XSpeed Dev Diary- What’s the plan, Sturdy?
So, as you can ask my wife, I’ve not really been spotted in the wild over the past couple of weeks. The reason is that I’ve upped my efforts with X Speed with the intention of getting it ready for release. There’s a slightly older playable version of the game available to play online here.
There’s a LOT still left to do, but most of the hard work is done. Xspeed now contains:
- 20 of my favourite tracks- This will be increased. The track generator is procedural to keep size down- I just pick my favourites out and stick them into the pack. I’d like to have this generator completely unlocked but due to it being almost impossible to 100% produce usable tracks it’s unlikely at the moment.
- AI that can avoid track obstructions. Place an object on the track and they’ll see it and avoid it. No need to tell them it’s there beforehand.
- 3 Ships – Each ship with slightly different attributes. More ships in progress.
- 27 Upgrades per ship. As you win upgrade points you can improve on your handling, speed, or acceleration.
- Scoring. XP earned per race based on your position, plus upgrade points scored for every 20 xp. I’m not going with the whole leveling system just yet- I’m not sure it applies, so XP is linear- oh, and this is per ship!
I’d like to go into what I’ve added over the last few days. Those of you who saw the game last week will have noticed I had completed the Ship Select screen. Well, I wasn’t happy, and redesigned the lot.
New Ship Select
The current dev version contains three ships, an upgrade screen, and a paint screen. Clicking between the two animates the rotating ship image around the screen, which gives a far more polished look.
Whenever you win a race, you score points based on 20-(Position*2). The result is that for first place, you score 20 XP. For tenth place, you get 2 XP. XP are applied to each ship rather than the player. (This is up for discussion- I may globalise them.)
For every 20 XP, you gain an upgrade point for the ship you are racing.
Each of your ships can have 27 upgrades each. As mentioned above these can be applied to Acceleration, Handling or Speed.
You need to be careful when upgrading. Simply upgrading your max speed first will not give you an advantage; Increasing your max speed lowers your acceleration and handling. If you’ve got a track with a long straight, you can choose to have a high max speed but low acceleration as you’ll catch them on the straights, but if it’s a very windy track you’ll find the others will catch you pretty quickly.
If you upgrade your handling it’ll affect your acceleration and power slightly, so maximising your handling will allow you to take your corners brilliantly with very little drift but you’ll struggle to keep up. Failing to upgrade your handling will mean you spend most of your time trying to fight sideways drift.
Upgrade your acceleration to max but neglect the rest and you’ll have a ship that gets up to full speed really quickly, but the other ships will be faster than you.
So balance it into a ship that you can control and compete with.
The AI will match your upgrades- but they will do it sensibly. The aim is to constantly provide a challenge. If you have got 9 upgrades, and have applied them all to Speed- the CPU are far more likely to apply 3 to Acceleration, 4 to Handling, 2 to Power- and other variations like this.
It’s worth pushing- because as you increase your speed you increase the thrill, challenge, and how you play. At high speeds you need to concentrate on the track more, but stay out of the way of fire- much easier to do at lower speeds!
With great play, it’s possible to fully upgrade each ship in 27 races, but as long as you finish 10th or above, you’ll eventually earn your upgrades. This game will not have a “Game Over!” – you just keep going until you get what you want.
Well, that’s where we are so far!
So What’s left?
[This is currently in progress!]
In tournament mode you are pitted against other ships of similar configuration to your own across tournaments of 3-5 tracks.
Winning these tournaments earn you in-game currency:
£10,000 for first place
£5,000 for second place
£1,000 for third place
£500 for fourth
£250 for fifth.
Earnings can be used to unlock ships from the ship yard, which will then become available in your garage at race time.
The ship yard contains a multitude of new and used ships. Used ships will have slightly lower stats to new ship but are still upgradable. New ships cost more but will handle better first time and the upgrades will be more efficient.
You can purchase the same ship multiple times so that you can have different configurations without having to customise your upgrades each time.
These are different versions of the standard race. You can enter a tournament of any of these modes. I will not list the Standard Race as this is obvious- What isn’t, is what’s left:
Skirmish Race Type
Your ships have extended shields at 10x their original capacity- but once you’re out, you’re out. This is a last-man-standing race to 10 laps. If you finish, you score 20 XP, if you don’t, you get nothing!
Death Bowl Race Type
Ditch the track and replace it with an arena!
Your ships have extended shields at 10x their original capacity- but once you’re out, you’re out.
Try to survive. Ram, shoot, blow up the other vehicles and be the last man standing. XP is distributed as per a standard race.
Let’s face it, Xspeed is a terrible name. It’s a shame that Red Forest no longer applies as I loved that.
With that in mind- if you guys can think of a name, we’ll choose one. We’ll pop your name high up in the credits for that one!
And that’s where we’re at.
There’s still LOADS to do. The AI for Arena mode is already in (the whole game used to be an arena battle game!) so that’s some time saved. I expect Tournament Mode and maybe Skirmish will be in within the next 4 weeks.
We’re looking to get this released for November on whatever platforms we can wedge it onto.
Right- More next month. Thanks for reading!