Matches are instanced and can hold up to 32 players. Each match can have various modifiers applied to it – for example only allowing certain weapons/aircraft, single elimination rounds, or adding powerups. Players start the game by being launched from a carrier, and immediately start earning points.They can land on this carrier to refill their battery or switch to another aircraft.
In Duel, TvT and Air Superiority, the objective is to tag another player as “Out” – this is done by shooting them with an instant-hit laser. This turns off the tagged player’s weapons, and pauses their score counter. Players can be tagged back in by having a teammate shoot them, or they can wait until their “out” timer is up, turning their weapons back on. There is no such thing as being “shot down” – only being tagged as temporarily out. There are other game modes that are not combat related at all – for more information on each specific planned game mode, see the “Game Modes” page.
Players will also have an assortment of simulated weapons such as different kinds of missiles, rockets, and bombs. These weapons will create simulated “explosions” in the HUD view but will not appear in spectator cams. They are area of effect weapons and will recharge over time.
Damage & Fuel
Concept Art by Sergiu Ikarus for Venus.Aero.
The game world has three obstacles: player aircraft, clouds, and large installations. Clouds are non-solid, but will damage you if you fly through them, with denser clouds damaging the player more. This is because of the sulfuric acid present in Venus’s atmosphere. Large installations may have animated portions, or may launch and receive “scenery” aircraft that are not involved in the game but are nevertheless a collision hazard.
Colliding with another aircraft, flying through acidic clouds or flying too low will drain their health (due to the intense heat in lower atmospheric levels). If an aircraft is lost then the player will be penalized in points and their personal account will go down. Additionally, all upgrades applied to that aircraft will also be lost. Note that the previous sentence is a very rough concept: this could lead to griefing and would have to be playtested.
Pilots also have a limited battery – once it reaches 25%, their aircraft will slow down and they cannot develop full throttle. More aggressive throttle usage will drain their battery faster, however firing their weapons will not. To recharge and repair a damaged aircraft, players must land on platforms floating around the game world. After their aircraft comes to a stop, the screen fades in and out and they will launch with a new plane.
The other major game-world item is the weather itself. Through invisible geometry, maps can have “air currents” that will speed a player up if they are traveling with the wind, or slow them down if they are traveling against it. I would also like to implement dynamic storms where the wind for the entire arena will pick up and the air currents will shift during the storm. Visualizations of these changes displayed on pilot’s HUDs would help them to navigate the treacherous “terrain”.