Ships² Madness

14 August 2008

Support requests

Filed under: Uncategorized — universalis @ 8:33 am

To request support for Ships² or the Ships² Viewer, please add a comment to this post. That way everyone will be able to see your question and benefit from the reply.



  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if you have anywhere a different set of instructions for the ships² viewer, I really like the look of this game, but I can’t really get my head around the instructions, the part that confuses me the most, is the working out where the ships are after the hit.


    Comment by James — 2 September 2008 @ 8:38 am

  2. James, I’d like to write more detailed instructions to hand-hold people through the first few times they play the game. Perhaps you can help me by telling me exactly where the problem is, so I know what I need to explain better!

    Are you playing Level 1? Is your question essentially ‘I’ve hit a square and it tells me “3”, what do I do next?’

    If I have a better idea what you want, I can post some extra instructions here, and if they work for you (and anyone else who’s reading) then I can include them in an update of the program. It’s a wonderful game and I don’t want people to be discouraged right at the beginning by not having adequate instructions. Your help will be gratefully received!

    Comment by universalis — 2 September 2008 @ 11:25 am

  3. Hi, thank you for the fast reply.

    The part that I am finding the hardest to grasp, is the ‘Responses to shots’ part, I have just looked at the help part, within the viewer, there is the ‘Hit’ section, where you have a small chart, with the ship size and how many times it has been hit, I can’t get it in my head, the link between the chart and the numbers on the ships. I mean I know and understand the concept, but I can’t place that concept, I don’t know if that makes any sense to you. The level is…level 1, as level 0 is like playing normal battleships.

    In the ‘Responses to shots’ part, you have an example down the bottom, shot 04, hitting the 2-master, so I assume two shots 04 were used, or can be seen, so shot 04, hits the 2-master (bottom right) then the other 04, top left, these have the little 2’s in them, does this mean they are a 2-master? Shot 05 (again two shots), hits the 2-master again (top middle) and a new shot (bottom left) hitting something, what one is that? Also, in the top middle you have 2*, meaning I guess the 2-master is sunk, but what does the 3 mean?

    One more thing, are the bigger blue numbers shown the shot number, (in other words, if I have taken 5 shots so far, the one I hit would show that shot number? Or is this something different?

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    Comment by James — 2 September 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  4. James, the picture that you mention is not from level 1 but from level 2. At level 2, you fire two shots per round, so there are two shot 01s, two shot 02s, and so on,… rather than the one shot with each number that you see at level 1. This is why the picture shows two squares with each shot number. Two shots mean that you might get no hits (a miss, drawn as X), or one hit and one miss, or two hits. That’s why in the picture you can see two numbers in the “shot 05” responses. It means that one of the shot 05s sank a 2-master (2*) and the other shot 05 sank a 3-master (3). The game doesn’t tell you which was which. That’s what you need to deduce, and that’s the challenge of the game.

    I’ll change the heading for “An Example” to read “An Example (Level 2)”, to make it a bit clearer what’s going on.

    Going back to level 1, I can’t quite get my head round what it is that you’re puzzled by. Let’s think about 3-masters as an example. 3 means “you have hit a 3-master, and this is the first time that this particular 3-master has been hit”. 3′ means “you have hit a 3-master, and this is the second time that you have hit this particular 3-master: in other words, you have hit it once before”. 3* means “you have hit a 3-master, and this is the third time that you have hit this particular 3-master: this is the third and final time, because you’ve hit all the ship’s squares now, so it’s sunk”.

    Does any of this help at all, or am I answering the wrong question?

    Comment by universalis — 2 September 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  5. Actually, now you have said that, I think I understand it now, I couldn’t get the little numbers on the chart, I couldn’t make sense of it, maybe a small example like you have explained above would be helpful. But then again these comments will help.

    The attack shots basically go up in increments, 1st shot (no little numbers), then a 1 (second shot), and so on, until the asterisk, which means you have the last one, the boat is sunk. That is great, I get it now, I know I seem a little dumb, but sometimes I get a mind lock haha, I’ll give it another go now. )

    Thank you so much for the help and fast replies. I hope this game sells well. 🙂

    Comment by James — 2 September 2008 @ 3:07 pm

  6. Thank you for asking the questions! It helps me to know where the explanations need improving. If you get into a tangle when you get to Level 2, let me know.

    Comment by universalis — 2 September 2008 @ 9:36 pm

  7. Im getting the hang of this now a little, takes some concentration and a bit of time, especially if you want lots of points, just another question, have you thought about making a desktop version of this game? For the long games, the iPhone’s battery doesn’t really hold out that well, sometimes I want to be able to play without having to charge the phone again before I go out. To be able to use it on the laptop would be fantastic.

    Just a thought thats all.

    Comment by James — 5 September 2008 @ 11:22 am

  8. I’ve now added some tutorials to help people get started with the game. I hope they’ll help.

    As for other versions: well, it depends how much of a demand there is for the game generally. If there’s enough demand then I’ll do the extra programming; if not, not!

    Comment by universalis — 8 September 2008 @ 4:09 pm

  9. Hi,

    I would just like to say a quick thank you for writing out those step by step tutorials, although I have pretty much got the hang of it now, there were little extras (hints) I have learnt, to speed things up a bit.

    Also with the new tutorials, I feel I can finally attempt the much higher levels. 🙂 So thank you.

    I know a pc version is dependant on how popular this is, but I can only hope it becomes popular, this would be great to play at work…ah hmm, I mean at home on my laptop. 🙂

    Comment by James — 14 September 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  10. this game is wonderful. but you need to translate the instructions in french.I spend an hour to understand how to would a shame not to discover that game.
    the interface is very beautiful and comfortable. thanks a lot.

    Comment by jvk020 — 7 October 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  11. When playing multi board games, there really isn’t a way to tell which ships are on A, B, or C exactly, you just pick one and go…right. It seems the important thing is you have the right group arrangements.


    Comment by magillicutty — 18 October 2008 @ 9:08 pm

  12. Gill, that’s absolutely right. You have no way of finding out what order the boards are in – ABC, ACB, BAC and so on – and it doesn’t matter what order they’re in, either: the solution checker tries every permutation when it’s checking whether your solution matches the puzzle.

    It’s actually remarkably difficult to explain this in words, because it’s a question that most people don’t even think of asking themselves, so that they get rather confused if the instructions both raise the question and answer it.

    Another question that people don’t think of asking is: in multi-board games, is it possible for the puzzle to be ambiguous and therefore insoluble? For instance, imagine that on one board you have a 2-master sticking out from the fleet and a 3-master hanging off its end, and that on another board you have a 3-master sticking out from exactly the same place, and a 2-master hanging off its end. Then you wouldn’t have any way of knowing which board was the 2-and-3 and which was the 3-and-2. The game specifically checks for ambiguities like these, and censors any puzzles that would be ambiguous. If you’re feeling really advanced then you can actually use this fact sometimes, to help you solve the puzzle.

    Comment by universalis — 20 October 2008 @ 11:23 am

  13. One feature that I would like to have added is a “save state” function for use in the middle of a game. I have run into several levels where I couldn’t derive the exact solution just by looking at the screen. At this point, I know that all ships drawn on the board are correct, I just don’t know where to go from there. To solve these, I typically just make a guess and start going down that road to see if it allows me to solve the board. If not, I’d like a go back button to get me back to the state that I knew was valid. When activated, the timer, number of shots fired and any hit information should not be removed from the screen.

    Comment by Steve — 21 October 2008 @ 4:48 pm

  14. Steve, that’s a good idea and I’ll give it some thought. Thank you for the suggestion!

    Comment by universalis — 21 October 2008 @ 4:54 pm

  15. I am enjoying the game very much (see my review), thank you!

    I “second” the request for a “save state” feature, where the player could return to a known position, after investigating and then rejecting some other line of thought. You might take a look at how the Battleaire app handles this feature (multiple snapshots), but nothing so substantial is required here, a single snapshot would be very nice.

    I in my review, I asked for a scoring feature. I know now this might not have been the best way to ask — please consider my request? The idea is to add another dimension of interest, by competing with your own score. For instance, sometimes I’d like to return to level 4 for a quicker game (now on levels 5 and 7), and I imagine that seeing a history of my prior timings at each level would be fun. I’m not so much looking for a highest score, but rather a historical log, maybe if the past 10 or 20 or 30 games at each level, showing the time and the number of moves. You may think if other techniques that are good (or easier to program), please do consider. Again, thank you for the puzzler, it’s a pleasure. Steven

    Comment by Appleseeding — 11 June 2009 @ 2:59 am

    • It’s been a long delay, but leaderboards are now there. It’s a private leaderboard if you’re not signed up to Game Center. If you are on Game Center, you’ll also see your worldwide ranking and who the current champions are.

      Comment by universalis — 29 January 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  16. Steven, thank you for your detailed and constructive comments. I’ve been reluctant to add complication to the program because I’m reluctant to disturb the limpid beauty of its interface; but the improvements you’ve suggested really would make a difference and I’ll look hard at doing them simply and intuitively.

    Certainly nothing will happen for a couple of months, because I’m working hard on the Universalis web site and app, but I have made a note in my diary and I will look at this seriously.

    I’d also like to find some way of adding a tournament mode, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be hard to do this online because of the possibilities of cheating. On the other hand, a room full of players all competing on the same game could be rather fun to watch!

    Comment by universalis — 11 June 2009 @ 8:22 am

  17. can u make a online version? my father doesnt have an ipad/ipod so i cannot play… because im already playng on my ipad!

    Comment by paolo — 23 August 2010 @ 4:17 pm

    • Thank you: that’s a very good idea and I’ll look into it. Nothing will happen soon, though!

      Comment by universalis — 29 January 2011 @ 2:52 pm

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