turn-based strategy game
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Build a civilisation in an ascii world.

Ism is a multiplayer turn-based strategy game currently in early development. Some features include:

  • Procedurally generated world
  • Network multiplayer
  • Console client interface
  • Full mouse and keyboard controls
  • Lots of crazy ideas in development :)

Title Screen Main Screen


npm install -g ism

or if you would like to follow the currently rapid development:

git clone https://github.com/caseman/ism.git
cd ism
npm install
npm link

I try hard to make sure that everything works in the master branch, though I can't make any guarantees!

Running the game

Ism consists of a server and console client. To run the client once installed simply use:


For local games, the client will automatically launch a local server for you. To run a server separately, you can use:


By default this will listen on all interfaces on port 5557. This is configurable via command line options:

Usage: ism-server

  -h, --host      host name or address to listen on                           [default: ""]
  -p, --port      port number to listen on                                    [default: 5557]
  -v, --verbose   More verbose logging of client connections
  --debug         Debug logging of all client/server activity
  --version       Output the software version and exit
  -d, --database  path to game database directory (will be created on start)  [default: "/home/caseman/.ism/db"]

Note that only one server can be running at a time for each game database. If you are running a server locally with the default database, the client will automatically use it for local games.

Saving games

All games are automatically saved to the server's database. As the game progresses the database is automatically updated, thus there is no "save game" command. Any game that you have started on a server can be resumed where it left off. This means that the client and server can be restarted at will without losing anything.

Currently a game can only be resumed from the client that initially joined it. In time the ability to resume your games from anywhere will be implemented.


There is currently very little gameplay implemented, as the focus has been on getting the map generation, client/server infrastructure and client user interface built. Basically all you can do is select your people, move them around to explore the map, and scroll the map view.

The mouse is supported, though all functions are available via the keyboard.

Keyboard Controls

ESC: Return to title screen

,: Select previous person

.: Select next person

h: Move left

l: Move right

j: Move down

k: Move up

y u b n: Move diagonally

Hold down CTRL or SHIFT with the movement keys to scroll. You can also scroll using the arrow keys.