Monthly Archives: May 2013

Airport Madness Time Machine Now Available

SplashPage_SENDAfter more than one year in production, Big Fat Simulations proudly presents Airport Madness: Time Machine, the latest from the Airport Madness Series.  We pushed hard last night to meet our May 31 deadline, and version 1.00 only shipped with a few major bugs (now resolved in version 1.01 🙂

We appreciate your feedback and support with this project, as with all of our games.  We hope to deliver many more of such games in the years to come.

How It’s Done

howitsdoneOne of our users sent in this snapshot, demonstrating ‘how it’s done’ in Radar Chaos: Hawaii Edition.  If memory serves, this would be the High North sector, with an extremely busy MAGGI arrival.

I shouldn’t be posting ANYTHING in my blog right this moment, but instead focusing purely on tomorrow’s release of Airport Madness: Time Machine.  I feel like a kid out late on a school night 🙂  Seriously, I am taking a one-hour hiatus from the code, then it’s straight back to work.  Don’t stay up all night tonight hoping for an early release of AMTM, because it will likely not be until sometime tomorrow morning.  The beta testers are beating me up pretty good with their bug finds!

AMTM Splash Page

Here’s the final version of our splash page for Airport Madness: Time Machine, due to release May 31:



A few of the aircraft were swapped out, plus some minor changes to the lettering.   As much as we wanted to incorporate machines from ‘the future’, we felt that this collection of aircraft would be most indicative of time progression.  You probably recognize the 747, DC3, and B-17.  The one at the top left is from the ‘1802 fantasy’ era 🙂

Airport Madness: Time Machine Screenshot

I sincerely hope that we are not teasing you too much with news of our upcoming Airport Madness: Time Machine.  I figure it’s best to keep our followers in the picture as much as possible, especially this close to our intended release date.  Here is a ‘draft version’ of the game’s splash page.  The final result will be slightly different, but this demonstrates the overall concept.



We have finished the game, and are now in the testing phase.  Believe me, the testers are finding plenty for us to do.  In fact, I shouldn’t even be typing this blog post.  I should be busy fixing bugs!  Aside from the fix list, our 25 testers seem to like the game.  We are thrilled!

Right this moment, we are arguing over what music to use for background sound, and what should play during the splash image at the very beginning.  Should it be loud?  Or quiet, so that the airplanes can be heard?  Music feedback has always been a mixed bag.  Some say, “Don’t add any”.  When we tried this with Radar Chaos: Hawaii Edition, some asked, “How come there is no music?”.

I will try to post again early next week to keep you all up-to-speed on our progress!

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When the Heck is AM5 Releasing?

AMTM_2172_screenshotHere is another screenshot teaser of Airport Madness: Time Machine.  The above shot is ‘the future’, 2172 to be exact.  It doesn’t look like much without the aircraft, which have a very futuristic look and behavior.  Basically, we feel that in the future, planes will be bigger and faster.  Airports will be designed more efficiently.  And yes, there will still be runways.

The official release date is “May”, with quotation marks around it.  That means May 31, at midnight.  Honolulu time, if you get my drift.  Airport Madness: Time Machine is progressing nicely, but taking forever.  Most of the artwork is done, now it’s on to fixing bugs, adding sound effects, music and polish.  Oh, and testing, almost forgot that one. I’m always amazed by how much the to-do list grows at the last minute.  Fore a while there, I actually thought we’d be launching on May 1.

I’ve got a month still, so I’m not panicking yet.  You will know when we are panicking, because you won’t hear a peep from us.  Not an email, nor a tweet.  Not a blog, facebook update, newsletter, or YouTube video.  This game will be a good one!

Our New eCommerce System

fs_button05We have made some changes to the way we collect money and provide download links to customers.  After five years with PayPal, we’ve switched to Fastspring, a leader in the eCommerce and merchandising industry.  PayPal has always been a handy service, one that I use personally for a great deal of online shopping.  But what I dislike about it is the experience a customer has after they click that shiny yellow ‘Buy Now’ button.

You are immediately whisked away from our website to a checkout page, much like when you buy a pair of used ski bindings on eBay.  After payment is made, some are redirected to a download link, others not.  Our back end system attempts to send customers an email with a download link, but not everyone receives this.  I have always stood by, waiting for angry emails so that I can manually send download links to customers, but it’s probably not the best way to do business.

We tried such a change three years ago to a different eCommerce company, but immediately noticed a sharp drop in sales.  I suspected that customers felt safer using PayPal, so I switched back to them.  Are people more likely to purchase when it’s the familiar PayPal form?  I am personally very cautious about where I give out credit card information, but when I see that the website is verified with the ‘lock’ symbol in the address bar, I feel safer.

I sincerely hope that this new system pleases everyone.  All customers are now receiving their product links immediately and securely.  Fastspring is the best in the industry.  By the time Airport Madness: Time Machine releases, the new system will be running like one of those fancy Swiss pocket watches.

Notice how vague I was just now, regarding Airport Madness: Time Machine’s release date?  That’s another blog post entirely 🙂