TIE Fighter, a computer space combat game, is the sequel to Star Wars: X-Wing, and the first game of the series that puts the player on the side of the Galactic Empire.
A notable improvement is the flight engine, which supports Gouraud shading, an effect that makes curves and mass appear more realistic. There are many flight options added, like flight dialogues and messages, a message log, a list of objectives, ships' status and behaviour, a three dimensional heads-up display, a sub-target system, and other improvements. The HUD or targeting computer (showing a miniature polygon of the targeted vessel) was much lauded by players since it allows the player to see the target's relative orientation (and avoid dangerous head-on confrontations) and specifically target individual components such as weapons batteries. The ability to match speed with a target lets the player tail an enemy with less risk of collision.
The briefings are also richer. Apart from the standard schematic map, the player has the ability to talk via a dialogue menu to both an Imperial officer and a "cloaked figure" - a Sith working for the Secret Order of the Emperor.
LucasArts released a demo of TIE Fighter in early 1994. This demo was based on an unfinished build of the game and has some unique features as a result. It consists of just one long mission in a TIE fighter against various Rebellion forces. The cockpit is not the same as that in the final game, sound effects are different, and the soundtrack is from Star Wars: X-Wing. The demo was sponsored by Dodge and displayed a Neon car advertisement before the gameplay began. It came on two 3.5" 1.44 MB floppy disks. The demo announced the game's release date as "Spring 1994", meaning between March and June of that year, but it wasn't released until July.