1 Week, 1 Dozen Countries !!!

1 Week, 1 Dozen Countries !!!

icity-1st-week-flagsAs a small studio located in Canada, we are very pleased, excited, and a bit surprised, that after our first week on the Steam store, Icity is now being enjoyed by fans in a dozen countries around the world!  It’s a great start, and now we’re really looking forward to working with our new international community to improve and refine Icity within Steam’s Early Access program.

Thanks to everyone in the hangar for all their support – now it’s time to spread the word so everyone can enjoy this great game.

Icity now Available on Steam!

Icity now Available on Steam!

icity_capsule_main_workshopWe’ve very excited to announce that our new game Icity is now released and is available on the Steam Store!  Icity is a Flight Sim … and a City Builder; and like nuts and gum, they’re together at last.  Icity allows the player to fly specially-designed aircraft to build a city of their very own. It features a great set of flight controls which are based upon current advances in avionics. The construction is also futuristic, employing 3D printers and equipment which are currently being researched for advanced building projects.

Thanks to everyone in the hangar for all their support – now it’s time to spread the word so everyone can enjoy this great game.

 

Giant 3D Building Printers !! From Mars?

Giant 3D Building Printers !!  From Mars?

3D Office BuildingNo way!  Giant 3D printers already exist that can print-out entire buildings?  It’s true, and we think it sounds like lots of serious fun.  What better way to shake up the old housing biz than the ability to push a button and print out any quirky design that springs to mind.  Old castles, sleek Barcelona pavilions, Second Empire Munster mansions, or even rows of ricky shacks from urban slums … it’s all possible.  Yet it raises an interesting question: if anything is possible, would you make anything, or would you stick with the standard designs we already know or even those that are deemed acceptable based on market conditions and resale potential?  After all, the standard Victorian-style house is still popular, even a century after the Victorian-age ended. And aren’t neutral colours and warm whites the best for interior walls, to maximize value?

Construction has always been a balance between the freedom of imagination (or at least individual taste) and the constraints of materials (particularly their form and cost).  That’s why leading architects are masters of the materials they employ, it allows them to use materials in new ways that stretch the imagination.  And that’s why most of us live in some form of box like shape … because it’s cheaper to make straight pieces of wood.  But imagine what kind of a house, or office, you might make if you could print anything you wanted to live in.  Perhaps a giant snail shell?  Or something the shape of a crop circle?  Any ideas?  Leave your ideas and feedback below!

Oh, and no … they’re not from Mars.

Image Source: Government of Dubai (Media Office)

What makes a Great Autopilot?

What makes a Great Autopilot?

F-105B AvionicsSometimes a pilot just needs to kick back and relax, maybe even take a quick nap … and that’s what autopilots are for.  Sort of.  These technical marvels allow the operators of planes, boats, and fancy cars to automated some of their regular chores, so they can attend to other things while moving along with out worrying about stuff like parallel parking or navigation. They’re useful and good to have – but what makes a really great one?  We looking into that very question to enable the pilots and mission specialists of Ice City to complete their work with panache!

ICITY’s BA2 aircraft prototype employs a basic autopilot inspired by the multi-axial systems used in many types of helicopters (a good fit for controlling the aircraft during construction work while city building).  These systems allow helicopters to “stabilize” pitch, roll, and yaw while in-flight, regulate hover and altitude, and generally smooth things out while conducting tricky manoeuvres such as loading a long line or slinging cargo.  It’s a good system for the BA2 and works well, and the plan is to improve upon it for the BA2 V2 upgrade now under development (whoops … we’ve let the cat out of the bag … yup, we’re working on a BA2 V2 package which will upgrade the flight management system, mission control panels, and autopilot system).

The BA2 V2 autopilot will move toward greatness by allowing pilots to customize the type of systems automated and the sensitivity of the control inputs, while maintaining a simple and clear user-interface.  Awesome.  But we also want it to be Great, so here’s our question to you … what makes a great autopilot?  Please leave your suggestions or feedback below!

CH-54 // S-64

CH-54 // S-64

CH-54The aircraft in ICITY are inspired by a number of real world and conceptual predecessors – everything from modern drones and LTAV’s, to the experimental helicopters and planes of the 1930’s.  A powerful influence, in particular, is the Sikorsky Sky Crane, which fist took the skies in the early 1960’s, variants of which are still flying today.

As helicopters became more reliable and powerful during the 1950’s, manufacturers began development of “sky cranes”, powerful aircraft which could be used to move heavy equipment and awkward cargo, and also function as mobile cranes at dangerous construction sites.  With experience gained from the production of the smaller S-60 prototype, Sikorsky began production of the CH-54 Tarhe (civilian variant S-64) in 1964 for use by the US Army.

S-64The Ch-54 employed a “pod-and-boom” design that allowed it to straddle modular or asymmetrical cargo. The crew operated the aircraft from a bubble-like cabin mounted at the nose, where a co-pilot could also use an aft-facing control station to complete a variety of operations. Interchangeable cargo containers could be attached directly to the fuselage, although the sky crane was more often used to sling oversized cargo beneath its central boom. A powerful hoist mechanism could winch certain types of cargo up against the fuselage’s boom, to increase stability and reduce drag during forward flight, and which allowed the helicopter to remain airborne during loading and unloading.

 

Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe // S-64

Crew:   3
Payload:   20,000 lb  (9,000 kg)
Length:   88 ft  (27 m)
Height:   25 ft  (8 m)
Main Rotor diameter:   72 ft  (22 m)
Tail Rotor diameter:   16 ft  (5 m)

Powerplant:   (2x) Pratt & Whitney T73-P-700 (for the A model)
Maximum speed:   130 kn (150 mph, 240 km/h)
Cruise speed:   100 kn  (105 mph, 170 km/h)
Range:   200 NM  (230 mi, 370 km)
Service ceiling:   18,300 ft  (5,600 m)

Data:  Combat Air Museum

 

Icity – The Ice City Builders Are Here!

Icity – The Ice City Builders Are Here!

Builders Logo

The pilots in ICITY fly specially-designed aircraft to build and manage Ice City, a wealthy mining colony set in the near future.  The aircraft are inspired by advances in UAV and drone technology, yet employ pilots and mission specialists to directly control building construction, supply delivery, and passenger transport.

The aircraft featured in ICITY are designed to pickup and employ different cargo modules which are used for different tasks. They are inspired by the old Sikorsky sky cranes, by various LTA proposals, and especially by the huge potential for urban cargo delivery systems in the future.

The specialized cargo modules include a type of large 3D-printer that can be used to print new buildings, tanks for transporting the printing materials, and a passenger compartment for moving the workers. The ability to print a building is inspired by advanced research in architecture and building technology, and ties in nicely with the game’s futuristic aircraft and the vision for how cities will be built.

ICITY has now completed early development and is currently on Steam Greenlight for review by the Flight Sim community – if you would like to learn more and show your support, touchdown on the ICITY Greenlight page to vote: 

ICITY – view on Steam Greenlight >

 

 

Icity – Welcome to the Flight Line!

Icity – Welcome to the Flight Line!

Flight Line logoAfter numerous requests on our Greenlight page, the “Flight Instructors” here at Openland have posted a new trailer on the Icity game page. The video is also posted on our studio’s youtube channel [make sure to subscribe for future game trailers, and update news], and shows one of our many genre-intersecting breakthroughs; our pilot-approved start-up sequence!