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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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A while ago I listened to a podcast interview with one of the developers of Don't Starve. They were discussing the design of the Science Machine, the building that lets you discover new crafting recipes.

In its original version, players could dump any items they didn't want into the machine, and it would convert these items into points that could be spent on new crafting recipes. (That part of the discussion starts at 10:41 in the interview.)

The idea was that the machine would act as a sink for surplus items. Instead, players set up vast farms to produce as many grass bushels as possible. These produced only a tiny number of science points, but they could be reliably and safely generated in vast quantities.

This reliability and safety made the game really, really boring to play. Users had optimized their play style to be effective but boring. In the end, the developers changed the Science Machine to just directly unlock the new recipes.

The point here is that the mere presence of an option can completely unbalance gameplay. Yes, of course players could have decided not to do grass farming, but these kinds of self-imposed boundaries are hard to draw. Having easy access to grass is useful, but at what point are you grinding instead of playing? You may have had the experience too that you can often only tell that you're really bored with a game when you've been bored for hours. And for a certain, common kind of optimization-happy player, not using a game's mechanics optimally feels like missing the point.

Here's another example. I played FTL: Faster than Light a fair amount when it first came out. But the ability to pause the game ultimately made me optimize the game to be boring. A lot of things in FTL depend on very careful timing: firing weapons in just the right sequence, deploying crew, opening and closing doors, re-distributing energy. So over time, I paused the game more and more often to make sure everything was running correctly, and to give carefully timed commands. Eventually, I only let the game run for about a second before pausing again.

I tried playing the game while abstaining from the pause feature, but that made the game really hard and stressful. So clearly some use of pause was necessary, but where to draw the line? More pausing always meant playing more effectively, but boredom would creep in.

This brings me to why there is no way to precisely target weapons fire in Airships, selecting individual modules instead of entire ships. It wouldn't be hard to add to the game, but it would mean that to play optimally, you'd have to constantly adjust targeting on potentially dozens of ships. It feels frustrating that you can't give more precise commands, but it would ultimately feel more frustrating if you could.

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.

Tentacle Logic

Tentacle Logic

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The details of programming tentacle movements for aerial monsters, with interactive examples.

Version 8: Mods and Steam Workshop

Version 8: Mods and Steam Workshop

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Major new features are data-driven modding and Steam workshop integration, as well as new modules and conveniences like selection groups and auto-landscaping...

The Case of the Spontaneously Falling Airship

The Case of the Spontaneously Falling Airship

News 2 comments

In the newest builds, ships mysteriously gave up on things and just fell out the sky. I investigated why.

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 62)
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Guest
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
Propagandawar
Propagandawar

I purchased the game this weekend (Plan to get it for a friend as well beings he is having paypal issues). The games a blast. Having tons of fun with it. I did go to register in hopes that it opens Multiplayer and auto-updates but it was giving me issues entering my email last night.

Can you add a kitchen? It seems like something the ship should have in it to feed your air sailors.

Thank you for such a fun game.

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Airships: Conquer the Skies
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Creator
Zarkonnen
Engine
Custom
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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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