Allure of the Stars
Allure of the Stars is a near-future Sci-Fi roguelike2 and tactical squad combat game. Binaries and the game manual are available at the homepage6. You can also try the game out in the browser at http://allureofthestars.com/play.
Not a single image in this game. You have to imagine everything yourself, like with a book (a grown-up book, without pictures). Once you learn to imagine things, though, you can keep exploring and mastering the world and making up stories for a long time.
The game is written in Haskell1 using the LambdaHack10 roguelike game engine. Please see the changelog file for recent improvements and the issue tracker for short-term plans. Long term goals are high replayability and auto-balancing through procedural content generation and persistent content modification based on player behaviour. Contributions are welcome. Please offer feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or, preferably, on any of the public forums.
Game installation from binary archives
The game runs rather slowly in the browser (fastest on Chrome) and you are limited to the square font for all purposes, though it's scalable. Also, savefiles are prone to corruption on the browser, e.g., when it's closed while the game is still saving progress (which takes a long time). Hence, after trying out the game, you may prefer to use a native binary for your architecture, if it exists.
Pre-compiled game binaries are available through the release page11 (and, for Windows, dev versions continuously from AppVeyor18). To use a pre-compiled binary archive, unpack it and run the executable in the unpacked directory or use program shortcuts from the installer, if available. On Linux, make sure you have the SDL2 libraries installed on your system (e.g., libsdl2-2.0-0 and libsdl2-ttf-2.0-0 on Ubuntu). For Windows (XP no longer supported), the SDL2 and all other needed libraries are included in the game's binary archive.
Max OS X binaries for the few most popular OS versions are accessible
from Homebrew via
brew install allureofthestars,
which also takes care of all dependencies.
Screen and keyboard configuration
The game UI can be configured via a config file.
The default settings, the same that are built into the binary,
are on github at GameDefinition/config.ui.default.
When the game is run for the first time, or whenever the settings file
is deleted, the file is written to the default user data location,
~/.Allure/ on Linux,
C:\Documents And Settings\user\Application Data\Allure\
or something else altogether) on Windows
Inspect/Application/Local Storage under RMB menu
when run inside the Chrome browser.
If the user config file is outdated or corrupted, it's automatically
moved away together with old savefiles, which guarantees that the new
default config file is ultimately put in its place.
Screen fonts and, consequently, window size can be changed by editing
the config file in the user data folder. The default bitmap font
16x16xw.bdf used for the game map covers most national characters
in the Latin alphabet (e.g. to give custom names to player characters)
and results in a game window of exactly 720p HD dimensions. The
bitmap font results in a tiny window and covers latin-1 characters only.
The config file parameter
allFontsScale permits further window size
adjustments, automatically switching to the scalable
version of the game map font. Config file option
not only the main game map font, but also the shape of the rectangular fonts,
if any, in which longer texts are overlaid over the map.
For high resolution displays and/or if fullscreen mode is requested
in the configuration file,
allFontsScale needs to be set.
E.g., scale 3 works for 4K displays. Otherwise, the letters may be
too small or, in fullscreen or on retina displays in OS X,
the screen may be automatically scaled as a whole, not each letter
separately, softening letter edges of the square fonts that should
be pixel-perfect and crisp.
If you don't have a numeric keypad, you can use the left-hand movement key setup (axwdqezc) or Vi editor keys (aka roguelike keys) or mouse. If numeric keypad doesn't work, toggling the Num Lock key sometimes helps. If running with the Shift key and keypad keys doesn't work, try the Control key instead. The game is fully playable with mouse only, as well as with keyboard only, but the most efficient combination may be mouse for menus, go-to, inspecting the map, aiming at distant positions and keyboard for everything else.
If you are using the ANSI terminal frontend (
--frontendANSI on commandline),
then numeric keypad (especially keypad
/) may not work correctly,
depending on the versions of libraries terminal emulators. Toggling
the Num Lock key may help or make issues worse. As a workaround,
in the ANSI terminal frontend, numbers are used for movement,
which sadly prevents the number keys from selecting heroes.
The commands that require pressing Control and Shift together won't work
either, but fortunately they are not crucial to gameplay.
Some effort went into making the ANSI frontend usable with screen readers,
but without feedback it's hard to say how accessible that setup is.
As a side effect of screen reader support, there is no aiming line
nor path in ANSI frontend and some of map position highlighting
is performed using the terminal cursor. Screen readers may also work
better with animations turned off, using
--noAnim or the corresponding
config file or main game menu options.
Compiling native binary from source
The latest official version of the game can be downloaded, compiled for SDL2 and installed automatically using the 'cabal' tool, which may already be a part of your OS distribution, but if it's too old (version 3.4 or later is required) you can download the whole current compilation suite as described at https://www.haskell.org/downloads/. Get the Allure of the Stars package from Hackage3 as follows
cabal update cabal run Allure
For a newer, unofficial version, clone the game source from github5,
clone a matching LambdaHack library snapshot into ../LambdaHack
cabal run from the main directory.
Alternatively, if you'd like to develop in this codebase,
the following speeds up the turn-around a lot
cp cabal.project.local.development cabal.project.local
and then you can compile (and recompile) with
cabal build .
and run the game with
There is a built-in ANSI terminal frontend (
--frontendANSI on commandline)
intended for screen readers and a simplified black and white line terminal
--frontendTeletype) suitable for teletype terminals
or a keyboard and a printer (but it's going to use a lot of paper,
unless you disable animations with
--noAnim). The teletype frontend
is used in CI and for some tests and benchmarks defined in Makefile.
The terminal frontends leave you on your own regarding font choice
and color setup and you won't have the colorful squares outlining
special positions that exist in the SDL2 frontend, but only crude
Testing and debugging
Integration tests can be run and displayed with
cabal test test --enable-tests --test-show-details=direct
contains many sample automated play test commands.
Numerous tests that use the screensaver game modes (AI vs. AI)
and the teletype frontend are gathered in
Some of these are run by CI on each push to github.
Test commands with prefix
frontend start AI vs. AI games with
the standard, user-friendly frontend and auto-locating the game binary.
Allure --help to see a brief description of all debug options.
Of these, the
--sniff option is very useful (though verbose
and initially cryptic), for displaying the traffic between clients
and the server. Some options in the config file may prove useful too,
though they mostly overlap with commandline options (and will be totally
merged at some point).
For developer-focused information (coding style, overview of the codebase), please see the README of LambdaHack10.
Copyright (c) 2008--2011 Andres Loeh
Copyright (c) 2010--2021 Mikolaj Konarski and others (see git history)
Allure of the Stars is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program in file LICENSE. If not, see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/.
Exceptions and detailed copyright information is contained in file COPYLEFT.