Samurai Wars 21 mini-FAQ

Here’s kind of a mini FAQ of some of the most common questions I’ve seen in the game. For game play tips, see the previous post on Samurai Wars Tactics.

- How do I change my name and picture?

iOS: You have to sign in using Game Center. Open the Settings and go to Game Center and enter your Apple ID and password. You can then edit your Game Center profile and change your nickname. Additionally, you can open the Game Center app and tap the profile picture in order to change it.

GameCenter1 GameCenter2

Android: Sign in with Google Play Games using your Google+ account. Change your profile name and picture with your favourite browser at

- Who is who?

You are always the top-left player and your units are always blue. Enemy players are listed to the right and have red units. Allies are listed below you and have green units. If you are spectating, players to the left have green units and the right ones red. (Todo: improve so you can better see who is who when there are many players.)

- What does “gg” mean?

It’s short for “good game” and just means “thanks for the game”.  Other acronyms are: gl – “good luck”, gj – “good job”, wp – “well played”. For a list of common abbreviations, see:


Samurai Wars update 21

The iOS version is now live, Android version to follow during next week. I expect to be doing some server tuning the next couple of days. I’ve already found some glitches and will continue to work on fixing whatever comes up. (Note: the leaderboard has temporarily been disabled in this update. There will be a unified rating across iOS and Android to be released in the coming weeks.)


Apparently there’s currently a server side glitch that is causing occasional server restarts and consequent client crashes. We have top men working on it right now.


Alright, the problem with server restarts has now been fixed.

Beware of Monkeys!

I’ve hired a couple of internet monkeys to help out with server load and performance testing. They are not dangerous (but can be slightly annoying from time to time), so feel free to play with them if you like.


Samurai Beta 21

Not a beta tester yet? Sign up now!

Vacation is over and it’s time to get moving with the beta. First out is the iOS version and the Android beta will follow soon.

The big change in this update is the match list as I’ve mentioned before.

All current online games are listed to the right. If there’s an available slot, just tap it to join. Add more slots to do a 4-vs-4, either by invite or an open slot for anyone to join. When you are invited to a match this is indicated with a flashing player icon (tap the slot to accept the invite and join the match). Additionally you can tap the match center button to join as a spectator. The match starts as soon as all players have tapped Ready.

I’ve tried to solve some networking and cheating problems as follows:

  • If you leave a match (by accident or by purpose) you can quickly rejoin by tapping your slot in the match list.
  • In case your ally would leave the match you can take to control of his/her units.
  • If the opponent team abandons the match units start taking a hit in morale and will route after 10 – 15 seconds.

There’re quite some networking stuff going behind the scenes on to keep track of all this, and I expect a lot of testing is needed to get it to run smoothly. So please report any issues you find and I’ll try to fix them as quickly as possibly.

Samurai Wars update 21 progress


As I’ve come to realise there’s no quick fix for matchmaking, I’ve decided to take the time to do a proper redesign and reimplementation. The update will feature a complete list of all games in progress. You’ll be able to quickly join a game with a single tap on a free slot in game list. You can reserve slots by inviting players as before (but without the annoying and unreliable notification popups). There’s a single unified lobby so you’ll be able to chat and play matches across both iOS and Android devices. The new design will also be prepared to take on more advanced features in future updates (such as custom maps/armies, more that four participants, and spectators).

All basic functionality is now working, but there’s still some work to do on reliability and performance. I’ll get back as soon as it’s ready for public beta.

Samurai Wars update 20

The update is now live.

Just to clarify, the user interface is new, but the underlying network protocol still uses GameCenter. I intend to make further networking improvements in coming updates. But for the next update, it’s custom maps.


I’ve now had a few online games with the new update. Although it’s possible to find games I’m noticing that the matchmaking is far too unstable. It should just work! But it doesn’t, so I need to go to the bottom of this problem and make it top priority to really fix this.

Samurai Beta 20

Time for a new beta build of Samurai Wars.

In this update I’ve reworked the matchmaking user interface. No more modal GameCenter dialog boxes! It should be much easier to setup matches with more than two players, either using invites or auto-matching or even combination (like invite one player then auto-match another).

Please report any issues. It seems GameCenter is sometimes slow when connecting/matching, and can take up to 10 or 20 seconds to find a matching player from the point where both click Ready. Other times GameCenter get confused and won’t match at all. It sometimes help turning your Wifi connection off and on.

If you haven’t signed up for the beta yet, see

Note: If you’ve signed up with TestFlight but not registered a device, you have to do so before being able to install the beta. Easiest way to do that is to use Safari on your device and go to the TestFlight web site.

Samurai Wars update 20 progress

For the next update I’ve been working on improving the matchmaking interface. I’ve replaced the GameCenter dialog with a custom non-modal one that gives you better control over the matchmaking process. It’s now possible to assign players to a specific team and send chat messages while waiting for players to join.


As always, coding takes longer than planned, there are still some adjustments to make, but there should be a beta in the next few days.