According to Braben and Bell, Elite was inspired by a range of sources. Much of the game's content is derived from the Traveller RPG, including the default commander name of Jameson.
In 1999/2000, a dispute occurred between Ian Bell and David Braben regarding the former's decision to make available all versions of the original Elite. The dispute has now ended; the various versions are available on Bell's site.
The Elite universe contains eight galaxies, each galaxy containing 256 planets to explore. Due to the limited capabilities of 8-bit computers, these worlds are procedurally generated. A single seed number is run through a fixed algorithm the appropriate number of times and creates a sequence of numbers determining each planet's complete composition. This means that no extra memory is needed to store the characteristics of each planet, yet each is unique and has fixed properties. Each galaxy is also procedurally generated from the first.