AirBuccaneers is an indie PC game developed by LudoCraft, which is heading for Steam Greenlight on 5th December. Its interesting range of gameplay mechanics and beautiful mythical visuals ensured it was one of the highlights of this year’s Eurogamer’s Rezzed section. LudoCraft’s CEO Tony Manninen and Community Coordinator Olli Mäntylä have both kindly agreed to be interviewed for PlusXP about what makes AirBuccaneers so awesome.
Where did the idea for AirBuccaneers come from?
AirBuccaneers originated in 2004 when we decided to take part into Make Something Unreal Competition. The first idea we got was to have airships equipped with cannons and then have two teams blasting each other to pieces. This idea immediately spawned the vision of having these majestic airships gliding gracefully through the skies, with their cannons roaring and crews sweating during the heat of the battle.
As it turned out, AirBuccaneers gathered a group of highly enthusiastic fans who enjoyed this type of more mature gameplay. Some people have been playing the mod for years, and it seems there still are LAN parties around the world where people play the original mod. We have been eagerly following the discussion around AirBuccaneers and waited for the right moment to revive the concept. And now the time has come.
The game’s backstory is fairy deep and intriguing. Could you tell our readers a little bit about it?
The basic story is about the two tribes – Buccaneers and Vikings – fighting over the domination of the Nordic region. They once we allies pursuing a common goal, but those days are long forgotten. Vikings have their superior tools and weapons, but Buccaneers possess shamanistic powers that give them some magical edge. We have taken a huge amount of inspiration from Finnish Kalevala and Scandinavian Viking sagas. There’s an interesting mix of mythical and traditional elements. I encourage all of you to complete all the episodes of the Saga in order to reveal the path to Atland.
How important has being featured on Steam Greenlight been to the game’s popularity so far?
It has definitely raised more attention. Steam community spreads far and wide, so there are loads of potential AirBuccaneers players out there. Still, the biggest important thing for us is the fact that the fans voted AirBuccaneers through Greenlight.
How much scope for armour customisation is there?
At the current version we have a couple of different armour sets. Each set consists of around ten pieces that can be unlocked by gaining XP. The players can use these to customise their character. And of course, the most experienced warriors can earn more valuable pieces for showing off. We are going to release new armour pieces in the future, and we have some plans to allow more specific customisation.
Whats your personal favourite class to play as?
I love playing as a cannoneer. I’m not that good at flying the ship so I’ll gladly leave that for steadier hands and concentrate on pummeling enemy ships with cannonballs.
Most high-profile AirBuccaneers fan so far?
We are very lucky to have a highly devoted fan base. However, if I need to pick one that sits among the gods, there definitely is one. This legendary fan is a warrior called Kissamies. He has been with us since the early mod days, and he is still very active both in the game and on the forums. He has supported our development with numerous analytical comments and novel ideas.
You’re LudoCraft’s dedicated Community Coordinator. What kind of community projects do you have in store for the AirBuccaneers fan community?
Right now we are in the process of making the launch trailer for AirBuccaneers and for that we called in our community to join a match and wreak havoc on the skies so we get an action filled trailer. We are also looking to get more Devs vs. Fans Battles going. Those have always been very popular among fans.
Then we have also been circling around an idea of having a Skype group chat, Reddit thread or alike with our fans, where they would be able to ask all kinds of questions from the dev team and we could together gather ideas for expanding the game in the future.
There are all kinds of other stuff and events planned too but I can’t go into any more detail about those.