Not logged in, Join Here! or Log In Below:  
News Articles Search    

Submitted by Kurt Miller, posted on December 14, 2001

Image Description, by Kurt Miller

The screenshots in this image are from Strayfire, the first game by Gradient Studios, my infant game company. The main artwork was done by Max Shelekhov (link), the music was done by Pete Burke & Jeff Jordan (link), and I designed / coded the game.

Strayfire is an arcade-style shoot'em up with 3D accelerated graphics, hordes of enemies, gigantic bosses, and gobs of special effects. It will eventually be released as inexpensive shareware, but I decided to release a beta version here first. I'm still working on finishing/cleaning it up, and I was hoping you could help me test it :D. The game requires a 3D accelerator (TNT2 or better) and DirectX 7.0.

The test demo features the complete first level. Its quite similar to what the shareware demo will look like, but the goal of this release is mainly compatibility testing. It has been succesfully tested on a TNT2 32Mb, Radeon DDR 64Mb, and a Voodoo3 16Mb. If you decide to give the demo a go, please send info about any compatibility issues, crashes, bugs, funky behavior, etc, here, with as many details as you can provide (including system specs) so I can fix them! Thanks a lot.

The only known issue at this time: if you have multi-monitor support enabled, you'll likely need to disable it before running the video hardware configuration utility.

Its available for download here: strayfire-beta-12-14-2001-p1-setup.exe (8.2MB, updated 12/15/2001 - 3:55AM, EXE-only here)
Please don't distribute the test demo. Have fun! Don't forget to use the shield!


Image of the Day Gallery


Message Center / Reader Comments: ( To Participate in the Discussion, Join the Community )
Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
Kurt Miller

December 15, 2001, 03:08 AM

Have a look here too :D

Kurt Miller

December 15, 2001, 04:12 AM

">>One problem I noticed though. When you try to maneuver with the arrow keys, you can't move diagonally. You have probably noticed this, and maybe I overlooked the problem in this huge message board. But that could be a big playability issue. "

Hmm, that's very strange! Holding up/left (for example) on the keyboard moves the ship diagonally. I really have no idea why it wouldn't be working for you. The game's input logic clearly permits it, but I'll double check the code.


December 15, 2001, 04:25 AM

Looks great kurt!!

Ran fine onmy celeron 450 + TNT1/16MB


December 15, 2001, 04:43 AM

the game looks like great fun. i`ll try it later.
what i would really like to know, is how to build the levels for these kind of games. i'm pretty shure everyone know how to build a
"quake-like-level", but for shoot-em-ups there is near to no info about that.

are there any links about this topic?
is it time-consuming to build a level?
is the level-background only a bmp or is it 3d?

i also saw the screen of the "stryfire map editor". look interesting.
can you say a bit about it?

Joakim Hårsman

December 15, 2001, 05:15 AM

Works great for me (Athlon 900/256 GeForce 2MX, Win2000), but I can't use my Joypad to control the ship. NOt sure if joystick support is in yet, but there was some stuff about joysticks in the menu so... Anyways I thought it was great fun, no to hard at all, I just watched your recorded demo and stole your tactics :) But the HUD elements are to intrusive, they hide a lot of the background. And it would be nice if there were some kind of evasive manouvre, like a roll that you could do to avoid bullets easier. ANd of course, more, bigger, more colourful weapons! All the current ones are kind of the same kind of weapon but with more spread, it would be great if there were some more "focused" ones, or something that allowed you to fire sideways.


December 15, 2001, 05:46 AM

very nice game, but i think for the beginner its VERY hard to play.
this is not because so much skill is required, but more because you dont know how to use the shield. i played several times (normal difficulty), but i died too often. then i just watched the demo and played again (EXTENSIVE use of the shields), and it was very easy!

maybe there should be some kind of tutorial or hint to use the shields more often ..


December 15, 2001, 07:36 AM

Seems to me the problem is Win2k.

Win2k is a tad bit more pesky about little details like unhandled exceptions and the like ;)

Anyhoo, it's GREAT to FINALLY see some games, and not just engines :)

Keep up the good work!

Ron Frazier

December 15, 2001, 07:45 AM

diagonal seemed to work for me. However, what Steve might be experiencing is something similar to what I have. There is something about my keyboard and/or bios (or maybe this happens on all systems) which makes it so that I can only register so many keys at once (no just in your game, in every app). If I hold down too many key at once (usually 4 or 5) it starts beeping and the most recently pressed key doesnt register.

Ron Frazier

December 15, 2001, 07:53 AM

I agree, the HUD is a bit intrusive (I found myself repeatedly exploding everytime I went into the bottom left corner).

However, in regards to firing sideways, if you power-up enough, your weapon fires almost sidways. Once I got that powerup, I just kicked some rear end all the way to the boss.

Ron Frazier

December 15, 2001, 07:54 AM

8,473,965 for me


December 15, 2001, 09:14 AM

Surprisingly the game runs fine on my laptop (Asus L8400K, P III 850, 256MB, S3 SavageMX 8MB).

I think there's a bug in the video setup app because it allows only two choices : 800x600 and ... 800x600.

The game is pretty hard and I must say that although it looks finer than most it lacks the feeling I had when playing my (still) favorite shoot'em ups (Super star soldier, Final soldier and GunHed on the old PC Engine console). Grab an emulator and try those if you can.



December 15, 2001, 09:24 AM


that is one cool game...I like the explosions (unfortunately it seems that my ship is exploding more often than anything else;)

Gameplay - didn't think these oldschool shooters can be so addictive ;)
Models - well, they are ghoul quality (=GREAT)
Sound - BOOMbastic
Music - fits the oldschool style ;)

BTW, what about a QuickSave/Load function for l4m3rs (like me)? :)

- Michael

PS: I had the same problem with the video setup (2 times 800x600).


December 15, 2001, 09:38 AM

man, space tripper kicks ass hard. just like this.

Trevor Tiks

December 15, 2001, 09:39 AM

P2-233, 128MB, W98 SE, DX 8.1, TNT2 32MB (Detonator 21.83) + Voodoo 2 12MB (latest reference driver)

Works fine with TNT2, but the HUD is missing with V2. No slowdowns.

And as stated in the previous posts, i also get twice the same resolution option for both of the cards.

Other than that... nice work, Love it!

Joakim Hårsman

December 15, 2001, 09:42 AM

Actually, for me it crashed with very recent nvidia drivers 21.81, but not with the latest (Detonator XP).

Joakim Hårsman

December 15, 2001, 09:45 AM

I also had 800x600 two times in the video setup, but I don't have two videocards. Also, since some shots are blue, they blend really well with the credits, it would be easier if you could distinguish stuff that kill you easier.

Tomas Nilsson

December 15, 2001, 09:45 AM

Works great on my Celeron 400 MHz, 192Mb RAM, TNT2 & Win98.

I don't think the game is too hard, at least not in the "Easy" mode..

- Tomas


December 15, 2001, 09:50 AM

Works fine on my Compaq Armada 1750, PII 300, 192MB RAM, ATI Rage LT Pro 2MB (AGP), WinXP

Great gameplay and nice artwork, keep up the good work guys! Reminds me of Invasion of the Mutant Space Bats of Doom ;)


December 15, 2001, 10:08 AM

Dang, I hate to be the only one who has a corrupted looking game but I do. Kurt, I sent you an e-mail with some screen shots and my system specs. Its still a pretty addictive game even when textures are flashing tris are popping, i actually played it for a while. Good Job :)



December 15, 2001, 10:17 AM

Who composed the music, and in what format? Can I snag copies? :D


December 15, 2001, 10:23 AM

206721 pionts!!





I LOVE this game! :)

And I would definitly buy it.
(or is it free? :)

Anyway, this game has conquered (or however you should write it) a place on my HD and it will stay there for a looong time :)


December 15, 2001, 11:05 AM

I'm afraid the sprites also don't show up on my system.
Only the background and some glowing dots where the
sprites should be.

Using Win2k and DX8.1 on an ATI XPERT 98.


December 15, 2001, 11:16 AM

Anyone else make it up to the boss on Advanced? That's one tough bastard. I only had 2 lives left so he mauled me.


December 15, 2001, 11:16 AM

This game kicks arse!:-) I had to uninstall it though so that I can get some work done.

I should finish my own 3d accelerated scrolling shooter some time.

My specs..

128mb RAM
Directx 8.0

As some people have mentioned, I only get the choice of 800x600 in the resolutions box.



December 15, 2001, 11:25 AM


I just wanted to play it again, but it crashed hard..
Couldn't do anything after the screen whent black, only option was to do a hard reset.

My system:

P!!! 933
Windows XP Pro

Alex May

December 15, 2001, 11:27 AM

Works fine on my setup, Win2k, GeForce 2 GTS, 512MB RAM + keyboard, mouse and monitor with one post-it note on it. No bugs that I could see. Well done, it's a good game, but I think I prefer Star Monkey. I think you should change it so that your enemies are smaller in size and more numerous, more varied, and with more identifiable firing patterns. I think your first boss doesn't look very nice, it's too simplistic in its modelling and movement for me (I don't like most of the bosses in Star Monkey either, mind you - the bosses in Space Tripper are great though). As someone else said, the powerups are cool, but probably need to go a bit further given the amount of powerup pickups it's possible to get. As a personal preference, I've always disliked shields, so that doesn't do it for me really; I prefer dodging bullets, so if it was up to me I'd make the player ship and possibly the enemy bullets smaller too. The multi-coloured bullets on the boss look too much like a particle system demo to me. Am I being too critical? I enjoyed it, it has some nice old-school music, nice effects with lots of stuff going on, and doesn't pretend to be something it isn't.

And Hello Everyone, by the way (yes this is my first post)



December 15, 2001, 11:28 AM

I had the same problem on my system richard. Play once and it's fine, the second time it locks hard. Upgrading to the newest Detonator drivers fixed it.


December 15, 2001, 11:39 AM

I also have 800x600 two times in the video setup, and I don't have two videocards. Geforce2 gts, W2k pro, Athlon.


Sami Hamlaoui

December 15, 2001, 12:05 PM

i have to say that this game is infinatly times better when playing with a joypad. i've just god a simple 8-dir 4-button one which i usually only use when playing emulated metal slug, but with this game it was awesome!

i like the fact that you can play your own mp3's instead of the in-game ones too, helps "personalise" the experience a little ;)

keep up the good work



December 15, 2001, 12:18 PM


This thread contains 114 messages.
First Previous ( To view more messages, select a page: 0 1 2 3 ... out of 3) Next Last
Hosting by Solid Eight Studios, maker of PhotoTangler Collage Maker.