Archive for Updates

A Fresh Start

Hey everyone!

We’re back again for the new year. We took a slightly extended new year break but we’re back to work and making some new beginnings. Specifically this week, Mark has begun work on the JRC vehicle set.

Friday Update - Final JRC Concepts
The Roast Fillet is JRC’s standard vehicle. When you sell roast chicken, you want to keep your customers’ minds focused on nothing else. How can you not think about delicious chicken when you see huge ones floating by wherever you look?

JRC - Roast Fillet WIP
Mark has just made a fresh start on it, so the model is still in the early stages but you can see it taking shape to look like the concept it was based upon.

That’s all from this week, and it’s good to be back again in 2016. Thanks for reading. -David

They’ll Be Watching You

Hey everyone!

While writing AI code there are two main areas to cover. There’s basic functionality, like how things move and shoot and explode, and then there’s behaviour, like when and why things should move and shoot and explode. Today I want to talk a little about some changes I’m planning to make specifically to the Fuzz’s behaviour in the revised AI system.

Firstly, I’ll give a little run down on the way they currently behave. There are always a few Fuzz vehicles patrolling about in the city with a tendency to spawn close to the player. They are managed by an entity that holds records of any vehicle, player or NPC, that attacks another vehicle without provocation. Each of these records also maintains a very simple “heat” level that depletes over time when not in range of a Fuzz vehicle. Heat is added for any additional violence performed with an active record. When the heat runs out, the record is removed and the Fuzz stop pursuing that vehicle.

That basically sums up the current state of things, and being honest it was kind of a slapped together system for law enforcement when I implemented it. I’ve taken time to look at how other open world games tend to handle similar behaviours and decided on some basic plans for my next attempt.

I’m planning to cut back a little on the randomly patrolling Fuzz vehicles. You’ll be a lot less likely to be in line of site to them immediately whenever you start causing mayhem. Instead I’ll make it so that new Fuzz vehicles are spawned at a distance from the criminal (most likely you, the player) if and when they increase their heat level. Speaking of heat levels, I also intend to revise that by having the heat level remain constant when out of range of the Fuzz. However, much like in GTA, after a short amount of time it will completely reset.

Those are just a few things that I’m hoping to implement to make New Bedlam’s police force a little less annoying to deal with, yet at the same time keep them feeling threatening when you create some chaos.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David

Speaking of Office Buildings

Hey everyone!

We were only planning to take a week off, but moving out of our old office and getting ourselves set up to work again took a little more time and effort than we expected. We’re all good now though and we’re getting back into the swing of things.

So, getting back to game-related news, let’s take a look at the progress that’s being made on an iconic structure in New Bedlam. It’s the weird and twisted (literally) headquarters of Cthulhu Corp.

Cthulhu Corp - JPEG
CthulhuCorp_03
These pictures show our original concept art for the faction’s headquarters and the first version of the full model. The design stayed true to the original concept because we really liked the idea that the mere presence of Cthulhu Corp’s executives and higher-ups would warp the environment around them.

Cthulhu Corp Headquaters
Here you can see the updated, though still not quite finished, headquarters in its place in the upcoming CBD district of the city. The tower is surrounded by a number of other buildings that create a plaza-like area around the base of the tower. There are a few more little details that we think will help cement this building as a pretty awesome landmark, but since they’re not quite finished yet they’ll have to wait for another time.

For now, thanks for reading! -David

It’s The Big One

Hey everyone!

It’s not quite finished, Mark‘s still doing the finishing touches, but this week we want to show you another of Big Larry’s vehicles, the El Grande, because it’s a fun looking truck and we love the idea behind it.

BL- El-Grande WIP 01
The El Grande is primarily a transporter for Big Larry’s most popular product, burritos. However, not all of them are made for eating. Some of them are specially designed to be used to defend the truck from those who would wish to harm its cargo. When threatened, the El Grande can raise its massive burrito trailer to reveal the aperture containing the weaponized snacks.

BL- El-Grande WIP 02
Unlike the Burrito Rockets used by the Burrito Launcher that the player will be able to use, the Burrito Missiles used by the El Grande will have a degree of tracking to help find their target. The truck will fire bursts of multiple burritos at a time, a mechanic that will also be used in certain taxi-mounted weapons (though not necessarily with burritos).

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David

Learning To Drive In New Bedlam

Hey everyone!

This week I’m going to talk about the programming stuff I’ve been working on. As I said a little while ago, my main focus lately has been rewriting the NPC vehicle code. It’s been a long journey, and I’m far from done, but I’ll give you an update on what I’ve been trying thus far.

So I started by just throwing a bunch of Actors with a vehicle mesh into a level with a network of paths to see if I could get them to follow said paths. That worked, but obviously wasn’t the most impressive thing since the meshes didn’t turn or anything, they just shifted around.

After that I tried some tests of physics-based movement to try to harness rigid body movement and physical interactions. There weren’t any hilarious incidents, and sadly I didn’t capture any footage of it anyway. In the end I decided to abandon the physics-based movement because of the additional physics tick overhead that was causing me problems.

So for now I’ve gone with much more basic movement mechanics. It took a little tweaking to stop over-turning and swerving, but eventually the vehicles settled into a much nicer pattern. Now I have some basic driving mechanics for a few hundred vehicles populating the scene.

The downside to all of this? Well unfortunately with the lack of physics-based movement I’m having trouble with collisions and physical reactions. The vehicles don’t currently collide with the player or each other, so now I’m focusing on collision issues to try to fix that.

That’s all for now. Hopefully that helps explain the programming stuff I’ve been up to. -David

Corporate Secrets

Hey everyone!

Cthulhu Corp are a mysterious group who are always up to strange and terrifying things. Often those things are hidden away behind closed doors, but sometimes they make no effort to hide their arcane endeavours. Endeavours like… whatever this is.

Mystery Blob

What could this mysterious blob be? Well right now all I’m going to say is that you will find this mysterious orb and its appendages near the Cthulhu Corp headquarters in the Central Business District of New Bedlam. It’s still a work in progress, so we’ll show you more in a future update when it’s looking a little more eldritch and Lovecraftian.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading! -David

Varying Standards

Hey everyone!

This week we have a pair of finished vehicles to show off. In fact, they are the opposing pair of standard vehicles for the Carnies’ Union and the Strippers’ Society.

Speaking of “standard” vehicles, we haven’t fully explained what that means. In a post not that long ago we showed the updated vehicle concepts for JRC and Big Larry, and in the images the vehicles shown were labeled as Light, Standard, and Heavy. These are basic terms that we use to describe the relative strength of each faction vehicle. The Light vehicles are smaller and quicker but weak, whereas the Heavy vehicles are slower and less maneuverable, but much tougher. Standard vehicles, naturally, fall somewhere in between.

CU-ManicBug 01
The Manic Bug is the Carnies’ standard vehicle. The chassis drew inspiration from the classic VW Beetle shape, while the rest is mostly engine and exhaust. The Carnies have a bit of a taste for excess when it comes to style, so the more pipes and flames they can have the better.

SS-APC 01
The Strippers’ Society, on the other hand, are far more practical and subtle in their design choices. Subtle other than the bright pink and purple, obviously. The A.P.C. is the Strippers’ balance of power, protection, and performance. The armour plating will be paired with moderate armaments, making it formidable but not as potent as their Heavy vehicle, the Blitz.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David

Spicing Things Up

Hey everyone!

This week we’ve got a hot new vehicle model for you to check out from the very hungry engineers at Big Larry, the Picante.

BL- Picante 01
When your main business is Mexican cuisine it shouldn’t be surprising if your automotive engineers, who probably began their careers stuffing tortillas for hours at a time, create a car that looks like a taco. At least they remembered to fill it with the good stuff, making the Picante the go-to standard vehicle for Big Larry’s employees.

BL- Picante 02
It’s changed a little since the concepts were done, however the general shape and features are still the same. We talked a bit about the design and decided that if it’s shaped like a taco it needed a bit more… taconess, thus the band of tortilla on the sides.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David

Business Matters

Hey everyone!

Some time ago we posted an early preview of the next area of New Bedlam, the Central Business District or CBD. Since then it has been improved upon and plenty of little details have been added.

CBD1
CBD update
The above images are a before, showing the state of the district the last time we talked about it, and after, showing how the district look now. Obviously this is just one little corner of the area though, so let’s also look at some more recent additions. In another corner of the district we have the Treecore building and Pyramid Trust. They are a couple of new examples of the vast business presence in the city, and particularly in this district.

Treecore
The last major thing that needs to be done for the district is the addition of the road network for traffic. However, this won’t be happening just yet because I’m still rewriting the entire traffic system. The vehicles were less than intelligent before and the code was a mess. I’m hoping to fix both of those issues in this rewrite while also improving performance. It might take some time to get it right though, but I’m doing my best.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David

Not Your Typical Clown Car

Hey everyone!

This week we have another peek at a more polished and finished faction vehicle. This time it’s the Carnies’ Union heavy vehicle, the Cracked Roach.

CU-CrackedRoach 01
The Roach’s face may look a little familiar to anyone who’s driven around New Bedlam’s Red Light District. It’s heavily based on, but not quite the same as, the face at the entrance to the Freak Circus tent that the Carnies call home.

CU-CrackedRoach 02
The missiles just above the head will probably be swapped out for something else, or potentially removed altogether, but on the roof you can see a pair of the Carnies’ signature weapon, the Jack in the Box. It’s a bit of an unpredictable weapon, but it has huge potential. Maybe it’ll fire a few bullets, maybe a missile, maybe an ion blast. You won’t know until you pull the trigger.

Faction Weapon Update - Jack In The Box
The Jack in the Box is also a weapon that you can acquire if you choose to ally yourself with the Carnies’ Union.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David

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