Monday, January 21, 2013

Intermission: Things I've been enjoying

Howdy Blog-o-nauts!

I'm just taking a little breather before I finish up my Khurasan Gangers. I feel like giving a shout out to the games I've been playing lately. Hopefully this won't start a precedent of being totally off-topic in the future.

But first! A sneak peak at my Khurasan Gangers. I finished a prototype while the rest are in early priming stages.

Khurasan Post Apoc Ganger

This lovely lady is the first of hopefully many dedicated post apoc figures. Overall I'm satisfied with her. She was a prototype for desert basing (love how that turned out) as well as trying to paint eyes/pupils in 15mm (a hideous failure!). Try as I might I could not paint her eyes correctly. The paint became so thick I feared I'd have to strip the model and start over! I chickened out and gave her eyes a heavy black wash and called it a day. I feel like the color palette is about right... but I think it could stand to have one more splash of color to liven things up. Maybe yellow caution stripes on the blade? We'll see how it plays out.

Anyway, I've been enjoying:

 Guns of Icarus Online

This game. My god this game came out of nowhere! My friend bought me a key when it was on a Steam Sale and I've been thanking him ever since.

Guns of Icarus Online is a, well, online multiplayer game where you and three other players form a 4 man crew on an airship. You pick from a selection of ship templates, customize the weapon loadouts, decide on roles (pilot, engineers and gunners) and then take to the skies to slug it out with enemy ships piloted by other 4 man crews.

In-game screenshot taken from the pilot's position at the wheel. Note the throttle and the gunner manning a forward mounted Light Rocket Carousel

"Enemy Goldfish spotted, far starboard side!"

The beauty of the game is that everything is played from a first person perspective. To get around the ship you climb ladders, jump railings and generally run around like a headless chicken. The pilot works the wheel and throttle as well as controlling altitude. The ship feels lumbering and nautical, you often have to go into full reverse to counter forward momentum when you need to come to a complete stop. The systems on your ship can also be damaged by enemy fire, such as an engine or your balloon which will affect the ship's flight dynamics. Additionally, there are different classes of ships in varying sizes and armaments, each with their own quirks, advantages and weaknesses. All very cool stuff. I like being a pilot, I find it to be the most rewarding part of the game.

Besides piloting, there are also the roles of engineering and gunning. Engineers wield mallets/hammer/wrenches and repair the ship systems from when they get damaged by enemy fire. They can also man ship weapons in a pinch... but it helps to have a dedicated engineer keeping the ship afloat. Gunners, well, man the guns in a dedicated fashion. Crews that communicate by microphone tend to do markedly better than crews without microphones, since a captain might call out "right broadside" in advance giving the engineers/gunners time to get in the correct positions. All very immersive and cool.

Pictured here is an enemy Squid that is probably about to blow up

In addition to all the cool piloting stuff, there are other aspects to the game such as cloud cover and terrain. Clever captains will use clouds to mask their approach or to cover their retreat and give them time to repair ship systems. Also, crewmembers can use spyglasses to 'mark' enemy ships for a brief period of time which greatly aids a captain in keeping eyes on an enemy. If an enemy leaves your vision for too long the 'mark' goes away and you have to reacquire them with a spyglass. Nothing makes you feel more like a captain than spinning the big steering wheel while crewmen crawl over the deck in front of you with their spyglasses out, scanning the horizon!

While there are a number of different ship classes in the game, the real way to differentiate ships are weapon loadouts. Two ships of the same class might play drastically differently depending on their weapon setup. Generally speaking there is a weapon for each job out there and certain ships synergize with certain types of weapons. For example, a Pyramidion class airship has two forward mounted light weapons. This type of setup works very well with mid ranged weaponry like flak cannons and gatling guns. Alternatively, a Junker might load up its side weapons with close range flamethrowers to deter rammers while mounting a forward artillery piece for distance shooting. 

Basically its a very fun game. Buggy and a little under polished as of yet but it is still quite fun. Once you get the hang of it you'll feel like a mixture of Malcolm Reynolds and Captain Jack Sparrow (with a little bit of Han Solo thrown in there). Sadly there are no boarding actions as of yet... but I hope someday they add that in.

Anyway, expect the full squad of Khurasan Gangers very soon. 

PS: If Wings of Icarus Online sounds appealing consider giving it a buy. The developer is still quite small and could use the support. They took a gamble with such a unique game concept!

Peace out!



  1. Enjoying your modeling, eh! Good work.

  2. Thanks for playing our game! Awesome screen shot with the flamethrower by the way.