The SpiritWars installation program is a single-file self-extracting install program.
It will uncompress the files and install a playable version of SpiritWars on your hard
The current version of the installation program automatically installs the game into a
SpiritWars directory on your C drive. We realize that this is rather arbitrary, and we
apologize for the inconvenience it may cause. The next major revision of the installation
program will allow the user to select the destination directory for the game.
If you get a message from the server that you are using an "invalid version"
or build of the game, please check the web site for an upgrade or patch file. There is no
backward compatibility between versions of SpiritWars. All players must always be using
the most current version of the game.
When you connect to the SpiritWars server, either at WON or at Kellogg Creek Software,
your game program and the server will validate the build number of the version of the game
program you are using. If that build number does not match the version currently
recognized by the server you will receive a message explaining that you are not using the
current version. You will not be able to connect to the server and compete until you
download the current installation (or patch). Please accept our apologies for any
inconvenience this may create but it is imperative that we make sure everyone is using the
same version of the game program.
During the Alpha phase please understand that the game files may be updated very
frequently. For the most part these will be small zip files that will replace various
files and data tables in your existing installation. On occasion, however, we will be
requiring that everyone remove the earlier installation and do a complete re-install.
The first time you run SpiritWars, following the title screen, you will be required to
enter your name and player ID number. If you have not yet received these from Kellogg
Creek Software please do not continue. Contact us and well get you the required
Please enter these carefully. Enter your screen name exactly as it was provided. A
misspelled name will result in the server denying you access.
The current version of SpiritWars allows the existence of multiple player files on the
If you have set up additional players on your system the game will provide a list of
all existing players. Before continuing you must select which player file you wish to use
for your current gaming session. It is currently necessary to restart the SpiritWars
program in order to switch to another player.
Please be aware that this does not allow two players to play against each other using
only one machine. It simply means that multiple members of the family can have player
files, histories and kingdoms in compatible co-existence.
When you first begin your kingdom in Etheria is unpopulated. The first time you connect
to the SpiritWars server you will need to request an initial population. After you
complete the full connection process (either using the "One Step Connection" or
the four-step process) click on the "Populate Kingdom" option.
The game will tell you when this process has been completed and you can continue. At
this time you will have 200 new spirits residing in your kingdom.
Before you can begin play you need to return to the main menu and select the "Edit
Dungeon" option. This will allow you to create an initial dungeon definition.
Eventually this process will be automated when the server detects that the
players kingdom has not yet been populated.
While your kingdom begins with a population of 200 spirits, an individual SpiritWars
game only uses a small subset of that population. Only the spirits currently residing in
the dungeon of your castle may be used in a given game of SpiritWars.
A castle dungeon can hold a maximum of 120 spirits and must contain a minimum of 30.
There are severe penalties for depleting your dungeon prior to the end of the game.
(Currently the penalty is that you lose the game. This, however, is being modified in the
next couple of weeks. As soon as we resolve the impact well let you know.)
Accordingly, when you are populating the dungeon, you will want to consider the risks
associated with depleting it. The more spirits you include in your dungeon, the more
variety of playing options you might have available during a given game. On the other
hand, the larger the dungeon population the less likely the odds of getting your best
spirits in play during the game.
The optimum dungeon size is something that will probably be debated for months among
players. It will depend partially on your strategy and philosophy of play. Initially it
appears that a practical and effective dungeon population is probably between 30 and 40
spirits. Feel free, however, to experiment.
When defining your dungeon you must also select a primary and secondary color. This is
a critical aspect of your dungeon definition. During the energy phase of each turn your
castle generates three energy points: two of the primary color and one of the secondary
color. Especially during the first two turns of the game, these energy points will play a
key role in your opening game strategy and options.
You can, if you choose, use a single color of spirits in your dungeon and set both your
primary and secondary colors to match the single color you wish to use. Following this
course of action will guarantee you three energy points each turn of your selected color.
The Alpha 25 interface provides two ways of establishing your connection with the
SpiritWars server. There is a "One Step Connection" button that will perform all
of the required steps with a single mouse click. However, this may sometimes prove less
reliable than the alternative "four step" process. Feel free to experiment with
it and let us know if you experience any problems joining with another player and
initiating a game after using the "One Step Connection" button. (It appears that
some of the player/server messages are over-lapping and we may need to look more carefully
at the timing of this series of sequential messages.)
The more tested and reliable connection process involves the four green command choices
on the right-hand side of the screen. First select the "Connect to Server"
button. When it has established a connection with the SpiritWars game server it will be
disabled and the "Register" button will be activated. Once you have registered
(established your player identity with the game server), the "Who Am I?" button
is activated. This button registers your player name and identifies your assigned socket
ID number. The final step of the process is the "Who Are They?" button. This
queries the server and displays a list of other players available for competition. Note
that the blue list box only shows other players who are not currently "joined"
to another player (i.e. not already playing a game).
The "Who Are They?" function does not currently update the display
automatically. If you wish to see if other available players have connected to the server
you will need to periodically click this button again to get an updated display of
This command button is currently disabled but will be turned on soon. It will allow you
to highlight a players name in the display list and then click the information
request button. The server will return that players won-loss record and his current
player rating. This will allow you to review a potential opponents rating and player
performance prior to joining a game with him.
The SpiritWars server determines the playing order for the two players. For games
played on WON, the playing order will be randomly selected. Games involving
SpiritWars members, however, will use the players ratings to determine who
gains the advantage of playing first.
If the two players have identical ratings the server will randomly select the playing
order. In all other games the player with the lowest rating will have the advantage of
Since ratings are dynamically updated at the end of each completed game, player ratings
and play order may change for two players playing two consecutive games.
The play sequence of SpiritWars does provide some significant advantages for the first
player. This is most obvious during the attack phase when the first player can initiate
attacks and plan a combat sequence that protects weaker pieces or focuses on damaging one
of his opponents key pieces (or castle).
There is some advantage -- during the movement phase -- in playing second since this
allows the second player to react to the movement activity of the first player.
Overall, the advantages of playing first are designed to help the lower rated player
have a competitive edge against a higher rated player.
The first step in the turn sequence is the energy phase. During this phase of a
players turn, all energy producing units (including the players castle)
produce new energy resources. These are automatically added to the players energy
pool and will be reflected in the energy status display at the top of the map interface.
Each energy-producing unit has an energy rating that determines the number of energy
points it produces each turn. Most pieces generate one point per turn. Some enhanced
pieces generate a greater number of points per turn. Be aware that any energy-producing
piece that is positioned on the terrain type associated with its color (blue on water,
green on forest, etc.) will have one point added to its energy production each turn.
If there is any room available in the courtyard of your castle, a new spirit will
emerge from the castle dungeon, ready for activation and use in the game.
If any of the spirits you have in play require maintenance, it must be paid during the
energy phase. You will be shown a list of all spirits with maintenance costs and you can
choose whether or not to pay these maintenance fees. Whenever a required maintenance fee
is not paid that spirit is immediately removed from the playing field.
Maintenance fees must always be paid with energy resources (or points) of the specific
color associated with the spirit. (For example, a white spirit with a maintenance cost of
two requires payment with two white energy points each turn. You can not use yellow energy
to pay the maintenance costs of a non-yellow spirit.)
Your castle also has maintenance requirements. There is no associated energy cost
involved in maintaining your castle. However, the presence of at least one spirit in your
courtyard is required to avoid deterioration of the castle.
As long as at least one spirit is present in the courtyard at the end of the energy
phase, the required maintenance will be performed. If there is not a spirit present
then the castle will suffer three damage points at the end of the energy phase.
This castle maintenance is an automatic function that will not concern most players.
Considering the fact that at the beginning of each energy phase one new spirit is summoned
from the dungeon to the courtyard and no spirits can be removed from the courtyard during
the energy phase, there will almost always be one or more spirits present to perform these
The primary way that a players castle can suffer this kind of damage is if the
players dungeon is depleted and there are no spirits available for summoning to the
courtyard. If your dungeon has been depleted you must keep one last spirit in the
courtyard in order to avoid these damages.
Very small dungeon populations have obvious playing advantages by increasing the
chances of getting key spirits (and combinations of spirits) into play. This strategic
advantage is offset by the increased risk of incurring maintenance damage to your castle
depleted in a prolonged game.
During the activation phase, both players will have the opportunity to activate
"physical" spirits. When activated, these physical spirits become playing pieces
on the map.
There are three primary classes of physical spirits: energy, defenders and combat.
Combat pieces are the most common. These are the warriors that move across the playing
field and can attack your opponents castle.
Energy pieces, for the most part, can not move. They do, however, generate energy
resources (or points) at the beginning of each turn that they remain in play.
Defenders are special combat pieces that can not move or initiate an attack against
another piece. They do, however, have the special ability to intercept attacks against
When the movement phase begins, the pieces in play that can legally move this turn are
highlighted in red. If you click on one of these pieces, the possible movement options
will be displayed on the playing map with green highlights. To move the selected piece,
simply click on one of the target designations.
For the most part, movement is an automatic process. The game will show you the legal
movements available for the selected playing piece. Simply select from the highlighted map
locations and your piece will be moved.
No piece can move into a "cursed" terrain hex. These are designated on the
map by the skull icon. The other primary movement restriction is that only blue spirits
can move into the deep water (ocean) map locations.
Some spirits have energy costs associated with movement. Review the attributes of your
pieces prior to the movement phase when determining how you want to budget the use of
limited energy resources during a turn. This is especially critical early in the game when
you may not have many energy pieces in play.
The functionality of the interface during the movement phase best represents the design
and functionality of the final game.
In the current build of the game, the "attack phase" interface is very
awkward. Even though it is very non-intuitive it is functional. Your patience is
appreciated. Pleased be forewarned that this temporary interface may remain in place for a
few weeks. The introduction of spells and the completions of key game components that
currently do not work are higher on the priority list than the revamping of the attack
Currently, when you enter the attack phase, a list of all of your pieces with an
available "attack opportunity" are shown in the center of the lower control
panel. You will note that they are also highlighted on the map. If you select one of these
pieces then any of your opponents pieces within the legal attack range of your
selected piece will be highlighted.
If you click on one of these highlighted pieces then the "Execute Attack"
button in the lower right corner will be activated. To initiate a combat event targeting
this piece simply click on the attack button. If you wish to cancel this attack and select
another piece or another target just click on the "Cancel Attack" button.
In the current version (Alpha 28) the attack messages are finally starting to make
sense. They will need more revision as we move along but at least now you know which
two pieces were involved in the combat event and what the results were.
The last phase in the turn sequence is overpopulation. If the courtyard of your castle
is full (containing eight spirits) you will be presented with an option to dismiss one
spirit from the courtyard. The primary reason for doing this is to create an available
space in the courtyard so that a new spirit may enter it from the dungeon during the
energy phase of your next turn.
If you are happy, however, with the current spirit mix in the courtyard then you can
continue without doing anything during this phase.
Currently this phase only appears if you have a full courtyard. As we begin introducing
magical spirits and spells in the game this phase will always appear even if you
dont have the option to dismiss any spirits from an overpopulated courtyard.
If your castle has been damaged and you are on the verge of losing the game then this
would provide you with one last opportunity to use a healing (or repair) spell to prevent
losing the game at the end of the discard phase.
To defeat your opponent you must destroy his castle. Even if a castles defense is
reduced to zero or less, play continues to the end of the current turn. This allows a
player the opportunity to heal or repair his damaged castle prior to the end of the turn.
The castles currently have a defense rating of five. As we introduce magical spirits
and spells the defense rating will be increased to ten.
As in any warfare, battles in Etheria will have fatalities. Whenever you lose an
on-line battle in SpiritWars some of the Spirits contained in your dungeon will not
At the end of each battle one or two of the spirits used in the losers dungeon
will be declared fatalities. They will be destroyed, removed from the players
kingdom population and from the universal population of Etheria. They will also
automatically be removed from the dungeon definition.
The spirits that populate the realm of Etheria are attracted to the powerful and
mighty. With each victory two or three new spirits will migrate to your kingdom.
At the end of each game that you win, a Victory Migration report will show you the new
spirits who have migrated to your Kingdom. These new spirits are now included in your
kingdom population but will not be used in a game until you add them to your defined
There is a correlation between the quality of the opponent you defeat and the quality
of the spirits who will be attracted to your kingdom. The greater the reputation (and
rating) of your opponent, the greater the chances of receiving valuable or rare spirits in
the migration following the battle.
General playing activity is the second way of expanding the spirit population of your
kingdom. The spirits that populate the world of Etheria are very aggressive and warlike in
nature. Not only are they attracted to mighty leaders who win battles, they are also
attracted to the more aggressive and active leaders.
Every time you complete ten games against other on-line players you will attract a new
group of five spirits to your kingdom. Like those spirits attracted during a Victory
Migration, these new spirits are added automatically to your kingdom population but must
be manually added to a dungeon definition before they can be used in an actual battle.
All players begin play with a rating of 100. In every game both players risk 2.5% of
their current rating. This point value, called the "points at risk," reflects
the portion of the players rating that he will lose to the other player if he loses
At the end of the game the losing player loses the designated number of "points at
risk" which are transferred to the winning player.
SpiritWars is a registered trademark of Kellogg Creek Software.