Battlespace Freestar Galactica: Diaspora

Even by space game standards, that's a great image.
There’s something beautiful about the sheer dedication that this has required: after four years of meticulous development, the Freespace 2 mod turned freeware game, Disapora: Shattered Armistice, has been released. It’s a space dogfighting game based on the recent TV series. The Freespace 2 code is now open to all, and that means that there could well be much continued development and modding of this mod. For now, though, take a look at the trailer below and head here for the downloads on Windows, OSX, and Linux.


  1. airmikee says:

    Looks like it could still use some work, why are there no stars in space? But even with the few minor problems it has, it still looks a million times better than that garbage browser based BSG game.

    • Caiman says:

      There are stars, the YouTube compression isn’t doing it any favours but they’re there. It’s just a more BSG version of space without multicoloured nebulae everywhere.

    • Seth says:

      There are tons of stars (I’ve spent lots of time ogling the skyboxes!), you just can’t see them well on YouTube.

    • Werthead says:

      Funnily enough, some of the 3D modellers on DIASPORA worked on the MMO as well. They were recruited because of their work on the mod and went back to it afterwards.

    • thenagus says:

      I don’t think you always expect to see loads of stars in space, realistically. If you’re in sight of a nearby star/sun, or even probably the reflection from a nearby planet, I imagine any background light would get washed out. If you look at a lot of NASA pictures from/of the space station, or the moon, or whatever, space just looks black and featureless…

      • airmikee says:

        That’s a myth.

        link to

        Can You See Stars in Space?
        Is it true that in space a person is not able to see stars all around them like we do here on Earth?

        No, I hear that in space the stars look wonderful, bright (although not twinkling) and very clear. What has probably caused some of this confusion is that in the typical photo or video image from space, there aren’t any stars. This is because the stars are much dimmer than the astronaut, Moon, space station, or whatever the image is been taken of. It is extremely hard to get the exposure correct to show the stars. Luckily, the human eye handles the different light levels much better than a camera does.

        Dr. Eric Christian
        (July 2001)

      • Gap Gen says:

        Sure, depends on the dynamic range you have. I’m not sure if you could see stars if the Sun was also in view, but I’m prepared to be proven wrong. One thing about not seeing stars at day is that the sky is washed out with blue scattered light, so each cone/rod is flooded with that as well as the tiny amount of light from the stars. But sure, the eye has a dynamic range at some level, and granted it’s better than most cheap digital cameras, but I have no idea what that level is.

    • Muzman says:

      You can only really see them in 1080 but they’re there.

      • newman1702 says:

        We’ve heard the “why no stars?” argument before; this is one complaint we never expected to hear! There’s lots and lots of stars in the game itself. The reason you can’t see them too clearly in the videos and resized screenshots is due to compression; unfortunately a bunch of small bright points do not play well with resizing at all. However, we’ve put a lot of attention into our skyboxes and when playing the actual game you can see stars just fine.
        And the reason they don’t twinkle in space is simple – twinkling of the stars is caused by preturbations in the upper atmosphere. Stars are very distant objects we see as distant points of light – when the atmosphere’s upper air currents start scattering it, at some moments not enough light can enter the eye to maintain a still image. That’s why we see them as twinkling and also why we don’t see the planets twinkle (such as Jupiter, Saturn, or Mars); they’re much closer, they appear larger and we see them brighter, so the atmosphere can’t make them twinkle. In space, where there is no atmosphere, nothing would twinkle.

  2. spaceoperavictim says:

    And with an awesome OST:
    link to

    so say we are FACE!

  3. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Most of my reaction to this announcement has been along the lines of “bwwaaaarghhhh! Arrrrrghhhhhhhlllllllwwraaargh! Hrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuung!”. Too excited for words. I’ve been waiting for this. I’ll telegram ahead and have my manservant shovel coal into my Downloading Engine for when I get home.

    • seamoss says:

      Ever since watching Blackadder years ago, I can’t hear the word “manservant” without thinking of this quote:

      “I see. Well, don’t be embarrassed. If you’ve got the pox, just pop your, er, “manservant” on the table and we’ll take a look at it, shall we?”

      For context:

      link to

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        That’s… uh… exactly what I meant.

        Not really.

  4. jonfitt says:

    This is the game the rights holders should have made. As well as that silly browser based thing, there was a bad XBLA arcade shooter.

    I played Beyond The Red Line ages ago which was a FS2 mod, is this related?

    • jonfitt says:

      Weren’t you working on a BSG mod before this one?

      The core of the team were originally part of the Beyond The Red Line team. A creative differences resulted in the majority of the active team leaving and starting this game. Quite a few of us were never on that mod though since we have recruited heavily ever since the split.

      So what happened?

      I was told to always save something for my memoires. Let’s just say that there was a difference of opinion over our vision of the game, release schedule and management styles and leave it at that.

      • apa says:

        I wonder if that split from BTRL has affected the name of this mod… ;)

  5. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Downloaded it this morning, and I must say I find it absolutely splendid!
    Ever since I watched the show I have been dreaming about the day I could shoot a virtual Viper (Mk II, though…) out of the launch tube and fly sideways through a virtual field of defensive SPACE flak fire.
    The Voice acting is far from as bad as it could have been, and the music is splendid.

    I would heartily recommend it.
    -it’s free, for god’s sake!

    Yes I belive this is a direct offshoot of BTRL.

  6. says:

    Yes! I had no idea that there were two separate BSG mods for FS2.

    Bear McCreary crafted one of the best musical scores in recent history, IMO, so I’m glad to hear those poundy drums and eclectic instrumentation accompanying this mod.

    Upon further inspection, it would seem that they’ve had someone else create music that sounds like McCreary’s work. Oh well… it had me fooled with its tone in the trailer.

  7. Thurgret says:

    The FreeSpace modding community in general is pretty awesome. Thanks for pointing this one out; it’s a few weeks since I’d checked in on the Hard Light forums, and I’d have missed it entirely.

  8. Tuskin38 says:

    I have not beat this yet, since I keep crashing on mission 6

    • Karajorma says:

      We think we know what is causing those and will be pushing out a patch over the weekend (most likely) to fix it.

  9. Chaz says:

    It really, really, benifits from a joystick though. The default keyboard and mouse layout is abysmal to the point of unplayable. You can of course change the keybindings, but still a pain in the arse anyway.

    • Karajorma says:

      Those will also be fixed in the patch. The problem is that we’re all used to the FS2_Open engine (as were most of our testers) so we didn’t find them too hard to use.

      • Dominic White says:

        Yeah, the default keybindings are just about my only complaint. I’m an FS2 veteran so went and rebound everything ASAP, but it would help if you could come up with a good pre-set configuration or two.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      what about an xbox controller?

  10. Morlock says:

    My laptop that runs Arma 2 pretty decently on high details is struggling with this game. It is almost unplayable when I am near a capital ship. Reducing the level of detail does not help. This is very weird.

    • mashakos says:

      PC gaming rule no.77:
      When trying out emulators, mods or free community built games, better have a proper PC. No one is getting paid to optimise things “for the end user”

  11. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Wow, I just gave the Tutorial a go, and it gave me the first BSG-Freespace2-non-existant-cross-nostalgia-gasm I ever had. And it runs very fine!

  12. VileJester says:

    This with the Oculus Rift and my life is complete.

  13. mashakos says:

    and I just bought a Logitech G940 Flight System a couple of months back!

    perfect timing :3

  14. tres says:

    Time to figure out where did I put my Thrustmaster then.

  15. Rich says:

    Good to see it’s going to have a single-player game of some sort.

    • Dominic White says:

      Erm. It’s out now, and is ALL singleplayer, story-driven campaign stuff. There’s a guide that you have to follow to get multiplayer working at all.

      • BoZo says:

        I just had to create an account and start dogfighting. I played against some developer, it did not end well.

  16. InnerPartisan says:

    Is this adequately playable with one of these consoletoy joypad contraptions? I’ve still got a Sidewinder Force Feedback in most excellent shape – but alas, no plug to plug its plug into (as I just discovered, the goodold gameport seems to have gone out of fashion in the last three or so years. Or maybe earlier, but three years ago was when my trusty old Soundblaster AWE 32 finally gave up.)

    • newman1702 says:

      I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some Gameport to USB adapters available someplace. I’d check e-bay in your shoes. Not sure how well it works with the actual stick, though, but if they’re not too pricey it might be worth a try.

    • mashakos says:

      i still have my sidewinder freestyle pro, what a waste! Came with one of these:
      link to