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.
So after the initial rapid success of getting conquest multiplayer to work, it was time to see how much the multiplayer really kept in sync. It looked like it was in sync, but not every small divergence would be visible, and those small divergences could spiral into larger ones.
As an aside, idle googling has just led me to a horrible discovery: The daft Ashton Kutcher vehicle The Butterfly Effect somehow spawned two sequels. Yay.
Anyway, to make sure that the versions of the world on multiple players' computers were exactly the same, I wrote a checksumming system. At regular intervals, the system would take the game state, save it to disk, and take a checksum of it. It would add this checksum to a backlog, and send it across to the other players.
Upon receiving a checksum, the system would call up its own checksum for that point in time from the backlog. If the checksums disagreed, it would output the point in time where this divergence had happened and exit.
This system was very useful, as it let me do a detailed comparison (a diff) between the game states at the point of divergence. It also created a vast amount of data, because it had to write a full save game multiple times a second. It will definitely be deactivated for the release!
And indeed, it led me to find a number of problems: The names of pre-generated ships didn't match. That one was easily fixed. Another problem was that the road data wasn't quite the same, which turned out to be because the game wasn't looping over city pairs to build roads between in a consistent fashion. Looking for other such inconsistent loops also let me find what would have been a rare and subtle bug in the monster nest code.
So with the game state looking synchronous, what's next? Well, it's all the unglamorous GUI stuff. Allowing players to choose the map size and difficulty, their empire name and their coat of arms. A chat system.
Then, allowing for multiplayer conquest games to be resumed, which turns out to have lots of corner cases. What if the game is resumed with a set of players that isn't clearly identifiable as the previous players? Or with more or fewer players. What if someone exits setup at a weird moment?
I'm still working on getting all of these scenarios figured out and accounted for, but a basic GUI for resuming games exists. And once that's done, I can make available a very early version of multiplayer conquest.
It will be very rough: you can't design ships, or look at city defences. Combats start right away with no setup phase and no warning. There's no diplomacy beyond what happens in the chat. The world setup is probably really unfair. But it's something that can be tried out and iterated upon.
v9.6 adds a new feature: combat replays. All fights you participate in are automatically recorded. You can play them back, analyzing them, or just glorying...
Airships dev 9.2 is out, adding planes, giant bees, and more.
No articles were found matching the criteria specified. We suggest you try the article list with no filter applied, to browse all available. Post article and help us achieve our mission of showcasing the best content from all developers. Join now to share your own content, we welcome creators and consumers alike and look forward to your comments.
No files were found matching the criteria specified. We suggest you try the file list with no filter applied, to browse all available. Add file and help us achieve our mission of showcasing the best content from all developers. Join now to share your own content, we welcome creators and consumers alike and look forward to your comments.
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