Monthly Archives: April 2010

Airport Madness Mobile Now Available on the iPhone

After months of work, Airport Madness Mobile has hit the iPhone App Store! A huge thank-you to everyone who has supported my efforts with their words of encouragement and by purchasing my products. Please give this iPhone game a try and leave it an honest review.

As there are several air traffic control games with very similar names, please be cautious of which one you are buying. Our iPhone app is called “Airport Madness Mobile“.

“You land a million planes safely. Then you have one little mid-air, and you never hear the end of it.” – Air Traffic Controller, New York TRACON

Do you have what it takes to be an air traffic controller at a busy international airport?

As an air traffic controller it is your job is to keep aircraft from colliding, while avoiding unnecessary delays. You are paid the big bucks for your visualization skills and guts. Just like the real job of an air traffic controller, you must pay attention and keep your eyes moving. There is always something that you could be doing! You must give takeoff clearances, landing clearances and taxi clearances in a strategic effort to maintain safety and efficiency where there would otherwise be total chaos. This is not a spectator’s sport! After successful completion of all 14 levels of this simulation you will become an expert at visualization and managing priorities.

This simulation contains 7 different challenging airport layouts. You will be required to work at night, and occasionally in poor weather conditions. Knowledge of air traffic control is not required to be a top-notch air traffic controller in Airport Madness Mobile, but you do require nerves of steel.

Air Traffic Control Games: Casual Vs. Serious

Airport Madness 2 was always meant to be a casual game, the kind you might play to fill the minutes of a coffee break. You might play it while eating a bag of chips, while listening to your iPod, or while bouncing a one-year-old on you knee. Airport Madness 3 however, has a more serious mood. You will need to put your chair in the upright position. Airport Madness 3 “brings it”. It is for those who couldn’t get enough of AM2, and have a strong interest in the world of air traffic control.

When you build a sequel you really must offer up something new, otherwise your product runs the risk of being dismissed as simply “more of the same”. We wanted to brag about more than simply offering two new airport layouts. AM3 is more complex. It has a different feel. The pilot voices obey real-world ICAO phraseology. Your control options include runway assignments, 360-degree turns, downwind leg extensions, and full speed control. The resolution is massive.

AM3 runs the risk of driving away those who are merely looking for something light and simple. But if you’ve mastered AM2 while blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back, by all means sign up for our newsletter to be the first in line for Airport Madness 3 this June!

Airport Madness 3 Progress

Airport Madness 3 is progressing well. You may have noticed that the release date has been pushed back to June 2010. We learned from the release of Airport Madness 2 the value of thorough testing before release, and we intend to launch a solid game with hopefully no major issues.

When you create an air traffic control game or simulation, you must build a great deal of “intelligence” into the aircraft. For example, if two aircraft are taxiing towards each other on crossing paths, how do they decide who-Airport Madness 3stops-for-who? What at first seemed like a programming challenge quickly revealed itself to be a trigonometry nightmare. For example, how do two artificial aircraft decide who should stop in the image shown here? The answer is, whichever aircraft has a smaller relative angle to the other shall stop. I almost had to phone up my Grade 10 math teacher to figure that one out. Creating this simple rule added a couple of weeks to our project. We also received a great suggestion from someone to incorporate pushbacks into our game, whereby an aircraft is moved backwards out of its’ gate before commencing taxi. However, the concept of backwards-moving airplanes threw a wrench into our formula above, since all of the relative angles get thrown out of whack when you reverse direction. As always, we developed a workaround to the problem. However, these things require time.

You may be asking yourself, “Doesn’t air traffic control decide who taxiis and who stops?”. In reality taxiways are controlled, however parking aprons are not. In the real world of air traffic control, most of the “action” is on the runways and in the air. Controlling taxiways is generally kinda dull. Like the earlier version of this game, Airport Madness 3 is about runway management including airborne conflictions. The apron/parking conflictions are left to the pilots to figure out.

Airport Madness 3 has had a few other challenges, most notably the large resolution which increases CPU demand on computers. After building out the game’s foundation one month ago (a very basic no-frills single-level test platform) we noticed some performance issues as well as some unusual aircraft behavior. We decided not to move forward until these issues were resolved. I am pleased to say that these issues have been successfully eliminated and we are now moving forward with the addition of pilot voices, game options and other details. Please sign up for the newsletter above to be first in line for its’ release.

Airport Madness Mobile

We are pleased to announce that Airport Madness Mobile has been submitted to the iPhone App Store and should be available by April 23, 2010. It promises to offer the iPhone community a truly addictive air traffic control game. Unfortunately we could not secure the name “Airport Madness” as it has been taken, so please be aware of which one you are buying on the App Store. There will be an announcement here, as well as in the newsletter (sign up above) as soon as this app becomes available.