We’re pleased to announce that the latest update to Wreckfest is now available on Steam. There’s something that a lot of you have wanted to see make a return, and as our humble way of saying ‘thank-you’ for all the amazing support we’ve received since the start we’ve included a very special event in this update: lawn mower derby with ragdoll physics! So slip into your farming mood and show them who’s the boss!
In addition to the new agricultural playground the update also contains early versions of two new race tracks, a twisty real-world inspired folk-racing track and a high-speed street track, both guaranteed to work wonders for some high-octane racing that’s only possible in our game. In other news this update will also introduce the basics of career gameplay, with parts deteriorating over time, and a marketplace from where to obtain new and better parts for your cars. There are also many more performance parts like gearboxes to choose from and tune your car with. Please note this update will only give you the first taste of the planned career gameplay, with many more features like crew management and repairing scheduled for near future.
We’re also constantly evaluating and improving our vehicle physics, and with the updated tyre model introduced in this update the sensation of grip is significantly more tangible than before. Furthermore the visual damage has been once again enhanced, and cars now deform more like they’re actually made of sheet metal instead of paper or plastic. The update also contains a huge number of other major and minor improvements, many of which have been requested by you, our dear community.
As always, you should receive the latest update automatically via Steam.
Thanks for all the support and see you on the track!
Something crazy is going to happen soon…!?
As you know, Wreckfest is all about recreating a visceral racing experience in total, and realistic environments play a very important role in that. Since we have come to learn that you cannot really create an authentic race track from the top of your head we involve ourselves in regular field trips to local motorsports avenues. One of these little ‘research excursions’ took place a couple of weeks ago when we visited a motorsports center in southern Finland that’s a venue to many exciting motorsports activities, folk-racing in particular. Although we take cues from banger racing and demolition derby, Scandinavian folk-racing has always been our main source of inspiration for the game so a track like this one is a perfect reference for us.
It wasn’t a race day so the track was empty (save for a couple of karting guys doing practice runs) but we didn’t mind it at all since our plan this time was to capture the environment with our digital cameras, the idea being that we could later on use the photographic references captured by us to recreate the track details and various environmental props in-game. However, while shooting all the lovely details on location we came up with a wild idea: what if, instead of just recreating some of the details, we would recreate the complete track in-game? We thought that would be pretty neat so that’s exactly what we did! Here’s a couple of screenshots from the first version:
Real folk-racing tracks are not often seen in games, but we figured something like this specific track would make a perfect match for our kind of rough, bumper-to-bumper folk-racing. As you can see the track is obviously still in early stages of development, but you can already make out the general layout as well as get some idea of the environment. It will take weeks of additional development to get this track to its final polished stage, but as a result you will have a real race track to race around, faithfully recreated in the game.
Our next update will contain a playable prototype of the track so that you can take a sneak peek at it and let us hear your opinion on it. Speaking about the update, it will also contain a feature that many of you have been anxiously waiting for: career gameplay! For the first time ever you will actually have to start from scratch and earn money to buy better cars and parts. The career will still lack many of the planned features but you will already have an opportunity to get a glimpse of what we have in store for you. Many other improvements are also in the pipeline, but more news later!
We’re pleased to announce that the next update of Wreckfest is scheduled for this month, and it will mark an important milestone for our game. In the update we will be introducing our completely new tire and suspension simulation model that will provide for a much more immersive driving experience on both tarmac and sand. The update will also feature our next-generation DirectX 11 rendering engine that will make it possible to faithfully recreate realistic environments with advanced physically based materials and lighting (PBR).
Since we’ve been working hard with the physics and rendering features of the game this update will not contain much new content, but as a teaser of the great things to come the update will ship with the first iteration of the reworked Sandpit track to give you a glimpse of the level of quality and realism we’re striving for with our next-generation environments. Not only that, but you will also get a chance to experience an early version of a new oval track that we have in production. Since the new tracks would be nothing without new toys to race around with, we’ll be including two new cars as well. Both of them are still heavily in progress, mind you, but nonetheless you will get to take them for an early test drive. Needless to say, the update will also contain a huge number of other added features and improvements, many of which have been requested by you, our dear players and supporters.
As it is so often, when one journey ends another begins. The next update is a first, important step in realizing our dream for Wreckfest. Now with most of the heavy lifting done on the physics and rendering department of the game our development team will be working full-steam on new good stuff to come in the next months: a whole lot of new cars, new tracks, car customization, modding support as well as other features and content that in end will make Wreckfest THE definite game for anyone looking for rough, no-holds-barred racing experience.
A full changelist will be available with the update, but here are the most important changes:
- New simulator-grade physics engine with advanced tire and suspension geometry simulation.
- New DirectX 11 rendering engine with realistic physically based materials and lighting.
- 64-bit operating system support for optimal performance on modern computer systems.
- Hardware MSAA anti-aliasing with advanced foliage transparency antialiasing.
- Dedicated server for optimized multiplayer performance with command-line and remote configuration features.
- Steam leaderboards and player statistics for tracking and comparing performance with other players.
- Support for changing the track and the car in lobby as well as adding bots to multiplayer events.
- New game modes Team Race and Elimination Race, guaranteed to provide explosive racing action for 2-4 teams.
- One new track and another one completely overhauled.
- Two new cars, an American and a European one.
As always, thank you for your enthusiasm, dedication and support. See you on the track!
This week’s blog is an unconventional one, as we’re not as much talking about what we’re up to as much as we are inviting you to be a part of our decision making process.
To be more specific, we’re unsure what to do with the demolition derby aspect of the game. We feel it’s not getting the love that Wreckfest’s racing is getting. The physics modeling and the detail we’re putting into the various upgrade parts are top notch, and with that kind of depth, we could pave way for a more simulationistic approach – realistic car handling, terrain behavior and physics modeling would definitely all allow us to create a demolition racing where the emphasis is on the word “racing”. In effect, that would mean that trading paint would not be as important as driving clean would be, even if dangerous driving and the inevitable crashes would clearly be a big part of the game.
However, we don’t want to make a pure simulator. We do want Wreckfest to have that depth that realistic physics will give us, there’s no question of that, but we don’t want to wade too deep into those waters. This leaves us kind of in a lurch – we’re making a game where crashes look and feel good, but they inevitably cause you to fall further from the lead, which is not always the desired effect. We see this becoming a problem when we’re designing and creating content: tracks and routes are invariably more fun when we’re focusing on full on racing and not full contact banger racing. Plain demolition derby arenas, on the other hand, get boring after a while, because there’s not enough to see and do.
So, we’re currently hunting for ways to perk up the ”banger” part of the races. So far we’ve come up with a score modeling system where you gain points from collisions as well as being a fast driver, but we’re unsure if that would be enough. We’re wondering if we should broaden the “demolition racing” section of the game towards becoming a category of its own, which would, in effect, create two main branches of hitting the road: the other branch is aimed for clean racing and the other is for dirty driving.
However, we are not yet set on this, as it is a problematic road, even if it could be fruitful in the end. Do we create tracks that work on one branch but not the other, like straight stretches of road where you have to gun for the other end, quickly turn around, and head back, and weave amidst your rivals that are behind you? These would be pretty boring, if not downright annoying when playing clean – tracks that aim for maximum chaos become painful to drive if you’re trying to avoid damage. On the other hand, tracks that are designed to be all about speed are simply frustrating when driving a slower moving vehicle designed for ramming. This would leave us with tracks that take a lot of work to complete that would be fun with only one of the main two play styles, if not outright restricted to just that one branch.
Nonetheless, we want to pose a question to you all: what would you like to see? Would you like to see a game where we have both clean racing and dirty racing treated equally? How would you create a new track? To suit both styles of play, or just the other? What style of track would your dream track be, and what kind of game modes would you like to see on that track? (Provided they’re realistic – we’re not making CTF on top of a skyscraper with exploding bomb cars no matter how much you want that to happen )
Feel free to give us references, if e.g. you have fond memories of a game where a certain map worked especially well with one specific game mode.
As a disclaimer: this kind of blog doesn’t mean we’re deadlocked with the game! It means we’re giving you an opportunity to tell us what you would like to see in the game, and let that influence what we’re doing. Help us design Wreckfest to be all it can be
That’s it for today!
And, as always, stay safe all y’all.
This blog post is all about the physics update. In short, we’re still wrestling with it.
We sincerely apologize for the delay – we did correctly estimate how long it would take to make the building blocks to get the first 90% of the update ready, but those final ten percent have proven to be quite difficult to lock into place. Before that final magic happens, we cannot launch the next build, as the cars wouldn’t behave properly. In fact, not even close: they’d fly all over the place, or topple over in the first corner, or do the bouncy-bouncy in true lowrider style. If we would release a build like that, Wreckfest would be completely unplayable, and that would be worse than anything. So, we’ll have to stick to it and keep working.
Why is it so difficult to get the final pieces together, then? Well, the physics update is a quagmire of variables. Every value we change affects everything else, so it’s as much about trial and error as it is about knowing what to do. This is why we can’t give an estimated time of arrival – it might be a week, it might be a month. We’re truly sorry that we can’t be more specific than that.
To showcase how the cars behave, here’s a handful of B-reel screenshots. Note that the last three are all taken in the first 50 meters of the race. That should give you an idea how truly broken it can get when you try to find the right physics values
(Of course, it’s very rarely that bad even when we try something drastic, so don’t worry, we’re showing these pics just because they’re funny, not because they represent the actual state of the game.)