Battling balloons: Loki’s digital mastery at work

Take to the air with Loki Eliot's new Balloon Battles
Take to the air with Loki Eliot’s new Battle Balloons

As I wrote back in July 2013, Loki Eliot is many things. Games developer, content creator, blog / philosopher to name but three, and his Escapades Island in Second Life is legendary.

At the time I made those comments, I was writing about his free, Star Trek inspired starship battle game that allowed players to face off against one another flying either a Federation Starship or a Klingon Bird of Prey.

Since then, Loki has been refining things, generating a wholly original game, Battle Balloons, in the process. He’s just announced the launch of the game on SL Marketplace, and it again demonstrates that while SL may not be a game, it is possible to develop some fun game-focused experiences which can be shared among friends.

Commenting on the launch of the game, Loki says:

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 role playing groups but its always a bit rare to find simple instantly fun epic gaming experience.

And he’s right. What’s more, Battle Balloons fills the void perfectly. The essence of the game is to fly an armed, powered balloon and try to shoot down those flown by your opponents. Each balloon has a crew of two, a pilot and a gunner, who much work together, as Loki explains:

It is the pilot’s job to keep the airship in the sky, avoiding other cannon fire while collecting repair crates. 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 … 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.

Fly through the repair crates to recover from damage your balloon has sustained
Fly through the repair crates to recover from damage your balloon has sustained

Battle Balloons comes complete with a balloon rezzing platform  and vendor, a spectator platform, and hovering repair crate dispensers (shown in the image above), all supplied Copy, No Mod / Transfer.  Loki tells me he is considering releasing a standalone balloon with texture kit, for those people who want to run team-based competitions.

While not specifically designed for the Oculus Rift, Loki notes the game works “pretty well” with the headset – and his request that the Lab include a means of firing guns while wearing an Oculus came directly from the development of Balloon Battles.

The game, seen in show #20 of The Drax Files: World Makers, can be purchased via the SL Marketplace, and for those wanting to try it out for themselves and get a feel for it, a version is available to play above Escapades Island.

So, if you’re looking for a new attraction for your region, or you simply like the idea of a little lighter-than-air combat with friends, when not take a look at Battle Balloons?

Images and video courtesy of Loki Eliot.

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