."[17]

Discussing the Fellowship, Harvey Elliott, Chairman of BAFTA’s Games Committee, said: “With Elite recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, David Braben’s enthusiasm for the medium remains as undiminished today as it was back then. David is a genuine pioneer, not just in terms of game design or cultural significance but also in the field of computing, having championed the Raspberry Pi that recently became the most successful British computer of all time. The Academy Fellowship could not be more appropriate.”[17]

Braben received a standing ovation when he took to the stage to be presented the award by fellow games industry legend Ian Livingstone. In his acceptance speech he suggested that the games industry is on the "cusp of a golden age".[17]

Honorary Doctorate Edit

On 15 July 2015, David Braben received an honorary doctorate from York University.[18]

Date Award Description
5 September 2005 Development Legend Award Braben received the Development Legend Award at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards in Cambridge.
2012 Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering Braben was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
2013 Tech Personality of the Year Braben was co-award winner of Tech Personality of the Year at the UK Tech Awards 2013.
2013 Honorary Doctorate

Abertay University

Braben received an honorary degree as Doctor of Technology from Abertay University.
2014 Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Braben was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to the UK computer and video games industry.
2014 Honorary Doctorate Braben received an honorary doctorate from the Open University.
January 2015 Pioneer, Game Developers Choice Award (GDCA) Braben received the 2015 Pioneer, Game Developers Choice Award (GDCA), for his work on the Raspberry Pi and for working more than 30 years as a game developer.
12 March 2015 BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award in video gaming Braben was awarded the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award in video gaming at the 11th British Academy Games Awards.
15 July 2015 Honorary Doctorate Braben received an honorary doctorate from York University.

Games Edit

This is a list of David Braben's games.[2]

Game name First released Braben's role(s)
Elite 1984 Designer & programmer
Zarch 1987 Developer
Conqueror 1990 Developer
Campaign 1992 Programmer (original 3D shape display code)
Frontier: Elite II 1993 Designer, writer & programmer
Frontier: First Encounters 1995 Director & writer
Darxide 1995 Designer
V2000 1998 Programmer
Dog's Life 2003 Director & designer
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 2005 Executive producer
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 2004 Executive producer
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! 2005 Executive producer
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild! 2005 Executive producer
Thrillville 2006 Executive producer
Thrillville: Off the Rails 2007 Executive producer
LostWinds 2008 Executive producer
LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias 2009 Chairman
Kinectimals 2010 Executive producer
Kinect Star Wars 2012 Chairman & Founder
Tales From Deep Space 2014 CEO & Founder
Elite: Dangerous 2014 Director
Planet Coaster 2016 CEO & Founder

Videos Edit

References Edit

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frontier_Developments
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Braben
  3. https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/technology/2017/02/life-pi-0
  4. http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/1050/david-braben/
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2015/events/honorary-graduates-july-2015/
  6. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/10573763/The-godfather-of-video-games-looks-to-a-new-Frontier.html
  7. http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,1003/
  8. http://www.theiet.org/membership/member-news/30a/raeng-fellows.cfm
  9. http://www.uktech-awards.co.uk/index.php/archive/2013
  10. https://www.computescotland.com/tech-personality-vin-murria-6737.php
  11. 11.0 11.1 https://scottishgames.net/2013/12/02/david-braben-receives-honorary-degree-from-abertay/
  12. https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2014/06/42227-founder-frontier-david-braben-appointed-obe-queens-birthday-honors-list/
  13. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/david-braben-obe-elite-dangerous-commander-tequila-ginny-monroe
  14. https://twitter.com/DavidBraben/status/535784659393970176
  15. https://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/company-officers/FDEV
  16. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/2015-game-developers-choice-awards-honoring-veteran-brenda-romero-with-ambassador-award-elite-co-creator-david-braben-with-pioneer-award-300026049.html
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 David Braben: BAFTA Fellowship 2015
  18. https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2015/events/honorary-graduates-july-2015/