DevBlog #7 – Alphas, prototypes and a whole lot more

These past few weeks have been extremely busy, and great progress has been made. Work has begun on more of the customisation aspects, vehicle destruction and plenty of improvements and optimisations. We’re also closing in on the Open Alpha which will be discussed later.

Outside of this, a load of behind the scenes thing’s have been done, as well as a bunch of admin work. This game making thing ain’t easy you know ūüėČ

Bringing everything together

Customisation

Customisation is taking centre stage, as I want to be able to show off that as soon as possible. It’s coming along to say the least, and I’m excited to show off how thing’s are being achieved.

To begin with, I decided to build up the system for the wheels, and the storage of all the car “mods” which is done using JSON. We have a “mods.json” file which for now contains a single wheel, but comes out as such:

{
    "wheels": {
        "wheel_basic": {
            "display": "Basic wheel",
            "description": "Standard rally tires - fun for all ages",
            "prefab": "Cars/Wheels/wheel_basic"
        }
    }
}
That should be all self-explanatory, with the display being the display name, so what’s shown on the customisation screen. Followed by a brief description and a path to the prefab to load.
This is going to be expanded soon, with the wheel slip values and stuff. But for now this is the foundation I’m going to be building off of. This ties into an extra configuration set of variables on the car configuration, see below:
    "allowed_mods": ["wheel_basic"],
    "defaults": {
        "wheel": "wheel_basic"
    }

Here we can see what is considered an “allowed” mod. Basically an array of all the mod class names, and it will only allow you to choose modifications from that list. Defaults is fairly self explanatory, and is simply the class name of what wheel is used by default.

In the game directory, there will be a file called “profile.json”. This will contain player name, car of choice and also your modifications for each car. Easily editable outside the game, so even better.

Using JSON.NET, this is de-serialised into a bunch of dictionaries of objects, and allows me to poll any information at any point. I’ve used this system with games in the past, and in experience it works great!

The profile

Mentioned above, we have the core player profile. This will be refined later on, but is the central file for all things specific to your player, separate from the options file. This will help down the line with split-screen/local multiplayer.

Here will be stored your modification preferences for cars and any other things which are relevant to your player. I wan’t to keep it as open as possible for people to tinker with, so they can dive right in and change the game to how they’d like it.

Vehicle destruction

Recently I’ve been developing a basic model of soft-body physics for Project Taurus, it’s in early stages, but it’s coming along:

Work begins on destruction

This was created by clicking on parts of the mesh, it then moves the nearest vertex 1 block in in the direction of the click. This is to demonstrate directional collisions, so a hit from an off angle will be different  than head on etc.

This needs a huge amount of work, and won’t be at a decent stage for a while, but I’m super excited to be able to show off where I have got to so far with it. A few issues to overcome applying it to cars but after that we should be away with it.

The Open Alpha

So this is a awesome announcement (albeit a little bit late on the blog) is that we’re having an Open Alpha within the next few months. It’ll be a great opportunity to show off the game to the community, and also help raise awareness of the game. More details are to follow, but you can sign up for it here.

I’m super excited to give you guys the ability to play, and hopefully you’ll like it.

The future

Huge amount of admin things to do, features to implement, models to make. Loads of work to be done, so I’ll be extremely busy over the next few weeks getting things nailed down. I may have to cut back on the blog-writing to make larger, more content-filled posts¬†which have far better things to show off.

Thanks for reading!

 

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