Hey folks! This week, we kept on coding the world editor (for Nico) and vehicles (for Jimmy), while Clélie put her thinking cap on to figure out the different gameplay types for each game mode. Just like last week, we kept chatting with modders to better understand their needs and make sure we keep them in mind when developing the game's modding features.
Nico made some serious progress on integrating curved walls into the game, making sure not only the geometry was spot on, but also that the collisions were just right (to avoid trapping players or, on the flip side, letting them sneak into places they shouldn't). He also nailed the proper projection of materials on the walls. That being said, we're not completely done with curved walls just yet – we still have some tweaks to make for specific situations. Including curved walls indeed requires adjustments on many aspects, like floors, roofs, and so on.
We had already introduced the option to round floors and walls a few years back in VirtualSociety Online, our previous game, but we weren't using Unreal Engine at the time. Plus, we decided to rethink the way these elements are built to make creating buildings a piece of cake.
One of the main challenges we're currently tackling is the scalability of vehicles. In a nutshell: we'd like each vehicle we offer to be duplicable and modifiable, so we can generate other types of vehicles, especially through mods. For instance, we'd love for players to be able to add a hot air balloon, a flying broomstick, or even a jet ski, starting with the vehicles we'll initially provide in the game and then tweaking their animations, settings, and appearances.
To make this possible, we tried to group a bunch of vehicles (whether we planned to make them or not) into different categories based on their technical similarities. For example, can you do stunts with them? Are they affected by gravity? What kind of surface does the vehicle work on? After several meetings, we managed to define our vehicle organization more clearly, making it easier for future modders to create a wide variety of vehicles according to their desires.
We can't wait to cruise around the game's cities with different vehicles, and we're even more excited for you to give it a go!
To wrap things up, as it often happens lately, we've been swamped with various meetings, trainings, and emails to send out. You see, creating a startup is a lengthy process that requires tons of communication. In general, we're trying to connect with many local players (associations, other game studios), we're organizing our participation in different events (we'll be attending several conventions again soon!), we regularly attend entrepreneurship trainings with Inria Startup Studio and L'Incubateur Lorrain, and we're also getting in touch with many people to gain different perspectives on the game (psychologists, modders, etc.).
Having all these opportunities is incredibly interesting and educational for us, although, of course, it also limits the time we can spend programming or drawing new objects. But everything's moving forward! As usual, a new preview of the editor will be posted every Saturday on Twitter and YouTube.
Thanks for your support, and see you next week!
Written by Nicolas Gauville on 04/14/2023
Co-founder of VirtualSociety - PhD in Computer Science