Saturday, February 10, 2018

Billy Carts Track Manager

I'm working on the game part-time so progress has been a little slow.

I've also been switching between Swift and C# which I find slows me down. There's enough difference between developing in Xcode with Swift and Unity with C# that I often find myself having to google how to do things. With Skip and Save done and dusted I am now focusing 100% on just Unity and C# so hopefully my brain will be able to store Unity/C# and not have to swap it out with Xcode/Swift :-)

I've recently been working on the track manager which lets the player race around an endless world in any direction. Previously the game was a single road down hill runner. While that was fun, it didn't offer enough of a point of difference to other games out in the market - and as a designer the idea of an endless world to explore offers so many more possibilities.

Currently the track uses a 3x3 grid of prefabs which rearrange themselves around the player so there is always an adjacent track.

Here is how it works from up high:
Endless Track Generator

Here's how it looks in game:

Endless driving (still with pop in)

At the moment the new track pieces are randomly placed so the scenery can suddenly change to a different track layout which is disconcerting - and there's also noticeable pop in when new tracks appear out front. The idea was to get something in fast to test the concept.

Now that it works, the next step is to make sure that the "infinite" track layout is generated procedurally but in a way that the tracks connect logically so the scenery flows from outback to forest to townships.

At the moment I'm using 3 track tiles that Pete has provided for testing:

Track 1

Track 2

Track 3

There will be different themed pieces and of course content that fits on each piece like houses, dunnies (Aussie outdoor toilets), old car wrecks, animals, fences and all manner of obstacle and collectable.

This is an Australian themed game and I'm really excited about the assets Pete will be creating to make this a truly Aussie experience. One of the things I'm keen on doing is injecting humour into the game through the characters, animals and landscape. Pete and I both worked on TY the Tasmanian Tiger (I co-created TY) and we also did an Aussie comic strip together called Dingo Boy - so we're no strangers to creating Aussie content.

I look forward to sharing more soon!

- Johnno

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