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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSwitchcars - alien-escaping roguelite with 1,000 vehicles
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Author Topic: Switchcars - alien-escaping roguelite with 1,000 vehicles  (Read 11238 times)
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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2015, 01:42:12 AM »

Thanks Smiley Originally the game was going to be a sandbox about alien invasion, where you'd have all sorts of self-given tasks to take care of in a procedural world. I had to cut that away however, in order to finish the game. But I still plan to add new things after the release.

Right now, if time runs out an alien appears, which you'll desperately want to avoid. It is quite challenging and fun actually, and can be confronted too, given armed vehicles. You're also dealing at all times with basic management of your vehicles - they can run out of fuel or get damaged, and it's possible to refill/repair them. You continually need to think of incoming environments so you can plan what vehicles you'll need to pass them quickly. Finally, as you move to the right you unlock new track types and progress to the future. Only by making it to the last stage will you have unlocked all there is. The game will show how many vehicles you have never tried, giving an incentive to keep playing and explore them all.

There are also vehicle upgrades, one of the last things remaining to do. For example, by going one kilometer in a boat will reward you with a Wheels upgrade, or you will get Wings to your car, or a Turbo and so on, providing even more combinations in escaping the alien.

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« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2015, 02:56:55 AM »

Progress report time! By request, this time it is a shorter chunk.

Progress since February 14th till April 4th (v0.98b to v0.98c):
(I ordered it by category and then roughly by importance)


- Added Grapple Hook

  - Given to player character and some vehicles
  - Player can now attach to objects and get pulled toward them
  - Player can also attach to vehicles flying overhead
  - Fired in the direction pointed by arrows (left, right, up)
  - Includes new sound effects

- Alien can now be harmed by lightning and explosives

  - Includes graphics of electrocuted alien

- Spending time in alien world attracts additional aliens
- Stage progress increases chance of spawning extra aliens
- A lot of balancing of world generation, vehicles, alien, timings, stages, etc.
- Reduced chance of objects spawning in front of teleported player
- Vehicle entering range increases with speed
- Added Snow weather


- Added red screen-overlay indicator of player character's health

  - Makes health status more obvious while in action

Added color correction to underground environments

  - Including lava environments

- Flying vehicles are now visually above the ground
- Added engine ignition sound effect
- Alien now splashes its fluids when hit by explosives
- Stream, Garden and Graveyard are now surrounded by bushes
- Added road divider lines to Cobble Street
- Parked car alarm (horn) will only activate if the vehicle is newer than 1994
- Changing elevation in flying vehicles, unlike others, no longer makes a bump sound
- Suspended railway vehicles will play a sound when attaching to a hanging rail


- Added 3 new vehicles
- Added 2 new track types (alien world)
- Added 1 new background (alien world)


- Ingame Main Menu interface now pauses the game

  - Completely rewritten the way Pause works

- Notification pops up when refueling and repairing

  - It informs the player that all vehicles in inventory have been refueled/repaired

- Player can choose a starting year in the Main Menu

  - Available years are from 1950 till the last unlocked one (default: 1988)
  - Goes up to 2055
  - Allows players to start in older years independent of their overall progress
  - Makes it possible to play a specific year in Free Roam mode

- Round now begins with a splashy message "Reach the year 2055"
- Added a new loading screen
- After game over, Main Menu will appear only after player character's body came to a rest


- Drastically improved performance by making default color depth to 16-bits

  - Can be changed to 32-bits in the config file.

- Pressing Space while human now reverts to last used vehicle
- Tons of bug fixes, tweaks, balancing and code improvements

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« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2015, 08:26:01 AM »

New Trailer:

New trailer has been released today! It shows what a typical run looks like in Switchcars:

With that, the new website was also launched!

And finally, I've updated the first post with latest info, including links to all changelogs made so far. Check it out!


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« Reply #43 on: June 08, 2015, 06:33:00 AM »

New progress update! Smiley

Progress since April 4th till June 8th (v0.98c to v0.98e):
(I ordered it by category and then roughly by importance)


- Added Upgrades

  - Upgrades are collected by smashing supply crates
  - Player can keep up to three unused upgrades in a card deck manner
  - Any number of upgrades can be installed on ANY rigid vehicle
  - Pressing Shift installs the oldest upgrade in the deck
  - There are 40 different upgrades (e.g. Rail Wheels, Wings, Machine Gun)
  - Upgrades alter vehicle's appearance and performance
  - Spawning upgrades is balanced in relation with stage progress
  - Installed upgrades cannot be uninstalled
  - Upgrades containing a special ability are shown in yellow
  - Picking up an upgrade will shortly write its name on the screen

- Rural roads have a small chance to be rally race tracks

  - Rally cars can be found on this type of terrain

- Fire can now spread to objects in vertical vicinity
- Single-laned roads now often get expanded with one or two more lanes
- Being in an ambulance heals player character faster
- Added strong kickback to Laser and some to Cannon, for balancing
- Added alien world acid rain
- Chance of more aliens appearing increases with stage progress
- Improved traffic spawning, so when moving slowly player will encounter more of it


- Safe zone is now indicated by an alien restrictor

  - Alien restrictor is a system of two towers connected by a force field wall
  - Field emits a high frequency sound that repels aliens
  - It resists all objects from passing through except the player

- Powerful vehicles now max their engine's RPM when accelerating
- Rail vehicles now make sparks when braking
- Battery charging now shows a blue glowing effect
- Non-metallic objects no longer produce metallic friction sound


- Added 9 new track types (6 in alien world)
- Added 20 new scenery objects (15 in alien world)


- Completely reworked Alerts

  - They now appear as a top bar shown in a specific color
  - Other than alerting the player, they describe how to solve given problems
  - Vehicle in range is now indicated by a green arrow
  - Alerts will move out of the way if player reaches the uppermost lane

- Redesigned special ability section, now having much larger icons
- Added a safe zone indicator
- Dashboard now shows icons for time and speed
- Removed indicator of distance till the next safe zone, for clarity


- Rewrote the way crash particles work

  - They no longer change color when the object of their origin is destroyed
  - Their number depends on the impact force
  - Crash particles now appear in varying damaging situations

- Eliminated "libpng warning: iCCP: known incorrect sRGB profile"
- Rewritten various other bits of code for better future usability
- Tons of bug fixes, tweaks, balancing and code improvements

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« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2015, 06:01:54 AM »

Vehicle upgrades:

As I've mentioned yesterday in the progress report, vehicle upgrades have been added to the game! Big part of Switchcars is using vehicles in completely ridiculous combinations - skidding trains on highways, flying forklifts in space, or skiing with cargo ships. With so many vehicles and nearly 100 different terrain types, there were thousands of hilarious and tight situations to encounter! But now the vehicles can also be upgraded, making the variety of potential outcomes explode.

How does it work?

Upgrades are collected by smashing green supply crates, like the one shown in the picture below. Driving through each will provide a single upgrade, which will show up in a card-like deck in the upper right corner, as shown on the picture to the right. Up to three upgrades can be stacked there.

There are 40 upgrades in the game so far. This is what some of their icons look like:

At any point, by pressing Shift you can install an upgrade from the deck to your current vehicle. This will work with any rigid vehicle (only human character and animals can't be upgraded at the moment). Upgrades will alter the vehicle's appearance and performance. Some will give you a better engine, while others can make your vehicle fly, refuel it, or even extinguish fire. Some will give you active abilities that you can use by pressing Ctrl, such as Nitro, Grapple Hook, etc.

There are countless combinations possible, so if you ever wanted to drive a rocket propelled car fitted with rail wheels and a laser gun, now you can! My favorite so far has come to be a bullet train on caterpillar tracks - that thing is practical as hell! Here's some more examples:

Upgrades are balanced in a way that they are more likely to appear in later stages than in the beginning. Number of supply crates is also dependent on how far you made it in the run, making upgrades more of a "late-game" feature that makes the last couple of stages even more exciting.

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« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2015, 05:52:17 AM »

Help me get to Gamescom:

Hey everyone,

I'm currently participating in a contest where, if Switchcars would win, I'd get a booth on Gamescom. Mostly thanks to the awesome guys from Switchcars Facebook page, we actually made it to the top of the leader board a few days ago!

But, as of yesterday, we're no longer leading. Two new contestants with far larger budgets and fanbase took the competition to a whole new level. It's getting a bit ridiculous seeing one of them comment "wish u luck developers!!" on their own game, when they are already in the top, desperately fighting, possibly even using paid marketing, over a free booth.

There are three ways to win, by number of followers, number of votes, and if jury picks your game. My hopes are gone for the first two categories, but the jury might still pick up Switchcars. This will only happen, however, if it remains in the top 5 in either category. Switchcars is currently holding 4th place in the "votes" category, so it really is possible to win! The contest ends in just four days from now.

What you can do to help:

- Click here, and vote "I'd play it" on as many screenshots as you can! Every vote on every image counts.
- On the same page click the red follow button at the top.
- Share to more people?

Thank you guys! If Switchcars makes it to Gamescom, the publicity gained there will greatly help to get it released sooner.

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« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2015, 06:23:53 AM »

Best of luck this is a really cool concept!

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« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2015, 12:22:40 PM »

Thanks! Hoping that more people will notice it and help out.

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« Reply #48 on: July 31, 2015, 04:40:04 AM »

Going to Gamescom!

Hey guys! Thanks so much to everyone who voted - Switchcars won the jury prize, and it's going to Gamescom!

Switchcars booth will be on the south side of the Indie Arena, in hall 10.1, sections A050 and B051. If you're there, come play and meet! Look for this banner, or contact me via Twitter or email.


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« Reply #49 on: October 30, 2015, 07:25:25 AM »

The website has been updated!

It is now featuring a new "vehicle of the day" feature - click Switchcars logo on top to reveal a new vehicle from the game, every day.

The website now also features a news page, as well as a proper press kit.

There are news about the actual game coming soon too, stay tuned! Smiley

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« Reply #50 on: October 30, 2015, 08:32:03 AM »

Hey! Played this at Amaze last year (You were very kind and gave me one of your signed prints! How's the game going?
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« Reply #51 on: October 30, 2015, 08:50:08 AM »

Whoa, awesome! That was long time ago, but I remember! It was the desert print if I'm not mistaken? The game's going really well, working on it every day still, and it's coming along nicely for an early release. Can't wait to share some news about that, once things are settled!

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« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2015, 09:02:19 AM »

It was the desert print, as is pride of place above my pc!  Good luck on the release, will be sure to keep updated!
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« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2015, 09:37:18 AM »

Glad you have it! Thanks! Smiley

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« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2015, 09:48:33 AM »

Love this idea! Looks great too.

Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
- devlogs: xona.com/tigsource
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« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2015, 01:56:27 AM »

Another changelog, hopefully the last before making some announcements! Smiley As you can see, it's a lengthy one, and really is one of the biggest updates to the game yet made. Not as much in the design/content sense as much as it is a technical improvement. Thanks to Damir who worked with me on this build, the game now runs much smoother, which was one of the major steps that needed to be taken towards the release.

Progress since June 8th till November 18th (v0.98e to v0.99b):
(I ordered it by category and then roughly by importance)


- Heavily improved performance by porting the entire game to SDL 2 (Damir)

  - It's now possible to video capture as an app (needed monitor capture before)
  - Rendering is better, no more tearing

- Remade entire input system (Damir)

  - Includes gamepad support (both XInput and DirectInput types)
  - Also supports mouse buttons and other periferals

- Key configuration (thanks to Damir)

  - Includes a GUI for browsing and remapping controls
  - Allows remapping controls simultaneously for keyboard and gamepad
  - Assigned controls are shown in the game by respective icons
  - Game automatically changes control icons to the last used input type

- Switchcars now works on Linux (Damir)
- Solved screen size adaptation for screens smaller than 1280x800 (partly by Damir)
- Made a new, improved configuration file (Damir)
- Alt-tabbing will now pause the game and its sounds (thanks to Damir)
- All scenery objects now use separate texture files
- Removed command line window that ran alongside the game (Damir)
- Game can now be closed via Windows close option
- Various optimizations (Damir)
- Entirely remade Weapons system

  - Weapon effects got visually improved
  - It's easier to add new weapons


- Added Rocket Launcher weapon

  - Includes sounds and graphics
  - Comes also as a vehicle upgrade

- Added Shield special ability

  - Shield needs to be charged before becoming active
  - Once active it will deflect objects in its small range, including aliens
  - Like most other abilities, holding it consumes the special ability bar
  - Comes as a vehicle upgrade too

- Improved AI of self-driving cars

  - It now aims for supply crates, teleports and refill stations
  - It tries to avoid aliens

- Added tutorial tips system

  - Tips show at the beginning of each stage run
  - They change based on player's best score
  - This is still WIP, and will get further improved in the future

- Added track subtypes

  - Vehicles that spawn on certain tracks no longer have mixed classes
  - e.g. Racetrack may spawn only motorcycles, or only dragsters

- Added a Gas Giant biome

  - Player must traverse it before being crushed by atmospheric pressure

- Player now has enough time to react before a vehicle sinks in a liquid
- Battery recharging is now slower and has sound indication of full battery
- Added Snowstorm weather effect
- Added mist weather effect
- Added rare Sandstorm weather effect
- Player can now enter downward staircase and manholes which lead to underground
- Laser now consumes fuel, requires any amount
- Completed the Free Roam game mode
- Added Medikit upgrade
- When hit by an explosive weapon, aliens will jump a bit
- Siren now stops all traffic
- There is a rare chance that a traffic vehicle will not stop to police siren
- Additional aliens will now only appear after stage 4
- Vehicles on racetracks now always go fast
- Alien acidic rain now hurts player character
- Steering Wheel (now Manual Control) upgrade overrides AI controller
- Living beings can no longer be healed by a Repair Station
- All living beings' health is automatically regenerated, slowly
- Deep snow terrains now extinguish fire
- Alien acid no longer catches player on fire, unless they dive in
- Bobsleigh is now equipped with a Grappling Hook
- Shooting cannon no longer kicks back
- Choosing a future starting year has been limited to 2040
- Reversed the order of upgrade deck stacking
- Vehicles that cannot be immediately used no longer spawn randomly
- Aliens get electrocuted more easily
- Reduced chance of fire spreading


- Exploding traffic and collapsing scenery now leave craters
- Alien now drops particles when hurt
- Shooting a Machine Gun now ejects cartridges
- Thruster causes camera shake
- Maglev vehicles are now visually lifted off the ground when powered
- Added a sound effect to Nitrous special ability
- Using Nitrous now produces flames
- Added landing sounds to non-wheel based vehicles
- Added a track lock-on sound, e.g. for rail or zipline based vehicles
- Hovercrafts and plasma vehicles now have an additional "presence" sound
- Added varying gravity depending on location
- Tire screeching sounds different on wet tarmac
- Added new tire grip sound for heavy vehicles
- Vehicles now get sooty from fire
- Inventory will show animals manned when equipped and unmanned when unequipped
- Limited vehicle age tolerance on racing tracks to 10 years
- Certain track types can no longer get too wide (e.g. bike lanes, maglev railway)


- Added 8 new track types

  - Includes a barren dwarf planet and a gas giant
  - Includes dense sky road traffic consisted of flying cars

- Remade Switchcars logo
- Redesigned teleport graphics to make them look less hostile
- Improved Fog graphics
- Updated all EVs to indicate power supply by having blue rear lights
- Road Park Trains now have trailers
- Replaced a Nuclear Barrel with three bundled Explosive Barrels
- Updated Marina track type to include wooden pillars


- Added upgrade notifications

  - They appear when collecting or installing a vehicle upgrade
  - They describe the upgrade type and name
  - Installing an upgrade includes a new sound effect

- Vehicle's special ability floats shortly above the player, when equipped

  - It will also permanently show a non-player controller if there is one, e.g. a taxi driver

- Moved vehicle name/type information to the top of the screen

  - Type name will adjust horizontal position to make room for the upgrades deck

- Fuelless vehicles are indicated by a blue inventory slot background

  - It will blink for EVs if there is a charging track present

- Powerless/broken/flat tire vehicles are indicated by a red inventory slot background
- Improved appearance of regular notifications
- Alert indicator will appear above player character
- Better help screen
- Added new alerts that try to help player when stuck
- Remade the way flight radar is displayed
- Made vehicle history preview at the end of the stage less cluttered
- Renamed "Timeout!" alien incoming indicator to "Uh oh!"


- Tons of bug fixes, tweaks, balancing and code improvements

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« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2015, 09:05:10 AM »

Switchcars is now on Steam Greenlight!

With it, there comes a new 60 FPS gameplay video:

I hope it grabs your attention. Early release is planned by the end of Q1 2016. There is more information on the blog announcement.

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« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2015, 03:40:08 AM »

Hey guys,

Switchcars was Greenlit, after 15 days and relatively little effort! I wrote a bit about what I did to prepare for the campaign and how each day of it went. Hope someone will find it helpful:

Greenlight post-mortem

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« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2016, 02:22:14 PM »

Switchcars is coming to Steam Early Access, for Windows and Linux systems, on:

4th March 2016

The game will be available for purchase on the Steam store page. 10 days to go!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 02:34:37 PM by altfuture » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2016, 06:41:55 AM »

Here's the final changelog before the Early Access release! There are a few small things remaining to do for the version 1.001 which will be the first publicly accessible one, 6 days from now.

Progress since November 18th till February 26th (v0.99b to v0.99d):
(I ordered it by category and then roughly by importance)


- New savegame system (Nenad)
- Savegame encryption (Damir & Nenad)


- Added Tutorial

  - Basic tutorial is a new game mode
  - Has a set of predefined levels with instructions what to do
  - Extension tutorial appears contextually in The Run gamemode

- Added steering wiggle

  - Makes it harder to control a vehicle if trying to stay between two lanes too long

- Pantograph powerup now recharges batteries via overhead wire
- Drill now propels vehicles in addition to going underground
- Refill powerups are now applied to all vehicles in the inventory
- Entering a well takes player underground
- Decreased chance of aliens spawning in alien world
- Nitrous no longer requires grip with the surface


- Hitting floating objects in water will make them float away more
- Grapple rope now attaches to the edge of an object, instead of center


- Added 1 new vehicle


- Added Database (content browser)

  - Allows ingame browsing of unlocked vehicles, lanes and powerups
  - Shows how many items are yet unseen
  - Database has a yellow mark if new items were unlocked in the current round
  - End screen vehicle history now shows which vehicles have been unlocked
  - Unlock vehicle entries by entering new vehicles
  - Unlock lane entries by progressing further in the game
  - Unlock powerup entries by picking up new powerups

- Entirely redesigned HUD

  - Timer is now large and clearly visible
  - All controls are now always present on the screen
  - Reduced clutter
  - Powersource type is now indicated by fuel bar color
  - Clearly visible current vehicle selection

- Heavily improved GUI

  - Includes new options submenu
  - Completely redesigned key configuration submenu
  - Starting year is now selectable in the main menu
  - Now has a side panel with description for selected item
  - Gamemode is now selectable on the "Play" button
  - Displays "Early Access" text under logo
  - Added "Are you sure?" prompt for certain options (e.g. retry, quit)

- Added battery recharging icon above player
- Updated alert icon into a speech bubble
- Updated Nitrous upgrade icon


- Temporarily removed Gas Giant, horse an walker due to incompleteness
- Tons of bug fixes, tweaks, balancing and code improvements

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