Losing Steam

Motivation sucks. For every bit of it that I get, there seems to be an equal and opposite amount of apathy. Despite that, I guess it still technically produces something positive because during the manic depressive high I get a few things done. I had been contributing to my project at least an hour every business day and then taking the weekends off, but the last two days I just played video games instead of the hour I should have spent working on CarCoder. I guess that’s not bad considering I did work for a few weeks like that. I want to share some screenshots of everything that I did to see if that helps me, and also talk a bit about why I don’t want to work on the project anymore.

New Features

1. You can no longer make the car fall off the edge of the world:

New terrain surrounding TestTown

2. Trees!


3. Intersections with “working” lights!

At the moment, you can only turn all the lights on or off (working on a day/night cycle)

4. Improved resolution of TestTown’s town square backdrop and added more props:

Used an AI upscaler to make the backdrop a higher resolution

5. Improved look of the “auxiliary” TestTown buildings:

The circled building is where the coder will physically be.

6. Added a four-way intersection with stop signs:

Are regular stop signs double-sided? Hmm.. might need to look into that.

7. CCTV camera models:

New models for street-cams

8. CCTV shaders:

Needs more scan lines! (also the camera name should be here but it’s not)

9. You can adjust the time of each instruction as well as remove them:

You can use the slider to adjust the time each instruction runs, or remove instructions using the red x. Needs some polish but works!

Things that are broke now that were not before

No more car sounds.. after adding additional cars for the car selection scene (more on this in a moment) my car controller would do very odd things like cause the wheels to just float away and other oddities that I just took out the sounds and animations to get the new cars working.

New bugs

Reordering an instruction can break the new adjustment UI changes (I think)

The biggest change I have made so far is the car selection scene, or what I’m calling the job selection scene. I had this idea that the player could choose who they wanted to work for since there are several companies, and that would give them a different car with different capabilities/specifications (speed, handling, etc) and a completely different scoring mechanism depending on that companies safety rating. So, while one car manufacturer might value safety above everything else, another might value the speed at which you completed objectives above everything else. I set out to create a new scene that appears after you select a level, and here’s how it looks so far:

Yuck, right?

You can see the new cars, sure, and it all works, but let’s just admit that it needs a lot of polish, to say the least. The new scoring system complicates things as well, but I felt it was necessary to make the game more interesting and give it some replayability. It didn’t seem like much fun without the chance to get things wrong, and this way, less, um, cautious players can progress but still be challenged. This has also meant tasks of tedium like searching the internet for appropriate yet affordable 3D models, and then getting those models to work (and look) correctly. My goal now is to make all the levels I possibly can and get everything working. Then, a feature freeze to get it polished up for the release.