DECLAN Nation is comprised of solar empires. The goal is to become and remain the most powerful empire in the game. You can gain strength by buying forces, buying addition planets, conquering planets and other empires. You are allowed a set number of turns per calendar day. All but one game is for premium members only, it is called the "Free Trial Environment". This allows you to experience the game for free, experiment with different strategies and gain a better understanding of game play. The Free Trial Environment is reset roughly every 30 days, allowing new guests to join and play for free. To play DECLAN Nation you need a web browser with FLASH support like IE, Firefox, Konqueror or Opera. You also need to create an account first (Register). Once created and logged in, you can browse for available game versions and join them. When you join a game you have to provide a emperor/empress name and an empire name, it will be your identity in the game.
You can join all the games you want and play a different empire on each one. The goals of each game version may slightly differ, but it is usually 1 of 3 types of goals: you have the Research Race goal (the first empire that completes all the fundamental research tree), the Classic goal (the biggest empire after 30 days of playing wins), and the Fast game goal (the biggest empire after 7 days of playing wins). We plan to introduce new goals like the 'Last man standing' goal, eventually.
The game is turn-based, each day you have a specific amount of turns available. You can play all your turns in one straight shot or come back several times a day to play a few turns, since new turns regenerate every 2 to 3 hours. All of the empire management is turn-based, but the attack and trade system is in real-time; convoys traveling in space can be seen moving, and in case of an invasion convoy, you can see the doomsday coming fast to your empire :)
As a galactic empire, to stay alive you need to keep your population happy about life, low pollution and about you. Loosing all your population is the way to go if you want to play a very short game.
The primary resource in the game is money (if we don’t count population as a resource), to earn money you can raise population taxes, urban taxes, attack others, attack space pirates, exploit ore planets, exploit tourism planets and petroleum planets, you can also turn all the research production to money production. You can also take loans from "The Solar Bank" or invest in Galactic Bonds. each at a floating interest rate. Planets and military maintenance are usually the places where money are spent, you can buy government planets, they reduce overall maintenance costs for planets. To reduce army maintenance you can sell your troops (not a good idea), get attacked and loose some (not a good idea either) or send them attacking pirates (pirates are usually a better-than-nothing solution). When you start a new game you have several turns under protection where you cannot be attacked, do not stockpile army units if you do not plan to attack pirates.
DECLAN Nation is the kind of game that contains too many ways to succeed, too many different strategies (good and bad) to describe them all. This is why at this point we recommend you to actually play the Free Trial Edition game and learn how to play. The game itself contains integrated help system when you hover your mouse over items.
Premium Members have access to a wide range of games, some are invite only, others are team based and the rest are open to Premium Members only. Premium Member games range from 30 day conquests to 6 month long straties. There are also custom rules for each of these, so a strategy in one may not work as well in another.
November 22nd, 2010 we are developing a couple online video tutorials to demonstrate the overall game console, a few examples of game play to help you understand the game better.