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car

v0.4.4: Gumsy and Gomar Theme Park

--- Update will be posted to Steam on March 16th (MST) ---

The Yang Family has finally reached their destination: the Gumsy and Gomar Theme Park!  The final four Yang tracks are now available.  Can you complete the Car Parkour course in one run?  It will put your car driving skills to the test.

Gumsy and Gomar is the most popular children’s show on television, dedicated to teaching kids about safety—by demonstrating all the things not to do!  It’s kind of a parody on Itchy and Scratchy from The Simpsons (big fan!), as well as poking some fun at Five Nights at Freddy’s (not a fan! But I admire the developer for his success).

Plus the theme gives me an excuse to add some wackier content like oversized hammers, giant baseball bats and The Blender from the original Yang Family Demo.  I received a few requests to add Flip Pads, so I went ahead and built some of those too.  All of these new items will be added to the Level Editor in a Workshop update next week!

Lessons Learned (#gamedev)

I learned some painful game development lessons this week.  First, it’s essential to have good version control setup.  I accidentally released the wrong build of a patch to the Settings Menu update, causing some confusion to new players installing the game for the first time.  Luckily I was able to get this cleared up by the next day, but sorting out the bugs ate up a lot of time.

Second, I am never making multiple Maps for one Track Group again.  John and Jimmy’s tracks all shared one large map.  Same thing for Earl.  But when I built the Yang tracks, I wanted them to be on a road trip, which involved building 4 different maps… which created 4 times as much work.  While I’m very happy with the end results, and glad that it brought more variation to the game, I also wish I had planned it a little differently so I could have had more time to develop other aspects of the game.

What’s Next?

Here are the next updates planned, in order:

  • Big Workshop content update
  • Localization beta (Google Translate)
  • Linux version
  • Kickstarter In-Game Rewards (this will be in multiple parts/updates)
  • Localization final (proper translations to Spanish, Chinese, and hopefully some others)
  • Larry
  • ________ <-- Community Votes!

Community Votes

When Larry’s update is near release, I will start posting Community Vote announcements.  I’ll post 2 different development paths, with concept art and content outlines, and you can weigh in on which one should be built next and what content would be involved!  I'm hoping to do these on a monthly basis.

v0.4.1: Control Customization and New Settings Menus

NOTE: mouse mapping is experimental and needs more work

NOTE: mouse mapping is experimental and needs more work

What’s New?

  • New Settings Menu
  • Controller Mapping and Sensitivity Settings
  • Improved car handling
  • Minor optimizations & bug fixes

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need to adjust your Settings next time you enter the game. Defaults are low quality.

Control Customization

Control customization, expanded controller support, and improved handling seemed to be top priorities, so that’s what this update is all about!

You will find that your settings have reset next time you launch the game. This is because the temporary Settings Menu has been completely replaced. This new system is more professional and allows for a lot of room to expand the options as things grow. It should also be more reliable than the old settings and work better on different aspect rations and resolutions. It’s all brand new though, so if you run into any issues please let me know.

Control Menu

There is now a full control mapping and customization system!
I completely un-installed and re-setup all of the controller support plug-ins and mappings. I discovered a few issues with how it was setup initially, so this should be a nice, clean install of all controller support features.
You can finally map your own keyboard and controller buttons! There are also sensitivity settings, so you can adjust how smoothly steering works, etc.

Mouse control support has been requested several times, so I added options for mapping that as well. However, it is very experimental right now and may not work for everyone; more work to be done on this feature, but just wanted to get some feedback on it so far.

Mountain Pass 1 &amp; 2 can be fully completed at full acceleration. &nbsp;Can you do it?

Mountain Pass 1 & 2 can be fully completed at full acceleration.  Can you do it?

Vehicle Handling

I spent several more hours tweaking the car handling controls.  I softened up the steering, reduced the assists, increased standard braking slightly, and adjusted wheel frictions and physics settings.  This fixed the problems with turning the vehicle at mid-high speeds without drift, and made handling feel more natural overall.  It’s still a drift-focused vehicle though!

I also spent a little bit of time tweaking Earl’s ATV handling.  He still has “drunken controls”, but I did soften things up a bit to make it a little easier to handle.  Maybe more work to be done on this later, but let me know what you guys think.

Bike handling is the same.  I’ve found that on some controllers it handles very differently than others though, so you may want to tweak the steer sensitivity settings accordingly.

Spikes

I noticed a lot of people have been making the spikes very large.  This broke how the spike mechanics worked, so I did a quick fix on that.  Basically, the spikes have an invisible collider box around them.  Any characters that touch that box get stuck by the spikes.

I will create a new “High Quality Spike” object in the next update that will have individual colliders for each spike so they will behave more realistically if scaled large.

Other Stuff

I did some minor optimizations on the new Yang tracks to stabilize and improve FPS some.  In a future update I’ll be giving all levels a major optimization pass, but I just haven’t had time to do that yet.

The first Yang track has an experimental new road shader.  Still working through some issues with that not displaying properly on all graphics cards.

Fixed a handful of bugs, including one that kept all relevant vehicle options from being presented in the Official Tracks.

Shadow Distance can have a significant impact on performance.

Shadow Distance can have a significant impact on performance.

Settings

There is no automatic quality adjustments system setup yet, so the default settings are fairly low quality.  You’ll want to take a minute to adjust the settings when you first launch the game.  In particular, you’ll want to set Quality, Resolution, and Shadow Settings.

Below is an explanation of some of the more obscure settings:

Anisotropic Texturing: Makes textures look better at extreme angles.  No need to set to anything lower than “Force Enable” unless you are running that game at or below minimum requirements.

Texture Quality: For low-end setups.  No need to lower this unless your graphics card has low memory or you’re running the game on a very low-end machine.

V-Sync:  Turning v-sync on can tank your FPS!  Only use this if you experience “screen tearing”.  That’s when images look cut/staggered on the screen.

Realtime Reflections: I have this highly optimized, so you shouldn’t need to turn it off unless running on low-end machine.

Shadow Projection: only need to adjust this if shadows seem to be rendering strangely for you.

Shadow Quality: I will add another option to this later for even higher quality.  Generally two cascades will give you good results.  You can turn this off if you have FPS issues though.

Shadow Distance: This can have a significant performance on FPS stability.  Reduce this distance if you have FPS issues.

I will be putting together new development plans and timelines soon and will share those with everyone as soon as it's ready.

2 new Vehicles/Characters in Development

Earl and his ATV, and the Yang Family in their Mezooki 700 Series convertible

Although I hinted at this with a dimmly-lit image during the announcement, I decided to go ahead and reveal the other 2 characters/vehicles that are currently in development.  I'd like to introduce you to Earl and his ATV (inspired by some fellow Idaho residents) and the Yang Family in their poorly built "premium" car, the Mezooki 700.

This rounds out the starting selection with 3 sizes of vehicles (small, medium, and large) with a variety of speeds and handling so I can try out all kinds of scenarios.  The hardest part is probably going to be adapting the various hazards and special items in the game so that they are just as dangerous to these new characters as they are to the bike.  These are still in very early phases of development, but I will post a video with them in it when the time is right.

On a side note, we've reached a consensus on the Steam Concepts page that the main dad/son character shown in the video is too similar to another game and will be replaced this week.  Visit the page on Steam if you would like to help decide what the replacement should be!