2D space combat and trading simulator with complex economy and dynamic universe mechanics.
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High Albedo

High Albedo is a single player 2D space combat and trading simulator with many advanced dynamic universe and economy features. It also features an optional campaign. It is cross platform, developed on Linux, and under the GNU GPL v3 license.

High Albedo: Twisted Skies ceased development in 2014, however a sequal called "High Albedo: Dark Frontier" based on this code base is in development in its own branch. It is the hope that Dark Frontier will build upon the work already done, expand the dynamic universe, add new gameplay features, and improve graphics / user experience.


  • Dynamic universe populated by hundreds of NPCs who are in direct competition with you.
  • Challenging missions based on the current population of the dynamic universe. Deliver bulk shipments of goods, go on challenging bounty hunts, play wingman, and destroy bothersome enemy installations.
  • Command as many ships and space stations as you can get your hands on and build an economic and/or military empire.
  • Conquer solar systems and claim ownership of them, and hope you can hold what you claimed.
  • Lots of rumors to collect, assuming you get friendly enough with the people who tell them.
  • Procedurally generated planet sprites.
  • Over 30 flyable craft from fighters to battleships.
  • Lots of back story text to read.
  • The universe is at war. Who's side are you on?

Dynamic Universe

The dynamic universe is quite sophisticated and is inspired by many hundreds of hours playing the X series (namely Reunion and Terran Conflict). No matter what you're doing, the NPCs of the universe are going about their daily lives. There is no instancing, and all solar systems, stations, and ships are simulated in real time at all times. This means that your actions, and the actions of the NPCs, have a ripple effect throughout the world making it emergent and alive.

Even missions don't go after instanced targets. When you're given a mission to destroy an NPC, that NPC existed and was going about its own business long before the mission was offered to you.

Scale Out

High Albedo allows the player to command as many ships and stations as they can buy. Ships can be instructed to patrol, trade, supply a station, and more. This allows the player to eventually control an armada of automated fighters and traders, and manufacture their own goods.

Open Ended Sandbox

Although there is a campaign you may optionally complete, the real focus of the game is on the sandbox. The player sets their goals and achieves their own dreams, not what the developers want them to do.

Despite there only being 1 campaign at this time, the engine supports branching story arcs with campaigns being unlocked by other campaigns. This means in the future there could be many campaigns to complete to augment the sandbox.

Modding Friendly

When writing this game, a goal was to make it easy for modders to get into. The resource files are common formats like plain text, PNG files, and WAV audio. The game is written in Java and is extremely portable. I've tried to document the code, and kept it under an open source license friendly to forking.

Fly safe!