4 A.M has become a familiar time to me over the past few months. I come home from class, play a few video games with my friends and dive straight into working on our game around 11 P.M and work until the sun comes up. Many times I ask myself “Why don’t you just go to bed? You can do this later” and I’m quickly reminded what we are trying to do and whom we are doing it for. Steady Progression has been a goal of mine specifically for this project lately and I can happily say I’ve been making it happen. We haven’t shown much so you wouldn’t be able to tell, but a lot has been changed for the better graphically and systematically. With Milestone and Rainbow releasing their titles this year, I feel as though we are and will be in their shadow as they get the motocross community hyped for new moto games (I think they both look sick btw). However, when we step out we’re going to be bringing a lot to the table.
I have spent a lot of time recently going through not only our comments, but comments from Milestone and Rainbow’s posts as well as the MX Simulator forums. The majority of people are wanting easy to pick up controls but also controls that take some time to master and get good at. While our target gameplay is a mix of simulation and casual elements, I’ve done a lot of thinking about which elements need to be more for sim and which ones need to be more casual. This had led me to rework a few things physics wise to match the theory that I’ve come up with.
The first major change was to the wheels. We are using a realistic friction model in our wheels. This means we can take real world traction data such as slip and falloff angles and apply them via curves to the wheels based on what type of terrain the player is in. We can do this dynamically so if we wanted to have a mud hole and in the next section have a blue grooved corner we could. The tire on the wheel has been modeled programmatically to real tire dimensions down to the knobbies.
Another big change has been our rider physics. I used to fake the rider movement in the bike physics and while that did work, I wasn’t satisfied with the way I was doing it. I moved the whole rider to a new system that is totally physics based. Each body part has been set to its real world weight based on what a normal human being that is X amount tall weighs in total. This helps turn and lean the bike however you want in a pretty realistic way. We are having a few troubles with it but they are just a few small bugs that can be fixed easily.
Lastly, with this realistic mapping of the rider physics, we have created a ragdoll that reacts to falling the way you’d expect. This is the boring part because almost every single motocross game you have played has had a ragdoll when you crash. What happens after that though? You get reset like nothing happened. Not with our rider! When you fall your rider gets up and then you have to jog back to your bike. This is the system I have been working on lately. It boggles my mind how this hasn’t been done anywhere else in moto gaming history and because of that I feel like we need to make it as perfect as possible setting the bar for these bigger studios. While it’s not there yet, it is getting very close! This is the last major thing to get done and this is why I have been putting so many hours in lately. It’s making me so excited to share with you all a never before seen feature in a motocross game.
Here are a couple screenshots of the rider laying on the ground just because. Remember the ragdoll is totally physics based so this isn’t how it laands every time.
The next two months are going to be stellar for motocross games. With Milestone’s game releasing tomorrow and Rainbow’s releasing in march, I just want to ask you to not forget about us or count us out. Developing a game takes a long time and while we are nowhere close to being done, we’re close to sharing what we have with you. I’m so proud of the team I am fortunate enough to work with and I know we’re going to do big things. Thank you for all your kind words and support lately. More updates soon!