A real-time strategy game where you design airships and then fight with them. The aim is to have pretty chaotic explodey fights and interesting ship design choices.
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Purchase includes future versions up to 1.0!


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.

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Crew Lines with Portraits

News

Beta 7 introduces a new type of message from your crew. While they've long been shouting things as they go along their business of fighting and dying, they will now occasionally pop up in the bottom left of your screen to deliver some information, commentary, or death-scream.

You can zoom in at any time to see the fate of individuals, but that's not a very useful perspective to direct a battle from, which means players spend most of their time zoomed out. The intent of this feature is to highlight things happening in the battle and to show you the faces of the people who are fighting and dying for you.

The hard part of creating NPC lines is that they can be very, very annoying.

  • "It sure is cold outside tonight."
  • "The price of wheat has risen."
  • "The Clyptrastian Empire must pay for their crimes."
  • "When do you get off duty?"

So what can I do as a game developer to make them immersive rather than annoying? Make them sparse, make them relevant, and make them varied.

The system I constructed works in two stages: the combat checks for particular conditions to occur and generates "interesting events". The crew message system then goes through those events, checks whether they're clearly visible to the player, and matches them against crew lines.

So for example, if a crewman is snatched up by a kraken tentacle, this generates an event called "grabbedBy SQUID" at the location of the crewman. The message system applies the following checks:

  • Is the event within the field of view of the player? That is, within the center 70% of the screen, horizontally and vertically.
  • Is the player zoomed in enough to see what's going on? For some messages, there's also a maximum zoom level, so if you're looking at a detail, it will ignore events that are about the combat as a whole.
  • Is there a fitting crew line to deliver? It can partially match against event names, so if there's a line specific to being grabbed by a kraken, that would match against "grabbedBy SQUID", but there can also be a fall-back for being grabbed by some other kind of tentacle that matches against anything starting with "grabbedBy".
  • Has the same crew line already been delivered in the same combat? You don't want the same message to pop up each time someone has an encounter with a tentacle.
  • Is there another crew line already visible, or was there one very recently? Forcing the lines to be spaced out a bit prevents them from being too visually distracting.

If all those checks are passed, the system will pick a crew line and display it. The idea is to generate lots of opportunities for lines, but then to filter them very strictly to deliver a few high-quality ones. Each line has multiple variants as well, saying the same thing using different words.

The following events are currently tracked and can create crew lines:

  • Overall victory and defeat.
  • A large explosion.
  • Destruction of the largest ship in a fleet.
  • Large numbers of boarding casualties.
  • A ship is about to intentionally ram another.
  • A ship is about to heavily crash into or be rammed by another.
  • A ship is about to crash to the ground at speed.
  • The enemy has some unusual units, such as monsters.
  • One side is much stronger than the other at the start of the battle.
  • A module is about to explode.
  • A ship is captured.
  • A crew member is grabbed by a tentacle.
  • A crew member grabbed by a tentacle is devoured.
  • A crew member is killed by a boarding monster, such as a black widow spider.
  • A ship is hooked by a giant spider's web.

Ideas for additional interesting events are very much appreciated, and so is feedback on the quality and frequency of the lines delivered.

Here be Dragons

Here be Dragons

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Giant spiders, pirates, mad scientists, dragons. Monsters are nesting out in the hills and forests and swamps.

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Aerial Torpedoes

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Each torpedo is almost a tiny airship by itself, with a steam-driven propeller and a Suspendium chamber. And on impact, its explosive payload is so great...

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Optimizing for Boredom

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How Don't Starve changed during development, why I stopped playing FTL, and why Airships has no precise targeting.

The Kraken

The Kraken

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I am now making headway on dev 9 and its menagerie of monsters. I present to you the Aerial Kraken.

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 62)
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Guest

Great game

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martyra2j
martyra2j

I did a Let's Play/First impressions on this game! Come check it out if ya like!
Big thanks to the developer for this great game!
Hope you enjoy.
Youtu.be

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SkyBreack
SkyBreack

Wow! what a nice and original idea. Looks very fun! follow! =D

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Zillvr
Zillvr

Looks like a whole lot of fun...and chaos. Definitely tracking this!

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TheManWhoFlewAway

Great idea - keeping an eye on this :)

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DonleyTimeFoundation
DonleyTimeFoundation

I love this game soooo much! HAHAHAH!

-Tim

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Propagandawar
Propagandawar

Are you planning on adding a map for Multiplayer? I have friends getting the game. Although it looks like they are waiting for another option besides paypal to pay with. .

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Zarkonnen Creator
Zarkonnen

The issue with making a MP map is that combats and strategy work at different timescales, so you'd spend a lot of time waiting for other peoples' fights. Not sure how to fix that.

Re: PayPal - what kind of payment method would they like? I totally understand that it's not exactly everyone's first choice. Am up for anything, including stuffing money into an envelope. :P

Reply Good karma+4 votes
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Airships: Conquer the Skies
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Zarkonnen
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Highest Rated (2 agree) 10/10

Great game. I've been playing since Dev2 and it gets better each time. It's a steal for only $5. Reminds me of the Total War games with it's campaign map.

Apr 24 2014 by CanofSodaGames

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