Spectrum: Primary Assault is a 3D, third-person, action-adventure, flight/combat experience.

It employs several advanced features, including extraordinary, real-time hydrodynamics (water physics) that are not only visually compelling, but are also an integral part of the gameplay.  Spectrum also features dynamic terrain generation, fluid pressure mechanics, realistic rope physics, enemy flocking AI, several kinds of collision detection, and other concepts.  (See bottom of page for more information).

Spectrum: Primary Assault was a finalist in Stanford University's CS248 2004 Video Game Competition.







Click on the thumbnails above to view the full-sized images.

NOTE: Since the game's fluid movement is one of its strong points, we plan to include some embedded videos.





You have been sent to infiltrate the planet Primarius. Your quest is to defeat the mysterious, menacing, (and misunderstood?) worm beast known as Ecclipsor.  Use your environment and your arsenal of weapons, liquid and solid, to destroy Ecclipsor's Guardians, and finally Ecclipsor itself!!

The Rules of Planet Primarius

Every entity on Primarius has three types of life energy: Red, Green, and Blue. You must diminish all three forms of an enemy's life energy to destroy it. The colored auras surrounding an enemy appear as the color of their combined R, G, and B energies (e.g., a purple aura means that both red and blue life energy are present). The brightness of the aura indicates the amount of energy remaining. You can also view the individual RGB life bars of an enemy by locking onto it with your cross-hairs.

Your ship is equipped with a "Spectral Siphon" and a "Spectral Cannon". The Spectral Siphon is the tail-like protrusion on the back of your ship. Immerse it in the water to set the color of the water ejected by your Spectral Cannon (the turret).

Before you can face Ecclipsor, you must defeat all of its Guardians.  Each one will continue to attack you until it is destroyed.


  • Hold down the ARROW KEYS to accelerate your ship left, right, up, and down

  • Press SPACE to toggle between your three weapons (Spectral Cannon, Geyser Bombs, and WhiteOut)

  • Use the MOUSE to maneuver the 3D cross-hairs, to aim at or lock onto an enemy target

  • Use LEFT CLICK to fire your weapon

  • HOLD it when using spray weapons (Spectral Cannon and WhiteOut)

  • PRESS it once when firing Geyser Bombs


  • Geyser Bombs explode where they hit the water's surface, and cause large geysers to appear at the contact point.  The color of the geyser is the color damage it will inflict on the enemies engulfed within it.  Used cleverly, these are very effective.
  • WhiteOut is used just like the colored water sprayed by the Spectral Cannon.  The difference is that it diminishes all three RGB life components concurrently (use it wisely!)



SPECTRUM: Primary Assault  (.zip for Windows XP)

You need a decent graphics card (nVidia GeForce2 or better), and a reasonably fast processor (haven't tested on anything less than a Pentium4) to run the game.

Feel free to contact us if you have problems with the .zip.



The flight mechanics and sequential, mission-style gameplay were inspired largely by 3D flight action-adventure games from the last decade (most notably Star Fox 64 and Star Wars: Rogue Leader). The idea of using a continuous stream of liquid interactively with the environment was influenced by Super Mario Sunshine. The notion of additive/subtractive primary (RGB) colors as the fundamental gameplay element was inspired by the early content of the course cs248, which places a large emphasis on color theory. The hydrodynamics were influenced by recent graphics demos and papers exploring the topic.



Vishal Srivastava - 2nd year CS Masters student at Stanford focusing in AI, with interests in Graphics and Robotics.

Jeremy Robin - 1st year CS Masters student at Stanford.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments.


The Secrets of SPECTRUM: Primary Assault

Click here for in-depth, easy-to-understand explanations of the many advanced features in SPECTRUM.