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Post news Report RSS The Story of FlagWars the Game & Brainwave the Charity

About a year ago, when I was going into my fourth year of a physics/computer science undergrad, I got terrified of artificial superintelligence, and for fairly convoluted reasons decided the best way to do something about it was to make a medieval strategy mobile game (with the revenue going towards making A.I safe… somehow. I hadn’t quite figured out the details yet.)

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About a year ago, when I was going into my fourth year of a physics/computer science undergrad, I got terrified of artificial superintelligence, and for fairly convoluted reasons decided the best way to do something about it was to make a medieval strategy mobile game (with the revenue going towards making A.I safe… somehow. I hadn’t quite figured out the details yet.)

I’d never made a game before (and didn’t even play much, sadly), so I had basically no idea what I was doing for the next year as I fell through development of a (stupidly) real-time, (stupidly) online, (stupidly) multiplayer mobile game. I had to do stuff over and over again to get it right, and got caught with the silliest bugs for days at a time (I once did an all-nighter trying to fix a bug… and next morning learnt it was just that & is different to && in C#.) After a few months I begged a friend and housemate to help me out with the menu, and our relationship got kinda weird as we struggled about for way longer than either of us expected. I quit my jobs and dropped out of uni to program, figuring I could last until the game was done... I didn’t, and ended up selling basically everything I owned, and borrowing all the money I could from friends and family to sustain myself as the release date got pushed back again and again (I was already living in government-subsidized housing). I think I planned to release it in July 2017, but we when we got to June, well, it stayed one month away for a looong time.

And eventually, last week, “FlagWars” (v1.0 with no bells or whistles), was finished. The concept of the game is to have proper command of an army - being able to directly control your unit’s movement on the battlefield - and to be able to do it in real-time, against real people playing at the same time. I didn’t think there was yet a game that quuuiiiittee filled this niche out on mobile yet, so here it is! Hopefully nothing’s come out since I stuck my head down a year ago, eeeek. I relied way more than I would have liked on Unity’s built-in functionality, and on assets from their store (since I’m a terrible artist), but I am pretty happy with the result - and I’m somehow still enthusiastic enough to keep working on v2.0, which is nice. I’m on the high right now, feeling gooood to finally, actually, have a project completed I can show people - so all the panic and sweat is forgotten for a little while.

FlagWars was released under the name of, and so all it’s revenue goes to, a charity I started called Brainwave, whose goal is to make safe superintelligence. It is a registered charity - so I’m legally prevented from keeping anything - though if FlagWars is successful I can be paid a regular market-rate for a game developer for my work.

FlagWars is on iOS soon, and Android today. It’s free, and has practically no downloads yet, so I’d really appreciate anybody taking a look and giving feedback. Thanks for letting me blather on, if anybody is interested, ask me anything!

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