After several months of development and two weeks of beta testing, Airships dev 8 is out. Its major new features are data-driven modding and Steam workshop integration, as well as new modules and conveniences like selection groups and auto-landscaping.
Most of the game's data now resides in external files, which can be overlaid with mods. You can create new module types, new weapons, and new types of crew members. You can also change the game balance by changing existing values, or change the way the game looks.
If you'd like to get started on modding, have a look here and here, and also feel free to ask questions, including "help, my mod doesn't work, could you have a look at it". There's also a player-made modding guide in progress.
You can get mods by subscribing to them in the Steam workshop.
Here are some example mods I created:
This impractically large bronze cannon does enough damage to destroy smaller modules in one hit.
This mod re-balances the game by getting rid of all modules involving Suspendium, the crystal that gives airships lift. Instead, it introduces hydrogen and helium tanks, which are much larger and more fragile.
Changes the appearance of the game's user interface from a wood-and-gold look to a more compact steel one.
Steam workshop integration
If you have a ship design you want to share and show off, you can upload it from the ships list with a single click. It will appear in the workshop for others to subscribe to. If you're not using Steam, you can also just export the ship file and share it with others.
This medium-sized piece of weaponry has a firing arc that spans from slightly pointing down to almost pointing up. It does a lot of damage for its size and price, but because it's an external module, you can't protect it with armour.
Another external module. The Engine Pod needs free space both in front and behind, which limits its placement options, but it's far more powerful than a normal propeller.
A nest of robotic murder-spiders. You can send these machines to board enemy ships. They're very tough and dangerous, but note that they can't take over ships, only wreak havoc.
A new helpful feature suggested by a player: in combat, you can now hit control and a number key to store your current selection of ships, and just the number key to retrieve it.
Ever since the terrain changed from a perfectly flat plain to an actual landscape, placing buildings has been kind of annoying. You had to manually edit the terrain to produce a stable base to put the building on. I've now automated this process: when you place a building, the game will automatically adjust the terrain to make it properly supported.
Importantly, this even works in multiplayer setup (though note that you have to pay for the landscaping). And it works for the AI in strategic mode, which makes it more capable of building defences.
And yes, the game now has a Russian translation, joining English, German and French as the supported languages. (BTW, you can create new translations as mods too.)
Looks good? Don't have the game yet? You can buy it on Steam:
Full Change List
- Data-driven modding system: you can add new modules and other content, and change existing information. Mods are compatible with conquest mode and multiplayer.
- Steam workshop integration: share ship designs and mods.
- Multiplayer chat overlay that’s available everywhere in-game.
- Automatic adjustment of landscape when placing buildings.
- Unit groups: press ctrl and a number to store the currently selected set of units, press the number to select them again.
- Russian translation
- Robot spiders
- Engine pods
- Deck guns
- Combat now waits until the victory/defeat situation has stabilized before announcing a result.
- Troops no longer massacred by wheels and feet of nonmoving landships.
- Cancelling constructions is now correctly priced across the board: 25% of costs already spent, 100% of the rest.
- Command refresh now scales with time properly.
- Fixed a bug where starting, exiting and rejoining a multiplayer game would lead to an inability to start the game, or to desyncs.
- Rifles consume much less ammunition.
- Rockets are a bit more accurate.
- Ships break up more epically.
- Boarders are better at jumping.
- Adjusted relative speeds of ship movement, construction and income in conquest mode.
- Increased light armour HP by 50% to make them more competitive.
- Flamethrower now more powerful, gatling gun less powerful, more expensive but also a bit more accurate.
- Cleaner look for module and decal list in editor.
Finally, I would like to thank the beta testers for dev 8, who helped get me the game from randomly crashing to actually stable and quite well-polished. Special thanks to Firebird11 and 71, who put in a lot of work figuring out bugs and reporting them.