GamesOnly.com is a Dutch game studio and game portal founded in 2009 by Robin Ras. Located in Amsterdam, Robin started to work with other game devs to develop Unity 3D games like the Orange Jet Fighter. “Being a big fan of jet fighter games, it was great to finally be able to develop something similar”, Robin says as he shares the story of Orange Jet Fighter.
News Stories Games for Promoting a Games Portal
At first I decided to create games for promotional purposes: GamesOnly.com started as a regular Flash game portal, like millions of others out there. Next to your Google ranking, creating and publishing your own Flash games is one of the best ways to get some traffic to your portal. It’s not easy to be noticeable with all the competition out there.
Concepts and ideas for creating games already started to pop up when I was 7, so that was not a problem. Also, after you’ve played and added thousands of Flash games to your portal, you just know which games work and which don’t.
One the first games I created was a general bubble-shooter-themed game. Just for testing purposes. There is a lot involved in developing your first game. What you learn from it can be used for further projects.
My first serious projects were Flash games based on news stories, like Save Harry and Snowden’s Leaks: The Game. Both went viral on the day of release and got millions of plays. It’s was exciting to see such spikes of traffic for GamesOnly.com, but unfortunately news-based games will only be hot for a short amount of the time…We needed games that would be popular anytime. So after a year of hard work we sponsored and made nearly 50 games, creating the ideal community for Flash gamers.
Mobile and Flash Together: Mutual Benefit
Yup, game portal owners are struggling in the last couple of years. With every major player (like Apple, Google, Microsoft) dropping support for Adobe Flash, Flash games’ days seem to be numbered. HTML5 games are getting bigger but currently can’t replace the A+ Flash games. With mobile traffic growing extremely fast, it’s harder to provide your players the same quality content with HTML5 (although I think it will be possible the future).
Watching the industry closely it wasn’t hard to know that we needed to develop some mobile games as well. First we decided to work with Unity 3D, a great tool to develop 3D games and, what is particularly important – easy to export to both web and mobile. The Unity 3D games at GamesOnly.com are extremely popular, so for us it’s a win-win situation: distributing our own Unity games through our portal along with getting some mobile downloads (by using mobile App Store links in-game) at the same time.
The first big game we created was Orange Jet Fighter – a combat flight simulator. When I was young I played all simulation jet games I could find. Later, when playing Battlefield 2, you could see me in the skies controlling those advanced jets. Being in charge of a game studio I finally got the opportunity to make a jet fighter game myself. My dream came true.
Orange Jet Fighter: Dutch Pride
„Fifth of May, year 2017, approximately twenty minutes after noon. Waves of enemy planes crossed the air borders of our land. We must act fast and strike first, where the Orange Jet Fighter will be the tool for defending ourselves!”
I saw some other jet fighter games in the app stores but they weren’t storyline-based. So in Orange Jet Fighter we started from making clear missions for the player. In those games we saw that the controls for jets were also a big issue. We tried to use the gyro sensors, but that didn’t work out well. Players need to have full control of the aircraft, not only for precise aiming to take down enemy jets, but also for quick maneuvers through the canyons. That’s why we made our own controllers.
One of the coolest things is the AI of enemy jets. They will only chase you when you’re in sight, so if you fled after an air fight and stay out of sight, the enemy jets will turn their common waypoints. Also the AI is gradually becoming more difficult. In Mission 2 and further, players will be struggling to take down an enemy jet. Those dodge your missiles more often and come after you more quickly. My advice is to approach them wisely.
All together we made 6 flying missions with lots of aerial checkpoints and other side-game missions. You will be flying in a dense 3D Canyon with hundreds of rocks and dangerous cliffs, an ideal setting for dodging and attacking other jets.
Some people ask me, why Orange? Orange symbolizes a broader pride in our country and in being Dutch.
The game was released on Google Play six months ago, and now has almost 50k downloads without any promotion except for the web version. While developing some other games, Robin and his team are also planning to launch an iOS version. Currently they hope to find some Unity and HTML5 devs to help out with the future projects. “Buckle up, pilot, and take a good use of this 3D Orange Jet Fighter game for saving your land!” – the developers suggest. They can be contacted on Twitter and Facebook.