A community screenshot by SensenM4nn.
Another busy week down! The development of the title is rolling on at a steady pace on many fronts. A majority of our coding team has been concentrating on developing our engine, while the level and art teams have been creating – you guessed it – new cars and tracks. We’re going to give you a teaser of those when we have a bit more to show, but this time we’re going to talk a bit about the forthcoming replay feature as well as a few common issues our community has encountered with the game.
Like said, the first iteration of our replay feature is now almost completed. Jani has been working on it for some weeks now, and he’s managed to pack in some pretty neat features. The way it works is that it will record the whole event, and afterwards you can simply let the replay roll and watch the whole barrage of twisted metal again in different camera perspectives or even in your custom one by using the free camera functionality. It will also feature time controls (slowing down and speeding up for those cool slow-motion shots), camera lock to target car (follow), target switching, pause and resume, as well as depth-of-field and field-of-view settings. In short, all the tools you might need to create your perfect cinematic video!
We also have some great news to those using multiple controllers to play the game, for example separate wheels and pedals. Currently the game only supports single controller at a time, and while that is of course not a problem if you use a wheel and pedals from the same set by plugging the pedals directly to the wheel, it makes it impossible plug both the wheel and the pedals directly to the system via an USB connection. Thanks to Tapio all that will change with the next update, after which the game will support multiple simultaneous controllers. The next update will contain quite a few other controller support improvements as well; complete details when the update is out.
A community screenshot by Conte Zero.
Speaking of controllers, quite a few of you have voiced your concern that the handling is currently too slow with a gamepad, taking away much of the fun. We’re glad to let you know that we agree with you, and we’ve been working this week to improve the situation. The reason why we introduced slower steering rate in the first place was to make the cars easier to control without any driving assists by preventing the player from making too drastic countersteering measures to combat fishtailing, but now in retrospect it does seem like we jumped the gun and made a too hasty decision on how to improve the situation. We’re of course still working on the handling (probably will be all the way until the end!), but we’re confident that we’ll be back on track with the next update, and we’re already really looking forward to hearing your feedback.
Oh, and before I forget: we’ve also received quite a lot of feedback that the AI controlled cars have too little mass in player vs. AI collisions, making it possible for the player to plow through scores of AI opponents without too much difficulty. We’ve heard you, and there’s an improvement coming for that too in the next build.
That covers the most important news, but we still have a little treat for the end. A talented YouTube user jaimswallace has produced an amazing cinematic trailer for Next Car Game, and what’s even more amazing is that he did it without the forthcoming replay feature! If you haven’t already done so, check out jaimswallace’s video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=188j9uV4LvU and don’t forget to subscribe for more explosive action!
Thanks to everyone for thoughtful feedback, we really appreciate it.
Janne Suur-Näkki, game designer
A community screenshot by Etahos
It’s been business as usual here at Bugbear. While engine work has progressed under the hood, our level and car teams have been busy doing what they do the best, creating new content for (y)our game. We also arranged a small photo shoot last week to start building assets for the new spectator models. It’s a good thing that we’re still 20+ or so here so we don’t have to hire extras but can simply use our own faces instead! We’ll be sure to show you some work-in-progress screenshots as soon as we can.
One feature that many of you have requested is replay, i.e. an ability to playback the event and enjoy the most spectacular moments again. If you’re now nodding your head approvingly, it’s your lucky day! Since replay is something that we also think would be cool, not to mention that seriously speaking every racing game just needs to have one, we’ve been already working on it. Given that our game features not an insignificant number of cars and quite a lot of dynamic content we still have some wrinkles to iron out, but other than that the feature is coming along nicely and when completed, will open up a whole lot of new possibilities for finding those perfect angles for screenshot and video production. Expect more news soon!
Meanwhile back in the jungle Juha, one of our brilliant artists, has been working on a new driver model to replace the current one. You know, (yes, we’re first to admit it) the deranged, somewhat crow-looking figure piloting our cars. The one we currently use was intended as a temporary placeholder, but we’ve been dragging it along surprisingly long. Well, we have some great news now: soon it’s time for the old Jerry to bid a farewell and pass the wheel to a new, much sportier Jerry!
Juha was nice enough to take a break and capture some work-in-progress screenshots for us, and here you can see a high-poly render of the new model that he sculpted in ZBrush:
And here’s a teaser shot of the new model, all baked and textured, to give you some idea how it will look in-game:
As you can see Juha’s still got some detail work left, but hopefully it won’t be long before you can enjoy the new model in-game. I know I personally cannot wait!
That’s all for now, folks. The discussion about the game and its features is going on as active as ever at our community forum down at community.bugbeargames.com. If you’d like to give feedback, make a suggestion or simply enjoy the great community spirit, don’t hesitate to join in! Also, don’t forget to check out the gorgeous community screenshot thread here.
Janne Suur-Näkki, game designer
A community screenshot by Taxi
Once again it was a busy week at the studio. For most of the week we were busy preparing for the update, and we were extremely proud when we eventually got it out of the door and into your hands just in time for the weekend. We’re also really happy about the way the game is progressing, and it was really great to read all the feedback during the weekend and see you all using the new screenshot mode to get the best out of our game. Speaking of screenshots, you can see the fruits of everyone’s amazing work adorning this post – to be honest, they’re much better than ours!
The changes in handling are something that have been a popular topic for the whole weekend. It’s not so much that there have been many changes in the underlying physics, but the steering ratio has been lowered. This was done to make it easier to control the car without any assists because now it’s not possible to overreact to oversteer by turning the wheels too much, too quickly, resulting in spinning. However, as a side effect the handling now feels somewhat slower and perhaps more sluggish than it used to. We’re currently assessing the situation and figuring out the next step – one possible solution might be to make the steering ratio configurable by the user – but your feedback is invaluable to us so that we know in which direction to take the handling. When we said that we want to develop the game with you, our community, we really meant that.
A community screenshot by Blackvain
It was also great to hear how much you’ve loved the new Figure 8 derby track. Other than that the update didn’t bring too many changes in tracks apart some improvements and added polish, but there’s a good reason for that – our level team has been very busy for the last few weeks. The reason for that is that we’re currently assessing our long-term plan for the tracks, and we’ve decided to use the current tarmac track as a test case. We can hopefully soon show you some of the ideas that we have, but basically the track will have a much more efficient flow, with a nicely balanced amount of sweeping corners and straighter legs, with possibly a very tight section thrown in for good measure to act as a choke point. More about that in the coming weeks as soon as we have something remotely presentable.
While there’s a constant programming work going under the hood next week will see us not only focusing on the tracks, but we will also be looking at what new cars to add next. The new American Sedan has very popular with you, but we’re thinking the next one needs to be something different again to keep things fresh. Maybe a sport coupé? Or another small hatch? Nothing’s written in stone yet, so be sure to visit our community forum and let us know what you think!
I think it’s more than fitting to end this post with some more amazing screenshots posted on our community forum. In future we will be also posting some community screenshots in a dedicated feature – if you want to have yours featured, be sure to post your work on the community forum thread here.
A community screenshot by Carrythxd
A community screenshot by Needles Kane
A community screenshot by MALZman
A community screenshot by SuperBagel
A community screenshot by axelrol
A community screenshot by Taxi
A community screenshot by rich-7
A community screenshot by MALZman
Again, we really appreciate all the support we’re getting from you. Thanks all and enjoy, I’m off to sauna now!
Janne Suur-Näkki, game designer
While we experienced some unfortunate bumps on the way last night, we’re proud to let you know the latest update for Next Car Game is finally online! You should receive the update automatically, but in case your game is not being updated, please log out of Steam and back in to start the update process.
The highlights of the update are the brand new Figure 8 derby race event and the new classic American Sedan car, but in addition to those the update also contains other major new features like new weathers and added upgrade parts. There’s also a hefty amount of other improvements and fixes. Please find the complete changelog with release notes below:
* New Figure 8 derby race event.
* All race tracks now have a reverse layout as well.
* Lap and AI counts are now fully customizable for each event.
* Tarmac track: start area rehauled, tarmac textures reworked, last sector redecorated.
* Gravel track: textures reworked, track surface visuals updated.
* New birches for both tarmac and gravel track.
* General polishing and bug fixing.
* Three new weathers: bright day, cold morning and warm sunset.
* A random weather is selected to an event at startup.
Dynamic environment objects:
* Tire stacks now have more weight to them for added realism.
* Reduced concrete barrier friction to prevent the car from spinning.
Vehicles & Upgrading:
* New car: American Sedan (no high detail dashboard yet).
* Steering wheels now rotate in cockpit camera.
* Texture/model improvements and bug fixes.
* Increased European hatchback engine power.
* Reworked European hatchback handling.
* New engine backfire effect.
* Improved differential simulation.
* New gearbox, drivetrain, suspension and brake upgrade parts.
* New paint jobs for cars to choose from.
* Driving model improvements.
* Assists now have three levels of strength: ‘Off’, ‘Half’ and ‘Full’, with ‘Off’ and ‘Half’ being the same as earlier ‘Off’ and ‘On’ and ‘Full’ offering an even more assisted driving experience.
* New screenshot camera mode with zoom factor and yaw, pitch and roll parameters, designed for taking screenshots with free camera and hidden HUD. In the screenshot mode, it’s possible to rotate the camera as well as adjust the field-of-view, and by accessing Effect Mode, you can adjust the Depth-of-Field (DOF) parameters to your liking. There’s no dedicated button for taking a screenshot yet, so you need to use an external application or PrintScreen button.
* Brought back spherical camera from the technology demo, it’s available only in camera mode at least for now.
* Implemented another chase camera further back according to the feedback.
* Tweaked European hatchback chase camera.
* Fixed engine component damage calculation in HUD so that the engine icon will better represent the actual damage.
* Removed red damage direction indicators from HUD based on a general request.
* Fixed an issue with gameplay damage not being calculated correctly when near death.
* Further balancing of gameplay damage and visual damage – a completely reworked system will be introduced in the future.
* Reworked many textures.
* Added some nice decorative elements.
* Tweaked interior and yard decoration.
* Tweaked lighting.
* Derby AI: tactical reverse mode now considers engine location more efficiently.
* Removed speed sensitive steering when using a steering wheel.
* Implemented further balancing tweaks to AI profiles and handling.
* Implemented start position randomization (for player as well).
* Binding the Logitech G27 button 7 etc. will no longer result in exiting the settings menu.
* Loading screen will now show a background based on the event you’re playing instead of a generic one.
* Game is now paused and input suspended while Steam overlay is active.
* DirectInput gamepads should now work and are also remappable.
* Improved controller settings to reduce steering lag.
* Fixed a bug where VSync was not able to recover back to 60 fps when temporarily dipping to 30 fps.
* Engine damage sound effect is now linked to actual engine damage instead of car health.
As always, all feedback is welcome!
First of all, we’re sorry that we’ve been more or less flying under the radar since our first update in January. The response to our Early Access launch on Steam was tremendous, and to be honest we’ve had our hands full with answering all the feedback and figuring out a roadmap for the remainder of the development according to your feedback.
However, that’s not to say we’ve been just kicking our heels. The second update is incoming next week, and it will contain some great new content as well as significant gameplay improvements. The highlights include a completely new cinematic camera mode for taking great screenshots, highly customizable races with both lap and opponent count settings, rotating steering wheels, a plenty of new upgrade parts such as different types of differentials, another chase camera higher and further back, more precise gameplay damage, as well as a hefty amount of small but important improvements and tweaks. More about the details next week!
One thing that we know many of you are anxiously waiting for are new cars, and we’re happy to let you know that the update will see an addition of a typical 80s style American sedan. It has more weight to it than either of the cars that are now included while it’s perhaps not as maneuverable. We’re pretty confident that it will offer a great new race and derby experience. Naturally the car comes with a set of upgrade parts.
And that’s not all. A figure 8 style track is probably something that many players will consider as *the* derby track, so we thought we’d put one in! That’s right, the next update will contain a modified version of the derby arena with a figure 8 track built inside it. The space is pretty confined so speeds never get that high, but imagine the chaos and destruction with all 24 cars going after each other in such a small space!
Some teaser screenshots of the new car on the figure 8 track:
The discussion on our community forum at community.bugbeargames.com has been as lively as ever, with lengthy discussions going on regarding all aspects of the game. We’re also pleased to introduce two community moderators, Usmovers_02 and Majatek, that will be helping us run the forum. Both are long-time Next Car Game enthusiasts with a broad knowledge about the game. Be sure to say hello to them and join the discussion!
See you next week!
Holiday season is an exciting time for everyone, but for us at Bugbear it was even more so. Only a couple of days before Christmas, we released the very first Early Access version of our Next Car Game, with the aim of giving our faithful fans something to enjoy during the holidays.
It was the first time we were going to show the game to everyone, and we were very anxious to hear the feedback, but the game took the Internet by storm: the first Early Access release doubled the sales of the title during the Christmas week! Last autumn, we had a stretch of bad luck with our Kickstarter campaign, and it didn’t reach the goal we were aiming for. Even so, we didn’t lose our faith in the game and wanted to get it in the hands of the players as soon as possible. And thanks to our great supporters, we really couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present – much to our surprise, we reached and actually topped our original campaign funding goal in just week! Not only that, but the free demo we released a couple of days later has been downloaded over 50,000 times, and the gameplay video posted on the popular Nerd³ Youtube channel has already nearly 500,000 views.
All this is of course a testament to how awesome crowd of supporters we are fortunate enough to have. Although our game is still at a pretty early stage, and as such, contains many missing features and numerous bugs, the players have loved what we already got and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve already received a plenty of smart suggestions for future improvements, some of which will of course find their way into the final game. During the coming months we’re going to give the game a lot of polish as well as implement new exciting features, and our Early Access supporters have an opportunity to experience the game as it develops and get involved in the development!
PRE-ORDER NOW TO GET EARLY ACCESS!
Early Access is being sold through our own website for now, and all our pre-order supporters get to download the game through Steam immediately. The first release contains two playable cars and three tracks, showcasing both track racing and demolition derby action with 24 cars.
By pre-ordering the game now, not only you get to play right away but also have a chance to get a lot of cool exclusive extras like technology sneak peek, special supporter car and your name in the game – and what’s best, you get all this for a special, reduced price!
FREE SNEAK PEEK
Don’t forget that the free version of Next Car Game technology sneak peek is still available through our website! With already over 50.000 downloads and counting, countless players around the world are already wreaking havoc in our destructive sandbox! Make sure you’re not left behind!
The free version contains a limited version of the playground scene that we use internally to test various features like car damage and environment destruction. What’s best, by pre-ordering Next Car Game you get access to the full version of the sneak peek with a lot additional cool content for the demo like physics cannon with explosive missiles, new destructive machinery, more spectacular stunts and a ton of dynamic stuff to blow up!
BEHIND THE SCENES: JUNKYARD VISIT
Quite recently we did a little field trip to a local junkyard to take a look at what extreme car damage really means. We learned a lot, and the guys at the junkyard got to have some real fun by showing us how to give a car some real punishment. So as far as we’re concerned everybody won! If you still haven’t had a chance to check out the video from our field day, check it out below: