logo 🇬🇧 Aconita DevLeaks


1. The Idea

Almost all conversations about the underlying game idea for Aconita in the past have shown me that the concept cannot necessarily be described in a few words, even for experienced gamers. So today I'm taking the liberty of finding a few more words and summarising the basic concepts in an introductory text.

Generally speaking, Aconita is an attempt to realise a turn-based 4X strategy game in an MMO environment (massive multiplayer online), in which, unlike most strategy games, there is no single-player mode and no computer-controlled opponents, but where the entire game takes place exclusively online against other human players in a single large game world, which potentially offers space for several thousand players.

In order to realise a long-term, turn-based game with so many players, the developer has to think about the process, the pace of play and also about how to deal with players who might be inactive for a while for various reasons.

The way Aconita is played was inspired by the old PBEM titles (play by email), where it used to be common practice for players to send their moves for each round in a special format as an email to a server, which analysed the players' commands at a set time according to the respective rules and sent the results back to all players as an email for the next round. The players could then use this evaluation as the basis for the new commands. From a purely technical point of view, the game consisted of a kind of ping pong between the players and the server.

Don't worry, at this point I would like to assure you that you won't have to deal with text mails in weird formats to play the game. Aconita is of course played via a convenient graphical client, which takes care of the technical part of creating your moves. :-)

How is this done?
Well, simply put, after you have downloaded the client and created an account, you will be able to select a server you would like to play on. The next step involves creating your customised party and finally submitting your settings to the server. During the next server turn (evaluation of player commands), which happens regularly once every night, your new party will be released into the world and will be ready for you to play the next day. You can use the time between two evaluations (~23 hours) to give orders to your party's units or to change them. These orders will then be evaluated and executed by the server during the next server turn.

In terms of content, Aconita is about a realistic journey through the history of mankind, starting in the early Stone Age through all relevant epochs to the present day and perhaps even a little further. In the beginning, you take control of a party, initially consisting of a single person in a human settlement. From there, it depends on you to what extent you can convince other settlers of your ideas and win them over to your party, and to what extent you can ultimately play a role in the journey through time.

Aconita is a complex sandbox game by design and it is up to you what you want to achieve in the world and what drives you. But Aconita is also a competitive game. Resources are finite, the weather is usually bad and your opponents are, as you would expect, unwilling to compromise. ;-)

Well, while this text was meant to give you a basic overview of the idea of Aconita, you can expect a few more details about the world in the next DevLeaks.