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.
Airport 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
No 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!
As always, updates to games that you have purchased are always free. However, I occasionally receive emails from customers who bought Airport Madness 2 in 2009 and would like to obtain the latest free update. I always politely explain that Airport Madness 3D is an entirely new game, and their business is appreciated.
Prior to the big release of our first Unity3D game, we thoroughly tested every aspect of the game. Our beta testing team consists of approximately 10 people. We all have a great deal of fun laughing at the various odd bugs that we find. The strangest bug so far is the pushback tug that holds onto the aircraft for the takeoff, then lets go and drops to the earth.
We had a successful launch on Wednesday morning, despite me being ill the night before. I still felt horrible on Wednesday morning, but crawled to the computer and hit the launch key, with my family telling me to delay the launch another day. But they’ll all kill me if it gets delayed again, I thought.
As per usual, Airport Madness released packed with bugs. I’ve fixed 90% of them, and I think we are now in good shape. The biggest bug was the issue of planes taxiing to the runway backwards. The next bug (still not officially off my watch list) is a player view that occasionally switches from the control tower to the cockpit all by itself.
I’ve added the ability to zoom using the mouse scroll wheel, which I love. I have several more tiny updates to make, but couldn’t resist uploading the changes so far. I wanted to have a stable release available to everyone for the weekend.
If you have purchased Airport Madness 3D and would like the update, you can download it through your original download link that was emailed to you.
After a long 16 months of development, we proudly offer you Airport Madness 3D! Airport Madness now has a third dimension. We sincerely hope that you enjoy this seventh version of the series.
This is our first non-Flash game, developed entirely in Unity3D. Unity was a pleasure to work with, but has been a steep learning curve for us. Customers no longer require installation of Adobe Air beforehand.
Airport Madness 3D seems to be well received by the 1500 customers who have made purchase. It is more difficult than previous versions. It is more immersive. Your chair needs to be in the upright position. Maybe have a coffee first. Tylenol later. Airport Madness 3D is intense. Most say it is a great deal of fun, which is truly a relief. I don’t mind having a few bugs to fix, but you can’t fix boring. So I’m glad for the positive feedback.
I’ve had several people ask, “Is this a free update, or do I have to buy all over again?”. The answer, sadly, is that you must buy again, as this is a brand new application. We just released its first update 1.02 today, hopefully fixing some minor bugs within the game. As 3D is brand new to us, we plan to offer many, many updates to this game in the coming years. This is our new thing. We’ve done 2D to death, and it’s time to evolve.
We are sorry to keep everyone waiting so long for Airport Madness 3D. The game continues to get built, but there is still a great deal of work to do. Each day, problems get fixed and features get added. It would be a mistake to hurry for an early launch. We want to deliver a solid product to you with no bugs. Unfortunately, it is hard for us to keep guessing at a release date.
Our energy for this project is high, and we are very excited about it’s upcoming release. At the moment, we are hoping to release a PC and Mac version on the website first. Steam, iOS, Mac App Store and Android versions will arrive shortly afterward.
The intention is to initially offer Airport Madness 3D as a paid game, with a free limited version following shortly afterward. The iOS, Android and Mac App Store versions will likely be free, with in-app purchases to unlock additional airports. I hate in-app purchases, but unfortunately this seems to be the current state of the gaming industry, and in-app purchases are necessary in order for us to remain competitive.
Keep checking back here for the latest news.
With nearly every game launched over the past eight years, we’ve been late releasing. With each game, I try to build in a little extra time when making release date promises. Yet, there still just isn’t ever enough time to get done.
With our current project, Airport Madness 3D, I decided to get smart and not make any promises at all, other than “early 2016”. Well, here we are, and it is March 9th. The game still has a least another months’ work. As a business owner, I must hype this came up as much as I can. However, as a one-man show, it’s hard to get specific about a release date.
On all of my social channels, my vague words have somehow become a promise of “March”. It’s just that easy to get myself into trouble! I can guarantee that it will not be ready in March. However, April does look very realistic.
This week I will completely finish the game’s engine, as well as one of its airports. The three additional airports will require approximately 10 days to construct, as I have designed my code so that additional airports are easy to include. Add to that any additional time that I require for unusual bugs or launch issues with our new game development platform, Unity 3D.
I’ve always sucked at sticking to delivery date promises. Those of you who have followed me since the beginning give little value to my promised release dates. In spite of that, you all continue to support me, and I greatly appreciate this. I’m working as hard as I can for you!
Definition of “free-for-all”:
a disorganized or unrestricted situation or event in which everyone may take part.
For many years, people have asked me to give players the freedom to assign any runway to arrivals and departures in Airport Madness. I know you all want the power to assign a departing aircraft runway 26L, an arriving aircraft runway 08R, runway 35 to another departing plane, then sit back and watch how it all plays out. People want this game to feel completely real, and not be restricted by the artificial limitations imposed by me.
Having worked as an air traffic controller at five real-world airports, I can tell you that this is not generally how it works. At a quiet airport, perhaps the air traffic controller will offer a pilot the runway offering the shortest taxi, or reduced flying miles. They may even entertain the same thing for an arrival. However, any airport that is even slightly busy will establish a sensible traffic pattern for arrivals and departures. Take Las Vegas. They will select a traffic pattern such as, arrivals to runways 01L and 01R, departures from runways 07L and 07R. They’ll never sneak a 737 in on 19L because they want to be extra efficient.
The traffic pattern decision might be made by a supervisor (if there is one) or at a smaller airport, by the controller. In either case, it is a decision that is made based on winds or noise abatement. Once the pattern is established, it is not strayed from. At least, not until the winds or airport conditions change.
With Airport Madness 3D I have tried to create what I feel is realistic. While you are able to change the traffic pattern, this decision must be made at the beginning of each session. In an early beta version of this game I tested the free-for-all scenario. Besides discovering that it’s not much fun dealing with irreversible traffic jams, a very obvious problem came to light: how can the player untangle such traffic snarls on their taxiways? Air traffic controllers have invented a special award that they give to their coworkers who create such jams. It’s called the Golden Towbar Award. Unless an airport has a thorough layout of taxiways, it is very hard to serve a single runway in both directions. In the real world, airports establish a traffic flow and everybody sticks to it.
Designing flight paths takes up the majority of my development time. There are so many measurements required, and so much testing to be done. Developing a free-for-all game would quadruple my workload, and I don’t think it would be worth it. I think most players would rather that time be better invested in other game features.
A huge thank you to Michael and Stefan Strasser for publishing this comic!
About a year ago, I decided that it might be a great idea to offer free bi-monthly updates to our latest game, Airport Madness: World Edition. Rather than penalize loyal customers by making them pay for more airports each year, I realized that there was a better way. Not only is “free” a nice thing to do, it makes pure business sense. Every two months since the launch, I’ve released a free update. Doing so keeps the game fresh and alive on the worldwide web. People talk about it. They share it on Facebook. They tell their friends. With every free update, I get a surge of sales. Plus, the game has longevity. AMWE is 15 months old now. Historically, our games would be well into the “long tail sales”, meaning the income should be only at a trickle by now.
I’ve really tried hard to inform buyers whenever I release an update. At first, I simply put out a newsletter stating that the update could be obtained by emailing me. However, this turned into a huge task, answering thousands of emails manually.
I then experimented with an online tool that would accept your transaction number, then give you a download link. However, this was full of issues. Often, buyers simply didn’t have their reference number. Sometimes a buyer would enter their transaction number, but my system would not recognize it.
In December, I sent out a special email to every email address associated with my list of buyers. Many customers emailed me, asking if it was really us that sent it. Apparently, the email somehow got flagged a malicious.
My latest idea was an in-game notification. When the player reaches the main menu page of the game, a call is made to my server to see if there are any notifications, and posts them smack dab in the center of the player’s face. The process takes roughly 1.5 seconds for someone with good bandwidth, but potentially much longer with slower connections.
As of 5pm this evening, I’ve received more than 300 responses to my newsletter announcement of a game update. None of these people received the update notification. I feel really bad for someone who pays good money for something, then gets told there’s an update, but they have no way of obtaining it. It’s not the image that I want for my business. My next step is to improve the in-game notification system, so that it double-checks (even triple-checks) my server for such notifications and then lets the user see the information some place they can’t miss it.
I could spend forever perfecting such things, but each minute it requires puts me that much farther behind with the upcoming Airport Madness 3D, which is now looking like late March for a release.
I appreciate the patience everyone has with my system, and I sincerely hope that you all now have the Airport Madness: World Edition update.