The response to our first technology sneak peek was so amazing that we decided to give the players even more cool stuff to have fun with and release a new version of the sneak peek! We have added new destructive machinery, more dynamic stuff to blow up, spectacular stunts and an awesome physics cannon that we use to play with our physics engine. With the physics cannon you too will now have a chance to cause mayhem to heart’s content by launching missiles, throwing stuff around and destroying the environment as well as the cars! It will basically blow your socks off! Enjoy!
Meanwhile, our crowd funding campaign continues strongly through our website, and over 5,600 players have already pledged their support for Next Car Game. Our supporters have asked us for many features such as LAN multiplayer as well as PS4 and Xbox One releases. We’d love to fulfill your wishes, and to that end we’ll be revealing these and other exciting stretch goals on our website. To reach these goals, we need as much support as we can get. Help us by spreading the word!
ALL OUR PRE-ORDER SUPPORTERS SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED A DOWNLOAD LINK FOR SNEAK PEEK 2.0 – PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL!
Although our Kickstarter campaign has attracted tremendous enthusiasm, during the last couple of weeks it’s become obvious that we are not going to meet our goal. Because of this we have decided concentrate our efforts on the pre-order campaign. A big thank you to all our supporters!
We Finns are not used to giving up so easily, and we are hell-bent to keep on developing the game with our supporters, shaping it into something that no racing game fan can afford to pass. We have this thing called sisu in Finnish, meaning strength of will, and we’re counting on that each of you have a bit of sisu in you!
As a thank-you to our faithful fans, we have decided to release a PLAYABLE technology sneak peek, and it’s available RIGHT NOW to all our pre-order supporters. The sneak peek features a playground that we use internally to test various features various like car damage and environment destruction. The best thing about it is that you will get a chance to have fun and wreak havoc with an amazing 24 cars!
In the full game the action will take place on many locations, including a number of race tracks and derby arenas. We’re also going to improve the gameplay and technology on many fronts such as car damage and handling, and our Early Access customers will get a chance to experience these improvements first-hand during the Early Access phase!
We really hope that most of you want to continue supporting us and Next Car Game through our website. To make the game happen, we need your support more than ever. We’d love if you could spread the word to your friends. Take screenshots and capture videos of the craziest stunts you can come up with and show them to everyone on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, anywhere!
If you have already pre-ordered, you can download the sneak peek from your order page right away. The link to the order page is included in your order confirmation. If you cannot access your order page, please contact email@example.com, and we’ll do our best to help you out.
Thanks for everything this far, you’ve all really deserved this! Enjoy!
This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: we’re finally ready to show you some proper racing action on a dirt track! Here we are testing with a powerful rear-wheel drive car how our handling works on gravel, and we’re glad to let you know that it feels SUPERB!
Thanks to our great physics, you really get the full white-knuckle racing experience with Next Car Game, if that’s what you prefer. On the other hand, if you’re a budding race car driver, you can still enjoy the game (and remain competitive!) by enabling a selection of driving aids.
Please note that the game is still very much work-in-progress, and what you see is not representative of the final quality. For example the track has not been properly decorated yet, and there’s a lot of additional polish that’s going to be done on it. Also, the player car damage has been disabled for the demonstration purposes.
Check out the video on our Kickstarter page and let us know what you think!
As you know, we still have a plenty of distance to cover if we’re going to succeed with our Kickstarter campaign, but you can help us meet our goal. Now it’s time for the racing game fans to unite and show us that you want a game like Next Car Game! Our team is having great fun playing the game, and we feel that no other game can match the amazing racing experience offered by Next Car Game. We can’t wait to share it with you!
PLEASE SUPPORT US AND SPREAD THE WORD!
As a bonus, here’s a few new screenshots from the same track:
Hey, everyone! Since we’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign for our Next Car Game, we thought it would be a great time to share something very special with you.
You can now download a prototype that we created over 10 years ago that has never been shown publicly. The prototype is a little rough around the edges, but it served as an initial actualization of our vision for a reckless racing game, and despite the humble beginnings, it later grew into a game franchise loved by millions of fans.
The foundation for our proprietary physics engine was laid down in the prototype, and even today, the physics engine we use is based on the very same core. Actually, even the code wizard who developed it over ten years ago is working on our amazing Next Car Game!
Now we want to bring our original vision back to life on PC and next-gen consoles and make a racing game offering unparalleled racing simulation, spectacular crashes and in-depth car upgrading. You have never seen anything like it, but we can only do it with your support!
To make things clear, this is NOT the sneak peek technology demo of the Next Car Game. It will be released right after the Kickstarter campaign has ended so that you can get a taste of things to come and help us develop the best demolition racing game ever!
PLEASE SUPPORT US AND MAKE IT POSSIBLE!
In today’s blog update we’re going to talk a bit about multiplayer. It’s proven to be a very popular topic in our community, which is not surprising given that pretty much nothing beats giving your peers a proper beating in an old-fashioned, no holds barred derby match. We love that, and so do you! Needless to say, we’re going to pay a lot of attention to the multiplayer component of the game to make sure it’s something that everyone can get in and enjoy.
After our Upgrading upgraded blog post, there has been a lot of lively discussion on the forums on whether upgrades should be allowed in multiplayer. There are a lot of good arguments for and against upgrades in multiplayer, but the problem can be solved simply by giving the host the option to configure this. Everybody wins, right? That’s also in line with our goal of making hosted multiplayer events as customizable as possible.
The options between “No Upgrades” and “Whatever Goes” are not set in stone yet – some of the more obvious ideas mentioned are power cap and price cap, and they would both probably work fine. Single player career’s car classification system could also form a basis for this, but we’re also still testing on what works there.
During the summer and fall, we’ve been implementing a new lobby system. You’ll have a lobby browser and filters for finding the game you like, or you can of course create your own. Lobby and in-game (and loading screen too, cool!) text chat is already implemented, and a possibility of implementing a voice chat is being investigated. Don’t worry, if voice does get included, there will be an option to toggle it so you don’t have to fear hearing who did what with your mother last night. But then again, I’m just speculating since our community knows how to behave, doesn’t it?
Our core networking is based on peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture, which means every player connects to each other. This does incur its challenges since a lot of connections are needed, but we have a system in place where a third player can act as a relay if a direct connection cannot be established between two players.
During play, the game engines on each player’s computers are then run in sync, although there is of course some prediction and interpolation going on in regards to where the player is going, what is happening next and so on. This is done to make the movement fluid during the times when information is not available due to network latency. If some player starts going out of sync with the rest (e.g. due to horrendous lag or cheating), an internal voting mechanism between the computers handles disconnecting the offender.
One advantage that the P2P architecture has is that apart from the lobby server which announces the available games, there’s no need for dedicated servers. Note that this doesn’t rule out kicking for example, and one of the computers is still going to act as a host. However, since the host is mostly just a title given to someone and doesn’t involve much extra processing under the hood, it’s rather easy to seamlessly migrate to a new one if the original host gets disconnected for a reason or another.
Since the current server browser and lobby screens are currently full of programmer art, you’ll get this multiplayer flower (see the resemblance?) instead:
To save you the trouble, you can count 12 cars in that picture. We know some of you are hoping for more, and we’re definitely going to see what can be done. Sadly we can’t promise anything definite because there are many factors to be considered, and it’s not simply a matter of increasing a number somewhere in the code.
So, what next? At this point our top priorities regarding multiplayer are polishing the core in-race functionality as well as the lobby system. As such, we haven’t yet thought too much about different game modes, but they’ve not been forgotten. There have been a lot of wonderful suggestions in the forums, and we’ll take a closer look at all the ideas when we have the basics in place. Please do keep the suggestions coming in; your input is very important to us so that we can develop a game you want. And if later on something turns out to not work as well as we imagined, at least you get to say I told you!
Furthermore, we don’t yet know where the lobby server is going to be in the end. Steam would be an attractive option as it’s a robust, tried and tested system. But then again, that would obviously mean having Steam mandatory.
Tapio Vierros, programmer
It’s autumn, the gorgeous time of year the Finnish nature is full of color. Our Environmental Art team decided to take advantage of that and bring their game outside, running around shooting plants while people gave funny looks.
A lot of variety is required to create a believable game environment, and most objects that the player will be able to see up close will need to be modeled in full 3D. Small plants and foliage however are usually best achieved with planes or other simple shapes that are then textured – especially since most of our players won’t have too much time to admire them when they’re speeding past flat out! Using this technique the non-plant parts of the object will remain transparent, so the player can still see the game world and objects that are behind the actual object. You can think of the result kind as a billboard.
Textures then can either be hand-painted or based on a photograph. Here at Bugbear we want to achieve photorealistic results, and partly due to that use photo material as much as possible. The best way to get textures suited for your needs is of course to photograph them yourself, so that’s what we did in a nearby park!
The photographs you get usually contain unwanted features in the background that will need to be removed by hand or by using a background plate that’s often easy to remove in a photo editing software. Our previous method of shooting against a piece of white cardboard proved to be quite limited and less than ideal for masking purposes since the parts of the plant foliage can often get very bright hues that should be kept intact. Removing the background plate by masking out white hues can actually poke holes in the plants.
In order to improve our development methods we headed to a fabric outlet to get some decent background for foliage shooting. Our idea was that a strongly saturated cloth in the background would be easy to mask out when editing because the hues would be far apart from those of the foliage. This technique has been used in the film industry for years, and sure enough, it worked like a charm.
The cloth was removed in a photo editing software by using the color range selection and masking it out. Since blue is rarely a major contributing color in plants and foliage it’s an ideal color for this purpose. After this stage it’s easy to remove the stuff that’s outside of the cloth, and you’re all set.
Wait a bit, and you’ll be able to spot the end result in-game!
Ben Lind, 3D Artist