Soap – The Good, The Bad and The Best



December 19, 2013

Tuesday was a bit of a rollercoaster for us, we had some really bad news followed by some really good news, and that trend pretty much continued throughout the whole day. By the evening we were licking our wounds, but looking at some encouraging progress.

First, the bad news. Our Technical Artist and all-round hero Andy was pulled off the project for something related to his usual day job. He was going to be the guy that really made our game stand out visually, and turn a traditional racing game into something resembling the concept images from yesterday’s post. A massive loss for us, as well as the game.

….and then, the good news! We got the game up and running on a peripheral that allows control of the soapbox with ONLY YOUR EYES.

Truly, we are living in the future. And it’s eye-controlled! People stopping by and testing it out was a massive morale boost for the team, and it’s really exciting to be able to support this kind of device.

This is the kind of technical problem that sneaks up on you in a GameJam, since you don’t know how long it will take to fix.

It wasn’t long before we had more bad news though. It was actually a lot more work getting objects dynamically loaded onto the track in a way that we could configure up front. Usually an artist or track designer would define the location of an object manually. The customisable nature of our game has provided its first major hurdle and a headache for our coder Mike. This is the kind of technical problem that sneaks up on you in a GameJam, since you don’t know how long it will take to fix.

Then, in possibly the highlight of the day, the best news; with a little help from his friends, Andy managed to find time to make our build look like the above image!

Work also continued on other code features (new cart handling models, pushing the cart off the start line, resetting the cart when you get stuck). This work is being done by Chris and Anna, who are generally killing off tasks faster than we can come up with them.

An early look at Soap

Jase and Kris our level designers have been doing a great job getting the track together, which includes building the actual road and placing objects (trees, bushes, rocks) around it. Another key task was setting up A.I. & Progress lines, which are the technology behind one of our handling models.

All in all a typically frantic day of jamming. Ups and downs, the good and the bad, frustrating and then exciting – but in the end, some promising progress being made. Soap is shaping up…

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About Darren Hayward

Senior Games Designer on DiRT. Do your Dailies!

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