Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1400861 Posts in 67830 Topics- by 61354 Members - Latest Member: peterburten

May 16, 2022, 03:48:45 AM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSuper Pilot - Arcade racing game with a track editor (demo inside)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Super Pilot - Arcade racing game with a track editor (demo inside)  (Read 7260 times)
tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« on: February 01, 2016, 03:55:06 PM »



Install
Just unzip the archive and launch the SuperPilot executable (Windows only for now).

Controls
The game is supposed to fully support gamepad controls (menus, track editor and game) but we only tested with a Xbox360 controller. The game can also be entirely played with keyboard and mouse.

XBOX GAMEPADKEYBOARD
ACCELERATE
A
UP
TURN
LEFT STICK
LEFT/RIGHT
BOOST
X
X
BREAK
B
DOWN
LEAN
LT/RT
C/V
CHANGE VIEW
Y
B
PAUSE
START
SPACEBAR

Content
The main purpose of this demo is to collect players feedback on the gameplay feeling and on the track editor usability.

The demo will let you:
  • Play one of the 4 existing tracks
  • Create, edit and save your own tracks
  • Best lap time and best race time will be recorded only on saved tracks

Feedback
If you played the demo, you can send us your feedback using this form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jVc99KlHgT4r4JoCgLrNYzJtqrlbl5ghPTLpCfrzm08/viewform
Or write it here, on this forum, we are fine with that Smiley
Or send us a msg on Twitter @dopagames


- Original post -

Hey there!

Super Pilot 2000 (wip title) is a no gravity arcade racing game in which you can create, edit, share and play other player's tracks in a few minutes. Yay!

Imagine a crossing between F-Zero GX and Mario Maker. That's the spirit.

The game is being developed with Unity and targeting PC.
We are a team of 2 programmers and 1 artist.

Scope

We are aware that this is an ambitious project, so we try very hard not to overscope. Online multiplayer, split screen, ghost mode, story mode, customizable vehicles, etc… are all things we dream of making but, first things first, for now we try to keep our focus on the track editor and on the game's controls.
 
Domesticating Unity is also part of the process Smiley

Track Editor

Currently, we can draw a spline (with the mouse) which is then used to generate the track mesh and the colliders. That's like the core of the project. There are still a lot of things to fix (like when the spline gets too sharp) but we are very excited with the result so far. Also, for now it only works from top view, so the track is totally flat. Eventually, we'd like the user to be able to edit the height, create loopings, twist the track, etc...


Gameplay

We are big fans of racing games (arcade and less arcade) and we really want to get these right. We want a lot of speed with very good grip, with some drifting but very easy to control and beneficial to your trajectory…

For now the main effort has been trying to get the right answer to this critical question: should we use Unity physics, or should we write our own simplified physical simulation? We made several prototypes and let say our solution is somewhere in-between.


Art

We don't have a story yet, so the back-and-forths with our artist are pretty much shaping the universe as we go along. I tend to really like this process, I feel it's less constraints (than let say writing a story right away) and the mix of ideas that fly around give an original mix.

Here is a first attempt to define the universe, putting the emphasis on one of the pilots:



We really liked it, then we realized that this kind of vehicle wouldn't really fit in a 1000 km/h+ race.

So here is a second attempt, focusing on the vehicle:



We like it but we missed the old custom car look. And here is the third iteration that we really like:



Next steps

Our short term goal is to deliver a playable prototype that we can share online (like on this forum) to get feedback on the game controls and the track editor usability.

For that we need to implement:
  • Save/load tracks made with the track editor
  • 3D model of the ship
  • Simple game loop (start the race, perform N laps, game over, press button restart)

Hope you guys find this project interesting! This is a very technical project so if you have any question, suggestion, comment on the way we do things, please don't hesitate!

Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 02:45:13 PM by tpkth » Logged

tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2016, 05:29:40 AM »

First modeling pass on the first ship model (click on the picture to see a 3D preview):

Logged

tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 02:03:12 PM »

And here is our first ship textured and imported in Unity. Yay!

I used a simple toon shader on this one, just for fun:

Logged

tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 07:35:38 AM »

Hi everyone!
Quick update because it feels so good Smiley

Here is a screenshot of our model in-game. It turned our prototype into a whole new thing Tears of Joy



I also played a little with particles, the big reactors made me want to spit fire and smoke out of them, though this will probably change for something less pollutant ^^
The important thing for now is that it provides a clear throttle feedback.


Logged

whilefun
Level 1
*


Making games


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2016, 07:49:08 AM »

Nice sense of speed, even on the little test "cube+sphere" version Smiley
Logged

tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2016, 11:30:07 AM »

Thanks mate! Finding the right balance between high speed and tight controls is probably gonna be one of the biggest challenge Grin

It's also a technical challenge because at very high speed the physic engine tends to lose in precision. This week it gave me lots of headaches trying to keep the camera smooth WTF
Logged

tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 08:40:08 AM »

End of week 1
It's been 1 week since we started this devlog, and I'm so glad we did it! On top of the external feedbacks we receive, it's a great production follow-up tool for the team. It helps us see each other progress, and watching the game take shape is very good for motivation. I didn't thought of that before.

So we managed to reach all our objectives from last week, me super happy Tongue
  • Save/load tracks made with the track editor
  • 3D model of the ship
  • Simple game loop (start the race, perform N laps, game over, press button restart)

Save/load system (aka serialization)
Not the most exciting feature to show off, sorry, but since the whole game concept gravitates around editing and sharing tracks, it's a huge achievement for us. It also means that we are now able to work directly with the edition tools that we are going to deliver with the game, and therefore test and stress them. Ladies and gentlemen, hold on tightly to your chairs, this is probably one of the most exciting Gifs ever made (gives me goosebumps every time I watch it):


First ship model
This is much easier to share and actually I shared it during the week already. See my previous posts.

Game loop
This was not such a big challenge, you don't have to be a great gamedesigner to describe the game loop of a race  Wink

We had to implement some triggers for the start and finish lines, which are automatically placed by the track editor. It was also the opportunity to start working on the HUD (and discover Unity's canvas, doh Shocked). Everything is very rough though, we haven't defined our art direction for the HUD/menus yet.


In a nutshell you can now race for the number of laps you defined, and your times for each lap are tracked and displayed (and also your best lap time). There is also a countdown at start and a game over screen when you finish, woot! We will probably add more game modes later, for now it's good enough for playtesting.


Extra
On top of our weekly objectives we also implemented a boost system very similar to F-Zero's.

You have an energy gauge, you consume energy when you hit a wall or when you use your boost. Your energy is refilled at the end of each lap. If you lose all your energy, your ship is destroyed.

To me it has always been one of F-Zero's greatest features. Sid Meier once said that a game is a series of interesting choices. If you think about racing games, there is 1 choice you constantly have to make: speed or safety? And I think that's what made F-Zero so great design wise, because first it made this choice very obvious (boost or energy?) and second you could make this choice instantly by pressing one single button (boost). Haaa Nintendo <3

I don't know if we're gonna keep this feature in the end, but I wanted to try Smiley

Next steps
Our goal is still to deliver a playable prototype asap. Since we made good progress last week I hope we can deliver this week.

For the prototype:
  • Simple menu to navigate back and forth between the track editor and the race
  • Build and test the prototype (never understimate quality control!)

We will also start working on the background art (actually we already started) but this won't be in this first prototype.

Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 08:49:16 AM by tpkth » Logged

Alec S.
Level 10
*****


Formerly Malec2b


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 09:00:43 AM »

Looking great so far!
Logged

tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2016, 02:15:31 PM »

Week 2-3
Sorry for the lack of update lately, it's been pretty busy weeks! We've been moving forward with our "sharable prototype" objectives. We organized a little playtest session last week-end with close friends, which led us to refocus some of our efforts on fixing issues we observed.

Track Editor
The actual action of drawing a track seemed pretty straight forward to everyone who tried it. People were missing a few options (there is no reset button for instance) but overall it was very positive.

We observed one major problem though. People aren't aware of the gameplay constraints and of the scales when they trace a track for the first time, so they create crazy curves which not only aren't very fun to play but also can create ugly bugs. Right now, almost everything is permitted in the editor, and there is not much control over the mesh generation. If the spline is broken somehow, it is very likely that the track will be broken too.


It is our will to give the player maximum freedom for the track creation. Yet without any contraint there is a risk to be disappointed for creating something broken without understanding why. Too many contraints might be frustrating too. We still need to find the good balance between constaints and freedom of creation.

Gameplay
The current prototype is very, very fast. I was expecting people to struggle a little to get used to the controls, and the opposite happened: they all learned very quickly. We played for more than 2 hours, creating tracks, trying to beat each others records one after the other and so on. It was a very satisfying experience.

Some afterthoughts though. The game is easy to play, which is good, but also quite easy to master. The boost wasn't used that much, and the drifting was very discreet. We have to work more on these features so that they really make a difference and add some depth for advanced players.

Background
The main challenge is technical since the world is generated procedurally based on the spline drawn by the player in the editor. So we defined some rules for the world creation and developed a system that scatters objects around the track based on a few parameters. We also use Unity's terrain generator, well, for the terrain Smiley

Here is a WIP screenshot:


The system is pretty flexible, now we need to define the actual objects which are going to populate the world in order the create the track's ambiance. The idea would be to offer a bunch of pre-made themes (city, desert, moutain…) with the game so the player can pick one, tweak a few parameters (e.g. objects density, time of day, skymap...) and it will be automatically applied to the track when it's generated.

Next steps
In a nutshell:
  • Make the background beautiful
  • Make the HUD and menus beautiful (everything you see is placeholder)
  • Fix the issues mentionned above (more contraints in the track edition, more depth in the ship controls)

Thanks for reading!
Logged

Oli414
Level 0
**

This text is too personal for you


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 02:44:47 PM »

I needed this game back in the day, I loved everything that allowed you to be a bit creative. That combined with Wipeout would just be epic. And it looks like that's exactly what you're working on.
Logged

Tuludo Demo - The online game creator without limits! - Devblog
Sam Oz
Level 0
**


French composer


View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2016, 04:30:22 AM »

Always excellent that you are! Wait to see more!

A futuristic racing game with a track editor, that's what's missing in the video game!

Highly later  Gentleman
Logged

Composer and sound designer

Soundcloud
Twitter
Facebook
tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2016, 03:10:53 PM »

Thanks guys for your support!

Here is a first glimpse at the background art. I made the little animation to showcase the paintover process, which allows us to mockup the ambiance of the stage and iterate quickly.



This is just a research and the result is probably too colorful but we really like the direction it's taking Smiley
Logged

GekidoRising
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2016, 06:13:37 PM »

That mockup is actually quite wonderful. I can so easily extrapolate that image and get a great sense of how it would look with the final graphics which is honestly really difficult to come by!

If you ask me, I think the vibrant colors actually work quite splendidly as well. I can't say I'm a very big expert on these style of hyper speed racers, but I can't say I've seen one try and breach this sort of style yet. I haven't played F-Zero, but I do know that Race the Sun is quite the opposite in style and even to a small degree, Wipeout has a certain grittiness to it. What I'm saying is, it'd be worth a try to keep things this colorful, if not more colorful!

The only stipulation I might add would be to make sure that with a vibrant environment, there is a even more vibrant track that can be easily read and picked out!
Logged
tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2016, 10:14:38 AM »

Thanks a lot for the feedback GekidoRising!

I agree, we need to make sure the track pops out.

Here is a test I made with some placeholders objects and this plugin for the clouds:
https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/25527

Not exactly what we want yet but it is starting to take shape. We have a major problem with performances though, so I'm not sure we can keep this solution for the clouds Sad


Logged

Sam Oz
Level 0
**


French composer


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 03:26:32 AM »

I feel that Super Pilot 2000 will be in cell shading, or with a cartoon appearance ?
It's rare to see a futuristic racing game adopt a cartoon style, it's a good idea, it changes !
Logged

Composer and sound designer

Soundcloud
Twitter
Facebook
tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2016, 08:58:12 AM »

Yes Sam this is exactly what we'd like to achieve. We are trying to stand out from the Wipeout/neon/futuristic vibe by going more colorful and funny (like Team Fortress 2 and Mario Kart).

We tested various toon shaders, didn't find the one yet, I hope we will Smiley
Logged

Sam Oz
Level 0
**


French composer


View Profile WWW
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2016, 05:22:41 AM »

I THink it's a exellent idea, it's a good mix and it's quite innovative!
Do you test Cell Shading like Jet Set Radio ? Just an idea...
Logged

Composer and sound designer

Soundcloud
Twitter
Facebook
jctwood
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2016, 06:24:08 AM »

It is looking gorgeous!! I love the concept of F-Zero with a track editor. Do you have plans for multiplayer or is it just going to be time base?
Logged

tpkth
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2016, 03:34:40 PM »

Sam I just got Jet Set Radio on Steam last week, perfect timing Smiley

JctWood this is definitely something we'd like to do, but technically it's a LOT of work and we will probably need an extra coder just for that. So we will see how it goes Wink

Here is a new test I made today. Actually it's quite the opposite direction, much more realistic. I think I prefer the cartoon style. What do you guys think?





Logged

jctwood
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2016, 06:07:26 PM »

I far prefer the cartoon style but it may be too distracting when concentrating at high speeds?
Logged

Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic