Saturday, April 02, 2011

3D Space Game for Android

This is pretty much "Elite for Android" [edit - no longer available due to copyright concerns]. It's a port of a port of a remake of a fan-tweaked version of Elite. I first wrote this as a remake of Angus Duggans's Elite A for the GBA (Elite A being a tweaked version of the original Elite on the BBC Micro), ported that to the DS and now here it is on Android. It's not been without problems due to a severe lack of buttons on a phone. This version adds in "classic mode" to play the game without the Elite A modifications.

I started the Android port back in October 2010 and it was more or less complete by December 2010. I've spent the months since then squashing bugs and refining the controls. Hopefully it will work on a lot of devices - I've been testing on 2009 vintage hardware - but there's no way to know for sure. Try it and let me know. In particular Samsung really threw a spanner in the works by not supplying a d-pad or trackball on the Galaxy S.

There are still some known problems in this first release:
  • Yellow line under title is not always shown
  • Sprite text still shown on panels
  • Long press should show route to planet (bit flakey, ditto Galactic Hyperspace)
  • Text occasionally does not update
Most of these are due to the GBA/DS heritage, but none are show stoppers. I'll be updating with fixes as people complain :-) Also, the Nintendo DS and GBA "backports" of this code are not ready, so this is Android-only for now. There are still some outstanding problems that I need to fix on the DS, and the GBA code is further off, but I'm starting to get project fatigue here and need a change.

This video shows the gameplay, it's a little choppy - if anyone knows a good way to video off an Android device I'd love to know. I used droid@screen for this, which seems to be the best option out there, but it doesn't record video. I had to record the X11 window separately using xvidcap and this made things slightly worse. Anyway, on with the show:


  1. Very interesting project keep up the good work. Are you going to make the source code available as I have only just moved from the gameboy advance as a homebrewer. I am interested in making a version of this game but for multiplayers using some of the builting blocks that adnroid have produced.

  2. Look for some news about this soon-ish.

  3. awesome - if this gets hardware keyboard support it'll be the only game i'll ever need

  4. Hardware keys is quite possible, I imagine they'd work a lot better than the "slightly tricky" tilt controls.

  5. This is marvellous - thank you so much!

    Hardware keys would be very handy, as I've just bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an external keyboard.

  6. Anonymous12:56 am

    I take my had off to you Mr Quirk this is some fine work you are doing, the tilt control works a treat, im just having problems saving my game at the mo


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