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!

  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media

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. :)

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!

4 years ago 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?

4 years ago 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.

Post comment Comments  (10 - 13 of 13)
ScottTykoski Creator
ScottTykoski Jun 22 2011 says:

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

+1 vote   reply to comment
architectts Jul 28 2011 replied:

Great game deserves great fans.

+1 vote     reply to comment
architectts Jul 6 2011 replied:

Yeah, I have a soft spot for retro.

+1 vote     reply to comment
PhillipPhoenix Jun 22 2011 says:

The game looks quite nice! :)
(Love the old school music xD)

+1 vote     reply to comment
architectts Jun 21 2011 says:

Very Pretty

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a comment

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community. Or sign in with your social account:

iPhone, iPad
Send Message
Release date
Released Feb 1, 2015
Game watch
Start tracking
Community Rating



0 votes submitted.

You Say


Ratings closed.

Single Player

Tweets will appear soon from

Embed Buttons
Link to Helicopteropolis by selecting a button and using the embed code provided more...
Last Update
1 year ago
28 members