A retro themed Helicopter game for mobile (and possibly PC) that combines Choplifter and Crazy Taxi. Players get to tackle a large city where they pick up passengers and try to get them safely to their destinations. Sprinkle in some story missions and an upgrade shop, and you have Helicopteropolis!

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Hey Everyone! I was hoping my next dev journal would finally get us to a playable gameplay prototype, but alas...I got bit by the polish bug.

For anyone unfamiliar with game development, there are (basically) three major stages: Invention, Implementation and Iteration. "Invention" is the design phase, "Implementation" is the "get it in and working" phase. The final step, the "Iteration" phase (or "Polish" phase) has you tweaking and improving your game 'till it sparkles with awesomeness. This often includes implementing smaller systems that add that extra bit of 'sexiness' (technical term).

Smart people use the above cycle to stay on track and organized. I, however, am an easily distracted idiot...so here I am working on passenger AI stuff (pure, undeniable polish) that's a good 3-4 months too early.

The distraction came from YouTube videos of the original Choplifter...specifically, the P.O.W's you were saving. They didn't just stand there, waiting to be intersected by the Helicopters bounding box. No...they ran around, gesturing for help. If you landed close enough they ran into your chopper safe embrace. When you dropped them off they would occasionally turn with a thankful wave as they ran to the safe-house.

These are very simple feats of logic, and thus my ire was fueled. I COULD NOT let Helicopteropolis's virtual citizens stand there with a trickle of drool meandering down their chinular region. So code was written...AI Rules, Brains, and Motivations. Data driven reasoning skills were breathed into my pixel people...and it was good.

Anyways, to test their new-found 'smarts' I hooked up a cheat weapon that spawns NPCs instead of bullets. Regular citizens (guys in blue) should pick a random location and do there best to reach it. Clowns should do the same, but if my chopper lands, they should pick IT as their new destination. And rare Buisinessmen show an icon based on their AI Motivation...getting dropped off at their bosses kids' pizza party.

Time to put the Man Cannon...and my new AI....to the test!


So the AI seems to be doing as I've commanded them. This doesn't necessarily get me closer to my necessary 'core gameplay' test, but at least it'll be more polished than the rough prototype I had planned. And now that my AI itch has been scratched, it's time to put away the Man Cannon and get back to some proper gameplay Implementation

...Until the next polish bug comes biting. :)

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Next Time: I stop stalling a get a good old fashioned prototype up and running. Have my calculations been correct? Will the marriage of Choplifter and Crazy Taxi result in a mangled dud of a game, or will it pave the way to something truly fun to play?

Making “Up, Down, and All Around Town” Fun!

Making “Up, Down, and All Around Town” Fun!

News 3 comments

We attack one of the major design speed bumps of combining Crazy Taxi and Choplifter - Interesting Vertical Opposition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is a Helicopteropolis, Anyway?

What is a Helicopteropolis, Anyway?

News 1 comment

A quick tour through the design of Helicopteropolis, an awesome 8 bit indie game with an even awesome-er 7 syllable title.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 13)
onionman
onionman

Haha, this looks pretty good!

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ScottTykoski Creator
ScottTykoski

Thanks Onionman! I'm hoping it can be a 'from under the radar' type success... mostly since Choplifter clones are a dime-a-dozen in the flash portals.

ps. I tried to give your post karma but my finger slipped :( Hope that dosen't have negative consequences on your profile (not sure how karma works on IndieDB).

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Dotdroid
Dotdroid

Hey Boogiebac whats your XBL Gamertag maybe we could hang out some time online what you thin? My gamertag is Freakfaces or Mortal Jokerz but you should add Freakfaces!
P.S. Nice update!

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ScottTykoski Creator
ScottTykoski

Ok, I added you but, fair warning, the last XBL game I really played online was that free Doritos Crash Course game...so I doubt you'll want me jumping into a Modern Warfare skirmish with you. ;)

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Dotdroid
Dotdroid

How is the progress going I hope this is 80MSPoints whern it is released I will buy it and also will it haveonline compatibility?

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ScottTykoski Creator
ScottTykoski

It's coming slowly...lots of engine work to do, and you really don't want to rush that kind of stuff :)

I hope to have a prototype dev diary up in the next two weeks.

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Dotdroid
Dotdroid

Nice job not only does it look awsome but you're a great illustrator!

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ScottTykoski Creator
ScottTykoski

Thanks Luke :) Any illustrations done are really just for fun...you can see what happens to any concept art when you only have 8x8 pixels to work with.

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ScottTykoski Creator
ScottTykoski

Thanks guys! I'll keep the updates coming...having people that are interested certainly helps to motivate :)

Reply Good karma+1 vote
architectts
architectts

Great game deserves great fans.

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architectts
architectts

Yeah, I have a soft spot for retro.

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Helicopteropolis
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iOS, iPad
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ScottTykoski
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Stencyl
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