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

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Blog RSS Feed Post news Report abuse Latest News: January in Review (2014)

0 comments by [ZanMgt]Aaron on Mar 24th, 2014

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

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Blockade Runner 0.71.0c Full Setup (2012)

Blockade Runner 0.71.0c Full Setup (2012)

Aug 13, 2012 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)

Aug 2, 2012 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)

Jul 30, 2012 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  (10 - 20 of 197)
Allfather Oct 26 2012 says:

Thank you so much for responding. I greatly appreciate it. There are only a couple issues I have with the game at the moment. The first is the ship turning. It might be better for many people if you implement arrow keys as an alternate way to turn ships aside from the mouse. When maneuvering large, slow-turning ships, the mouse is quite annoying to use. The second thing is flying around in space as your character. There should be a very limited amount of time that Life Support can keep you alive in space when you are not in a ship. It is kinda dumb if I can just get out of my ship, fly around for 10 minutes and land on an enemy ship without them knowing, breach the hull, and kill everyone inside. Landing parties should only be able to reach an enemy ship within reasonable distance, or for tactical boardings at greater distances, employ the use of transport shuttles. It would be simply amazing if you could only be on-foot in space for a minute or two. Please note that when I say things such as "should", I am not attempting to force ideas upon you--nor can I even. I am simply offering suggestions/opinions in the form of player feedback. I wish nothing more than for this game to be prosperous and great. A star among many moons. Thanks again for your time.

+3 votes     reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Creator
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Oct 27 2012 replied:

1) The movement system for big ships will be changing to something much more easier to control.
2) Oxygen will be going into the game, with the plan being that we will use our Liquid Cubed engine ( ) for ships. Allowing you to drain a ships oxygen realistically when you blow a hole in it.
3) Boarding parties can be just foot-soldiers wandering through space, but they themselves would have a limited oxygen tank. The main course for boarding will likely be shuttle/boarding craft.

+4 votes   reply to comment
lowis4 Oct 24 2012 says:

worth buying this game?

mode only has enemies ia or no?

+2 votes     reply to comment
lowis4 Oct 24 2012 replied:

ok thanks for replying

+2 votes     reply to comment
lowis4 Oct 24 2012 replied:

last questions for me the decision to buy it

Someday there will be ia?

also if you break an engine containing liquid were to expulse liquids?

system improvements to ride in the ship?

+2 votes     reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Creator
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Oct 24 2012 replied:

1) There will be AI.
2) Yes.
3) Since the beginning this has been possible.

+2 votes   reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Creator
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Oct 24 2012 replied:

Enemy AI has not been added in yet. You may test a demo of this game by installing one of the downloads we have here on ModDB.

+2 votes   reply to comment
UNSC_SCOUT Oct 23 2012 says:

is there a demo of this game? It looks neat but im not to sure if its what i think it is.

+2 votes     reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Creator
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Oct 24 2012 replied:

Yes there is, just download one of these:

Both allow for a demo version to be played if you have not yet bought the game. Have fun!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Allfather Oct 18 2012 says:

I have a few questions before I buy:
1) Is this open world? Or will there be servers with only a handful of people on each?
2) Could you crew 1 ship with a few other players, or would someone else have to first abandon their ship to board mine?
3) Does ship interior actually make a difference, or is it just for running around "for fun"?
4) Will there be individually-manned weapon turrets?
5) Will there eventually be on-foot combat? (Landing parties, etc.)
6) How much of a factor is teamwork? (Not just several ships ganging up on one, I mean like communication, several people on one ship, etc.)
7) This is similar to a couple of the previous questions, but will one pilot control EVERYTHING? (Navigation, guns, etc.)
8) Will you ever add a "crew" feature, where you can recruit people into your ship and the crew will actually be useful/entertained?
9) If I create a massive flagship, could others "live" on my ship for a cost? Perhaps I own a ferry of sorts?
10) Last one: Does this game aim to be a Simulator, or more of an Arcade-style game?

10 dollars for 10 questions. Please answer them. I feel that I will be pleased regardless from the videos I have seen, but I would greatly appreciate your honest responses. Thanks.

+3 votes     reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Creator
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Oct 24 2012 replied:

1) Players will host their own servers with as many players as technology will allow. We are aiming for 8 players as a bare minimum on each server.
2) Yes you can! It will really be as simple as leaving the front door open and letting players in!
3) How you design your interior is VERY important! If you only have one access route to your engine room and the enemy blows it up, how will your get there to repair it when gets damaged?
4) This will be a possibility; generally we'd expect you will be better off setting these to auto tracking or tying the guns to control consoles.
5) You bet! You play as a persistent FPS character, so you and your buddies can steal aboard an enemy ship and fight your way through the corridors, sabotaging their engines, taking control of the Bridge, etc.
6) We will encourage teamwork wherever possible. However as we are still a little ways away from implementing proper ship mechanics this is hard to judge how exactly crew roles will work together.
7) This will be possible, but for larger ships this will be highly impractical. Imagine trying to fly your cruiser, keep the power balanced, shooting your weapons, and repairing as you take damage at the same time! As you can imagine, crew mates on larger vessels will be a BIG help.

+3 votes   reply to comment
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Creator
[ZanMgt]Gabriel Oct 24 2012 replied:

8) We are looking at 5 major roles to play in an average ship (excluding smaller ships IE fighters). We want the roles to be an natural extension of what you'd need on a Space Ship and therefor all should provide entertainment and be “useful”.
9) This kind of meta-game play style is something that we won't be able to work on for a long while and would likely only be used to transport NPCs. But we would like that to be a viable form of mission for players to choose.
10) A mixture of both really. We want the interface and controls (IE flying the ship and “pew pew”ing) to be simple, but the inner workings of the ship to be deep without you requiring an engineering degree to build it. We are making a game where everything matters. Every system, every bulkhead has weight and a purpose and can adversely effect a ship if destroyed.

+2 votes   reply to comment
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Blockade Runner
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Blockade Runner
Blockade Runner
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1 year ago
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