Johnathon "watchwood" Wood

A Portfolio

Home | Sea Powers | Halo 3 Forge | Ants vs Bees | 3D/Animations

Sea Powers is a text based browser MMO built using PHP and MySQL, set in the WW2 era of the South Pacific. It was originally created in the summer of 2007, as a tech demo used to kill time during an otherwise boring summer holiday. It ran fairly well for the first year, but had to be taken down in October 2008 for a month, in which it was retooled using the base code developed for Nova Powers.


  • Naval combat on the high seas.
  • Historically based ships for players to build and fight each other with.
  • Each player can have multiple islands to attack and defend from each other.
  • Player alliances for coordinated attacks and defenses.
  • A realistic system for technology research.
  • A store system where players can trade real money for in game goodies.

Lessons Learned:

  • I never actually expected anyone to play it when I first started working on it, so security in the initial versioins was nearly non-existant. It should have been a concern from the start.
  • Despite several experimented systems otherwise, the only effective way to maintain balance in PvP based games with widely diverging strength levels is to tightly limit the ranges in which a player may engage to those in which he is reasonable matched.
  • Games with asyncronous play absolutely require time based limits on a player's overall ability to attack.
  • The formation of player alliances in any multiplayer game is inevitable. Throwing them a feature bone or two will save everyone a lot of hastle.
  • Unless regular server wipes are a schedualed game feature, it is best to avoid them when at all possible.
  • It's impossible for 1 man to do anything of significance by himself. Find competant help, and make effective use of them.
  • With the exception for first-person shooters, WW2 games are generally rare enough that one can get a lot of users simply through curiosity in the setting.

Eventually, the game was spun off into Nova Powers, a space version of Sea Powers, and then into Nova Tactics, a tactical combat simulator made for a flash programming class.