Epic missions and cars!
This was a three-week prototype for a client. The gameplay is focused on controlling vehicles while doing epically choreographed missions – a bit like the movies. The one mission that was implemented was about chasing a money truck while the cops are trying to stop you.
Initially, I thought I’d write my own vehicle physics. I mean how hard can it be? Turns out quite hard. There’s a lot of clever science at play when it comes to making the modern car feel right, and we take a lot of it for granted. It not just one thing, but a collection of sub-systems:
- Transmission / Gears
- Wheel Grip / Drift
With the time that I was given, I thought it would be best to use an existing library, and specifically (FGear Vehicle Physics). It’s amazing just how fast libraries can get you started. Of course, you still have to spend time reading the documentation, but the science is all done, allowing you to focus on the gameplay.
Bringing in some assets from the Asset Store gives even more life to the project without really doing any work. It’s wild when I think about it. I’m not a developer anymore, I’m just stitching assets together, I’m a stitcher.
I couldn’t help but notice that I often lose control of the car. Touching a small bump would lift some wheels off the ground. Hard turns would roll the car on the side. Speeding makes turning almost impossible.
Everyone loves realism in games, but it’s control they really want.
Generally, simple vehicle physics should be enough for most games. And if I were to redo this prototype I would focus on control over realism.
Simple vehicle physics implementation:
Why rocket league feels so good:
- Third-party assets are great e.g. Asset Store
- Control over realism.