Stellation is a multi-player, networked game played via a web browser. It's very loosely based on Planetarion, but fixes a number of things that I feel are lacking. (But don't let me put you off Planetarion; it's a great game --- but I think that it could be so much better.)

One of Stellation's main differences is that it features real geography; a galaxy of about a hundred (currently) stars on a 2D grid. You can occupy as many of the stars as you wish, and have the military might to keep from the other players, of course.

Currently it is in alpha testing. You're welcome to create a player and play with it. However, large portions of the game aren't finished. In particular, game interactions with other players don't work terribly well: there is no combat system yet, for example, and trying to look at another player's units tend to fail.

Nevertheless, I welcome testers. The more people who play it, the sooner the bugs will be found. The more people who tell me how great they think the game is, the more encouraged I will get and the quicker development will proceed...

How to play Stellation

Stellation has two types of units; mobile units and stationary units. Mobile units are comprised of things like cargo ships, jumpships, warships, and so on. Stationary units are things like factories, refineries, and buoys. Mobile units are collected into groups called fleets; and it will be these, usually, that you will direct. Stationary units can be either built on-site or else built elsewhere and then towed by a tug.

Speed of light constraints mean, of course, that you can only communicate with one of your units if there's an FTL transceiver nearby. These transceivers are housed in special units called jumpships. These ships will be crucial to your campaign. Not only do they provide communication to your units (you can't even see a unit unless it's in the same solar system as one of your jumpships) but they also provide the only means of transport: a fleet containing a jumpship can travel from one star to another, at the rate of one parsec per hour, and the appropriate quantity of fuel.

Which brings us to a major point. Consumables.

There are three kinds of consumable in Stellation:

If one of your units needs some consumables but can't get them, it will die and go out of commission. You'll lose it. You really don't want this to happen, particularly if the unit in question is a jumpship; the fleet will just drop off your scanners. Later, someone may find a few bits of useless debris floating in empty space...

There are strict rules as to where units get their consumables from. Mobile units will always try to find a cargoship in the same fleet. If one of the cargoships can provide the material required, so be it. Otherwise, the material will be looked for in the free stocks in orbit around the current star.

Be careful. Unless you keep these rules in mind, you can be in trouble. For example: you've just jumped into a new star system. You create a new fleet, and transfer some of your units to it. The units promptly die. Why? Because the star has no resources of consumables, and the units in the new fleet can't access the cargoship that's in the old fleet, and will starve. Heaven help you if one of the units you transferred was your cargo ship... all the units in the old fleet will die, including your jumpship, and you'll lose track of both of them. The cargo ship will survive, though.

Recommended starting strategy

When you first start the game, you're given a few units to get started with. It can be fairly annoying doing the wrong thing and wiping out your entire fleet, so here are some tips to get you started.
  1. Unload your cargo ship. Do this by entering negative numbers into the Load boxes. The resources will be placed in orbit around the star.
  2. Unload your tugs. You'll get a basic factory and a complete set of refineries.
  3. Deploy them all. The metal refinery and hydroponics plant will eat an asteroid each and start production.
  4. Start building something with your basic factory.
From here you're on your own. There are various things you can do; for example, you could build yourself another jumpship so you can send your original fleet off exploring and still keep track of what your home system's doing. You may decide to build a set of refineries and another factory first, so that if you come across a nice-looking star system you can colonise it. You may decide, instead, to sit tight and build lots of defensive units. You may build lots of factories so you can produce lots of units at once. Hey, this is the thing that makes the game fun.

Contact Me

Got any advice? Think my game design sucks and want to suggest something better? Want to help? (I could realise use some artists and web design people.) Want to report a bug? Want to send me lots of money?

Email me at:

Or send me an FRM on Stellation itself. My player name is Hjalfi.

Revision history
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Revision  2000/07/30 23:10:34  dtrg
Initial checkin.