We’re inching closer to having our Steam Early Access release ready for submission, which is pretty exciting for us. We’ve also got a bunch of new content and improvements for you this week.
We now have even more paint jobs available, plus the colour selector for both the main body colour and the glow colour is now working. The effect is a massive spectrum of taxi appearances for you, and that doesn’t even consider the assortment of weapons and upgrades available.
Want more gameplay? Well the new convoy missions are up and running, and a couple more mission types are just about ready too. We are very mysteriously referring to them as Big Game Hunter and Volatile Package. More about those next week.
Not feeling enough visceral feedback? Well now we have damage and impact effects to show you just how banged up your taxi is. We’ve even been updating other effects like the teleporter flash and Ion Cannon beams.
We’ll try to have a nice gallery of images to show off some of these things with next week’s update. In the meantime, thanks for reading! -David
We’ve been busy this week with some interesting things. First off, Josh was on the recent Work in Beta podcast, the BetaCast. You can check that out here!
We’ve also been working on our first cutscene! In it Zack is being chewed out by his boss, Clark the Shark, for ruining his previous taxi. Luckily for Zack, the chewing out is metaphorical. Check out the storyboard:
This cutscene will be at the beginning of the game and explain to the player what they are supposed to do, as you can probably guess from the WASD keys on the second page. Without the dialog it’s a little bizarre, but for the moment we’ll let your imaginations keep you entertained with the possibilities of what’s being said.
In other news, the whales are finally working mostly as intended. They can be a little improbable at times, but I suppose that’s to be expected when dealing with spontaneous whales. No petunias have been sighted yet. The new mission types are beginning to take shape, though they aren’t quite functional so I won’t go into any more details on them just yet. Thanks for reading! -David
We’ve said from the beginning that vehicle customization was important to us. As such we’re now working on adding more depth to the cosmetic modifications you can make to your cab. We’re adding a few more paintjobs to the selection already available, including these two:
And there will be plenty more where those came from. Not only will you be able to change the pattern on your cab, but you’ll also be able to change the base colour to your liking. Want a black cab with blue flames? There you go!
We’ve also modified the upgrades to take on a hint of the cab’s theme. No more out-of-place yellow hoverpads with your awesome blue body.
The actual mechanics for this level of customization are still in the debugging-but-somewhat-functional stage, so the final implementation of how you’ll make your modifications isn’t set in stone. We’ll show it off when it’s closer to completion. As always, thanks for reading! -David
We’re back from our break feeling refreshed. We’ll get right back into the swing of things with the Fuzz Detainee VTOL, part of a prison convoy for a new type of mission.
The convoy vehicle carries prisoners, because sometimes people survive being “arrested” by the Fuzz, and sometimes people will want you to break out their friends. The convoy consists of the detainee transport vehicle and some other Fuzz vehicles to guard it. You’ll need to avoid being killed by the guards one way or another long enough for your passenger to hack in to the transport and teleport the prisoner to you before making your escape.
We’ll be adding this mission and a few more in our next release, so stay tuned for details of the other missions in weeks to come. Thanks for reading. -David
It’s been a while since we had any time off here, so we’ve decided to take a week to give us time to take care of personal stuff and generally have a bit longer than a weekend (half the time we don’t even get that) to relax. We’ll be back to work again the week after, so there won’t be an update next week.
As for this week, we have been continuing to work through optimization and other less-than-thrilling-to-talk-about stuff to make Collateral run smoother. Riley has, among other things, been creating new LODs for a lot of the environment assets. I’ve been optimizing old, somewhat hacked together code that I now understand better than I did when I wrote it in the first place. Certain physics problems are continuing to pester me, but I have made progress. I’ve definitely found a whole bunch of ways NOT to fix them, and that’s something right?
Rohan has been looking further into potential Linux support. No promises on that, but we’ve had enough people asking for it that we are at least trying it. For the moment, it’s looking promising.
So that’s about it for this week. Again, there won’t be an update next week so we’ll be back again in 2 weeks. Thanks for reading. -David
So as we’re working toward our next update for Collateral we’ve decided that it would be a good time to perform some optimization. Unreal has some nice profiling tools to work with that give us a fair bit of detail for debugging.
A little while ago I took a profile of the game when trying to solve some problems and the graph looked like this (the vertical axis is milliseconds per frame, the horizontal axis is frame number):
Not exactly running too smoothly, as you can see. Ideally we’d like that to look like this:
Note the difference of scale on the vertical axis. At present we have something that looks like this:
So yeah, much better but still a way to go to get it to a reliable and consistently good frame rate. The optimization will also probably result in a few minor changes to functionality here and there. Things like AI behaviour will need to change to make things run smoother, but hopefully in a way that both improves performance and gameplay.
Well, that’s all we have for this week. Thanks for reading. -David
I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’ve been working on getting the Whale of Mass Destruction to work. Our earlier video was just a test of the whale mesh and physics asset, but now I’ve got to the point where the weapon can actually spawn whales dynamically. Naturally I took this as an opportunity to go nuts as you can see in this new video.
So as you can probably tell there are still a few bugs with the way whales are spawning and reacting to things. As it turns out, whale physics are hard to get right.
Last week I mentioned that Riley had been working on something new and here it is: The Gun Show.
The current game setup has only a single shop, Rip-Off Riley’s (guess who that’s named after), and we had decided some time ago that we wanted separate weapon and upgrade shops. So when this is all finished you’ll have Rip-Off Riley’s for your upgrade shopping and The Gun Show for weapons.
I hope you guys enjoyed my whale-related shenanigans as much as I did. Thanks for reading. -David
Those of us that went to AVCon last weekend are back and we’ve been getting stuck into development again. We’d really like to thank everyone who stopped by to play Collateral over the weekend, and especially to those of you who gave us feedback on your experience. We’re reviewing what you guys said and trying to make the changes that came up most often.
There were a few common threads of suggestions like making your weapon effects more pronounced compared to enemy weapons, completely changing the Fuzz (we were already doing that anyway, but this confirmed our suspicions that players agree), and some UI changes to make things clearer.
We were also showcasing Potania at AVCon, and for those who were interested I said we’d be posting a link to it on our website. That link can be found here. The game is hosted on IndieDB where you can download it for free.
We’ve also been continuing to add more stuff since the version we just showed off. I’ve been persisting in making whales fall from the sky (it’s actually harder than you’d think) and Riley has been working on something pretty awesome that we’ll let you take a peek at next week. In the meantime, let’s take a look at Mark‘s latest addition to the chaos and wonder that is the signage of New Bedlam.
Here we have an assortment of safety and public service notices that will be displayed around the city where appropriate. Seriously, if you do see spontaneous falling flower pots you should be worried. And I’d stay away from any telepathic fish as well. This stuff can really make you wonder about the sanity of people who would choose to live in New Bedlam…
So that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David
So a few of us are now in Adelaide at AVCon ready for the weekend. It’s going to be a fun couple of days of showcasing and testing. If you’re in Adelaide then be sure to come say hi!
We’ve already found a couple of new bugs since making the build yesterday and we’re already working to fix them. In fact, progress has been pretty good this week.
We started getting tired of always having to buy more ammunition, especially when it came to weapons with only a single shot. It started getting to the point where we’d mostly just use charged weapons or developer testing functions (read “cheats”) to improve things. So we thought to ourselves that we need to try something different. As such we’re trialling a reload system with this build where weapons go offline to reload after running out of ammo. This means no more trips to the store to restock your bullets, which means more time causing chaos!
Unfortunately the Whale of Mass Destruction did not get finished in time, despite the level of progress made of late. I underestimated how much needed to be done in such a short time so it’ll have to wait till next week instead. Thanks for reading! -David
It’s July, so now’s a good time to remind you that we’ll be going to AVCon in Adelaide later this month. If you’re in the area, come check out a preview of our next update with the new are of the city, new weapons, and maybe, just maybe, WHALES!
That’s a big maybe. The Whale of Mass Destruction is a weapon that I put on the shelf for a while, and Riley only just made these whales this week, so the weapon probably won’t be ready in time for the Indie Games Room at AVCon on July 19-20. They might be hilariously broken enough to include for comedic “Look how broken this is!” purposes, but we’ll see. They will be ready when the update goes live though.
Besides the raining whales, you may also notice that the taxi looks a little different in that video. That’s because it’s sporting one of the new custom skins that will be available. We’re looking into other ways of modifying the cab’s appearance but we haven’t decided on just how to go about it. Perhaps a color wheel, maybe just a bunch of presets, maybe a combination. We’re just not definitely sure yet.
We’ve also perfected the spicy weaponized burrito (not seen in the video) and we’re working on jetpack-wearing kamikaze chickens. Lots of weird stuff going on. Thanks for reading! -David