Blog: 1GAM June 2013 - Airship
30 June, 2013
Airship is my June entry for One Game a Month. Its a realtime airship multiplayer-only combat game, putting you in the pilot seat of an airship equipped with canons, tasked with defeating everyone and anyone in the game. Its a challenging and beautiful game, and one that I am very proud of creating.
This month I spent far too much time on making the airships fly well, and making the graphics look beautiful. I learnt some lessons, but I am also using this game to try and educate others about the pricing of software.
Airship is available to purchase for USD$4,000. I'll explain the pricing later in this post.
A couple of months ago, I created a very simple truck driving isometric game that focused mostly on gameplay. It was easy to play, and fun to play. However mastering the game and getting the best score and price required a greater understanding of gameplay mechanics. The graphics side of that particular game were all cubes. Combined with diffuse shading and a simple isometric-ish view, the overall graphics were very simple. Gameplay is king, and focusing on that produced a much better game overall.
Thats not to say this months game is bad. Its very pretty, and it plays well, but there are many more core gameplay items that I would like to have added before publishing this game, including:
- Ammo pickups
- Speed pickups
- Health pickups
- Global leaderboard
- Persistent world
- Cover from enemy fire (floating islands)
- More factions
The faction system lets a player choose what type of traits their airship will have. Certain ships move faster than others. For example, the warrior class has a lot of ammo, but moves very slow. Its also well armoured. The pirate ship has limited ammunition, but in turn is very agile and quick to move. The other two factions have their own attributes, and I'm leaving it up to the player to experience these fully rather than listing attributes on the selection screen.
This is my second attend at a ship selecton system. The first was done in my first one game a month project, and I've massively improved the management and operation of this ship selection system to produce a coherent and simple interfact for the user, as well as clean and understandable code.
No, this is not a DRM issue. This is because the gameplay requires other players. Its always online, because its an "all-in" massive multiplayer action game. There is no single player mode.
The game visuals are spectacular. I really put in effort to ensure the multiplayer mode didn't cause any artifacts when playing with high latency, and to ensure things like ship collisions are smooth and managable. The skybox gives you a really good feel of flying high in the sky, and the lighting makes that more believable. Its visually stunning, and I am proud of that fact.
Starting "Games by Graham"
I've started a new website, which will launch in the coming month, for just listing the games I create.
My passion in my personal time lately has been primarily around creating games, and developing unique experiences for gamers. While I will still post on my personal website, the games by graham website will feature only games, with detailed information. It will operate like a game studio website, or a portfolio of achievements for myself.
I read a really good comment / article on HackerNews recently, compelling software developers to "stop selling your software for peanuts". Read through the linked article.
The mobile "app" markets have destroyed consumers expectations of pricing and value on software. This damages the industry as a whole. Consumers already baulk at software that is priced over $2 or $3. This ongoing ridiculous pricing perpetuates the perception that software should be $2 or $3, and it makes it hard for small companies and indies to compete with larger companies that have financial backing, and those larger companies that pump out lots of software, being able to hold out during the time it takes for a low priced application or game to become viable after months of sales.
This is why my game this month is only available for purchase.
The purchase price is USD$4,000.
Any purchase of Airship will ensure ongoing development and addition of features. Not only that, anyone that purcashes the game will have direct contact with myself and other purchasers, in order to discuss issues, problems, feature requests and guide the ongoing development of the game. I really do want to demonstrate the value of software, and involve owners of the game in the ongoing development of the game.
Please support indie developers, and support the development of "Airship" by buying the game via the paypal link below.
Purchases are handled manually at this point, but I should be able to process these orders within 12 hours of purchase. Thankyou for your support. I hope you enjoy Airship!