Gillius's Programming

Itana 1: Old Enemies Reunite

Itana was a game that we developed from late 1999 into 2000. As a result the content on this page is somewhat dated. This page is still up mostly for nostalgic reasons -- the source code is there there though if you are interested in learning about game programming though.

Designed and Programmed by
Jason Winnebeck

Ship and Base Art
Vivienne Allen

Planet Art by
Justin Jackson

Thanks also to NASA for providing free images to use for space art and main menu background


About Itana
The Races
System Requirements
Current Progress
Future Releases
Source Code

About Itana

Itana is a multiplayer only 2D space shooter. In some ways the game is like Star Control 2 Melee, in the way that you control a single ship, and ships have special abilities. Some people have said the game reminds them of Subspace, a game that is free now -- but I've never played it.


800x600 16bit graphics
Internet/LAN multiplayer
Windows and Linux support
Open-join client/server network (like Quake/Half-Life)
And as usual, sound effects and graphics eye candy.


Four alien races fight for domination over a newly discovered planet in a distant solar system, which has the highest quantities of bollium ever discovered. Bollium is the main material used to fuel the space fold engines for their ships.

The zylex discovered the planet first, but the humans just a few days later discovered the planet before a zylex mining colony could be set up. A week later a human colonization ship folded into the system to find out that a zylex colony ship was in orbit already surveying possible landing locations!!!

For the last 20 years the four known races: humans, zylex, ornons, and alsetti have been at a cautious peace, in the aftermath of a huge war, in which the races were all so evenly matched that no one gained a real foothold on any of the others. The human central government, the United Planets, did not want to start another war. A galactic meeting was called on the UP headquarters starbase orbiting the human homeworld, Earth.

The four races decided that they did not want to start another war, after coercing the warlike ornons, who as usual wanted to stupidly blast away any thing, ship or asteroid or whatnot in their path and wanted to start a new war. The wise alsetti proposed that all races could share the planet and an interspecies colony would be set up there. The arrogant humans and the warlike ornons refused to share the planet. Instead, the zylex proposed that all races send a transforming ship to the new, still unnamed solar system. Upon defolding, the ship would transform into a fully automated base of operations, and launch a single piloted fighter, which would engage the other races. The winner would have undisputed control of the planet. The ornons were eager to fight and so agreed. The humans were convinced that they could win this fight and so agreed. The zylex thought their superior technology would come out on top of this battle and so agreed. The alsetti, who did not wish to fight almost declined to the idea and thought about letting the other races have the planet but decided that they badly needed the fuel and so reluctantly agreed.

At the end of the galactic conference the races brought up the point that the planet had not been named yet. They discussed this topic and it was a matter of irony that the planet was named after the Alsetti's delegate's daughter, being as modest as they are. The races then agreed on a month to prepare for the battle that was ahead of them.

After a month the four races defolded in the new star system and chose their orbits around the planet. As was decided a single piloted ship came out of the new base. Each race chose its best fighter design and its best pilot. The zylex and humans decided to risk the battle with new designs that were quickly put together. The designs were untested but used state of the art technology. The alsetti used their traditional, proven design. The ornons used the only ship design that was intelligently built enough to face the other fighters one-for-one (although some doubt the design is actually the ornons' but instead designed by a human firm, which was heavily paid in secret by the ornons. This is only a rumor, however).

Each race was very wary of this battle. The wise alsetti commander was especially wary of the battle. She thought, given the events in the past, would each race REALLY stick to their pact? Would the other races simply let this simple battle decide everything and then allow the one race sole control over the largest known deposit of bollium in the galaxy?! She decided to prepare their fleets and increase military production just in case. Can the others be trusted? Only time will tell.

The Races


The humans always think they can survive and win the fight. To some extent their arrogant belief has some truth to it. The well-balanced and adaptable humans, although somewhat weak in comparison to the other races have found ways to survive situations that the other races thought were impossible to survive in.

The human ship uses an ultra-high speed machinegun array as its primary weapon. The human ship can cloak, appearing translucent while it is firing and completely dissapears when doing nothing. Other players can see the thrust comming out of the cloaked ship.


The zylex are the most ingenious and technological known race in the galaxy. They were the first ones to discover that by folding space-time they could travel huge distances in just a matter of days. Their ships have the best propulsion systems but their military prowess is much less glamorous.

The zylex make the fastest ships in the galaxy. A laser serves as the primary weapon of this ship, and as a special ability they can travel through asteroids without injury, a system that was developed when it was discovered that Zylex pilots flew so fast they could not avoid many obstacles.


The alsetti are considered by the other races to be the wisest and the most conservative, and although they stick strongly to tradition, their tradition is much more open, flexible, and less discriminatory than the other races'. For example they do not discriminate based on gender (women roughly equal men in the armed forces). They are usually withdrawn and shy, and would rather have peace than fight. But even they know that sometimes fighting is inevitable and have developed a strong military capable of keeping intruders out although not as capable of invading.

The alsetti ship has the infamous alsetti blaster as its main weapon. Its secondary weapon is the parabolt that paralizes an enemy ship for a short time.


The ornons are the most belligerent of the races, and also the stupidest. Their solution to everything is to destroy it, and the other races have a hard time of convincing the ornons of anything else. They have the strongest firepower in the universe, but being as stupid as they are their only tactic of a frontal assault makes them extremely predictable and even easier to destroy.

Because their ship is so slow they mounted four guns in four different directions on this ship. At the front of the ship the ornons have mounted a plasma bolt cannon, the most devastating weapon in the known universe.


The game starts with 2 or more stations in orbit around the planet at random distances. The stations will orbit around the planet at different speeds according to their distance. This will encourage the players to change who they fight against when two stations come close.

The fighters that launch have the capability to fight and survive totally on their own, however when they fight they take a large amount of energy, faster than their small bollium reactor can usually supply. Each fighter starts will a large pool of energy, which will slowly regenerate after time, about as fast as the engines can burn it, so a ship will not gain much extra energy while moving (and therefore would have to stop to regenerate at any significant rate). When a fighter gets low on energy it can dock with the automated station which will "refuel/reenergize" the ship.

The shields, engines, energy weapons, and afterburners all use energy. Engines, weapons, and afterburners draw from the main battery, but the shields use a separate battery, to which the pilot can move energy freely between the batteries. All ships also have armor which does not regenerate (although the humans have the special ability to mend their ship outside of base using nanotechnology).

The goal of the game is to destroy the other fighters, gaining points when players kill other players. The fighter will always resurrect at the base.

Orbiting asteroids and the planet will be obstacles for the ships. Gravity in the asteroid fields are insignificant, but if a fighter gets close to the planet it will need to be careful as not to enter the atmosphere and burn up. Asteroids are unfortunately too big and strong to be destroyed by the fighters (otherwise a multiplayer game would run out of asteroids really fast).


Please visit the screenshot page.

System Requirements

Itana will not require much computing power compared to today's standards. It does try to use hardware acceleration where possible, although most systems are capable of reaching 100fps without use of acceleration.

Reccomended CPU 200mhz or higher.
Video card capable of 16 bit (hicolor) mode in 800x600 resolution.

Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2k or Linux is required --
The Windows version requires DirectX to run, which comes with Win 98/ME/2k already installed.

The Linux version can use fbcon, X windows, DGA1/2, svgalib.

Network play will require a 28k modem or higher. Note that Itana is multiplayer only. Bots may be added in the future but will not be immediately supported.

Current Progress

All 4 of the race's ships and special abilities are in the game. The races have not been gameplay balanced yet and still need some major stat tweaking. If you can help test, or have comments, please let me know.

The game works over the internet, but only well for those with a ISDN connection or better at the moment.

All of the core features of the game besides this are in the game and working well (radar, scoring system, physics/damage engine etc)!

I need testers to make sure the network code is working well since I haven't been able to test this widely yet.

Future Releases

Next up is optimizing the network code. This will probably require a rewrite -- not surprising since this was my first try. Now with the knowledge I have learned I will design the network system properly. I will be working on the rewrite as a stand-alone library for others to use.


This new version includes a lot more features... Some include: Customizable key controls, options menu, improved particle effects and explosions, all four races, ships, and special abilities playable, lessened graphics requirement to 800x600x16, and all new graphics for ships, bases and weapons (thanks Vivienne!).

Installation Instructions / Manual

Pick your Operating System to download binaries:

Windows (1021k)

Linux (1051k)

Source Code

What is interesting here? Some highlights of the source code:

The snowball algorithm for blending dirty rectanges together to reduce flicker when clearing the screen. You can read about it here.
A Video class to abstract the game from Allegro drawing (mostly) and to handle the dirty rectangles outside of game logic.
A Sound class doing basically the same thing as the Video class, but obviously for sounds ;).
A network engine using classes as packets -- might be removable.
Some easily removable classes encapsulating libnet's drivers
Easily removable porting code when you don't need everything Allegro offers (ItanaPort.cpp)
Might be able to copy some code from the GUIs to make your own.

Check this document for a simple cursory glance over the class hierarchy in Itana (does not include the networking component).

Download source code in Windows format, with MSVC projects:
Download (115k)

Download source code in UNIX format for client, makefile + configure script:
Download (222k)

Download source code in UNIX format for server, makefile + configure script:
Download (218k)


All dependances are portable to DOS, Windows, and UNIX, therefore my game will run in these environments. Allegro works also under BeOS and Mac (in developement) and only libnet should give you problems in those environments -- but I've not tried it out, though ;).

jrnd2 library
allegro WIP 3.9.36+
LinkQueue.h (2k, DOS format)