Right, it’s time to get this ball (car?) rolling.
Here’s the Scraps funding campaign on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nition/scraps-customisable-vehicle-combat-for-windows-mac
I’m now looking for a bit of help to support Scraps’ development and if you’d like to pledge $20NZD (only $16USD) or more, you can also secure yourself a copy of the alpha release (and the final when it’s done) in advance.
I’ve been working on Scraps full-time for over a year now. The basic building mechanics are all done and a multiplayer prototype is working, but it’s still months away from a solid alpha release where you can start playing proper multiplayer deathmatch games and I can start getting a few dollars coming in.
Originally when I started I’d hoped to have an Alpha release out by now, but once the project got going it became apparent that this was a bigger job (doesn’t that always happen?). I now have a much better idea of how long the game is going to take, but it’s a while, so I’m getting near the point where I’m thinking about getting some extra part-time work. Of course that’d slow down development even more.
However, Kickstarter has just become available in this country and it’s a good time to go for it. I’m looking for a bit of funding now, not to cover the whole of development, but to give me free reign to keep working on it full-time until it’s really ready to go.
Thanks to everyone who’s made a cool vehicle, reported a bug, or just been a fan on the journey so far. There’s more to come.
Fixed a few things from 0.2.6. I feel like the updates have been pretty boring for a while since I’m always working on either invisible things you can’t see, or multiplayer stuff that you won’t see until it’s all finished. I don’t have time to add something really awesome but, added cowcatcher.
- Downgraded Unity version back from 4.3 to 4.2. 4.3 seems to have some performance issues
- Added cowcatcher
- Added auto-snap to sides for cowcatcher and small machine gun
- Fixed a bug in the screen res code – 800×600 should be the minimum resolution, not 1024×768
- Fixed an invisible bug in the build system
- Fixed a couple of weapon models having the wrong pivot point
I can’t show you any cool multiplayer stuff as the actual vehicle combat isn’t done, but just to prove that something is being done in the background:
Dedicated server running with GUI (usually it’d be run in the background)
Work-in-progress join game screen
Work-in-progress lobby screen (host’s view)
Just a small update mostly to make things look a little bit better. Download here as usual.
Some people on the forum also asked for a longer straight and maybe a ramp. There was no good reason not to do this so a long straight and sweet ramp are now also included in the test map.
Fig.1 : A sweet ramp
One day, the whole test map needs an overhaul to not just be a random jumble of hills, but it’s functional enough for now.
2013-11 – 0.2.6
- Texture improvement on terrain
- Changed graphics to a more cel-shaded style
- Added skid smoke and dirt particle effects
- End caps for edge walls
- Revamped main menu (still very basic)
- Added a long straight to the test map
- Added a sweet ramp
- Wheel grip now changes based on terrain
- Fixed engine sounds starting briefly at high RPM instead of idle
- Some screen res stuff
I’m super impressed by this rolling sphere design from Leigh_Jackson:
Note the carefully centralised centre of mass.
The vehicle designs forum thread has a lot of other impressive creations: http://forum.scrapsgame.com/t/some-cool-vehicle-designs
Having 50+ people play scraps over the weekend showed up a few issues. The latest builder release (0.2.5) tries to address these. I also silently put up a 0.2.4 release about a week ago which contained some other fixes.
The things I noticed were:
1. A lot of people try to click and drag parts while holding the mouse button instead of clicking and then dragging. I knew this happened but I didn’t realise that so many people would try it this way first – probably a third. It was a bit ugly because not only did it not pick up the part but it dragged the tooltip along which is a bit confusing.
So ideally I’d allow either method, but that’d take a few code changes and be slightly hacky since the GUI normally only detects button up events rather than button down. I’ve fixed the tooltip issue so at least it’s more obvious that your drag didn’t work. I’ve also pushed the tooltip updates to my Asset Store tooltips so now you can auto-hide tooltips based on distance moved.
2. The random freezing of physics happens quite a lot. Another one that was known but I didn’t realise how often it happened. Sometimes the physics froze on the build screen for no good reason, with Freeze Physics still unticked. I never found a reliable way to reproduce this but it’s probably fixed now. I found some dodgy code that was most likely causing it and fixed it up.
3. On two occasions someone placed a weapon and it’d spin around forever, including into areas it shouldn’t be able to move. This turned out to only happen when a weapon’s min horizontal angle was reduced to exactly 0 degrees. In the code it’d come out as 360, which of course is technically correct but since it’s represented internally as 0, the weapon would never quite get there causing it to spin around forever.
Altogether, the changes since the last posted update are:
2013-10 – 0.2.5
- Just a few minor tweaks to things
- [Build screen] Hopefully fixed the occasional random freezing of physics
- [Build screen] Stopped tooltips staying up when people drag things instead of clicking them
- Fixed some more weapon available range calc stuff
- [Game] Ever had a weapon just kinda randomly spin around instead of aiming where it should? Fixed that too
2013-09 – 0.2.4
- Fixed up 3D sound settings
- [Build screen] Fixed hovering over weapons affecting the results of the cockpit visibility test
- Reinstated the two mysteriously missing snap points on large engine
- [Build screen]Fixed build screen lighting
- [Game] Fixed the small blip of audio that happened when pausing, minimising and then restoring
- [Build screen] Fixed weapon range display showing up through other parts (the code for this was really dumb – what was I thinking?)
- Improved weapon range calculations so weapons shouldn’t slightly clip through stuff anymore (maybe)
I took a bit of a break from the usual things and did a few experiments with deformable terrain over the last day or so. I’m using Unity’s built-in terrain solution. I don’t think I’ve mentioned deformable terrain for Scraps before but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do with it; cannons creating craters and so on. I’ve discovered some pros and cons – unfortunately quite a lot of cons.
- Deformable terrain is good fun, opens up more opportunity for strategy, and even possible terraforming weapons
- It seems like it should be easy/concise enough to send terrain deformation commands through the network
- It’s easy to modify the height of the terrain
- Terrain is still a heightmap, so you’re always lowering from the top instead of digging a tunnel. Tunneling ability would require changing the whole terrain system
- The terrain currently has a static lightmap: Since it doesn’t ever change, all the lighting can be pre-calculated. Deformable terrain means lots more draw calls and other stuff since it’d all have to be done dynamically. I’ve also noticed that distant shadows sometimes look a bit crazy when not lightmapped, maybe like they’re z-fighting or something
- Unity’s command to modify terrain vertices is horribly slow, and whether you update a big or small part of the terrain doesn’t seem to make much difference. Some say this is because it updates the collider for the whole terrain. Adding a small crater from a gunshot is taking several ms on my fairly high-end machine. Even if I pooled all terrain changes and only called SetHeights once per frame or less, that’s still a big hit at some point. At 60FPS there’s only 16.7ms to work with per frame.
So for good terrain deformation, I’d probably need a whole new terrain system. I can convert the existing terrain to a mesh but then I miss out on dynamic LOD adjustments and some other nice stuff. Maybe one day when I’ve got more time.
TL;DR: It’s cool, but performance is bad