Giles Williams, the original author of Oolite (on Mac OS X). His final version - 1.65 - debuted in 2007.
Aging enthusiast and father of three. A genuinely good egg.
Fons et origo of Oolite!.
See his web page.
Giles also designed these Ossuary Dice together with a lot of other natty stuff which can be seen here.
See Get Giles on his bike! for important events in 2016.
Giles wanted to keep the flame of Classic Elite burning - and rewrote the game for the AppleMac, starting in 2003, calling it Oolite. The process is documented in his developer's logbook (2004–2006). There are two important points.
- Firstly he wrote it in such a way that it was easy to modify. The ships, the HUDs, the stations, etc. This was a major deviation from what had come before, allowing one to customise the game to individual taste.
- Secondly, he wanted people to learn how to programme. Hence the oxp's - a renamed folder with these modifications inside, and many of his own early oxp's giving a template for others to do the same (Mega Walnut HUD, LongWay Mission, Behemoth carrier with turrets, military station, etc.). He would also happily give advice to others tweaking or writing new oxp's.
Approachable, willing to help and listen to others, he helped create the original friendly Oolite community, many of whom still regard him with great fondness.
Oolite blew me away, it was handsomely recreated but still very true in spirit to the brilliant simplicity of Elite. And its creator was completely transparent about his process and difficulties, even taking time to interact with enthusiasts. So then I found this BB, quite small and populated by courteous people all with a similar euphoria of having rediscovered something pure and special from childhood. With all the enthusiasm that comes from such excited people, Aegidian received no shortage of suggestions of what he ought to spend his time on enhancing and implementing, but he let us know that in his wisdom he had opened the door and encouraged people to go ahead themselves. The possibilities for personal customisation were more massive than anything I had seen before, and Aegidian insisted that mere average computer skills should be sufficient to go at it and have fun. (Old Murgh » Dec, 2021)
Aegidian's views in this thread on .oxz's are worth noting.
I hesitate to post this, but I've been reminded recently of the value of candour, and I therefore ought to. I have come to the conclusion I do not like the concept of OXZs. Oolite's chief advantage has been that it is easy to mod and edit, ideally with the simplest of text editors and graphics editors. OXZs seem only to get in the way of doing that. I like the expansion manager, and appreciate the ease it allows new users to download mods, but in my opinion the OXZ format (in hiding information from users) hinders those new users who want to peek and poke behind the curtain - and they are our most important new users. So my answer to the question posed in the Opinion Poll is a reluctant, but forthright, NO, OXZs are a mistep and should probably be quietly deprecated. Sorry. The expansion manager however, is a positive step, but should be rewritten to handle OXP folder hierarchies instead of OXZs, and check, mark and note when a managed folder has been changed (by consulting a checksum or hash) and warning the user in the manager that the OXP and its dependents may no longer work as intended, with the option of downloading and re-installing to fix any issue. Post by aegidian » Aug 07, 2014
List of OXPs
- Ringpod for the racing fraternity.
- CompactHUD now incorporated into HUDSelector: updated version available on the in-game Expansions Manager as part of HUDSelector
- Mega-Walnut Dashboard OXP for the luxurious Fer-de-Lance.
- LongWay OXP - an easy mission in Galaxy 1: updated version available in the Expansions Manager
- Behemoth - the original Oolite battleship: updated version available in the Expansions Manager: the first turrets & the first carrier in Oolite.
- Aegidian's Specials This expansion pack adds two ships: the Mussurana and the Asp Mk II.
- Aegidian's Newships containing the Naga, Hamadryad, Josher and Ringhals.
- Aegidian's X-Ships adds three new ships: the Python ET Special, and the prototype Cobra Mk II.
- Cobra 3.5 a fighter-interceptor.
- Griffin Two (Oolite) - the ship from Frontier.
- Pelamis, an amphibious cargo carrier.
- Python Class Cruiser - larger and faster than the Python, preferred by some to the newer Boa. An updated version is available in the Expansions Manager in Classic Super-Pythons.
- Weeviloid containing Weeviloid Scoutship & Weeviloid Hunter.
- Freaky Thargoids OXP examines shading effects.
- Jormundgand, an unreleased bootleg beta OXP containing an unfinished dockable carrier
- turrettest.oxp A plasma cannon-wielding military station instead of the usual Lave Coriolis.
- gwxstations.oxp A well armed military station randomly appearing instead of Dodecahedri.
Aegidian's Original oxp's
See Oosat for these
- Oolite - see the section on Aegidian (2003-6) (under A little History & some important early Versions)
- Aegidian's Developer's Log detailing the project's developments
- Both Murgh (Iron Ass OXP) and Smivs (The Classic Ships OXP) have produced newer textures using Aegidian's original ship models
- Church of Giles the Creator - for those of a theological bent