Finally, I have all the works done on Gunship-III and it is ready to ship. However, I’m not getting problem distributing the game on AppStore. The main issue was Gunship3D has been on AppStore for 2 years and at that time the game did support iPhone 3GS and the iPad1 (One app for both devices). The problem is Apple now requires the game to support all the devices that had been supported before except Apple iOS is no longer supported on that particular device.
So now to be able to post the update, Gunship-III has to be able to run on iPhone 3GS which is impossible. iPhone 3GS has only 256MB memory and it won’t load anything that taking more than 110MB RAM (iOS6 takes more memory than previous versions). For the iPad1, it is no longer supported by Apple iOS 6, so it could be masked out from this update.
The solution suggested by Apple is to create a new app for Gunship-III and remove Gunship-II from the market, which means this cannot come as an update, and everyone who owns Gunship-II has to buy Gunship-III as a new app.
For people who own Gunship-II HD, you might automatically get the update since this HD version doesn’t support iPhone/iPod devices.
The price for Gunship-III will be $3.99 , $4.99 after all 10 missions are available, $5.99 when online play is available.
For Android/Amazon/Mac people, Gunship-III might get the update for free just as promised.
I really want to have this update available for free of charges and really got bumped by this last minute issue.
Some people who own Gunship-II suggest that it is not fair if people who own the HD version don’t have to pay for Gunship-III, so Gunship-III should come as a completely new app and everyone has to buy it including Android and Amazon.
So please let me know your ideas and suggestion on this issue.
Today, I have mission #4 completed. Most of the work on this mission are focused on the AH-1G cobra. As some discussions in the previous post, the main problem of the AH-1G cobra is the ability to control the gun turret while still be able to fly the heli. I’ve tried finger head-look control for aiming the minigun, unfortunately this method doesn’t work. It’s extremely hard to shoot at ground targets while you’re on a moving platform. The finger just cannot keep up with target movements, even though finger swipe has proved to be very useful and intuitive for head-look and zooming.
My solution is to use accelerometers for controlling the gun turret while AutoPilot takes over pilot controls.
Here is the explanation:
Normally, you will be in the back seat of the cobra (pilot seat), fully control the heli and weapon systems. If you are not selecting the minigun, an AI gunner will control the turret and will do the shooting job, you still could fire rockets or launching smoke grenades independently with the front gunner. If you select the minigun, AI gunner will be disabled and you could only fire forward just as a fixed mount gun on the heli.
To be able to control the turret, tap on “view”. Instead of functioning as a zoom button, the “View” button will bring you to the front seat. You’re still in control the heli and still could fire forward with rockets or whatever selected weapon. Until now if you activate AutoPilot (“Auto” button), AutoPilot will take over the aircraft, maintain current altitude, heading and whatever airspeed at the moment. Your accelerometers are now disengaged with the aircraft contro; however, they’re now control your head movements with a gunsight attached. The turret will follow your head and point the gun at wherever you look at.
In practice, the sequence is pretty straight forward:
* First, you fly the heli approach enemy target, select rocket as weapon.
* Second, you have visual on enemy positions, tap on “View” to aim, and now shooting some rockets at targets. AI gunner controls the turret and fire minigun at whatever it see.
* Third, you tap on “Auto” to take over the turret. Tilt forward/backward/left/right to point the gun at target and fire.
* Fourth, tap on “Auto” again to regain aircraft control, AI takes over the turret.
Another new feature for this mission is the ability to direct airstrike using smoke grenade. In this mission both the AH-1G and UH-1B have smoke grenade as weapon and you could throw smokes at enemy positions such as bunkers, buildings..etc. A purple smoke will draw nearby bomber; as a result, they will deliver a bomb right on top of the smoke.
Also the minigun has better sound and shooting with much higher rate now.
Real footage of the cobra:
This week, I have Mission#3 finally completed together with lots of new improvements for the whole game in general.
First of all, you will see the scenery is more detail now with much more objects such as trees, buildings, houses, and jungles. It was a problem before, as you know, mobile devices are relatively weak, populating a large city or a jungle of trees would significantly reduce FPS (frame per second) due to high object count, that’s why most flight sim on iOS or Android have very limited trees and city rendering. However, this won’t be the case for Gunship-III, this time I finally figured out a way to have a full size city with tons of small houses populating as you fly over but still could maintain the smoothness at very high frame rate, about 55-60 on my iPad3, and should be the same or higher on ipad2 (ipad2 is actually faster than ipad3 on rendering).
Also, other mobile flight games, developers usually place large buildings or enlarging houses to make players feel like it is a big city while maintaining a low number of rendering objects. For me, I didn’t like this approach. Imagine your heli lands next to a house in middle of a city and your aircraft looks like a remote-control toy compare to houses and trees around. In Gunship-III houses and cities are in real scale, the city is couple miles wide with thousand of houses, town houses are small just like real typical housing construction in South East Asia.
Enemy graphics are also much more detail with lots more actions such as dying, shooting RPG, Machine Gun or AK-47, and you can clearly see VC soldiers wearing black shirt with bamboo hat, and when they’re dying some blood would come out too. (just wanted to make it little more realistic).
Since everything is in real scale, it is kind of hard to see your enemy while flying, so I decided to add a small screen which will zoom in on the enemy.Basically, whatever the gunner see, you will see it.
Another new feature are pilot head G-effect which is only found on high-end flight simulator or add-ons. As you can see in the video, the OH-6A is an agile helicopter, it accelerates fast and makes tight turns;therefore, it would be a waste if players could not feel all the forces affecting on the pilot while in hard maneuvering. With this new feature, when the ship accelerates you would be pushed back on the seat and, of course, pulled forward in hard decelerating and also pushed to the sides while turnings as well just as in real life. This effect makes piloting the OH-6A is just as cool as driving a sport car.
At this point, Gunship-III has 2 more missions to go before I could release the first 5 missions, so I think it would take about 2-3 weeks from now. So stay tune, and enjoy the video.
Also just like to share a real footage of the OH-6A in Vietnam War:
Hi guys, this week I have the Chinook mission finished. Even though the mission seem to be simple, modeling the chinook and its physics are really tough, especially, when it tows a five tons howitzer or an army truck. Finally, I have it worked as desired and very happy with it.
It’s pretty simple, all you need to do is hovering or slowly move on top of the truck. If you were low enough (about 5 meters high), sling’s hook would be attached automatically and you could lift. For tow release, just need touch the ground (in drop zone), load will be released in 3 seconds. The only problem is cargo cannot be dropped in mid-flight or emergency situation, so maybe a release button will need to be implemented.
The chinook also features camera view from below its fuselage that allows player to monitor his cargo as well as a good view point for pick up and drop off cargo. Be careful when flying with heavy load, if you turn or bank sharp, the sling will start to swing and as a result the heli will be out of control. However, since in Gunship-III all helis are stabilized, you could easily regain control by leveling and reduce forward speed.
This mission also features an AC-47 Spooky as AI which will help you neutralize some anti-air.
This is the preview of the Mission #1, coming up update for Gunship-II. In this mission you could fly either the H-19 or the H-34 transport helicopter. The objective is to fly through enemy fires, pick up marines on a helicopter carrier ship and drop them at the Landing Zone (LZ) for reinforcement.
Pay attention to the helicopter physics, from the wheels to the gear suspensions, everything works very realistically When the soldiers got into the heli, you would see the suspensions are compressed as the aircraft weight is added, and the heli climbed rate is much lower than before make it become an easy target for ground fires.
Helicopter flight characteristics are also highly simulated, even though it is stabilized for easier handling on a mobile device or with keyboard. You could do many advance maneuvers such as auto-rotation or coming in hot and then pitch up for immediate stop, stable hover, rolling take-off, etc. This allow you to fly much more actively in combat compare to other games currently available on the market.
You could see AIs are very agressive (the Huey Gunship, and the gunners), they will try their best to take down any enemy in range and really don’t care about their own lives .
Also, in this game the map is in real scale and based on real terrain data, so what you see is actually very close to what real pilots would see in reality. This mission features a 200km by 200km map, covers Saigon and Bien Hoa and many small provinces around in the south of Vietnam. Coming soon will be more maps to cover the middle and north of Vietnam as well.
Please feel free to post your suggestions for the game, and it would be great if someone could help me with the instruction texts for this mission (the yellow texts). I’m open to replace these words because I feel like they are too shorts. Since I’m not a native English speaker, it’s really hard for me to find the right words. You could post your suggestion here or email me at email@example.com.
Thanks and stay tune!
Since this week, I will post more progress screenshots and some gameplay videos to get more feedbacks and also keep you updated. Please “Follow Me” on this blog to receive notifications via email (Enter email to follow on the right hand bar).
This is the biggest also the most complicated game that I’ve ever built, that’s the reason why it is taking so long. So I think the best way for keeping all of you involving in this project is to walk with me step by step until it is done. I will post more updates every week , sometimes twice a week and please feel free to leave comments about anything you see. All your suggestions are saved here for future updates as well.
About the progress, I recently redone the scenery to make it look more like Vietnam (I was born in VietNam , so i know how it should look like). Before I used satellite images; however the resolution was too low. When you fly high and fast with the jet, it looks ok, but very boring when flying with helicopters. So what you see here is the new scenery, it is generated by computer based on real terrain data (rivers, mountains), everything is real scale. The screenshots you see here is BienHoa Air-force Base in South VietNam.
Also, one of the new and highly requested feature is AI (Artificial Intelligent). In other word, other helicopters and jets or bombers (controlled by computer) would join you in a campaign and battle. This also include troop on the ground, they would jump into your heli when you land to pick them up. Also attack helicopters (Ah-1 Cobra) and jet fighters that could provide close air support and will strike on enemy position when you mark it with a purple smoke grenade. They also could act as FAC (Forward Air Control) and pinpoint enemy positions for you to attack.
Another part of the AI is North VietNam jet fighters (Mig-17, 19 and 21) will dogfight with you when you invade the North VietNam airspace, beside that is also SAM sites and Anti Aircraft Artillery.
Also there are transport missions as usual, in which you could pickup troop or heavy equipments or down helicopter with the Chinook. (will have some more screenshots for this later this week).
New flight physics will also fix all the problems that we have before and make landing easier. Behavior of each aircrafts is actually predicted based on real specifications data including: empty weight, top speed, max thrust and service ceiling; also supersonic flight is also simulated, you could break the sound barrier with a nice sonic boom effect. This new physics will help improve the game a lot: Not only for helicopters but also for dogfighting with jets. The F-4 Phantom will be significantly more powerful than the F-100D in which you could gain much more advantage over the Migs.
For releasing schedule, this my plan: (please note that this could be changed in the future)
1. Next 2 weeks, release the first 5 missions including: transport, recon, and close air support missions.
2. Two weeks after that will be dogfight, bomber escort and bombing in North VietNam.
3. And finally, multiplayer capabilities.
After these 3 major release will be minor releases with more flyable aircrafts (F-105, C-47, A-37, A-6…).
Here are some screenshots from the game in progress:
Hi guys, I know it is a long time since the last update. However, the game is currently in its redesign process with lots more details and realism in it. The previous design doesn’t allow me to add many different aircraft types into the same environment, so that it is very hard to have both airplanes and helicopters together in the same setup. Also the landscape is kind a boring and repeated, even though the terrain data is real however the landscape textures are not. The new design now incorporates real satellite images to provide a look and feel just like real environment. Aircraft rendering methods are also changed, new aircrafts will look a lots more metal, with reflections and many moving parts.
New game also let you play online with people on the internet both on US and Vietnamese. So that will be very exciting.
The release is now scheduled for March 2013, so lots of things going on here and I’m better get back to work now.
I will upload some screenshots later when the game is more completed.
Enjoy and stay tune!
Please note that this graphics were rendered in lowest resolution for iPad1 and iPhone 3GS. For iPad3, textures are lots more details and very sharp.
Thanks for enjoying Gunship3d. I’m currently working on the next update for Gunship-II. Turn out the update would be completely new game with much more details and possibilities. The game will no longer organized by missions, instead it will be like a strategy game where you’re the commander. To win the war, you have to defeat the enemy leader (computer) by capturing the capital. You could assign mission for computer to fly or you could fly it by yourself just like usual. Airplanes will be lots more detail with 3d cockpit, functional gauges and realistic flight model.The game will include a 1/4th scaled map of Vietnam, Lao and partial ThaiLand.
This update will be free for all who’ve bought Gunship-II Full Version.
So it will take awhile for me to accomplish all these features.
Hopefully, will have it done within the next month.
BIRD IS THE WORD
War is raging in Vietnam between the Communist forces of North Vietnam and the Republican forces of South Vietnam. You’re an ace helicopter pilot thrown into the fray of Vietnam’s toughest air battles. It’s time to dust off and get your chopper in the air in Gunship II.
Fly the actual gunships that saw action in the Vietnam War. Play five realistic and deadly missions. You’ll fly a different bird in each mission.
I LOVE THE SMELL OF NAPALM IN THE MORNING
Get in the cockpit into legendary aircraft such as the H-34 Choctaw, H-13 Sioux, UH-1D Huey, UH-1B Huey Gunship, and AH-1 Cobra. You’re part of the new air mobility tactic where helicopters were heavily used to insert troops into battles, transport supplies and weapons to remote outposts, hover and pick up downed pilots under fire, and fly dangerous low level Hunter-Killer missions.
ROUGH AND TUMBLES MISSIONS
In Rescue Dawn (inspired by the real-life adventures of pilot Dieter Dengler), you embark on a daring mission to retrieve a downed pilot. In Operation Recon, you’re flying a Bell-47 scout helicopter to discover and take aerial photos of enemy locations.
Fly with an intuitive combination of touch-screen and accelerometer controls. Get briefings before each mission, and view actual photos of the chopper you’ll fly. Take off from land bases and aircraft carriers, and fly over realistic terrain. And remember, flyboy–failure is not an option.
GUNSHIP-II is now available for all supported platforms.
Thanks again for your supports for Gunship3D. It has been a long way since the first version of Gunship3D came out in May 2011 with a simple graphics and only one mission available.
For the last six months, yours supportive emails and comments are encouraging me a lot on building Gunship3D and make it become better and better.
Helicopter Dock Ship at Cam Ranh Bay VietNam (1965)
Some more aircrafts includes: AH-1 Cobra , F-4 Phantom , MIG-15, F-5 Tiger, C-130 (maybe)
#1 Recon (1960 – Bell47)
#2 Operation Chopper (1961-Bell47)
#3 Deploy (1965 – Chinook)
#4 LZ-XRAY (1967 – UH-1D)
#5 Broken Arrow (1967 – UH1B)
#6 Hunter (1967 OH-6A)
#7 Killer(1967 AH-1)
#8 Tet 1968 (A-37)
#9 The Mig Killer (F-4)
#10 Rescue Dawn (UH-1B)
Also, after Gunship-II released, I will work on an online version of this game that allows to play with other players on the internet.
Feel free to ask me questions and suggest ideas.
Video reviews of Gunship3D found on Youtube.
Even though this is not a positive review; however, negative feedbacks are also very helpful for new development.
Working very hard for the last couple weeks. Finally, we have got the latest Gunship-3D 1.1 available for download from AppStore.
- The game is completely redone with more new 3D graphics, also has better game play, fine tune helicopter physics…
- Game 3D terrain added with trees that makes the helicopter flying experience more realistic.
- Terrain textures is real satellite image. All ground objects are also new, redesign and all destructible.
- Military communication is added with mini Camera displays the object on the radio.
- Big improvement on graphic and physics performance.
- New War music themes and voices for improving realism.
Gunship3D is a helicopter simulation game which let player fly multiple helicopter models in the Vietnam War era.
* UH-1D Huey Utility Helicopter
* AH-1A Cobra Attack Helicopter
* Bell-47 Scout Helicopter