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App description: Amazon Game Studios presents: Air Patriots!
Air Patriots redefines defense games with unique drawing controls, and "towers" that take flight!

In Air Patriots, you control a squadron of airplanes by drawing the paths they will follow to engage the enemy! Unlike normal defense games, in Air Patriots your weaponry is all mobile, allowing you to change up tactics on the fly and move your "towers" to where they're needed the most!

Prepare your defenses for when the combat gets fierce by leveling-up airplanes and collecting gears that will both unlock new battlefields and add new unique aircraft for your armada. Score high enough to receive a medal of honor on the Rookie, Pro, and Veteran levels of each map and youll unlock one of the 100 wave survival levels that will challenge your strategies to the fullest.

Air Patriots features beautiful rich visuals, over 50 achievements, an awesome music score, and nearly endless hours of fun!

Redefines Defense games!
Draw your defense paths!
Retina display supported on iPad, iPhone 4 & 5!
10 Unique maps
Choose your fleet from 16 unique airplanes!
40 levels of challenging gameplay!
52 achievements to earn!

*****GAMEPLAY*****
Air Patriots is an action strategy game with simple controls. By drawing lines with your fingers you will precisely determine the path each airplane in your fleet will follow as they move to engage the enemy. Air Patriots challenges players to balance a full squadron of aircraft using quick, but well thought-out strategies to eliminate the on-coming waves of enemy tanks.

*****FEATURES*****
- Use simple intuitive touchscreen controls to direct your squadron
- Score high to receive the best medal possible on each of the levels
- Hand pick your squadron from a variety of unique airplanes
- Play for hour after hour to achieve high scores and unlock all achievements
- Level-Up your airplanes to make them even more destructive
- Uses Game Center for friendly leaderboard competition

*****ADVANCED GAMEPLAY*****
- PATROL PATHS - Drawing paths is just the beginning; you can create a patrol path by drawing a circle. Once an airplane is in a patrol path it will follow the same path indefinitely, so strategize well!
- MAP STRATEGY - Find your own favorite spots for patrol paths on each of the 7 unique maps to personalize your strategy and maximize your score!
- SQUADRON SELECTION Missile can be fired from a distance, bombs may do additional fire or radiation damage. In all there are 13 plane types, but you can only start a level with 5. Pick your winning combination!

sink_or_swim's comments:
Seems like this is full of IAP but since it's free there's no reason not to give it a try.



11-01-2012, 05:37 PM
#2
Sadly this is a heavy IAP game. Free yes, but it will cost you!

11-01-2012, 07:48 PM
#3
We considered a lot of different approaches to the game as we released it, but with the number of people who feel that there is too much IAP, we're considering changes.

I'm curious if there are thoughts/suggestions/opinions on the matter.
One idea is to make the additional maps all obtainable by gears.

Each map should take ~2 hours to clear all levels.
So the thought was that with 3 levels that can be accessed w/o spending any money it was ~6 hours of game.

Anyway, I have appreciated the help of toucharcade in the past on giving helpful feedback, and I'd love to hear thoughts on how we can fix the 'too much' that I am hearing about IAP. (I know that for some any IAP is bad, my hope is to get to a point where people feel they are getting value for their money, and I hope people enjoy the game above all else!)
11-01-2012, 09:38 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,766
Definitely worth a look. I've never bought consumable IAP before but I'm not against games including it as long as they don't turn into a grind fest.

Edit: Just want to add that although I've not played enough to make a judgment on IAP, I'm loving the gameplay already. Looks beautiful too. If I think I can get enough gaming out of this without purchasing consumables I might opt for the gear doubler IAP

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ

Last edited by MidianGTX; 11-01-2012 at 09:50 PM.
11-01-2012, 09:58 PM
#5
It’s tricky getting the balance right. Air Patriots has way too much IAP content. Personally I don’t mind a balance but this games going to get shot down with it heavy IAP’s.

I can see it’s designed to encourage some people to spend a lot of cash. I wish the game wasn’t free and the IAPs were optional.
I don’t like the use of the Big Bomb. I used all two of them before I realised it was an IAP consumable. Now I’m going to have a permanent empty bomb slot on every play screen. That’s ugly.

Say I used the gears to unlock two of the 6 maps. Then I see that you have to spend money to access every other map, and the map pack purchase would have unlocked the maps I just wasted my gears on! Please unlock all the maps for free once you work through the previous map.

For me the balance is when IAP’s are optional or for some additional content pack that’s typically released latter on. To play this game you will need to make purchases and unfortunately for you I can add up, so I can see it’s going to be more than I’m willing to spend. You can get some really fantastic games for just a few dollars on the store!

It’s a shame really because the one map I did play was fun.
11-02-2012, 08:10 AM
#6
I agree that there's an awful lot of IAP here, but I really like the gameplay itself, and $3 doesnt seem line a lot to ask for all maps. Not crazy about the cash-only bombs and plane. My biggest gripe is no syncing between devices (it sounds like that may be something exclusive to kindle fire?).

Last edited by mcj2a; 11-02-2012 at 08:15 AM.
11-02-2012, 08:14 AM
#7
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcj2a View Post
I agree that there's an awful lot of IAP here, but I really like the gameplay itself, and $3 doesnt seem line a lot to ask for all maps. My biggest gripe is no syncing between devices (it sounds like that may be something exclusive to kindle fire?).
So no comment on any of the other great games here ? Only this one ?
11-02-2012, 09:06 AM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,766
I dunno if that post should be viewed as suspicious or not, but I agree with it. The IAP isn't perfect, but I'm enjoying playing the bits I got for $0 and I'm considering buying the map pack.
11-02-2012, 10:38 AM
#9
As the creator/producer of Air Patriots, I've really appreciated the thoughts. It's definitely tricky getting IAP right .

The focus in design was around the idea that for $3 (map pack) you'd get everything in the game. There are 2 caveats to that, the bombs (which I expected many people simply wouldn't want to use) and the Howling Wolf (which so far is the #1 seller on every platform).

I also felt the game was worth $7 (the super pack price) which gave the player everything essentially.

However, as a game maker I also realize that what I think doesn't matter in the end! Based on reviews, I think enough people aren't pleased with the IAP implementation that we should make a change. I'm still trying to determine what the best thing to do will be.

There was a suggestion here that the maps simply unlock one after another (no cost). That is something to consider.

We're also considering making the maps all cost gears (instead of cash), which would make them unlockable through replaying (as you would get gears whenever you play any level, win or lose). I really would like people to be replaying the levels as I personally think there is a lot of fun to be had through trying different plane combinations and learning the ins and outs of each map.

Another bit we're considering is a drop in price on most of the items in the game. (my fear on this is that dropping the price won't actually improve the situation as it doesn't actually decrease how much IAP is in the game, just how much it costs!)

Any additional thoughts out there?

Release day went very well all things considered, but I really want to address the concerns I see in the review comments, so I greatly appreciate the thoughts here. Touch Arcade really helped us with getting the word out on Airport Mania (years ago!) and I've always really appreciated the community's honest and helpful feedback .

Last edited by cyruszuo; 11-02-2012 at 10:44 AM.
11-02-2012, 01:57 PM
#10
Bringing the price into line

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyruszuo View Post
As the creator/producer of Air Patriots, I've really appreciated the thoughts. It's definitely tricky getting IAP right.

Any additional thoughts out there?
As the proud author of a game you certainly put a lot of work into, I can see why you'd think Air Patriots is worth $6.99, but it's not about the games intrinsic value, it's about how the price compares to other games.

Compare, for example, Flight Control for $0.99. They only have one in-app purchase, and that is $0.99 for 10 "rewinds". A rewind backs up the game so you can fix a mistake and keep going, which is pretty cool. It also has a very cool multi-player game mode.

Although it's a very different game, compare the philosophy of Zombie Highway. The game is $0.99 and all the IAPs are shortcuts. You can progress through levels much like a traditional video game, unlocking new levels and new weapons and cars by getting good at the game. This keeps the game progressively interesting: you get good at one level, you move to a harder level, then you get powerups to make that level easier so you can finish it, then you move to a harder level. PLUS, they keep adding (for free) new features (levels, weapons, achievements), seems like about every 3 months. They just added a Halloween theme challenge for October. If you're impatient you can purchase the stuff you could otherwise earn through playing, but it rarely feels like grinding to earn them. It's more like "okay, this level is too hard for you, let's make it easier so you can get through it." I've earned them all the hard way and while some of it wasn't exactly my favorite, it made a less interesting part of the game more interesting to me, so I didn't really mind.


It is true that Tower Madness HD is currently priced at $7.99 for the iPad version and has an additional $2.97 of semi-necessary IAPs, but there is also a $2.99 version for the iPhone and both come with over 60 maps. Plus I got my copy for free during one of the company's many promotions, as I imagine most people did, so I really only paid $2.97 for everything I could buy but maps (60 is enough) and there is nothing like "gears" to force me to grind.

Also, Tower Madness has 10 modes of play! There are single player and two player versions of 5 different game modes (2 x 5 = 10). The basic game mode is like Air Patriots: limited resources to start, fighting against a predetermined set of waves limited in number. Then there are 4 other "endless" modes where the waves keep coming and the game is over when you've lost everything you are protecting (in Air Patriots it would be hearts). The 4 endless modes vary in difficulty, with one being a "sandbox" mode where you start with way more resources than you need so the challenge is about coming up with the best plan, now about if you can execute the plan fast enough.

Anyway, my point is that Tower Madness is a far richer game than Air Patriots is at this point, so don't think you can charge comparably.

My idea of reasonable pricing for this game:

Free: pretty much what you get now for free. That's enough to decide if you like the game.

$2.99: Everything in the SuperPack, but price everything else (except maybe the Howler, see below) in gears, and don't make the prices so high that you are just annoying people to grind rather than buy more gears. Right now I'm getting fewer than 200 gears per complete map (4 levels) and have about 2,000 gears worth of purchases I'd like to make. The maps are not that interesting that I want to play them 10 times (2-3 times I can see), so it definitely feels like grinding. I'd lower the price in gears or raise the rate at which you earn them. I'd like it if you win the same number of gears as the coin-value of the tanks you destroyed. In other words, if each tank is worth 2 points, then you earn 2 gears for destroying the brigade.

I haven't bought the Howler, but it sort of looks like such a super killer that either (a) it makes all the maps too easy or (b) it means you cannot get through a map without it. Either way, it should be unlocked by enough achievements to get to maps where it is needed. (For example, complete Survival on 4 maps without losing any hearts.) So you can keep it as an in-app purchase to unlock it early, but it should be free (no cash or gears) once you get to a level where the maps require it. Again look at Zombie Highway and how they unlock guns and levels.


IAP: Gears, additional map packs, maybe shortcuts. That's it. And the super bombs should be cheap (maybe 50 gears) but limited in use to once per game. Gears should be cheaper, too, or prices (in gears) should be lower (my preference). 500 or 1,000 for $0.99 at the current price of aircraft. I like the idea of some items being unlocked via achievements rather than gears and maybe you can charge $0.99 to unlock them before you've earned the achievement.


Also, there should be a lot more information with the game. Tower Madness and Zombie Highway both provide detailed guides that cover targets and weapons so you know what it takes to destroy a target and how the weapons stack up. See Zombie Highway Survival Guide (free) for a great example. I still have no idea how scoring works in Air Patriots. I get how the coins add up but I don't know how my score at the Survival level is calculated so I don't know how to improve it.

Likewise, I don't know how to compare the firepower of a regular bomber compares to the firepower of the regular missile jet. In fact, I don't even know the names of these planes, because they come with the game and the only place I see names and descriptions is in the shop.

So with the above limitations/issues, I think a promotional price of $0.99 for a limited time (first week)? would be consistent with other game providers. That is, $0.99 for the Super Pack, free as-is.