After the relative simplicity of yesterday’s snake pit, it will be nice to try something with a little more depth than just a line curling around a screen. This is okiworld.
okiworld is a long-lost perl game that requires a connection between two systems, and pans out much like play-by-mail strategy games of a very long time ago. I say “long-lost” because the home page appears to be inaccessible. archive.org comes to the rescue again.
The rules and mechanics of okiworld are described in the readme.txt file that accompanies the script, and as you can see above, it seems to work fine in spite of being over 10 years old.
In short, you have a cash reserve and on a round-to-round basis, decide on nation-building or nation-conquering actions. Banks are probably a good idea at the start, as are barracks, since the former creates cash for you, and the latter improves your combat viability.
The winner is declared at the end of the game scope, or when one side or another folds. A “power” rating is an indicator of your nation’s strength and also determines the winner in games that close early.
From a technical standpoint, okiworld is not intimidating;
perl okiworld.pl worked fine on my Arch machine, and its networking capability does not seem to have eroded with time.
There doesn’t seem to be a provision for a single player, or for that matter, more than two players. So you’ll need a friend for this. I didn’t actually try the game out over a live connection, so it may be that it needs a little coaxing. The loopback arrangement over 127.0.0.1:3200 is what you see in the image above.
On the whole, okiworld impresses me as a clean, straightforward and functional network strategy game. It leaves some things to be desired in the way of graphics, and some parts of it are vastly oversimplified. And the time scale seems odd, in that one “move” is sometimes an entire 10-year event, while others are broken into single year actions.
And if I must be honest, okiworld can’t really hold a candle to something like empire, so while it might be a lightweight option, you’d do better to spend the time learning how to play the bigger of the two games.
It is worth an hour or two of your time though. Or should I say, an hour or two of your time and your friend’s time. 😉