I made a new game computer game that can be played in a web browser. It’s a real-time strategy game about controlling airplanes. Click here to play.
This game wasn’t my idea
The 2011 remake
The 2020 remake
My motivation for re-making this game again was mostly because I really liked the idea (which by the way is attributed entirely to Ed James), and I thought the game deserved a remake that was actually good. Therefore, I decided to spend a couple of days recreating the game from scratch, using modern technology.
The 2020 version features improved graphics with animations, a mouse-controlled interface that’s hopefully easy to understand, and several tutorial scenarios that gradually introduce all gameplay aspects and rules. One very big change is that airplanes actually fly across the board in real-time, rather than making chess-like movements that were characteristic to the original game. As a consequence of this, it’s possible to have many different kinds of airplanes that cruise at different speeds. The game is still based on a square grid, though unlike the original, planes travelling diagonally will take more time to reach the next square than those travelling horizontally or vertically.
Another big thing is a white line that predicts the path that an airplane will take. It’s only displayed for the currently selected airplane and goes through all squares the plane will travel through in the future. It’s also used for issuing delayed commands for planes passing over radio beacons and airfields. The line makes it easy to see whether a diagonally-travelling plane is actually lined up with its exit or not. The line is so useful in fact, that it made me realize some things about the default map from the original game that I hadn’t known about, like for example that airport A0 is located diagonally from beacon B0. Its most important advantage however, is that it shows you immediately how your commands affect a plane’s path.
I realize of course, that to make it a true product of 2020, I should’ve made it into a mobile game with touchscreen controls. I chose not to do so because a) I’m not very fond of mobile games, and b) real-time strategy games such as this one work very poorly on small screens with touch controls. Therefore, I envisioned this game to be played exclusively on a computer with mouse. Of course it’s theoretically possible to load it on a mobile browser, but I imagine the experience would be nothing but frustrating.