Phoenix Final

A powerful force of leviathan warships is spreading out across the galaxy, destroying every inhabited planet they encounter. With the aid of your specialised fighter bomber squadron, you must intercept the leviathan battle groups and strike at their weak points before they can reach your world.

It won’t be easy. The leviathans are heavily armoured and studded with hull defences, and their escort fleet and fighter squadrons will be sure to give you a hard time.

A hostile fighter explodes in front of the player’s ship.

Phoenix Final is loosely based on the frenetic gameplay of Super Phoenix, but extends it into full 3D space combat. I wanted to make a space shooter which wasn’t constrained to a plane as many games of the time were, so you can roll, pitch and yaw to point your ship in any direction. Fighter ships constantly fly forwards as I felt this lead to better dogfighting than I’d get from proper Newtonian physics.

You start off with a squadron of four ships. The other three are AI controlled but can be directed with two commands: “attack my target” and “get back into formation”. They will also fend for themselves if you don’t tell them what to do. If your ship gets destroyed, you automatically switch to one of your wingmen, and when they’re all gone, the game ends. Having them around is helpful because it’s difficult to fight off half a dozen enemy ships when they’re only attacking you!

The leviathan ships have a number of weak points that have to be destroyed in more or less the right order. You generally need to take out one or more shield generators, then attack some critical part of their infrastructure to blow them up. Markers appear over the relevant parts to tell you what to do.

Your squadron is launched into action by a small carrier ship with an escort of two frigates (the brown ships in the screenshots below). I liked this sense of being part of a bigger force instead of being a lone hero.

A lot of this imagery was, of course, inspired by Homeworld 2. Is there anyone in space game dev who wasn’t inspired by that game?


Probably works, but needs rebuilding on a recent version of Unity. It was never finished and only contains one preview level. I’ll try to fix it up when I get a moment.

I also made a less-finished prototype after a rewrite to fix some of the things I hated about my code. The most exciting feature of the prototype was that I added anime-style mini-missiles which pop out in quick succession and weave around as they pursue your targets! They’re very satisfying to use.


Towers and leviathan


This was originally just a working-up of a loose sketchbook doodle, but it ended up being tangentially related to Phoenix Final, so I’m going to call it concept art for that game!