The helicopter vendetta DevLog

(Updates tuesdays)

In-game trailer at a party (a0.068)


Massive update, massive radio silence

So yeah, I’m not the most frequent writer. But on the other hand, I’ve been working a lot on the game and I’m happy on how it’s shaping up!

I had the game shown in a nightclub thematic night and was pretty fun with the of help of my friend Tembac of Chimango Games. Gathered lot’s of feedback and even could record a new 4 player gameplay video!

Lot’s have changed since my last update: I’ve started using Scout to profile memory and code speed with great benefit, tweaked memory leaks and bottlenecks and now runs smoothly even in my shit-end PC. Tweaked/changed/added some gameplay and mechanics and feedback to improve comfort and readability. The guys have bigger weapons, to know which one you currently hold, and bigger heads to compensate, making it look kinda chibi, and so on, and so on.

Also added the ever awesomely simple sinuous underwater effect:


You can (probably wont, I wouldn’t) check the detailed changelog since my last update:

Nurturing future generations for “dealing with it”


The photo was taken at Tecnópolis, which is a big technological park/fair in Buenos Aires, Argentia.

HeliBrawl is running there since around mid July, for winter vacations so children can play (here’s winter now, y’all). Although I don’t know about the educational value of this game but  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Special thanks to the staff which is keeping the computers working at all times!

Big lapse & mental state

Hello dear followers. This will be a strange update.

I’ve missed a lot of Tuesday update reports. As of late, I have been mentally ill and adrift.

I think I might be a depressed person. Not in a sad or moping way. I don’t want no sympathy, but I do feel some hopelessness when I find myself tired all the time, “sick” or unable to perform as I used to. I’ve been an agoraphobic/socially anxious since October 2013. It happened suddenly.

It’s like an ouroboros situation: I want to move out, visit places, meet people, help out, share my skills, maybe even live in another country; if not forever, to try for a while. But I can’t even take a bus without this dread transcending to the physical plane, messing me up, just feeding my yearning and deepening the frustration it provokes. I consciously want to escape my life routine; but doing so, involuntarily/unconsciously, feel exposed and cling to safe places (or people).

Even though I have rationalized the psychological “why” and even found an emotional positive side to learn from this, I still feel stuck, taking little and slow steps against a counter-current escalator. I’ve become a master of self-improvement techniques, which to some degree are useful but they don’t add up to what I used to be before. I find my even flawed but yet known past-self to be an unreachable ideal.

I’m not sad it’s just that I’m not performing as I used to, doubting I still can. Everything takes forever. I’m sorry for the delays, not just to you but to myself as well, as it seems that time passes and I have nothing to show for. With some effort and good luck I’ll sort this out and  be back to development in full power.

Thanks for reading and best wishes to you.


ouroboros cyan magenta


Improved aiming, gameplay, In-game UI, match modes, etc.

Hi, welcome again to an Helibrawl update tuesday!
Thanks to some feedback I’ve been making a lot of gameplay improvements! Special thanks to Bennett for providing valuable input.

Remade the in-game UI

Making the score always visible (although a bit translucent) but events like dying, fragging or pickups still tween in and out fully opaque. And the one that leads has a yellow border.
Beefed up the power-up graphics. Changed syringes for medkits because they looked like a “heart in jar” apparently, hehe. And some tiny aesthetic fixes here and there.


Game modes

Worked back in the last-man-standing mode, but without a level reset each time which was awful. You get points if the rest are dead and then they re-spawn.  It goes until the level ends, a time limit or a score limit (eventually).
For 2P would be almost the same as deathmatch, but in deathmatch you get a point per kill, instantly. In LMS you get one if you survive until the rest respawn. There’s also a Quick-LMS that ends the match after just one round.

Worked a lot of improvements in aiming

You can fine-aim with analog sticks, aim from inside the helicopter, it has an arrow graphic overlay for better feedback on the direction, better controls, etc. It still needs testing and tweaking but it’s getting there.



Now characters collide with manned helicopters, get body damage besides beheading, and it’s harder to hijack as it’s only possible if actually touching heli from below (it was very easy, even from the top which made no sense!). Also they’re slower than helicopters, to see how that spans out. Before, with a static locked camera and invisible constraints, it wasn’t an issue but now a player could fly to the top to force others inside helicopters to drop off-screen making choppers virtually useless.


That’s all for now, thanks for reading!


And I mean big

Sorry guys for the lack of updates on tuesdays, I was eager to show some stuff but the builds were always broken and I got a bit sad because I tested the game at it was awkward and hard to maneuver, so I had to do a lot of changes. Prepare for a lot of gifs! Including:

New weapons: Uzi and grenades

You can now actually see visible bullets, it’s better feedback on the general direction you’re shooting.
Greandes explode with a blast radius affecting helicopters and players.
A sword is coming soon too (infinite thrusts, or you can throw it), between several other weapons.


Shooting from inside the helicopter

Seemed stupid not to allow it.


“Elastic” camera

No more hard-coded limits for the choppers, you can move around to some extent. But beware! If you fall off the bottom you’ll die.


New color scheme

Both characters and helicopters coloring has been updated to match them better and avoid confusion.
Now, everytime you enter a helicopter you change it’s color to yours.

hb__0065__new colors

And a SEO static image

Because gifs are never friendly with social network previews

hb__0065 MAIN

Some other miscellaneous improvements:

  • Changed to deathmatch by default (respawning until level ends). Every level reset was a ball buster on last man standing mode.
  • Used an ANE (Air extension) for joystick handling because I spent like a month dealing with Adobe’s GameInput API bullshit and it’s (lack of) tech support, a funny story for another time. I can’t understand how something so easy could become this shitstorm from the depths of hell. They only needed to see how SDL2 does it!
  • Aiming has been locked to 45° angles and keeps the angle while attacking, even if you change directions. I’ve have to experiment some more until I get make it super comfortable.
  • Had to disable the big guys mano-a-mano for now because it was utterly confusing. I think I’ll leave it for sudden death scenarios. Somehow it’s getting in the game.

As always, thanks for reading!

Long time… been refactoring

I’ve changed a lot of things lately, fighting with the code to have a stable build to start testing it more thoroughly. I completely forgot to update, guys.

  • Fully changed the zoomed-in melee inverse kinematics system to be more predictable and fun.
  • Total rewrite of drawing code to better support transformation trees, and also allows for a better integration with Box2D, avoiding redundant translations. This refactoring took forever, but it’s super useful.
  • Enhanced the particle system to interact with the environment and also take into account the camera speed which translates in a more realistic falling sensation.

I’ll leave you with some “bug art” for now, from the transition.


When frenchmen hate your game, you know you’re doing something right!

It has come to my attention, by stalking analytics, this french press article with the google translated title:

Heli Brawl is very ugly, but maybe it is fun

Hahahah! Thanks Kocobe for the article! I find it hilarious; and yes, the aesthetics are on purpose :)
You can read the translated article and some candid comments at this link.



COCAINUM! The Mercasaurus monster hates to be disturbed by nukes



The monster

Besides fighting each other, now the game will have NPC monsters like the Mercasaurus, a sleepy head which hates to be disturbed by a nuclear alarm clock.

Here’s a screenshot of him in action, clawing a dude to smithereens (in-game):

UPDATE: Now in GIF animation form!

Here’s a mockup of some of the ways he’s going to act:

Alert bubbles

In order to avoid unpredictable chaos, I’ve also implemented some alert bubbles to know beforehand if danger is coming. Also for power ups, to either get them for yourself or to dominate that location to stop the others getting it!




Press article at Rock Paper Shotgun

You can read it right here:


Thanks, Graham!