Server maintenance

I will be doing server maintenance today. The may be brief periods of server downtime and restarts. In that case don’t panic, grab some fresh air, and check back at a later time. Thanks.


I’ve now deployed a new version of the server. In case of glitches, please report here.

Roadmap (sep 2015)

RoadmapSamurai Wars is an online real-time tactical war-game featuring a reality-based simulation model. Up to now the focus has been on researching the various components needed for such a game, such as:

  • a simulation model and algorithm capable of representing the states and actions of thousands of fighting individuals
  • a distributed simulation framework that synchronizes this model between dozens of computers from all over the world
  • a network algorithm that handles high latency and crappy connections in a robust way
  • a rendering component that can visualize these battles on screen in 3D
  • an intuitive user interface for commanding armies and getting feedback of the battle
  • a lobby front end where players can meet up and start games
  • a lobby back end server that coordinates all of this
  • an architecture that is open and allows for maximum freedom to contribute and customize the game play

It’s been a lot of work, I’ve explored a lot of technologies, both useful ones and some dead ends. But the project is now in a stage were all the pieces of the puzzle have been discovered and it’s time to start putting them together.

Development and release process

The game is written in a of C++ (networking and graphics) and Javascript (user interface). There are no traditional version numbers or alpha/beta test phases or unstable branches. Instead, new features are released as soon as ready and as often as possible, and releases are labeled with the release date and time (yymmdd.hhmm in UTC). The three different client platforms (web, iphone/ipad, and android) will be kept in sync as close as possible (given the approval time of mobile app stores).

Get early access to the game by signing up as a Patron here:

Feature roadmap

This is a list of features needed for the game to be considered ”feature complete”. It’s listed in rough priority order, but there are no hard dates or deadlines. Features are implemented one at a time, and the list will be updated and re-prioritized between each task.

Map editor and custom maps

First step to customization is to be able to create and host your own maps. Initially with the current set of terrain features: hills, woods, and water, but later also structures like buildings, bridges, castles, and forts.

Lobby and chat improvements

Improve the main screen and lobby, add setup panel so you can host custom games. Add in-game team chat.

Battle view, gestures and commands

Need to fix glitches with camera control and unit movement / facing. And add more advanced unit commands for controlling groups of units, changing formation and unit orders like hold-fire, fire-at-will, hold-ground, etc.

Custom armies

Players will be able to select the units they bring to the battle field. Moreover, the host will be able to customize the cost of those units, as to balance the battle in his/her choice of preference.

Battle mechanics

Improve and fine-tune the calculations for movement and melee combat. Add support for artillery units. Improve how morale works and add fatigue. Add realistic line-of-sight and fog-of-war so that you can conceal units in woods or behind hills.

Graphics and animations

Graphics has admittedly been neglected while focusing on other parts of the game. Needs to be improved and expanded, recreating the style of classical Japanese woodblock prints.

Custom scenarios

Add different victory conditions and scoring mechanisms other than last-man-standing, like capture-the-flag, king-of-the-hill, free-for-all, etc. Also add historical and fictional scenarios of different types (meeting engagements, ambushes, sieges, etc). And improved battle AI for solo play scenarios.

Contextual battles

Add ability to play battles where the outcome matters in the context of a larger scope, such as ladders and competitions like tournaments and leagues, as well as the more traditional strategic campaign mode of play.

Other periods

Extend the platform to new periods, to ancient, medieval, napoleonic times, etc.

Samurai Wars Update 27 Beta

I plan to start the new beta next week (featuring custom maps, fixing matchmaking issues and more). I’ll post here as soon as it is ready for action.


I’m still wresting with some interesting technological challenges. The beta is coming as soon as I’ve solved these.

Samurai Wars Update 26

The update is now live. Apart for some minor fixes this version adds some freshly composed sound tracks, exclusively made for this game by the talented composer Elias Luukkanen. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do, and if you want to hear more of Elias’s work, make sure to check out these places:

Next up will be custom maps, which will be coming to a beta near you in a few weeks.

[edit] Oops, seems there’re gremlins on the server. Stay and listen to the title sound track while I hunt them down.

[edit2] I seem to have chased off those gremlins now, but please report if you see anything suspicious.

Samurai Wars Update 25

The new update is now live. New stuff in this version:

  • added deployment phase.
  • improved network stability and performance.
  • updated sounds.

The deployment phase is a first small step towards improved customization. Try it out and let me know what you think. I’ve also fixed some networking issues that could be causing glitches like invincibility or missing units. If you’re still seeing glitches, please report and I’ll investigate.

Samurai Wars Update 25 Beta

This update is a small step forward feature-wise, and will introduce the deployment phase. When the match starts you will notice that there is now a deployment zone. Initially units are invisible to the enemy and can instantly be moved around within that area. Units become deployed once they move outside the deployment zone, which itself will shrink and eventually disappear (currently after a period of 45 seconds).Beta25-A
I’m still tuning this feature, it’s not final, so please try it out and provide feedback on Facebook or Google+.

How to start a match with deployment: With the beta you can play both old-style matches (without deployment) and new ones. The new ones are marked “beta”, like this:Beta25-B
Only beta testers will be able to see the beta matches in the match list.

How to install the beta on Android: Just join the Google+ group and you’ll automatically get access to the latest beta.

How to install the beta on iPhone and iPad: As of february 2015 the good old TestFlight won’t work the way it did before, and there’s a new TestFlight app for installing beta versions on iOS. I will be adding all currently registered testers to the new TestFlight system. If you are a new tester, just leave a comment here (with your address in the e-mail field) and I will add you too as a tester. Once invited, you will get an email with further instructions.Beta25-CUse the TestFlight app to install the beta version of Samurai Wars (indicated by a yellow dot). The beta is supposed to be fully backward compatible with existing versions, but if you want to revert for any reason, don’t panic, just install the good old Samurai Wars app again from the App Store.

How to sign in to Game Center with the beta: Because the beta is a beta you will need to activate the Game Center Sandbox, using the checkbox in the Settings app. Beta25-D

Note that your Sandbox account is not the same as your regular Game Center account, even though you are using the same Apple ID.

Samurai Wars update 23

Update 23 has now been released for both iOS and Android. This is a maintenance release, and changes in this version are:

  • Fixed some networking issues.
  • Improved camera controls for smoother scrolling and orbiting gestures.
  • Improved lobby layout, matches lists are divided into sections (my games, new games, and started games), and unique icons for anonymous players makes it possible to tell who is who.

I’ve also been working on the new features in parallel (custom maps and armies) that will be integrated in coming updates.


Oops…, seems there’s a nasty display bug on the title screen. Fix is on the way.


Update 24 that fixes that annoying display bug is now live.

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: