Friday, February 24, 2012
One problem I'd realized with Infinite Mechworks is that getting a mech to walk is actually pretty damn hard. And while being able to design your own mech is very cool, (some might even say awesome) it's not for the light-hearted. That said, being able to design your own machine is a very neat concept. And so, I thought the idea might be better suited to a racing game.
Specifically, a sci-fi racing game. Think of it as a mix of F-Zero, Wipeout, and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. In order to keep the construction from being too daunting, you have a small number of adjustable parts to construct a chassis. The rest of the vehicle's parts are logical; an engine, cockpit, thrusters, and a hull. Once assembled, the game draws power lines in the most efficient way it can think of. These lines can then be modified by the player if they so desire.
Once the vehicle has been constructed, the player assigns commands to buttons on their controller. (Or keys, if they're using a keyboard and mouse.) For example, moving the left stick left or would turn wind flaps on a hover vehicle, the right trigger would activate the force pads at a certain power and turn on the thrusters. A weight inside the vehicle allows it to bank, and is controlled by the bumpers. All of these commands are chosen by the player.
There are three kinds of vehicles, classed by their mode of transportation. Traditional vehicles race on wheels, modern vehicles use force pads to hover and jets for thrust, and hybrids hover but can strategically deploy wheels for traction. Like Infinite Mechworks, a simulator is available. One of the most important features of the simulator is a wind tunnel; aerodynamics can be extremely important, especially if you're using a hover vehicle.
Now for the game modes. You can participate in single races and tournaments as in any racing game, but various limited modes are available as well. In stock races, you are given the same vehicle as everybody else, and have to rely on pure skill. Fix-up races give you a stock vehicle, and some cash to spend upgrading it. Drag races give you a budget that you have to spend on making the fastest, most efficient machine possible. Darwinist races take place across several tracks, and racers have to exchange a certain number of parts between tracks. Survival races last until only one vehicle is left functional- vehicles are often modified with spike pistons and other weapons for this mode.