WHAT IS ESDAO?
ESDAO is a browser based multi-player wargame that I’ve been working on in my spare time. Friends have described it as a cross between Risk, Chess and Settlers of Catan.
It’s a turn based game played on a hex map. Each game typically has 8-12 players and lasts about 40 turns. Players have 24 hours to do each turn, meaning games are played out over weeks rather than hours. Early on turns will only take a couple of minutes to do, but as the game progresses and you grow, the turns can take longer due to time spent strategising.
Each player starts off in a single hex and uses their initial resources to take over neighboring hexes to expand their production. This repeats for a few turns until players start encountering each other. ESDAO isn’t a game where you can just attack all players and survive, you must negotiate with some to become allies so you don’t have to protect all your borders whilst attacking others.
You win by having the most developed resources when the game finishes.
The above screenshot is of the game interface. I’m yellow and neighbor three other players and a bunch of grey unowned hexes. The little white arrows represent my orders to move ships, with attacks being when I’m moving them into hexes that I don’t own. Red lines show that the hex was attacked across that border in the previous turn.
SOUNDS FUN, CAN I PLAY?
You sure can, new players are welcome! You can try out ESDAO right now by battling the AI. This is a great way to learn how to play as there is no waiting on other players, enabling you to quickly play through several games. If you have already signed up it won't effect your rating as only games with 3 or more players contribute towards it.
Once you've got the hang of ESDAO try joining a game with other players, it adds a whole new dimension. The first difference that you'll notice is games will only start once enough players have joined them and that turns are generally only processed once a day. In the game you can send messages to other players to negotiate truces, alliances and even map sharing.
If you want to know more, discuss strategy, report a bug or suggestion or even organise a team game then check out the forums.
Even though the game itself is complete, this is just the beginning of it’s development. There is a very obvious need for a clan system, competitions, rewards + trophies, social network integration etc..
I’m going to be very busy working on ESDAO for a while yet making it better and better. As I’m working through new features I’ll post updates to my development blog so you know what's happening.