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AirMech is a hardcore browser game for Chrome (with more platforms to come)


The team at Carbon Games is basking in its newfound freedom as an indie studio after its first development endeavor, Fat Princess creator Titan Games, dissolved under Epic Games China. Carbon Games' first project is AirMech, a free-to-play RTS-action hybrid debuting as a browser and PC title, most notably via Chrome.

AirMech is currently in alpha, but it's existed metaphysically since 2009 at least, before Fat Princess was even pitched to Sony.

"AirMech is my baby," game director James Green told Joystiq on the PAX East show floor, where Carbon Games is one-sixteenth of the Indie Megabooth. "We pitched it to Sony before Fat Princess, but they didn't get it."

The world may not have been ready for AirMech in 2009, but now, after the success of League of Legends and other accessible, hardcore hybrid titles, publishers are interested in a solid RTS-action blend that translates to multiple platforms and gameplay styles, Green said.

There are more than 60,000 players in the Chrome alpha for AirMech, and at least 5,000 playing the PC version -- but Carbon isn't stopping there. Green pulled out an Android tablet running an early, mobile version (without virtual joysticks as a default, he was sure to note) and Carbon plans to announce a beta version for Steam this summer. Carbon would love to see a version on consoles as well, maybe even with a single-player mode, production coordinator Chris Merritt said.

"We wanted to make it as accessible as possible," Merritt said. "We wanted to make a hardcore browser game that appeals to hardcore gamers."

Microsoft was previously interested in an XBLA and Windows Phone 8 launch of AirMech, but wanted it to be exclusive to these platforms, a caveat Green and Merritt said they never even considered.

"With the publisher model there are so many steps, it's so tricky," Green said. "Now we just push it out. We don't worry about the publisher. It's between the developer and the gamer."

One aspect that Carbon wants in any iteration of AirMech is cross-platform compatibility, wherein different platforms share player information. The PC version already shares controls, synching with a keyboard and mouse and an Xbox 360 controller with equal ease; among the attendees playing AirMech, the controller preference was split evenly.

Carbon is lining up its Steam beta and more multi-platform information to hit this summer.

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