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Lux is a turn-based strategy computer game that uses the rule system of the board game Risk but expands it to function on any map made up of a graph of countries and the connections between them. Regardless of the map, the object of the game remains: eliminate all other players so only one remains. Lux includes some other options not included in Risk, such as the ability to use a starting scenario, or set continent values to increase as the game goes on. It also has the capability of online play between up to six humans.
Lux was developed and self-published by developer Sillysoft Games, and was a finalist in the 2005 Independent Games Festival awards contest. The user community has been active in growing Lux. Users can create maps and computer AIs for Lux, and submit them to be included in the official plugin manager.
Like Risk, winning in Lux requires both skill and luck, with every attack hanging on the result of a dice roll. However, in spite of the randomness there exists a regular group of players who dominate the multiplayer rankings. Like many online turn-based board games, Lux includes a chat capability, allowing conversation, tactical discussions, offers of alliance, etc., and some players use this as a political tool in their play to great advantage.
The ranking system is very competitive, and has evolved into a two-tiered system where each player has a score in the current week, as well as a seeded place depending on the last 16 weeks of play. The online player base is relatively small (about 700 regular online players), but many of them are fairly dedicated.
A much greater number of users play the game off-line with computer AI Artificial Intelligence opponents. The AI players play by the same rules and are subject to the same game-play limitations as human players, that is, they can't cheat. About half of these "bots" were programmed by members of the community, and they have evolved to employ sophisticated strategies, such as recognizing players who target them, cooperation, and the imitation of other bots' behavior. Some also respond to text chat, and human responses to them can influence their choice of tactics. The bots sometimes receive respectable rankings for their online play.
The original maps are numerous and varied, and most of them are made and submitted by players and casual gamers. Some maps are based on historic battles or wars (e.g., there is a map of the Vietnam War), and others are fantasy realms, inspired by other board games (such as "Monopoluxy," or "Scrabblux"), or are simply geometric shapes. In addition, the coding allows for one-way connections on a map, meaning a particular "country" may be able to attack another, but not the other way around, which allows for unique strategies.
2 mores games based on the Lux game engine were released in 2006 by Sillysoft Games. They both consist of a single-player campaign through a set of historical maps. In the first game American History Lux the user is limited to playing the American positions in wars from the French and Indian to the Gulf War. In the second game Ancient Empires Lux players can play as any faction in the history of 12 ancient empires from Sumer to the Roman Empire. These games come with some historical data for each level, and also contain a link to the Wikipedia page on each.
- Lux Website - The official Lux website, where a demo of the game may be downloaded for free. The website also contain a user forum and wiki, as well as the rankings board that scores multiplayer games.
- Lux SDK - The software developer's kit that can be used to write your own AIs or random map generators.