Russian studio PeopleGottaPlay have announced that they are preparing their non-violent sci-fi drone racing sim Thick Air for early access release in September 2016 on PC. They are also currently trying to get Greenlit on Steam.
Thick Air is about a world devoid of human life where sentient machines are left to simulate the life they once knew. Swarm of flying drones that were only built for one purpose, to race, compete against each other across various landscapes and settings. Kyr Dunenkoff, Thick Air project lead said the following about the game:
“Racing games are not what they used to be. The grass was greener, we had streetracing games filled with vintage cars, the competition was fun. That design and that kind of fun is what we’re trying to recreate – there’s real nostalgic void to be filled – while still keeping it original.“
The drone design in Thick Air is inspired by the automobile era of late XX century. The game features physics-based flying models, competitive AI, local and online multiplayer and VR support. The developers also have plans to introduce drone visual and performance damage, as well as vehicle customization such as performance tuning, visual customization and upgrades, as well as Hands On Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) joystick support. The developers have also stated on their Greenlight page that all drones will have different stats and they plan on including a free roam mode in the game as well. The devs describe the free roam mode as being, “…an unconstrained time-unlimited flight mode to test out the drones and locations.” While the game will feature VR support, the devs have made it a point to state that it is entirely optional on their Steam Greenlight page.
The game uses Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 and from the screenshots, looks like it has been inspired a lot by the WipeOut racing series.