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Shiny new WindChasers demo! Come and see!

Posted by mikeman, 03 June 2012 · 1,131 views

windchasers game racing wipeout f-zero sci fi
Shiny new WindChasers demo! Come and see! Hello there. Well, since the last time I posted, some things have changed with the WindChasers project. Specifically, I decided that the top-down view, while interesting and more arcade-like, would seem too outdated to some. And since the graphics and physics engine can handle it, I decided to switch to full-3D view, like most modern racing games.

Now, that means that the demands graphics-wise has increased. I think I'm honest enough to say that the game does not look like anything current-gen. However, I have added quite a few things: I have a terrain I painted using Gimp&Sculptris, which utilizes texture splatting. The idea is that I have layers of textures, which are applied accross the terrain using a mask for each layer. Right now, there are only 2 layers, ground and grass, but the idea can be extended to use more if necessary. I have also added multiple point lights across the course. Lighting is per-vertex at the moment, so I guess the logical next step is to implement per-pixel normal mapping. Lastly, to add some detail to the map, I've used instancing(or, rather, the OpenGL2.1 pseudo-instancing) to scatter little stones across the track. Theoretically, this can be done for other objects, such as bushes, lumps of grass and such. Dynamic shadows are in the plans, however they are pushed back further back, because I have more pressing issues to deal with.

The gameplay have changed somewhat too. I should mention that now the game, instead of 'Head to Head', presents a 'Quick Race' option, which enables you to race for 5 rounds against 7 AI opponents. You steer the vehicle with arrows as usual, use D to shoot and S to turbo boost(which slowly depletes your energy). Also, there is Q, which enables the rear view, especially helpful when you have enemies on your tail. Another significant change is the damage model: You now have 2 bars, the energy(red) and the shield(blue) bar. You only lose energy when the shield is (temporarily) disabled. The shield recharges itself after some time without taking hits(the energy doesn't regenerate though). The same stands for your opponents too, so to destroy them(yes, this time they explode!) you need to first take down the shields and then attack for the energy hits. There is also a timer now that indicates your lap time, and also your best lap time in the race.

So, what lies ahead? I guess it's time to put some more work on the menus. Specifically, I plan to work into incorparating a tournament mode, where you choose which race to enter our of the few available, win money, buy some upgrades between the races, and ascend the pilot ranks.
I think this will give the game a more 'official' look, as it will be a complete(albeit, for the moment, small) campaign the player can play through.

The plans for the final release of this game are still vague. Honestly, I'm a bit unsure if I could pitch this commercially as an indie. Never hurts to try, but I guess plan A is a freeware release by the end of the year, and keep the game as a piece for my portfolio. As I mentioned, I get my degree in Computer Science next summer, and I might take the risk of moving(to,say, France,Germany or UK) for a few months in search for a gamedev job. In that case, WindChasers could help me a bit. I should mention that I am, as always, in need of artists: I can't pay anything atm, but it will be a solid piece for your portfolio as well. Specifically 3D and texture artists, but also sound effect engineers and composers. Anything helps. I'm easy to work with, and as you can see I have a project that is going relatively well, so if anyone is interested in collaborating just PM here.

Anyway, without further ado, I present you the goodies. Screenshot, video, and downloadable demo. Note that the demo is *significantly* smaller than the last time, since I use compressed files. It's only 30 MB, so I hope even more people download it this time and offer their valuable comments! If you can, post some specs too, mainly the framerate you're getting and your PC specs.

Posted Image


Demo:
http://dl.dropbox.co...WindChasers.zip

-EDIT: Oh, I just realized that OpenAL needs installation instead of just including the dll. So go grab it here: http://connect.creat...s/AllItems.aspx

Screen:
Posted Image


Gameplay Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7GR-e0tMcQ




Hmm...~200 views and not one reply? Ok... :P

Come on guys, if anyone has downloaded and played it, at least for a bit, it would be greatly appreciated if they came with a reply, at least verifying that the program ran. Of course, any feedback, positive or negative, is welcome: It is VERY valuable at this point. So, let's try this again...and let me know if there's any problem with the download at all :)
Hi mikeman, I've downloaded it and it running well in any resolution.
The problem is the soundeffect and bgm isn't playing,

It's fun and simple
Great job btw :D
Hi Mate,

I've downloaded as well, same issue - no sound effects, otherwise, everything is working great!

It's a lot of fun and it's looking great. Great job!

I think it has heaps of potential to go commercial if you'd port it to the right platform.

if you can find someone that can get several racing tracks in seperate locations made up, add different variations of spaceships to choose from and add some kind of a point based system that allows you to purchase enanchments such as weapons and turbo boosters it will be an awesome game.

I've spent a lot of time playing similar games such as star wars racer for the n64 - and your graphics are actually better (not surprising as the n64 had only 4kb of tmem ). It may not be next-gen on pc and consoles, but if you'd port it to a mobile device, it may actually get a lot of interest.

Are you planning to port it to any mobile platform?
Guys, the sound effects are probably not playing because the game needs OpenAL installed, not just the .dll included.

Get it here: http://connect.creat...s/AllItems.aspx

And thanks for he comments!

originative programming yes, there is definately a plan to port this to mobiles. On PC as you correctly said it doesn't look as good as modern games(although I am working now to up the graphics, using bumpmapping,HDR,dynamic shadows etc etc), but on mobiles it could have more success. We'll see I guess.
Just a small update, here's a screenshot with the latest revamps in the renderer: Bumpmapping and vegetations, mainly:

Posted Image

I'm working on the gameplay now and some new environments, and I'll probably post another downloadable demo in a couple of weeks, with much more content. :)

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