Scorched 3D

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Scorched 3D
Developer(s)Gavin Camp
Initial release2001-04-29
Stable release
43.3d (stable)[1] / 2014
Written inC++
PlatformWindows, OS X, Linux, Unix; (wxWidgets[2])
TypeSingle Player, Multiplayer, Cooperative gameplay, LAN Real-time Turn-based Strategy Artillery game

Scorched 3D is a free and open source artillery game modeled after the MS-DOS game Scorched Earth. Scorched 3D offers a new game-play approach compared to the 2D original, such as: fully destructible 3D environments, devastating weapons and defensive gadgets, LAN play, online multiplayer, free player generated content, and a choice of real-time or turn-based play modes.

Scorched 3D is an open source game licensed under the GNU GPL-2.0-or-later, and supports numerous platforms: Windows, Unix-like systems (Linux, FreeBSD, OS X, and Solaris). It makes use of both the Simple DirectMedia Library and wxWidgets.

Gameplay and mechanics[edit]

A screenshot of Scorched 3D V43.3d
A screenshot of Scorched 3D V43.3d
A screenshot of AWE Mod V44Beta

Gameplay is simplistic in nature, yet requires skill, tactics, and practice to master. Scorched 3D challenges players to destroy enemy tanks using a vast arsenal of weapon systems, defense systems, gadgets, and maneuvers.

At the beginning of each round, AI and player controlled tanks are randomly situated on a fully deformable 3D landscape. Players then launch weapons at enemy tanks by gradually adjusting their tank's angle, rotation, and power. They may also equip shields and use defensive gadgets or countermeasures based on their current landscape position. To win, a player must kill a majority of the enemy tanks by the end of 10 rounds and have the highest score. Extra score and rewards are given for surviving the end of a round.

Another important element of gameplay, is the dynamic economy. Players may earn cash each round by damaging or killing enemy tanks and structures. The player can then use their funds to buy advanced special weapons, gadgets, defenses and fuels before the next round. Every shield and weapon is unique, and each has a variety of different strengths and weaknesses. Players can influence the economy by purchasing weapons and upgrades. The economy is designed to fluctuate based on player buying patterns.

The default mode stays true to the original gameplay formula of Scorched Earth. Nearly all classic weapons make a new 3D debut, and include:

  • The devastating and colorful Funky Bomb
  • The ultra destructive Death's Head
  • Land hugging explosive Rollers
  • Dirt destroying missiles
  • Tank incinerating napalm
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Mountain piercing lasers
  • Multiple warhead MIRVs

Defense is also important on the battlefield:

  • Batteries allow a player to repair their damaged tank.
  • Shields protect a player's tank from being damaged or destroyed. Magnetic shields and Force Shields repel and reflect incoming enemy weapons.
  • Parachutes prevent damage from falling (when dirt is blasted out from under a tank).
  • Fuel allows a player to move their tank across the 3D landscape, and is used to avoid incoming enemy weapons, attack an enemy position, scramble to cover, or to gain a more advantageous firing position.

Community mods[edit]

Scorched 3D is heavily user modifiable, and supports a variety of exotic community mods that users may choose to download.

Player statistics and ranking[edit]

Example of forum medals

Scorched 3D allows players to view and gain stats and medals that are displayed in the forums. These stats appear if the player has registered their username at the forum and have linked their in game Player ID via the website's User Control Panel. Accumulated scores are based on skill, deaths, kills, and rank. The higher the rank number, the less skilled, or less active a player generally is.

Medals are gained through winning tournaments and destroying the most enemy tanks by the end of the season.


Scorched 3D v1.0 terrain generator

The first build was created in April 2001 by lead developer Gavin Camp. The inspiration behind Scorched 3D was revealed in an interview with him on The O'Reilly Network:

Scorched Earth was an institution for me and my friends at university. On many nights we would play the game while drinking — though it is pretty good even without the drink. Recently on a boring flight I played it with friends for eight hours straight; we hardly noticed the time passing. I thought that Scorched in 3D would allow many more game concepts, and [would] also combine my love of 3D graphics with the classic game.[3]

Scorched 3D originally started as a 3D landscape generator. It was eventually converted into a game, and is continually updated with new features and concepts. The project is currently being hosted by The latest public release version is v44. Since version 43.3d it includes a new real-time gameplay mode, as well as a new included mod: AWE (Armored Warfare Edition).


The game was downloaded alone via between 2003 and May 2017 over 2.2 million times.[4] A 2004 review in German print magazine LinuxUser was favourable.[5] In 2005 an O'Reilly article on "Open Source Mac Gaming" recommended Scorched 3D.[6]


  1. ^ :: View topic - Version 43 Released
  2. ^ "Debian -- Details of package scorched3d in jessie". Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  3. ^ Inside Scorched 3D on by Howard Wen (02/12/2004)
  4. ^ stats 2003-05-11+to+2017-05-17 on
  5. ^ Scorched3D-Aufpolierter-Spieleklassiker in LinuxUser (October 2004)
  6. ^ Open Source Mac Gaming by Robert Daeley on O'Reilly Media, Inc. (2005)

External links[edit]