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Dev Diary #1: Inspiration Behind the Development of Airship: Kingdoms Adrift

Greetings, skyfarers!


I’m Jay, the creator of Airship: Kingdoms Adrift. Today, we're excited to share with you some insights into the development of Airship: Kingdoms Adrift and the inspiration behind it.


Let’s start with the beginning of this project.

When I joined the game development industry, my goal was to create something lasting that leaves an impact on players. So, when I finally had the chance, I started working on Airship. The concept of the game was inspired by my lifelong fascination with flying machines and fantasy worlds, as seen in the works of Hayao Miyazaki and other artists.


The creation of Airship started back while I got bored at work in 2012 with a grid system design and airship drawings. However, the development took a detour and I picked it up again in 2018. We started with a 2D top-down version, but it wasn't immersive enough, so we changed to 3D rendering. Despite all the changes, the core gameplay mechanics have remained the same throughout development.


A sketch design of airships and their size


One of the biggest challenges we faced was the blend of different genres and gameplay elements. We had to solve the contradictions arising from these combinations, and one of the biggest challenges was choosing to isolate battles from the rest of the air traffic. This led us to develop the Encounter System, which has been the focus of most of our engineering efforts.


What sets Airship apart from other games in the genre is the mechanical depth of the gameplay and the presentation of the world through items, quests, stories, and characters. We aimed to create a strong cohesion that ties all the mechanics together to provide players with an immersive world. Our goal for the complete version of the game is simple: to have the audience and community love it enough for us to keep expanding the world for a long time. We hope to expand the richness of the world, add more places, and change in-game technology over time.


The early version of the port system and UI


If there were no limitations, we would create a whole world of Airship, a large simulation where world events take place and evolve along with the players. We hope to bring players closer to the daily life of the people in Spheara and witness high-stakes battles between gigantic airships from their own perspective aboard their own ship decks.


Lastly, we're most excited for players to experience the immersion and cohesion of gameplay, world, and all bits and pieces. The idea is to get lost in the world, take on more things to do, more places to explore, and more mysteries to solve. To be a part of the world itself, to live in it - that's the experience we created Airship: Kingdoms Adrift to present.


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