Weekly Report #10

T

Team Bugbear

Guest
Hello again!

With the new physics model coming up, we want our tracks to live up to the standards that kind of detail brings. That’s why this week’s blog will be about designing race tracks – what’s our philosophy there, and our golden goals?


In general, we are not aiming for easy tracks. However, we don’t want to create unfair tracks, far from it. We want the players to be able to learn the optimal paths to drive, and then hone their skills to shave precious seconds off from their lap times. We want the tracks to have this kind of detail – that you can enjoy thoroughly the tracks when you’re cruising for bruising, but if you want to push your limits and break your speed records, there’s absolutely room for that.

The essential philosophy in creating a track like that is that it should not fight or punish the player, that the tracks won’t let you go easy but also won’t kick you when you’re down. This means our tracks should have room for errors. You might floor it too heavily on a straight and brake too late, which will result in the car swinging off the road. But, having that room for error, that wide patch of grass before the tree line, ensures that you can get back on track and up to speed without losing your momentum entirely. (At this moment, not all our tracks are this kind.)

In addition to these safety zones, we aim to pace our tracks. You have your curves and your chicanes, but you’ll also have straight patches of road where you can put the pedal to the metal. This is not only because we appreciate the need for speed, but also so that you can have a moment to breathe and collect yourself after a not-that-optimal swerve and slide at that latest curve that got your heart racing. Take a few seconds to just keep on accelerating, and use that moment to wipe your brow and sigh from relief. That’s what we’re after.

With these two basic goals in mind, we can make tracks that are challenging, but not punishing, and can be enjoyed by Sunday drivers and gung-ho speed freaks alike. Especially the delicately designed optimal routes should provide a lot of substance to people who aim to be in the top 1% fastest drivers in each given track.


To make tracks like this, we do a lot of research. We examine thoroughly how classic real life tracks look like from the ground and from the air, so we can learn exactly what makes them legendary? We have obtained a bucketload of new tools that allow us to create a track by adding and moving control points and then creating a procedural geometry and terrain for a specific area, as well as tweaking the inclination of the road and angles of banks with one degree accuracy.

The best bit? We are making a library of road parts so that we can quickly mix and match, so we can create new track prototypes faster and faster. This means more speedier development times for tracks, which means we’ll be able to push out tracks on a faster pace.

The cherry on top? This library of road parts will be a terrific help for modders, who can either use these bits of track as they are, or they can alter them as they see fit!

All this is in line with our usual design philosophy: more depth than you’d ever guess, but with low enough a learning curve that you can thoroughly enjoy taking it casual.


That’s it for this week!
Enjoy the weekend, and, as always, stay safe.

-Team Bugbear


 

Conte Zero

Crash hard, then crash harder.
Full time wrecker
Thank you, these things sound very promising for any future modding tool or editing tool, with full advantage for the game's longevity (and community creativity)
Suffering, since there's no update in sight, but also quite excited.
 

longtimeago

"When in doubt, flat out" - Colin McRae
But, having that room for error, that wide patch of grass before the tree line, ensures that you can get back on track and up to speed without losing your momentum entirely.
I am all for this feature, UNLESS it takes away the 'realistic charm' out of a track (part). Also, the extra wooden billboard (extra debris, light damage to vehicle, not a show-stopper for momentum) is also welcome at those 'patches' haha. ;D

I also hope the (new) tracks are not irrationally wide (example: NFS series except Shift 1 and 2). It's great currently. creating bottlenecks when enough debris and wrecks cover it. See my most recent video for example:
The first few corners are chaos, then a bit of breathing room and as the race progresses it becomes a fun game of dodging wrecks and players and keep wrecking others. The formula currently (atleast in oval races) is perfect!
But the first few corners of this video shows exactly how it should be during normal (wrecking) races. Sometimes a bit too wide, but as you can see, pure chaos and fun.

Keep it up with the screenshots of development! I love them! Also, is there a small chance real-life tracks will appear? Or are modders encouraged to create those? ;)
 

Purple44

Well-Known Member
Team Bugbear Member
Team Bugbear said:
To make tracks like this, we do a lot of research. We examine thoroughly how classic real life tracks look like from the ground and from the air, so we can learn exactly what makes them legendary? We have obtained a bucketload of new tools that allow us to create a track by adding and moving control points and then creating a procedural geometry and terrain for a specific area, as well as tweaking the inclination of the road and angles of banks with one degree accuracy.

The best bit? We are making a library of road parts so that we can quickly mix and match, so we can create new track prototypes faster and faster. This means more speedier development times for tracks, which means we’ll be able to push out tracks on a faster pace.

The cherry on top? This library of road parts will be a terrific help for modders, who can either use these bits of track as they are, or they can alter them as they see fit!
Good to hear Bugbear doing what they can to make Wreckfest mod friendly. :)

So that mean some day, maybe Bugbear will release a lite version of your track making program?? :)
 

Speedevil

Member
Are the ingame screenshot and the Max screenshot from the same track? It will be nice to have a somewhat realistic racing track.
 

Frisker

Active Member
Weeked Smasher
Good post again. Thanks. Can't wait for the track editor :3

And is that a new car? There's no hood like that in any of the current ones!
 

Matrix404

Member
I cant stop looking at that in-game shot, it has me mercerized.... I need it, I want it, I want some more of it.
 

Cono

Member
Team Bugbear said:
The essential philosophy in creating a track like that is that it should not fight or punish the player, that the tracks won’t let you go easy but also won’t kick you when you’re down. This means our tracks should have room for errors. You might floor it too heavily on a straight and brake too late, which will result in the car swinging off the road. But, having that room for error, that wide patch of grass before the tree line, ensures that you can get back on track and up to speed without losing your momentum entirely. (At this moment, not all our tracks are this kind.)
Room for errors sounds great!
One error = game over, isn't fun.
That's why I personally dislike simulators.

Playing games should be fun and mostly relaxing.
I'm glad you're making a game that is fun to play and allow errors.
Hope that AI will be fixed like that too.
So they don't ruin your momentum entirely.
 

pacman84

New Member
Full time wrecker
Thanks for the insights.
I'm curious how you decide ono tracks graphically, meaning different graphic sets for different race tracks. "Official" race tracks like Nüburgring, Monza, etc are quite boring in my opinion. I'd rather have the overland tracks from the Flatout games.
-pac
 

SensenM4nn

Steam: animal_ger
Full time wrecker
that sounds really great.. :D
but i hope that the tracks are not too wide and boring.
there must be fun and action on the tracks and not only sliding out of it and nothing happens if the tracks are too wide.

i hope there are action-packed and narrow tracks too :)
 
Thanks, very interesting! On the tracks and punishment - you're right that some tracks punish quite severely at the moment - especially Sandpit - run wide on that corner after the tarmac and there's a rock waiting to let you know you've run wide, similarly on the penultimate corner.

Please don't be too liberal though - as discussed previously on these forums, Sandpit 1 is a bit too forgiving. It would be nice if you littered one or two little presents across the areas were people shortcut / run wide / leave the track. I'd enjoy racing that track online immediately after the update and watch all the cutters get a little surprise!
 

sugarymedal

New Member
Hi.
I wonder if we could have an update of the multiplayer management without the rest that is not ready yet.
his could help us to wait.
Otherwise good job for all your work
 

Daystar

Gone in 60 seconds!
Thanks for the info again Jori,... It is well appreciated! and is that a city skyline I detect, with that car on a freeway? sure seems like it to me.
 

sam223

Active Member
Weeked Smasher
presuming ed said:
Thanks, very interesting! On the tracks and punishment - you're right that some tracks punish quite severely at the moment - especially Sandpit - run wide on that corner after the tarmac and there's a rock waiting to let you know you've run wide, similarly on the penultimate corner.

Please don't be too liberal though - as discussed previously on these forums, Sandpit 1 is a bit too forgiving. It would be nice if you littered one or two little presents across the areas were people shortcut / run wide / leave the track. I'd enjoy racing that track online immediately after the update and watch all the cutters get a little surprise!
You never know,with the physics/suspension/tire changes,it might be more difficult to cut across uneven terrain. If not,im sure there will be fine tweaking of terrain height towards the end of development making cutting more of a risk.
 

Bullet GT

New Member
Team Bugbear Member
Team Bugbear said:
This means our tracks should have room for errors. You might floor it too heavily on a straight and brake too late, which will result in the car swinging off the road. But, having that room for error, that wide patch of grass before the tree line, ensures that you can get back on track and up to speed without losing your momentum entirely.
Sorry to say this, but I cannot agree. Not at all.
Huge safety zones are the most boring thing one could possibly do when it comes to track design. Passing walls or other objects closely at high speeds is a great thrill. Knowing that a mistake will propably hurt (or at least look spectacular) does a great deal in ensuring tense races.

Even if you want to go down that road, why do ALL tracks have to be this way? Why not have some variety by mixing in some narrow courses?

Until now, I thought the tracks in Wreckfest are just that boring (compared to Flatout, they are, apart from the figure 8's maybe) because you didn't have that much time for them by now and wanted to focus on the game's basics like the physics engine first. Which would be perfectly understandable. But now you're saying that the tracks won't get more challenging. Hell, you even want to streamline them further?!? Didn't expect this at all.

This is very disappointing. :(

If you say that you don't want to punish the player too much, then there are much better options. Like, ensuring that an early accident won't completly ruin your car, even if it looks spectacular. Or ensuring that you can be on track again without much delay.
You know what's the irony in that? The racing game that perfectly managed to be spectacular, yet keeps the player motivated even after hard accidents is... Flatout. The game - YOUR game - you seem to have completly forgotten by now...
 

Cono

Member
Bullet GT said:
Ensuring that an early accident won't completly ruin your car, even if it looks spectacular. Or ensuring that you can be on track again without much delay.
+1 for durable cars and fast car resets.

After car reset speed should be 75% of what you had before crash/off road/losing path/upside down etc.
It's little bit dull, if you have to start accelerating from 0 km/h.
 
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