Blockade Runner

Inspired by Infiniminer and Minecraft's voxel engine, Blockade Runner is the beginning of a Multiplayer First Person Adventure Space Sim that will feature fully destructible, operational, crewable 'living' starships in a procedurally generated galaxy

The Game

Thanks to the voxel system that allows for a massively destructible environment, and the low-memory Liquid Cubed liquid/solid/gas algorithm we've researched and developed (ModDB page), our intention is to provide a game where "everything matters".

Constantly Evolving

Latest Public Build: Week 71c
Private Internal Build: Week 156
Blockade Runner is currently over going an overhauling to the engine, with the old 2012 editor version of the game still available to download for free. The editor allows you to build ships using tools such as symmetry, angles, and more!

For more information on what's coming with the engine overhaul, check the update section of the FAQ.

2012 XNA Early Prototype

Learn More | Upcoming Sandbox Update

Blockade Runner News

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Blockade Runner Development Timeline Niwantaw's Synari Niwantaw's Seanchan Shipyard

January in Review

January represented the implementation of our new dynamic slope system, a new Founder's Club for our original supporters, and the release of the first build of the game since W71!

Tidbits from January Week 1

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan's hard drive goes kaput, so we decide it's time we upgrade his dev PC (loads BR in a split second now!), Zack upgrades our version of SharpDX to latest dev committing, Gabe progresses through textfields despite a nasty cold, the "Founders Club" is added to the forums; accessible to those who purchased Blockade Runner before January 1st 2014. Zack and Nathan resolve an issue with entities disappearing due to 16-bit indexes on the GPU causing 3D surfaces to not draw, and Nathan gets his new slopes to render using our new moddable slope files.

Tidbits from January Week 2

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan's next step on the slopes is straightening the tangents on the dynamic slopes, and otherwise continues fine tuning the process of making slopes. Gabe discontinued work towards IME keyboard support, and gets the visual portion of textfields for debugging. Michigan freezes over. Zack reduces loading time for BR significantly, fixed SharpDX having switched to right-hand coordinates borked our collisions, and among numerous physics and graphical issues also solves a problem where only single chunks would draw. Micah meanwhile experiments with "mothership" concepts.

Tidbits from January Week 3

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Over the weekend Gabe gets mouse selection for textfields done, remarks on how awesome it is to work with UI in BR now, and progresses with the Log-In screen. Nathan's on to the next stage of the dynamic slopes and makes sure slopes and their edges work with each direction and interior directions appropriately. Zack & Nathan resolve a myriad of rendering issues, including gradient shaders and backface culling z-fighting. VengantMjolnir becomes our first "Bounty Hunter" and solves an issue with our specular!

Tidbits from January Week 4

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Zack sets BR up with SmartAssembly, Gabe and Zack clear the old W71 UI code out entirely of MP since it'll need to be replaced, Gabriel condenses the unneeded UI to only the necessaries, fixes issues with clipping not functioning properly with scrollbars, fixes fonts, and generally cleans up the UI. Zack cleans up character physics to cut its CPU usage in half, fixes issues with Lidgren (problems we'd had since last year!), and re-factored W28 thruster code in the new engine, tracks down huge lag spikes, among other bug fixes. Nathan continues debug issues the dynamic slopes, correcting each direction one-at-a-time. Micah experiments with "hangar" visualization concepts in 3dsmax.

Tidbits from January Week 5

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan uses a debug corner model to help finalize debug issues with the slopes, Gabe and Aaron work on prettifying parts of the new Login screen, Zack continues debugging issues with the physics in multiplayer. We test the new SmartAssembly error reporter, makes spotting user-submitted bugs much easier since it highlights where in the code the error came from. By the very end of January, the first release in 78 weeks was made available to Founder members! The first release is simply a test of the 2D pipeline, but represents a huge development milestone on our end!

Bullet Points for January

+ The first raw development build is released to Founders!
+ Founder's Club introduced to Forums
+ New dynamic slope system integrated
+ Normals and tangents aligned for new slope system

- All pipelines needs to be debugged for several months before 'gameplay'


In the previous month...
In December we'd finished off the voxel mesh / texture atlas upgrade and decided it'd be for the best if we lumped the dynamic slopes into the schedule before releasing to the Founders. This unfortunately meant that if we were to reach our deadline of "before the end of January 2014", it'd have to launch rough and without the time for polish (/things to do)!

Dynamic slopes
The dynamic slope system took Nathan most of the month to debug and correct for all graphical issues, but by the end of January it was ready to go and is now a powerful piece of BR's feature arsenal. To put it simply, the dynamic slopes allows us (and the community) to very easily add new types of slopes to the game. Need a chamfer edge? No problem. Need a reverse-double-twist pyramid? It can be done! There was a lot of work to make sure it'd operate 100% of the time and properly remove unnecessary polygons (a staple of voxel games), and are very happy with the results.

Founders Club
After being recommended by some folks on the forums, we've introduced the "Founder's Club" where we can keep the original community together, give back to those who supported us since the beginning, and not lose sight of those who helped us get where we are. Anyone who'd purchased BR before January 1st 2014 is eligible, and you can access the Founder's Board on the forums:

The first build is released to Founders!
Squeezing its way in (and barely making our target estimate from November), we make our first release since W71 to the Founders in the Founders Club! The new engine is still in a bubbling primitive state however, so our first build is just a (successful!) test of application dependencies and the log-in screen to make sure everything's working on other machines.

What's Next?

Now that we're able to release raw private builds to the Founder members, next month is continued debugging by the Founders of the engine's pipelines; 2D, 3D, UI (command buttons, scroll bars, etc). The plan for the next few months is to hit each of the game's pipelines one at a time until everything is running A-OK.

Stand by for February in Review!

To follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, sign up for the newsletter, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page! We're also on the Dev Chat from 9:00am-5:00pm (EST) almost every day, so if you've got a question or comment fire away!

- Aaron

December 2013 In Review

December 2013 In Review

1 year ago News 0 comments

Finishing the voxel mesh/texture atlas system, beginning the new dynamic slopes system, and loads and loads of work in preparation in release during the...

November in Review

November in Review

1 year ago News 0 comments

November was another big month for Blockade Runner! Along with development timeline infographics to help put the development in perspective, November...

October in Review (Part 2)

October in Review (Part 2)

1 year ago News 0 comments

Besides the major announcement of our transition to SharpDX, the second half of October was a really busy month on the refactoring end of things! The...

The Summer & Autumn Upgrade

The Summer & Autumn Upgrade

1 year ago News 1 comment

In yesterday's Bi-Week in Review we'd mentioned we a bit of an information drop that was too long for a single post. Perhaps you may recall earlier this...

The on-going space voxel project by the six sibling studio, ZanMgt! A labor of love, Blockade Runner is an ever-evolving development that's currently undergoing a major engine overhaul to provide a solid foundation for the game's bi-weekly builds. We've...
Blockade Runner 0.71.0c Full Setup (2012)

Blockade Runner 0.71.0c Full Setup (2012)

3 years ago Demo 3 comments

Stability fixes for the multiplayer, we've opened the solo option up, put a "start server" option in the multiplayer menu, added new glass transparency...

Blockade Runner 0.70.0 Full Setup (2012)

Blockade Runner 0.70.0 Full Setup (2012)

3 years ago Demo 1 comment

This week’s update includes a boost in performance, new asteroid generation with ore and craters, fixes for some multiplayer instabilities and more!

Blockade Runner 0.69.0 Full Setup (2012)

Blockade Runner 0.69.0 Full Setup (2012)

3 years ago Demo 1 comment

This week’s update includes procedurally generated asteroids, new debri physics when chiseling your way through rock, a new toggle-able “zero-g”...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 197)
[ZanMgt]Aaron Creator
[ZanMgt]Aaron Mar 24 2014 says:

December and January in review are finally up... now onto February. =X

+1 vote   reply to comment
Alternative_Gaming Sep 8 2013 says:

Make it realistic!

+1 vote     reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Aaron Creator
[ZanMgt]Aaron Sep 10 2013 replied:

If you're referring to the styles for the character, atm we're favoring the final rendition of the head on the far right:

+1 vote   reply to comment
Alternative_Gaming Nov 11 2013 replied:

Sorry for my overly short comment. I'm referring to physics mostly. Games like this one would have its fun factor increased if it would be realistic. So far, looks good.

+1 vote     reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Aaron Creator
[ZanMgt]Aaron Mar 10 2014 replied:

Realistic, to a degree. 100% realistic is questionable for its fun content. ;D

+1 vote   reply to comment
Endimmion Aug 4 2013 says:

Blockade Runner is now on

+1 vote     reply to comment
5Jango5 Jan 19 2013 says:

I built a cube with an engine and a gun...

+4 votes     reply to comment
Spender Dec 17 2012 says:

I dont know. I bought the game and spent a while in the forums, and Im sceptical. At the moment there is basically no game, but the devs promise sooooo much.

Every time someone opens a thread asking for X or complaining about Y they respong "Yeah well add that for sure!! / That will be fixed!!"

I mean if all they promise will come true we will have a mixture of Star Citizen and Minecraft, with a never seen before Physics-Engine that allows motion of fluids and gasses O_o I just dont see such a small studio make all of this happen on their own, without even a Kickstarter.

+3 votes     reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Aaron Creator
[ZanMgt]Aaron Dec 19 2012 replied:

Well, check out Liquid Cubed ( on the Liquids/Gasses front, and while I would ordinarily suggest you just "wait and see" and play the demo, you've apparently already given your financial support!

We can't promise everything will be in all at once, however our development is aimed towards achieving those things we're confident can be done over a realistic period of time. Some of it will require more helping hands in the long-run which we'll be asking for community assistance with (modding, ar, and much of the general content expansion we're expecting we'll need to increase the size of our team to accomplish.

That said, the engine is continually evolving and being worked on every day (including the weekends) in an attempt to make a playable, working demonstration of the game's promise to be out of the realm of "maybe" and into "likely". It's the beauty of being an indie and being able to take that risk on something new and innovative.

Although few in number, we've been working diligently the past several months on the multiplayer and character engine to make it absolutely seamless, and hope you'll stick around to give it a shot once it's ready for release. =)

+3 votes   reply to comment
Schnuffs Nov 30 2012 says:

Soooo...someone gonna make a Sinistar?

I am Sinistar, beware I live, run run run, I hunger, brawwwWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Blockade Runner
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Latest tweets from @zanmgt

Aaron: Also, lack of Skylakes in NA is irritating. Delaying Terah's new dev rig, yo. =P

Sep 22 2015

Aaron: To participate in the discussion regarding NDA's, hit up the Founder's Club forums here:

Sep 22 2015

Aaron: I could be wrong though.. it's why we're considering applications for NDA's, so we can atleast get feedback without as much worry =\

Sep 22 2015

Aaron: We'd planned to let people play Micah's previous Unity standalone weeks ago, but held it back since I feel it shows too much.

Sep 22 2015

A: I brought up a map concept that really goes opposite to what we we'd been going for all this time, but suits the present direction better

Sep 22 2015

Aaron: I put it at "80% fun", but worry that the combat is so fast-paced and the map screen is fast-paced that it'll be exausting.

Sep 22 2015

A: I'm getting summer schedule together, T's been doing art practice to broaden skillz, and Z's been working with N on MP (where he can). :D

Jul 29 2015

A: We want to get everyone another standalone, so we'll be taking an earlier rough draft on crew control and preparing it for consumption ;D

Jul 29 2015

Aaron: M's Unity standalones have given us some phenominal previews for gameplay mechanics, but we're not quite willing to share just yet.

Jul 29 2015

A: G's been mostly making passes on his pathfinding logic to prepare it for in-game use, but has also been working with game design changes.

Jul 29 2015

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Blockade Runner
Blockade Runner
Last Update
1 year ago
501 members