At its core, the game is about designing airships and fighting with them. Ships are put together out of modules, and the layout of modules matters a great deal: everything on board is done by individual airsailors who need to run around, ferrying coal, ammunition, water and repair tools - and sometimes their fallen comrades.
You can command fleets of airships both against the computer and against other players across the Internet.
In addition, there is a single-player strategic mode, where you use your fleet to conquer city after city, unlocking new modules and bonuses with each of them.
The game has an authentic-ish system of heraldry where you can create your own coat of arms, and register it with the game forums as unique to you.
We interrupt our scheduled posting about landships to bring you some info about upcoming graphics improvements. Like a lot of software, Airships development runs on two rails: major changes and minor improvements. So while I'm working on adding landships for version 7, I'm also taking time to fix bugs and add polish to version 6.
Specifically, I realized it was really time for a graphics cleanup. Airships' spritesheet has grown organically, with me adding sprites as they were needed, adapting colors and elements from previous work. At this point in its development, it was time to clean things up to get a more consistent style and colour values, in the service of prettyness. Because, as it stands, Airships is a nice niche success, but I'd like it to become a broad success, which means visuals very much matter.
So last week I redrew the entire sprite sheet on top of the originals, sticking to a palette of about 16 colours. In the process, I finally cleanly separated shading from colour value. What does this mean? Well, most brightness variations in what you can see are due to lighting, and there's now a lighting engine to handle this. Before the redraw, you would have light and dark patches on armour sprites that got applied a second time by the lighting system, resulting in a messy high-contrast look. Now, a lot of the sprites look really simple - light wood armour is literally just a brown square - with the texture coming from the lighting.
The downside is that the graphics now look awful without lighting applied, which is why the game now ships with variant spritesheets where the lighting has been pre-applied. This means you get a lot of the nice new graphics even if you've got high quality graphics turned off.
Along the way, I also updated the particle system, making smoke clouds support dynamic lighting, resulting in some pretty neat dramatic lighting.
Right now, I'm working on birds, clouds and backgrounds. There will be a 6.3 update soon which will deliver all these graphical improvements as well as the usual array of bug fixes.
Latest tweets from @zarkonnen_com
@CurseGamepedia Cool, will drop you an email shortly. :D
6hours 44mins ago
@CurseGamepedia And enthusiastic about it too, cloning the game site's look and feel. Fine with it being The Wiki for the game BTW.
6hours 55mins ago
6hours 56mins ago
Working on little pixel hills for Airships backdrop. T.co
7hours 4mins ago
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11hours 45mins ago
Why transphobic jokes are harmful even if they're in fiction: T.co
11hours 53mins ago