Update #5 2014-07-03

Janne Suur-Näkki

Administrator
Staff member
And here we go! The new and much-awaited build of Next Car Game is finally out there.

What does this mean in the end? Well, it all boils down to why it took so long between the updates in the first place: we upgraded the game’s engine. In its old iteration, we weren’t sure that the engine could handle all the features we want to include in the game, so, to play it safe, we took the long route and fixed the engine. In essence, we tore it apart. We cut off clumsy clusters of code, with each cut paving way for a more streamlined and more robust iteration of the engine.

It was a lot of work.

As it’s our own engine, we had a pretty good idea how long it would take, but in the end, the amount of effort it took was much more than even we ourselves had anticipated. But, it did pay off in the end. Now we can be certain that the engine can withstand all the nifty we have planned.

The bad news is that, despite the work we’ve already put in, the engine is still far from finished. It’s a rickety contraption that’s bound to buckle and crash and sway and stagger, so expect Next Car Game to give you a constant supply of trouble.

And now the good news.

Next Car Game will soon run more smoothly, thanks to the new engine. What is now purring under the hood will also power a more complex, more detailed and more all around awesome damage model, meaning that all kinds of things can break, bend and tear in your motorized steel bullet. What you now see in this build is just the beginning.

We have also added a second American muscle car to the mix! This baby is difficult to handle, but the power it commands is definitely something to be reckoned with. Again, this is just the beginning – we have many more cars lined up, but one banger at a time, folks, one banger at a time ;)

We have also included a very early prototype of a new track! And take note of the word “prototype” — it lacks pretty much all the nice bells and whistles, meaning that it’s our ugly duckling, but we thought it’d be cool to show you how the track looks and feels like before it’s finished. This new sand pit course should provide you with clever ways to swerve, careen and crash, but what makes the track special is that we’ve done something we have never tried before: the surface of the road has “noise” and it affects your handling! The surface noise simulates the uneven surface of the road, affecting the suspension of your car and giving the steering some sweet, sweet feedback effects. We hope you like it.

As a cherry on top…

Ladies and gentlemen, Motor City madmen and crazy girls of Crash Country…

Next Car Game now supports LAN gaming!

Yes, that’s right. After getting so much requests and wishes and messages hoping that the game would support local area network gaming, we went and did just that. After all, we’re doing this game for our fans, to whom we owe a great deal more than just a car game. We owe you all our honest friendship, our sincere love, and our utmost respect.

The LAN feature supports 12 players at a time, and while a real deal online mode is still missing, this is an important step towards that goal.

But please, do remember that Next Car Game is still ways off from being a final product. It will crash. It will stutter. It will not work the way you want it to, and it will piss you off. And if you’re LANing your heart out, expect lag, especially if your server isn’t robust and you want to keep all graphics settings to the max. But, as said, it’s a work in progress, and we’re working real hard on making it a better game, one line of code at a time.

You can be of great help and immense importance to us by giving us some solid feedback. Feel free to be direct, and no need to be nice, but be detailed in what’s bugging you. That’s the best way for us to know what’s wrong with our game, as that’s how we’ll know what we need to address next.

Thanks for your time, and for your support, good folks!

Enjoy :)

-Jori Virtanen, game designer, Bugbear Entertainment Ltd.
 

Janne Suur-Näkki

Administrator
Staff member
Here's the change log as well:

Engine:

*Rewrote the engine.
*Significantly simplified gameflow logic.
*Added support for data hotloading.
*Wrote a shiny new property editor.
*Removed a ton of old legacy code.
*Rewrote the effect system, note that certain effects are missing as of now.
*Added a launcher option to set grass rendering distance.

Multiplayer:

*Implemented LAN multiplayer for both race and derby, currently supports 12 players.

Input System:

*Added remapping support for XInput devices such as the X360 gamepad.
*Added D-pad and look-around support for DirectInput devices.
*Increased the amount of rebindable controls.
*Added analogue handbrake support.
*Added proper H-shifter support.

Gameplay:

*Improved AI behavior to help it stay on track better.
*Added support and first draft scoring events.

Damage:

*Implemented new damage system based on tracking deform instead of impacts.
*Improved deformation to make the cars break apart in a more realistic manner.
*The car that is heavier and traveling faster will now have an advantage in collision.
*Fixed an issue where unlocked panels such as doors would not animate correctly.
*Added a placeholder smoke effect for the critically damaged engine state.
*Added a release state to all wheels so that they can be torn off.

Cameras:

*Implemented an improved camera system.
*Reworked all cameras, FOV, position, etc.

User Interface:

*Rewrote the user interface platform.
*Implemented new Replay user interface.
*Added a preliminary scoreboard to post-race.
*Improved the main Garage UI somewhat to enhance usability.
*Removed the vignette effect when getting damaged during gameplay.
*Added support for fetching Steam user name and avatar.

Vehicles and Upgrades:

*Added a new American Muscle car.
*Reworked engine upgrade parts to mimic real-life parts.
*Reworked the suspension setups for more authenticity.
*Added first upgrade part descriptions.
*Improved gamepad controller functionality.
*Switched Anti-Spin assist to an improved Stability Control assist.

Vehicle Dynamics:

*Added simulation of Ackermann steering geometry.
*Improved shifting center of mass calculation when vehicle is airborne.
*Improved simulation of viscous forces when driving on loose surfaces such as gravel.
*Added engine shake calculated from the piston movement to simulate engine rumble.
*Added support for turbochargers and superchargers, upgrade parts using this feature coming later.
*Improved suspension simulation; center of mass now affects suspension.
*Improved suspension geometry simulation.

Weathers:

*Improved weathers to give a better sense of light.

Tracks:

*Added a new Sandpit race track, still work-in-progress!
*Enhanced various bits and pieces of the existing tracks.
 

Adenru

Member
Full time wrecker
I encounter very similar problems you described as a game-breaking bug last week: terrible perfomance and inability to control car properly.
I know I've already written that.

Also lan through emultion does not work, I'll try real lan tomorrow but I bet purple will do it first.
 

Daystar

Gone in 60 seconds!
Quote: From Janne (awesome Dude!)
*Enhanced various bits and pieces of the existing tracks.

:-* Yeah you guys took away the exploding cannisters from the Sandpit Track and replaced them with dummy ones that do not explode!!! haha it's ok, I knew it would be a horrible thing for OP mode!
But great work guys! I am averaging about 40fps... my only complaint is the Steering with Keyboard play! please look into that more k thx.. and You rock Janne!
 

RatPat

Member
Full time wrecker
Good job. :)
Give thanks to the whole group.
Do you guys go to your holidays in next week, just a little later, when you have received more feedback?
you guys truly deserve a vacation.
 

citizenerased

Member
Weeked Smasher
Performance is great in the update.

AI can get a bit erratic, I think they are over compensating far too much making them zig zag all over the place.

Like the new track, fast, seems promising.

I'll give it a proper go tomorow!!
 

TGP96

May TNT be with you, always.
Gotta say, I cant wait until tomorror, need to play some NCG now!
 

JANTSUU

New Member
What happened to this game? It looks the whole game engine is sped up about 5-15% Why? Is this your poor attempt to increase the sense of speed or what? It makes this game look more arcadey than before which is a bad thing.
 

Tholin

New Member
Daystar said:
Quote: From Janne (awesome Dude!)
*Enhanced various bits and pieces of the existing tracks.

:-* Yeah you guys took away the exploding cannisters from the Sandpit Track and replaced them with dummy ones that do not explode!!! haha it's ok, I knew it would be a horrible thing for OP mode!
But great work guys! I am averaging about 40fps... my only complaint is the Steering with Keyboard play! please look into that more k thx.. and You rock Janne!
My son (who had found those himself) wants them back. Please? Anyways the Next Car Game is his absolute favourite of all my games and for me the update seems to be running already faster than before. Not that it was slow before either. Hoping that we get the Saab lookalike next...
 

Speedevil

Member
Didn't play this build much yet, but it seems to run better than before on my PC. VSync should be set to off by default though. :p
I like the new muscle car, but I wonder why all the tyre types have been removed. The new damage model is better, even though losing wheels doesn't affect the cars' performance enough.

By the way, are cars and tracks going to have a proper name before the game is released? This isn't much, but I don't like to see a car named "American" while it already has a proper name on the model. :p
 

Mohasz

Member
Weeked Smasher
Full time wrecker
The performance is somewhat worse for me now, especially when a lot of cars are in front of me. Also, the cars are still accelerating to 100 km/h in like 4 seconds which I think is a bit too arcadey. Need to try it properly to give more in depth feedback.
 

Conte Zero

Crash hard, then crash harder.
Full time wrecker
I'm not home so i can't say. But the new carooks nice. Please gents, screen and post like hell, i need to see more!

Also, how are you guys using LAN right now?
Purchased multiple copies of NCG?

I can't figure it out...
 

RuudHesp

New Member
Weeked Smasher
- Driving is much worse.
- The last update was better. The cars are very fast, there is no control, it's not real, very arcade.
- Opponents are quick on the straights and cornering extremely slow.
- Control the car was almost perfect in the previous update.
- The game is unstable. Very bad framerate.

Disappointed. :(

Sorry for my bad english.
 

John Burning

Create, destroy and dominate!
Team Bugbear Member
Woooow, awesome update! So huge and positive!
Firstable, optimization. OH, YEAH, I CAN PLAY NCG NOW!!! Yeah, my PC was built in 2011 and it isn't so powerful nowadays, but I really can play with 23 AI since today. A little bit lagging, graphics settings are not maximum but I can play it! And, maybe, I'll be able to make a video! So, let's try it :)
Secondly, car physics. It's getting better and better. Vehicles now are heavier, so it's harder to control and I relly enjoy it.
The new track. Seriously, another one cool track in NCG. Blind corners, mad altitudes, dynamic ligaments... It's scary to drive there, I love it!
A car. Well, I love musclecars, so this car is so cool as Intel 8086 processor. Oldschool, simple and beauty. I like is so much. And I love a green paint schemes! Thank you for them Bugbears!
So, go ahead! This step is done.
Rock On! >:-D
 

akzar

esum
Team Bugbear Member
Well, here is my feedback:
- Performance: better, definately, 20% maybe.
- Physics: collisions look better, but I can't feel them, maybe due to lack of effects which were in the previous build. Though its still to easy to die in Derby with 1-2 takedowns, which is not great (yeah I am a noob).
- Driving: and this is when I was surprised. It's terrible. I don't know what exactly technically changed, but now car is basically glued to the ground, (I didn't roll in situations where I would do so in previous build) almost doesn't turn and doesn't let me "slide" (or "drift", whatever you call it), when I use the handbrake my engine dies, and after complete stop car slowly takes off (and yeah, no tires spinning, remember how it was back then - the enigine was roaring, trying to push you forward, and wheels spinning on one place with smoke all around). Absolutely no feeling of weight and speed. It was much better before, all I can say.
 

Banditopeep

New Member
Team Bugbear Member
I have had a few goes now and I hate to say it but I miss the older version. The tracks and new cars are great but the AI is crazy I keep getting pushed off courses by other cars way off the track before they decide to stop and turn back to the race. Also I have not experienced the new damage system where the faster and heavier you are the more advantage you have. For instance I ploughed into a stationary car with the heaviest car in the game and barely scratched the opponent but picked up a ton of damage myself?. When cars touch for long enough as they both drive along the damage escalates to critical on the player car, the car starts to flatten with no effort resulting in a wreck or wheel popping off. In my last playthrough my car was wrecked because another opponent was driving against my door for too long. I'm sure these are bugs but I cant seem to play the game like I used to be able to in the earlier stages. I re visited the tech demo again which pretty much has the original handling and got on with it straight away. In short I'm having a hard time with the new set up but if its down to what the majority of what the community want then I will probably reserve my opinion and stop playing until the final build of the game is released.
 

Cpt.Teewurst

yolo (Old Name: Cpt.Teewurst)
Team Bugbear Member
Cpt.Teewurst said:
-
The Handling was better before.
The Damage was better before.

+
The menu is better.
New car.
New track.

personally i dislike the update except the + points
 
J

Jelco

Guest
Yes please make it feel like it was before.
The handling is horrible and i feel like i have no real control.
My biggest issue is that the AI has too much grip and
it looks like they are riding on tracks because you cant spin them around by
hitting their side to force them off the road with
a good old PIT MANOUVER anymore!
It looks like the ai's front wheels are locked and the back end can
swirl all over the place which happens by itself sometimes too but
it never goes out of position.
It's not fun anymore i was having great joy in pulling off good pit manouvers and now it's gone.
I love this game but it should feel more like the previous build.
 
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