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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsScraps: Modular Vehicle Combat - Vehicle combat with buildable vehicles
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Nition
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« Reply #380 on: December 20, 2019, 12:16:33 AM »

Finally got the first few worlds of Gauntlet mode ready to play and live on Steam for everyone. Merry Christmas.

0.6.0.0
- Added the first four worlds of the in-progress GAUNTLET game mode
- Completing the current in-dev version of Gauntlet bestows a little crown you can put on your vehicle
- Singleplayer games (Gauntlet, and Melee with "Allow other players to join" off) are now truly local without a separate server process, improving CPU performance and start time
- Updated firing modes. Primary mode now fires weapons in a staggered fashion. Secondary fire (mouse 2 by default) fires together
- Middle mouse button now zooms view (visual effect only - doesn't affect accuracy)
- AI players may appear using a new Micro chassis and/or a CPU brain instead of a cockpit in Gauntlet mode
- Rewrote the vehicle sound manager. No more sounds dropping out, smoother sound balance overall with any number of simultaneous weapons firing etc. Less sound sources playing at once
- Fixed a bug where sounds could get cut off suddenly when they shouldn't
- Revamped how parts calculate scrap to drop. You can now expect roughly the same amount of scrap no matter how a vehicle is destroyed (previously, destroying a part with other parts connected dropped less scrap than destroying each part individually)
- Weapon tracers are more visible with thicker lines up close
- Made wreckage stand out a little more against the background
- Significantly improved interpolation on other player's vehicles in networked games
- Radar GUI now includes off-radar indicators
- HUD: Weapon reticle edits, with a different design for weapons with bullet drop
- Balance: Decreased TTK - Everything has around 20% less HP, with weapons doing the same amount of damage as before
- Balance: Decreased all weapon hit forces significantly. Firing force (recoil force on the shooter) is unchanged
- Medium Cannon bullets are no longer affected by gravity (no bullet drop)
- Tweaked camera shake
- Completely revamped the How To Play screens
- Added light flashes to weapons firing
- Updated firing FX on Plasma Artillery and Plasmanator
- Added damage debris FX for weapon hits and collisions
- Fixes for labels above vehicles/things. Better damage indication effect
- Some terrain types now always leave wheel marks - not just when skidding
- New skidmark formula. Skidmarks also now show up while using the handbrake
- Containers are stronger, more expensive, and hold more scrap. Some other minor part stat tweaks
- Load vehicle dialog now shows vehicle scrap values in orange if they're above the currently available scrap allowance
- Load vehicle dialog now supports filtering out overpriced builds entirely
- Load vehicle dialog now remembers your filter settings
- Removed sounds that played when parts were damaged, they were poor quality and mostly unnecessary
- Some improved explosion sounds
- Standard colour coding for quit/continue buttons
- Improved in-game GUI performance
- Revamped the auto-repair sequence that happens when the repair button is pressed
- Revamped turrets - the gun part can now be destroyed separately to the base
- Shockwaves show up better and look kind of cooler in a late 90s game sort of way
- Added a momentary red flash effect on parts that take damage
- Destruction can now cause camera shake
- Adjusted wheel colliders so vehicles are a bit less tippy in general
- Shift key now doubles as the same modifier as Ctrl on the build screen: Allows deleting with one click, or duplicating on place.
- Smoothed out AI aiming; mostly obvious with laser weapons which are now less jittery
- Minor font changes

Bug Fixes:
- Tamed the occlusion culling. No more weird flickers when the game decides something is not visible when it actually is.
- Fixed rotation pivot point on small machine gun (visual fix)
- Fixed AI vehicles being able to trigger "Skipped rebuilding x: Connection point is missing." messages when doing their own rebuilding
- Fixed occasional failures to rebuild vehicle parts in the correct order, due to a sorting bug
- Fixed shockwaves flickering when multiple shockwaves were running at the same time
- Reduced some unnecessary garbage generation
- Fixed electrical damage FX being backwards, showing the most "lightning" at the least damage
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Nition
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« Reply #381 on: January 12, 2020, 01:12:01 PM »

New minor update, 0.6.0.1:
– Increased Gauntlet mode difficulty a little
– Made Gauntlet level lengths (from spawn to evac pad) shorter in general
Bug Fixes:
– Fixed a bug where the round ending while on the build screen could send the player to the wrong next map

Scraps was also rather kindly invited to participate in a one-week Builder Games Sale which started yesterday, with a lot of building games on Steam involved. Scraps is 75% off during this sale, which is the biggest discount it’ll have for some time.

The full Builder Games Sale page can be found here.
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Nition
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« Reply #382 on: March 17, 2020, 07:47:58 PM »

New update with major CPU performance improvements, a new turreted version of the Medium Laser, manual vehicle flip for if you get really stuck, and more changes listed below.

0.6.1.0:
- Significantly reduced initial game-start loading time
- Added a turret version of the Medium Laser
- Massive improvements to AI performance, greatly reducing CPU time when playing with many AI
- Can now manually flip your vehicle (max once every 10 seconds) with F. Key assignment can be changed in the game options. Must be grounded and not moving fast
- Auto-flip when upside down is a little more reliable
- Reduced AI max roam speed in Melee mode, so fast vehicles chill out a bit when just patrolling without a target
- Added a little camera shake to collisions
- Removed the small monuments that spawned at previous vehicle-destroyed locations in Gauntlet. They were more annoying than cool
- Increased static friction (friction when not moving). Vehicles are less prone to sliding sideways down slopes
- Demo version no longer uses the XP system. Previously demo could reach up to 900XP, now fixed at 900XP
- Demo version no longer shows help info for game modes
- Area-effect weapons were doing too much damage in general. Reduced area damage overall in several ways, and adjusted costs
- Minor tweaks to vehicle networking
- Adjusted some AI patrol points that were in bad spots on DustBowl and RiverRift
Bug Fixes:
- Fixed several bugs with Gauntlet mode level generation
- Fixed evac pad graphics glitch on TestMap
- Made an evac pad variant for when evac happens on the Gauntlet Water bridge, that looks a little less ridiculous.
- Fixed not being able to drive underneath the Gauntlet Water bridge.
- Improved evac pad height positioning in Gauntlet mode
- Fixed Gauntlet score counter sound
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Micah.WhiteBoxGaming
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« Reply #383 on: March 18, 2020, 06:12:45 AM »

I like this game, its like the mine craft of racing combat games. Whats your current player base?
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Nition
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« Reply #384 on: March 18, 2020, 11:31:01 AM »

Pretty much none unfortunately, which is a big reason why I started Gauntlet Mode in the first place, as it gives a lot more to do in singleplayer even if there's no-one online. When Scraps was in the Builder Games Sale on Steam recently the player count went up for a while but it's dropped down again now.

There are a couple of other things I've tried to mitigate it:
- Starting a Melee game with the default settings lets people play against AI while also having their game listed in the global server list, so if someone else does look for games, they can join theirs.
- There's LAN play, and the Scraps demo can join LAN games so only the host needs to own the full game.
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Micah.WhiteBoxGaming
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« Reply #385 on: March 19, 2020, 11:35:06 AM »

This is really sad news. This game looks really cool. Have you considered updating the models a little or advertising? How muc does the game cost? Is it subscription?
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Micah.WhiteBoxGaming
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« Reply #386 on: March 19, 2020, 01:01:58 PM »

I reviewed the game on Steam. Just my feedback. I think your issue is the marketing strategy your using or business model. $15.00 bucks is a little steep for a older Indie game. I would recommend free to play and in app purchases or maybe 4.99 or less. Me and my son researched your product a little more closely and found several comparable products and most where free. So I'd recommend changing your pricing approach. Subscription would likely be best.   
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Suttebun
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« Reply #387 on: March 19, 2020, 02:07:58 PM »

Quote
comparable products
Excuse you, this is an independent game.  Wizard

Subscription and in-app-purcahases are models forced by the market, which are provoking the heart of games;
It's sad to see game's with their own currencies and subscription pathways; money driven designs lead to poor game experiences and representation of games as a medium. So, besides sellout tactics. What else can we do?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 02:13:19 PM by Suttebun » Logged
Nition
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« Reply #388 on: March 19, 2020, 02:33:47 PM »

This is really sad news. This game looks really cool. Have you considered updating the models a little or advertising? How muc does the game cost? Is it subscription?

I reviewed the game on Steam. Just my feedback. I think your issue is the marketing strategy your using or business model. $15.00 bucks is a little steep for a older Indie game. I would recommend free to play and in app purchases or maybe 4.99 or less. Me and my son researched your product a little more closely and found several comparable products and most where free. So I'd recommend changing your pricing approach. Subscription would likely be best.  

When I started on Scraps way back in 2012 there were no competitors in the space. Therefore at the time it seemed reasonable to assume the game could become popular and do well enough at a standard fixed price point, and I could avoid the struggles of free-to-play, where gameplay always has to be balanced on the scales alongside the need to get players to pay something. This was a time when it was still unlikely for indies to get on Steam at all, and I was tossing up whether to use Unity or XNA.

Because I was and am working on this alone, it naturally took some time to get ready for release, and before the game went into Steam Early Access in 2015 competitors had already appeared. First Robocraft, and then others that you probably saw such as TerraTech, Besiege and so on. With the selling point no longer being entirely unique (although certainly none of those games are quite like Scraps), reception was dampened and has remained so.

Over the years I've tried various methods of marketing and so on and really the game's done okay overall, and made a decent bit of income for an indie title. But player counts and purchases have been close to zero for some time now, and in late 2016 I got a different full time job to cover costs, so Scraps development was relegated to any free time I have left.

I agree that free-to-play is probably the way to go (plus a renewed marketing campaign) if I wanted to make a big revitalisation push for the game. Likely hiring an artist would be a big (but expensive) help as well. But revamping the game in that way would take much more time, and my time is limited as it is. At this point I just want to get Scraps finished, for everyone that's bought the game, and for myself. Profit is only a secondary concern. I've cut the required feature list down to a minimum to get that done. And after that, well, you might get to see what my next game idea is.

Beer!
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« Reply #389 on: March 19, 2020, 04:03:28 PM »

I agree in 2012 that market would of been appropriate. Artist was well may not be as expensive as you think. Consider rev share or even host an event for people to make art for you in exchange for free game stuff. Lots of creative ways to cut costs and boost revenue. An to the other guy, I know its Indie but dude we got to eat. Plus making games cost a lot of money and time. We need to get some of that investment back. So that's why free to play i so successful. Plus free to play gives everyone a chance to play.   
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Suttebun
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« Reply #390 on: March 20, 2020, 04:33:22 PM »

Quote
Plus making games cost a lot of money and time.
You're right; I was once taught that the feelings in which something is made is carried through to how the thing is experienced by others.
So in this case, remember that your work is more than work.  Smiley
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Nition
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« Reply #391 on: August 18, 2020, 02:02:40 PM »

I released Scraps v0.6.2.0 yesterday. This update adds a new world to Gauntlet mode, adding three more levels to Gauntlet in total, along with other fixes and improvements. It's getting there; there's only one more proper Gauntlet world to do, plus a final boss kind of level.



0.6.2.0
- Added a new Gauntlet world, bringing the current total to eleven levels over five worlds
- Adjustments to existing Gauntlet systems. Earlier worlds are a little easier.
- Gauntlet game mode now automatically saves and allows the player to continue from the start of some worlds
- Gauntlet mode AI cars are now disabled when far away, as a performance consideration
- Can now see Gauntlet world info on the pause (Esc) screen
- Wreckage in Gauntlet mode can now be collected immediately with no delay (Melee mode still has a delay so others have a chance to grab it)
- Slightly increased weapon costs for laser and medium cannon
- (Kickstarter backers) Tesla Device now prioritises enemy targets above non-enemy ones like crates
- (Kickstarter backers) Tesla Device now ignores proximity firing mode (can keep shooting in all directions)
- Some adjustments to GUI fonts and layout
- Improvements to weapon hit forces, and reduced them overall
- Increased HP by around 15% on all cockpits and chassis types
- Laser weapons now have a SLIGHT inaccuracy, still highly accurate
Bug Fixes:
- Fixed the bug where skidmarks could join incorrectly, causing a big straight line across the map
- Game mode select buttons no longer animate if a dropdown is open
- Fixed dropdowns staying open in the background when pressing Esc to close UI
- Fixed AI in Gauntlet mode not following their patrol points in the correct order
- AI is better at transitioning from one patrol point to the next
- Time spent paused no longer counts towards Gauntlet level completion time
- Much reduced the jittering that often happened when a vehicle ended up on its side
- Fixed a couple of bugs with AI pathing



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Nition
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« Reply #392 on: December 01, 2020, 12:56:29 PM »

Gauntlet mode is finally done! There are seven worlds to fight through while upgrading your vehicle to fight increasingly difficult enemy vehicles, turrets and drones.

A few screenshots; Scraps isn't the most beautiful game but it sure looks a lot better than it did a few years ago:









Scraps itself is now almost done as well. I'll make another post in the next few days that will detail what's still to come. Much of it is actually already done in a separate branch, so we're not too far off now. What a journey.

0.7.0.0:
- All seven Gauntlet worlds are now available. Gauntlet mode is complete
- Added Gauntlet mode option to test a vehicle build before deploying to the next level
- Gauntlet high score list now automatically slots in high scores from any of your Steam friends
- Small Capacitor is now unlocked from the start
- Drone enemies shoot a bit more accurately
- Barrels and ExplodeBalls do a bit less max damage (same damage radius, and same force though)
- Did a balance pass on all weapons, various changes, nothing crazy
- Disabled edit and new vehicle options when selecting a vehicle for an AI player in the lobby. Fixes the human player's vehicle selection getting cleared as well
- Gauntlet progress now saves at the end of a world as well as when deploying into the next one, so if you quit during Build you'll still be able to continue
- Gauntlet mode no longer stores scores of 0 on the leaderboard
- Gauntlet mode saves now only permanently store the highest score achieved using that particular save on the leaderboard
- Increased the range from which AI will start shooting, some other minor AI tweaks
- Clearing progression no longer clears unlocked cosmetics. Particularly important as the "Alpha Crown" for completing Gauntlet mode while it was still in development is no longer possible to earn
- Increased max suspension spring setting from 62500 to 80000
Bug Fixes:
- Plasmanator now ignores proximity firing mode, so moving out of the radius doesn't cancel a held charge
- Clearing user data or progression in the game options now clears Gauntlet saved progress as well
- Leaving Gauntlet mode from the Build screen now goes to the Gauntlet end-game screen instead of straight to the main menu
- AI vehicles now try a lot harder not to drive off the cliffs on Gauntlet Wind
- Improved AI aim calculation with projectile weapons vs. moving vehicles
- Fixed transparent shader rendering order issues, particularly laser weapons appearing to be behind grass
- Fixed smoke damage FX decreasing with health lost instead of increasing
- Fixed a couple of bugs with how AI drives in close combat
- Fixed a bug with AI close combat where cars could think they were stuck on what should be good ground
- Fixed audio bug when using multiple Plasmanators
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Nition
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« Reply #393 on: December 03, 2020, 12:49:10 PM »

Here's a post I made on the Scraps website today covering the upcoming full release of Scraps. It's going to be nice to finally mark that little DevLog indicator as Done after eight years.

----

The Final Steps

Scraps has been in development for a long time. I started this game in late 2012, working full time. I had originally hoped to get an initial version out by mid-2013. When it took longer than that, I ran a Kickstarter campaign in late 2013. It was relatively successful and kept things going.

In late 2014 I had multiplayer working and showed Scraps at PAX Australia. In mid-2015 it released to Early Access on Steam after making it through the Steam Greenlight process (remember that?).

In early 2016 things were really taking longer than I had hoped, and since the multiplayer servers were usually empty, I decided to work on a new singleplayer mode named Gauntlet that would make the game a much more worthwhile purchase even without an active playerbase.

In late 2016 Scraps was taking much longer to complete than I had initially hoped, especially with the new Gauntlet mode, and Scraps sales never did very well. I reluctantly picked up another full-time job to provide an income, knowing that it would only prolong the trek to complete Scraps even further. I was very lucky to land a job making games at Facepunch Studios, and I continued to work on Scraps in the free time I had remaining, usually around an hour a day during the week.

I never stopped working on it, and Gauntlet mode was recently - finally - released in full. It's got seven worlds to fight through against enemy vehicles, turrets, and drones, all while upgrading your vehicle. More content than I originally planned, and the levels you fight through are a bit different every time.

What's Still Coming

Within the next few weeks I'll be releasing Scraps out of Early Access and it'll be done for real. The main thing that's coming in that update are a couple of additional maps for Melee mode:



Desert road is set up like a simple racetrack, just as an additional option to play around with.



Cold Hill a king-of-the-hill type layout, with the spawns at ground level but the only evac pad located on the hilltop.

What's not coming

I've been working on Scraps for over eight years now. I wanted to get it finished and I have, both because you and others have paid good money for it, and because I'd always be disappointed in myself if I didn't, just like I would have been if I'd never taken the risk and started. But I need to have it done. It's been eight years of always feeling like I should be working on it, never really getting a break. I haven't let it consume my life - I've seen how that road goes for other indies. But I haven't started any side projects. I stopped recording music. I've done what I can but it's time to move on.

So, I don't like to say it but two major features that I said would go in at some point are cut:

Team Melee - Intended to be a two-sides version of Melee mode. With the lack of multiplayer interest, this isn't too much of a loss anyway.

Tank Tracks - It would be a major undertaking to add additional propulsion types beyond wheels at this point. I'm really sorry that this one isn't making it in, but if it's any consolation I don't think it would have made a major difference to gameplay.

I think Gauntlet mode (which was never originally promised) adds a lot to the game. I hope that helps make up for the missing bits above.

Some questions you might have

Here are a few more general answers.

Q: Will Scraps still be updated after it leaves Early Access?
A: Game updates no, bug fixes yes. I intend to fix any major bugs and issues that come up for at least the next six months. The only exception to that will be if something external like an operating system update causes a bug at the game engine level, as the version of the Unity engine that Scraps runs on is very old at this point and requires a massive amount of work to update to the latest. Of course, an update like that that breaks Scraps would likely also break many other existing games, so hopefully that doesn't happen.

Q: What if Scraps becomes popular though and starts making money? It's not even out of Early Access yet - how do you know it's failed? And what about marketing?
A: Almost always, Early Access performance is a strong indicator of post-release performance. It's very unusual for a game to be small in Early Access but get a big release. Usually an Early Access launch is basically the real release launch.
So I'm not expecting much. I could do a big marketing push at release like I did in the early days, which may help or it may not (these days good marketing depends on a lot on things like getting through to big-name streamers, more than just paying to advertise somewhere). But I need to move on now, whatever happens. I think the final result is good, I'm proud of my little game, and it's something I always wanted to make.

When I started Scraps the landscape was very different. I'd been waiting a long time for a game with buildable cars like this and there was nothing. Then soon after I started, Robocraft came out, and now in 2020 "buildable vehicle combat games" is pretty much a genre unto itself. Robocraft, TerraTech, Besiege, Crossout which looks incredibly similar in concept to Scraps. I was banking on the unique gameplay to be a major selling point and in the end it was one of many, which lost its selling power to a great extent. Oh well. At least we now have plenty of games in this genre to try, I always knew it'd make an excellent premise.

Q: Will the price increase at release?
A: No, and I'll do a pretty steep launch discount. If it gets a few players on the multiplayer servers for a while it'll be good for everyone.

Q: What are you going to work on next?
A: Something different, finally.

Thank You

I'm sure I'll say this again at release in a few weeks, but thank you for contributing to Scraps and coming along for the ride. I'm sorry it's taken so long to get here but I'm happy to have made something from my imagination that people really enjoy. This was my first real game project and I think some things (especially semi-authoritative physics-based multiplayer networking) only got done because I didn't know yet that they should be impossible. It's been quite a journey.
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Alain
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« Reply #394 on: December 04, 2020, 01:18:34 AM »

Hey Nition! Wow, that is a long ride of 8 years, your dedication is amazing. Thanks for the recap and enjoy the end of your early access after such a long time!
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« Reply #395 on: December 06, 2020, 11:44:29 AM »

Thanks Alain  Smiley Toast Right
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Nition
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« Reply #396 on: December 18, 2020, 01:25:10 PM »

Well, this has been a long time coming. Scraps is released, finished, done! I've set the little DevLog marker to the Done state. Thanks for reading along all these years. I'll continue to support major bug fixes or issues if they come up for at least the next six months.

1.0.0.0
- Added two new Melee mode maps: Desert Road and Cold Hill
- Added gold/silver/bronze/spiked Kickstarter reward items
- Added icons next to player label for Kickstarter backers at Knight and Master And Commander level
- Added free repair time at the build screen after Gauntlet Final to the point where it should always provide full repairs
- Had to clear existing local Gauntlet leaderboard scores due to code changes. Sorry!
- Added slight randomness to the vehicle's position after an automatic flip over
- Vehicle flip action now checks to make sure it won't be teleporting through a wall
- Flipping your vehicle while inside a building no longer teleports you to the roof
Bug Fixes:
- Physics objects (crates, barrels) now interpolate their position, don't look jittery
- AI is now less confused by buildings
- Fixed collision bugs on Gauntlet Earth retaining walls
- Fixed container lid not showing up on Build screen
- Fixed evac pad ramp sticking out of terrain on Test Map
- Fixed Medium Cannon and Medium Cannon Turret invisible polygons on the base

It's all throughout this thread anyway, but I posted a bit of a look back at the history of Scraps on scrapsgame.com here: http://www.scrapsgame.com/scraps-v1-0-0-0
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