The similarities between drone racing and video games are pretty clear, but there has always been a thin, distinctive line between the two. Russian Indie team PeopleGottaPlay have recently shredded that line, getting their drone racing game Thick Air pushed through the Steam Greenlight process.
Thick Air is setting out to be the first racing simulator for drones, with both single player and fully online capabilities, various race modes and environments, as well as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift support for the full FPV experience. There are numerous different drones, each with their own different capabilities and specifications. During their early access release (planned for September 2016), they plan on fitting more features into their game, including visual customization, performance tuning, drone damage (assumedly impacting one’s ability to control the virtual craft), free-roam mode, and a few others.
As someone who is personally interested in both video games and drone racing, I’m very excited to see how this project turns out. One of the coolest parts about their promotional videos are the locations you can go to race at. Probably the biggest letdown of racing drones in the real world is that you don’t always have the beautiful scenes to sprint through in first person view. Being able to race instead in a simulation can provide the heart-pumping experience of flying through scenic areas, slipping around corners, and everything else you could hope for.
Getting the community support through the Greenlight process is a big step for the developer, and at this point we can only hope that it becomes a success. If you are interested at all in the project, check out their Steam greenlight page here. Their intended release date for the game is early 2017.