May 142017

After many false starts over the years, I’ve (Dave Mackey) managed to release Civil War Strategy 2.0. I already see a few minor items I need to correct – but nothing that inhibits gameplay, in fact I’ve played several games with my wife without issue!

The new version’s greatest improvement is that it now runs on Windows natively – there is no need to run it via a DOS emulator like DOSBox as has been necessary up until this time. There have been a number of other small changes but nothing too exciting. The goal for 2.0 was simply to get the game up and running on Windows. The source code has had numerous lines changed in the process to make it compatible with a Windows compiler (QB64).

If you find any bugs, please let me know. A helpful README.txt file is included with the game, please take a minute to read it over. It includes information on the third party libraries that were utilized in the creation of the game as well as a more detailed note on the changes between versions.

I wanted to get this game out as soon as possible because it has brought me so much enjoyment over many years and I know that it has done similarly for others. I wanted to see it experienced by new generations and moving it to Windows is a first step.

In the future I have a number of enhancements in mind, but I intend to keep the game quite true to Hutsell’s vision. Enhancements currently under consideration include:

  • Fixing a few areas that have been broken since the old versions from what Mr. Hutsell’s intent as indicated in the game manual was.
  • Making it so that armies that cannot be drilled do not appear in the list of armies to drill.
  • Fixing the random events so that they display again.
  • Improving the display for modern monitors.

It is my humble opinion that this game is still extremely playable after so many years…I hope that it will perhaps attract those who have enjoyed pixel based games in more recent years, as well as the immensely popular Minecraft.

You can download the game here.

Nov 132012

I figured I should let everyone know the status of the update to Civil War Strategy…and I’m going to include some technical details here for those who are so inclined.

1. I ran into issues converting the application directly from QuickBasic into QB64, so I abandoned the attempt to move to QB64 directly.

2. Instead, I began working within QuickBasic on the code. See the code is primarily procedural (do this, then this, then this) and uses outdated structures such as line labels to execute the code. This results in code that is not easy to understand or maintain.

3. So, through multiple rewrites I’ve been going through the code (and have had to start over several times) in an attempt to make the code operate on more object oriented principles, which are also much easier to maintain and update.

4. I think I’m getting close. I’m guessing I’ve put 40-60 hours into these rewrites and I may have another 20-30 before I complete this rewrite.

5. Once the rewrite is completed I will recompile in QuickBasic and make the updated version available via the website. It will still be a beta and there will be no new features, but I will need help making sure that the changes to the code I made didn’t cause any bugs to spring up.

6. Once the bugs have been eliminated (I’m sure there will be some) I’ll work on making some minor changes to the game (adding more leaders, etc.) and I’ll also work on converting it into a Windows application using either FreeBasic or QB64.

7. Once this has been completed I’d like to do another complete rewrite from the ground up. I should have a pretty good grasp on the code and I’ll likely write the application in VB.NET – possibly as an HTML5/CSS/.NET application – we’ll see.

So, that is the plan. If interest is high enough I hope to follow up with each of the other games and then to expand into other games as time goes on…but this is mainly for the fun of it and in my (very limited) spare time…so, it may be a while…but did want to let you know that I am still working on things.