Jun 10
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
  • Fixed a lighting error on turrets.
  • You can now use the arrow keys and cursor to change the insertion point in text fields.
  • Uploading ships to Steam now gives you the fixed list of tags, and auto-generates cost tags.
  • Clearer indicator for which modules are disconnected.
  • Mac Steam integration once again works, in a limited fashion. You can subscribe to workshop items but you can't publish them.
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
With the new graphical options now available, I'm re-doing the AI ship designs for v10. Each opponent empire will have a specific design style that is visually distinct and has certain strengths and weaknesses. Here are some screenshots:











In other good news, I think I have convinced Kaspersky Antivirus to stop issuing false positives for the game!
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
  • There's a problem on some graphics cards with the new flags code. I'm still working on fixing it, but I've made it so that the rest of the graphics draw properly if you're affected.
  • Added a 1x1 inert filler block.
  • Fixed some crashes.
  • Armour masks now work with mods.
  • Combat replays are now more visible.
Some more on combat replays and GIF creation soon...
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
This update is all about aesthetics. Ships in the game, being made of blocks, have always looked very, uh, blocky. Numerous mods have been made to address this, but mods are limited in what they can do.

The main technical change this update introduces is pixel-perfect collision for modules. This means that you can have complex, rounded shapes that collide correctly, rather than having weird non-collisions or collisions at a distance.



To take advantage of this, beyond adding pixel-perfect collision to rams and turrets, I've added a whole bunch of slopes and curves to shape your ships. These slopes and curves can also be armoured like normal modules.



In addition, there are figureheads:



Lanterns:



More sails:



There's also two new weapon modules, muskets and heavy turrets:



The appearance of many weapon barrels has also been updated to be more distinctive:



But wait, that's not all! There's flags and pennants that move based on wind and ship movement:



Oh, and around 50 new decal items, such as new gold leaf:



And "greebles", small textural details like tanks and panels:



The aim of all of this is to enable ships to have all kinds of distinctive looks, such as the following three:

Age of Sail



Battleship



Mad Max



Beyond all these new things, there are of course also some bug fixes and balance adjustments:
  • All shots now do at least one point of damage, which means you no longer get into a situation where your weapons mysteriously don't fire.
  • Module adjacency bonuses have been significantly decreased, to prevent penalising ships that aren't just flying bricks.
  • Fleshcrackers now have a maintenance cost, preventing mad scientist nests from spawning an infinite number of them.
  • Crew can no longer avoid being hurt by boarders by hiding behind the corpses of their fallen comrades. This should resolve problems with boarding stalemates.
  • Fixed animation logic for bees, wasps and air dragoons - boarding flyers.
  • Flamethrowers have a wider firing arc.
  • Gatling guns' shots now wander rather than spraying around wildly.
  • Increased armour HP by 50%.
  • Doubled Air Hussar reload time.
  • Spider legs now have a lot of propulsion power.
  • Increased Suspendium Dust Tank HP.
  • Fixed a mission editor crash.
What's next? More work on multiplayer conquest...

Edit Just released v9.8.0.1 which fixes a crash happening to people with no custom coat of arms set.
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
I've finally gone and tidied up the tags available in the workshop.

Unfortunately, the tag management is a bit unsophisticated: I can only create a white-list of tags to be shown, which means that tags I haven't thought of won't show up.

That's why I waited for quite a long time to do this tidy-up: I wanted to see what tags would naturally occur. Now, pretty much every tag that has at least a dozen or so items in it should be represented.

This isn't reflected in the game itself yet, which still lets you add arbitrary tags to ships when you upload them. I'll change it so it gives you just the existing options. And it can also auto-generate some of them, actually.

Anyway, I hope that this is an overall improvement in quality of life. If you have any tags you'd like to see added to the whitelist, let me know at any point!

Unrelatedly, here's a quick preview snap of some of the new aesthetic options in the upcoming version:

Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
The next content update - and the final one before dev 10 - is going to focus on ways to make your ships prettier.

For dev 10, I'll be re-doing the AI ship designs to be more distinctive, so first I need to make all the tools to support this. Due to the block-based nature of the game, ships are of course kind of... blocky, but I want to add some more distinctive-looking modules and decals to support a wider variety of looks.

Currently planned are more sails, bowsprites, and a bunch of "decals" for adding detail like vents and hatches.

Beyond that, I'm interested in your suggestions! What kind of decorative / style options would you like to see to let you make more distinctive ships?

Two more things:

First off, and this is a bit awkward, but if you're playing and enjoying the game, please leave a Steam review? A recent random clump of negative reviews has pulled the "recent reviews" of the game to "Mixed". While the overall is still at "Overwhelmingly Positive", the recent reviews only look at the last month or so. I'm now worried that there's going to be a self-reinforcing process wherein bad review score -> low sales -> fewer reviews -> continued dominance of those negative reviews -> bad review score...

And as always, if you're experiencing technical problems with the game, or have crashes, balance issues, or gameplay issues you'd like to see addressed, please do get in touch. The most effective way to do so is to send an email to zarkonnen@gmail.com .

Less awkwardly, look, it's a screenshot of the upcoming tech tree!

Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
Version 9.7.2.1 fixes a long-running problem where Windows machines with DPI scaling enabled would display the game wrong. The game should now be correctly communicating to Windows that it can handle its own scaling, thank you very much.

If you continue to see symptoms like the launch window being off-center, parts of the main menu being off-screen in fullscreen mode, or clicks not happening where you should, please let me know.

Another ongoing problem I'm working on is that Kaspersky Internet Security sometimes flags Airships as a "malicious program" during launch. It gets a bit over-protective. I'm working on getting the game white-listed so this should no longer occur as long as your database is up to date. In the meantime, you can add an exclusion in Kaspersky on your computer.

More on this soon, I hope.
Apr 19
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen
  • Redid a bunch of ship editor graphics and displays to make things (hopefully) clearer.
  • Fixed crash issue on Mac that was caused by Steam integration... by turning off Steam integration on Mac. Working to find a way to have it working and stable. Computers are hard.
  • 64-bit Linux users (most of them, I'd guess) can now use the bundled Java in the game. So if you've been selecting "Launch with System Java" all this time, try the default launch option.
  • Greatly reduced the frequency of dragon attacks in conquest mode. Do note that the correct way to deal with elder dragons is to shoot them before they grow that big.
  • Increased rocket reload time and decreased giant rocket splash radius.
  • Fixed a bunch of crashes mostly related to loading conquest games.
  • Some tutorial message fixes.
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen


You can find us at the IndieMegaBooth, right opposite the Devolver booth.
Airships: Conquer the Skies - Zarkonnen


Airships is part of this year's Indie Megabooth for PAX East. We'll be exhibiting the game, dressed in spiffy naval uniforms, for all four days, at booth #18087 in the Indie Megabooth area.

Do drop by also if you're already a player, as I'd love to meet you in person.
...

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