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Generals.io – Capture enemy generals to defeat them (generals.io)
357 points by progval on Dec 10, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 157 comments

Brilliant game! I'm really enjoying it. I usually don't play computer games, so I didn't expect to spend several hours on this. Tons of fun, thank you for making it!

Such a beautiful blend of tactics and strategy. Elegant, simple, and extremely engaging. Makes me think, and keeps me on the edge of my seat.

One suggestion - I think it would be really cool to be able to talk to other players using microphone. Chat doesn't work so well, you can't get too distracted on it, the game is pretty fast paced once you get the hang of it. But it would be really awesome to have a conversation while playing.

Thoughts on strategy so far:

- Sending out small groups of "scouts" at the beginning of the game, finding and capturing others, before they've managed to gain any resources worked really well for me.

- It comes down to finding the opponent's "king", and hiding your own. Once you know his position, defeating him isn't that difficult. Therefore, there's a lot of value in exploring as much territory as possible in the fewest amount of moves.

- And that really reminds me of Go game. You want to find balance between protecting your territory, and exploring. Start by exploring as fast as possible, then - gather resources and build an army. Once you have a sizable army - venture into enemy's territory, and explore as fast as possible, trying to find his king.

Creator of generals.io here - thanks for everyone's feedback and responses! If you're interested in remaining active with the community you can follow our subreddit at https://reddit.com/r/generalsio

The game servers are a bit overloaded right now so the game is running kind of slow, but the congestion should improve soon - thanks for your patience.

Thank you very much for making this game!

If it's not a secret - can you share with us the tech stack behind it?

I assume they are now too busy fixing the performance issues :D

Thanks for creating the game. It's amazing.

As a dev myself, I'm wondering what's the tech stack behind it too.

Please make the yellow player display army numbers in black. White on yellow is rather hard to read. Or even better let the local player pick his color, not like the colors across clients needs to match.

congrats, it's amazing!!! and down :) Good luck with scaling

having a lot of fun playing this. my feedback would be it would be nice to watch the rest of the game after you die, instead of waiting for the game to end.

Sometimes the same is laggy, and sometimes my units do not move at all, while opponent units do. Super frustrating. Other than that, the game is amazing

Please allow using arrow keys or zqsd instead of only wasd. Thanks.

Thoughts on strategy:

When the game first starts you want to make a straight line with room to grow on one side. Then when you get your first resupply you can expand your territory very quickly. Quickly generating surface area is really important because it gives you more vision and it helps disguise the location of your HQ.

if you have vision you can pay attention to the leaderboard and go for a timing attack when someones army count drops.

In general attacking is kind of bad because the inability to chain commands on offense is a huge disadvantage.

I'd love to play more but this aggravates the shit out of my RSI lol.

Best strat I've seen so far: have the least amount of lag.

There's lots of strategy discussion here:


That is pretty cool, it's similar concept to an AI game I play called Halite[1], though I like the idea of having a king piece instead of just taking over the entire board.


Hi! I just spent a couple of hours to this. Great game, very fun.

A feedback point: while playing, the absence of any kind of animation of fights make me wonder whether there are bugs when playing that lose points, or if someone attacked me without me losing. Something like a blip, with/without noise, when a fight happened might be great. Another one: the stronger the position, the stronger my hue would be great to quickly find big positions on big territories.

great suggestions, thanks

(if you didn't see my comment i'm the creator of generals.io)

Please reveal the map when the game ends, specifically when the final player forfeits.

You can see the whole game when it ends, in the replay (e.g. http://generals.io/replays/HkfABJ9Xl).

But it would be great to see the game evolve without fog, once you are killed.

I mean when you are one of the last two players and win (or lose) the game (and thus the game ends), it should immediately reveal the entire map.

That could enable collusion between remaining players and defeated players, possibly defeated on purpose.

I mean when the game ends, the last two players. After one of them loses, the game is over.

It's remarkable similar to a game that was created before it, kingz.io, see https://www.reddit.com/r/Kingzio/comments/5dm2cv/my_thoughts...

Could you please work on Diep.io? I've been waiting so long for an update.

And also (if you dont know what discord is, discord is a website where people can chat live), Join the Diep.io discord made from the moderators of the Diep.io subreddit: https://discordapp.com/invite/YDSF2wD#discordbutton

And please be active on Reddit again.

Do not let Diep.io die.

I love the minimalist approach. It would be nice if there was a sound effect when a player is defeated. Not as an aesthetic thing but as a way to keep track of the match without having to constantly check the scoreboard.

Also, the screen you show when a match ends seems like a good place to stick another ad.

This reminds me of xbattle or europa. Only thing missing is when you set a direction, it just works one. It's be less of a click fest if you could just click on any of the 4 directions any it would continue to feed armies. That way you have supply lines and battle fronts, limited more by strategy than speed of clicking.

Sequencing those is non trivial keeping with one move per turn.

Each grid point just has sends armies in 1 to 4 directions per timestep. So you have to visit each occupied square once per time step.

What is the sequencing problem? It's just 4 bits per square (send armies N,S,E,W).

That was a game changer for me. Sadly it exposed a major bug. Queue up enough commands it seems and the game gets stuck. Happened 2 separate times now for me.

It's happened to me, but I don't think it has to do with the number.

The biggest problem, I think (not sure) is that queuing is client side so latency matters.

This was really fun! Couple notes:

* In the tutorial, if you capture the city before the message about capturing it comes up (which is the most intuitive thing to do), the message just disappears instantly and you don't learn what cities actually do.

* I didn't realize you could queue up WASD moves until like halfway through my first game, and it's pretty essential to good play. Would be nice to put in the tutorial.

did you not see the part about WASD moves in the tutorial? It actually is in the tutorial, but maybe the fact that you captured the city early skipped the WASD part

I saw that you can _use_ WASD, but it doesn't say anything about queuing them.

Agree with this completely ^

Didn't see it in the tutorial either. Here I was thinking there was no advantage to WASD and just spam clicking everywhere :P

If someone quits, their remaining spaces should not go grey. I have had several games ruined because of this. People will quit when they realize they don't have a chance. Then, instead of usurping their entire kingdom when you capture their King, you have to go around a defeat each of their abandoned properties and all the units. No good.

Super fun.

The starting position makes the game unbalanced at times. Starting close to a border in a corner is a major advantage. Had one enemy whose base was located inside a area that was only accessible trough a narrow valley. Super easy to defend.

But also difficult to expand from...

Loved it.

I have a suggestion: What about making it easier to see where your troops are concentrated? Like making the tiles with more troops darker, with a stronger/heatmap colored border, or something.

[self plug] I've created a website for these kind of games some time ago: https://iogames.co/

Your advertisement banner is way too close to the play game button. You're going to look like you get fraudulent clicks with all the people clicking your ads accidentally.

shit you are right (damn adblocker lets me miss those things). Will fix asap. Thanks

More feedback. there is no "remove frame" button on your page banner. dont force me to stay inside your website. edit, it looks like you overlay ads on the games website? scummy

I just realized that as well, when i added those ads they stayed in the topline where they should. I am just trying to get them back up there, thats really shitty.

Also added the remove frame button, that really should be there.

Obviously i tried to maximize ad income, but i did not had that (overlay, to close to button) in mind.

Edit:// Fuck that ad, added social buttons again.

It amuses me that you use ads to make money yet run and ad blocker...

believe me, me too. Its everybody personal choice i guess.

I also whitelist ads on sites i like, not on mine because thats against the adsense rules anyway.

Are you kidding me? You don't even watch the own ads you make your visitors see?

1. Ads are based on the user. Its unlikely i ever see the same my users see

2. It is against the adsense rules to do that and could get me banned

I dont know how others do that, but you are supposed to not create ad traffic on your own account.

Edit:// I realize how stupid this all is. Internet advertisment IS stupid. But it makes me money and keeps me interested making new sites and fixing old sites.

Isn't AdSense pay per click and not pay per impression? So it is ok to load impressions but not ok to click them?

its both

Could be a fun game, but i'm stuck waiting 10-20 seconds for my pieces to move, and in the time it takes one of my army pieces to move, some other guy traverses the entirety of my empire with their army and kills me.

Played a game, my opponent's color was so similar to mine I didn't even know I was being attacked. :| Green and slightly darker green.

You might be color blind. I noticed the same problem and I am tritanomaly color blind. You can see if you are here:


For me, clicking the tritanomaly button doesn't really show a difference, but my friends say it's a drastic difference.

I've lived most of my adult life not knowing. I previously thought there were just a lot of designers that picked poor color palettes. Humorously, I thought they were color blind!

I had the same problem (I'm not color blind). First game, I was light green. When dark green player started attacking me, I thought my army squares where on steroids (or something similar). It wasn't clear it was a different player killing my army.

I had the same problem when red attacked my green pieces. One of the few instances where my being colorblind is a problem :(

Very fun! The tutorial could be a little more verbose; I played through it and still only had a vague idea as to how the mechanics work.

Decided to play a 1 vs 1 anyways. I started out behind as I warmed up to the mechanics, but had a lucky streak into enemy territory and found the opponent general faster than he found mine. Even though my opponent had a larger army by double, my smaller army was able to move faster, and I captured his general when his army was one tile away from mine. Intense!

I want as little downtime as possible in my movement, so being able to use the keyboard to not only move my army after I have selected it, but then keep them selected so I can command them to move again would be great. Use the mouse to jump to a new tile to select it, and then use the keyboard to move it.

Bonus feature! Allow me to give a number to an army (control group), so I can quickly jump between my armies and move them with the keyboard!

Keep it up!

You can use the keyboard to move your army - moves get queued up as long as they're along friendly territory. Moving into enemy/neutral territory is more time consuming than along friendly, so part of the strategy involves conquering territory strategically to maximize mobility.

So far 25% of players I've encountered have had genitalia-related names.

This is the internet, I don't know what I expected.

Really? Guess I must have joined after the Hacker News crowd joined, my names have all been surprisingly normal (for the internet...)

"Bruno", "Mvlo", "m", "Galactus", "jflorey", "Tobias", "Chef", "Bruno", "Popey", "Mvlo", "m", "Galactus", "jflorey", "Tobias", "Chef"

Seems like you pasted that list twice!

It's a lot better when you realize you can chain commands through your own territory. Some quick fun!

It's nice that an early army advantage doesn't necessarily translate into victory. Capturing generals changes things, and fighting the wrong war can cripple you.

I'm still not really sure what chaining commands means. Can someone be more specific? I think it's a little hard for me to tell what's going on since the game seems sporadic, probably due to the server load.

Sure, when you do orders, they execute in the order that you click them.

So if you very quickly press, square 1 to square 2 to square 3 to square 4, the army starting in square 1 will go to 2, then 3, then 4, picking up all extra units along the way.

I get it now, thanks. When you press WASD you give a command and the selection moves to cell in that direction. So if you jam WWWW.. then you command a bunch of troops to move up at once, all in a line and all occurring in rapid succession.

oh shoot, that is way better than what I was doing!

So, I loved this game during the first few hours when people didn't know how to play it and I won most games.

But, it turns out, I suck at this game against people who know how to play. I can usually come 3rd, but can't seem to do better.

I think I need to be a bit more aggressive in capturing other players, and a bit better at expanding my territory.

But, even though I'm not very good, I really really enjoy this game.

I'm definitely willing to pay $1 for a dedicated lag-less "channel"

When somebody quits, their non-city troops should be abandoned. Otherwise there is too much volatility in the game: say I am about to capture somebody's king and they quit instead: now I don't get their land and troops, rather I have to fight against them. Enough of these types of swings, and the game is swung towards the lucky ones in a volatile way.

Yeah, I think leavers should retain their capital and still be capturable. Plenty of people leave right before they lose; the game seems to give you a few grace turns but it's often not enough.

Fun game! Tutorial interface was a little lacking, it felt like the information went by too quickly. The army selection process is a little difficult. Sometimes I'm just trying to highlight the army, and I accidentally split my army. It also took me a while to realize that while moving an army through your territory, you can chain moves without reselecting, but you have to reselect after every conqueror move. I like that mechanic, just didn't realize how it worked at first. Overall, love the mechanics of the game, just needs a little better tutorial and cleaning up the selection commands (would prefer a different key to split the army, like pressing "h" for example). As a last note, I accidentally turned my wifi off in the frenzy of selecting, but the game was fortunately able to reconnect, so thank you for that! Hope this feedback is helpful, good luck with your game :)

There's a huge amount of lag just now, but I've been playing intermittently over the last few weeks, and typically there is no noticeable lag.

So new players, please do check back when the devs have had a chance to add capacity.

I am not affiliated, I just think it's a fun game.

"Updates incoming...

We're pushing out new changes to generals.io! Check back in a few minutes."

all good now! was down for a few minutes for updates.

I suggest having some sound or desktop notification (like some google apps do) when you're back up.

Very neat. Similar to the iOS game series Galcon, which ate up many hours of my time.

I love this game. I lost the whole afternoon to it, even with the huge lag that I'm suffering.

One great thing about it is that is very balanced. In my last match (http://generals.io/replays/HkfABJ9Xl, I'm bob, lower right corner), there was a player that had a very easy path to victory. But another player and I made an alliance, and the result changed completely! So very, very fun to play.

Fun game. Still has some bugs to work out.

I lost all control about 66% through my game. None of my movements worked with the mouse or the keyboard. I could only watch as others conquered my territory.

May be that you set too many moves and so were going incredibly slowly. Press Q to clear moves and focus on short and effective routes.

no, there's a bug in the game, I've encountered it too. Clearing the move queue clears all the orders, but they won't follow even a single move order. The arrow appears and then nothing happens.

same here

Hey, so when I click on the play button on the front screen of the game, the button shows that i'm hovering over it, and moves down when i click on it, but it doesn't show the next screen. any Ideas?

Played this a bit, and the dynamic is good, there's an excellent mechanic here.

In fact, it's very similar to and old X11 game named "XBattle" I used to play. ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/x11/x.org/R5contrib/xbattle-4.0.README

XBattle has many, many parameters you can tune (growth rate of "armies", decay rates, as well as persistent movement on production, etc.) All of these can be combined in different ways to get some really great game variants.

I liked xbattle even better because while it has a very similar mechanic is also rewards strategy.

So for xbattle if 100 armies fight the enemies 25 armies the losses are mostly on the 25 army side. Additionally if you attack an enemy from 3 sides simultaneously that's an additional advantage.

With generals.io it's always just even losses on both side, so it's basically about production and finding the queen. Not so much about defense, or more complicated strategies.

Anyone remember xbattle?

+1 What a great game! Been waiting for decade(s) for a resurrection of that game mechanic!

Yes, used to play it for hours! This is similar in gameplay.

Much more strategic, and less of a click fest.

Biggest differences are orders don't decay, so you only have to click to change them. Also the weaker size of a battle has more losses. Oh and being attacked from more than one side gives an additional advantage to the attacker.

This is a nice game. Here are some strategy tips:

* Expand as fast as you can! That first resupply is crucial.

* This game rewards early aggression, especially if you've manage to get a big initial resupply.

* Flank! Large armies and particularly cities can be serious threats, but taking them isn't a victory requirement. Maneuver and look for your enemy's capital.

* Ignore AI cities until you're well established.

* Plan command chains so that you can move forces from several cities simultaneously.

What I learnt on 1v1 was that you should keep travelling towards the opposite corner of the map, forming one or two very thin attack lines, to surprise them in the beginning itself.

Sometimes I used the first, weaker one as a recon team, so that they give me the king's location before they are slaughtered, and then the second, stronger one comes in from an altogether different route and finishes them.

"* Ignore AI cities until you're well established."

Couldn't disagree more. Wait till your second resupply and then take a city. You get double creation everyone else gets in exchange for about 55-60 units. Although, I completely agree with how awesome this game is!

55-60 units which could, in principle, have been used for 60 tiles instead for even higher production than that. basically favor easy expansion over castles. Start taking them once you're out of open territory or once you hit good chokepoints

I love it. I created a private game with me and my friends and I can't stop playing now :) this is brilliant.

(I wish there would be a less-laggy version.)

are you meant to be able to chain commands on your own territory and not into neutral or enemy spaces? if you don't know about move chaining your at a huge disadvantage.

heres a victory by me http://generals.io/replays/ByGnY2tXl

Wow, purple almost snuck a victory on your king! A few more armies and he would've won. The second attempt was his only way out but you had too many armies at that point.

I find that games can easily tilt in your favor if you seek out the king square and sneak a capture.

yeah he was a better player than me imo.

> are you meant to be able to chain commands on your own territory and not into neutral or enemy spaces?

Well, that's how the real armies work :)

I just had a game vs a stronger opponent, but I kept constantly messing with his narrow "supply lines" in my territory. Too bad he noticed my sneak attempts to get his general while he was busy fixing them.

It adds a lot to the strategy.

Just lost twice because I don't know how to chain. Also, it should support arrow keys in addition to WASD for those of us using the mouse with our left hand.

Really fun game! It would be better if the response was a little snappier, but overall I think you did a great job.

Very proud of my first win, about five games in. ;)


My wife was standing over my shoulder asking why I wasn't doing chores, so she motivated me. Also she gave me strategy advice.

It took a while for me to get the hang of the strategy to win (selectively aggressive) but massively addicting. Then after a few days it seems like ruthless assault of the Bots. Perfection incorporated. Much less fun.

To the author - keep up the valiant effort!

Gameplay is good. navigation was difficult. will be great if can play using only keyboard up and down arrows

Wow, that was awesome. Wanted something like that for a while, very easy to pick up, anyone can learn but strategy is interesting to try new things out. Besides all that is plays so well with a mobile browser? Annnddd no long sign up process ?What is this witch craft

Fantastic game! It'd be awesome if you could spectate after you were killed.

I don't get it. What do the numbers mean? Why do some increase every second and some stay constant? What do the symbols (crown, buildings) mean?

It looks pretty cool but I don't have the time to figure out the rules by trial and error.

It's pretty fun but definitely the trial and error rules are kind of annoying.

The numbers are the "population" of the square. If you click a square you can then press WASD to move its population to the adjacent square. If you clicked the square once then you move all but one person, whereas if you clicked it twice before WASD then it displays "50%" and moves half the population.

If the adjacent square has numbers of its own (of a different color) then you're "attacking" that square, and if you have more people than it, then you take it over (but lose people in the process).

Ordinary squares increase population slowly, while "city" squares increase population quickly. So it's to your advantage to try to capture cities since you grow population very fast. But it's also good to spread out and capture lots of undefended ordinary squares, since each of those squares will also contribute to your population (albeit slowly).

The "king" square represents a player. If it's captured that player loses. It also increases population quickly.

> So it's to your advantage to try to capture cities since you grow population very fast.

Not really. I lost first two games with that logic. The third game I won without conquering any bases in the early game.

When the game starts all players are low on units. It's much better to use that small army you have to capture enemy capital (and get all their squares) or wait for an enemy to capture a city and then take it over.

The numbers are the size of your army (in a fight, the bigger army wins). The size of your army increases rapidly on king tiles or city tiles, and very slowly on normal tiles.

This is a lot of fun. I'm currently in the top 100. It's all about quick knockout punches. It's interesting how people will very often leave you alone if you don't attack them.

I got disconnected twice, and both times I was in the lead. I'm not sure if I'm getting 'booted' by cheaters or if the server is frazzling out - are the connections peer-to-peer or server only?

Played the game a bit, on my 4th game a guy game steaming through with his full army going through exactly the only route he could take, blindly, to my slightly lower army general.. Hmm, really makes you think.

If you optimize moving troops to the front line through one path, you leave a path of lower troop tiles right into the heart of your production, which is usually close to your general. They aren't cheating, they're just better than you.

Awesome game, my basic strategy revolved around capturing as much as possible, as fast as possible regardless of troop counts. Then just trying to confuse them by going on as many fronts as possible.

Super fun game! I only figured out the importance of using WASD (i.e. chaining) in my 3rd game. Maybe you can make it more clear in the tutorial why it's a good idea to use them.

Very cool, and thankfully not just "another io game". I am also appreciate of the fact that you seem to care about perf - other such games frequently crash my browser.

Great game, but it seems to be a clone of http://kingz.io/ , so check that out too :)

Bullshit, some players seem to know where your capital is, collect all their forces and go straight there. It's impossible to fight them fairly.

I can see why you would think that, but I see no indication that it's true. Keep in mind that a good player will remember where they first contact you. So if you take over another player they still know approximately where your queen is. Many players act like the queen is their center, often sending armies from there, and attacking in a direction from their queen. A fair number of times my first attack into enemy territory finds the queen. You do have a 3 square wide view, and guesstimating center of mass isn't that hard.

Next time you suspect it watch the replay and pretend you are the winner. I do wish the replay would allow you to be any team and still have the fog of war.

Why does it not register my clicks most of the time? And when it does it's delayed by a whole second. Makes me do things I didn't intend.

Uh oh, kiss of death. Owner said he's working on upgrading his servers to fight the lagginess. Really great game, though, perfectly simple.

just wasted my last couple hours with this, so, good job. My proper feedback would be: solve the lag issues, especially on 8vs8 is almost unplayable. Also I think that when someone wins a fight, the resulting army shouldnt be the difference. Just won a 4800 vs 4600 fight vs someone who had double my territory and I couldn't do shit with the resulting 200 of my won fight :(

Not to crap on the thread, but what are some PC games that are similar in their simplicity but may be somewhat more robust? Old or new.



Xbattle (X11 game), or Europa (similar, written in Java, not hosted anywhere I know). I think I still have the source.

Great game! Try to enhance the keyboard control

Bug: If you attack a grey base but don't take it over, on the next doubling round the grey base starts to increment.

I don't think that's a bug. I think it's designed to increase the difficulty

Great game! I wish there was a way to zoom in/out to see more of the map once you control a large area, though.

I think it says a lot about you and your political leanings if you think this game is mostly strategy

Cant' figure out the controls, felt like one out 5 times what I wanted to do was what happened.

Do some players get more turns than others?

I have like 30 moves queued, but the other guys gets 10 in the time I get 2.

There needs to be a way to resign I've just had a game where I lost but he just surrounded my base.

Just refresh the tab

I'm having periodic problems where everyone else is moving but my moves are doing nothing.

> We're pushing out new changes to generals.io! Check back in a few minutes.

A few minutes later....

Really enjoying this game, please don't be down for too long >.<

I played all morning and now it's down, just wait a bit ;)

This is quite a while. I bet they've disable creating new games and are waiting for existing games to finish before deploying.

They're probably updating the servers so that the games won't be as laggy. Shouldn't be long!

The map is kind of unbalanced. I have much more resources than the opponent.

Great game! Controls were a bit laggy at times, but really enjoyed the game.


Just played yellow, got down to light green and dark green. (I won.)

I just played with dark green and got chomped by yellow :)

Really addictive game! Definitely a great game to kill time!

Congrats, pretty cool game.

Any simple strategies you guys came up with?

This game's fun but I have to go cold turkey now

I won my first game. So I think it's great.

Feature Request: Android Version (offline too) :)

Works great on Android phone with Chrome browser.

I'm really enjoying this one!

This is so much fun, great work!

Damn... that's addictive.

enjoyed that, and i don't usually play any games what so ever.

Really great game!

That was fun :)

I love it :D

Nice game!

I don't get it - was expecting something like Command & Conquer.

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