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SledSimulator

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A New year

Posted on February 2, 2017 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (7)

So 2017 has started and it has been around two months since I announced that I'ml starting over with the game. The startover has been going great. The core of the game (i.e. saving, loading and other behind the scenes stuff) has had great progress with the game startup being mostly complete. The main menu is functioning but will most likely need a change but that isn't top priority right now. The most difficult and the most important part, the snowmobile physics, is currently top priority and it works... well kinda. Engine simulation, steering,, rider input, braking are all done ,well, done as in  it's working as good as the previous version or better but don't have all features yet. So is the colliders working? Well mostly working but the only issue right now it that when the sled is on it's edge the backend slides around. I think I have a workaround for that but I'll rather try to fix the issue then cover it up.


The focus on modularity in the code has already payed of. I have been able to switch back and forth between diffrent  colliders to test diffrent functions in just minutes rather than weeks and that's just one example it has been usefull in other scenarios as well and will continue to be usefull in the future so I'm really happy about that


So the tl;dr version is I'm slowly making progress with the physics and some parts are almost done. I'll try to write updates more often. Just tell me when you want an update and I'll make one if I have someting new


EDIT: I wrote this over a week ago but forgot to make it public, sorry about that


Important announcement

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (2)

I have some very important news. After a long time of thinking of it I have finaly decided to start over with this project. I know alot of you (mayby everyone) will be pissed off but I think this is what's best for this game in the long run.


What does this mean for you?


It's been 2 years since the last update so not much will change for you really, you just have to wait a bit longer for the 0.3.0 update. Meanwhile while I do the start over, the game will be pulled out from early acces. Old versions will still be available to play. I hope that when 0.3.0 is done that it will be better in everyway then if I continued from where the game is now.


But... Why?


For a long time I have been unhappy with what the game is and how it feels. I've felt that I had to try to improve what I've had otherwise it would take to long. Yes I know that it's been two years since the last version but partly it's due to that I have felt unhappy with it's state and party it's due to alot of fundamental problems that have plauged the game from the start. What made me to finally decide what I've wanted to do was that more and more people have contacted me asking for older versions since they think those felt better to play and they are right. Somethings have gotten worse every version and that is something that shouldn't happen and something that I shouldn't allow. Alot of what I have promised haven't been delivered due to how hard it's been to implement new features into the game and because of the need for "the next version" as soon as possible. Alot of core features are still missing due to the fact that I've rushed the game to get it out in early access and the core features that I want is what's really going to make this game intressting. And lastly, game design. I've just done things without any real thought behind it, if I planned things better and thought about what's next then the game would be easier to add new features to and mayby it would have gotten farther.


What will a reboot do?


I've already started work on the reboot and right from the start I focusing on optimising and modularity in the code. By modularity I mean that if some code needs to be replaced or if a new code is added other scripts will not rely on that that  the code is exactly what it was before. This dependency is what has been the nr1 reason why it's been so hard to  find a fix for the current colliders. How the code was prevously can best be described as a spider web, change one thing and problems branch out rapidly, it is a nightmare. To you, the player, this means every change is quicker with less new bugs poping up. It also means that new features can be made faster so I might not hesitate to try new things. The physics will also get a mayor reworking. Alot of how the sled handles was set back in 2011 and haven't changed much since then and back then I hardly understood coding or physics and I will give alot more thought on the game design so I have a plan beyond 0.3.0.


So in short it will be more future proof and more feauture complete when 0.3.0 is out and with a plan on whats comming next.



Progress?

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (4)

Well it's been a while since I officially said anyting (442 days since the last blog post) and even longer since I made an update to the game (643 days). If you have been reading what I said in the forum you'll know why there been such a long time but for those that doesn't know here's a recap:


I've released a video a long time ago announcing the new collider I was working on to improve the physics of the game. Early signs looked promising with no real problems but after a while I started getting issues with the sled spinning out of controll at higher speeds. I thought that that was an simple issue and tried to fix it for a long time and apperently it wasn't that simple and by the time I've realised that, I've already wasted to much time. When that happend I've already updated the game engine to newest version of unity  and I didn't realise that that version of the game engine changed the wheel collider, well not really changed more like broke it and yes, SledSimulator uses wheelcolliders even though a snowmobile doesn't have wheels. By that time I've had put a large amount of work into the game with that engine and if I rolled back to the previous version all of that work would be for nothing so I didn't want to rollback and frankly the new engine was so much better in most aspects so I wouldn't enjoy the previous version as much. When neither the new or the old collider worked i've started looking for third party developed assets that would fit my needs but that was nowhere to be found that brings us all the way to current day.


A few weeks ago I found a collider that seemed to have most of what I wanted and needed so I went ahead and purchased it. And good news! Early testing on the new collider seems promesing the issues I had with my custom collider is nowhere to be found but instead it has some of its own issues like when the vehicle is stopped and at an angle it will slide slowly. This isn't that big of a problem that needs to be fixed right now it's mostly just annoying. The other issue it has that has to be fixed before implemeting it is that when changing the center of mass the vehicle will randomly flip. This seems like it's possible to fix somehow but I've just started to test it so it's still a far way from accually implementing it into the game (I've only been testing it on cars so far) but the early signs are possitive.


I decided to post this to give all of you an update on whats going on even though I've just started to test it. So do not take this as a promise that it will work and an update is comming soon because game breaking bugs can still be found and even if everything is fine theres still a bunch of work that needs to be done to the rest of the game. I hope that I can fix the issues and no new ones are found so the game can progress!

A closer look on map creation

Posted on May 31, 2015 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (4)

I can start by saying that the new collider problem has not yet been solved and recently other things have been steeling my time. 




The heightmap.raw file is the file that contains the height information. It's black and white image and black is lowest possible point and white is the highest point. .raw is a file format that not all people may not be able to edit since not all image editor softwares supports .raw editing but programs like 'l3dt', witch can be used for free for personal use, can modify .raw files in a 3d enviroment otherwise photoshop can edit .raw files. In the future when a proper map editor is made then external editors will not be neccesery but untill then making maps will be a little bit difficult.


loadscreen.png is just a image that will be shown when the map is loading and thumb.png is used for the texture that is shown in the level selection.


splatmap.png is the texture that controlls what texture is being painted on the terrain i.e. if the ground is snow, cliff, ice or whatever is avaliable in the game. This image needs to have 4 channels: red, green, blue and alpha where each channel is controlling one textrue ingame.


settings.ini is a text file that contains all settings that are available.

These are the settings that are currently available, more will be added and some may be removed later but this is kinda what the file will look like. .ini files can be editied with notepad or what ever can edit .txt files. I will not go to into depth in this file since it's not finnished but I will make some documentation when 0.3.0 finnaly launches.


How trees, rocks or other objects will be placed is not yet decided but tree placement will atleast be in 0.3.0 objects can not be promised. Maps will be available in multiplayer and you can play and join everyone as long as all of you have the maps installed. They have to be installed by sharing and placing the maps in the map folder and they will NOT be automaticly installed by joining a server, as of now.


Feel free to ask questions about map creation if you wonder anything and be prepared that things will change over time so maps you made may not be compitable with the next version but I will try to make it backwards compitable as much as possible.


sorry for all the typos I really need to go to bed.


Edit: Forgot to mention that SledSimulator has been updated to work with unity5 but I haven't upgraded the shaders yet so graphics are basicly the same

Release date for 0.3.0

Posted on March 30, 2015 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (15)

Short story:

I can't give an release date because of issues


Long story:

Scince january I've had problems with my new colliders, whenever the sled reaches highspeed it just spins out of controll or when I lean backwards the sled shakes vigorously for no apparent reason. I haven't yet found out why it doing so or how I can fix it so I simply don't know how long it will take to fix it get the update out.


Some of you may have seen that I announced that you will be able to make your own maps in 0.3.0 and yes that true, but it isn't a map editor. I've just made a "map loader". Creating maps will only be recommended to advanced users since it takes a fair amount of knowledge. Maps will be made out of a .raw texture a couple of .png textures and some config files. Some may lack the tools to create and edit a .raw image so that is one reason to wait until the map editor is done. Stock maps will be loaded via the map loader so you will be able to study how that works and I will create some documentation on how to make a map too.


A new version of Unity also reasently released with some mayor changes so I'm investegating if it is possible to update to that fairly easy. Unity 5 have made some mayor changes so everything in the game engine is now unlocked so buying the pro version is not nessecery any longer.


Anyway we will have to see if I will need to ditch the new collider or if I will be able to fix the issues I'm having either way it will take a while




Beginning of 0.3.0

Posted on November 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (10)


VIDEO


Work has started on next version wich will be 0.3.0. While I was working on a feature, I'm not going to talk about that just yet, I noticed some glaring issues with the current physics. Obviously there is the wobbliness that was more and more aggravating the more I played but I was already aware of that issue. Then there is the unrealistic behaviour of the sled but that was I also aware of. The issue was that the sled can't go over any bumps at all if they are a decent size.

 


This has to do with Unity's wheelcollider system that I've used, I know a snowmobile doesn't have wheels but they worked decently if I worked around it's problems but I'm not willing to do that anymore so I've started making my own colliders. I started just a couple of days ago and it's already starting to pay of. Rear suspension act's much more realisticly and I have more controll over it, same with the front suspension.


Everyone have been stuck in a tree or rock or cliff or another player even, atleast once but with the new system as long as the track is touching something it will provide tracktion meaning that getting stuck in trees will not happen as much and it will have a mayor impact on how realistic the game is.


Each green line in this image is a contact point where forces can be applied and these points are not predetermined these are being place in runtime. It might not seem that spectacular but compare it to the old one ,below this image, and you'll see massive diffrence. Keep in mind the old one all the contact points are predetermined.

In this picture all the circle with lines represents a "wheel" but don't let the circle that are supposed to be the shape of the wheel fool you. The wheel is accually just that green line so it cant handle edges at all.


The drawback with the new system is performance. Dealing with complex shapes will always have more of an performance impact than just having a line collide with thing. Although I'm not seeing a fps decrease right now things can change once people have servers with a massive amounts of snowmobiles.


This system is in very early development so there are issues but all these issues can be fixed but the performance can just be fixed to a certain point so let's just hope that it will work :)

0.2.1 is out

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

0.2.1 has just been released. It's just some small tweaks and bug fixes. It's been ready for a while now but I haven't been able to upload it sooner so work has already started on 0.3.0 and that update is going to be a massive step forward and I will probably be able to tell you what it is soon.


I'm aware that the sled have stability issues and that will be looked on for the next update. Anyway this is the changelog for 0.2.1 as mentioned it's just some small fixes and tweaks. Enjoy


Changelog:

 

---------------------------------0.2.1----------------------------------

Updated:

* Updated game engine to Unity 4.5.4f1

* Fixed XBox 360 controller lean back/forward being inverted

* Reverse wheelies are no longer possible

* Fixed chat issue

* Fixed not being able to capture screenshots

* Fixed rider looking straight up

* Fixed nametags not being affected by HUD settings

* Nametags is now invisble when offscreen

* Nametags become a triangle when player is more then 75 meters away from camera

* Particles are disable due to performance issues

* Player list is visible to all players. Kicking is only on the server though

 


0.2.0 is out

Posted on September 29, 2014 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (3)

 

0.2.0 is finnaly out after a delay that shouldn't have happend but I just want to make it perfectly clear that this version will have alot of issues and I'am aware of it.


 

Delete/backup the old version because the old version won't be compitable with the new one.


 


The reason the delay happend is because the game got completly rewritten from scratch in another scripting language and that could have been prevented if I just rewrote smaller parts of the game overtime but I didn't realize that the game would be delayed so much. I didn't just rewrite it I removed quickfixes, some placeholders and did try to omptimize it as much as possible.


And the reason why the game is rewritten is because I wanted to futureproof it sooner rather than later. If I waited any longer then rewriting would have taken way more time


 

Another reason it have been delayed is that everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. Through out the entire update I have had issues that have been realy hard to find sollution to and some of the issues isn't fixed yet, that is why I said that 0.2.0 will have issues a buch of times.


 

I've also wanted to try some ideas that I hoped would improve the game but most if it didn't work so there was alot scrapping hours of work. There was atleast some progress with aerodynamic drag for example.


 

And then there was the horrible winter we had where I live. I didn't have alot of motivation to work on the game when you can't ride because it's above zero degree celcius and raining. Without motivation and not alot of freetime progress wont be made.


 

Delays will happen, without a doubt, in the future but I will try to prevent them with smaller and more regular updates and I shouldn't have to do any more massive overhauls.


 

 

So whats new in 0.2.0

 

Multiplayer – Right now there is a 5 player limit and no serverbrowser. Kicking players will cause the playerlist to brake and there isn't any proper security yet so I would suggest to just over lan or play with people you can trust over a vpn software (hamachi will work and you can find tutorials everywhere on the internet) USE MULTIPLAYER AT YOUR OWN RISK


 

Day/Night cycle – This was just implemented so it might have flaws but it is bought asset so it should work. A full cycle is 48minutes and it have support for wheater but that is disabled for now.


This will show its full power once more maps and a map editor is in the game.


 

User interface – I needed to change this because it was so difficult to change anything or add anything so I needed to rework the UI system so it won't be holding back any progress. Some people may not like the look of it will probably change in the future.


 

Aerodynamic drag – Now the game has drag so jumping will be more realistic, not perfect but as with all other parts of the game it will be fixed later.


 

There is alot more but these are probably the major things will impact gameplay



I've changed the download so it is now a .zip file since people seemed to be having problems with the .rar files and there is no more adf.ly ads either.

 

 

Changelog:

 

---------------------------------0.2.0----------------------------------

Updated:

* Updated game engine to Unity 4.5.3f3

* All scripts have been changed from Javascript to C#.

* New shaders for main gameobject.

* New save/load system.

* New intro scene.

* New menu scene.

* New menu UI.

* Added Multiplayer.

* Added chat.

* Updated Orion_2012_elite_Mk800 model.

* Reworked Orion_2012_elite_Mk800 textures.

* New, more dynamic, rider animation.

* New mainmenu rider idle animation.

* Added day/night cycle.

* Added weather system, altough not yet fully implemented.

* Terrain shaders.

* New camera controller.

* New dynamic snowmobile suspension.

* Added "Terrible" quality setting.

* Reworked all quality settings.

* Added Shadows option.

* Added Tree distance option.

* Added fps display.

* Added debug log.

* Changed debug screen.

* Added support for windowed mode.

* Added support for all aspect ratios.

* Added mute button in the top right corner.

* New level selection UI.

* New player list.

* New quick settings in pause menu.

* Added "Exit to desktop" in pause menu.

* New param.cfg file that controlls various settings.

* New UI style.

* New icon

* Configuration screen will always show on start

* New Configuration screen texture

* And more

Known Issues:

 

* The game may freeze in the main menu.

* Nametags may jump around alot.

* Nametags may be visible when player is offscreen.

* Ingame controlls are not done.

* Kicking someone will cause the playerlist to dissapear.

* long loading times.

* Changing resolution ingame will force the game to fullscreen

* Lens flares may be visible when they are not supposed to

* Treebillboard distance & tree distance are not functioning

* Some aspect ratios may put some objects outside of the screen

* Rider head is not looking the right direction

* Screenshot size may display the wrong values

 

 


Website update

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (9)

As you might see, the website has been reworked and in my opinion it looks better and it should be easier to read now that it isn't blue text on top of a completly black background. I'm not done yet but I would like to hear what you think and if you found any problems.


The development of the game is going at a steady pace and I should be able to giva a release date of 0.2.0 soon

Swedes save the swedish snowmobile freeriding

Posted on June 1, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (8)

This is for swedes so this text will be in swedish but if you wonder what it is it's a new law proposal that will forbid all snowmobile freeriding in sweden.


Skriv under listan som finns längst ner på sidan om du vill behålla friåkningen i sverige. Skriv under med ett äkta namn, en gång så naturvårdsverket kan ta listan på allvar. Få sedan dina vänner att skriva under.

www.snofed.se/default.asp?pageid=31492&path


Om vi lyckas rädda friåkningen den här gången så måste vi skoteråkare ändra attityd. När du monterar slutburk, trimpipa eller nåt liknande eller när du kör nära bebyggelse, på en åker eller på en plantering, tänk efter före: "Är det värt att riskera friåkningen för det här".  Kom ihåg det här: "Skoteråkare har inga rättigheter bara skylldigheter".


Alla måste hjälpa till att skydda friåkningen, börja med att skriva under listan fortsätt sen med att ändra attityd. Skoterkörning är mer än bara en hobby, det är något som håller norrland och speciellt fjällvärlden vid liv


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