Slow Blade Systems

Slow Blade Systems is a one-man indie game development studio. Its debut project is a physics-based building and simulation game called "Aloft - Airship Pioneers" which is focused on the era of airship travel.

Aloft Dev Log 10: Float before Flight

Been a bit of a delay in news here, partly as I've just been doing relatively boring integration of already demonstrated prototype features and also had a couple of weeks vacation. Back now, and with some cool stuff to show to boot!

Firstly a development update: I have mostly finished setting up the basic framework of the game i.e. finite state based game control objects, basic menus, transitioning cleanly between game modes, customisable controls, loading settings from files etc.. and am at the point where today I should at last be able to get my gas simulation system up and running so I can simulate some balloons in engine; a simple step but a nice milestone in progress.

The exciting stuff is on the art front however, as two ongoing pieces have come to fruition in the last month. The first is final the logo for Aloft, which I showed sketches for previously; here it is in it's final brassy glory:

This was produced by Alec Beals, and he's done a fantastic job of capturing the engineering heavy (and perhaps slightly pompous) nature of airships that the game will focus on.

The second piece of art completed this week is something for a key menu in the game - the Aerodrome screen. Right now this screen will mainly serve as a place to launch into either "flight mode" or "design mode", but later it will be expanded to be the central hub for the planned management aspect of the game, with the player managing funds, resources and workers to complete their airship projects.

This was produced by Thomas Bagshaw, and he put a pretty spectacular amount of work and detail into this piece - click the the image to see a version of a truly titanic resolution. Though it is static for the moment, any dynamic parts of the image are layered to allow me to go in and add a bit of simple animation later.

The inspiration for the image above came from an interesting old picture I found of Shortstown in the UK, a "company town" which was heavily involved in the design and manufacture of airships. Recently it actually once again become a centre for airship development, as the company Hybrid Air Vehicles has moved into one of the gigantic old hangars to develop their Airlander lighter than air vehicles - their website is worth a look. They recently floated their airship in the hangar for the first time, and plan to begin flights soon!