Welcome to Groundfire.net
Current Version : 0.25 - Download here

Groundfire is a free, open-source game which currently works on Windows and Linux. Designed and programmed entirely by Me, Tom Russell. Groundfire is based on an old Sega Saturn game; 'Death Tank' which was bundled free as a hidden bonus game with the Saturn version of Duke Nukem 3D. See the About page for more details. Groundfire is still in development and new features are being added all the time. I have been releasing downloadable versions for people to try out!

Latest News

20th Apr 2006 - An Update!

Yes that's right! An update! I've had a number of queries recently asking whether this project is dead or alive. The good news is it's alive and well and living happily on my hard drive. The not-so-good news is that I still haven't quite got the network support working, this is after THREE major rewrites of the code. The slightly better-than-the-last-news news is that I'm finally happy with the code and have begun to get things moving again. What this all boils down to is that I hope to have a crude network multiplayer version of groundfire out before too long. Don't ask me how long that'll be because I honestly don't know; other commitments, and the fact that I like to do other things with my free time as well as programming, mean it's impossible for me to set an exact date. I will however try to post updates on this website more often for anyone who wishes to keep track of my progress.

Once again, I'm still 100% commited to getting this damn game written and certainly haven't abandoned it. Thanks for the support from everyone who's emailed me - it's appreciated. Now all I need is more hours in the day....


15th May 2004 - Version 0.25 Released!

Hello all! It's time for another release. This one doesn't have a lot of new features, hence why I've only incremented the version by .05. It's mainly for bugfixes and to fix the lack of sound that people have been reporting to me. Here's a list of what's new:

  • (Windows binary release only): Included the DLL that should make sound work for those of you who don't have the OpenAL runtime installed.
  • As mentioned earlier, I've made the terrain look more like Death tank, with a nice gradiant colour near the surface. There is still the occasional glitch with this but it's good enough for the time being.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the machine gun sound to play continuously when you change weapons
  • A few other minor tweaks.

That's all for now. Not a lot in this release because I've been concentrating on adding network play recently. Hopefully the next release will feature an experimental network mode for you to try out.


18th April 2004- Update

Since version 0.2 was released I've been tweaking the terrain drawing code. I've added a nice gradiant effect, which I'm quite pleased with. The colour scheme has also been changed to match Death Tank's. I might make the terrain colours vary between rounds to create a bit of variety. Check out the new screenshot.

15th April 2004 - Version 0.2 Released!

The second release of Groundfire is now ready to download. As before, I've release a binary version for Windows, without the source included and a separate package with the complete source code. Here's a quick list of what's new:

  • Computer controlled tanks added - You can now set some tanks to be controlled by the computer. The AI is currently rather primitive (it won't make use of weapons and it makes no attempt at avoiding being hit.)
  • Redesigned player select screen - The player select screen has been completely changed. This is mainly to allow Computer controlled tanks to be added to the game. It is now far more intuitive and powerful.
  • More frame-rate independent - Not a very noticeable change this, especially if the game runs at a good frame rate anyway on your computer. However, this is the first step towards a networkable version of Groundfire.
  • Mirv - This new weapon has been added. Mirvs can be purchased at the shop. Mirvs act like normal shells but when they reach the apex of their trajectory, the mirv will split up into 5 mini shells which will rain down around the area targeted.
  • Machine Gun - Another new weapon has been added. The machine gun fires low powered rounds very quickly. It is useful for picking off already weakened enemies.
  • Bugfixes -
    • Mouse cursor will now not go off the screen in fullscreen mode, so you don't have to worry about losing it anymore.
    • The options screen controls will default to the current resolution and screen mode, instead of always to 640x480 fullscreen.
    • Small tweaks to the game physics (probably unnoticeable)

I'll get around to updating the Help and About pages sometime soon to reflect the changes in the new version.


13th April 2004 - New screenshots

Version 0.2 is nearly ready. I've added a couple of screenshots from my latest development build.

04th April 2004 - Update

Version 0.2 of Groundfire has been coming along nicely. I should have it on the web sometime within a week. Here's a list of some of the new features:
  • Computer controlled players - The computer players are quite primitive at the moment, but they will hit you if you give them the chance.
  • Redesigned player selection screen - primarily to allow the selection of the computer controlled players but it's also much nicer and more intuitive.
  • Mirv Weapon - A 'mirv' will split into several fragments when it reaches the apex of its trajectory. Good for taking out multiple foes.
  • Machine Gun - Weak, but fires rounds VERY rapidly, useful for picking off other players in your direct line of sight.
  • Bugfixes - I took some time to fix a few of the more annoying bugs still left in the game.

That's about all. There are a few more changes underneath the surface but nothing that should be noticeable while playing. I'm starting to move the game towards a more frame-rate independent physics model so that when I implement networking the game will be easier to synchronise across computers.

I'll update with some new screenshots later - Tom

24th March 2004 - Source & Binaries Available

The source and binaries (The binaries are for Windows only - sorry) are now available for version 0.1 of Groundfire. Download them from the 'Downloads' section.

22nd March 2004 - Groundfire.net Website Launched!

Yay! Groundfire.net is now officially on the WWW. Not much to see here as of yet. I am currently preparing the first downloadable version of Groundfire. This will be an alpha version (0.1). Not all features are implemented and there are probably some bugs still lurking around. Never-the-less, it's fully playable and should give a good idea of how the finished game will play.


Dawn of time...