AirMech Brings Transforming Robots To Chrome

By Jim Rossignol on February 18th, 2012 at 11:25 am.


Missed this somehow when it came it appeared a couple of days ago, but it’s worth a look for anyone using Chrome as their browser: Carbon Games have release AirMech for free, here. It’s sort of RTS/tower defence/shoot ‘em up with a transforming robot, and it can even be played co-operatively or competitively with others. It’s fast paced and looks lovely with its retro pixel art. Pretty impressive for a browser game, I would say.

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49 Comments »

  1. Aggressor says:

    Er, Herzog Zwei?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes. Seems rude to say.

    • Dominic White says:

      The developers themselves seem quite happy to have the game described as Herzog Zwei meets Advance Wars. I’ve been trying to tell people about this game for ages – the Chrome beta has been live for quite some time, too. Weeks (or months?), not days.

      It’s brill, and more folks should play it. It’s great to see Herzog Zwei updated.

    • Enso says:

      Sweet babies I’m up for some herzog zwei. My experience of firefox has been breaking down for months.

  2. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    RTS….Tower Defence… Losing will to live…
    Transforming robot… ooooohhhh!

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s more shooter than RTS, and the only ‘tower defense’ element is that there are turrets among the many buildable units. It’s basically a straight update of this game from 1989:

  3. SquareWheel says:

    You have to connect your Google account. Had I known I’d of saved 50MB in bandwidth.

    • CarbonJames says:

      We only use the Google account for your email to automatically create an account with Carbon, it’s not “linked” no matter what it says. We know that people there have Google accounts to use the Chrome Store.

      Alternatively, you can go to the Carbon Games site and create an account directly with us there. It’s preferred to use your Google account, because we store your progress on our servers, so no matter what platform you are on (there are a bunch) you will have all your progress and history instantly.

    • SquareWheel says:

      Then you should ask me for an email address, not ask to connect to an unrelated service.

      But more than that, I don’t want to save my progress on your servers. I want to save my progress on my PC.

  4. BurningPet says:

    Looks brilliant, definitely going to try this one out.

    Although, those are crispy sharp 3d models right there, not close to being retro pixel art.

  5. caddyB says:

    Great game, this one is.

  6. Metonymy says:

    Does chrome have a noscript? I can’t imagine browsing without knowing that all scripting is off. It gives one a certain freedom, you never have to think “oh crap, did I click on some kind of obvious-in-retrospect phishing/botnet trap?”

  7. Samuel Hill says:

    Looks pretty good.

  8. Cinnamon says:

    This looks like a dumbed down remake of Nether Earth, the granddaddy of the RTS genre.

    • CarbonJames says:

      Wow, I didn’t even know about Nether Earth. I was really inspired by Herzog Zwei when I was young, I wonder if Nether Earth influenced it? People also mention Future Cop, which I somehow missed as well. I think even back then nothing was original. :P

      I really wonder why some of these old game ideas were never continued. FPS became it’s own genre, but RTS games seemed to get stuck with the idea that they only way to control them is with a mouse. Those of us that remember the old games where you directly control things have been frustrated for years (decades?) so I hope AirMech is something they can enjoy.

  9. Hoaxfish says:

    Installed it… just got a black screen when I tried to play it.

    • CarbonJames says:

      It does require a half-decent video card, though sometimes it can be some other problems. We are working through tech issues on the forums: https://carbongames.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=16

      If you created an account using your Google info, you can also log into the forums with that, it’s super simple really. We’re using Google’s OpenID system, and will add more options in the future.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      well, it’s a NVidia Geforce 8400 GS, which I’d assumed was good enough.

      I do have an Intel onboard graphics on the same machine (which is definitely worse)

    • CarbonJames says:

      That video card would definitely be on the low end, if it can even work. We need to detect and lower the shader complexity for weaker cards. It’s laptops in particular–their GPUs are much weaker than their number suggests. We’ll continue to optimize it though.

      We do find a lot of people expect that since it’s in your browser that it should run on anything, but it is a full 3D game with a decent number of effects. Here’s a video of it in action: http://youtu.be/sFDDiqN4C9A

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I was basing my assumption on Spiral Knights working (which looks roughly as 3D, and certainly proved impossible when I tried it with via the Intel chip).

      Is there a minimum/estimate spec listed anywhere?

    • CarbonJames says:

      We don’t have a minimum spec yet–we’re still gathering info as people post in the forums. It’s an alpha test, so not even beta, lots of kinks to get worked out. :)

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Thanks anyway, it still looks really good even if I can’t play it on this machine (might buy myself a new one when win8 turns up anyway).

  10. Brun says:

    I would use Chrome but it needs two things:

    1) Functioning AdBlock Plus.
    2) NoScript/ScriptNo that works on all websites and doesn’t disappear when I navigate to certain sites.

    • Berzee says:

      Or — you could just use it to play this here game. =p

    • CarbonJames says:

      Once installed, you can right click on the App icon and there are some options, such as “create shortcut” and “run fullscreen”. If you do that, you’ll get a desktop shortcut, and it will launch with no trace of the browser. The “window” option opens it just as a window with the game in it, no browser trimmings as well. I was surprised to discover those options and how well they work.

  11. tomeoftom says:

    Really quite good.

  12. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    I don’t understand. Why is it free? Confusion!

    (Game looks great, by the way, seeing TB’s WTF.)

    • Dominic White says:

      They’re shooting for a League of Legends style business model. And before anyone freaks out about that, just consider that the alternative is launching yet another retail multiplayer game that nobody is playing after a week.

    • CarbonJames says:

      Dominic has it right–as a smaller company, the only way to make a splash is to go F2P, and as we are aiming for the hardcore audience we wanted to follow a “fair” F2P model, and so far League of Legends is the best I’ve seen. We’re still evolving the model though, there’s a lot of feedback on our forums which is great for refining things.

      Also, the TB video is super old. Here’s a much more recent one, showing 2v2 human combat. You can play up to 3v3, though I’d suggest not doing that on the small maps. :) http://youtu.be/sFDDiqN4C9A

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Oh. Thanks a lot for the info. :)

      And yeah, indie MP titles do tend to die out fast, eh? Best of luck with your venture.

    • CarbonJames says:

      Thanks! It’s also interesting to walk the line between “indie” and “independent”. Because we are doing what we want, we feel we relate to the indie spirit, but we’re also all very experienced game developers. Epic back during the original Unreal days was pretty “indie”, as described today. If it’s about having a publisher, well we don’t, so does that make us indie? Riot Games doesn’t have a publisher either, though I guess now that they were bought that’s different.

      Anyway, the point I’m trying to get at is that this isn’t just some 2 person operation–we’re small but not too small, and we know what has to be done to grow this thing in size. You can follow the dev side of things at http://carbongames.com if you’re curious.

  13. Sunk_Ridge says:

    I’m sort of shocked at how good this is. This and Bastion are the best browser games I’ve played (eh… maybe realm of the mad god too). To think I’ve been putzing around on Kongregate. Compared to flash games…. well there is no comparison. It’s not flash right? Is there a good article that explains how/what Chrome games are? Are there a lot more like the 3 I mentioned?

    • CarbonJames says:

      Check out http://carbongames.com for Branimir’s overview of what was involved in porting the game to Native Client. You’re correct, you can’t do this kind of stuff in Flash.

      Also check out Moonbreakers for another example of a “full 3D” browser game.

  14. Harlander says:

    This seems pretty cool. The servers are taking an absolute beasting at the moment, though – tried multiplayering with my cousin and it was unplayably laggy.

    • CarbonJames says:

      Oh? Did you both have pings under 200 and it was still laggy? That and general performance are the two things that can wreck multiplayer. Once we get better baseline data (which we are gathering thanks to all this testing) we’ll be able to check if you are able to play online reliably.

      If the game doesn’t run well in single player, then that player can lag the others in MP. You can go into the settings and reduce the graphics options until it runs well, and also setting the resolution lower (it will scale it up) will improve the performance. Running “Window Size” can be a performance hit if you run the browser window large or fullscreen. Experiment in Solo play to find a good spot for graphics settings.

    • Harlander says:

      I can’t speak for my cousin’s setup, but I wasn’t having graphical lag.

      Our pings were very irregular, and seemed to worsen as the game went on. Mine started low, my cousin’s was around 600, and by the time we gave up it seemed to be in the full second kind of range.

      Now, he’s on a new, more shared connection, so it could just be issues on that end. I’ll see if I can have another go at it later.

    • CarbonJames says:

      Cool, thanks for trying to figure it out. Any reports of problems and as much information as you can provide help us out to fix things. The engineers check the technical support forum for problems (http://carbongames.com/forums) and we use that info to plan our matchmaking and minimum requirements.

  15. bill says:

    Rant incoming:

    I’m getting rather annoyed by the number of things recently that work “only on google chrome”. It’s like going back to the bad old days when sites worked only on IE. I thought we’d moved past that to a more open web.

    • Miltrivd says:

      Can’t agree more. I use Opera (which has its quirks) and now getting Chrome (which I hate) just to try this game, feels like downloading a client tho, but I don’t the feeling knowing that I could play this in my everyday browser instead of getting an otherwise useless application.

    • CarbonJames says:

      It’s not “Google Chrome” only, it’s Native Client only. If other browsers would add Native Client support, they could run all these great games. It’s not proprietary, it’s like HTML5–a new tech that will move web browsing forward.

    • bill says:

      @carbonJames… yeah i know. But I still don’t like the result.
      It’s not only Native Client, it’s things like the chrome “app store” which is basically just web apps bundled up to work in only chrome. You can often get to them in other ways, but not always.
      Sigh.

      @Miltrivd: Opera is such a lovely browser, streets ahead of everythign else. I’d use it every day if 3 of my most commonly used sites didn’t break in it. (through their own stupid coding rather than anything opera did. )
      Sigh.

  16. Velijah says:

    Great game, I am enjoin both the Chrome and PC version of it.

  17. Daniel Klein says:

    Anyone else having constant server issues?

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