FrameLineNetwork is a mobile app development studio founded in 2012 in Budapest, Hungary. The team calls the company their professional „cave-dev-laboratory”, where they are designing games available in more than 150 countries globally on most major platforms from PC to mobile. Their most famous game series is The Terminal Game featuring The Terminal 2 that FrameLineNetwork had the biggest success with as for now. The company’s CEO Attila Kilian shares the story of this airport management game.
A Realistic Airport Simulator For the Fans
I can still remember the exact moment when I decided to create The Terminal Game. It was a sunny summer morning and I was out with a good friend laying in the middle of a grain field watching planes fly in the clear blue sky. „I wanna play the same thing on my tablet”, I said.
I knew that I had some very large shoes to fill… But how? The answer was very easy… Make it clear, simple but realistic. There were many airport simulators out in the market at that time, with funny top-down graphics or cartoon-style airplanes with colored eyelashes. They all looked nice, but not good enough for me. Being a great fan of simulation games and strategy tycoons I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to create the most realistic-looking and functioning airport simulation game ever.
I sat down and started drawing blueprints of a terminal building, and together with good friends we set to brainstorming ideas. The basic skeleton of the game was created in less than a month. I used cross-platform development software called GameMaker: Studio as this was the handiest way to learn coding – I was completely a newbie in programming! I’ve used very few third-party graphics so funding was not a big deal. FrameLineNetwork is a completely self-funded indie developer studio.
Players Like Details
The Terminal is an airport management game. Land, park, load, unload, fuel and take off your fleet to various destinations of your choice. Expand your airport with more jetways, runways, and connect more locations to transfer more passengers to their destinations. Battle various weather situations from snow to wind, handle emergency situations – from fire on board to emergency landings. In my opinion, the greatest feature of this simulation strategy game is the depth of details.
If you look closely at the well-detailed realistic signs on the runway tarmac, the small figures entering the terminal building and even birds flying by, you will understand why so many people enjoy playing The Terminal Game. Here’s what our users say in Google Play store:
James Chant – 4/Apr/2014, 21:27 – „Very good! I work in air traffic control and I can work all day, get home and play the game all evening. I’m hooked.”
Stephen Mann – 26/Jun/2014, 22:29 – “Brilliant! Love this game. Its so fun. Many hours spent building my airport. Thanks for such a good game.”
Stephen Joines – 26/Aug/2014, 14:53 “Dedicated developer. The game itself is good fun and graphics are good. The developer has always listened to comments and has worked hard to improve this.”
Derrick Boisey – 17/Oct/2014, 21:16 „I am truly addicted to this game.”
All Popular Platforms
‘The first version of The Terminal became available on the 31st of May 2013 from the AppStore for iPad only. As the fanclub became larger and larger, users requested the game on more platforms. In July Amazon got this great airport simulator, and the larger Android market seemed to be the next perfect step, so the game was released though the Google Play store in the same year, in September, making a huge success of more than 100.000 downloads in about 3 months. The Terminal 2 came in January 2014 with a paid app model making reasonable downloads as well.
I also wanted to use PC platforms, so applied for Steam though their Greenlight voting process where users select the best games to become available. The Terminal received a lot of feedback and got greenlit: now the game is available everywhere from Steam to all major mobile markets worldwide.
From TV To Game Development
When we were kids, we used to sit next to Commodore 64 computers and I was staring at my older brother in the ’90s as he was creating computer applications listing temperature data. My excitement ceased with the years, however, my creative thoughts and ideas were still there. After highschool my life completely spanned as I started to work in the world of television as a director of photography creating documentaries. I know it sounds a little bit confusing… how come app development?
The world is really changing. I started as a director of photography in 2000, when Internet was still a new thing, and even companies like Google were young. At that time being a camera operating professional was a great job and a good opportunity.
Ten years after, even kids can create their own documentaries with a smartphone and distribute them on YouTube. So I decided I need to explore a new field as soon as possible. That was the moment when my childhood memories about Commodore 64 and app development came back. I knew I wanted and was able to do this… But then the main question was: how?
After months of research I realized that application development and game making are a huge business and market. Everyone is using smartphones nowadays, and people enjoy playing games. So I thought it will be a walk in the park and a piece of cake to create fun games. I started to learn Xcode but had to realize that programming is not as easy as listing temperature data on a ’90s Commodore 64…
This was the moment when my lifelong friend came to help me… Game Maker: Studio. I started learning this special cross-platform game development tool and was shocked about how easy it was to make games with it. In about two months I learnt how to initalize variables (giggle) and created the first version of The Terminal Game series, The Terminal. Since then I’ve been using this software to create all our games and applications.
Indie Start of a Big Company
FrameLineNetwork is on its way to becoming one of the leading software developer companies. At the moment I can say our team…. eh… my company, is a truly indie one. I am talking about it as of “us” because I have lots of talented friends who help with their ideas, preferences and solutions. Right now I’m handling all graphics, coding, marketing and support myself, but our aim is to grow next year. We are opening a new, larger office for FrameLineNetwork to create more projects with more talented people. We are really open-minded individuals brainstorming a lot, and we welcome anyone interested in game development. No need of any previous experience so contact us if you are interested!
It’s a funny story: when picking the name, I was still in the television business. The line of movie frames in a network, FrameLineNetwork… bang! Checked the domain, it was still available: company established!
This might sound a little bit strange but our strategy is more important. We create fun and great games for the users. We listen to their feedback and their feature requests, so if you happen to play one of our games today, you will definitely like others in the future.
The Terminal 2 is available for PC, Android, iOS, and the MAC version is coming in the next few weeks. The team is working on The Terminal 3 right now, and also many other tycoon, simulation and managment games alongside with physical gadgets and other life-changing apps and solutions.