I have "a vaguely entertaining idea for a steampunk game" and hash it out with my friend David over chat.
Zarkonnen: Oh, I had a vaguely entertaining idea for a steampunk game.
Read the full transcript and discover how much of the game was already designed at the point, and what changed radically.
Aggravated by problems with a nonpaying client, I start prototyping this game about building and blowing up airships.
Ship design and basic combat both work. Oh, the early days of a project, when major features get written in an afternoon.
Hey, multiplayer works too!
2014: First Appearances
The very first early access version is available for $5 on itch.io. To my relief, several people buy it the same day.
Having spent several weeks sorting through demo tracks, I sign up Curtis Schweitzer to create music for the game.
YouTuber Stuff+ makes his first video of Airships. Sales spike! Many more videos follow.
Airships gets posted on Steam Greenlight. I start boring everyone around me with constant updates on its vote tally.
2015: Steam, Festivals and Videos
The Steam floodgates creak open. Airships is greenlit along with a few hundred other games.
Local Zurich newspaper 20 Minuten features me and my game, mentions my flashing eyes.
The game debuts on Steam Early Access. I have to fill out a document explaining why the game is early access, which boils down to "well, it's not done yet".
Airships goes to Fantasy Basel! I gently ruin my feet from all the standing and get to watch lots of people play the game.
I start occasionally streaming the game's development on twitch.tv.
A persistent heat wave causes me to stop making sense in the middle of a live stream. I pause gamedev streaming for the time being.
I guest on the Play on Ultra podcast and make an extremely tortured analogy comparing early access games to romantic infatuation.
After a long gestation period, version 7 introduces landships, making the game title completely incorrect.
With the weather cooling down, I restart streaming.
The game reaches 98% positive reviews on Steam. Turns out people sorta like it.
Two years of Airships: Conquer the Skies! This is mildly dizzying, so I write a retrospective post as a coping mechanism - and create a new trailer: