Pirate Project took 2nd place in the EECS Computer Games Showcase at the University of Michigan! We did a great job in the last week, and people loved playing it.


Here's the game as it was played in the showcase. It runs in 1024x768 fullscreen, it will not work with any monitor smaller than that. It requires a full keyboard with a separate numpad for two-players, but there is a stupid AI if you want to play alone.
Doubloons! - About the Game


Doubloons! is a game where you are a pirate captain, commanding your ship and crew to take over and plunder enemy ships. At your disposal are cannons, bilge pumps, rowboats, grappling hooks, gangplanks, and a load of angry pirates.

Installation instructions

Download This File (6.8MB) and unzip it.

Inside the "DirectX Updates" folder there is a setup application to update your DirectX stuff. Windows only, sorry.

Inside the "bin" folder there is an executable which runs the game.

How To Play

Your goal is to attack your opponent's ship, steal their gold, sink it, and sail off into the sunset (in that order). You control the pirates through orders you give them, and then the pirates will complete the task to the best of their abilities. Combat effectiveness may change during battle due to grapeshot, inability to swim, and injury from swords.

The controls are listed above each ship on the play screen, start with Vs. Mode so that your opponent doesn't do anything. You control the pirates by giving them orders.

For example you hit the "man the cannons" button and the game will pick an idle/defending pirate and make him load the cannons. Later, you can hit the "decrement cannon loaders" button and the game will remove one of your cannoneers.

The game ends when a player has no pirates left and one of the ships has sunk (Not necessarily that player's ship!), or when one of the ships escapes from the other by sailing off the edge of the screen, or when you press ESC. After this, each player is scored by gold possessed, pirates killed, damage dealt, and whether their ship survives or not.

There are multiple tasks you can give to the pirates. Here they are.

  • Loaders - These guys will load the cannons, so that you can fire them. You can fit 3 per cannon.
  • Bilge pumps - These pirates will bail out water from the bilges of your ship, delaying your inevitable fate.
  • Attackers - Attack you scurvy sea dogs! Arrr! Y're pirates will go to the other ship (if they can find a way) and then fight guys.
  • Looters - Make combat withdrawals from the opponent's treasure chest. While carrying gold, pirates are slower and worse in combat.
  • Rowboat - There is a separate button for loading and launching the rowboat. The boat leaves the pirates vulnerable to cannonfire, but it deposits your men right into the bilges of your opponent. Yeeow.

In addition to these tasks, there are some action keys.

  • Gangplank - The fast way to get onto the opponent's ship. Requires a fairly close range.
  • Swinglines - The fasionable way to land on an opponent's ship. Every time you hit the key, an idle pirate on your side will attempt to swing across to the other side. Great fun for pirates of all ages! Be careful to land on the deck.
  • Towline - Connects your ship to theirs via an invasive rope/grappling setup, which provides a slow transport of troops, and also prevents the opponent from retreating. It has very long range.
  • Aim cannon up/down - Aims the active cannon (Green arrow) up and down.
  • Switch ammo - Cycles between standard cannonballs, grapeshot (good against pirates), and chainshot (only affects sails).
  • Fire cannon! - Fires the active cannon. Kaboom!
  • Sail ship left/right - The ship can be motionless, or have normal speed or double speed in either direction. Hit the key once to advance one speed notch in that direction. Don't hold down the key! That is the wrong way to do it!
  • Exit - Press ESC to end the battle, if you are bored or if the game doesn't look like it is ending when it is supposed to.


They are really complicated. Sorry.

Here is the full keyboard if you want to print it out.

Pirate Project Development


Project Files

Last updated on Dec 21st, 2005.

The following zip file contains the entire engine and all of the media required to compile and run the game on your own. Don't redistribute it. For educational purposes only.


Last updated on Dec 2nd, 2005.

This page brought to you by pirates.
Doubloons! game design by Mark Diehr.
Programming by Mark Diehr, Will Ling, James Irizarry, and Brian Ritter
Artwork by Chris Orr, Brian Ritter, and Mark Diehr
Sound by Ted Strother