David Braben and Ian Bell wrote a space fighting/trading game called "Elite" for the BBC Microcomputer way back in 1984. These days he runs a company called Frontier Developments (http://www.frontier.co.uk/) which, between making games and running the Elite Club (http://www.eliteclub.co.uk/), is rumored to be working on a fourth game in the Elite series.

Braben designed the ships for Elite on graph paper and entered the object data into the game as hex.