Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Ultimate Radar Game

When I was fourteen, I was introduced to the game of Chess. At first glance, I thought the game seemed like a waste of my time. I would never figure out the subtle differences between all of the various pieces. I would never brag about such activity to my friends at school. “Dude, I totally check-mated my brother with my rook yesterday!”. However, I quickly fell in love with the game and a lot of my friends at school did, too. The game of Chess is similar to air traffic control games and simulations because of how addictive the play action is.

Managing a whole bunch of airplanes on a radar screen truly is one of the more interesting things you could ever try doing. It is such a mental rush to be responsible for thousands of lives at once, all of them hurtling through the troposphere at over 500 miles per hour, in a seemingly archaic fashion. Unlike air traffic control games or simulations, in real life the bottom line is safety. We don’t “push tin” like they do in the movies. Instead, we “cautiously manage said tin in an organized manner, as though our very lives depend on it”.

Air traffic control provides the world with a fantastic concept for potential new games, and this has yet to be truly explored by game developers. All of the popular classics like Risk, Monopoly, Checkers and Chess offer the same intellectual challenges as ATC does. What the casual game community lacks is an ATC game that invites everyone to the table to play. My mother tried our game Airport Madness 2 and really got into it, but she could not grasp our simulation. The world needs a radar game that starts easy and then builds, not just by intensity, but in complexity as well.

It is my vision to develop a radar-based game similar to Air Traffic Controller that maintains a reasonable degree of realism yet is simple enough for anyone ages 6 and up to jump in and start playing, without requiring 12 months’ training at an ATC institute to even get started. I envision such game consisting of a variety of radar puzzle-like challenges. For example, one challenge may be to carefully vector numerous aircraft through a complex maze of terrain, and another challenge may require using only speed control to funnel enormous volumes of air traffic into an arrival stream for a busy international airport.

We may be getting rather ahead of ourselves, as we are still assembling Airport Madness 3, Airport Madness Mobile for iPhone, as well as a 3D version of Airport Madness from a tower perspective (no release date on that!). I’d like feedback on our proposal for a simple “puzzle-style” radar game. Please feel free to email us directly with your thoughts.

Update for Radar Game “Air Traffic Controller”

Version 1.23 is now available for our radar game Air Traffic Controller. The full version of this air traffic control game now has much lengthier levels. In comparison to the free version, which has a total of just 24 arriving aircraft and a game duration of approximately 30 minutes, the full version now provides players with a full 60 minutes of game play. Updates are free to those who have previously purchased this ATC game.

Although we are mainly focused on our new games such as Airport Madness 3 and Airport Madness Mobile for the iPhone, we have not abandoned our existing products but continue to tweak them and make changes whenever we have the opportunity to do so.

Airport Madness 2 iPhone Update

We are extremely excited about the release of our first air traffic control game for the iPhone. Airport Madness 2 should hit the app store by April 30, 2010. Here are some proposed screenshots of the game in action:

At first glance it seemed like porting Airport Madness 2 over to the iPhone would be relatively straightforward. Of couse, the challenges are embracing the advantages and minimizing the disadvantages of a small screen and a touch-based platform. Another challenge will be naming this iPhone application. Unfortunately the name ‘Airport Madness’ exists in the app store already. Naming overlaps do frequently occur on the web, but we will strive to find something unique yet familiar to fans of the Airport Madness series.