We have just released update 1.14 for Airport Madness 4. Those who have purchased this game can update directly from the main game page. We have also published a free version of Airport Madness 4 on facebook as well as our website (the facebook version is a bit smaller, due to the space constraints of facebook, but the site version is a full 1024×768. Airport Madness 4 has moved over 15 million airplanes to date, and we plan to unlock content in the free version as we achieve certain milestones.
Okay, here is an exhaustive list of everything we have in the pipeline for you this year. Please be sure to buy each and every one of these 🙂 Well, at least give the free versions a try.
We are planning an update for Airport Madness 3 in March, fixing framerate performance issues, as well as difficulties users are reporting with the ability to click on aircraft. In April we plan to add an additional ‘Easter’ level to Airport Madness 4 (free and full versions). Look for similar updates at Halloween and Christmas! In May we are planning an update to our iOS Airport Madness, adding airports and features. In June there will be a major update to Radar Chaos, as well as an ‘enroute’ version of Radar Chaos. The enroute version will be more simulation than game.
There is a great deal of work here at Big Fat Simulations that will keep us busy indefinitely. We are already in the planning stages of the next Airport Madness, due next Christmas, and it should be a great deal of fun.
I’ve received a number of emails from air traffic control game fans who really enjoy the musical piece from Airport Madness 3. I myself love this piece, although after testing and playing the game nearly one thousand times, I’ve begun using the game’s mute feature. In fact, muting is something that many game players do. Some prefer to listen to music of their own, while others want no distraction during game play.
When you develop a game, there are several ways to obtain music. If you are on a budget, there is royalty-free music everywhere, made by musicians trying to make a name for themselves. Some ask that their name be mentioned in the game credits. Others simply give it away. In my experience however, you get what you pay for. The truly decent music costs money, typically between $10 and $100 for a decent 45-second music loop.
Last April I went in search of music for Airport Madness 3 and immediately stumbled upon a piece from the air traffic control movie, “Pushing Tin”. Although the movie left something to be desired, the opening intro scene was fantastic. Anne Dudley’s “He Pushes Tin” sounds absolutely incredible when played with the sounds of jet aircraft arriving and departing. I would have used this song for AM3 if it were not for the excessive cost. I instead had a piece created specifically for AM3, with similar energy, that compliments the game nicely.
As we plan our future projects, music will likely exist only during the game intro, with perhaps only a quiet musical background beat during game play.
Airport Madness 3 has been online for exactly five months now. On Facebook the free version has been played 1,207,555 times, and another 3,523,562 times on game portals worldwide, for a grand total of 5 million plays in 5 months.
As you can see by the graph below, Airport Madness 3 had a very exciting summer. But in early September, I received a very friendly email from Facebook indicating that my application violated one of the facebook terms, in particular the part about not posting to people’s news feeds without explicit user consent. I was very quick to correct that, but as you can see the app’s success has suffered as a result of this correction.
Facebook applications are scored by a number called “Monthly Active Users”, or MAU. Airport Madness 3 on Facebook reached it’s all-time highest MAU on September 8, 2010 having 162,000 users. Over the following 6 weeks it would plummet to 54,000. Luckily, over the past month it has risen 10% from that low, daring to break 60,000 this week and projecting to break 70,000 by the New Year.
Game development has a huge learning curve. It takes only months to learn how to program a game, but it takes years to learn how to promote and distribute your game.
When Airport Madness 3 was developed, we had envisioned a fantastic system of automatic updates which involved using the Adobe AIR installation platform. Unfortunately, a number of users experienced difficulty with installation due to their particular system, and we immediately realised that an alternate .exe file was required for those instances. “Can’t install our game? Here, try our alternate file…”.
Another shortcoming that we experienced with the AIR platform was the inability to incorporate a decent high score board, like the one you see in the free flash version of AM3.
For these reasons, we have abandoned our AIR-based format of AM3 and switched to a simple .exe format. This new format also appears to offer slightly improved framerate performance, as an unexpected bonus.
Unfortunately, this means no automatic updates. Users will have to visit this website occasionally to check for available updates. Updates are always free.
In summary, the changes in this update are:
Improved high score board
Slightly improved performance
Removal of Adobe AIR installation platform
We are planning a future update to Airport Madness 3 that should remove some memory leak issues, as well as add some keyboard shortcuts. Look for this update in about a month.
We have published a minor update to Airport Madness 3. The changes are:
A different supervisor image;
Click anywhere to close command panels;
Reduced “continuous play” traffic levels .
There are many more changes coming, but these are the ones that we felt needed to be done right away. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to test the game’s auto-update feature. Updates are free, by the way. Those who purchased Airport Madness 3 Build 1.0 should see the message, “An update is available” appear at the bottom of the game screen.
During its’ first few days of release, our latest air traffic control game “Airport Madness 3” has received generally positive feedback. Unlike AM2, which we launched early to meet a deadline, Airport Madness 3 was thoroughly tested by a team of six from the very beginning of its’ construction. We intend to release a new update in approximately one week, that adds a few improvements and fixes some minor issues:
Click anywhere to close panels;
Resizeable screen; and,
Landing lights for night aircraft.
If you would like to add anything to this list for build 1.1 (full version), pleasecontact us. Updates are free to those who have purchased. The application automatically checks for updates each time you play.
After more than eight months in the making, Airport Madness 3 is now available for purchase. Like it’s predecessors, AM3 also includes a free ‘lite’ version, which limits players to one level and just one mishap. The lite version also has a much smaller screen size. The full version is a substantial step upwards from the lite version, and I certainly hope that you enjoy playing it.
I would like to thank the following volunteers for their extraordinary efforts in assisting with the beta testing. Without their assistance, this project would not have been possible.
Due to a number of minor bugs within the beta version of Airport Madness 3, release will have to be delayed a few days. I shall try to keep my promise of “June”, and will resist the temptation to delete all prior blog posts containing promises of release dates 🙂
I’ve received some great last-minute ideas that I decided to implement, including several emergencies. The tornado was not my idea, but that of my young son. He was insistent that it would be a crowd-pleaser, and even sketched out his vision of an air traffic control supervisor who warns of approaching doom.