Updated November 8, 2014 2:12 am - Today, we are excited to announce that we are partnering with Japanese anime studio Production I.G to launch Gargantia: Sky Courier – a brand new game experience that’s fast, beautiful, and perfect for touch with the modern web. The game is based on one of Japan’s top anime franchises, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. Fans will get never-before-seen footage, cut-scene story featuring Gargantia’s original voice actors, and three different “choose your own adventure” endings. You can play it for free in both Japanese and English worldwide. For developers, we are releasing the source code of a packaged version of the Sky Courier game so you can build your own version with the Turbulenz open source 3D game engine.
With legions of passionate fans around the world, anime is one of Japan’s top cultural exports. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet follows Ledo, a young soldier from space who wakes up and finds himself marooned on a post-apocalyptic, watery Earth. Growing up in space, and knowing nothing but battle, he is a stranger in a strange place, where humans are forced to live on huge interconnected fleets for survival and travel from ship to ship using surf kites, a cross between a surfboard and an ultralight aircraft. In Sky Courier, you get to play the role of Ledo as he explores his new home from the sky while piloting a surf kite with the help of his friends and an occasional hand from his AI companion, Chamber.
Sky Courier has two modes: story and mission. Story mode interweaves the action with an adventure game featuring original cut scenes and voiced dialogue from Gargantia’s voice actors. If you want to get right into the high-flying action, select mission mode and start flying. There is also a third mode – free flight mode – which lets you fly around and leisurely explore the beautiful world of Gargantia.
Pushing the limits of what is possible on the web today
With high-fidelity 3D graphics and smooth touch-based gameplay, Sky Courier pushes the limit of what is possible with the web today. You can see all of the beautiful details in the game, from the many cloud formations to the wind shear that tries to knock you off your route and the birds that cross your path as you navigate the skies. The game beautifully recreates in real time the subtle but essential look and feel of the anime series – the sky, clouds, lighting and ocean have been carefully crafted to match the unique vistas of the Gargantia world. The game also recreates the hand drawn anime style with sophisticated toon shaders for the silhouette and character lighting on Ledo and his surf kite.
Sky Courier is perfect for touch in Internet Explorer 11 and it can also be played with mouse and keyboard. The play area scales automatically depending on your screen resolution and as part of our Rethink Initiative, Sky Courier works across all modern devices and browsers that support WebGL.
“We wanted as many people as possible to be able to experience Gargantia: Sky Courier, and that is why we were very glad to collaborate with Internet Explorer,” said Nao Hirasawa, a producer at Production I.G. “IE11’s WebGL technology allowed us to create a beautiful, 3D version of our Gargantia world for the web.”
Built with the open source Turbulenz Engine
Developers have many choices when it comes to picking web standards as well as frameworks & libraries – the building blocks of the web. Gargantia is the latest Rethink web experience to help inspire and make it easier for developers build with 3D. With FishGL, we showed how the three.js framework can be interoperable across modern browsers. Assassin’s Creed: Pirates was built with the Babylon.JS – a simple tool for building 3D games with physics, lighting, collision detection, and more. With Sky Courier, we partnered with UK-based game developer Turbulenz to build the entire game using the open source Turbulenz Engine.
Build your own anime experience!
We are releasing to developers the source code for mission mode of Sky Courier, so that you can build your own anime game. (Source code does not include story mode, voices and music.) Download the code from GitHub, deploy it and customize it for your own site. And for those who would like the full how-to, check out our developer teardown on modern.IE.
Finally, Sky Courier also works with web browsers that support the Gamepad API, like the newly released Internet Explorer Developer Channel – try it out for yourself!
Enjoy the breathtaking world of Gargantia!
We are thrilled to partner with Production I.G to bring the Gargantia experience to the web! Whether you are an anime fan, gamer, or just a fan of the modern web, please try out Gargantia: Sky Courier today. Ganbatte!
Group Product Manager, Internet Explorer