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Stunt Kart VRacer - Construction Kit

TheNeuroPodTheNeuroPod Posts: 10
edited July 2013 in Showcase
Stunt Kart Racer Construction Kit - An hommage to Geoff Crammond

Download link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8r6y4ln5oyusn9v/Stunt%20Kart%20VRacer.rar

"Stunt Car Racer" on the Amiga, by Geoff Crammond, was one of my favorite game at the time. Here is a VR version for the Rift, with a Construction mode, allowing you to build your own tracks and share them with your friends.

The game is still in development but already playable in both Construction mode and Race mode. Build your own track using more than 12 different pieces (straigth track segment, curves, slopes, bumps, even small and huge loops!), select your background, your sky, the position of the Sun, place various spotlights to enhance the mood of your creation and then drive on it and share your creation with your friends ! Sharing is simple: send the text file which contains your track to your friend by email, ask him to put it in the game data folder and to rename it if necessary so that the naming of the files on disk are continuous (level_0, level_1, ...) and voila !

While building, each time you place a track element close to another one, they both will "snap" in place exactly. If you place an element close to several others, it snaps to the closest one. The "B" button on the joypad always delete the last element placed, in case of error.

Contextual help is always accessible by pressing the "Back" button on the Xbox pad: it will show you the commands available to you in the mode you are currently in. In the construction mode, the help will also depend on the submode (place track element, place light, choose terrain, etc.) you are currently in. When loading a previously created track, the car will always appear on the first track element that was created, so always start track creation with a straight, flat segment.

The car of this game is controlled via its engine (left trigger on the Xbox pad) and a powerful magnet (right trigger) under the car. Both control are analog. When the magnet is triggered, it will exerce a force that will keep the car "glued" to the track, and this is useful when negotiating a loop: you have to engage the magnet progessively to counter-balance the force of gravity. The magnet can also be used on bumps of the track, to avoid situations in which the car could fly over a bump, miss the next turn and fall off the track (you can go back on the track at any time by pressing "Y" on the controller). Be careful though: constantly engaging the magnet at maximum intensity will slow you down.

This is version 0.1, future version will include targets to explode, bonus on the track to collect, missiles, time mode, and ultimately the game may become a cross between Stunt Car Racer and Mario Kart with VR multiplayer mode, if there are enough people interested by that!

Three pre-made tracks come with it. You load them by going to Construction mode, then File menu.

I had great fun creating this version 0.1 over the last three months, my hope is that you too will get some fun out of it. Don't hesitate to report me what you like (in the work in progress thread on the Oculus developer forums), what you don't like, and what you would like to see as next steps: more terrains for background? A more refined UI? Obstacles and missiles? Multiplayer? An included ginger beer :-)?

Arnaud

Comments

  • A track:
    X8rtRC3.jpg

    Another track:
    bWkAzRM.jpg

    Track being built:
    HIaQuMf.jpg
  • rogeressigrogeressig Posts: 102
    Hiro Protagonist
    It was my favorite game back in the day, woo!
  • BoffBoff Posts: 190
    Looking forward to trying it out - good times were had with the original on the awesome A500!
  • drashdrash Posts: 2,849
    Neo
    I gave this a shot. I unzipped it, saw the Documentation folder and thought to myself "I better check that out first!", and I was confronted with six pictures of controller mappings. I thought "uh oh... how am I going to remember all this?".

    So I was feeling overwhelmed but fired the game up anyway, and then realized that you show these controller mappings whenever the user needs it in-game. :) Good job!

    Then I thought, where's the track? Since I read your post last night but didn't try the demo until this morning, I forgot about the included sample tracks, but I did remember the construction mode. Tried that out, and found that mostly intuitive after consulting the help screen. It took me some time to realize that the line of text at the very top of my vision was telling me which mode I was in via the asterisks. It's almost too high up to see and I'm wearing A cups with eyes moderately close to the lenses.

    In any case, I built a simple track with some loops and twisting, but I didn't know how to rotate the view or rotate track pieces (but that's my fault for not reading the controller mappings carefully). Love how the pieces snap together. I wasn't sure how to indicate where the kart will start, so I basically just started the track with some straight pieces very close to the ground. Whenever I would hit the Y button in drive mode, my Kart would show up far away from the track itself and I'd have to drive over there. In any case, the straight piece I put near the ground didn't work too well, as I would drive up onto that, and only the front wheels would stay on top of the surface while the rear wheels would sink into it and I wouldn't be able to get very far. I eventually tried a rounded hill piece to lead into that first straight piece, and that did the trick, and I was finally able to test out the driving mechanics for real.

    I found that I love the driving mechanics in this. That magnet feels really powerful, but is easily modulated. It's a nice skill-based mechanic to figure out when to use magnet and how much. Before I figured out that you can load up sample tracks, I found myself wishing the kart had a tighter turning radius, but it works well for the tracks that are included. I also had fun accidentally going off the track and using the magnet to hang on for dear life on the side of a track piece.

    The skybox backgrounds are pretty nice, and I like how the user can choose from several and orient them.

    I can tell you had fun making this! Great job. I will definitely be on the lookout for updates. :)
  • Hello Drash !

    Thanks a lot for your precious comments. I realize that the issues with the interface are worse than I thought :-) I thank you for the time you spent, and will soon produce a new version with the following changes:

    * a first menu at application startup with options "Play" and "Create", with a track pre-loaded if Play mode is selected, and the car already on the track. This will remove the current problem of having to go to Construction mode, then look for instructions on how to load a track, then switch back to drive mode, which is too much for people wanting to simply test driving a little bit

    * the info line in creation mode is not intuitive and visible enough, I agree. I have to replace it with something more visible and fancy. Maybe something built with NGUI, which I don't have yet but, well, this will be needed anyway at some point in the future so better to buy and learn it now

    * it is currently necessary to save and then reload the track you just created in order to place the car on it, which is too cumbersome. Thanks for pointing that out, I will change it (the car will appear immediately on the first track element placed)

    * the car physics model is completely hand made and need tweaking, this was already on my todo list, so it will also happen soon. First change I want to do is to "delinearize" the link between joypad left/right movement and wheel orientation. For instance, the first 50% of the joypad movement could control fine movement of the wheel, while the other 50% the rest of the turning. And maybe also lower the turning radius as you suggest, providing this does not make people fall off the track constantly by oversteering :-)

    About the magnet, there is a fun trick to try: you can sometimes fall off the track, activate the magnet, and stick the car on the underside of the track and ... drive from there :-D Useless, but fun. Well now, this gives me an idea for a two player mode with a transparent track mmmmhhhh...

    Thanks again for your constructive comments, very much appreciated.
  • drachdrach Posts: 63
    Cool, stunt car racer was the first game I played that gave me weirtd feelings in my stomach, fitting for the Rift :) Will have to try that when I come home today.
  • geekmastergeekmaster Posts: 2,866
    Nexus 6
    Like "The Good Book" says:
    Ask and you will receive...
    -- Luke 11:9-12
    Well, I asked for it:
    That looks similar to one of the first games I bought for my Atarti ST back in the day (Stunt Car Racer):

    It remains one of my favorite games, from back before Doom and the "Children of Doom" came along... :D

    I would LOVE to have this experience on a Rift, with the ability to look around (separate from steering, of course).
    And now I have received just what I asked for. Thanks guys! ;)
  • DaveDave Posts: 30
    Brain Burst
    Wow, Stunt Car Racer. If I had to pick my favorite video game of all time, this might be it. I remember stringing a null-modem cable between my office Amiga 2000, and my living-room A1000, and playing with my house mate. I will definitely check this out.

    From your description, the trigger assignment for the driving mode seems a little counter-intuitive, since every other driving game (and car) on the planet puts the accelerator on the right and the brake (magnet, here) on the left. Is there a particular reason why you went a different way?

    I seem to recall that the "hook" that the original game had, and what made it so much fun to play even with a clunky digital joystick, was that absent any steering input, the car would instantly straighten out and proceed down the straights with no further correction needed. (Useful, since sticking the landing of a 500 foot jump requires that the take-off be perfectly straight! :shock: ) I was wondering if you planned to continue to use that control scheme, even in the 21st century world of analog steering. :)

    And of course, there needs to be boost. And the boost needs to work in reverse as well. (We called it "turbo braking" in the original. True SCR connoisseurs require nothing less. ;)

    The frame-damage aspect of the original was also fun, but that sounds tricky enough to implement that I'll allow you to skip it.

    For now. :D
  • HolloHollo Posts: 32
    This is damn cool! I had a ball just driving around on the flat! Actually my stomach was in my mouth on almost every bend when flying around the tracks, so honestly I spent more time just cruising on the flat terrain.

    The editing mechanisms were nicely thought out and easy to hand the hang of. Changing the orientation of the terrain to the skybox gave me chills - almost like a god like feeling spinning the universe around.

    Great stuff!
  • geekmaster wrote:
    Ask and you will receive...

    Hehe :-) Actually, you are very kind because it is still a prototype and not very close to the original at this point. On my to-do list though is to add a "Classic" mode, with textures and environment closer to the original for the nostalgic among us.
    Dave wrote:
    From your description, the trigger assignment for the driving mode seems a little counter-intuitive, since every other driving game (and car) on the planet puts the accelerator on the right and the brake (magnet, here) on the left. Is there a particular reason why you went a different way?

    No reason at all, I actually picked it arbitrarily. I very rarely play racing games, so was not aware of the established convention. Thanks for pointing it out, I will change that in the next update.
    Dave wrote:
    I seem to recall that the "hook" that the original game had, and what made it so much fun to play even with a clunky digital joystick, was that absent any steering input, the car would instantly straighten out and proceed down the straights with no further correction needed.

    There are indeed no piloting assistance for now, but I am well aware of the issue with jumps (the need to be perfectly aligned for the jump to succeed, as you said). Since driving assistance and computerized opponents would reuse similar code, I will probably tackle both at once at some point.
    Dave wrote:
    And of course, there needs to be boost. And the boost needs to work in reverse as well. (We called it "turbo braking" in the original. True SCR connoisseurs require nothing less. ;)

    Boosts could be nice, I agree, for either jumps or huge loops. Note taken :-)
    Dave wrote:
    The frame-damage aspect of the original was also fun, but that sounds tricky enough to implement that I'll allow you to skip it.For now. :D

    Ah ah :-D I dont recall frame damage on the A500 though, was it in another version?

    Thanks to anyone who shared comments and suggestions, very much appreciated, it will help me to shape the next update. And sorry for my English, which is not my mother tongue as you might have guessed by now :)
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