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Space Dust Racers – Development Update – November 2014

We’re back with another update and some pretty screenshots for Space Dust Racers. Wait, don’t I mean Space Dust Racing?

Space Dust Racers – A New Hope Logo (plus a slight name change too!)

Space Dust Racers Logo

After much discussion within the team, we felt that while racing is part of Space Dust Racers (in between the mayhem and carnage), the game is more about getting together with some chums, choosing a character, then systematically attempting to explode, bump, BBQ and shark-missile them into oblivion while trying to survive at the same time. It’s deathmatch on wheels, hence the focus on characters over the act of racing itself.

The name change also tied in nicely with a planned re-design of the logo, featured above.

Thanks to Film Victoria

Thank You Film Victoria

We also wanted to say thanks to Film Victoria for their continued support of Space Dust Racers and Victorian Game Development in general. We couldn’t make this game without their help and we are super appreciative!

Development Update

We’re currently working on an exciting new level for Space Dust Racers, however earlier this month the team worked on adding various weather and times of day to the Clawtopia level. Below are screenshots showing the original tropical morning plus the new clear night and thunderstorm versions.

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Space Dust Racing – Gameplay Video – September 2014

The latest gameplay footage for Space Dust Racing is here! This video represents four months of total development time, and shows 6 players over 5 physical locations battling for supremacy in Clawtopia. Are we on the right track? (Ha!) Please help us spread the word by sharing with friends, and as always feel free to leave some feedback in the comments.

About Space Dust Racing

Space Dust Racing is a work-in-progress vehicular combat party game for up to 16 players, supporting local and online multiplayer. Cartoon competitors race on exotic planets, using weapon powerups to knock each other out and score points. Those that fall behind are eliminated until one survivor remains. Rounds repeat until a winner prevails!

Space Dust Racing (Unreal Engine 4) Arcade Vehicle Physics Tour

I’ve had a few people ask how we’re approaching our vehicle/car/kart/buggy physics (whatever you want to call them) for Space Dust Racing within Unreal Engine 4.

In this video I run through the general principles at a high level (no code, blueprints or formulas) to achieve our bouncy cartoon vehicle handling.

I start with a simple collision box, then add suspension, accelerating and braking, turning, traction, tweak the center of mass, add a visual mesh on top and finally show the end result.

The same principles can be used in any game engine with a physics component (Unity 3D, CryEngine etc). I hope you find it interesting!

Space Dust Racing – Promotional Shot

SpaceDustRacing Promotional Shot

Nathan recently whipped up this promotional image using a series of in-game screenshots layered together in Photoshop. Sarge sure looks annoyed at that shark missile!

Development Update – July 2014

Progress is continuing at a rapid rate with the gameplay, environment and vfx improving every day. Also – if you missed our last post showing early game-play footage, be sure to check it out here, but bear in mind the game looks a lot better now!

GAMEPLAY UPDATE

We took our Space Dust Racing milestone build to the IGDA Melbourne pitching night and got some great feedback. About 30 people wandered over and joined in the 4-player mayhem, and offered some great suggestions on things we could improve and their favourite elements.

SDS IGDA

Playing Space Dust Racing @ IGDA Melbourne meet, complete with scrappy piece of paper showing controls affixed to side of laptop

New features we’ve added include the ability to ram other vehicles off the track, auto-aiming laser sights for the turret gun, slow but sneaky homing on the smart missile, a passive shock shield which protects you from attacks and also acts as a melee weapon, and a more forgiving revision of the vehicle physics to ensure players remain in the game for longer. And thanks to Unreal Engine 4.3’s splines, we’ve added spline data for the race track, which has finally allowed us to create a silky smooth camera behaviour and easily give the AI racers some rudimentary knowledge of the track.

CLAWTOPIA

SDS_SpaceDustRacing_July03

Latest Clawtopia shot

Clawtopia is feeling more and more like the alien tropical island we imagined in the early concept art. Pops has been heading up the creation of the terrain sculpting, plant creation/placement and it is really coming to life. As final gameplay adjustments are made to track and obstacles, the remaining white-box assets will be replaced with final art and textured mesh.

SDS Plant Concepts

Plant concepts for Clawtopia

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The concepts above as fully realised assets

The vision for Clawtopia was that it should feel familiar but also alien, and that vibe is really starting to materialize. Obviously the enormous crashed flying saucer helps a bit!

SDS Saucer Ortho

Crashed Saucer production drawing

HERMAN’S SKIFF

Clawtopia is Hermans’ home world, so unsurprisingly Herman will be the next Space Dust Racing character to be built. However… Grigs is first building out the geometry for his vehicle, which in keeping with his character is a fishy inspired hovering jet powered skiff (phew!). Several rounds of concepts were  created from which the final design was refined to fit similar proportions to Sarge’s tank – you can see the early progress below.

SDS Hermans Skiff

Concept / Ortho / Mesh creation process

Well… that’s it from us for this development update. Is there any part of the game you’d like us to talk about? Leave your thoughts below in the comments.

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