As mentioned on the blog the other day, I was expecting a new game to arrive into my hands this week that has some very interesting potential for our industry at large. Known as SkyCurser, this is running on an x86 platform that is made to provide some power through the JAMMA wiring standard that the developers (Griffin Aerotech) are calling the Airframe Arcade Operating System. This kit can allow a large number of games created for Linux based PCs (using languages/programs like Game Maker Studio, HTML5 and others) to find their way into an arcade cabinet. In essence this makes SkyCurser the launch title for the hardware platform – so where might it go from there? I would love to hear your thoughts below about that potential.
With the Airframe kit now in my possession for some proper location testing, I took the opportunity to talk a little shop about arcade kits and filmed the unboxing and installation of this kit to begin testing this out among the gamers that come into my arcade. It should be noted, this game is still in beta and it currently only features two levels. It should have at least 6 when completed.
As the video notes, when I filmed the first part I was expecting to put the game into the Dynamo JAMMA cabinet that was running Tengai. Unfortunately when I tried it, the kit did not power up so I need to look at the wiring or the power supply. I did try the kit in two other JAMMA cabinets where it operated just fine. As such, until I figure out the Dynamo cabinet issue I will keep it in my Andamiro JoyRo cab.
Here’s the video:
The graphics are rather impressive – not on a technical “photo-realism” level but as an old-school gamer, I love well-done 2D art as that has a more timeless quality to it than 3D models and textures do. The animations are good, the details are there and it is a colorful game. It is also a bloody game with plenty of red splatter although that can be shut off in the operator menu. Overall, they have a feel of Metal Slug to them but the game screams along at a steady 60FPS while it pushes tons of sprites and some parallax scrolling (that’s a graphics effect that you don’t hear about much anymore). It will be interesting to see how the appearance of a game that is intentionally looking like a game from the 90s attracts new players.
For any operators out there interested in getting their hands on one of these, Griffin is looking at direct-to-customer sales right now. In addition to myself, I know that some other arcades are expecting to get this game soon although one of them that I know of might be wanting to wait on that announcement that they are getting it. So I’ll refrain from spilling the beans on who that is for the moment.
What do you think of SkyCurser and Airframe?