[WIP] WHEELS - Kart Racing — Oculus
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[WIP] WHEELS - Kart Racing

WilsonatorWilsonator Posts: 74
edited May 2015 in VR Jam 2015
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A fast paced, chaotic kart racing game

Welcome to my WIP thread for my submission, a kart racing game which is heavily influenced by my Mario Kart project which I stopped working on for fears of getting a Cease & Desist, I have since then wanted to create the same game but with my own assets, and I saw the Mobile VR Jam as a great opportunity to do that.

Introducing WHEELS, a fast paced, chaotic kart racing game with some unique mechanics and features for VR.



This project is a challenge for me as I came into it knowing basically nothing about 3D Modelling, and have been learning while I develop the assets I need - I've luckily learned a pretty interesting way to build tracks, and have got ideas for 4 total courses.

Current Features:
  • Unique, arcade car physics model that allows the racers to drive upside-down, this is comfortable for VR as your car doesn't flip.
  • 8 AI racers which use the exact same car physics as the player, the only difference is that the input is controlled by the AI instead of using a controller
  • Race System with laps and race positions
  • The 'three screens' feature from my old Mario Kart demos:
    • Left screen will show the map
    • Middle screen will show the rear view camera
    • Right screen will show the current lap, position in race and current lap time
    • A smaller screen will slide up when you pick up an item, showing which item you currently have, it slides down again upon using the item
  • Basics of the Item System in place
  • Runs very smoothly on the Gear VR, even with a full track model!

Here I'll detail what I hope to get into my final build, not all of this stuff might be finished in time but I would love to get it all in:

The Courses

Cliffrock Coast
Current Status: 55% Complete
Laps: 3
This track is very simple and is intended to ease players into the game, based on a peaceful cliffside, the road will be smooth and relatively flat, taking racers along the cliffside, over a bridge, past a lighthouse and through a small wooded area. This is the simplest and smallest of the 4 included tracks.

plcIGwgl.png

Mount Thundersmoke
Current Status: 55% Complete
Laps: 2
This track is my personal favorite, the race begins by taking you along a windy forest road, with a huge thunderstorm raging. As you come out of the forest you will begin the ascent up the huge volcano - Mount Thundersmoke. The road twists up the mountain like a snake, and then takes you inside the volcanic chamber along a bridge, before it loops up and around the crater and then launches you back down the side of the mountain. This is the largest track and so only has two laps.

Frostfreeze Forest
Current Status: 70% Complete
Laps: 3
Set in a wintery forest, this track will take you along a snowy road, down along the side of a freezing lake, and then through some icy caverns, where icicles could detach and fall upon unsuspecting victims. This track is more complex than Cliffrock Coast but is relatively tame compared to Mount Thundersmoke and Cloudgate Skyline.

zsTecb5l.png

Cloudgate Skyline
Current Status: 5% Complete
Laps: 3
The most bizarre track in the game is Cloudgate Skyline, inspired by the Rainbow Road levels in the Mario Kart games, this course is set in a deep blue sky, taking racers along golden roads through the blue and defying physics by taking you along rainbows that twist in every direction, players will also bounce on the fluffy white clouds. This track is probably the least tame of all of them, as you will be driving upside-down, sideways, and bouncing on clouds.

The Items

Bear Trap
The bear trap will be a droppable item that will close on anyone who drives over it, temporarily stopping them.

Standard Missile
The standard missile will move straight along the road, bouncing off walls until it hits a racer, temporarily stopping them.

Golden Missile
The golden missile will home in on the racer in front of you, however will explode instantly if it hits anything else.

Super Missile
The super missile will launch up, pause for a moment and then home in on wherever the player is looking, like a laser-guided missile, it will explode on impact.

Flux Core
The flux core is a golden battery which will give your car a temporary boost.

Snail Slime
The snail slime will be dropped behind the user for 3-7 seconds, leaving a trail that will slightly slow down anyone who drives over it.

Multiplayer

Currently, the game does NOT support multiplayer and I do not know if I will support it, simply due to time constraints. If I can reach all my other goals and have enough time before the deadline, I will look into trying to add some form of multiplayer, however due to my lack of mobile development experience, it may not happen.

However - I would like to continue development on this after the Mobile Jam, win or lose, and will release a more feature-complete version in the future with more tracks, items and vehicles (currently just one), and of course multiplayer. I'll also consider working on a PC version for the Rift.

I will update this post with any screenshots and videos of progress during the Jam, and would love to hear thoughts or suggestions if you have any. :D

Wish you all luck in the VR Jam!
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Comments

  • mallmagicianmallmagician Posts: 297 Oculus Start Member
    Having seen your last project, I'm really excited for this. It really sounds like you've got it well planned out. I think you're right to concentrate on your strengths and get a great kart in game together for the jam. Multiplayer can come later and I'm sure if you're work is as good as your previous project, you'll have no bother finding someone to help implement the multiplayer stuff.

    Best of luck. Can't wait to play it.
  • Having seen your last project, I'm really excited for this. It really sounds like you've got it well planned out. I think you're right to concentrate on your strengths and get a great kart in game together for the jam. Multiplayer can come later and I'm sure if you're work is as good as your previous project, you'll have no bother finding someone to help implement the multiplayer stuff.

    Best of luck. Can't wait to play it.

    Thank you! Yeah I was a bit worried as things were going really slow while I was learning the very basics of Blender/3D Modelling in general, but I've sort of got the hang of it now and I'm really happy with how the Volcano course is coming along.

    A bit of question for you, and for everyone else too: I have implemented a 'drift' mechanic similar to Mario Kart, however I don't know if I will keep it.. the problem is in order to turn sharp corners you NEED to use it or you won't turn fast enough unless you're driving slowly.. I personally like it but I don't know if everyone else would want to have the drift functionality in, I didn't have it in the old demos so this is a new feature.
  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    Yes also looking foward to a racing game in VR, especially if it's similar to Mario Kart.
  • mallmagicianmallmagician Posts: 297 Oculus Start Member
    Regarding the drift mechanic, either have it as a mode to turn off and on, or make sure the drift mechanic is clear to a Noob player. I only say that for the sake of judging. You want the judges to be able to get the most out of your entry, so try to help them along.
  • Regarding the drift mechanic, either have it as a mode to turn off and on, or make sure the drift mechanic is clear to a Noob player. I only say that for the sake of judging. You want the judges to be able to get the most out of your entry, so try to help them along.

    I'll perhaps include it as an option before you start a race (automatic/manual), automatic will be the default for simplicity. :D
  • mallmagicianmallmagician Posts: 297 Oculus Start Member
    Good idea. For me I'd love the drifting, and I'm sure most if not all the judges would too. Just make sure they know it's there.
  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    I would definitely keep the drifting mechanic in, as this motivates to learn and master it and keeps also more serious gamers entertained. As for the judges yes maybe give them an option for automatic mode and manual(+drifting) mode.
  • Good idea. For me I'd love the drifting, and I'm sure most if not all the judges would too. Just make sure they know it's there.
    HomerS66 wrote:
    I would definitely keep the drifting mechanic in, as this motivates to learn and master it and keeps also more serious gamers entertained. As for the judges yes maybe give them an option for automatic mode and manual(+drifting) mode.

    Cool, yeah I do like it for the slightly more complex driving, so I'll have it be optional, for more casual play I think an automatic setting would be nice (the AI currently have this anyway since I think it would be quite difficult to get them to drift)
  • CorvusVRCorvusVR Posts: 53
    Hiro Protagonist
    Good luck! It sounds fun.
  • ElvinaElvina Posts: 54
    I’ve seen VR projects where you driving a car, but your project seems to me is different virtual driving experience. Nice!
    As for me I love to drive a car, even if it is just virtual car.
    So good idea, I think a lot of people will enjoy driving especially when you give them opportunity to drive cool sport car on different tracks.
  • Jaycee900Jaycee900 Posts: 223
    Sounds good! Like the look of your Mario Kart Rift game, will look forward to this one!
    Mini Gear VR Reviews Blog --> http://gearvrreviews.blogspot.co.uk
  • Well, submitted my Milestone 1 yesterday and spent some time working on a pretty awesome thunderstorm system for the volcano level - there's now a rain effect and random lightning flashes which look really nice, I've also added a steering wheel to the kart model and continued working on the tracks. I'll update the first post with the progress estimates on each track :D
  • Jaycee900Jaycee900 Posts: 223
    Good stuff! Really looking forward to this one! Look forward to seeing the first screenshots asap :D
    Mini Gear VR Reviews Blog --> http://gearvrreviews.blogspot.co.uk
  • Jaycee900 wrote:
    Good stuff! Really looking forward to this one! Look forward to seeing the first screenshots asap :D

    I should get some early screenshots out soon, it's difficult right now since most of the tracks have massive holes in them where I'm still modelling, or are missing textures - however I'm getting much better with Blender and have made a ton of progress recently, so should be soon!
  • Good Luck! Promising.
  • Good Luck! Promising.

    Thank you :D
  • I've updated the first post with this first early screenshot, showing the graphic style I'm going for - this is part of the Cliffrock Coast course, the kart model is incomplete, and the screenshot is in third person (in the Gear VR it plays in first-person, but I have it set to third person to make it a bit easier on PC)

    cGOWFKpl.png
  • Jaycee900Jaycee900 Posts: 223
    Nice! I think the in-car view will defo improve the VR experience, did you it will have a moving steering wheel? How about attached hands and arms? Just basic ones, again little things will all help with the experience.
    Mini Gear VR Reviews Blog --> http://gearvrreviews.blogspot.co.uk
  • Jaycee900 wrote:
    Nice! I think the in-car view will defo improve the VR experience, did you it will have a moving steering wheel? How about attached hands and arms? Just basic ones, again little things will all help with the experience.

    Yeah I don't think the third person view will be in the actual game, it's only for development purposes 8-)

    The steering wheel does turn (it looks a bit small here but it's fine in VR), I may include attached arms/hands depending on how much of a performance hit Inverse Kinematics has on the Gear VR, luckily I actually have purchased a Unity package a while back that has a very good IK system in it, so I might use that.
  • spinaljackspinaljack Posts: 347 Oculus Start Member
    Instead of IK you can do 2 or 3 animations with arms holding the wheel at full lock left and right and then blend between them. Might produce more natural looking arm positions and subtle movement in the hands/ elbows.
  • spinaljack wrote:
    Instead of IK you can do 2 or 3 animations with arms holding the wheel at full lock left and right and then blend between them. Might produce more natural looking arm positions and subtle movement in the hands/ elbows.

    True - I guess I'm thinking IK because I was using that for the old Mario Kart stuff which had positional tracking so it made more sense there.
  • Also, here's a WIP screenshot of Frostfreeze Forest, the road texture here is a temporary one I grabbed off the internet, I will be adding a proper texture for this soon:

    5e064Fjl.png
  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    If the third person view already exists, it would be nice to have it as an option, as Mario Kart was always in third person and maybe works in VR aswell? But not sure of course.
  • HomerS66 wrote:
    If the third person view already exists, it would be nice to have it as an option, as Mario Kart was always in third person and maybe works in VR aswell? But not sure of course.

    I might have it in as an optional feature if I have time - currently it doesn't use VR, which is mainly the reason it exists (so I can comfortably test without putting a headset on), if I have time I will look into adapting it to VR but as it is at the moment all the UI stuff is on the screens attached to the kart so I'd need to redesign a bit.
  • Another screenshot of Frostfreeze Forest, I've now made a road texture and a cliff texture. Yes, the road has a very sheer drop here.

    zsTecb5l.png

    I also created a very nice menu system last night that I'll show when I upload a video :)
  • WilsonatorWilsonator Posts: 74
    Updated the first post with my Milestone 3 gameplay video.. this is in third person as I cannot get the Oculus Rift working with the Gear VR integration on the PC, the actual game is in first person inside the kart though.

  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    Nice, do you see what weapon you got in first person view and have a mirror?
  • WilsonatorWilsonator Posts: 74
    HomerS66 wrote:
    Nice, do you see what weapon you got in first person view and have a mirror?

    The mirror is there, the item isn't there yet but I plan on adding that tomorrow, it'll be a little panel that slides up when you get an item and back down when you use it 8-)
  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    Sounds good, only the weapon selection sound could get a bit annoying after some time. But maybe it's different in game when you are concentrating on racing.
  • WilsonatorWilsonator Posts: 74
    HomerS66 wrote:
    Sounds good, only the weapon selection sound could get a bit annoying after some time. But maybe it's different in game when you are concentrating on racing.

    Yeah I agree, I don't know if it's the frequency of the item boxes or just the tune itself, but it can be a bit annoying, maybe I'll turn the volume for it down a bit and see if that helps.

    Thanks :)
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