Around 4 weeks ago Myself, Phil Maclennan, Matt Lane, James Cook and Ryan Glover decided we was going to make a game for platform expos and hopefully display it. The idea behind the game was a small car racing game set in a toy workshop that you would race with your friends (up to 4 player) to stay on the track any way possible. If you was too slow the screen would eliminate you, or if you fell off the track you would also be eliminated until only 1 remained who gained the point respawning all 4 back into the race. It was inspired from a game called micro machines, just simple fun yet still competitive.
After pinning down the name to Rush n Crush we began using unreal engine 4 to work out the blueprints for the style of game we wanted to make. This was all down to James he is the blueprint expert out of the team, the rest of us are the 3d artists of the game we began to model our cars which were a mustang for me, a f1 car for ryan, a truck for phil and a rc car for matt. Unfortunately we didnt get chance to use our custom cars in the demo of the game at platform and instead used buggies with different emissive colours to represent the players. The cars however was placed around the track to make it feel like the workshop owner had built them so they wasnt wasted models.
Here is my mustang model:
As you can see with the amount of poly’s i used (6998) im really pleased with the outcome of my mustang. It took about 2 weeks on and off working on it but im still pleased with the outcome. i added a few progress pictures in there too so you can see how much it came on and what i added, most details are not nessacery due to the style of the game being top down and relatively far away with small cars so i was able to cut some corners on certain parts of the car, the white car is the finished textured mustang which would have gone in game time permitted but will be rigged and put into the game in the near future.
Then with all our actual course demands like client projects and self initiated we didnt do much until the final week where our tutors allowed us to be taken off lesson timetable on wednesday and thursday to push to get the game working and looking good. So we did long days of modelling, texturing, and testing to get a game we wanted to show to the people attending platform. Looking back if we had managed to free ourselves the time alongside our course work the game could have been alot further along.
An asset list was formulated to figure out what would be in a workshop, i believe that every asset should have a bio behind it like why its there, who put it there, what is its purpose and so on so nailing this was key to having a more immersive game. Here is what we came up with for assets:
Table’s (for racing on)
Room (Walls & Floor)
Pickup’s (Projectile, Glue, Speed Boost, Super-Size)
Ruler (Maybe a couple of types)
Nuts & Bolts
Paint Pots (Different types)
Pens & Pencils
Cutting Board (Perhaps a decal)
Magnifying Glass (Multi sub, Render glass in engine)
Tires & wheels (For toys)
Chest of drawers
Dust pan & Brush
Plastic Tubes (Can drive through?)
Tool Holder (Wooden frame)
Parts of Toys (Can use bits of model cars)
Bits of wood
Needle and thread
Scrunched up paper
Plug extension sockets
Fairly extensive as you can see, we priotitised thing we felt needed to be in the game and then the rest was just extras to block out the level. Additions to this list was made along the way and some of this list was modelled and not used, its still all work taking into consideration what could work in the environment to make a decision whether or not we felt it played a part in the design well enough. Then it was down to the placement of the models to make a track ill go further into this later on.
Personally i did 21 models, not all ended up featured in the platform demo of the game and not all of the asset list was even modelled. for example the rocket projectile, speed boost and sweet were meant to be power ups along the track but we wasnt able to figure out how they would work in time so they are on standby for future additions to the game. Im happy with my work that i produced, the majority of this minus the mustang was done in the last 2 days before platform as we all needed to go full steam ahead to having something presentable to the public, some models are rather low poly like the drill its very box like but that was due to the game we had room to cut down and wanted not to go too mad on polycount just so it ran smoothly. My texturing ability is one i need to brush up on but doing this work has really made it come on i now know what im doing better and produced some nice final products especially the toolbench i was particulary pleased with that, the bin bags i used mudbox to sculpt a normal map to bake into the model, and the paper i photoshopped to create an alpha map showing i can used other texture maps to improve my model texture. I am looking forward to doing this all over again for a new level as it really benifitted my modelling work speed, work quality, and texturing. Cars currently being my best asset of modelling (see classic mini) modelling other simple realistic assets will be beneficial to alternate projects such as the client project.
The logo was done by myself, i am no illustrator but it did the job for the day it will need revisiting for a final product to add professionalism but for the time it worked. I used a impact font to give a bold clear type to the logo, then sketches of 2 of the cars in relation to speed and damage added speed lines to the rush to symbolise movement then a expolsion and crushed together font for the crush type. Then just a simple emboss and border to make it all pop.
On the friday, it couldnt have gone much better really a few school trips arrived and we had amazing reception from them saying things like “id buy this game when its coming out?” and my personal favourite “this is more fun than mario kart” with feedback like that we all had smiles on our faces thinking this is what it feels like to be a games designer this is what we are working for the real deal. Here is some video footage we managed to capture of people playing during the day:
These lads age range 20-25 clearly enjoyed the simple re-playability aspect of the game, one of them gave our game a 9/10 with only feedback of custom cars and more tracks. So despite being a game you can relate to a younger market it clearly appeals to all ages who enjoy some quick easy to pick up racing fun.
This video is of some younger lads who were on a school trip having a race and enjoying it, the particular thing in this video is the ease of pick up and play. One lad had been playing for a while had enough decided to move on and his friend close by just picks the controller up to race. That is exactly what we was going for, in one case some were like “I’m alright ill just watch” but as soon as they picked up gave it a go they loved it i think it surprised a few how much fun it was.
My favourite video being this one, a group of school trip lads again playing the game (younger audience target market seems likely) i have managed to get an angle of them in shot and the screen so you can see the reactions, its all smiles, reactions and enjoyment. One lad once again stating “i would buy this game” which we heard alot throughout the day especially from console players. A unintended feature of the video was the reflection from the TV but it does catch some reactions whilst playing so it sort of work, next time we would rather have screen capture software for clear game play and then a webcam on top to monitor people playing.
Then the final video is myself playing with another group of lads (we had alot of girls playing too one said she preferred it to micro machines in guild hall but didnt get any footage) im the red car and get wiped out completely by one of them straight away which i wasnt happy about. Throughout the day i played with most people just getting to know their feedback if they liked the game how they was enjoying it and if they would like to see it move on, this usually ended up in great feedback and then them all teaming up on me to ram me off as I am one of the game developers (i knew the shortcuts…or they refer to as cheating). It was great fun enjoying the game with other people of all ages, seeing how they reacted and making them feel free to express hatred towards me when i kept winning.
You can see the pure enjoyment which is exactly what we was going for something thats not overcomplicated there isnt too much going on its just pure racing against your friends and the track to win any way you can which i feel we achieved.
Throughout the day we had lots of people expressing their interest in the game and how they want to see it released. This got us thinking how can we do this, as we are students the software we use is under student licensing which means we cannot sell anything that we produce in the software we use. Speaking to a few fellow developers they suggested using blender for our models (but that means re-modelling everything in a brand new program we need to learn) or kickstarter which is an organisation that allows people to gain funding for a project through the public using a kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter seemed like the most likely until I was approached by a guy from microsoft who said to me that we should get it on steam, once i mentioned student licenses and where we was from being Hull school of art and design being game artists using unreal engine 4s blueprints he gave me his business card for me to contact him about our game and how we can make the next step. He briefly mentioned personally reaching out to the likes of autodesk and unreal to give us free licensing as good publicity on their behalf which is another option but microsofts interest was certainly a shock expressing how much he loves what we have done with the game. We have a few options but hopefully we will get the game finished and on sale to the public.
We had interest from Smashed Crab studios who are a team of programmers that was interested in helping us take the game further using programming, this is something to consider as we are no programmers we just make everything look nice and we did make it work to a re-playable extent. And then a guy who is building up his portfolio for sound said he would love to work for us on a free basis as long as he can display the game in his portfolio piece, which was great as we have no sounds so its definately something we will consider taking up.
I personally left friday thinking to myself this is amazing, i couldnt believe how well recieved the game was and the amount of interest in its release. Telling people we couldnt release yet due to being students wasnt what we wanted to say and now we want to turn the table to say yes it will be out.
This has a potential not only as a game but us 5 as a team to go far as we showed how capable we are with plenty of room to move forward. Features was suggested to us by varied people throughout platform, things such as different/ custom cars was a popular one (already have) aswell as new tracks. Gameplay we have thought about all the time, from a kitchen scene where plates in the sink are balance your way across to a games room with a scaletrix track on the go.
Overall this was a extremely valuable experience for us 5 even if the game doesnt go anywhere we can say we built a game and displayed it at a gaming expo where it was a hit with most, one group of lads was on it for a good 3hours laughing, ramming and replaying. If all funding doesnt work we can still release it for free and have a shipped game behind us. We are definately going to proceed with working on the game to getting a finished product we can hopefully sell, who knows the game could be a hit starting us as a indie studio in hull.
What platform is all about is bringing the gaming industry to Hull, its not as well developed in games design as many other places in the UK so with the city of culture coming up now is the time to thrive and push to making Hull a contributing city to the gaming industry. Thats what platform does it gives small teams like ourselves to display our game to get it out there to the public for feedback and testing, its great for marketing. Calender did a bit of footage of the day reporting on what platform is http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/update/2014-11-14/hull-becoming-major-player-in-computer-gaming/ We are extremely grateful to platform for allowing us this opportunity to display our game, hopefully next year we can come back with the finished product. Keep watch on us there will be more from us and Rush n Crush.
i have set us up a basic online presence for now:
if you need to contact us please email us or post to facebook.