I had a chat with Tim Stone of Rock Paper Shotgun this week, which ended up in a lovely article about Volo Airsport and Becoming‘s wingsuit game. We talked about the next things on the todo list, the overal direction for the game, and some key inspirations.
It’s been a good reminder to blog more. Thanks, Tim!
Here’s some bits that didn’t make the final cut, but which might still be interesting:
RPS: Did you have any flight sim design experience before embarking on Volo?
Me: I did not have any flight sim design or game development experience to start with. Going with Volo as my first project was ill-advised in hindsight, and seeing it through is still a fool’s errand in a lot of ways. I’m happy to do it, though! I yearn for this particular flavour of game, and few others seem interested in making it.
RPS: What, specifically, inspired the project?
Me: Wingsuit basejumping exploded in popularity around 2010, mainly because cheap head-mounted cameras resulted in lots point-of-view Youtube footage. I stumbled upon videos from Phoenix Fly around then, and I remember stammering, agasp and aloud: “Y- you can do that with just your body and some fabric?” The sport looked at once elegant and clumsy, equal parts thrilling and serene. I was surprised no one was building a game around it.
That sparked memories left by Pilot Wings 64 and SSX Snowboarding, among other games. Easily disregarded as ‘arcade’ games, I tend to view these games as impressionistic, opinionated simulations. I am fascinated by complex systems, but I don’t want Volo Airsport to become a dry simulation experience. Seeing how these games carefully choose, accentuate and exaggerate what they simulate is useful. I’d also be disappointed if I couldn’t work some Shadow of the Colossus and Dark Souls influences in there! (I’ve not noticed this before, but all those games are Japanese. That probably says something.)