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A cross-platform, top-down 2D space shooter written in C using only platform libraries.



  • Base: Win32 (Windows), Xlib (Linux), Emscripten (Web)
  • Rendering: OpenGL 3.3 (Windows/Linux), OpenGL ES 3.0 (Web)
  • Audio: XAudio2 (Windows), ALSA/pthread (Linux), OpenAL (Web)
  • Gamepad: XInput (Windows), evdev (Linux), Emscripten (Web)


space-shooter.c is a cross-platform, top-down 2D space shooter written in standard C11 using only platform libraries (with platform libraries defined as anything included in the C standard library or supported platforms). space-shooter.c has been tested on Windows 10, Ubuntu Linux 16.04, Chrome 103 and Firefox 103. This project drew heavy inspiration from Handmade Hero and pacman.c.

The design and architecture of space-shooter.c is described here.


I am not a professional game developer, nor a professional C programmer, so the design may be unconventional or sub-optimal in many ways. Happy to take feedback from any pros out there!



  • In a shell with cl set up, run build.bat for a debug build or build.bat release for an optimized build.
  • Run space-shooter.exe from the build/ directory.


  • Make sure development headers for the Linux kernel, Xlib, glx and ALSA are installed.
    • E.g. on Ubuntu, run the following: sudo apt install linux-libc-dev libx11-dev mesa-common-dev libasound2-dev
  • Run make linux for a debug build or make linux-release for an optimized build.
  • Run ./space-shooter from the build/ directory.


  • Make sure make and emscripten are installed.
  • Run make web for a debug build or make web-release for an optimized build.
  • Serve the build/ directory for debug builds or the site/ directory for release builds from a local web server (e.g. python -m SimpleHTTPServer), and open the page in Chrome or Firefox.

What About Mac?

I hope to work on a Mac platform layer as soon as I have a Mac machine to work on.


Since this project is intended as a personal challenge, I am not accepting external contributions at this time. I am very open to feedback, however, so feel free to open an issue for anything that needs fixing.

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