NOTE: Thread has been archived, ongoing progress posted here instead.
We have marked this game as “finished” because the prototype has been released (Sept 2021). However, actual work on Wheel Steal will be a much longer and upcoming endeavor.
DuckCowDrive [name pending something more fitting] is a “floor-it!”, never ending highway roaming game where you hijack to jump between vehicles at high speeds, as you explore a graphic, whimsical world. It aims to focus on the fun of driving and world exploration, and less on conventional racing games. It’s about discovering (not unlocking) new cars, and uncovering (not selecting) new scenes and landmarks. A unique story and a corresponding world building will weave together a variety of game mechanics and modes that seamlessly blend on top of the solid foundation: driving in a beautifully generated world of highways and boulevards.
Test the free prototype.
Early screenshot from a test demo
The grand ideas set forth above are a ways out, so I will be starting this dev log with the incremental stepping stones to get there. DuckCowDrive is mostly a placeholder name, which may result in a subset of intermediate subtitled games I release as I explore different concepts and share my experience (and possibly code) with the community.
I am intimately familiar with both programming (ye old dayjob) and 3D art (I’m a blender animator and tutorial writer), but it has been a long time since I have done any game development. What little I did ages ago did not get too advanced (you may cringe at my prior work here). I had flirted with developing a car game in the Blender game engine, but never passed certain “roadblockers”. I never got to vehicle physics I actually liked, and got bogged down with other mechanics of game development. This time, the first step was to overcome what stopped me before. Spoiler alert: I did, and I will be posting my experiences with that next.
To keep me focussed and progressing, I have set various high level incremental goals. At any stage, I will be focussing on completing no more or less than the criteria of each goal and moving on to the next. Anything built for one of the stages below may be carried over to the next test, but the idea is everything will be scrapped for the final work, so nothing is even representative of the game until Step 10:
- [done 2021/01/01] Do vehicle tests in different game engines
- Cutting to the results - landed with Godot!
- [done 2021/01/21] Replicate physics for 3 different real cars
- [done 2021/02/09] Create a simple road generation test
- Must be able to generate roads forward for infinity
- Must be procedural or partially procedural, not just prefab blocks patched together
- [done 2021/03/20] Create a more advanced road generation test
- Must include both generated meshes as well as pre-modeled segments
- Must work with intersections, and generate bi-directionally
- Must generate basic lanes for use with car AI
- [done 2021/02/25] Create basic AI test
- Avoid large objects like walls and other vehicles
- Must be able to follow a provided path (lane)
- [wip] Create more advanced AI test (traffic)
- Must be able to follow series of lanes
- Must be able to change lanes, and check for space ahead of lane change
- Must be able to avoid crashing into cars within lanes
- Stretch: implement passing of slower cars, queue management for intersections, dynamic max car spawning based on fps polling.
- [Not started] Create a [spoiler] test
- Will update later!
- [Not started] Create a visual “vertical slice” demo/animation
- Mostly a design/style thing, create a small (static or pre animated) scene to create the desired look and feel of the game with both near camera details and far off
- Model a handful of cars (even if cutouts just to match the intended look)
- [Not started] Simple networking test (2-player, non-generated scene)
- Must be able to have two players drive in a static predefined world
- Okay if scene is not randomly generated, but it should be built using the procedural system built so far with pre-determined path instructions
- Test must be conducted with two players on different continents
- Stretch goal: >2 players, use random generated roads, include non-player cars
- Start work on the “actual game” - and scrap all work above to start fresh!
Some of this is already in progress or already done, and I will be sharing those results soon. I also want to give a special shout out my co-lead TheKindKitten, who has indeed been very kind indeed, with early feedback, ideas, socialization, and testing early (often non functioning) versions of these demo concepts.
I am looking forward to when we will have the first demos available to play, expecting this soon!
edit: bumped to 20% on April 9th, won’t promote to 30% until there’s a first build of the real, non-concept prototype game. edit: Updated topic to reflect final selected game name, Wheel Steal!