Planet In Action – Ships

This could well be my WebThing Of The Week: Ships, a ship simulator based on the Google Earth browser plugin. That normally wouldn’t seem too exciting – not least because it’s a crude proof-of-concept rather than any kind of workable game – but it’s got an airship in it! And I can totally fly around the world in real-time in an airship. At last, my dreams are partially realised.


  1. Mythrilfan says:

    Daft “games” make for daft “comments”.

  2. Gurrah says:

    No Opera support, f*ck this.

  3. Russ says:

    I’m assuming the “partially” refers to “in a jet or helicopter and not a zeppelin”?

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    No, it refers to the fact that it’s not a real airship.

  5. Sum0 says:

    The Hindenberg? That’s just asking for an “Oh, The Humanity” physics and realistic fire propagation plug-in.

  6. Mike says:

    Slow but fun. Needs work. Combine with that procedurally generated city builder you posted the other day and you’re onto a winner.

  7. Theoban says:

    If I can dock at the Empire State Building, I’ll be happy.

    Oh and appear mysteriously out of the fog over London in my zeppelin, that too.

  8. sfury says:

    Gurrah says: “No Opera support, f*ck this.”

    I second this.

  9. Mike says:

    Man, it’s like you guys should have a secondary, well-supported browser installed or something.

  10. Jasper says:

    Very cool! And it’s in the Dutch Harbour of Rotterdam (where I live). I also put it on my blog, thankyouverymuch… link to

  11. Jim Rossignol says:

    “Airship Adventures” is a game that must exist. Someone see to it!

  12. Heliocentric says:

    I’m holding out for google earth defcon.

  13. danielcardigan says:

    “I’m holding out for google earth defcon.”


  14. sfury says:

    Mike says: “Man, it’s like you guys should have a secondary, well-supported browser installed or something.”

    I actually have 3 more browsers installed, but people really should start supporting Opera given it’s one of the most standarts-compliant and just-plain-fuckin-great browsers out there.

    Also I’m lazy. :)

  15. Torgen says:

    Jim Rossignol says:
    “Airship Adventures” is a game that must exist. Someone see to it!

    Without a doubt! How about a virtual USS Macon, with the ability to get into one of the Sparrowhawk biplanes and zoom around, then latch onto the “trapeze” and be winched back up into the airship?

  16. Chris says:

    Ok, how does one go about getting to make this kind of thing as their day job?

    That’s just class. Have set my course for Belfast and should be arriving any day now.

  17. jonfitt says:

    @Jim “Airship Adventures” sounds spiffing. I for one would welcome a shift from space dudes and war men to people having adventures in Zeppelins.

  18. Jim Rossignol says:

    Absolutely. It doesn’t even have to reject the standards of contemporary action games, just do it with a new aesthetic: well-dressed Zeppelin Marines (top hat and blunderbuss) plummeting to earth in brass dropships to attack the psychic legionnaires of the squid-people. The design document writes itself.

    Come on, millionaire developers. Someone volunteer to make it.

  19. ACESandElGHTS says:

    Edit: Brass dropships for the win! This is definitely the best idea RPS has produced since SIMS extra-generational dating. Well done, sir.
    The Airship Adventures game does sound awesome, but it would go over like a lead League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Extremely disappointing at first, only to be resurrected as a cult classic. Somebody get Derek Smart on the line. Everyone deserves a third chance.
    Meanwhile, I’ll need to figure out the admin password in order to play this Ships “game.”

  20. Bobsy says:

    I want that game.

    Oh, and a new Crimson Skies, while we’re at it.

  21. Torgen says:

    Hmm, I wonder if a Girl Genius game would qualify. I’m sure the Foglio’s would license the IP for a reasonable sum. :)

    I actually purchased a copy of Torque Game Engine a few years back, with thoughts of starting a game studio, then the real estate market crash left me devoid of funds. =(

  22. Scandalon says:

    Jim, if I could actually make that game, I would.

    Torgen – also, you picked Torque. Unless you’re already a pretty sharp C++ guru, you’re screwed. (Torqued?). Go try Unity. (Authoring environment now available for windows!)

  23. Jim Rossignol says:

    Tsk, the lack of sinister random benefactors is shocking! Surely there must be away to make Airship Adventures a reality by just willing it to be so.

  24. Torgen says:

    @Scandalon, the idea was to actually _use_ my Comp Sci degree. ;) Also, Torque allowed for porting to Mac, etc.

    In any case, it will be a long, long time before I have a spare $25,000 again to start a dev team (real estate commission falling through FTL.)

    I’m just trying to keep from losing the house right now. :(

  25. ACESandElGHTS says:

    BTW, the top-hatted blunderbuss-wielding marines must be sporting spats. There’s a sore lack of spats in today’s military.

  26. AndrewC says:

    And the gentlemanly rules of conduct must apply even in battle. Shooting someone in the back loses you social standing points.

  27. Wulf says:

    I’m with you, Jim, that sounds incredible.

    And I’ve always been a fan of airships. After all, that’s why Laputa is one of my favourite films, at least the 80’s Redline dubs version shown on ITV that was actually really good, as opposed to all the other dubs which were horrible. The Disney one was probably the worst, as it sapped the darker undertones out of the film and robbed the characters of any life they had. You kids who aren’t old enough to have seen and enjoyed the 80’s TV version, do yourself a favour and pick it up. The redline dubs version of Laputa can usually be found on eBay. But I digress, sorry…

    Airships make everything better. I’d say that the troops should be Skaven-like Rat people too, which would fit a steampunk London setting.

  28. Torgen says:

    Spats, for Aces and Eights:
    link to

  29. ACESandElGHTS says:

    NICE. Spats rule.

    Rossignol’s really on to something here. That game would be excellent. If someone mods Half Life or Battlefield to fulfill Jim’s wishes, I’ll join Steam that same day.

    Can anyone handle a little bit of poking fun at steampunk? This story at Dave Eggers’ site has everything that Cory Doctorow does not want you to laugh at.

    link to

  30. Jim Rossignol says:

    Well there’s always air buccaneers link to

    But I was thinking of something a bit more lively. Brothers In Arms transmuted to Gentlemen In Spats, but with 1930s deco and grand airships, the size of the Titanic.

  31. Nick says:

    And a crackling gramophone soundtrack.

    Hmm, that actually sounds brilliant.

  32. Jim Rossignol says:

    If there isn’t a videogame level set aboard this in the next three years, I’ll eat my hat. link to

    It’s absolutely perfect: self contained, easily mapped out. It could/should turn up in the next Hitman.

  33. Baris says:

    @Jim: I’ve got around €41.97. What do you say we start a dedicated Airship media company? We could have hats and little kids in t-shirts and airship themed weddings and take over everything.

  34. James G says:

    Yes!This is a fantastic idea.

  35. Jim Rossignol says:

    Googling “Airship Media” brings up this rather disturbing page: link to

    I, for one, will fight our airship overlords using smaller, faster airships that can hide in the jungle.

  36. Pags says:

    Weren’t those the things that attacked Number 6 in The Prisoner?

  37. Baris says:

    Shoot. Why are all the great ideas taken before I get to them…

    Maybe I can make space airships! They’re like normal airships, but all big and science-like, yeah.

  38. Nick says:

    That manned cloud would be perfect for me to contro my agents from as they minigun their way around the dystopian cityscape.


  39. ACESandElGHTS says:

    Baris: I’ve got $35 and a six pack to my name, and I’d be happy to invest a large part of that in this project. I’ve always wanted to be a venture capitalist.

    That Manned Cloud is fantastic. Hopefully the “French designers” will be done with that “in another year or so.”

  40. Baris says:

    @ACESandEIGHTS: Split that six pack 50/50 and we have a deal.

  41. ZIGS says:

    I think we should get John Romero to lead this project. What could possibly go wrong?

  42. LionsPhil says:

    Well, Daikatana was at least released.

    We just wish it wasn’t.

  43. Wulf says:

    I have a brilliant idea…

    And Jim’s going to hate me for this because it really is a brilliant idea and no one’s ever going to make it, you’ll see.

    Now consider the Manned Cloud airship, but not just one of them, two of them, they’re damaged, they’re on fire, and they’re plummeting to Earth, Hindenburg style. There are gangplanks running between them, which are very easy to fall off of, and to one’s doom.

    Then we make it a TF2 capture-the-briefcase map! So we have two teams running back and forth between completely trashed modern Zeppelins. Then there’ll be the clever buggers who’ll find their way up into the framework of the balloon to snipe and setup turrets, but they’ll have to be careful that there’re no Pyros around, or it’s firey doom for everyone!

    No, wiait, that’s a horrible idea, isn’t it?


    /wanders off

  44. Richard Beer says:

    Actually that’s not a bad idea. I once created a Star Wars map for the original TF that was two Corellian Corvettes side by side trying to destroy each other with boarding actions. And when I say ‘created’ I mean ‘half finished before discovering the poly count of being able to see a whole, life-sized Corellian Corvette whilst you were on the way to it made the thing largely unplayable’.

    Such a shame, too, I had so many great ideas for people being blown out of airlocks to travel between the two, and shuttles that had timed departures for rapid transit etc etc.

  45. Wulf says:

    That sounds like fun.

    But this idea of mine will never get created, an FPS map set inside a creative, modern setting? It’ll never happen. FPS developers, players, and map creators like playing it horribly safe, and have for years.

    But I would be very, very happy for someone to prove me wrong.

    Frankly, I’d love that as a TF2 map. TF2 needs maps which are both less safe and more interesting.