The game was designed and programmed by Peter Irvin (author of Starship Command) and Jeremy Smith (author of Thrust). Amiga Power magazine voted the OCS version to be the best game of 1991. The multi-format magazine Edge posthumously awarded it 10 out of 10, together with only 2 other games.
A major feature to this game is the enormous and detailed world it offered for exploration. This is achieved by generating the majority of the caverns and tunnels from a compact but highly tuned pseudorandom process - recreating the same world from the same seed each time - augmented with a few custom-defined areas. This structure was explained in the plot as the crew of the Pericles having set up a base in a natural cave system, with Triax having his own base in caves deep below.
Exile's programming featured innovative routines like creature strategy code that knew about noises nearby, line-of-sight vision through the divaricate caves and tunnels, and enemy's memory of where the target was last seen, etc.
The simplified video hardware found in the Electron did not support this technique, so the additional data remains visible around the screen border. For speed reasons, the Electron version's screen had only 4 physical colours. It did however boast a slightly larger view window of 128 pixels × 192 lines down.
In the case of a BBC Micro computer that had been upgraded with a 16 KB page of sideways RAM, Exile detected this and the option of playing an enhanced version of the game was presented to the user. These enhancements included sampled sound effects and digitized speech ("Welcome to the land of the Exile." and "Alien die!"), as well as a larger visible screen area (8 physical colours; 128 pixels across × 256 lines down = 16 KB screen memory).
The extreme measures taken in fitting the game into a standard BBC micro meant that the main game had no on-screen status indications or text of any kind, or even load and save routines. Fuel and energy levels were sounded out by a series of chimes when a weapon was selected, and pocket contents could only be checked by putting items back into Mike Finn's hands to make them visible. Despite such measures being forced by necessity, they very much formed part of the character and appeal of the game. Saving the game entailed pressing a shutdown key, resetting the computer, and launching the loader programme again.
Aurora, Honeycomb, Lyre, Eridanus, Amaranth, Rune, Hamlet, Inferno, Sarawak, Puck, Nemesis, Orotund, Bigwig, Waters, Sulaco, Artesian, Carrion, Eclipse, Gemini, Madrigal, Zephyr, Pogrom, Drey, Behemoth, Yarrow, Nebulous, Loganberry, Laager, Ferro, Askance, Aquila, Nidus, Blackdown, Abscond, Diapason, Agamen, Vendetta, Scorpius, Brazil, Okhotsk, Tutelary, Eros, Palermo, Aeolus, Esplanade, Fury, Antipodes, Hades, Eyre, Pascal, Hydra, Hercules, Cassandra, Cetus, Triton, Acheron, Zeppelin, Kielder
Jeremy Smith died in a tragic accident several years after Exile was published. Peter Irvin is an active game developer.
William Reeve executed preliminary conversions of the BBC Micro game to the Amiga and Atari ST. These were then upgraded and completed by Peter Irvin and Jeremy Smith.
Tony Cox did a preliminary conversion of the game from the Amiga to Amiga CD32.