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gytha, a Netrek client,
by James Cameron, 2012-10-24

| introduction | what's new | downloads | resources | building | screenshots | hacking |


Netrek is a multi-player real-time 2D strategy game. [1] [2]

Your team starts with ten planets. Each player flies a starship. You shoot at enemy ships with torpedos and phasers. You fly to, scan and bomb enemy planets to deny their use by the enemy team. You protect your own planets by preventing the enemy from reaching them.

Once you make a kill, and don't die, you beam up armies from the planets you protected, and drop them on the enemy planets that have been bombed.

Your team wins when all the enemy planets are taken. Your team loses if all your planets are taken from you. Strategies include escorting, controlling space, and coordinated attacks.

Gytha is a client for Netrek. It is multiplatform, in that it works on multiple operating systems.

What is new?

Changes in 0.9 were:

  • an achievements system,
  • some sound effects (mainly for teaching),
  • avoid crashing on use of ESC key,
  • handle connection failures that occur during a game,
  • several graphics drawing fixes,


Microsoft Windows - 32-bit

Download and run the installer gytha-0.7-1-win32.exe. If you are not sure, try 32-bit first.

Microsoft Windows - 64-bit

Download and run the installer gytha-0.7-1-win64.exe.

Mac OS X

None available yet. To contribute a build, please write to me.

Linux - Ubuntu or Debian

  • download and install gytha_0.9-1_all.deb
  • click on the Applications menu, then the Games menu, and then Gytha.

Linux - from source

  • install dependencies, python-pygame and ttf-dejavu-core,
  • download the source release (see below),
  • unpack it,
  • run the file


Building and Packaging

On Linux, no building is required, gytha will run from your copy of the source. Packaging for Linux distributions is welcome, please write to me.

For Microsoft Windows developers, see building on windows which was copied from Zachary Uram's page.



A splash screen, containing the name of the game, a license, and a rotating icon. During this time the imagery pipeline is stabilised, and graphical assets are loaded.

What you do: wait.


A list of available Netrek servers is displayed, discovered on the local area network, or via the internet based metaservers. Against each server is a number of squares corresponding to how many players are on the server.

A pair of white objects are in orbit around each other above the list; when they pass close to each another the metaserver is checked again.

What you do: choose a server and left-click on it to log in, or middle-click on it to join the game as a guest mercenary.


A list of helpful hints, or tips, on how to get started.

What you do: read them, then click on Server List.


A server login screen. Shows the name of the server you have connected to, the server message of the day, and asks you for your name.

What you do: read the message of the day. Type guest and press enter if you do not want your statistics saved, or type a name and password. If someone else has already used your name, you won't be able to use it unless you know their password.

Ship and Race

The ship and race, or team selection screen. Shows ships for each team you can join.

What you do: choose a ship and race by clicking on one of the ships. The ship closest to the centre is the best general ship, called a Cruiser (CA). The others have special improvements and weaknesses. Some ships aren't available on some servers. All ships of the same type are equal regardless of which race or team you choose.

Tactical View

The tactical view. Your ship is in the centre. A ring around your ship shows your shields are up.

Also on this view are:

  • ship warnings, in red on the top of screen,
  • game messages, from the server or other players, in the top half of the screen blended with the background so you are not distracted,
  • a planet Beta Crucis that is not yet scanned, so we don't know what team owns it,
  • your ship in the middle, ship number 8, with two torpedo explosions on the right hand side, with phasers shooting at enemy ship number 3,
  • your torpedos that missed the enemy ship 3 are flying away,
  • the status line, showing Speed 3, Fuel 6193, Damage 73%, Shields 1%, Weapon Temperature 8, and various flags.
What do you: play. Various keyboard keys do various things. See the tips screenshot for more information.

Galactic View

Press enter to swap to the galactic view. Your ship is in the centre of the small white box. The other boxed areas are teams or races. The circles are the planets. In this screenshot, you goal in the game is to take control of the red Romulan team planets.

Also on this view are:

  • the planets have a number above them; this is the number of armies present,
  • the planets have a name below them; the colour shows which team they belong to, and the bright colour means they have more than four armies, therefore they can be bombed or used by their owning team as a source of armies for taking other planets,
  • the other ships show as tiny icons moving about.
What do you: play. All the same keyboard and mouse actions do the same thing, just that you can't see as much detail.

Other Tactical Views

The white burst is a torpedo that has just exploded, it it has caused your damage to exceed 100%, so your ship has started to explode. The coloured ring around your ship is the start of the explosion. The green dots are more torpedos from the enemy that would have hit had you survived.

A short time later, your explosion has engulfed the enemy ship as it expands. This damages the enemy, though not always fatally. Your death is not in vain. You will be returned to the team and ship screen from which you would normally come straight back in with the spacebar. The supply of new ships is endless until your team runs out of planets.

Another three screenshots of a death are below; you have fired a phaser which missed, and the enemy ship number 4 has killed you with a torpedo and a phaser at the same time. That ship is caught in the blast radius and damaged, though not fatally.


Get the source:

sudo aptitude install darcs
darcs get
Read the netrek/ file and start making interesting changes.

See what you have changed:

darcs diff
Record and send what you have changed:

darcs record
darcs send

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