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Thread: [ alpha ] - Flash Racer Tech Demo!

  1. #1
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    [ alpha ] - Flash Racer Tech Demo!

    For a more detailed announcement and past development details, please see this corresponding blog post, cheers.

    Flash Racer!

    A very long time in the making, random10122 (tom) and I (jon) have finally got to a point in this project where we would like to share with you what we have so far. Many of you have probably just clicked the link already , but for those of you still reading, here's some notes about this tech demo. We're trying to make a top-down racer. Lots of these have been done, sure. But we wanted something a bit different; Realism. Too long have car games had those horrid collisions that instantly reverse your car for you on the slightest scrape of the grass. We're pushing the flash player to it's limit to achieve something more natural and fun, but we hope it'll be worth it...

    Tech Demo

    This is our first release, and we're calling it a "tech demo", since it only shows the core engine "technology" we have been working on. Expect the menus to be simple, the graphics to be place-holder programming art, and the sound effects to be worse than those recorded in the vacuum of space by a deaf monk. Those of you who expect a finished optimised game may be excused to roll around on the floor, pointing and laughing.

    Feedback needed!

    However, we still would greatly appreciate some feedback on the current status! Not only just on how fast it plays, but your feelings and opinions on how it feels to play; are the cars realistic, could the collisions be improved ( yes... ). Finding the weak points now means we still have a chance to change it for the better for future versions. If you could provide this information, we'd be as chuffed as a yorkshire terrier with a personalised vest.

    • CPU speed
    • Flash player version
    • frames per second ( top-right corner ) - min/max/average would be great!


    Give us the link already!

    You can FOMGZ!! play the flashracer tech demo here!1!, using the following controls...

    Keys:
    UP arrow - Accelerate
    DOWN arrow - Brake
    LEFT and RIGHT arrows - Steering
    SPACE bar - Handbrake
    1 - 4 numbers - Change camera view to other cars

    Gratuitous screenshot:


    Thanks in advance. It may not be much just yet, but we still hope it'll be some fun!

    - Tom & Jon.
    jonmack
    flash racer blog - advanced arcade racer development blog

  2. #2
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    It has a nice feel to it, I like the controls, but the steering maybe a bit to sensitive. Looking good can't wait to see the finished product.

  3. #3
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    CPU speed p4 3.2 Ghz
    Flash player version 8
    frames per second 20

    kinda slow for a race game no?

    Here's a good link if you want some inspiration:http://www.very.de/
    Hope nobody knows I am still on Flash 5
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  4. #4
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    i really like what you've done there. good feel, but the overall pace of the game needs to increase.

  5. #5
    DOT-INVADER marmotte's Avatar
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    constant 24fps
    flash player 8

    on my mac G5
    mac OSX 10.4
    dual 2GHz
    1Gb RAM

    the game seems to slow down a lot when i'm out of road (i think? or too much collision detection at the same time, i would need to check again), though the framerate never dropped...

  6. #6
    Flash Game Developer mesmerize's Avatar
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    Your racing lines are very good. The control feels very realistic and challenging. The collision detection is perfect. Right down to hitting the side of a car to spin it. You have obviously put a lot of effort into making this realistic. I like that. You don't see many realistic flash games and I think this works well.

    Forget what everyone else says about the speed. It's just right.
    Add sound effects and it will feel faster. Even a speedy tune would make it feel great.
    Get in touch through PM if you would like me to create the sounds. I would be happy to join such a specific game like this.

    Well done, keep us updated with newer releases.
    David.

  7. #7
    Senior Member random10122's Avatar
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    Hey gang,

    Thanks for the feedback so far, its much appreciated! We have been playing around with the pace of the game, its a question of striking a good balance for the screen size and playability... this is something which is certainly variable in future releases.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmotte
    the game seems to slow down a lot when i'm out of road (i think? or too much collision detection at the same time, i would need to check again), though the framerate never dropped...
    By out of road, do you mean on the grass? If so, this is deliberate we have a system that allows for many different surfaces, all having differing characteristics - the grass does slow you down a lot at the moment!

    Quote Originally Posted by mesmerize
    Your racing lines are very good. The control feels very realistic and challenging. The collision detection is perfect. Right down to hitting the side of a car to spin it. You have obviously put a lot of effort into making this realistic. I like that. You don't see many realistic flash games and I think this works well.
    Thanks for the comments, we are aiming for something a little different to whats already on the circuit. For example, we want to have some really large tracks, probably modelling them on existing circuits as close as possible...

    Quote Originally Posted by mesmerize
    Well done, keep us updated with newer releases
    You can keep updated on all the progress at the blog!


    Keep it coming!

    - Tom

    fracture2 - the sequel
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    "2D is a format, not a limitation" -Luis Barriga

  8. #8
    The Flashman earl223's Avatar
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    Great physics... rather slow for a racing game. But great job nonetheless.
    i eat actionscripts for breakfast

  9. #9
    383,890,620 polygons nGFX's Avatar
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    darn!

    would love to give feedback, but somehow that mochibot thingy doesn't load and i'm stuck on the title screen ... damn.

    <olli/>

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    Senior Member chriserrorplain's Avatar
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    stuck on the title screen too moop.

  11. #11
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    i think i pressed enter and it worked Chris.

    I like it,but it could be faster, keep going
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the feedback so far.

    There seems to be an overwhelming majority that the game is too slow paced for a racing game. We have actually increased the engine power and reduced rolling resistance friction too before releasing this, so the other day it was much slower! One of the more challenging problems is to keep the collisions from breaking down at such high speeds. With flash, we simply don't have the luxury of recursively searching back through time to find a more exact collision time. Increasing the velocity of cars would sacrifice some of the stability and collisions would "pop" at lot more. Won't stop me from trying to tweak it to go faster though

    Also remember that the track is very bare at the moment, so not much sense of speed is given. We looked carefully at posts such as the What Makes a Racing Game Great? thread while we brainstormed for this game, and took a lot from them. One that struck us was that green grass and grey road are boring. Because we only have a simple test track that's all we have, but in the future we will be adding more for the eye to see to give a sense of speed

    For now though, just be thankful we gave you a slightly faster car than the AI for a fighting chance

    Quote Originally Posted by nGFX
    i'm stuck on the title screen ... damn.
    Quote Originally Posted by chriserrorplain
    stuck on the title screen too
    D'oh! Sorry about this guys. I'm not sure what's wrong at the moment. Could I ask what browsers you tried in? We originally had a similar problem with Internet Explorer doing things wrong ( as always ), but thought we had fixed that. We seemed to get it to work ok for us in IE6 eventually.
    jonmack
    flash racer blog - advanced arcade racer development blog

  13. #13
    383,890,620 polygons nGFX's Avatar
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    DOH!

    i tried to CLICK on the buttons. ARGH! 1000 idot points for me.

    came back to test the browser, pressed space and it started ...

    k,
    win xp pro, sp2, 2ghz, 1gb ram
    ff 1.5 and ie6 22fps

    minor thingies:
    a bit to slow to deliver the sense of speed
    the car slides more than it "drives"

    nice, anyway.

    wanting more ...

    <olli/>

  14. #14
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    I had the same problem as the other guys, pressing return does seem to give it the kiss of life.

    Coming along really well guys, you both should be rightly proud of that bad boy. Handling isn't a 100% yet ( Such as feeling a bite when you come out of a slide and re-apply the gas ) but I'm guessing you guys are more than aware of that.

    Didn't notice it being sluggish to be honest, I think with the more realistic feel the game has you don't notice that. If it were an all out arcade racer then you'd expect it to fly, but as it is it's really cool. And you can always add the arcade style touches anyway.

    Squize.

    PS. Working brake lights, sex

  15. #15
    Senior Member random10122's Avatar
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    Mochibot shouldn't stop the game from loading... I will definatly look into this today!

    Just to add to Jon's comments, im hoping to add a paralax layer with trees and buildings on, this will appear to make the game faster also.

    Edit: Just seen your post NGFx, i wonder if chris did the same...
    Last edited by random10122; 01-24-2006 at 09:44 AM.

    fracture2 - the sequel
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    blog - games, design and the rest

    "2D is a format, not a limitation" -Luis Barriga

  16. #16
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    This is quite nice.

    2.2ghz intel
    flash 8.5 in IE
    22fps

    would be nice if you added the ability to ram the other cars, at the moment if you stop infront of them, rather than a crash with both cars boucing away, the computer cars just seem to slide around you.

  17. #17
    RPG unit Ifritt's Avatar
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    Thats great.
    Ran constant 21 fps on my 1.8 athlon with IE6

    Can't wait to play an icey stage. Some tyre marks would look awesome too.

  18. #18
    n00b LeechmasterB's Avatar
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    Guys this is really nicely done although i must agree that it could be a tad faster its just nice. The collisions and driving feel good and the ai is good too.

    I was wondering what tile engine you curently use and how advanced you made the steering behaviour of the car. Like with dynamic weight transfer and slip ratio ect like the full monstrous tut? Somehow just the overdrive on the backaxle could be stronger for sliding in curves (of course the speed needs to be faster for making this happen).


    21 fps with amd xp 2600 (2 ghz) win xp and mozilla firefox

    greets and congratulations, keep it up !
    I do stuff that does stuff...

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  19. #19
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    ------------------

    Nice. But too slow. Actually, try bumping the FPS to 30 or 40 and see how that goes? Just that might improve the slow gameplay enough (unless you have everything timer based? Then it wouldn't make a difference).

    Right now too slow = too easy. Bumping up the speed a bit would require faster reflexes and increase fun factor a bit.

    If you can't speed it up, then maybe narrow the roads a bit.

    PS: Is this made in Flash 8? Would be interesting if you turned on dropshadow on the cars.
    Last edited by Ray Beez; 01-24-2006 at 01:30 PM.

  20. #20
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    Continued thanks for the input. We are jotting these ideas down on our TODO list!

    Quote Originally Posted by LeechmasterB
    I was wondering what tile engine you currently use and how advanced you made the steering behaviour of the car
    Tom wrote the tile-engine. It's just standard gotoAndStop stuff, with a nifty "3 layers in 1" kind of thing. Each tile contains 2 textures and a mask, so we can make hundreds of unique tile shapes with a couple o' textures and about 40-ish mask shapes. That's what the collisions/surfaces go off too. There's been some entries in the blog with example code and whatnot if anyone's interested ( before christmas. )

    As for the physics - it's not quite as advanced as weight transfer, but pretty much everything else other than manual gears. Got side-slip ratios and slip angles and all that jazz. We wanted to be able to throw the car round the corner and slide round. Some people have commented that it's a bit too slippy, so it'll be a case of tweaking the constants to get it to feel right. But it's more fun sliding round corners! And if you've ever watched rally cars, they do slide a fair bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Beez
    try bumping the FPS to 30 or 40 and see how that goes?
    I did actual test that on my computer (AMD 2600+), but it caps out at around 25 for me, so we thought it best to keep it at 25 for now. At the moment it's just no where near optimised, but it would be nice to get the frame rate a little higher. And no, it's all frame-based right now, which is somewhat limiting for physics, but it's all a learning exercise for us, so it may change

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Beez
    PS: Is this made in Flash 8? Would be interesting if you turned on dropshadow on the cars.
    Actually this is all in AS1.0 aimed at flash player 6, which is a challenge all in itself! Maybe one day we'll do a sequel/re-write in AS2.0 to unlock all those juicy good bits, who knows
    jonmack
    flash racer blog - advanced arcade racer development blog

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