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What is Vega Strike?

Vega Strike is an Open Source 3d Space Simulator. Currently in Beta development, the project, at version 1.0, is to be a generic space simulator. Current features include split-screen play, trading, exploration and of course plenty of shoot 'em up action .

Why Vega Strike is important to Open Source Software

Hello folks, this is Daniel Horn, the lead developer from Vega Strike speaking (you can e-mail me at hellcatv (where the space is really an at). I attempt to answer all e-mails I get; however, occasionally one gets missed or something. If I don't answer right away feel free to mail me is in my interest to answer every soul who messages me :-) Or post on the forum so that my answers can be seen by the world!

Vega Strike is a fully functional, commercial quality space simulator under the GPL. I have always felt the importance of working together on large projects, and I feel it is so important that developers work together and build on what everyone has accomplished instead of just what one person has accomplished.

Vega Strike is important because there are not many complete-feeling games in the Free Software area. Most games have a few levels and limited gameplay that can last an hour, yet Vega Strike has an entire universe of unique star systems and space phenomena along with plot fragments and things to do. If someone spent the time discovering the systems and secrets within they could easily spend weeks flying through star systems. Some users tire of such gameplay quickly, but some love the unbridled freedom that Vega Strike offers (and interesting things that one can learn to do)

Being the Lead Developer I am normally modest; however, being a Free Software advocate I must declare that Vega Strike has a commercial quality engine with said gameplay, and is moving towards commercial quality art at this point. Many people comment how art from other games simply looks cleaner and better when they try it in Vega Strike with the unique reflection engine and unheard of floating point precision. You do not need a greedy company to make quality software I believe. The main thing Vega Strike lacks is an easy way for a beginner to catch on and learn how to explore the region of space around (to simply fly there would take days, the user must use autopilot and F9 and F10 to compress time). [Note: Time Compression is now deprecated, please use the SPEC drive instead.] However this will be the focus of the next release.

My goal for Vega Strike was to have a centrally modified developer tweaked Vega Strike that had a large developer and artist base with which to improve.

Many programmers come to the Vega Strike site and scoff saying 'Freespace 2 has prettier art and is Open Source as well'. However Freespace is NOT Open Source--it is under a restrictive license that could corner someone into the receiving end of a lawsuit if that person looked at the code and copied the techniques into Vega Strike for instance (people often demand that I add the 'Free Space Nebula effect' to Vega Strike; however, I will only add a DIFFERENT (VS has one) nebula effect if a developer or myself comes up with an original effect!).

Vega Strike started out on my hard drive as more or less a copy of Wing Commander (new engine of course), complete with Origin's beautiful art and wholesale IP borrowing for the factions. However when I decided to publish Vega Strike on the web, my soon-to-be friend and helper Alexander Rawass reminded me about the importance of Open Source software having original artwork and completely free source code. This lead me into modelling many models with only emacs (a text editor) and graph paper. Eventually I had enough (now 30 flyable ships!) for the actual game.

Slowly other artists started contributing art to Vega Strike, and I assured that there was no trace of IP left in the data tree of Vega Strike. I continue to assure this by not viewing the code of the Volition-owned Freespace engine.

  • For more information about Free Software and the Free Software Foundation, GNU and their licenses, and Open source or free software in general you can visit

The game: Vega Strike

As you play, you will see that three races are present in the game. The Aera, Rlaan and The Confederation (human), or Confeds for short. For some background you can read the Fiction included with the data files (recently greatly expanded!) and you can also mosy along over to the Database, containing information on ships/stats/species/terms. Both of these things (the fiction and the website) are under heavy development at the moment and so are not currently incorporated into the website, they will get better and more complete with time.

Developer contributions

Would you like to contribute to Vega Strike and become a developer? Great! Just send us an email about youself, with your skills (or lack of ;-) ) and what you would like to do. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KNOW CODING! We desperately need people to do many other things as well --documentation, artwork etc. If you would like to help, or would like to find out more about the project first, read the Contributor's Guide or go to our forum and ask any questions you might have, what you can do, what needs to be done, etc.

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