The open beta will be LIVE this coming Tuesday!
We have been hard at work on the game for the last few months. Now we need your help. We need you to shake it down, find out which parts of the game you love and what you want to see more of. Then head over to the feedback section of the beta page and let us know what you think!
While you wait, why not hop over to our Facebook page and Like us to keep up-to-date with all the news.
Day 5. Completion
Our artists created nice textures and materials for each object. We added them to the map and it came alive. We added the ambiance of the night sky and the quiet town asleep in the distance. The animators brought the zeppelin to life and it now flies around the hangar.
Day 4. Layout Iteration
We now have models in the map and some base lighting. We found that when flying around on this map, it is a lot easier to know where you are when the map is not symmetrical. To mix it up, we replaced the two small hangars on one side of the map with a single large hangar. This also allows more freedom to play inside the large, open hangar space.
Another big change from the block-out was shutting down the runway with a crashed zeppelin. This created a loop for players to race around. Doors at the entrances of each of the two smaller hangars open and close to vary the loop. When one door opens, the other simultaneously closes to ensure at least one valid path exists at all times.
Race mode being only one of the game modes, we created the Hangar map to also be used in battle mode. This map went through several play-tests before we decided to close off one third of the map. We fenced off the two smaller hangars of the map and shut their doors to keep everyone in the same area, as the map in it’s entirety is very large.
Now that we have made a functional and fun level, the next and final phase for the hangar map will be making it look nice.
Day 3. Art Block-out
Now that we have a play space we enjoy as well as a sense of scale, we let the map fall into the hands of the artists. After all the new meshes that we need are modeled and textured, we can import them into the map. neThis is where the map’s boundaries are defined as well as what the outside of the level will look like. Some changes may need to be made in order to help with the realism of the world.
This image of the meshes shows how they look in the artist’s modeling program. As you can see, there was some issue determining what we would use to keep the player on the track itself. So we created some wreckage that raises a solid concrete wall that keeps the player from roaming around the wrong section of the track.
We will see the next update when we put these models in the map.
Day 2. Hangar Evolved
Yesterday we looked at our level in game to see how the scale and flow of the map felt when driving around. There were some adjustments needed.
What we found was the straight-away runway was too long and not as much fun as previously thought. We were also not pleased with the positions of the hangars. The entire map was turning into just one oval, which is not what we wanted.
So we relocated one set of hangars to the opposite side of the runway. This created more turns and a better flow for the map. We added some walkways inside the hangars to give some more elevation. Below is a screenshot of the prototype version in the editor.
This angle shows the inside of the prototype hangars. As well as the runway going down the middle.
Now we have a choice for the player with two different routes available. We are thinking of adding opening and closing doors to the front of the hangars to make the player think about which way he is going. But for now, we hand the map to our artists to start making some official pieces for us.
We really wanted to do a map on the outskirts of the city where there are lots of airfields. To start we collected up plenty of hangar and runway visuals for reference images. This helped us understand what a play-space might consist of.We found plenty of hangars and runway visuals needed to understand what a play-space might consist of.
Next we generated a wish-list of all the awesome or cool ideas we would like to see in this map.These ideas were generally followed with crazier and more outlandish ideas.
Some of the ideas were as follows:
- I want to race on the runway.
- I want airplanes to take off while driving on the runway.
- I want a bombing run to happen while in this map.
- I want to drive through a hangar.
- I want the hangar doors to open and close.
- I want to have a slingshot on the runway like they have on a battleship.
- I want to dodge a crashing zeppelin while racing.
After these ideas were jotted down, we sat down and decided what was needed for this to be both a racing and a battle mode map.
- We need choices for the player during a race map.
- We need some open space for the player in which to do battle.
- We need some elevation changes for the player.
From all of these questions we came up with our initial design. This basic idea was placed in the level using some of the static meshes from earlier levels to get a sense of scale and how it flows in the game. We liked it, but it needs more work.
Bank Mode allows you to rack up points and earn sprockets based on your performance.
In this game mode, the player has a certain amount of time to rush around the map and collect available gears. Different colored gears have different values. When you choose, you can then put these into the bank. You will receive bonus points based the amount of pick ups you have. The points you receive will be multiplied by the number you put into the bank.
You visit the bank when you feel you have enough gears or when you have maxed out your gears to 10. You ride through and deposit these gears to earn your points.
The track design is laid out to fit more of an open stadium environment where you are not limited to a certain route. The track is circular with two banking stations at either side to allow you to deposit on either end. One of the issues we ran across while testing this map is we wanted to add some challenge to the map without making it too cluttered.
We added traps, jumps, and moving obstacles for you to avoid while collecting the pickups. But be sure to not bump into the wall or the traps as this will deplete your current collection of pickups. All of the pickups will only reset after a trip to the bank. Even if you have zero pickups in your collection, making a trip to the bank station will allow all the pickups to spawn back in.
All in all, we were very happy with the final product. This, by the way, is the game mode in the PC demo, which we entered into the Indie Game Challenge 2011!
Rocket engines lurch and shift, bucking at their restraints on the starting line like horses anxiously pressing against their gates.
Steam hisses from these beasts, clouding the air as you stare down the track, eyeing the first corner in the distance.
Engines flare up. Restraints snap loose. You grip the handlebars as the throttle slams to maximum. The enormous force would easily pull an unsuspecting rider from their rapidly accelerating mount. You hang on tight, leaning and tugging the unwieldy machine to maneuver within the pack. As the first corner approaches, you aim just to the left of a pole. You fire your starboard grappling hook. It latches on just as you are about to pass the pole. When the cable draws tight, the rocket is pulled around the corner with incredible speed. Gritting your teeth, you endure the centrifugal force and release the grapple just in time for your rocket to blast down the next straightaway!
Sharp turns are not the only hazard you face on the track. Swinging pendulums, trap doors, and rotating gears are some of the other obstacles you must avoid. Other riders also pose a serious threat to your safety. Equipped with grappling hooks, they will try to grab you and rip you from your rocket. Be ready to duck, because two grappling hooks tethered together make a mean tripwire!
As a Sprocket Junkie, you and your rocket are going to suffer some hits on the course and you don’t have infinite health! Take enough damage and you can be knocked out of the race entirely. Stay in it if you want to win it!
Along the track you will come across pickups and jumps. Grab the pickups for bonuses. Hit the jumps and pull off high-flying stunts to rack up praise from the audience, which increases your payout after the race.
When you finally complete the course, your score will be tallied up based on how you placed and your other point multipliers. Do well enough and you will eventually earn enough to buy new parts for your rocket, or entirely new rockets from the comfort of your personal in-game garage.
Live the race. Breathe the steam. Join the Sprocket Junkie tournament today!
We launched our Kickstarter project Friday!
As fans of the original Rocket Jockey, we wanted to make this “spiritual successor” a fast-paced and fun racing game. We also wanted to bring it to a wide audience on iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad. We can do all of that with the UDK, but we need your help to finish it!
The 6 guys at Six Shooter Games (+1 new artist (hi, Nicole!)) put in a lot of hard work to make this happen and we will keep everyone updated as the project moves forward.
Check out the page and the video at: http://kck.st/pDEluI
Sprocket Junkie website goes live! Standby for the official press release, coming soon!