New Knights game listing, and regular Knights game on Sundays

Some of you may have noticed that it is difficult to find an online game of Knights, because there is often nobody online. To help solve this problem, I have set up a listing of pre-arranged games on the Server List page. The idea is that you can check the list, find a time that’s convenient to you, and then log on at that time and play. You can also vote for games (this gives an idea of how many players will show up to each game) and add your own games to the list, which other players will then be able to vote for.

We have also now set up a regular weekly game, taking place at 7pm GMT (2pm EST) on Sundays. Everybody is invited to join — just log on to the server at that time. Last week five players turned up, and we had a great time — Knights really is great fun (and quite hilarious) when there are four or five knights running around at the same time. This week I hope to get even more players, so why not join us this Sunday?

About Knights

Knights is a multiplayer dungeon bashing game. Players must explore randomly generated dungeons and compete to be the first to solve various quests. For more information please visit

Knights 018 Released

Knights version 018 has been released. It can be downloaded from:

This release adds a Random Quest button, as well as fixing a number of bugs. Full release notes are available at the above link.

About Knights

Knights is a multiplayer dungeon bashing game. Players must explore randomly generated dungeons and compete to be the first to solve various quests. For more information please visit

Knights development plans

No doubt regular readers (if there are any left!) will have noticed that Knights development has all but stalled in the last few months. But there is some good news: I have a bit more free time now, and I should be able to spend around 1 day per week on Knights, at least, over the next few weeks.

So what are my plans for Knights?

Well, firstly I want to do a new release of Knights itself, which will fix a number of bugs and will also add a “Random Quest” button to the quest selection screen. This will completely randomize all of the quest settings, and is useful for those times when you just can’t decide what quest to play next.

Secondly, I want to release the source code for the map editor, and write up some documentation for it. (Currently there is a binary only release of the map editor, but there has never been a “proper” release with source code.)

After that, the big new feature is going to be a modding system, so that users can create their own content (dungeon layouts, new monsters, etc) for the game. The aims for the modding system are as follows:

  1. Content will be divided into “modules”. Content creators will create and upload modules. Players will download modules and install them in their Knights directory, where they will be automatically detected and loaded by the game.
  2. Modules will consist of Lua script files, plus (optionally) graphic and sound files.
  3. Modules will (ideally) be able to add any of the following to the game:
    1. New dungeon tiles.
    2. New room layouts. (Either “static” rooms previously designed in the Map Editor, or “dynamic” rooms generated by a Lua script at run time.)
    3. New items. (Either new effects for existing items — e.g. new potion/scroll effects — or completely new item types.)
    4. New monsters (possibly with new AI routines coded in Lua).
    5. New quest objectives.
    6. And so on.
  4. The module system should integrate with the Map Editor, so that (for example) you can create a module containing new tile types, and then load those tiles into the Map Editor for use in your room layouts.
  5. Modules should be able to add to the Quest Selection menu. For example you might want to add new book or wand types, or new dungeon types, or maybe even a whole new setting entirely.
  6. The Lua scripting should be kept as simple as possible, so that it is possible to create simple modules with little or no programming knowledge. (Obviously, more advanced modules might require greater programming knowledge.)

Note the above is mostly a “wish list” at the moment. I’m not promising to do all of the above. (But the nice thing is that it can be worked on incrementally; even if I only get some of the above items done, there will still be a useful product at the end of it.)

As for timings: I hope to do the new Knights release next week. After that, I can’t really say how long before the “module system” is up and running, because it is quite a big project… but I’ll keep you posted on how things are progressing 🙂

Knights moved to new server

Currently I’m paying about £12/month for VPS hosting. For this money, I get access to a Linux machine which is permanently connected to the Internet, and I can run basically whatever programs I want on it. I’ve been using this to run the Knights website and game server.

However, Knights uses relatively few resources so I thought I could save a bit of money by running the server myself, at home. So I bought one of these:


This is a Pogoplug. It’s marketed as a file sharing device, but can easily be modified to run Linux off of a USB stick. It’s cheap (mine was about £50 from Amazon), silent, and uses very little power (about 5W) so can be left on all the time at very little cost.

It does have only have 256 M of RAM, and a relatively slow processor (it’s an ARM chip, running at about 1 GHz I think), but this is plenty enough to run the Knights server.

The only other downside is the colour :), but since it’s shoved behind a desk in the spare room, nobody is going to notice.

Migrating everything over to the new server was a bit of a pain, but everything should be up and running again now. The Trac has moved to a new URL (, and you may notice a different address on the Server List page, but everything else should be the same as before.

As an aside, I have set up a Subversion repository, so you can now browse through the source code on the Trac site.

As for Knights itself: I am working on a new release (018), which should be done in about 2 weeks time (hopefully). This will mostly be a bug fix release, but will include one new feature which is a Random Quest button. I’ll post a bit more about that next week.

Knights 017 Released

A new version of Knights has been released. This release fixes a couple of problems which have been causing the server to crash recently. In particular, there were issues with players observing/spectating games, and with time-limited quests. These should now be fixed and the server should hopefully provide a crash free experience 🙂

Note: The changes are server-side only, so if you already have version 016, there is no need to upgrade (unless you want to run your own server of course).

Knights 016 Released

Knights version 016 has been released!

Download it from:

The main new feature is the addition of a new mouse-and-keyboard control system. The idea behind this is to try to make the game a bit more user-friendly for newbies. Although I think there is still more work to do in this area — e.g. a better tutorial might be nice — I think the new controls are a good start and hopefully will allow more players to enjoy the game.

If you have any comments on the new controls, or ideas for improvements, please feel free to comment below.

The old control system is, of course, still available. You can select which control system to use from the Options screen.

Enjoy the release 🙂

Next on the agenda is improving modding support (including Lua scripting) so that people can make their own mods for Knights.

Working on release

Has it really been 6 months since the last release? I hadn’t realised it was that long. It seems that with real life, job, etc, getting in the way, I just don’t have as much time to work on Knights as I would like. Oh well… I do what I can…

Anyway this is just a quick note to say that I’m working on the next release. This is being slightly held up by documentation — I need to update the manual to describe the new controls, and the new settings on the options screen. (This means taking some new screenshots as well as updating the text.) This is a slightly boring job but hopefully should get it done fairly soon. Then it’s just building the code and packaging it up for release. I’m aiming to complete this by Saturday or Sunday if all goes well.

Controls finished. Yay!

Finally I’ve got the new “action bar” control system finished. I have spent quite a lot of time polishing things, fixing bugs etc., and I’ve even drawn a couple of new icons for things that didn’t have icons in the original Knights, as you can see in the screenshot below (click to enlarge).


Note the new skull-and-crossbones icon (for suicide; there is no separate suicide key in the new system) and also the “Throw Axe” icon. As you can see, when you mouse-over an icon, it highlights in red and a text description appears telling you what the icon does. (OK, well, you can’t actually see the mouse pointer in the screenshot, but never mind.)

One thing I haven’t done is got rid of the “approaching” system. I did do some experiments in this area but decided to leave approaching in for the moment. This is mostly for reasons of time — I want to get a release out soon and I haven’t had time to finish off the “approach-less” controls yet. I might have another go at this in a future release though.

So the next priority is to get a release out so that people can test the new controls. After that, the next major step is going to be Lua scripting — both documenting what has been done so far, and then pushing to make much more of the game scriptable, so that meaningful mods can be created.

Look out for a release soon 🙂

Controls, again

I have now implemented a prototype action bar (as explained in my previous post). Here is a screenshot:

Action bar screenshot (click to enlarge)
Action bar screenshot (click to enlarge)

As you can see there is a little row of action icons that can be clicked on. (Please ignore the red square on the left, that is a graphical glitch that will go away in the final version.)

After trying this out for a while, I’m reasonably happy with it. Using the mouse along with the WASD keys feels very natural (no doubt because of its familiarity from other games). On the negative side, the pure action bar system feels a bit slow to use, especially for common actions like attacking or opening doors where you don’t really want to hunt along the action bar every time.

The best system is probably some sort of hybrid, using keys (or mouse buttons) for common actions, and reserving the action bar for more rarely used actions. For example:

  • WASD = move
  • E = pick up, open door, etc
  • Right mouse button = attack

Alternatively, we could use the left mouse button (when the mouse pointer is outside the action bar area) as a “pick up” function, instead of the E key.

I tried this out briefly and it seemed to work quite well. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to go any further this weekend (I’ve had to spend some time installing anti spam measures on the forum unfortunately) but I will keep playing with it and report back on how it goes.