What is Hyades, anyway?

Hyades is a multiplayer space strategy game for Linux, Windows, and possibly Mac. See the About page for details and a list of features. Take a look at the Screenshots page for pictures of Hyades in action.

Can I contribute?

Yes! Download the source for the latest release or use anonymous CVS checkout. Please read the TODO and Design Philosophy documents before sending in patches.

Can you add in such-and-such feature?

Probably! Feature requests emailed to jonathan@pearce.name will be carefully considered for implementation. Please read the Design Philosophy document to make certain your request is appropriate for a game such as Hyades.

What's up with the name Hyades?

Hyades is the closest star cluster to Sol. Hyades is a small and relatively unimportant cluster, but it was the first step to determining distances to other more interesting clusters.

For the record, the first 4x game I ever enjoyed was VGA Planets. The second was Stars!, which capped out at Huge Packed universes with just under one thousand stars. The current thinking is that Hyades will be the third, and pick up the complexity scale where Stars! left off. A realistic galaxy-level simulation will necessarily involve roughly one trillion objects. Good luck.

Why bother to write your own 4x game?

I am attempting to create a game with features not seen before. The inclusion of a three-dimensional universe with realistic physics enables a whole host of new gameplay dynamics which one simply cannot find anywhere else. I am also attempting to address the niggling little problems I've had with so many other 4x games, like diplomacy, tech trees, and ship design. Lastly, I am trying to create a fun strategy game suitable for competitive play.

Why is your game so damn slow?

Circa 2002 desktop computational power does not allow for a real-time simulation of the N-body problem on the scale of four or five orders of magnitude. However, integrating the game universe forward necessarily lends itself to a (essentially) continuous rather than discrete time model. The PBEM community has long played games that extend over several days, weeks, or even months. Hyades is a natural extension of that type of gameplay, and can even be played over email.

Can you fix the interface because it sucks?

I wish I could. I am but one man, and I happen to be a man who is not too savvy at user interfaces. Hence, my code contributions focus on the game server and file formats. It is my hope that enamored Hyades players will develop a client interface that far exceeds whatever meager offering I could produce. Please see Celestia for an example of an OpenGL star system viewer.

How do you solve the N-body problem for so many objects?

With the excellent Starlab suite by Piet Hut, et al. In particular, Hyades reuses code from Kira, an N-body integrator useful for simulation of dense stellar systems. Please visit their website at http://www.manybody.org/.

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