[Conquest] Conquest Development Version 8.5.99c has been released

Jon Trulson jon at radscan.com
Mon May 21 19:00:53 MDT 2018

As promised, an official development release is now available.  You can 
get it at


In the old days (8.5) there was a debian maintainer who maintained 
installable .debs for debian/ubuntu systems.  Unfortunately until there 
is a new maintainer (or I figure out how to do it myself), you will need 
to build Conquest from source.  Instructions are in the README.md file 
in the top level of the source tree.


I do not expect there to be any more incompatible protocol or common 
block changes, but until an official "stable" release, this can still 
happen.  Just FYI.

I have two servers running at conquest.radscan.com now -- One for the 
(mostly) classic game, another for more advanced users who can handle 
KillBots, and a more dynamic universe :)

Here is an incomplete list of the major changes since the last released 
version of Conquest from the docs/HISTORY.txt file:

   - Conquest is hosted at GitHub now.  The "conq" project at SourceForge
     has been deleted.


   - Conquest is built with a C++ compiler now.  Your compiler must
     support the C++11 standard - this includes g++ 4.9 or better, and
     clang++ 3.4 or better.  Conquest is still C, but with some C++
     constructs and containers in use.  I would like to move toward
     more C++ use over time.

   - The user and system conquestrc configuration files are now named
     conquest.conf.  If you have an existing ~/.conquest/conquestrc,
     you should rename it to ~/.conquest/conquest.conf to preserve your

   - The curses client has been removed.  It could no longer compete
     with the GL client, and some things, like an object's (ship,
     planet, etc) size was just impossible to implement properly.

     "conquestgl" (the OpenGL version) has been renamed to "conquest".

   - The protocol has changed.  A lot of shortcomings in the v6
     protocol have been fixed.  Support for the v6 protocol is still
     provided, but only for playing back old .cqr (Conquest recording)
     files made by previous versions of Conquest.

   - The internal clocks have been re-implemented, yielding millisecond
     accuracy.  Previously, you were limited to 1 second accuracy.

     This has the side effect that bombing planets is much faster now.
     Original Conquest specified that you had a chance to kill up to 3
     armies every second of bombing.  With the previous 1 second
     resolution, you could only bomb up to 1 army per second.

     As a result, bombing will seem about 2-3 times faster than
     previous versions.  This was the way it was intended in original
     Conquest, and actually helps to move a game along faster.

   - The Common Block (CB) which represents the Universe, has been
     reworked.  It is now named 'conquest.cb'.

     In the conqinitrc file, there is a "global {}" section that
     specified how many ship slots you could have, how many planets,

     Previously, this data was ignored as Conquest hardcoded all of
     that stuff, and the CB was hardcoded to a fixed size.

     Now this data is used to construct a custom CB, and those
     parameters are supplied to the client so that it can construct a
     custom CB matching that of the servers'.

     You can have up to 256 planets, 256 ships, 64K users, 256 message
     slots and 256 history entries.

     Building a universe is a lot more flexible now since the old
     hardcoded methods are gone.

   - Planets, suns, and ships have a 'size' value now (expressed in

     Previously these objects were all 300 CU's in size (due to curses
     client limitations).

     Now they can vary.  The scanning range, orbital path, and damage
     potential of a planet or sun also now depends on it's size.  Be
     careful of Suns now, they have a much larger reach than they used
     to :)

     For ships, cruisers are a little larger than destroyers.
     Destroyers are a little larger than Scouts.  Previously it was
     fairly random, depending on the texture used, and in some cases
     (Romulan) a team scout was much larger than the team cruiser.

   - The homeplanet, and core flags of a planet are fully implemented
     now.  They were present in previous versions, but ignored.

     "core" planets are used to mark a planet that must be taken in
     order to conquer the universe.

     "homeplanet" planets, are team owned planets that are defendable
     by team robots.

     Previously, which planets were core, and which were homeplanets
     were hardcoded into the game.  Although you could change some of
     the characteristics of the planets, you were still required to
     conquer a hardcoded 25 planets in order to take the universe.  In
     addition, each team had 3 hardcoded home planets defendable by

     Now, you can mix/mash these up as you desire.  The only
     requirement is that each team has at least one homeplanet.  You
     can even specify that only one planet is needed to take the
     universe if you like.  These changes make it possible to more
     fully customize a universe of your choice.

   - Some new server flags have been added:

     - NoTeamWar - when set, ships are prohibited from declaring war
       with their own team.

     - NoDrift - when set, the Drift bug is disabled.

     - Closed - When set, the game is closed/private, and only players
       with an account on the server, and the PLAYWHENCLOSED user flag
       set, will be able to login and play.

   - UDP has been reimplemented much more robustly this time.  UDP
     packets are tagged with a sequence number now so that
     out-of-order, duplicate, and missing packets can be detected and
     handled properly.

     In addition, UDP is now negotiated with the server, via the
     protocol, eliminating the hacky way we were doing it before.

   - The old tactical grids have been removed and replaced with a new
     circular grid.  The old TAC grids only worked in LR scan, and were
     not scalable, so they were kind of useless, even though they might
     have looked nice.

     The new circular grid is much simpler and simply draws 10
     concentric circles around your ship, spaced at 1000 CU intervals.
     It's available in both LR and SR scans, and is always scaled
     properly according to your SR/LR scan selection and your applied
     mag factors.

     It can be enabled via the Options menu, or toggled on and off in the
     game with ^G.

   - The ability to make client recordings has been removed.  You can
     use a screen recorder (like kazam on linux) to record games if you

     Server recordings are still supported.

   - The TAD (Target Angle/Distance) display, if enabled, is
     automatically updated every second with current data when getting
     information on a ship or planet.

   - Using the -G switch to conquestd, now allows a single server
     installation to serve multiple independant games.  See
     docs/server-guide.md for details.

   - The Universe is now "limited" to +/- 200 million CU's in each
     direction.  This is still pretty huge.

   - The -m option to conquest (query metaserver) is gone, and is now
     the default when conquest is run without a server argument (-s

   - The 3 main configuration files used for the planets, textures, and
     sounds (conqinitrc, texturesrc, and soundrc, respectively) are
     always overwritten on a make install or package update.  If you
     would like to make changes to these files that survive an update,
     copy them with a '.local' extension.  When loading these files,
     Conquest will always load a '.local' variant of the file first, if

     This is only of interest to people who want to run a server.

   - we use the stb_image.h image loader now and all Conquest textures
     have been converted to PNG from TGA.

   - Many hundreds of warnings, dozens of bugs and an overhaul of much
     "under the hood" code has been done.

To see all the gritty details, just go the the GitHub page and
read the commit history.

Jon Trulson

"But when I'm in command, every mission's a suicide mission."

                               - Zapp Brannigan

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