Release Race into Space


Serial Porter
Aug 15, 2012
France, near Lyon
Here is Race into Space, the free version of "Buzz Aldrin' Race into Space", from 93/94. This version is equivalent to the CDRom version, with video and so on.

It's a complicate simulation of the race to space, between USA & USSR.

The game is full, no data to copy.

Press "Q" to quit,

"F1" for a (too) small Help

"F2" for key shortcut.

And the internet for a guide on how to start, not an easy game :) .

History log


Build 02

  • Rebuilt with "-fsigned-char", fixed lots of gameplay issue

Build 01


  • Initial release
  • Video is 320x200 (old PC game), display as 640x480

Look at post #8 for some start guide for begginer :)
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Excellent!  Thanks you so very, very much!

Do you have plans to compile version 1.1.0 of "Race Into Space" for the Pandora?
They're mostly cosmetic changes that make the game a bit easier to play... I just tend to be a bit obsessive about keeping up with the latest version.  If you'd be interested in corresponding with me about how you cross-compiled for the OpenPandora, I'd happily take the responsibility.

From the changelog at

* The screen where you assign crews to a mission now highlights the relevant skills of each crew member, just like in the capsule/shuttle screen.

* Improvements to Advanced Training:

  - 'Nauts in Advanced Training now get 1 point of skill after 2 turns, and another point at the end of training (before, it simply gave 2 points at the end of training, so you got nothing if you withdrew someone early). (feature #3512556)

  - The game prevents you sending someone to Advanced for a skill they already have a 4 in. (feature #3497595)

  - Anyone sent to Advanced for a skill they have a 3 in will now go straight to Advanced III. (feature #3497595)

  - Refunds are available when you withdraw people early: 3MB if pulled from Advanced I 2MB if pulled from Advanced II 1MB if pulled from Advanced III

  - If you withdraw someone from Advanced I or II (where they won't have gained any skill points yet), you can send them to Advanced Training again later. The game used to prevent this.

* Basic and Advanced Training now show 'naut morale. (feature #3512552)

* Technology Transfer will now give partial credit if you haven't quite reached 75%--before, as an example, if your Mercury was at 70%, or had been knocked down to 44%, Gemini would get no benefit from tech transfer. Now it would at least get partial credit. (feature #3497605)

* The R&D and Purchasing screens now indicate when research is temporarily stronger or weaker due to newscast. (feature #3497580)

* The R&D and Purchasing screens now indicate when a component holds a Failure Avoidance card. (feature #3517592)
Hi Nikolai.

Sore for the late awnser, I was at GamesCom :)

About compiling, I'm not cross-compiling, I compile directly on the Pandora.

I'll do the update the sources this week no problems.

Do you have some sort of tutorial, or some tips to help starting. It's a difficult (or at least puzzling) game at first.
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You need help?  I don't have any formalized tutorials, but I'm willing to help where I can.  How would you like me to help you?  Do you need general tips, a how-to guide for playing, or what?
I think both general tips and some advice on how to start yes :)

Also, about version, I checked and it seems I already have compiled latest version (a git pull gives me a "already up-to-date" message). I hadn't found a version number when I packaged the first time (maybe I haven't searched a lot), so I put v1.0, where I should have put a v1.1.
Okay.  Let's start with the opening screen, after you click on "New Game".  It sets the parameters for the game you'll be playing.

"Game Level" and "Astronaut Selection" determine the difficulty facing the player.  The higher the level, the harder the difficulty.

The buttons in the middle select: music on/off, astronaut roster (which allows you to create your own custom roster of astronaut names and skills), sound on/off, animation/still pictures, and model/roster.  ("Model" determines whether you're playing with pieces that reflect reality better -- where Soviet hardware is cheaper, but less reliable -- or whether you're playing with equal settings for both players.  "Roster" determines whether you're playing with an astronaut roster taken from history or with your own customized roster.)  Click "continue" to proceed.

This starts the game.  You have forty turns to get people to the Moon and back again -- at two turns per year (Spring and Fall), that gets you from Spring 1957 to Spring 1977.  Your money is measured in MBs, and the amount of prestige you have (measured by the number of "firsts" you get -- first man in orbit, for example, first docking, or what-have-you) is by far the largest determining factor in the amount of money you get.

At the beginning of each turn, a newscast will let you know about news stories that might change what's happening to your space program this turn.  There are arrow buttons on the side to scroll through a summary of the newscast if you missed anything.  (Sometimes, it has additional information, too -- like which astronauts washed out of training, for example.)

A typical turn usually takes each of these steps, not necessarily in order:

1. Hardware Purchase.  You can't actually launch anything -- or even try to reasearch it to make it safer -- until you buy it.  Once you buy it, you can research it whether or not you actually have any on hand (that is, you can research it even if you've launched/blown up every single one you bought).  The "initial cost" is how much it costs to buy your first one; the "unit cost" is how much it costs for each one thereafter.  There's a button on the screen here that you can use to go to the R&D Facility, which you'll need to do to try to make your rockets and stuff less deadly.

2. R&D Facility.  You can choose the number of scientific teams -- from one to five -- that will research your rocket.  It's random how much you'll get, but the more you pay for, the better results you'll see.  Usually.  The "safety factor" is the chance that the piece of hardware will be able to do what you want it to do.  An individual piece might do several things in a mission; for example, if you're launching an orbital satellite, your rocket has to push it up there, and your satellite has to insert itself into orbit *and* power itself on.  It can fail in either step.  Generally, you want the reliability to be as high as possible, but remember, *this is a race*.

3. Future Missions.  Here's where you plan out what you want to launch *next turn* (*not* at the end of *this turn*!).  You can use the arrow buttons on the left to scroll through all the options, or you can use the "filter" buttons up top to constrain the kind of missions you're interested in; I can tell you more about how those work if you're interested.  An indicator towards the top-right of the screen gives you an idea of the riskiness of the mission based on how much you've researched the hardware needed.  Green is minimally risky; yellow is fairly risky; and red is almost certain to fail.  You can go into the display below and look at the different parts of the mission and what piece of hardware will need to perform correctly for each part.

You might need to go to Astronaut Recruiting to get some astronauts; be aware that they take several turns to get through basic training, and several more turns if you want them to specialize in something like EVA or Docking.  (You really need to plan ahead for these guys.)

If you're in a turn where you've planned ahead for a mission, you'll need to visit Vehicle Assembly (it's the one building that dominates the landscape).  You can assign payloads and rockets, or you can opt to scrub the mission.  If you don't have hardware on hand for the mission, they'll let you purchase it on the spot (if you have money for it).  If you scrub the mission, you'll suffer a prestige hit, but that might be worth it if you just don't think things are safe enough to fly.

Then there's a little building near the pad you'll have to visit called Mission Planning.  This is the last chance you have to stop something from launching, or to press it on to proceed.  You have the option of rushing missions to try to be first, too, but that costs money and a little bit of safety (3 MBs and 3% safety per month).

Once you end your turn, missions will play -- and there's really not much for you to do at this point but watch and hope your planning was adequate.

This is just a surface-level view.  If you want, I can go into a *lot* more detail.

Here's how I recommend running things for the first few seasons so that you can get the hang of turns.  Once you get the general rhythm down, the game is a lot easier to play.

Turn One: Buy the smallest rocket you can (Atlas/A-Series) and the orbital satellite (Explorer/Sputnik).  Research them each with five guys.  End turn.

Turn Two: Research the rocket and the satellite as much as you can again.  Go to Mission Planning and plan an orbital satellite for turn three.

Turn Three: Research the rocket and satellite as much as you can.  Maybe buy the smallest satellite (Mercury/Vostok) and research it as much as your remaining money will allow.  Go to Mission Planning and set up another orbital satellite (just in case this one fails -- and even if it doesn't, you get a little extra prestige every time you build one that works).  Visit Vehicle Assembly and verify the hardware you'll need for the orbital satellite mission.  Go to Mission Planning and verify this mission.

Then cross your fingers and hope for the best.  :)

Let me know what's helpful and what's not in my description above.  This game has a *fierce* learning curve, but it's a lot of fun once you get into it, and I'd like to help out however I can.
I've noticed that it doesn't play quite right on the Pandora, though.  I'll have to learn how to either cross-compile or compile on the Pandora and see if I can help correct that.
I've noticed that it doesn't play quite right on the Pandora, though.  I'll have to learn how to either cross-compile or compile on the Pandora and see if I can help correct that.
What's wrong on the Pandora?

For compiling, just grab codeblocks, and it should compile out-of-the-box (that what I've done).

Thank's for the begginer tutorial, I think it's already great to give a first steps start :)
It crashes as soon as a movie tries to play.  I also noticed that instead of starting you with one launchpad and space for two more, it starts you with one launchpad and two broken ones.  And when you buy one thing (rocket, payload, etc.), it puts 255 of them in your inventory.  I haven't really catalogued everything, but I'd be interested in seeing what the compiler messages are as I try to see what I can do.  :)
Oh, I see (but that's strange, I'm sure I tested movies, I even grabbed a screenshot of the intro movie). I will try another compilation maybe, using "-fsigned-char", as this seems the default on PC, and is not the default on Pandora and I'll test properly this time.
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I should have been more precise.  I think the intro movie is fine, and so are the newscast movies; it seemed to be the mission movies that gave it difficulty.  But I'm interested to see what using signed chars does.
I should have been more precise.  I think the intro movie is fine, and so are the newscast movies; it seemed to be the mission movies that gave it difficulty.  But I'm interested to see what using signed chars does.
I had a build but than I realised I have, once again, messed up lib/header of libpng12/14. So I have to fixe codeblocks again and rebuild :(  (I recompiled cmake with SSL support while I am it, so the download of physfs goes well also now).
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The new build is working. I don't have broken launch pad anymore at least. Only thing I noticed for now is when you cancel the quit dialog, the restored background is not pasted at the right place (0x0 instead of middle of the screen), but I don't think it's a compilation problem.
Have you uploaded the new build to the repo?  I still see an "Updated" date of 8 April.
So, build 02 is in the repo. The "-fsigned-char" helped, but it need more testing :)

Build 02

  • Rebuilt with "-fsigned-char", fixed lots of gameplay issue
I'll be happy to test!  Thank you very much for everything you've done!
I'm also working on a more detailed/helpful tutorial.  Linked documents are awesome.  :)