Star Horn

by on Oct.27, 2009, under University Projects

Star Horn (or Star Hike, depending on who you ask) was a group assignment for a computer graphics class in my undergraduate course, and my first major 3D game project. It is written in Java, and makes use of the JMonkey game engine.

Initial coding for the HUD and asteroid scene classes was done by other members of the group, as was the work done towards acquiring models, textures, sounds and other resources. On top of work I’ve done over time adding to the aforementioned code, the rest of the code – the core engine code, the gameplay, AI, et cetera – is mine. @author tags in comments should show what code is not mine.

The AI system here was fairly ambitious and only basic elements were working for the final submission; many ideas from it have been carried forward to Battle for Polaris, which is in many ways a continuation of the project re-designed and re-written for OGRE and C++.


  • Control a space ship in a 3D randomly-generated asteroid field
  • Use of graphical effects, such as particles and lens flare.
  • Three weapons: mass driver, laser and homing missile
  • Fight off increasing waves of AI enemies to beat your score

Planned Features

Battle for Polaris is pretty much the successor to this project, and as such I have no explicit plans to work further on Star Horn. However, the wave-defence scenario is something I do want to incorporate into BfP. For posterity and reference, here is the planned features list I had at time of original upload:

  • An easily-executable download version.
  • High Scores screen.
  • A better HUD.
  • More varied enemy ship types.
  • More advanced AI, including coordinated groups and simple adaptivity when choosing ships for the next wave.
  • Power-ups and upgrade purchases.
  • The ability to travel between sectors.

Known Issues

  • There may still be a pesky crash bug or two.
  • Ship rotation could be smoother for the first-person camera.
  • Some other optimisation could improve and smoothen the gameplay.
  • Particle effects could use some tweaking for appearance.


StarHorn Screen 1 StarHorn Screen 2


Star Horn was developed using Eclipse SDK; source code downloads are in the form of Eclipse workspaces. The version of JMonkey with which it was developed is provided.

StarHorn Eclipse Workspace including JMonkey (.ZIP, 60.8 Megabytes)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.