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Airport 3D! How to go from idea to success

With a 4.5 star average review on the Play Store and over 100,000 downloads, our casual flight simulator, Airport 3D, has been a great success. We sat down with Arcadian Lab’s Publishing Manager, Ozan Daldal, to find out the story behind its success.

Q. Hi Ozan. Congratulations on the release of Airport 3D! How did this venture come about?

Arcadian and Coda published their third game together, Real Drive 3D, back in February to great acclaim; the game reached number 5 in the top charts. After celebrating the game’s success, we all sat down and carefully analysed why Real Drive 3D did so well. We quickly realised the success of the game was largely based on the steering mechanic. The core mechanic was unique to this game.

What we’d managed to do was to take something elaborate and realistic from mid-core games and mould it into the hyper-casual world. We’d taken this concept and executed it into a simple, easy to play game.

So naturally the question soon became: How do we implement this mechanic into another game? We all thought the idea of holidays and flying would be topical, as people around the world were desperate for one during the winter of the pandemic. Piloting planes and managing an airport through driving different vehicles became an obvious choice for our next project.

Q. So once you had this idea, what did the collaboration process look like?

These came in the form of intense ideation sessions. We mainly used Slack and spoke directly on calls frequently. But once we landed on the game idea we started something we call an Interactive Game Brief here at Coda. Using that, we could consolidate everything into one place and make it really easy to find.

We’d document different popular videos, such as difficult takeoffs or shuttle buses in action. That then helped generate ideas surrounding the mechanic we used for Real Drive 3D.

Interactive Games Brief

Q. Right. So how does the Interactive Game Brief work?

It’s like a hub, your single source of truth. It gives you a framework to make sure you don’t miss key information and gives you a range of different references on particular mechanics or themes across different sources. So that might be social media viral trends, like different popular videos, creatives, and other games. This can all then act as a reference for the studios and prompt ideas.

Q. And how did this help with Airport 3D!?

The Interactive Game Brief lets you pull different key elements [such as mechanics and themes] that are proven to have high player engagement and put them together to generate higher value. Because of this, we could be sure that we were working on a game that would attract a lot of player interest.

Why I like the Interactive Game Brief is because, particularly for this game, it gave us structure to our ideation phase, especially when we started to think about levels. We knew that we could combine all these mechanics and themes, right from the beginning. We could then build on that. It's fantastic for collaboration because it acts as a real, living framework to ideate with.

The Interactive Game Brief documents the whole ideation process and provides a solid structure to publishing a hit game. You can go back, check you haven’t missed ideas or refer back to the original philosophy. It really narrows down the ideation process into more promising avenues. Otherwise, you’d risk chasing down blind alleys.

Well, it certainly worked for Airplane 3D! Thank you, Ozan. And best of luck with your next Arcadian venture.

Thank you!

If you’d like to learn more about Interactive Game Briefs and how they can help your next game, read our website for details. Or contact your publishing manager if you want access to the Alpha trial. 

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