- update 31-may-2012 -
The Combat Prototype sourcecode is available, open to anyone willing to have a look, so they can see what's required to make a very basic game in OpenGL and C#.

- update 06-march-2013 -
Development of the game is contuining, but at a very slow pace due to real life commitments.

If you wish to make suggestions, feel free to post on the forums of Star Apocalypse or contact us directly here.

Star Apocalypse is the reinvention of the 4X genre. The game is a real time game of intergalactic civilisation, using the computation power of modern computers to run advanced simulations on cultural, technological and societal interaction and development.

Alpha Gameplay

The Alpha gameplay and graphics will be very basic. In the alpha, you start out as an organisation like modern-day NASA or any similar space flight organisation. Your objective will be to lead humanity into space, and try to get a self sufficiënt presence in space.

This all will happen in a totally random-generated universe. The universe is already set up in such a way that it can accomodate Beta-phase gameplay. It is a universe of 500 stars, each with their own scientific stats. The universe is meant to be as scientifically-accurate as possible. It will feature systems with planets, asteroids, planetoids, stars and more. These will all have scientific stats, like planets having atmospheres with pressure, temperature and such. Planets and Stars will also have an escape velocity. These will all influence the handling of ships, populations, etc.

Speaking of ships, those will have real scientific stats, like mass, thrust and such. This will all calculate into ships having a limited range and a limited set of objects they can take off from. In fact, range won't be limited by a hard kilometer distance. If you want to travel to the next Star System, you can do so, but it'll take you thousands of years, if not more. Range will be limited by your Delta Velocity Capacity. This is roughly the capacity to change speed. You can save on this, by using other celestial objects' gravity to slingshot yourself to your destination. This will cause a trade-off between speed and propellant consumption.

Once you have the technologies to become self-sufficiënt in space, competitors will also start to challenge you. They will compete for the same resources (which are limited). You win the game by being the first to settle a colony in a nearby system. In the Beta, the win condition will be different, although alpha gameplay will be preserved.

The graphics of the Alpha won't be meaningful, to say the least. It will be a simple Windows Forms application, with some parts of it having OpenGL rendering (like the Map). The goal of the Alpha is to test basic gameplay mechanics and to be able to quickly prototype things. By the time of the Beta, we'll start working on providing proper graphics.

Features of the Alpha:

  • A scientifically realistical universe, featuring systems with planets, stars, asteroids, planetoids, moons, oort clouds, kuiper belts, and more! And these all orbit eachother!
  • Semi-realistical spacecraft movement, based on acceleration instead of max speed.
  • Start as a modern-day space-flight organisation, and become self-sufficiënt in space.
  • Research technologies and explore planets with rovers and probes to increase your knowledge.
  • Hard-scifi setting!
  • Design starships from the ground up, with realistic stats for each component.
  • Build bases on remote planets, moons, asteroids and planetoids.
  • Compete with several other players or AI's for the same resources (*)

What the Alpha won't have:

  • Shiny Graphics.
  • The gameplay as described below. The beta will form the transition period from the above to the final gameplay.

* - This will be implemented in a later Alpha Build.


In Star Apocalypse the player takes control of a society just as it is about to reach the stars. The player will guide them to found new colonies, construct massive fleets, and improve their economy. So far, nothing new to the 4X genre.
However, the player will not directly control everything, he is in fact limited to the options available to his central government, not even necessarily his entire populace on his home world. Thus the player will play a game of internal politics as distant colonies and minorities will strive to better their lot in life. The player will be just as busy keeping the empire together as he is expanding it!
The player will try to guide his civilisation as best he can forward into the galaxy and the future, where new technologies, unknown species and ultimately, ascension from the corporeal form await him, amongst other things.


Star apocalypse is set in a not so distant future, where man is just and about able to start mining the solar system, all the way to a very distant future where man travels from one end of the universe to the other in the blink of an eye.
The map is a galaxy system much like the milky way, with thousands, if not millions, of stars to explore.


  • Internal politics: A faction, like yours, is a rather fuzzy term that can contract and expand.
  • Full galaxy map: You will never be done with exploring due to the sheer size of the map (which is random generated each time!).
  • Societal evolution: During the game the cultural values, desires and AI behavior evolve.
  • Open ended tech system: Allows for constant inclusion of new technologies to the game.
  • Dynamic Universe: Civilizations rise and fall over time, the player starting right in the middle of it.
  • Scientific Realism: Our aim is to make the game as scientifically accurate as possible on every area.
  • Timeline from the start of space flight till the distant future.

Target audience

This game is made to appeal to the science fiction fans, fans of the 4X genre & strategy games in general, and people who enjoy political/historical simulations.

Game goal

The goal of the game is to lead your civilisation as best you can; what this means however evolves along with your society. This is subject to the cultural values of your society, which bring certain expectations and focus to your society. It is dependant on the stratification of your society; a civilisation base on slavery requires a large military to maintain it. It is dependant on on your dependency towards other colonies; Rome needs the Egyptian grain. Etcetera. From being a brutal warlord to an enlightened technocracy, your goals evolve with your society.


  • Watch your society evolve from a third rate ‘new-to-space' culture to a vast, galaxy spanning civilisation.
  • Carefully manage the balance of power on which you rule your subjects, or face uprisings and revolutions.
  • Survive in a galaxy that is in constant turmoil, wage war on interstellar scale, craft powerful alliances, or go isolationist and try to keep the galaxy out of the door as much as possible.
  • We will try to keep the game easy to modify, so fans can build their own variations!
  • We prefer the game to be released under a pay-what-you-want scheme, but if Desura doesn't allow this, we'll look for different ways to allow donations. Possibly coupled with several editions of the game.

Sounds like something you'd like to play? Why not watch this profile, comment and participate! We can always use community input!

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Early UI mockup Procedural Skybox prototype/concept Procedural Gradient
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: General progress update autumn 2013

0 comments by dirtbag007 on Sep 29th, 2013

Hey everyone,

I'm gonna give some updates on progress and do a few announcements for the game in this post.

First of all, I have been working on a very simplified game engine. It is a 2D graphics engine with very simple code. It also does not care a bit about the gameplay code, as long as it gets its stuff to draw to the screen. It's quite the thing which a gfx engine should do in my eyes. I have also implemented inside this engine mini-threading functionality which balances the execution of the gameplay code library over several threads. The intention is to make the game scale with future hardware and with different hardware specs modern day. More CPU power will mostly enhance the size of the universe and the AI. More RAM will mostly increase the possible size. The threading functionality does not fully work as intended yet, but I'm getting close. I hope to be able to show some demonstrations somewhere in the coming weeks.

Another announcement I want to make is that I'll be releasing the soundtracks made for Star Apocalypse between july 2006 and now as CC-BY-SA for downloading somewhere in october. So it'll be added as a download package on here. Most of the devs on the project are also people who value an open culture with freedom to share the cultural fruits of others. In this, we want to release the soundtracks as items which can be freely shared and even be used in other commercial projects, as long as a reference to us is given.

I also want to apologize for a lack of updates. I have had a lot going on in real life, and still have. That has allowed me to spend little time on coding. Things should be slowly starting to settle down now, so hopefully I can get that game engine working within a few weeks.

Another announcement is that I intend to release a smaller game using this engine and minithreading capabilities before I will develop a full 4X game with it. It allows me to optimize it for running deep 4X simulations once I know the strengths and weaknesses of this engine.

This was it for this time. I hope to be able to show something really ingame the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, you can always contact me by email, PM on here, comments or on steam by my profile at Steamcommunity

PS: Little shoutout to the FAF community for pointing me this excellent vid:

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Downloads RSS Feed Latest Downloads
Star Apocalypse OST Pack 1

Star Apocalypse OST Pack 1

Oct 16, 2013 Music 0 comments

License: CC-BY-SA. Has a surprise inside for the ones who will receive these transmissions on short notice. File can be opened with winrar and 7zip.

Pre alpha code converted to XNA

Pre alpha code converted to XNA

May 11, 2013 Other 0 comments

This is the Pre alpha code of the very buggy version of past summer converted to XNA rendering. The game library itself was hardly changed. Had this sitting...

Orbital Motion Prototype

Orbital Motion Prototype

May 11, 2013 Other 0 comments

This is the prototype we used to optimize orbital motion. It features very simple mechanics to simulate a 'simplified' orbital motion method. It can simulate...

Current Pre-Alpha build sourcecode

Current Pre-Alpha build sourcecode

Jul 24, 2012 Source Code 0 comments

This is the sourcecode of the current Pre-Alpha buil.d It is far from complete, and as such, should be considered as such. For license info, see license.txt...

Non-playable Star Apocalypse Alpha Preview

Non-playable Star Apocalypse Alpha Preview

Jul 18, 2012 Demo 0 comments

This is a non-playable Alpha preview. It is posted to show you how far we are, and what direction we'll be heading in. You're free to give feedback on...

Combat Prototype Sourcecode

Combat Prototype Sourcecode

Feb 24, 2012 Source Code 0 comments

This is the full Combat Prototype sourcecode, released under LGPL license. Open it with Visual Studio C# 2010. The sourcecode is partially documented...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 82)
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Oct 16 2013, 9:04am says:

Video posted which is also included on the soundtrack download. I do have ingame stuff to show, but it is still very ugly looking actually. Consider it rather a working game engine demonstration than really something which looks nice.

+1 vote   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Sep 13 2013, 9:50pm says:

The moment you lose a large piece of source code due to stupidity. Really felt like a moron then!

+1 vote   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 May 11 2013, 11:01am says:

Posting the prototype of the video now. XNA code with ready to use installer. Should be approved very soon.

+1 vote   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Mar 13 2013, 6:02am says:

Having no broadband connection since a week is quite weird. 2 more days and then it should be fixed!

+1 vote   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Feb 27 2013, 6:48pm says:

Alright. Got the first gift ready. Anyone who wants to test it, feel free to send me a private message (I am not entirely happy with the results yet, but it is a great thing to have working now in some way).

The 2nd real treat I want to have done (and working on that a lot now), will take some more time. I think many of you will love it in some ways though. It just requires a real big amount of work.

+1 vote   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Feb 27 2013, 9:40pm replied:

video demonstrating the 2nd gift will be up in a moment :)

edit: Processed now. Watch it!

+1 vote   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Feb 10 2013, 9:16pm says:

Another update coming soon! Having finished my tests of several techniques, I'm working on the first real game code which will be in the final game now!

+2 votes   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Jan 28 2013, 7:28pm says:

Density wave theory :) tasty!

+2 votes   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Jan 27 2013, 6:17pm says:

Ok i decided to skip the nifty functionality later needed for the project and actually finish a first gameplay element :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Jan 24 2013, 8:17pm says:

will try to write a newspost tomorrow :) Got something made which is some nifty functionality!

+2 votes   reply to comment
dirtbag007 Creator
dirtbag007 Jan 26 2013, 9:22pm replied:

damn I accidentally broke it while trying to expand it. I will revert to old code and finish my stuff :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
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Star Apocalypse
Developer & Publisher
Darkmatter Development
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Latest tweets from @darkmatterindie

Ok everyone who likes games or scifi, hold tight and watch this: T.co

Oct 15 2012, 4:28pm

Writing a full concept of our new game. It's still a rough idea, but already sounds quite awesome. Has influences of SMAC and EFS.

Sep 9 2012, 6:09am

Troubled times currently ahead for me, as I seem to have been ill for a long time, and it's getting serious now. Hoping for the best!

Aug 22 2012, 4:34pm

Finally managed to relax for the first time in a few weeks! Felt very good! Except that I couldn't actually afford it, but it doesn't bother

Aug 7 2012, 8:08pm

Real life problems are taking a full swing again, taking precious coding time away from me. It can't seem to go well for more than a week!

Aug 2 2012, 7:26pm

Finally managed to pick up the code again. Seems we're switching to GTK# now, which provides better Linux compatibility!

Jul 31 2012, 3:19pm

Really knackered after 2 days of campaigning for the parliamentary elections! Need to get back to coding soon!

Jul 28 2012, 12:35pm

Released the sourcecode of the Star Apocalypse Alpha prototype. If anyone wants to pick up on the sourcecode, let me know :)

Jul 26 2012, 8:20pm

Just picked up a small match of Alpha Centauri and Emperor of the fading suns. These 2 combined would make for a kickass game!

Jul 23 2012, 2:01pm

Continuing work on the Alpha, after a short hiatus due to parliamentary election campaign stuff.

Jul 22 2012, 2:57pm

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Star Apocalypse
Star Apocalypse
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