Environment Concept

The post depicts my prototyping and designing of the first enviroment contained with Velocity Racing, Route 66. Below is a mood board and some information about the most infamous sites to visit along route 66.

The total length of the classical Route 66 is nearly 4,000KM/h. The top speed in Velocity Racing will be around 1000KM/h, because of this the total length will be scaled down by a factor of ten. The total length of Route 66 in velocity racing will therefore be around 400Km and will take roufly four minuites two drive.

route66map2

Illinois Start Point :-

The start of Route 66 has moved a few times. Originally, Route 66 began on Jackson Blvd. at Michigan Ave. In 1933, the start (and end) was moved east onto the reclaimed land for the world fair to Jackson and Lake Shore Drive. In 1955, Jackson Blvd became one way west of Michigan Ave. and Adams St. became the westbound US-66. However, the start of US-66 remained on Jackson at Lake Shore Drive.

So, even while currently Adams Street at Michigan Avenue is marked as the starting point, Route 66 never departed from there.

route66map

Missouri Worlds Largest Chair :-

The worlds largest rocking chair is forty two feet tall and was built purely to break the Guinness book of records, when first built it actually rocked however it has since been welded securely to the ground. It is built of black steel pipe and was lifted into place by two cranes. – See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/17781#sthash.lUlfD0ij.dpuf

Kansas Rainbow Bridge :- Although the new route 66 does not actually pass over the Rainbow bridge it is the sole survivor bridge from the original route 66 and is often visited by tourist. It is a single lane bridge constructed solely of concrete, it spans ‘Brush Creek’.

See more at :http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/26271#sthash.pOm5PPdV.dpuf

Oklahoma Ribbon Road :- In 1907 Oklahoma’s primary travel  method was trains, but in the nine foot wide ribbon road was soon built, originally named ‘Oklahoma’s Highway’ it was the primary route through Oklahoma when travelling by road.

See more at :- http://www.theroute-66.com/ribbon-road-us66.html

route663

Ribbon Road or 9 foot wide Route 66 in Miami Oklahoma

Texas Cadillac Ranch :- The Cadillac ranch is made up of ten cars buried bonnet first into the ground. The cars are lined up in a single file from east to west and are covered in street art. The attraction is open 24/7 and is free to visit and anyone who visits is free to paint on the cars. The cars are painted hundreds of times per week, and the paint has become a thick skin encasing the cars.

New Mexico Blue Swallow Hotel :- The blue swallow motel was used as inspiration for the ‘Cozy Cone Motel’ in the film ‘Cars’. The Blue Swallow was originally built by a carpenter in just before the beginning of World War 2. Business boomed until the Route 66 was changed and bypassed the motel which was subsequently sold. But is still in operation today with thee Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

Arizona Wig Wam Village :-  Originally built in the 50’s the Wig Wam Village or Motel is made up of fifteen tepee’s placed in a U formation around the main central office. Each tepee is 28 feet tall and 21 feet wide constructed of concrete. The Wig Wam village is placed along the old route 66 and modern highway systems hurt business, although it still survives on tourist visits.

See more at :- http://www.theroute-66.com/holbrook.html#wigwam

California Cucamonga Station : – 

The Cucamonga Service Station was built in 1915 by Henry Klusman and owned by William Harvey.

From 1945 to 1971, when it closed, it was owned by Cucamonga’s first Fire Chief, Arvid Lewis. In the 1970s, it became an Arco gas station.

And then stood abandoned for years. It was declared a Historical Landmark by the City Council in 2009, and restoration began in 2013 by Route 66 Inland Empire.

It reopened in Aug. 2015 and is now a Route 66 Museum

It was built in the Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial architectural styles with Spanish tiles crowning parts of its roof.

http://www.theroute-66.com/rancho-cucamonga.html#richfield

Main Menu Concept

This post covers the concept and prototype of the main menu, the main menu should be visually interesting as well as functional. The main menu sprites will be created in Photoshop and then the menu constructed in Unity 5 using the UI system.

Below is a concept image i created for the game, it depicts a sci-fi road surrounded by mountains. Although this is not an accurate representation of the menu, it gives the general idea and feel.

mainscreen

Vehicle Concepts

Car Concepts

Below is a collection of concept images I have created for the cars that will appear in the game, according to the game design document the cars should be vintage but with modern technologies underneath so this is what i have attempted to achieve.

Ford Escort Mk2 Rs1800

First seen in 1974 the Ford Escort RS1800 Rally Spec was built around a 1.8L Cosworth engine which pushed out around 250BHP. The Rs1800 won almost all rally events it entered from 1975 to 1979.

Although the road spec car did not have anywhere near as much power as the rally spec it was still a light and powerful car for its day. The road version of the car was given the same 1.8L engine however, it was toned down to produced around 115BHP which gave the car a top speed of 112mph and a 0-60 time of 8.3 seconds.

Ingame Characteristic :

  • Medium Acceleration
  • High Top Speed
  • Medium Handling(High Wheel Grip, High Cornering Speed) in the concept of the game.
  • Medium Weight and Mass.

Based on the information the studio has gathered, the studio has produced a concept image for the in game Mk2 Escort.

cropped-escortconcept.jpg

Austin Mini

The Austin Mini first appeared in 1959, selling 400,000 units before it was even built. The small 900cc engine did not provide much power but the light compact design kept the car stuck to the road. The cars handling allowed it to keep up with much faster and more powerful cars, around a bendy track.

Slightly later during the 60’s and 70’s the Mini Cooper S and Mini 1275 GT where released, both these cars had an up rated 1.2L engines. During this period, both cars enjoyed multiple victories in rallies across the world including Monte Carlo.

 

Ingame Characteristic :

  • Fast Acceleration.
  • Low Top Speed.
  • Good Handling(High Wheel Grip, High Cornering Speed).
  • Low Weight/Mass.

The final concept image produced by the studio.

mini

Studebaker Commander 1948

The commander was produced by Studebaker company from 1920-1960. The 40’s Studebakers where released with an extended wheelbase for comfort and many luxurious features that other cars of the day did not.

stude

 

Game Design Document

The Elevator Pitch

The future is here, the future is fast, the future is destructible.

The world is in disarray and common media is dead. A new form televised racing is on the rise, vintage vehicles packed with revolutionary technology hit speeds upto 1000KHM around hastily prepared tracks. Players must compete for fame and cash in the racing cup, the more races you win, the more money you have and the faster you go, if you survive that is.

Overview

The game will have a sci-fi theme , set 100 years in the future the world is in disarray after a nuclear war, humanity has survived but the world is a desolate and destroyed place. Global media has transformed into a lawless business and from this a new and dangerous sport is emerging. With speeds up to 1000KMH in car bodies that where designed to do 100KHM destruction is certain. The player is asked to compete in various races around the world to earn points in a racing cup, the winner of the cup does not receive money as currency has no value but instead fights for the chance to have a place on the one team that is sponsored by the state and therefore has access to global world supplies.

Project Description

This project is being carried out for a FMP University project, the idea is to create a sci-fi racing game with AI opponents and destruction mechanics. The project should take around nine months to complete and will require primarily programming skills to complete, but 3D modeling skills will be needed as well.

Targeted platforms

The game will be created for the PC platform using a publicly available game engine such as Unreal, Unity or the Crysis Engine. Although currently I do not have all of the skills required to create this game, I am confident that I can research and solve any problems that will come my way within these game engines.

Team

The team is constructed solely of one member Rory Scanlan, he will be carrying out all jobs from programming to 3D modeling to market research. As the sole develop Rory is also responsible for keeping the project on track and ensuring that is completed in a timely manor.

Influences (Brief)

For an in depth explanation of all the influences please see the ‘Inspirational and Reference Games’ post.

FZero Racing – FZero was first released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System(SNES), with fast paced racing this game was a first of its kind. It utilized a new rendering engine which allowed not only 3D objects to be emulated but also a high frame rate. This ultimately meant that FZero had the fastest and smoothest game of any racing game created for the SNES.

Wipeout – The Wipeout series was first released on PlayStation one, much like FZero Wipeout brought new graphics and even smoother game play to the table. Not only did Wipeout utilize the new hardware of the PlayStation it also added new mechanics to the game, such as weapons or maybe even more importantly  the addition of fast paced licensed music which sets the tone through out the game.

Fast Neo Racing – Fast Neo Racing added new mechanics to the Wipeout and FZero model, with jumps added to the track, faster vehicles, cylinder shaped tracks.

What sets this game apart?

The use of vintage vehicles with sci-fi technology is a theme that has not been explored in this genre before. The desolate world is another theme that is yet to be explored within this genre. These unique themes will help the game stand out in the competitive genre of racing games. 

A destruction system will also be implemented, the destruction system will mean that the players car is damaged when they crash. For instance body parts could be torn off or dented, revealing the sci-fi technology below. Although destruction systems have been implemented into racing games before, a destruction system is yet to be implemented into a fast paced sci-fi racing game.

Story (Detailed)

The world is ravage by war, Russia and America are no more. The worlds media is destroyed, but from the ashes rises a new and dangerous sport, velocity racing. These racing league expects their competitors to recycle and because of this vintage car bodies are enforced. However, the technology driving these cars is in no way vintage, the latest anti-gravity and jet propulsion pushes them to speed of upto 1000KMH.

You the character an ex formula one driver has been asked to compete in this league, this will bring fame and money and with no other prospects on the horizon you snatch up this chance.

Gameplay (Detailed)

The player will first choose between three racing teams, each team has its own vehicle which in tern has its own properties such as top speed, acceleration, handling and looks. Each team also has its own money policies, for example the team with the ‘fastest’ car will give the least amount of money towards upgrades, while the slowest team may offer more money towards upgrades.

The player will be asked to compete in a racing league, the league is made up of  multiple races in which they player competes. The first five winners of each race earn points towards the league and at the end of all the races a final winner of the cup is chosen. If the player wins the cup, they are given access to a new racing team which was not accessible before and they can complete the cup again. However if the player does not win the cup, they must attempt complete it again with their existing racing team.

At the end of each race the player is given an amount of money towards upgrades, the first five places will be given 50k, 35k, 25k, 15, 10k and 5k respectively. If they player collects enough money they can upgrade their vehicle between races, by choosing from a preset of three upgrades.

Each upgrade will change a different aspect of the vehicle, aerodynamics, horse power and ground grip. Each aspect of upgrading will have three levels, so if the player unlocks level one aerodynamic upgrades they can then access level two, provided they have enough money.

Core Gameplay Mechanics (Brief)

– Fast Paced Racing is the main mechanic of this game, with speeds up to 1000 kilometers per hour.

– Environment and Vehicle destruction,  non-static environment and vehicle that break up on collision..

– Tunnel Boosters, these tunnels have lower air pressure which allows vehicles to travel faster.

– Jumping, vehicles can boost themselves into the air to dodge obstacles or jump up walls.

-A ‘viewing’ or ‘pit’ area where the player can walk around his vehicle and inspect it closely.

Core Gameplay Mechanics (Detailed)

– Driving

The main fundamental mechanic in this game is the ability to control the vehicle, the player feel must as if they are controlling a racing machine. The vehicle should be extremely fast in acceleration and top speed. The vehicle should not however feel like a car to drive, because the vehicle is hovering and does not have wheels.

A custom script will be written to ‘simulate’ the car physics. The script will control how the handle’s in terms of cornering, speed and hovering. This script will also contain the main controls for the player.The player should be able to control the vehicle either through the keyboard and mouse or through a game controller.

– Destruction

The game will contain a vehicle destruction system, when the player crashes parts of the car should be visually damaged. Body parts should become dented or even fall of the vehicle. If a part of the body is damaged it will reveal vital parts of the vehicle below, if the player continues to crash then the vehicle’s internals will be damaged causing the car to slow down or veer off course.

Once again a custom script will be attached to the car, this script when a collision is detected will first take in the direction and strength of the collision and then use that data to deform the body of the vehicle. If a certain ‘damage’ value is reached then the body part may become detached from the vehicle, at that point a different method is used when a collision is detected. This method will damage the cars internals, slowing it down or causing steering issues.

– Tunnel Boosters

Long tunnels containing lower air pressure allow the vehicles to travel faster then outside of the tunnel. Essentially these tunnels act like boosters along the track, however the player will need to steer carefully to stay within the middle of the tunnel and not damage their car.

In programming terms these tunnels will use a collide to detect when a car is inside the tunnel, the script attached to the tunnel essentially will lower the drag or raise the power of the vehicle enabling it to travel faster when inside the tunnel.

– Jumping

Each vehicle is capable of vectoring its thrust downwards, enabling the vehicle to jump. Some tracks will have areas where the vehicle needs to jump a gap or ‘climb’ a wall, in these cases the vehicles jump feature will be needed.

If the vehicle is within a certain distance of the floor it will be able to jump, by applying a large force from below or adjusting the Y position of the vehicle. Once the vehicle passes this certain distance it will no longer be able to jump, but instead can only apply a small force to slow itself down when falling. In this way the player will not be able to fly of into the sky.

Monetization model (Brief/Document)

– <Monetization Type> (Premium, Paid Alpha/Beta/Final, Ad Driven, Micro-transactions, Subscription, etc.)

– <Link to Monetization Document>

(How do you plan to monetize the game?)

Project Scope

Cost

The game currently has no funding and therefore needs to be created as cheaply as possible, many game development programs such as Maya offer a free one year student trail which can be used to develop the game. However, these student licenses come with many stipulations as to how the game may be sold therefore if the game is made public licenses for these software will need to be purchased by the studio or the studio will have to switch to another program that does not have license stipulations.

One example of this is Autodesk Maya’s student certificate which does not allow you to sell work created with the student license. Maya’s license is around £170 per month, which is simply out of the studio scope. In this case a program like Blender will have to be used as primary 3D application, as it does not have license stipulations.

The studio has already purchased the ‘Quixel Suite’ texturing software, this cost $70. Although this was expensive it will save the studio many hours later in the texturing process and will yield more stunning results.

With all this taken into consideration, the total cost of the creating the game looks to be around £100, the bulk of this is taken up by the purchasing of the Quixel Suite, however the time saving factors make the purchase justifiable.

Time/Schedule

Deadline : 05/05/2017

The deadline for this project is the 5th of May 2017, which gives me around seven months to complete the project. The studio will divide these seven months into three phases, design, development and testing. During the design phase the studio will focus on designing the various aspects of the game while researching programs which could potentially be useful in developing the game. The development stage will involve creating the game, by this time the studio will have chosen the specific programs it wishes to use. 3D modeling, texturing and programming will all be undertaken. Eventually all of these aspects will be brought together in the chosen game engine to create a prototype or first version of the game. Finally the testing phase will involve extensive testing of the game looking for bugs in the programming or improving the visuals through further polishing of the 3D assets.

FMP Idea Thought Process

This post will outline the thought process behind my FMP idea. I will considered my strengths and weaknesses outlined in the earlier post and from there make an informed decision as to what I am going to create. Below I have listed some of the most common game genre’s, I will attempt to break down and analyse each genre technically so that I can deicide which genre will be best for me to take forward onto my project.

Fighting Game :-
Fighting games often have two or more player controlled characters that fight each other onscreen until one of the players health is depleted and only one character is left standing. Fighting games make heavy use of realistic human models, rigs and animations. The characters and backgrounds are often heavily heavily animated. For these reasons I have decided to not make a fighting game as the animation and rigging may be well out of my capabilities. Although I could train myself to rig and animate this will take up much of my time, meaning that in the end I will have less time to actual design and create the final product.

First Person Shooter :-
First person shooting games revolve around a first person view of the world, the idea behind the game is to shoot the other players until only one player or one team is left standing. Again shooting games make heavy use of organic human like models, which require rigging and animating. Although the player see’s the world through a first person camera, the player still see’s all of the other character running about the world thus they will need rigged and animated. For this reason I am going to steer away from first person shooters.

Physics Bases Puzzle Game:-
Physics based puzzle games make heavy use of a game engines physics engine. Often the player is asked to perform a small task such as placing blocks, but the task must be completed using physics and not direct input. Although this type of game would be relatively simple to create and would not require much rigging or animation, it may be difficult to think of new and interesting puzzles, possible limiting the amount of variation within the game. Moreover without variance and critical thinking within the puzzle the game may lack “shock and awe” when some one views it. When somebody see’s my project I want them to be shocked and I do not believe a puzzle game will easily achieve this.

Racing Game:-
Racing Games are as they sound, a group of players are asked to race around a track and complete it as fast as possible. The first person to complete the track is the winner of the race. Racing games do not use many organic models and most of the game assets will be static and non-animated(the track for example).The cars themselves will also be hard surface models and will also not require heavy rigging. A racing game may require a little more coding that other games in terms of the race manager, but I feel I can overcome this problems in a reasonable time.

Mobile Platform Game:-
Platform mobiles are one of the most popular game genres, they are accessible to most people through there mobile device and thus receive a large audience. A mobile game can be created in most game engines and therefore my programming skills would come in handy, but once again I feel like a mobile game lacks the awe I am hoping to achieve. Moreover my 2D art is below par, and although I could create the assets in 3D and render them in 2D this process may take a long time compared to simply drawing the assets.

Gathering all my thoughts I have decided to create a 3D racing game which I can use as a platform to showcase my programming skills. Not only does a game allow me to develop my programming skills but also lets practice to some degree my environment design and creation which also takes up a great deal of my interest.

Because of my lack of confidence in rigging and animation, racing games have another advantage for me. Most of the assets I create will be hard surface and not require rigging or animating, those objects that do require animations will only require very simple mechanical like animations.

Below I created a mind map, which helped me to think critically about how I can best show off my programming skills within a racing game.

new-mind-map-2

As the mind map shows I eventually decided to create a Sci-Fi racing game that will focus heavily on destruction. By ‘destruction’ I mean that the vehicles of the game will be damaged when the player crashes, the body may become dented or even fall of for example. The project will also focus on the destructibility of the environment, for example if the player crashes into a wall or sign on the side of the road then that wall or sign should also be damaged as well as the car.

My next post will explain the concept of my project in more detail and also look at similar games so positive and negatives of these games can be analyzed.

Blog Introduction

This post outlines my understanding of the FMP module and outlines my strengths and weaknesses so that I can move forward within the design process. This post will eventually allow me to think of and design a game that is within my capabilities.

Learning outcomes according to the module
On satisfactory completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Work to a predetermined self-directed proposal showing good process
2. Produce a Game/Level/Animations that shows a technical, conceptual and aesthetic accomplishment at an advanced level
3. Demonstrate a comprehensive/detailed knowledge of an area of contemporary Game Development and how this reflects upon their own practice
4. Critically evaluate and reflect on their own process of development and final outcome

According to the games design document the University requires that I am able to work to a self-directed predetermined plan, which should eventually lead me to the creation of a final product. The University also requires me to show a good understanding in various areas of game development and then finally be able to evaluate on the process of development and the final product itself.

To complete this task I must first understand where my strengths and weaknesses lie within game design. I can then make an informed decision as to which product I am going to create, be it an animation, game or static environment. Below is a list of strength and weakness I can draw on.

Strengths

Familiar with Unity Engine – I am confident using the Unity engine and have created simply games before. I am confident that I can improve my Unity skills further to produce a better product. The documentation on the Unity website is very strong and there is a vast library of online support.

Familiar with Maya – I have experience creating 3D assets within Autodesk’s Maya suite, although I am not totally confident creating 3D assets I at least have a basic understanding from which I can build during the project.

Familiar with Quixel Suite – On top of my experience creating 3D assets within Maya I also have experience texturing 3D assets within the Quixel Suite. This experience should help me to create realistic or stylised assets whichever I need at the time.

Confident in Programming – My strongest ability is within programming and this Is also what I enjoy the most. I have experience creating games in Unity, Unreal and Game Maker. I am most confident using C# and a programming language but I can also use Java and GML.

Environment Design – I enjoy taking time to design and create 3D environments.

Weaknesses

Animation – Animation is one of my weaker skills, although I will need to improve this in the future it may be wise to animate as little as possible in the final project.

Rigging – As well as animation itself, I am also not completely confident rigging advanced characters.

Documenting – Planning and documentation is another weak point, I must ensure during the entire project that not only is my planning kept to schedule but my design documents are informative and visually pleasing.

As explained above my main strengths are programming within the Unity engine and creating games within the Unity engine. I am also confident enough within Autodesk Maya and the Quixel Suite to create 3D assets and texture then for final use within the game. However my rigging and animation skills are below my average standard and therefore this is something I should think about when coming up with my final project idea.

Drawing on the notes taken above, I will carry forward the idea that I will eventually create a 3D game. At this point I am undecided as to exactly what this game will be but with my limited experience in rigging and animation, I will more than likely create a game that has mostly hard surface models and assets that do not require complex rigs to be animated.

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