Construct mighty steampunk airships and fly them into battle, waging war and conquering the skies!
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (217) - 89% of the 217 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (1,683) - 94% of the 1,683 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 16, 2018
Developer:
Publisher:

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Buy Airships: Conquer the Skies Soundtrack Edition

Includes 2 items: Airships: Conquer the Skies, Airships: Conquer the Skies - Soundtrack

 

Recent updates View all (159)

September 12

Bug Hunt: Fixing Combat AI

The latest Airships update fixes a bug in the combat AI for ships. It was a rather weird and stupid bug, and so I'd like to tell you about it. I hope to entertain you and also give you a view into the game development process.

There were a lot of reports of the combat AI being very incompetent when trying to attack buildings, especially from close range. Ships would just float around unmoving instead of closing in and bringing their weapons to bear.

So I set about reproducing this problem, which turned out to be rather easy. I set up a combat of an AI grenade bomber versus a building, and the bomber completely failed to position itself.



I will explain the cause of this in a moment, but I first have to get into the detail of how combat AI works. Its main function is to evaluate possible positions for the ship to move to. For each position, it looks at how much damage it can deal from there and how much enemy fire it's exposed to. Some positions it can't get to, because something's in the way, or because they're above its service ceiling.



The other mildly confusing thing I need to mention is how the y-axis in the game's coordinate system works. It points downwards, so ships with a higher y-coordinate value are further down. And the zero point is at about 70 metres above ground. Not the most sensible way of doing things, but it just evolved that way.



I have a convenient debug view in the game that lets me see the combat AI's evaluation of all the positions it considers. In the case of the combat of the bomber versus the building, I could instantly see that it marked all the positions near the ground as unreachable. All the positions with y-coordinate greater than zero.

At this point I had a pretty good idea of what was going on. The culprit was an obscure module type value called aiMaxY. This value is used to tell the monster AI to not move too far down, because it looks weird. For example, it prevents the Aerial Jelly, which is meant to hover above your ships and attack like that, from moving all the way to the ground.



aiMaxY is set to 10000 by default, going all the way into the ground. But by looking at the debugger, I could see that the bomber's aiMaxY was actually set to 0. So the AI considered all positions where y was greater than 0 as invalid.

Now I just needed to figure out why the value was at 0 instead of 10000.

The culprit there turned out to be flipped modules. The information for flipped versions of modules is derived automatically from their un-flipped counterpart. The game does this by copying all the information and adjusting it where needed, making firing arcs point the other way, mirroring the graphical appearance, and so on.



But I had forgotten one line in this code. It didn't copy over the aiMaxY value, and instead left it at 0.

So all flipped modules would tell the combat AI to not take the ship beyond y = 0. Any airship with a flipped module had broken AI. Which was many but not all of them, making the bug appear inconsistently.

The fix was painfully easy: add that line to copy over the aiMaxY value for the flipped module. And with that one change, the AI started behaving much better!

13 comments Read more

September 11

Version 1.0.2.1 Bugfix (and one small addition)


  • Crew chatter messages for planes.
  • Tactical AI improvements, especially against buildings. More details in a write-up to come.
  • Weapons can no longer lead shots beyond their firing arcs.
  • Balanced keels vs bows.
  • Bomb damage reduced by 20% and accuracy reduced.
  • Spy messages now point to the city where the event happened.
  • Can no longer view cities that haven't been fully infiltrated by a spy.
  • Warning message when your computer can't keep up with multiplayer.
  • Can no longer edit floating islands on the far side of the combat map to set traps.
  • Cultists no longer accumulate infinite undead squid.
  • Key configuration for edit modes now works.
  • Maintenance cost for buildings is now at least $1.
  • Buildings with zero maintenance cost now have $1 maintenance cost, but modded buildings with negative maintenance (ie income) still have that negative maintenance.
Note that I have released v1.0.2.2 to fix the negative maintenance cost issue.

The focus of the next update will be balancing and AI in conquest mode.
16 comments Read more

About This Game

In Airships: Conquer the Skies you'll need to use all of your creativity and skill to design and build fearsome airships and land vehicles to give you the edge in massive aerial battles.



Construct your vehicles by piecing together a vast array of modules, choosing weapons, armour types, structures, equipment and resources in near endless configurations to allow you to prevail against even the toughest foes.

The vehicles are highly detailed, teeming with sailors moving around performing their individual tasks to stay in the fight. Your choices of vehicle layouts are crucial, exploring the design space of different crafts and their matching tactics to make sure your fleet emerges victorious.



Once your vehicles are ready for the fight, you’ll give high-level commands to your small fleet, swooping, soaring, ramming and boarding others to gain the upper hand in battle. Ships and terrain are fully destructible: they can catch fire, explode, break apart, and fall, so you’ll need to choose your tactics wisely.



Face off against giant aerial kraken, fleshcracker mechs, huge venomous spiders, clockwork wasps, and more. Defeat them and reap the rewards.



Play across three distinctly different modes: taking on (or creating your own) bespoke Missions; building a mighty empire in Conquest, or destroying your friends in Multiplayer matches online or via LAN.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: 1.8 Ghz+
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM+
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Not currently compatible with Intel HD graphics controllers
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: 2.2 Ghz+ Dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM+
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Not currently compatible with Intel HD graphics controllers
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.7
    • Processor: 1.8 Ghz+
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM+
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Not currently compatible with Intel HD graphics controllers
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.10
    • Processor: 2.2 Ghz+ Dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2 GB VRAM+
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Not currently compatible with Intel HD graphics controllers
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu/Debian/Mint
    • Processor: 1.8 Ghz+
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM+
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Not currently compatible with Intel HD graphics controllers. May run on other Linux distros, but no guarantees.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu/Debian/Mint
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz+ Dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2 GB VRAM+
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Not currently compatible with Intel HD graphics controllers. May run on other Linux distros, but no guarantees.

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