Archive for the ‘PC Gaming’ Category

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Howdy all.

Well the 1 September deadline for Dream-Build-Play contest entries is fast approaching and I’ve been working really hard to get Air Legends worthy. Yes, I’m going to enter this time.

I never entered the previous DBP contests but this time I feel the essential ingredients are there to call it a “game”.  Not a prototype, concept or half-baked effort, but a game.  

This brand new Rocket & level-up feature really doubles the fun, adding a variety & thrill that was missing before.  They are of the Insta-kill variety which adds emotion to the gameplay I had not really appreciated until now.

  • the buzz of an instant kill
  • the relief of a near miss.
  • funny moments that just seem to happen when chaos & carnage mix.

But enough talk, here’s what’s new…

  • ROCKETS!!!
    • While you spawn with a couple of Rockets, you’ll want to earn additional rockets with hit streaks. Every hit you inflict earns progress to towards the next Rocket Award.  (try not to die or that progress is reset)   You also Level-up increasing the number of rockets awarded next time.
  • Improved survivability / reduced frustration…
    • Flying through an explosion no longer causes death.
    • Collisions with other planes are no longer instant death. Instead your health get’s sapped rapidly.  So you’ll still want to avoid collisions, but you may just live to fight another day.
    • both player names now show where before it was only the “other” players’.
  • Bullet visibility improved.  darker, slightly bigger and longer.

Go grab this version from my Latest Build page over here.

I’m expecting this release to be the last prior to the final contest entry.  Between now and then I do not expect to add any major gameplay features. It’s really time to refine and polish. Rinse and repeat.

Your feedback is most appreciated, and as you can see – I take it all in and fulfil what I can!

So please don’t be shy.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 219 user reviews.

Monday, July 28th, 2008

I was just checking out the Colosseum game’s website and saw their link to what seems to be a new montage!

I’m truly stoked to see Air Legends rubbing shoulders with some very impressive titles. Very very cool games from all over the world  featuring:

  • JellyCar: USA
  • GomZ: South Korea
  • Air Legends: NEW ZEALAND, oh yeah!
  • Future Flow: Belgium
  • Colosseum: Sweden
  • City Rain: Brazil
  • Megachile Pluto: Sweden
  • Sumo: USA

This is the only recent gameplay video of Air Legends out there that I’m aware of.  If it’s been a while, do check it out.  It’s sure come a long way since the first montage.


I’d also like to add that’s 1-nil to New Zealand. No Aussie XNA games in sight!  ;)

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 157 user reviews.

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Howdy folks.

It’s winter here in New Zealand, and this house is C-C-C-COLD.  Has really slowed my gamedev progress lately, but I’ve managed to extract myself away from the heater enough to get this release out – at last!

Here’s what’s new…

  • improved particle effect performance & visuals.
  • New “Air Showâ€? mode (selectable from the Lobby) lets you free fly solo or coop with no enemies, and Skywriting smoke instead of bullets.
  • incorporated XBOX Live player names (Xbox 360 only at present). Login using the 360 controller’s Guide button.
  • Control changes. B button no longer does Skywriting.  Skywriting can only be done from the new “Air Showâ€? mode, and uses the shoot button in place of bullets.
  • D-Pad (up/down) now navigates menus.
  • Discovered and fixed a bug that left aircraft sounds muted after leaving the Pause screen. (happened when hitting B instead of selecting Resume)

I’ve just resubmitted the XBOX 360 version for review on the Creators Club site. Much appreciated if you get in and peer review it. Thanks.  Be gentle.  ;)

Alternately both the Windows & XBOX 360 version are available on my Latest Build page here.



Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 276 user reviews.

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

I’ve just released another version of Sharky’s Air Legends containing a great new multiplayer feature, enhancements & a bug fix for those in other Regions that were experiencing a crash.

Here’s what’s new…

  • Splitscreen multiplayer now shows a pointer to the other player and their name. Makes revenge/co-op teamwork possible and multiplayer a whole lot more satisfying.
  • Now works correctly on non 4:3 screen aspect ratio resolutions.
  • XBOX 360 version supports up to 1080i/1080p.
  • Fixed a bug causing the game to crash on certain Regional settings (e.g. Sweden, thanks for the feedback Johan).

Go grab the new Windows & XBOX 360 version from the Latest Build page here.

p.s. I didn’t win the Nintendo Wii! but big thanks to all those that helped!

:o )

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 248 user reviews.

Monday, April 28th, 2008

No more “preview builds”, this is the real deal folks.  I’ve just uploaded the new release here.

In my best tacky movie trailer voice I say “If you see one “Sharky’s Air Legends” this year – SEE THIS ONE!”.

I’m stoked to release what I consider a complete game. By complete I mean, it is less a sandbox experience, more a gaming experience.  The gameplay now has purpose & tension with scoring implemented and a game over screen showing player stats. Rest assured I will continue to enhance air legends adding better and better features etc…  I also can’t wait to bring it to the living rooms of XBOX 360 owners across the world, when Microsoft open the home-brew games floodgates to 10 million XBOX Live users.


Sharky's Air Legends - more mayhem

There is a huge number of changes in this version (some of which you’ll have seen in my recent “preview” builds).  Barely a piece of code went untouched/unoptimized.

  • Stability improved! solved all XBOX 360 crashes, so hopefully helps those that experienced Windows crashes. None of which I’ve been able to repro.
  • HUGE improvements to the AI aircraft
  • can choose team size for a much larger battle. Up to 5 vs 5. (Allies vs Axis)
  • choice of game play between Battle & co-op. Co-op ensures players fly the aircraft of the same team
  • Smarter camera keeps closest enemy in view, or if too far away looks in that general direction
  • New “Look around” control, lets you override the smart camera for a period of time
  • now team based scoring. +1 points for bullet hit on an enemy. -1 points for bullet hit on a friendly
  • selectable Score Limit + game over screen with player stats
  • Smoke is thicker/darker the more you are damaged
  • your aircraft doesn’t leave the screen view so often. Not perfect, but good enough for now
  • Now cross-platform with an XBOX 360 build available too
  • memory usage optimizations
  • refactored particle systems for less memory & better performance
  • Special Maneuver can now be performed with either the “Left Shoulder” button or “Left Trigger” on XBOX 360 controllers


Go grab the new Windows & XBOX 360 version from the Latest Build page here.


chaotic splitscreen
Lobby: Battle mode
Lobby: Co-op mode
Team result and player stats

One last thing…

Don’t forget to help me win a Nintendo Wii!

:o )


Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 298 user reviews.

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I’ve uploaded yet another preview build. That’s 3 now – must be some kind of record.

This one features:

  • selectable team sizes. From 1 vs 1 to 5 vs 5
  • improved Lobby screen
  • reduced bullet range so the enemy AI can no longer shoot you from well outside the screen where you can’t even see them
  • new Team score HUD partly complete
  • survivability improved (even in a 5 vs 5 dogfight)

Known issues with this build:

  • Computer team name “Neutral” is wrong. Should be Allies or Axis
  • Scoring not completed. Doesn’t reward/penalize mid-air collisions.
  • epic battles are now possible but a little to hard to complete the kill. Usually ends up in a collison
  • funky new camera stuff occasionally lets your own plane disappear from view briefly
  • I get random mystery crashes on the XBOX 360 version. I’m not sure why yet, but try again 2, maybe 3 times and you’ll start getting a trouble free game. Bizarre. I would love to hear if anyone else is experiencing this on the 360?

Once again, this is a sneak peak release showing off my newest features as I polish them. My old, comparitively boring, release is still available here.

Try preview #3 here

You can download it directly with the following links…

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 229 user reviews.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

I’ve uploaded another preview build – this one vastly improves on the last one and shows off a great new feature I hadn’t mentioned before.

Thanks also to some generous donations “Air Legends” is now working on the XBOX 360 too, and you can try both flavours from the links below.

Think of this as a sneak peak, rather than an official release. There are known issues – things left to do before I’ll make an official release of it.

About that new feature I mentioned above…

The camera movement is a whole lot smarter now. I was getting fed up with how a lot of the time you’re shooting blind, because the enemy is often just outside the edge of the screen. One option was to zoom out, but I’ve tried something a bit different that I’m really stoked with.

It works like this.

  • the game keeps track of the closest enemy aircraft
  • the camera attempts to keep both yourself and the tracked aircraft in view.
  • if the tracked aircraft is too far away (out of the screen) the camera movement and position of your own aircraft will still give you a sense of where the tracked aircraft is coming from.
  • if you have an XBOX 360 controller you can use the Right ThumbStick to override the direction camera is focusing. ie. disregard the tracked aircraft and look somewhere else. After a couple of seconds left idle the view springs back to the tracked aircraft again.

Try it here

So if you’re keen try the 2nd preview build you can download it directly with the following links…

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 235 user reviews.

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

If anyone feels game to try the “Coming soon-ish” features NOW, you can download a preview build directly here.

BE WARNED. There are a bunch of Known Issues that I still have to address before I’ll release this one officially.

I did a whole lot of refactoring along the way, so now it’s a case of putting things back into place again. Things such as Scoring don’t work quite right yet etc…

See this post for the full list of known issues/things to do

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 163 user reviews.

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

SURPRISE, I’m back!  I’ll keep this real brief though.  Just as soon as I’m satisfied, I’ll be releasing a new version of “Air Legends” with some cool new things.  Take a look at this screenshot, and you might guess what… 

Sharky's Air Legends - seeing double?

A clue?  Count the planes…


So here’s what I’m talking about…. 

  • Still single player or 2 player Split-screen, but those extra planes are AI planes.  Made possible now because of my next point…
  • I’ve improved the AI enormously. It is no longer the fake, more or less random & suicidal AI it was before.  It is fairly simplistic & home-brewed but very effective.
    The new AI…
    • only shoots when it makes sense to!
    • actually hunts you down and kills you
    • lead their shots – deadly.
    • have some simple self preservation techniques.
    • recognizes friend from foe and attacks other enemy AI’s.
  • What this all means is I can now make the single player experience much more fun.  To date it’s been pretty much proof-of-concept and some cannon fodder practice for those just wanting to sample the game with.
  • When you have two players & both select the same aircraft you get CO-OP play!

Why not release it right now?

I have some tweaks to do before I’ll be satisfied. e.g…

  • The AI is a little TOO effective right now.  Some tweaking required.
  • The AI doesn’t have the smarts yet to hold fire when a team mate gets in the way.
  • I’ll be able to ramp up the number of aircraft to more than just 4, but I have to optimize a few things such as…
    • more planes means more particles (bullets, explosions, smoke etc…).  I plan to scale the quantities of particles back based on how many planes are buzzing round.
  • Scores.  These changes mean I’ll need to revise the scoring to be Team scores – will retain stats per player if I can.
  • Lobby changes.  I want to make the team sizes selectable at the lobby screen. So you can choose 1 vs 4, 2 vs 2 etc…
  • Bound to be some bugs along the way.

So what about an XBOX 360 version?

I’m excited to announce I finally own an XBOX 360, so “Air Legends” WILL be coming to the console just as soon as I can manage it!

  • I still have to buy my Creators Club Membership before I can start realizing the dream.
  • Some unexpected car bills, and flooded house have delayed my start a little.  Of course donations are most welcome…  ;o)


That’s it for now folks.  Stay tuned…



Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 270 user reviews.

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

In response to some feedback, I’ve made a couple of minor changes and released the new version here.

The changes are… 

  • changed the Maneuver Xbox 360 control back to how it was before.  It’s now the “Left Shoulder” button again.  Which means the Change View button is now the “X” button.
  • made the bullets a little smaller. Too chunky before.


Go grab the new version from the Latest Build page here.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 285 user reviews.