Air Buccaneers Boards Steam, Out Now

After a successful Greenlighting, Air Buccaneers (which apparently they’re spelling “AirBuccaneers”, but I’m not) arrives on Steam today. The game that has rather won Jim’s heart, and the attention of RPS’s readers, is officially there for even the likes of you to play. The multiplayer airship FPSing is a historically accurate recreation of the floating battles between the Bucanneers and the Vikings to dominate the Ancient North.

Should you play tonight, the developers will be about on the servers, and will be flinging Steam codes into the chat for people to grab, to get the full version of the game. And once Jim has escaped the mad hell of moving house, he’ll be organising some games for RPS readers in the near future.


  1. TheIronSky says:

    “Joke about airborne Somalian pirates”

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  2. Leosiegfried says:

    Wait so their giving copies of the game to people who already own the game?

    Edit : I just checked GamersGate if you bought that game in the indie fort bundle you can use a key on their website that works with steam

    • Giant, fussy whingebag says:

      Well… the copy I had from Gamersgate has developed a Steam-redeemable key. So I guess it’s to give away to friends?

      edit: …I guess you found out while I was writing

    • ReggieB says:

      Apparently if you go to their web site you can download a free trial version, which lets you play the game, with certain limitations (level cap, premium members can kick you off the helm).

      • sinister agent says:

        Worth noting that the trial version has no significant limits, or at least, it didn’t have a few months back. It’s well worth downloading, as it’s tonnes of fun on its own.

        Tip: don’t preload the cannons. It just means you can’t load rockets or fire if you need to.

  3. Shadrach says:

    This game is heaps of fun to play, very glad to see it on Steam.

  4. Carra says:

    How does this compare to Guns of Icarus? Looks very similar.

  5. Squishpoke says:

    So I played it for the first time since alpha.

    What the hell happened? No more ball loading? PERKS?!

    • Mattressi says:

      Wait, what? Half of the game was loading the cannons! What do you do now? Just sit at a cannon and click on enemy balloons?

      • Squishpoke says:

        Yup. You left click and your cannon lights up while you are aiming it, few seconds later a cannonball pops out.

        Apparently other people can increase your fire rate by clicking on your cannon. There’s perks for that, too.

        • sinister agent says:

          No, you don’t click on enemy balloons. You aim at them manually, same as always, and light the cannon. It’s exactly the same, except that you don’t have to constantly cycle back and forth between a cannonball and a fuse for no reason, removing a pointless extra step that only ever caused problems.

          It used to be “press E, press number key, click, press another number key, click, press E” Now it’s just “click”. Considering that in a typical fight you’ll be firing dozens of times, that’s a vast improvement, as it allows you to concentrate on aiming rather than faffing about with extra buttons for no reason. It also means you don’t get some idiot jumping on your cannon when you were loading it and firing at a nearby wasp or something, and you no longer get those annoying arseholes trying to be helpful by constantly loading ammunition you don’t want and breaking your flow, too.

          What is incredibly annoying, however, is the apparent lack of a way to exit a match without quitting to the desktop or moving straight to another game.

          • Mattressi says:

            To me, it seemed that one of the main features of the game was loading the cannons. It was an odd mini-game to fire a cannon and it made battles interesting, to me. The madness of it all, especially the reloading, is what really made the game for me. I guess I’ll have to try the new version to see how it plays now, but I worry that it’s going to just be a game of sitting at a generic cannon and firing.

          • LJFHutch says:

            The cannon loading was awesome, it made the cannon combat feel clumsy and makeshift; like your balloons. People scrambling around on the deck loading and firing cannons was epic :(

          • unangbangkay says:


            Clumsy and makeshift is great if you want a game about nerds LARPing Master and Commander for the first time, but less so if you want a pseudo-realistic game about airships fighting and crews playing as a team. Ludocraft wanted the latter, and something probably had to give. What gave was the bullcrap Sinister Agent was talking about.

            I’ll miss it as well, just like I miss the Harry Potter Marauder’s Map from Far Cry 2, but I can see why the decision was made, and respect that.

            If nothing else, in AirBuc’s case the rationale for the decision is more solid: Manual loading interfered with effective use of the cannons for things other than dicking around or being dicked around. It can be argued that keeping the magic map in FC3 wouldn’t be a detriment to normal gameplay and still remain the aid to immersion it was.

          • Squishpoke says:

            These are problems that occur when you are trying to do everything yourself instead of working as a team. Sure, you can solo fire, but of course it would be clumsier than if you had a barrel monkey taking care of two cannons.

            I liked the old way because it was more interesting and encouraged teamwork.

          • unangbangkay says:


            I can sympathize with that, but not everyone wants to be a barrel monkey. Shooting a gun is more fun than loading a gun for the most part, and teams (especially public teams, which will be common) shouldn’t be forced to subordinate one member (if they don’t have a particularly generous masochist to volunteer) to keep things going.

            If this were, say, a surgery game, would you REALLY want to force one person (or yourself) to be the nurse that just waits for the surgeon to call for a given tool? Similar deal.

          • El_Emmental says:

            Maybe make it a server-side setting, in a later patch, adding more challenges to the normal gameplay, such as (but not only) reloading – Classic Clumsy Challenge mode.

            Being a reload monkey can be fun if the whole crew is using microphones to communicate, and if you get to put the powder too (and choose the amount of it) – and also get to do something else from time to time. Also, switching roles.

            There used to be Medics healing their teammates in TF2, why there couldn’t be supporting roles, such as reloaders, in Air Buck ?

          • MrLebanon says:

            I recall reading something about a “hard-core” mode that had things set the old way… although my mind can’t remember where I read it or whether or not it was a real thing.

  6. Hahaha says:

    This announcement applies if you had an AirBuccaneers Forum account or you purchased AirBuccaneers through the website.

    Some time late December 2013 the website and were attacked by hackers. Once the hack was noticed we quickly took down all our websites and forums.

    After a thorough investigation into the matter we have concluded that hackers were also able to breach the AirBuccaneers Forums. This means that the hackers had access to information stored on the AirBuccaneers Forums, such as user email addresses and salted forum password hashes.

    No actual forum passwords were stored on the server. Only salted password hashes were stored on the server. So the hackers didn’t have access to the forum passwords themselves. Regardless, we highly recommend that if you used same password in any other services you change them as soon as possible.

    The hackers had access to email addresses used to purchase AirBuccaneers through our website All other information related to AirBuccaneers purchases made through website is completely safe as these transactions were fully handled by Paypal and no data was stored on our server.

    All AirBuccaneers player data is completely safe as it is stored in a separate server.

    No actions are required on your part regarding AirBuccaneers game account or forum account.

    Since the incident we have significantly boosted our website security and the forums are currently kept down until further notice. Once the forums are brought back, we’ll prompt all users to change their passwords.

    We are deeply sorry about this incident and any inconvenience this might cause you.

    With apologies,
    LudoCraft Team