I've spent the last couple weeks working on the Replay. Besides some long overdue bug fixes I also integrated sound rewinding. It's not overly tricky code but it was time consuming.
In the video I also dropped a Varial Flip. The trick came together quickly but it's not really a freebie. I had gone to greater lengths with the Flip and Shuv physics upfront to make sure they would play together nicely when I did combine them.
Check out more Project Blank Dev Updates.
I wanted to do an update exclusively for the Pop Shuv because they were shaping up real nice. However, it's been over a month since my last Dev Update so I figured it would be best to just drop all my recent progress into one line.
There's lots of stuff piled into here; manual, nose manual, trick-in, trick-out, and the pop shuv. There's also a subtle change to the catch where the board will actually accelerate down "reaching" for the ground. The net effect of the reach makes things less floaty.
It's taken me much longer than expected to put together this Dev Update but I think it's a good start for grinds and slides.
The interaction between the board and rail is entirely physical. The only reason the board stays on the rail is because forces are being dynamically applied trying to keep it balanced (no different than a skater shifting his weight trying to maintain balance). Hope you enjoy.
Alright. This is my second iteration on the flip mechanics. My first approach was just too unpredictable. I had to scrap several days of work. This new implementation is going to give me much finer control over the motion when we need it (and we'll need that soon).
Making this game is turning out to be a lot like learning how to skate.
For the ollie, the first thing I literally tried was kicking the tail down and back. I did that over and over again, each time making small adjustments until I had a nice clean pop.
I'm ok with where it's at now, but I'll likely come back to it later to polish it up.
I'm not sure if or how gesture recognition will fit into Project Blank. But using a proper console controller sure as hell beats using my keyboard and mouse.
Pushing and stopping was actually relatively easy. No problems there.
My first attempts at turning on the other hand... they did not go so well. The wheels simply could not get enough traction to hold a turn. It was like riding a skateboard on ice.
So I studied some theory on wheel physics, found some inspiration in vehicle simulation, and wrote up some fancy math formulas. I just threw it into the game like a Hail Mary. To my own surprise, it actually produced nice results! It still needs some tuning but I'm itching to start learning some moves.
We're going to want to use true physics as much as possible. The closer we stay to what happens in real life, the closer the end experience will be to real skateboarding. In the video, all the different pieces are physically separate but are held together by joints (just like bolts do). For example our kingpin joint ensures our hanger is fixed securely. However, depending on how tightly it's screwed, it allows the hanger a certain amount of "give" and rotation.
I dropped a bunch of wheels and axles all over the skateboard to highlight the physicality of the setup. This game is all about the details and subtleties, and there's lots of nice stuff going on here. For example, notice how when all the loose parts hit the skateboard it absorbs some of the force and bounces slightly, just like in real life.
Ok, I actually started with what's in the top left. Functionally, I didn't need more to continue. But the blocky deck is kind of embarrassing. Nobody deserves to have to ride something like that.
So I decided to download some 3D modeling software. After a few hours of fumbling around, I managed to shape the deck and the wheels. I'm going to skip modeling the trucks. They're a complicated shape for a noob 3D Artist like me. It would take me at least a day and I'm eager to get onto the actual skateboarding.
For the time being, we're going to spend all our time and energy on the actual skateboarding mechanics (i.e. physics and controls).
Sure, it's super important that there's a strong visual direction/concept. But at some point, people are going to actually play and interact with the game, and a game can only ever be as good as its mechanics.
In a way, it's just like skateboarding. What pro deck you're riding or what clothes you're wearing means little. The way you skate, and your passion for skating, will speak for itself.