Analysis of other 3D space flight simulator games

Looking at the trove software map on there are 11584 projects under games/entertainment, and 1159 simulation games (the most of any games sub-directory). I did a search for "3D space flight" in this trove section simulation to see what other open source games were hosted on I did this because I did not want to re-create the wheel. If there was a game out there that was, or aimed to be what SpaceFlight3D aims to be, I think it would be a better idea to work on that.

Below is a summary of the 3D flight sims I found. Sadly, most of them never got off the ground, but I did find a few that looked interest,and I will try out.

List of some games on SF.NET Games->Simmulation found using a search string of "3D space flight"
Name and link Date registered Description Prognosis
Asteroids3d 2002-05-05 Asteroids 3D is a 3D flight-sim-style remake of the classic arcade game, which runs under Win32 with DirectX 8.1 or higher. This version contains new twists, such as timed waves, martian fighters, and communication satellites to defend! Looks great! I gotta try this out. Doesn't look like its been worked on in a while, but looks like a playable game.
Valkyrie 2000-03-09 Flight Simulation for vehicles from the Macross Universe News jumps from 2002-2005, looks like it is still developed, but hasn't gotten far in 5 years. Nice website though, no screenshots up however.
crrcsim 2000-07-26 CRRCSim is a model-airplane flight simulation program for Linux with ports to other platforms. Using CRRCSim you can learn how to fly model aircraft, test new aircraft designs, and improve your skills by practicing in the relative safety of your pc. Looks pretty cool! Looks like development stopped for a few years, but there is some recent activity. Screenshots look super slick.
PhoenixOSFS 2003-03-11 The Phoenix Open Source Flight Simulator project is designed to create the ultimate base for combat flight simulators. Every piece will be designed as modular as possible allowing component switching and a great opportunity for community development. Has 21 registered developers, but I can't tell if has had much dvelopment. Doesn't look like they've come far in 2 years.
Star Tormozzz 2003-07-26 Star Tormozz (ST) is an Open-Source flight simulator developing project, based on OpenGL rendering engine. No website, one release in 2003, I assume this project is dead.
XBG 2001-12-26 A freeware flight simulator based off of the 1970s TV show Battlestar Galactica No releaes, doesn't look like this project made it very far.
Requital 2001-02-28 A Space-Flight Simulator, divided into two parts. The first is sapphire-fx, a scriptable particle-engine for OpenGL. The second is the game and game engine iteself. Webpage doesn't really work, no file releases, looks dead.
VAIR 2001-03-17 A massively multiplayer flight simulator that allows players to create virtual airlines and virtual airports, that they can fly to in real time. They can fly privately if they wish with real-time atc at certain airport Sounds like an overly ambitious project that never took off. No homepage.
Open Combat 2004-08-06 OpenCombat is a project to define and implement a cross-platform combat game that will allow players to participate in different types of games in one common compatible game world. Similar to the combination of a flight sim, FPS, and tank shooter, in one No download, but a homepage. Writing a single game is hard enough. Writing a cross-platform flight sim, fps, and tank shooter is double-plus hard. Doesn't seem to have gotten off the ground.
Fly Away 2002-12-05 Free Radio Control Plane Simulator. No homepage, I think the developers flew away.
Cold Fire 2004-08-26 Coldfire is a Space Simulation Adventure game. The player will be involved in combat and space flight, navigating asteroid fields and performing hair raising maneuvers. There will be multi player support for dogfights against AI and humans. Looks like they have some source on their cvs, I can't tell from the screenshots how far along they are. Doesn't look like it has gotten too far.
Palomino 2005-06-09 Palomino is an arcade-style flight simulator written in C++ based on OpenGL. Recently started, released some source, i'll keep an eye on this project.
EATFITS 2005-02-18 EAFIT Flight Sim - An educational Flight Simulator using the free/open Ogre3D engine. Nothing released yet, no homepage, but only registered 7 months ago. Too early to write this project off completely, but doesn't look like much has happened.
AeroSim 2002-10-26 High realistic civilian flight simulator. Our primary goal is to provide a realistic physics simulation as well as a realistic environment (day/night, weather effects including wind, fog, rain, snow, etc.), different aircrafts to choose from, etc. No news, no releases, no activity, no homepage. I assume this project got nowhere
Lin Sim 2004-08-22 A simulation game combining first (MS Flight/Train Simulator) and third (SimCity, Sims, etc.) person play styles. The core engine will support as many game types as possible, i.e. Real Time Strategy, First/Third Person Simulation (definitely), First Pers No homepage, no releaes, no activity. Probably never got off the ground.
Rockets Red Glare 2002-10-03 This program is an astrodynamic flight simulation for Linux-based systems. The goal of the player is to travel safely from Earth to Alpha Centauri and back with the supplies and resources given to him/her. Doesn't seem to have gotten anywhere
Civ Flier 2004-08-22 A Civillian Flight Simulator set in the Year of 2050 for Windows and Linux, the game will include Existing Cities (With new Stuff) and new cities, Money, Bulletin Board Systems for Job finding and other stuff, Aircraft Buying, City to City Transportation no homepage, no releases, no activity. Doesn't look like this got off the ground.
SimTrek 2003-08-07 This is a flight simulator attempting to recreate the expererience of flying a shuttlecraft from the STAR TREK series. Support will be included for many popular flight simulation hardware. Looks like this got no where, and in 2005-08-23 they announced it was no longer undevelopment. Looks like this project took 2 years to go nowhere, then got killed.
Patrol Cruiser 2000-02-01 2D Space game, entirely Java Applet based, with simple AWT display. The display and basic flight works - the task at hand is to turn it into a multi-player game. Looks like they released something in 2001, since then , no action. Not exactly a 3D flight sim game, but came up in the search.
A Rotorcraft Simulation Engine 2002-06-20 Da Vinci is a realistic general helicopter flight model engine based upon mathematical analysis of helicopter theory. Doesn't seem to have gotten anywhere.. neat idea though
Gl Heli 2001-03-11 glheli is an ambitious project to accurately simulate a helicopter flight model in real time. It will start with a simple flying example of a Bell UH-1 Huey and progress to a more general simulator with added features such as weather. Author describes it as "ambitious". Looks like it was too ambitious as it went no where
Air 5023 2005-05-30 Air 5023 is a space flight/simulation/FPS. The projects sole purpose/goal is to have fun working with others on a neat project. The game will focus on amazing graphics and the game play will be based around a star wars look and feel with light plot. Recent project, hope these guys are having fun.. after all, thats what its all about! Recently released files in August, no website though. Going to keep an eye on this project.
Java Flight Sim 2005-07-18 Java Flight Simulator is a 3D flight simulator that was programmed using Sun Microsystems' Java3D API. It offers two game modes: Solo Flight - fly and fight against AI enemy planes, and Network Dogfight - host or join a free-for-all network game. No homepage or activity, but only recently registered.. too early to write this project off yet.
RCFS 2005-04-02 OpenSource RC Flight simulator Moved over to (I would too if I could get registered!). Still too early to write them off, looks like they may have released something.
Flight Net 2001-06-05 The purpose of FlightNet is to create an advanced flight simulator based on today's technology. A major key in the project development is the usage of multi-processors systems and LAN networks to gain a high processing power. Four years.. released nothing, I assume this project is dead.
F29 - Retaliator 2 2001-04-22 F29 Retaliator II will be the continuation of the DOS-game F29 Retaliator from Ocean (1991). It have to compare to any other flight simulator of this generation. But it still have to be the easy to fligh flightsimulator as we used from the first version. Doesn't look like got anywhere. Status is set to inactive.
B5: Flight Simulation Freeware 2001-06-04 B5:Flight Simulation Freeware is a game based in the Babylon 5 universe. Our goal it to build a game that provides the player with the experience of flying a starfury through both historical and original missions Doesn't look like it got anywhere, seems to have a fair number of peopled involved though. No activity since 2001.
SpaceFlight3D 2005-09-13 3D space flight combat simulator. Programmed in C++, OpenGL and SDL to be portable across several platforms and operating systems. Light weight graphics with the emphasis on game play, speed and portability. Recently registered, some activity, some source code but no official release. Too early to write this project off. I'll keep an eye on it. (I thought it would be unfitting to not rate my own project with the same critera)

Note: this research is not exhaustive, there are probably several 3D space flight sim projects out there that were developed fully (i.e. vegastrike), and probably more that got started and never got off the ground.
If your project is on this page and you feel i've unfairly said your project never got off the ground email me at and I will correct it. As well, if you've got a 3D game project that never got off the ground, email me and i'll add you to the list.

Here are a list of games that are pretty mature, and my commentary on them. These didn't come up in the search, but I think are worth mentioning. Note: this is not a complete list of OSS 3D games, just some I can think of off the top of my head.
Name and link Description My comments
Vega Strike Vega Strike is a 3d OpenGL Action Space Sim for Win/Lin/Mac allowing players to trade and bounty hunt. You start in a beat up Wayfarer cargo ship with endless possibilities before you and just enough cash to scrape together a life Looks like a great game. I've tried to play it, but the graphics requiresments are too high for me. Screenshots look pretty amazing though. The download file for this game is 190 megs, which was pretty large for me to download then realize that it was too slow to play.
GLTRON gltron was inspired by the film tron - actually, more by all the games that where inspired by the film tron :-) It's a game for one to four players, the objective is not to drive into a wall. Arguably one of the top OSS games out there, portable, runs on most systems, and most of all, fun! The author hangs out in #opengl on with the nick gltron, and is one of the nicest guys to talk to, always willing to help people out with opengl or graphics/game programming.
bzFlag OpenSource OpenGL Multiplayer Multiplatform Battle Zone capture the Flag. 3D first person Tank Simulation. Probably my favorite OSS game out there. Fantastic game, great community. I think that this project had a mindset of: first make it work, then make it better, as the graphics a few years ago were just flat polygons. This game is portable, playable on almost any system and most of all, very fun! I think that this project should be looked at as a model of OSS game development.
Wing Commander Privateer Remake A Privateer style game with Wing Commander ships, set in the Wing Commander Universe. The year is 2669, you have complete freedom to do what YOU want. choose your own destiny as either a male/female human, Kilrathi or firekkan as you travel the universe Seems like a well developed project, but it was too slow on my PIV 2.4ghz machine to play. Seems like these guys took a game that used to play on a 486 or early pentium and made it crawl. Screenshots look cool though, and seems like quite a few people play it.
GL-117 GL-117 is an OpenGL- and SDL-based action flight simulator written in C++. It provides a random terrain generator, lighting effects, sounds, and joystick support. I've been watching this game for years, as it has had a debian package for a long time. I haven't played it much because I can't figure out how to fly it with just the keyboard, but it looks pretty cool. Good graphics with a good framerate on my laptop.

Lesson to learn:
I think the lesson to take home from this excersize is to not be too ambitious. Several of the games above have very ambitious ideas, such as mmorpg online flight sims, great graphics, realistic physics. I think the take home message should be take it one step at a time, and keep your goals realistic, especially if you are the only developer and haven't written a lot of games.

There are a ton of game projects started on that never get off the ground. As well, there are a ton of duplicate game projects out there, forking the amount of developers. What makes this game unique, and will make it succeed? I think that setting the sights low, that is, getting a playable single player game out without a ton of graphics and eye candy is a good start. I think that a lot of the game projects on that didn't go anywhere started off with too ambitious of a goal, and realized that as a single developer, or developers with little experience, it was next to impossible. Also, from the research of existing OSS games, I think there is a lack of a light-weight, portable, playable and fun single player 3D space flight sim. There are projects like vegastrike, which look amazing, but have a fairly high graphics requirement.

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