More Ideas for Airport Madness 3D

On our Steam Community page there have been over 100 airport ideas suggested to me for future updates.  It boggles my mind.  As a full-time air traffic controller in the real world, I only have a certain amount of time to develop this game, and as such, it takes me about two months to create a new airport.  At least the updates are free, right folks?  IMG_7056The other night on TV I watched an old favorite, Always (1989).  It’s got a bit too much romance for my taste, but nevertheless a great movie for people who love airplanes.  The movie concept was based on an aerial firefighting operation, which absolutely intrigued me.  After the opening scene I pulled out my phone and began researching aerial firefighting on the web.  I already know a fair bit about this type of thing, as I work at an airport that serves aerial firefighting operations.  In this movie, however, the airport was immersed in the operation.  The airport used in the film was Libby Airport in Montana, and footage of the Yellowstone National Park’s 1988 fires was quadused for the fire sequences.  Steven Spielberg did an incredible job of capturing the beauty and excitement of the operation.  There was fire, smoke, and beautiful vintage bombers like the Douglas A-26 Invader and PBY Catalina. It looked like an airport that would be fun to work at!   Here’s a quick clip of what I’m talking about:

So, I’m wondering if this is something that I could add to Airport Madness 3D.  An aerial firefighting base.  I looked at Libby Airport, but since I can’t determine if they even use this field for firefighting, I decided to go with an airport that I am familiar with.  Like I’ve said many times, Airport Madness needs conflict points in order to be fun, and this usually means having at least two runways.  However, exceptions can be made. dual

I think a great airport for an Airport Madness firefighting operation would be Castlegar, BC.  It’s not primarily a tanker base, but as you can see in the photos above, it does get to host such operations from time to time.  Castlegar is also very special to me personally, as I used to fly Navajos out of there many years ago.  It’s mountain scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and I feel that a game level such as this one needs mountains.  As usual, I may need to to bend the truth a little, to maintain an appropriate balance between fun versus real.

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Will there be an actual fire?  You can count on it.  The west ridge will be engulfed in flames, which will advance towards the city if left unattended, and retreat if the player moves tankers quickly.  After takeoff, tankers will drop their load of retardant over the fire, then return to the field for reloading.  The fire action will be interspersed by arriving DH8C’s and B737’s.

This looks like it will be fun, and challenging, to put together for you.  I hope to deliver this mid-October. As always, updates to Airport Madness 3D are free.

Game Release Order

I always prepare myself for trouble whenever I release a game, or an update for a game.  Yesterday, I released update 1.10 for Airport Madness 3D, a substantial update that added an airport and 7 new aircraft.  Immediately after doing so, the emails started pouring in.  Where is the iOS version?  Where is the Android version?  How come we have to wait??

frustrated-guy2If I really wanted to, I could better time the releases so that they would simultaneously arrive to all platforms.  I’m sure that’s what Electronic Arts does.  Being a little guy, I need to budget my time and workload very carefully.  It would not make sense to attempt this, as there are inevitably going to be problems with the game that somehow got overlooked.  This happened yesterday, in fact.  I released an update on Steam, and not 10 minutes later I received complaints of two substantial game bugs.  Now, if I had released across all platforms (PC, Mac, Steam, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Mac App Store), I would have had several days of work ahead of me.  However, by releasing the update only on Steam, I was able to test the waters with a ‘soft launch’, fix the critical bugs, then move on to all other platforms.

Why Steam first?  Three reasons:

  1. Steam has an excellent community.  The culture on Steam is to report problems on the forum pages.  If there’s a problem with a game, you can rest assured it will get talked about.  When there is a problem with the PC/Mac direct download version from this website, I usually get an angry email, and sometimes a demand for a refund.
  2. It’s easier to upload games to Steam.  With Steam’s content upload system, called Steampipe, I can upload game changes in just seconds, directly from the terminal window on my computer.  I don’t have to wait for anyone to approve the update.  I click publish, and the changes appear online, automatically updating all users.
  3. PC/Mac users pay more than mobile users do.  Because I would be crucified for charging $14.99 on any mobile app store, I need to offer a slightly more competitive price tag, like $8.99.   This is fair because the PC/Mac version has more features, better performance, higher definition graphics, and more immersive game play with a mouse.  I also like to think getting updates first is another big perk for PC/Mac users.

Airport Madness 3D Update 1.10 Available

Airport Madness 3D now has five airports and 15 different aircraft types. We’ve added Vancouver Harbour’s float plane base, plus seven new aircraft including the Concorde! We’ve fixed some minor bugs, including the “random explosions” of aircraft.

Haven’t Purchased?
If you haven’t yet purchased Airport Madness 3D, grab it here! Buy risk-free with our 60-day refund policy.

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Already Own It?
Those of you who have purchased this already can update their version by simply downloading the game again from the original link you received after purchase.  If you can’t find your link, or you require assistance, don’t hesitate to email me at support@bigfatsimulations.com.

Time for some Deep Discounts!

We’ve been around for exactly eight years now.  On the internet, it works like dog years, which makes us 45.  Some of our older games are beginning to show their age, and are not competing well with our newer games. It hurts to drop these prices, because I still love playing these, but it is the right thing to do.

The following games have been permanently discounted:

*Prices are in USD

Airport Madness 3D: Next Update

Estimated Release: August 3, 2016

I dislike making firm promises about updates, as it’s hard to know how long certain objectives will require, or if they are even feasible. This tends to lead to stress on my part, and often disappointment on yours. So I try to keep the promises a little vague, while mostly keeping you in the picture about what I’m doing.

Currently, I’m building update 1.10. This will add a fifth airport, and some bug fixes. The new airport is a float plane base located in downtown Vancouver, BC Canada. Have a look at these screenshots of my progress.

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View from the mountains, north of Vancouver. Being a pilot from Vancouver myself, I can tell you that this looks fairly realistic.

The Lions Gate Bridge.

The Lions Gate Bridge

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CL21 overflying the Lions Gate Bridge. These are used for forest fires, but in Airport Madness, they carry terrified passengers.

The challenge with this level is that we are located at the edge of a major city, so I’ve had to add much more detail than I’m used to. Some of you may have guessed that I’m new to 3D, but I can tell you that I learn quickly. I’m hoping to offer you a level that looks better in quality compared to previous. As float planes are much smaller than passenger jet aircraft, the tower is much closer than usual, and it became obvious that animated humans would be required. So I’ve added these, and they look relatively good. Hopefully we don’t run into performance issues from too many polygons. I’ve added parked vehicles, too, but have yet to decide whether these deserve animation.

How far do I take it? It’s an air traffic control game, and I’m trying to decide whether I’ll get sued if I add a Starbucks on the corner. Maybe I’ll keep the city details somewhat limited, and focus on getting the game play right.

I am hoping to add a traffic-unjam tool of some sort. I’d also like to figure out why airplanes roll backwards onto runways, and why there are occasional ghost explosions. Rocky Mountain terminal parking deserves a little tweaking, as it is “Traffic Jam Central” at the moment. It’s like a movie theatre on a Saturday night.

Stay tuned! I’ll post details here regularly.

Airport Madness 3D Update 1.08

Hi, folks!  I’ve just released an update to Airport Madness 3D, fixing bugs and adding features:

  • immediate takeoffs added
  • Right click aircraft for type, distance and speed information
  • Modified time-trial achievement – only 30 planes required
  • Improved deceleration characteristics
  • Selected aircraft now gets highlighted
  • WASD keyboard control of all cameras
  • added SHIFT-WASD motion to sky cam
  • Rocky Mountain apron jams alleviated
  • Adjusted arrival paths to reduce collisions at spawn
  • Reduced/eliminated arrivals that occasionally circle

Enjoy!

Airport Madness 3D Fan Videos

I get a great number of requests from YouTubers looking for a free copy of our games to play on their channel.  Although it’s a win-win (free advertising for me), I seldom respond to these requests.  Mainly because I’m too busy to research all of these people, to find out whether or not they have a successful YouTube channel, or if they are simply cheapskates trying to get themselves a free game.

I received an email yesterday from Bob and Ryan, two guys with a Twitch video channel who like to drink beer while live streaming their game progress.  It was a very nicely written email, and so without even looking at their YouTube channel, I fired back a reply with a free link to use.   Then, Bob and Ryan sat down with some beers and tried to become master Air Traffic Controllers.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this.  These guys are hilarious.  The video has some mild profanity in it, but should be suitable for everyone age 12 and up!

Airport Madness 3D Community

Since we began uploading our games to Steam last year, we’ve discovered how superb a platform it really is.  One of the best aspects of it is the Discussions.  We have a discussions page on Steam that is entirely dedicated to Airport Madness 3D, and we invite you to head over there and sign up.  It’s free.  And if you already own this game, I’ll give you a free key for the Steam version.

Read the Steam discussion page here

Airport Madness 3D on Steam

Steam-logoAirport Madness 3D is now available on Steam, for those of you who use the world’s largest game portal.  The Steam version has the added bonus of sharing your achievements in the Steam community, and the community itself.  Share screenshots, chat with others, and discuss bugs in the forum!  If you’ve purchased this game on one of these platforms, but would prefer to have it on both Steam and off-Steam, send me an email at support@bigfatsimulations.com.

Update 1.05 available for Airport Madness 3D

skeletonNo rest for the determined game developer!  I’ve released updates almost daily for Airport Madness 3D since its launch on Wednesday May 11.  Please help yourself to version 1.05, available through the link that was sent to you after puchase.

This update improves game performance and hopefully eliminates numerous bugs, most notably the aircraft that refuse to park!