• Sun. May 28th, 2023

Xbox Indie Spotlight: Airborne Kingdom


Oct 16, 2021

Airborne Kingdom, a gorgeous city builder set in the skies, is soaring onto consoles in November, so we thought we’d reach out to The Wandering Band to see what more we could learn — and developer Zach Mumbach was kind enough to answer our questions. Have you been looking for your next city builder? Fancy a change of pace from the more frenzied management games? Airborne Kingdom might be just the game for you…What is Airborne Kingdom?Airborne Kingdom is a city builder set in the skies. Developed by The Wandering Band, it tasks you with managing your clan and city in the clouds. When does Airborne Kingdom launch?Airborne Kingdom is already out for PC, and launches for consoles on November 9th. “There are different challenges for each platform, but we were ready for that going in,” explains Mumbach. “As a small team, staggering our releases helps us make each version shine. I’m actually impressed how well it works with console controls, and I can’t wait for folks to play it on their big screens at home!”How does Airborne Kingdom play?In Airborne Kingdom, you’ll have a number of tasks you’ll need to keep an eye on — building housing, fulfilling the needs of your clan, checking fuel and the weight of your city, looking for resources, and more. “You’ll build your flying city using resources you harvest from the ground below,” begins Mumbach. “At the start of the game, you start with basic blueprints (like Housing, Paths, and Hangars for resource gathering planes) — and you get more blueprints from interacting with ground kingdoms and combining technologies to form something greater than the sum of its parts.”Mumbach continues, adding, “We want to make a game that’s intuitive, deep, and unique. I hope when console players pick it up, their reaction is the same as the PC folks — finding something you haven’t really seen before.”What’s the world like?Airborne Kingdom is set in the clouds, offering an unusual challenge in the city-building genre. “In a normal city builder you have one set location, and you gather nearby resources and expand your footprint,” says Mumbach. “In Airborne Kingdom, resources are more scarce and spread out — the world is very large. The player needs to actually fly their city, to move it around the world itself, to find new deposits. Different areas in the world have various pockets of resources, some of which are unique to certain biomes, so you’ll need to always forage as you’re completing quests and hunting for mysterious ruins.” The world below functions in a number of other useful ways. “The ground kingdoms are isolated from one another and struggling to survive. The Airborne Kingdom, a rebirth of an old prophecy, helps connect the peoples across the barren lands. The player shares technologies from around the world with each new kingdom they visit — helping the ground kingdoms solve their problems, and rewarding the player with new blueprints to construct,” explains Mumbach. “Honestly, the ground kingdoms add an RPG element to the game — giving the player direction, and adding meaning and story to the world below.”It’s an interesting choice, to set a city builder in the skies. “When we first started, we thought of a bunch of ideas, including narrative mysteries and hotel management, among others,” answers Mumbach. “But City Building is a genre that a lot of us play a ton, so it was natural to focus on that. Sky Cities are well represented in other media (think Laputa or Mortal Engines) but games have never let you manage one. We wanted to finally make the Sky City Builder.”Any news on the Airborne Kingdom achievements?We’ve got them! You can check the full Airborne Kingdom achievements for more of an idea of what you’ll face in November. “Achievements are interesting from a game design perspective, and there are different theories in terms of how they should be given,” explains Mumbach. “For us, our smaller achievements are all main-story-path, with a larger one for completing the full game. But then we have bigger achievements for doing other cool things: playing in New Game+, gathering all of our collectables, unlocking different buildings — things that are more off the beaten path. We want to reward players who enjoy just playing the game and putting it down, but we also want to let the hardcore fans show off their expertise.”So, what do you think? We still have a little while before Airborne Kingdom launches for consoles — will you be picking it up on day one? Let us know in the comments!

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