Yes action games can be made in Second Life

Over a year ago i created some star trek models for my friend Billy who is a big trek fan. While doing this i also scripted a small battle game into the ships just to see how playable a ship battle game would be. A few months later and i had taken the concept to a more original level using specially created Airships and Battle Balloons was born.

I think for a lot of people the experience that is Second Life revolves around visiting places, looking at pretty objects and chatting to people. There are the odd rides, combat systems and roleplaying groups but its always a bit rare to find simple instantly fun epic gaming experience.

Once upon a time i did find a pirate ship battle game. To me it was the most intuitive and epic battleships game i’d yet seen in Second Life. You clicked a vendor to rez pirate ships then battle friends shooting cannons. I was blown away by it, but also shocked when i discovered it’s creator had pretty much given up on it and left SL.

Battle Balloons is a Game i created where teams off two shoot each other out of the skies
Battle Balloons is a Game i created where teams of two shoot each other out of the skies

Battle Balloons

Years later and i finally learned how to create and script my own battleship game, but this battle game is set above the clouds.

PILOT: It is the pilots job to keep the airship in the sky, avoiding other cannon fire while collecting repair crates.

GUNNER: It is the Gunners job to shoot down the other teams battling for air supremacy. Gunners must be careful not to shoot repair crates, unless of course you are trying to prevent the other teams from getting them 😉

As you receive damage your Battle Balloon will start to smoke. Bells will warn you that you are about to explode. To repair your Airship in mid flight you should collect Air Crates from floating repair Dispensers, otherwise you will explode in a ball of fire and plummet to the ground.

The game while a shooting game is also one of corroboration. While the Gunner is on the offensive, the pilot is on the defensive and success often relies on a balance between the two as you compete against others.

I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible without needing to find things given to you in your inventory. You click to rez a balloon, click to sit, type ‘start’ to turn on the engines, then move by the usual WASD key controls.


With the Oculus Rift

The game was delayed while waiting to see what Linden lab did with the Oculus viewer and the XPtools. The game works pretty well with the Oculus Viewer i think. You can look behind you and see you pilot comrade looking down at you. In fact i put forward a request to have a special new action ‘X’ key specifically so the gunner could shoot in Oculus mode.


Finally Releasing for everyone!

For the past year the Airship Battle Balloons Game has only been available on my own Region of Escapades and you can still grab friends and come round to have a game.

Or you can purchase the game yourself on Marketplace to put on your land high up in the clouds for friends and visitors to battle it out.

Comments people have made give me great encouragement to continue what I’m doing and expand the Battle Balloons experience in future: “So simple and fun to play”, “It’s like Guns of Icarus but inside Second Life!!”, “I didn’t think this kind of thing was possible in SL” And it was even featured in episode 20 of the Drax Files.

4 thoughts on “Yes action games can be made in Second Life

  1. I love it!!! We were playing for an hour and had a lot of fun. Only thing I would change is, allow single player airships. We had a hard time getting 4 people to play. And maybe add some activity if just one single person wants to play alone. Like static targets etc.

    • Isn’t it strange how there are lots of people in SL yet we struggle to gather a group for a game :-p. I think i perhaps should create a group for Battle Balloon enthusiasts to join and look for for competition. Regards a one person ship, i have thought about it but have not yet decided how best to do it. I have to consider how it would work in the grander scheme of things, will it be faster, take less damage. Also not sure yet how to drive and fire a cannon. If LL release the Oculus Viewers action ‘X” key into the main viewer, problem solved. I’ve also thought about expanding with manned ground to air cannons, an upgrade to my Icarus airship with cannons, basically there is room to expand this experience over the next year i hope. 🙂

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