Friday, 9 January 2015

Airship Dragoon End Of Winter Sale and Streamline Mode

It is the final weekend of "The Big It's Really Cold Winter Sale" and uber-hardcore, squad tactics, indie game "Airship Dragoon" is half price direct from the developer. Comes with a DRM free download and a Steam key. (ends Monday 12th January 2015)

There is also a new update in the pipeline which will (hopefully) be released in the next week or two featuring a new "STREAMLINE" gameplay mode. This mode creates infinte ammunition for weapons, removing the need to equip extra bullets. Inventories can be manipulated without using up those precious Action Points, so dropping, picking up and using new items come at no cost. It's Airship Dragoon - streamlined! The original style is still available and now known as "Hardcore" mode, and the two modes can be switched at will before any tactical battle - including in the middle of a campaign - via the options menu.
There has also been some rebalancing of Ai and the Dastardly Pirates of Pangea, and a few fixes for issues which had previously snuck in.
Using cover is now more important than ever. Targets partially obscured by cover now give a negative (-10%) accuracy modifier, whilst targets out in the open have a bonus (+20%) to the shooter's aim. So a trooper in "Cautious" tactic (crouching) has a massive +50% bonus when firing on an enemy using "Standard" tactic with no cover (previously it was +30%).

"The Idea Fairy" courtesy of

In other news, I've been umming and ahhing about starting a new indie game project. I expect like most devs, ideas are not hard to come by but finalizing which concept is the crux of the issue. After developing an uber-hardcore strategy game, I quite fancy a change of pace to something more action orientated ... and a shorter development cycle. So to this effect, I am planning on creating one or two quick and dirt technical demos to test basic gameplay design.

Concept One: Top down (or possibly isometric for bombing runs) style steampunk/dieselpunk aerial shoot 'em up. Lot's of rear "pusher" props, giant armoured airships as a sky navy blasting big guns at each other and flak cannons at incoming bombers. Intercept and strafe the bombers, fight it out in a melee of small aircraft, duel the enemy ace, torpedo the airship destroyer, all with the emphasis on short, sharp dogfights.

Early Fighter bomber concept
I had a quick mockup of sizes using real world (World War 2) naval ships and aircraft just to see what the scale looked like.
The big green arc is one kilometre from the 200m radius circle. Yellow rectangles are various naval ship sizes (battleship, cruiser, destroyer), and the big  triangle on the left has the dimensions of a Mosquito bomber, whilst the small one on the right is fighter sized. First impressions, things need to be bigger.

Concept Two: Top down (or possibly isometric) arcade action roguelite, with emphasis on swarms of enemies, boss battles, randomization, probably permadeath, level progression, power up collectables and unlockables.
The player (character on foot) makes their way through each level, searching for power ups, collectables, new equipment and weapons, and the means to exit to the next level through a boss battle whilst assailed by randomly spawning enemies. Placement of all objects in the world is randomized, including start and exit points. Shooting monsters gives points, points make prizes with increased collectable drops.
The player would have one or two weapons, a light attack with fast cool down, heavy attack with longer cool down, extra ability which would probably be defensive like dodge, speedrun, lay boobytrap, depending on collectable and some special object with either a time limited effect or single use like airstrikes, freeze/confuse enemies, invulnerability and the sort. The emphasis would be on wide and varied collectables with increasingly frenzied arcade action.
Alas no predesign pics of this as it currently exists in the murky vapours of my mind.

Anyhow, these are two ideas which I will be testing with technical demos later in the month to see how the concepts translate to actual gameplay. First things first though, and that's the "Streamline" update for Airship Dragoon version 1.6.

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