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Introducing Aero Empire, a new indie game which takes place in an alternate world where the unique conditions brought about air travel long before land or sea. In this game, you can rise the ranks, combining elements from RPGs, Shooters, Flight Simulators and RTS games.

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Imagine a world where there was no ocean, where the villages of humans were scattered along mountaintops, and the world below was completely blocked off by an impassible wall of clouds. In a world like that, air travel would precede both land and sea. This is the kind of world that Aero Empire is set in.

The game takes place shortly after the invention of the steam engine, which brought about a great war between the many tribes who were before isolated on different mountaintops. Since travel between mountaintops has become more accessible, the tides of war have swept across the nations. The player finds themselves in the army of one of those nations, manning a turret aboard an airship. However, unlike a shooter, you can converse with your fellow coworkers and superiors, convincing them of your skill and receiving promotions, or even planning a rebellion or coup d'etat. You can end up piloting your own airship, line of blimps, or even control an entire nation.

Aero Empire's world is populated with thousands of AI who strive for their own goals, and have their own personalities. They work as your superiors and subordinates, and even change the shape of the world as you can. This brings about a truly dynamic and ever changing world, which contains multiple stages combining the elements of many different types of gameplay.

Currently, Aero Empire's Rendering Engine - the Cumulonimbus Engine, is complete, and we plan to have a website set up in the next week or two. I will keep you guys updated on the progress of Aero Empire.

Sunrise / Sunset Video from the Cumulonimbus Engine:


Lead Programmer and Designer of Aero Empire
- David

Comments
SinKing
SinKing

I think that's beautiful idea, yet I wonder how deep it will go. It seems like you want to produce a rather large gaming environment and I'm sure it will be technically challenging.

It's a large project, you are going to need a big team, too. One advice: don't start working, until you have concepts and a proof of design. You are developing thisinto an Anime-style? I am curious to see more!

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pedro0930
pedro0930

1st rate blimp of the line!

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Otreum
Otreum

Wonderful, I love this artstyle mixed with open games.
This reminds me alot of Zelda WindWaker for the gamecube, only without the midget in a green outfit.
Very nice, I am looking forward to seeing more progress on this project.

@SinKing:
Large projects don't NEED big teams at all...
And I think they're already got it all under wraps from concept etc.
You generally don't get to the stage of making a complete engine if you don't know what you're making it for, lol.

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SinKing
SinKing

@Otreum:

Yes they do - though a lot depends on the engine, true! I know, because Mech Override is a large project. To get five different characters done in full detail, making them credible and detailed took us almost a full year of work.
That starts with a proof of design, concepts, refined concepts, prototype and final high-poly mesh. Then you still have to make LODs, especially for a project with a long viewing range, like Aero Empire.

You will need a good organisation and good core team. The core team should feel responsible for the project, whereas freelance contributors should feel responsible for their assets, only.

I like a project like this, but before gettting started it needs good organisation. It's a struggle otherwise and struggles tend to cause bad atmosphere and internal unrest. As much as I want this project to get developed, I also know that it will take a strong leader to set it up right, from the the start.

It's good this is Cel-shaded. Takes away a lot of the detail-work. However, if you want to render world and character using the same shader, it's bound to look odd. Looking forward to more info!

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Otreum
Otreum

Once again, you do not NEED a team.
Just because YOU feel you need a team, it doesn't mean everyone else out there needs one too ;)

Not many modders and developers choose this path as it is pretty daunting, I am one of those lone developers (I plan to create a team after my first major release), and have been one for several years, having started out knowing absolutely squat about modding or the practical side of game development, so it's a huge learning experience for me, and I love it, especially after having done some time management for every week to help me stay focused and to keep development interesting.
If a person has the will to do something, they will do it, team or no team.

If you wish to discuss this further, please talk to me on my profile to avoid a hijack here :P

Getting back on topic, Air Buccaneers was great fun :D
It's such a shame that it didn't last long :(
There is just something great about fighting on foot...in the sky :P

If this has any sort of similarity, I will certainly be happy :)
This kind of also reminds me of X2: the threat or X3: the reunion, only instead of in space, it's in the air, so this definately gets my watch :)

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DuckSauce
DuckSauce

Sounds cool :D
Reminds me of Skies of Arcadia - Legends

There were floating island in the sky, with flying boats(!), including sail, cannons and anything else you'd expect on a boat.

Not sure if it had a sea though, but that was an awesome game, stuff like this makes for awesome idea's :D

Good luck with your game!

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terra0nova Author
terra0nova

We are a relatively new Indie game, but Aero Empire has been in the works since October, 2008. We have a design document written, and most of the specific features worked out. I'm currently working on a game guide that will explain all of the features and functionality (which I plan to release around when the website is finished).

We currently have a dedicated core team that has been around since the beginning of the project - myself (lead programmer), Timmon and RedOwl (concept artists). We already have many concepts and a few models (as can be seen on our project page), and have learned how important organization is, creating a Concepts and Models forum to keep everything organized.

Aero Empire is a large project with a long term goal, but I'm determined to see this game through - and as long as we tackle it one piece at a time, we will definitely finish (estimated completion time based on current progress is late 2010/early 2011).

This is more of an engine specific detail, but the game engine can change the amount of cell shading for each object (a custom material property) - the mountains are actually not cell shaded, while the airships are.

Thanks guys for all of the comments and compliments, and if you are interested in a breakdown of our progress, feel free to take a look at the progress page: Aeroempire.co.cc

- David.

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RedOwl
RedOwl

Thanks guys, the encouragement/comments are greatly appreciated! :)

I think we're doing quite well in terms of organization and team members. I personally feel extremely dedicated to this project, and determined to see it through. I know that Terra feels the same, and so does our other core concept artist, Timmon, who was the first to come up with the basics of AE. Like you were saying, SinKing, we have a few core members and a lot of members who come and go, yet we all contribute great work.

This is certainly a challenging project, but that was kind of the point of making this game in the beginning. AE started off as "the collaborative game project," which recruited talented people to brainstorm game ideas and eventually choose one to make. One of the reasons we chose AE was because it was something way too ambitious to attempt individually, but do-able if we all worked together, and that was exciting, because we all wanted to produce an awe-inspiring game in the end. :)

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calmflow
calmflow

This looks like it will be great, i like the animation style and the music fits quite well.

looking forward to seeing how this evolves.

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SinKing
SinKing

That's cool, especially the part about the engine sounds exiting. This is definately the kind of game I would be looking for and I assume the multiplayer part would have me most interested.

If you happen to know the mod "Air Buccaneers" that might be interesting to compare, as it's map scale was very limited but made up for it with some cool ideas:
wind, capturing enemy air ship, descend with grappling hook, etc were only some of the features. A great mod, except for its appalling visuals :).
Best of luck! I'm definately looking out for you and hope you can realise the game the way you want to. The artists should be very greatful for an opportunity to work on a game like this...up in the clouds.

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Xyrom
Xyrom

High-5

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Squeebo
Squeebo

This seems like a really, really cool concept.

I love airships.
And steampunk.

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vfn4i83
vfn4i83

Imagine a world where there was no ocean, where the villages of humans were scattered along mountaintops, and the world below was completely blocked off by an impassible wall of clouds. In a world like that, air travel would precede both land and sea



I already did, I usally dreamed with such land; but mine was devastated by huge Vulcans that had destroyed most of the inferior lands and let a lot of giant Mountains that had become a safe spot for colonization.

You game makes me happy

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