Pocket Starfighter

A Game by Mark Burger


Welcome! Pocket Starfighter is a first-person 3D space combat simulator with full "six degrees of freedom" in movement and a retro, vector-graphics style. It's designed to be portable and as fast as possible.

Pocket Starfighter was inspired in some basic ways by Elite, but where Elite's focus is on trading, we're interested in deathmatch.

In Elite, there is only one type of spaceship that the player can control and improve to suit his needs. Here, there are presently six types of ships of various design. Their implementation in the game allows players and the computer alike to play any of them.

Controlled by a host of command-line arguments, the game can be customized to fit a player's needs. One problem plaguing computer games nowadays is a lack of customization since more and more games are being ported from their simplified console counter-parts (Unreal Tournament 3, for instance). Aside from video modes and things, command line options set up the number of enemy ships and their types as well as the player's ship. There are a few speed-boosting options, too. There are also 'target practice' and 'god' modes for after a long day of work when you just need to blow stuff up without getting any flak in return.

Development Status

Presently, the graphics engine is finished. All the choices that were made at design-time have been implemented and the game is generally playable. There are some serious balance issues and the computer algorithm for turning the ships allows them to cheat. There are also a handful of ships I'd like to implement to give more variety for player.

Since there are still a handful of bugs to be worked out, and a number of ships to be implemented, the version available for download is in beta. Also on the 'to do' list is a manual. Presently, the download (which includes source code and Windows binary) only has a plain-text readme with some rather glaring inconveniences in it.

In the past, I've promised that this project's final release is just around the corner. The initial version of this page (from 2012) promised less than a month. Two weeks after writing that, I started a new full-time job and time's pretty sparse. There is a new beta-release that includes a much-needed in-game map. A commenter on Sourceforge suggested a host of cool features, let me address them here:


Here are some snazzy screenshots taken in-game. The screenshots with the mess of a radar in the bottom-right are from the new 0.95 release!


The SourceForge project page is the home for all downloads related to Pocket Starfighter! Presently, the .ZIP archive contains the source for Linux/Mac and a Windows binary, along with some brief documentation.