From Russia with Led (and ink..)
I've returned with another high quality Twitter catch! A state of the site and mission of Betacade post will follow soon. Until then chomp down on our newest discovery, Ink Plane.
It seems to be a reoccurring theme. The games I write about tend to be different yet oddly familiar. They’re like shiny new toys that I've never played with but absolutely know how to play with. The latest entry is no change of course. I return from hibernation bringing you a game that nods it’s head to top down shooters of old while spinning the genre’s lens, peering into a playful adolescence. It’s wonderful design seems to be straight out of a math class day dream. Inspired by games like AVGM, Hidden Folks, and Plug & Play, “Ink Plane” takes their simplistic pedigree and slaps a fun air combat game on top.
What drew me in initially was the game’s sleek and simple design. It’s easy to appreciate, understand, and digest. All the lines appear to be hand drawn doodles which for me added to it’s charm. Inspired by movies like Men of Honor and Pearl Harbor, the game is set in WWII. The dev team chose a history rich plane in the Russian Sukhoi Fighter as the hero plane. A high altitude fighter aircraft built at the beginning of WWII. The Team behind Ink Plane is an Army of one. Hailing from Russia, Ink Plane's designer and developer, Arthur Petrov, is a graphic designer by trade.
"I'm a graphic designer, game designer, programmer. This is the order in which my qualities as a developer are arranged. Aesthetics is very important to me. In my opinion indie games stand out for their beauty, art style. I'm a bad game designer, I'm not good at inventing something new, and I find ideas from other games. I hope that with experience this will change in better side."
Arthur found tremendous help with the use of Construct 2. An easy out of the box game development engine that requires no programming to use. At the time of this writing, the game has only been in development for 3 months and already has a full level complete with multiple enemy plane types and bosses. Ink Plane has the tried and true pickup types for enhancing firepower and recovering health. Gameplay is smooth, destroying enemies has a satisfying death animation, and the bosses seem to be well balanced in difficulty and fun. Only the air combat mission was viewable at this time. Arthur says he’s also working on a sea mission battling different ships as well as a land mission combating tanks.
I didn’t get the full story behind the boss seen in the gameplay video. It was a very large aircraft and shot a laser, it had a lot of jet engines too. The body took up almost half of the screen. It looked like something out of the Marvel Comics, super cool! Mixing real and fictional planes? Sounds like a blast.
For more information heres the full interview with Ink Plane's developer Arthur Petrov:
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1. How long has it been in development? When did development start?
Game development I started on April 2. It turns out almost 3 months in development.
2. Where did the idea come from?
At the time of the idea, I did another game, too, on the military theme, but I was tired of doing it because the inspiration just did not remain. The idea came after I played games like "A. V. G. M" by Edmund McMillen, "Hidden Folks" and "Plug & Play". There was a cool art style, black and white, and then I decided that I want to make the game in the same style. I decided to make a game about planes because in my opinion people like it, and I remember a lot of games on the console Dendy - a pirate Nintendo that was in Russia. After a quick analysis I started to develop game. The first thing that was drawn is the menu that is not included in the game. And the next was drawn by the player's plane and after that there was no doubt to continue to do it.
3. How big is your team? Name of team/company?
I'm alone. And the team name will be my name.
4. It looks like there’s a lot of history for the game from the look of the aircrafts and music, what are the historical inspirations for these designs?
I like movies about the second world war. I think the films really influenced me. In fact, I didn't think much about what my game should be. The decision came quickly.
5. The music is very good, who produced it and what inspirations helped bring the music full circle with the theme of the game?
Music and truth are very good. Perform it United States Marine Band. The music wasn't made to order. These compositions I found on the site musopen.org -there is a lot of free music without copyright.
6. This genre (top down flight fighter) is tried and true. This is the first time we’ve seen a black and white “ink” look. Why was it important to have the ink design?
I can't say much here. Perhaps in the eyes of those who went through the war, it looks like this "black and white".
7. What kind of enemies can we expect on land and sea missions?
Since this is my first game in a similar genre, the enemies will not be very different, the appearance will definitely be different. In the naval mission, the enemy will be basically a ship, and on a ground mission they will be tanks.
8. Can you updgrade or customize the planes? If so, what are some of the upgrades?
No, the player will not upgrade the airplane. The player will be given 3 lives and several charges of additional weapons.
9. How long until the game is finished?
I can't exactly answer that question yet. Perhaps in August or will release in the fall. Since I do it alone it all depends on me.
10. Any other projects?
There are no more current projects. There are ideas for the following games.
11. A brief background on the team, how experienced is the team and what other projects may folks know them from? If this is your first big project, what games inspire your development process?
As previously already answered I work alone. I'm a graphic designer, game designer, programmer. This is the order in which my qualities as a developer are arranged. Aesthetics is very important to me. In my opinion indie games stand out for their beauty, art style. I'm a bad game designer, I'm not good at inventing something new, and I find ideas from other games. I hope that with experience this will change in better side. The programmer from me is even worse. Therefore, the game engine Construct 2 comes to my aid, it can do 2D games without knowledge of programming languages. As I answered earlier, I'm inspired by games like "A.V.G.M", "Hidden Folks" and "Plug & Play".
Note: Significant progress has been made since we've started writing this post. Please go check out it's progress via Twitter!
The Betacade Team's Suggestion Box;
More sounds - plane engines, guns, explosions, enemies engines,
Clearer icons on the bottom right, the text is a bit hard to read
Combo system - combine kills for extra points
A quick roll. It would be cool if the plane could dodge a little fast by performing a roll left or right. Might amp up the game’s “juice”
It would be interesting to see the enemies, levels change seamlessly. In the air mission you can see both sea and land. Maybe once you complete the air mission, the scale of the sea or land increases and then the enemies change to their respective territory.
Special Thanks to Arthur for letting me get a sneak peak inside of this awesome game! I wish you the best!
If you would like to try the game out, Arthur just recently put the game on itch.io.
Say hi to Arthur on Twitter (@ArthurPetrovS).
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