BEHIND THE SCENES
On a wing and a... chair?
The story of Ava Airborne’s wacky flying machines.
Anyone can fly a plane, but Ava Airborne’s inventive young hero takes the art of aviation to new heights. A giant tuba and a gravity-defying umbrella are two of many wondrous aircraft she uses to sail the skies. Half the fun of playing is seeing what you’ll unlock next.
Where did the developers come up with these wild creations? Rob Allison, co-founder of Laser Dog Games, offers an inside look at their origins – plus expert piloting advice.
The Trusty Glider
Backstory: “This glider was there when we began building the game. In fact, our first sketch of Ava was her flying with it. We spent a lot of our time early on making sure that mechanically it felt really smooth to control.”
Favourite feature: “How it looks. In the story, the Trusty Glider was passed down to Ava by her grandpa years ago. It’s a little battered these days, but it’s held together with lots of tape and love.”
Piloting tip: “When using any glider in the game, take advantage of gravity. Don’t be afraid to fall, as you can use that downward momentum to propel you forward.”
The Fidget Spinner
Backstory: “Our notion is that all the contraptions Ava uses are things she could find discarded on a beach. Fidget spinners were a massive craze in 2017 when we were developing the game, so we thought it totally fit that premise. What’s holding this fidget spinner in the air, you might ask? Pure imagination!”
Favourite feature: “You really can zip along if you’re good with it. It’s inspired by the ninja rope from the Worms games and your web-swinging in the old Spider-Man games.”
Piloting tip: “One really useful thing about the Fidget Spinner is that if you hold down long enough, Ava can swing backwards, which means you can pick up collectables you’ve just missed.”
Backstory: “Like the Fidget Spinner, this theme park ride felt like something Ava might discover. The idea is that she stumbled across an abandoned seaside fairground and found a broken-down waltzer – which she’s obviously attached a jet engine to.”
Favourite feature: “This contraption gets a lot of laughs because it’s so overpowered. With practice, you can master it. If you mess up, it goes out of control like a popped balloon.”
Piloting tip: “Keep a close eye on what angle the Waltzer is facing just before you thrust the rockets. And don’t be afraid to fall a little while the Waltzer adjusts to the ideal trajectory.”
The Chicken Suit
Backstory: “This one was inspired by the Legend of Zelda games, where if you hit a cucco enough times you’ll be flanked by this army of angry cuccos. Ava wants to be part of that army and totally blend in with them like it’s no big deal.”
Favourite feature: “For such a silly idea, the Chicken Suit is surprisingly graceful.”
Piloting tip: “Be sure to make the appropriate number of chicken noises when you’re playing with the Chicken Suit. Especially if you’re in public. It makes the game even more fun.”
The Office Chair
Backstory: “So it was late in the evening and we were sitting in our office chairs, next to a fire extinguisher, thinking about what other contraptions we could add to the game…”
Favourite feature: “How this rocket clearly wouldn’t work in real life but makes perfect sense in the context of the game.”
Piloting tip: “Embrace the madness. Ava will zigzag and boost at crazy angles. Just pretend you know what you’re doing and you’ll be fine.”