This is an in-depth tutorial for newcomers to modding. We are going to make a simple mod that adds a new kind of enemy to spawn in strategic mode, a peasant uprising. You need no graphical skills for this one.
As the rather stuffy writer of the Bestiary states, "Pirates have their own crude tradition of flags and symbols." This is true in the real world as well, though I actually think that pirate flags are a rather fascinating topic. And given just how blood-drenched some real-world lords and knights were, I'd accord their heraldry the same amount of respect as I would a pirate flag. That is no actual respect at all, just a healthy dose of terror.
I've been devouring Geek Sublime by Vikram Chandra, which I was given as a Christmas present. The book ties together foundations of computer science, Sanskrit, and the writer's own life experiences. It does not stay up in the clouds creating clever equivalences and brain porn moments but also examines the relationship between the powerful and the powerless, the remembered and the forgotten.
And so Sanskrit is a beautiful language with a rich legacy, but it's also a tedious rote subject inflicted on countless students in the name of shoring up social ideas of purity and hierarchy. Code is amazing, but much of it is promulgated by strutting jerks who see themselves as the new masters of the universe.
One thing the book mentions that I particularly like is the Indian aesthetic theory of rasas. Originally formulated in the context of theatre about two millennia ago, the idea is applicable to all forms of art and literature.
Why do I like it so much? Because it describes a precise mechanism by which art and literature actually work.
2016 was a perfectly decent year for me, my friends and family, and you already know the ways in which it was awful.
So let's skip the summarizing and let us cast our eyes to 2017.
I'm starting a new series of blog posts showcasing Airships Let's Plays on YouTube. First and foremost has to be Stuff+, who's been making videos about the game for more than two years. A lot of you probably already know him because he introduced you to it!
After a great deal of time in development, the next major release of Airships is done! Headline features include monsters like dragons and giant spiders, new music, and player-created combat scenarios.
The task of classifying the dangers of our world is ongoing. Dragons were once thought to be myths, but have proven all too real. Rumours of dragon-tamers may yet turn out to be true as well.
Addenda to the bestiary.
Saw one of them reasonably close up today. It was hunting not for me, I think, bigger prey. Drawing is mostly from memory, but I can tell you that it was fully as large as the stories say.. Should make a fine add. to the compendium if you ever decide to take that up again.
A bestiary entry about dragons.
Yes, of course I’ve heard what the superstitious locals say: “Stay out of the mountains! There’s no shelter on those harsh peaks, and every last combe and glen is infested with killer spiders!”. They say there’s no way to safely cross that mountain range - anyone trying to rest high up on the peaks will die of exposure, lashed by cruel icy winds. Better that, though, than to risk seeking shelter in the forested vales.
A bestiary entry about giant spiders.
These are men, they say, but I count them among the beasts. Some of them rose from common thieves, others deserted, ship and all, to start a more profitable venture than soldiering. All of them are cruel and rapacious, issuing forth from their lairs in the mountains and deep forests to prey upon common people.
A bestiary entry about pirates.
Monstrous terror-mechs in the shape of giant man-eating nutcrackers. The brilliance of their inventor is only matched by her sadism.
A bestiary entry about Fleshcrackers.
In which I clone a game to make a point about polish.
What's interesting about Nuclear Throne is that it's really "just" a twin-stick shooter with some roguelike elements and a set of unlockable weapons and abilites. What makes it spectacular, and what took time, is the details of its execution.
One of the new features coming in Airships dev 9 is the ability for empires to join into alliances if they're feeling threatened. This is so the end-game doesn't become a boring process of picking off weaker enemies. At higher difficulties, the AI will be quite proactive about these alliances, and the player will face increasingly united opposition on their way to victory.
But what coat of arms should these alliances have? They can't just use the arms of one of the participants and ignore the others. Conveniently, this question came up a lot with real-world heraldry, and as a result there's some pretty clear precedent on how two coats of arms can be best merged.
Beta 11 is out! This adds the final features planned for 9.0, and so as soon as any bugs / balance issues are cured, version 9.0 will be live. :)
At the start of October, there was a massive LAN Party in Bern, Switzerland. It included a small Airships tournament, the first of its kind.
Currently sick. More non-voxel things appearing soon.
There's now a voxel art tag, given that it's likely you'll see more of these yet.
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.
It's a fairly infamous question, and one that has writers give annoyed and unhelpful answers. There are notable exceptions, like this excellent essay by Neil Gaiman.
It's a question I just got asked for the first time, and to my surprise, I realized I have a fairly concrete answer.
At gamescom, probably the most frequently asked question about Airships was: "when is the final version going to be released?" I gave some quite long answers to that, and want to reproduce my reasoning here for everyone, and also write about what's on the roadmap for the game.
The last few years have seen a number of games attempting to reinvigorate the Space 4X game. They have all been disappointments. The trouble is that Master of Orion II still looms large. New games not only have to compete against it on their own merits. They have to be both better than MoO2 and at the same time deliver the exact same happy experience as remembered through a decades-old haze of nostalgia.
Space 4X games are stuck in a rut. Much as what used to be the case with Tolkien and Fantasy, or D&D and roleplaying, a single work looms large, and all other works have to define themselves in relation to it, either subverting or surpassing it, but always remaining deeply constrained by their genre.
I recently read A Mountain Walked, a compilation of modern writing based on HP Lovecraft. I quite enjoyed the stories. Then I read The Litany of Earth by Ruthanna Emrys, and re-evaluated the stories in the compilation: they were actually really, awfully shallow.
It occurred to me that Dumbledore's Army was basically a paramilitary student organization. In reality, those tend to be bad news. So here's a cynical alternate history, told through newspaper headlines. Any similarity to real-life events is blatant and intentional.
Since I'm heading to gamescom shortly, I decided to put out an early beta of Airships dev 9. You can access it by opting into the beta branch on Steam.