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Airborne Kingdom's Ben Wander talks world building & narrative creation

The Wandering Band and Airborne Kingdom director Ben Wander sat down to speak with us about the sky city builder and the creative decisions that have gone into the game.

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Airborne Kingdom is a bohemian and relaxing quest to craft a balanced flying fortress of civilization, as well as traveling across the land connecting various kingdoms together through alliances and mutual well-being. The game is incredibly relaxing, but also thoroughly engaging in what it offers as a city builder and the way you progress through it. We recently caught up to the game’s director, The Wandering Bands’ Ben Wander, to talk about the design decisions that went into world crafting and narrative creation in Airborne Kingdom and beyond.

A major part of Airborne Kingdom is its randomized world. You start at the same point each time, but the lands and kingdoms beyond that are randomized, meaning who you meet, when you meet them, and what you can gain from the interaction changes. Wander addressed the design of this game when it comes to the visuals, claiming that as the team built the narrative, the visual style slowly formed with it. Eventually it became this tapestry of outstretched lands and their scattered denizens as players guide their kingdom to reunite people who have isolated themselves.

When we played Airborne Kingdom in our preview, it most certainly wowed us with the relationship between the flying kingdom and the world below it. This game is a balancing act between handling your own progress with resources from the land and interacting with kingdoms and villages to make all parts better. It might seem like it can get unwieldy, but Wander and his team actually worked to create a sensory balance in which players can let the story unfold for them as they will. According to Wander, you really can just approach Airborne Kingdom as a pure city builder without fully engaging with the story. It’s up to you how it all unfolds.

Be sure to check out the full video above to learn more about Airborne Kingdom and The Wandering Band’s approach to its creation. Want to see more videos like this? Be sure to subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHubTV on YouTube to see our latest video content, including interviews, features, and reviews of the latest topics in games, toys, and entertainment.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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