Author Archives: Kaalus

Join in progress

I am still working on the Survivalcraft update. In the meantime, I also made a few important changes to Ruthless Conquest. Below is a new version for you, as always completely free. This time I released it for iOS too:

Download Ruthless Conquest 1.1
for Windows 7 and later (desktop app installer)

Give it a try.

Btw. amazingly, Apple approved it first time. This has never happened to me yet! Either I am getting better at this, Apple relaxed their review process, or I was just lucky…

What’s new

If you played Ruthless Conquest with others, you probably realized that it is difficult to gather enough people for a game. This is because the time window for people to join is very short, and once the game starts, it disappears from the game list. This needed solving.

The solution is simple – allow join in progress! Games list now shows all the games: those that haven’t been started yet, and those that are in progress. You can join any of them, provided that there is at least one AI player left in the game – you will take control of the AI’s empire. If there isn’t, you will join as a spectator.

Another important change is addition of Defence Satellites:

A satellite (you can have up to two per planet) orbits the planet, and fires a huge laser on any hostile ships in range. It greatly boosts your defence capability. The enemy needs roughly 50% more ships to capture a planet with one satellite, and 100% more with two. These are ballpark values – it depends on how far the attacking ships have to travel among other things.

Anyway, a large planet full of ships with two satellites is one tough nut to crack.

A satellite firing on enemy fleet

Additionally, any enemy fleet movement near a planet with a satellite will incur some losses. Satellites are also great at reducing enemy reinforcements while they pass near the planet, and at whittling down Anatarans.

To offer you some quick background, I was always a fan of RTS games where defence has advantage over offence. This leads to great strategy play, unlike the pure offence games, which mostly boil down to “gather the larger army and click on his base”. One of such defence-favoring games was Supreme Commander 1 (don’t try the console-only sequel Supreme Commander 2, it’s dumbed down and much worse).

Yet another change in 1.1 is that to win, you no longer need to defeat all the enemies. It is enough to capture all special planets. This opens up some nice strategies, where you can snatch a sudden victory from the jaws of a much stronger opponent and have a good laugh.

There are many other small changes and tweaks. Anatarans and Reinforcements have been made more fair. Ship movement and planet generation was improved. You cannot call yourself Kaalus any more – I’ve seen a fair few Kaaluses out there :-) The game also supports IPv6, in the unlikely case you will find yourself in an pure-IPv6 network environment.

Have fun.

Ruthless Conquest on Amazon

Amazon have approved Ruthless Conquest:

If you have an Amazon device, give it a go.

From the server logs I see some 1500 internet games have been played since the release. You have definitely improved your tactics – it’s very difficult to win against you now, unlike yesterday ;-)

There’s a little bug with the game at the moment – occasionally when the game starts, the planet generation fails and some of the players are not given a planet to start on. This causes them to immediately lose.

More importantly, I see the main mistake I made with Ruthless Conquest multiplayer: it’s very difficult to find a game to connect to. Because you can only connect during the short time between game creation and game start, the list of the games is almost always empty.

What I should have done is to support joining in the middle of the game and connecting to existing games as a spectator.

Video

Here’s a video for you showing Ruthless Conquest:

If you have a Windows computer, you can download an installer for the game and play it on the big screen:

Ruthless Conquest Windows Installer

Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone!

Long time no see!

I have two pieces of news for you. One is bad, the other one is good. I’ll start with the bad one.

The next update for Survivalcraft 2 won’t make it for Christmas. I have been working on it for the last year or so. The major new feature that I am adding is large, and it should expand the survival mode in a big way. Creative mode would also benefit nicely. Unfortunately, I got stuck on some difficult aspects of it, and never found the drive to finish it.

I can’t give you any concrete date, or even reveal the new feature yet, because I don’t promise anything that I am not 100% certain will be delivered. This new feature is so wide that it can still get bogged down in unfixable issues. Here’s just one hint to get you started on guessing:

Now the good news.

While you are waiting for the next update, I have a new Christmas gift for you. Do you still remember Bugs? Well, there’s a new game coming out this Christmas. Just like Bugs, it will be completely free and without ads or nag screens. Moreover, it has multiplayer. And not just any multiplayer, but internet multiplayer with internet servers, so anyone can play with everyone else. It’s called:

I’ve just released it on Google Play. Download 100% free here:

Other platforms will follow. It is a Christmas gift from me to Survivalcraft community.

Long time ago I used to work for a games company as a network programmer. Unbelievably, a few months ago I got myself hooked on game networking again. The result is this new little game where you can control ships like that:

I won’t reveal many details, you’ll have to check it out for yourselves. It cannot be all bad, because it has Antarans in it :-) Yes, I borrowed the name from one of my favourite games of old.

Yay, play on the internet!

Internet multiplayer is a new ground for me, I have never released a game where I need to maintain servers, so that you can keep playing. I am sure a lot of things will go wrong. I spent long hours testing it with plenty of kids (we have visitors for Christmas), but how it will behave when many players from across the world start connecting? I cannot predict.

Have fun!

 

 

All platforms

You may have noticed, a couple of days ago I submitted 2.1.14 to Google Play. The only difference from 2.1.13 is a fix for water flow direction bug introduced in one of the previous updates (water animation was flowing uphill).

Yesterday I also published the same build to all other platforms, to bring everyone up to date. The latest versions are:

  • Google Play: 2.1.14 (in store)
  • Amazon: 2.1.41 (in store)
  • Windows 8.1/10: 2.1.23 (in store)
  • Windows Phone 8.1/10: 2.1.33 (in store)
  • iOS AppStore: 2.1.52 (still in certification)

These are all the same builds with the same feature set, so once they hit the stores, no one should be at a disadvantage.

Unless something catastrophic is discovered, I now want to focus on working on the next feature update: 2.2.

 

 

Resource density tweaks & more

I’ve seen you complaining that there isn’t enough copper and iron in the world. Spent some time today reviewing this, and indeed I think you’re right! So, I made the resources more abundant. Plus some other changes, see below.

I’ve just published 2.1.13 to Google Play. Here’s the list of changes:

  • Tweaked cave generation algorithm to make the caves go deeper on average (it’s easier to find certain minerals deeper)
  • Increased amount of iron, copper, coal and diamond ores
  • Increased armour durability (especially stick armour – don’t overlook it, it’s very cheap to make even on day 1, and more than doubles your resilience to attacks)
  • Made boat stronger and reduced chance of fish being able to attack you on the boat (instead of attacking the boat)
  • Fixed player digging blocks behind animals when trying to hit them but missing, in creative mode
  • Increased digging time of all stone types by hand by about 25% (more incentive to make tools)

 

 

2.1.12 released to Google Play

This fixes the terrain generation issue mentioned in the previous post.

Terrain from 2.0 has cold/hot patches after opening in 2.1

Many people reported this, and indeed there is a bug with the generator. It should use old temperature/humidity calculation if a world was created before 2.1. But it does not – it uses the new one. As a result old worlds are a garbled mix of old and new temperature/humidity. This is now fixed and I should be releasing it soon.

If you still keep a backup of your <2.1 world, opening it in the upcoming bugfix release should work all fine. If you “baked” the errors by making modifications to the affected chunks, these chunks (and only these) will unfortunately stay garbled. There’s no easy solution to that.

2.1.11 released

Changes:

  • Fixed a bug with furniture sometimes disappearing when moved by a piston
  • Spawner eggs will not rot (non-nutritious eggs only)

Should be with you in a couple of hours.

Furniture + pistons bug

Thanks to everyone who reported the problem with furniture occasionally disappearing when pushed by a piston. The worlds you sent me allowed me to figure out the problem quickly.

It’s already fixed and to be released soon to Google Play as 2.1.11.

One thing to watch for is the existing worlds that had this problem may still keep exhibiting it until all affected furniture is replaced.

What was happening: furniture design garbage collector was not looking at moving blocks, and it was possible for it to mark a furniture design as unused when it was only present as a moving block. Then, when the piston stopped, moving block turned into terrain block and chaos ensued as the design was gone. This wasn’t happening very often as collector does not run too frequently, plus your furniture must have been only present as moving blocks (not in inventory or in terrain).