Hi all! I don’t want to take up too much of your time with this update as I’m sure you’ve all got some last minute Turbo-Man holiday shopping to do! So just a quick one 🙂
I’ve just uploaded a new build featuring Carol from Freedom Planet as a racer (literally just now) to Steam (OUYA version coming very soon), and I’ve just uploaded this sweet promo clip for her to youtube too:
How nice is that? It took quite a while to recreate the whole scene in 3d animation software, but I think it was worth it – I love when she starts her bike in the opening scenes =)
But wait, there’s more! Another kickstarter funded character unlocked today too! Moonman by Ben Porter has wandered down into the pit-lane to become a Super Indie Karts racer!
Moonman is a project that I also backed on kickstarter, I really like the game which features amazing artwork and I love the character, so I’m pretty excited to see that he’s joined the SIK roster!
I recently attempted to recreate the character roster using the restrictions of the pico-8 (a fantasy console invented by lexaloffle). The characters had to be 8×8 pixels in size, and use only the 16 colour pico-8 palette.
It was pretty tricky, and some definitely turned out better than others, but I was pretty happy with it and it was a good challenge for a lunch time. It’s school holidays right now and I managed to rope my son into it too, and he made the Lea and Clive ones which are much better than the two I had made for them. I might use these as icons in part of the game later, or on achievement icons.
Starr Mazer Holiday Fan Art Contest
This is unrelated to Super Indie Karts, but it’s nice to end on a Holiday note.. I was up too late one night working on some code fixes when I decided to enter a last minute 3am entry into the Holiday Fan Art Contest thrown by the friendly crew at Starr Mazer TV.
Strangely enough I won the top prize based on the technicality that all of the other entries somehow forgot to include the Holiday theme..! 😀
upgraded Amsterdam‘s almost 2yr old track with nice new trees, repainted the whole track texture, and added 3d walls, bringing it up to date and in-line with the newer tracks released more recently
added some Dynamic Friction to the kart’s physics – making it feel way less slippy, and more hefty. You might find the kart a bit clunkier now but this is something that will later be configurable with player editable kart stats
added great new battle arena, Quad Blox Arena! – (had a lot of fun in this one!)
added 3d walls to the Paris,Uluru, Colorado tracks
added some official Toto Temple Deluxe music to its race
added voices for Runbow‘s Hue & Val
fixed steering bug where turning left was 10% faster than turning right! How long has this been going on??
fixed broken mirror mode in Loch Lomond’s race
90% fixed ramp walls stopping you if you accidentally hopped onto the ramp (seriously stop hopping into ramps.. :D)
made some more joypad vibration fixes
fixed a bug where your position displayed in the bottom corner would change after finishing a race!
Can you believe it? Super Indie Karts is 1 year old this month! That’s one year since it was funded on KickStarter! 🙂
It’s been a long road, and even longer than a year in reality. It’s around 2 years since the project Super World Karts began. But even further back than that was the grandfather project of Super Indie Karts, Billabong Racers (a game written in Windows DOS based game creator DIV) which was so long ago I wasn’t entirely sure of when it was, but the file properties time stamp of the kart render says Sept 2001. 14 years ago! Yikes.. that’s a long dev-cycle! 😀
Like you’re looking at a photo of someone wearing their jeans backwards while sporting a bad ’90s haircut, check out these embarrassing shots of those early days:
Despite being really rough around the edges, and playing like a lawn mower simulator, you can see some things that haven’t changed very much! There were mushrooms to collect, and that track map there coincidentally looks a lot like a 90° rotated Read Only Memories track.. XD
It’s hard to remember what things were like for small-time game development back then. There was no YouTubes for spreading game footage, there wasn’t any Facebooks or Twitters for building fan-bases, there weren’t any self-publishing digital shops like Steam or itch.io or Apple’s AppStore to actually make money building little games, and most importantly there weren’t any KickStarters around to help those small projects grow into bigger better experiences.
Indie Game Magazine Article
This month’s issue of Indie Game Magazine has a 6 page preview feature on Super Indie Karts! If you’re into Indie Games, and let’s face it if you’re reading this then the chances you like Indie Games are pretty high, then this is a magazine you’ll likely get a lot out of. Each month it’s filled with a heap of promising Indie games that are worth looking at.
You can also get a preview of the magazine on the Indie Game Mag website here
Interviews aren’t exactly my favourite thing in the world, but IGM were really great and it was totally worth it, I’m 100% happy with how it turned out.
A Whole NEW Cup!
To celebrate this 1 year anniversary milestone, it’s time for a big update. I’ve worked incredibly hard this last month to bring an entire new cup for you to play!
Following up on the Square and Circle Cups, comes the third Indie Cup, the “Triangle Cup“. Made up of some fantastic crossovers with a couple of new partners Nintendo likes to call “Nindies“, and a couple of crossover projects you’ve already seen in the game as karts that I’ve wanted to turn into tracks for a while.
In terms of gameplay features, these are the most diverse tracks yet:
Runbow Road incorporates the Saul Bass inspired art style from Runbow, and its colour-changing mechanic! Signalled in the sky first, the new colour swipes down the screen through the road switching traps for you to avoid. e.g. If the sky changes to orange, a second later it will sweep down and everything on the road which is orange will now be a hazardous hole in the track! It also gives you some spooky guys to stay away from too!
Freedom Planet’s Fortune Night track has some Crystal Bushes which you need to smash into to release a handful of Race Jewels into the air, which you can then try to collect towards your jewels Race Star. There’s also some traffic light robots to avoid!
The Duck Game race has some tricky gaps to hop, as well as some Land Mines to avoid. Explosive stuff!
The Shutshimi track takes place underwater, with floaty handling, and has some shocking Jellyfish obstacles to avoid!
Cup Menu Update
The cup icons on the cup selector menu have gotten a little upgrade, after coming up with the new cup names for the Indie Cups (Square, Circle, Triangle, and Diamond Cups).
The idea going forward with the new cup icons is that they will change colour to reflect which position you’ve earned for that cup (Bronze/Silver/Gold) too. I also rearranged the details at the bottom so that the crossover game’s logos could fit in there too.
Bonus Karts Bonanza!
Here come some new challengers!!
Carol from Freedom Planet joins the roster, bringing her motorbike with her!
Hue & Val from Runbow come in 16 different flavours!
Duck Game’s Duck will now come in 4 different flavours!
– Original Duck, Pepper Duck, Lemon Duck, and Duck à l’orange.
And Juan from Guacamelee! has come along for some Super Hermano Karts!
Character Selector Update
The kart select screen has had a slight upgrade, giving an extra layer of option to choose different characters or costumes for crossover games that have more than one kart option. This was something I’d had to do for a while as some games have a few characters appearing.
Just look out for slots that have the Plus symbol in the bottom right corner of their frame to get to a second menu to choose between character / colour options.
OUYA and the Free The Games Fund
As you may have heard OUYA was recently absorbed by Razer, and during the process the Free The Games Fund (which Super Indie Karts was a part of) fell apart, leaving devs a little worried about their budgets.
After receiving a few private messages asking how this affects Super Indie Karts, I thought it best to reassure you all here that the collapse of the FTGF is not bad news for Super Indie Karts.
Razer has stepped up and offered a great alternative deal to help prevent the devs who took part in the fund from becoming disadvantaged by the situation. The new deal is very similar to what was originally offered, and I’m really happy to be able to continue working with the same team from OUYA, who moved over to Razer, to help bring the game to the Razer ForgeTV device in the near future too.
The Triangle Cup, the new Duck flavours, Hue & Val, and Juan will all be available ready for download through the next update (v0.40), on Saturday September 19th! Carol and her motorbike will be revving your way in a later update.
Love this update?
Don’t keep it to yourself! Share it around. Being a lone-wolf (lone-seagull?) developer I don’t get to spend as much time promoting the game as I probably should be doing, so if you have some followers you can share some of this new stuff with, please do!
I often check the #SuperIndieKartsfeed, so if you’d like some extra retweets and favourites, just add that hashtag in there, or just add @1leggedseagull.
Hi everyone! Here’s what I’ve been up to for the last month!
I’ve taken the brave step to leap from Unity 4.5 to Unity 5.1, I say brave because although going up by only 0.6 in numerical terms, making a move from one whole Unity to another is never an easy task. There are often many differences between them, and I’ve heard plenty scare stories of games not making it through the transition. But I’ve made it to the other-side of this one in one piece, and Super Indie Karts is all the better for it!
Not only is the game more stable now, and with a perfectly working Mirror Mode too, but it also looks better!
Another bonus of moving to Unity 5.1 was gaining access to the frame buffer so I could add some fancy screen effects to it. The first I added was an effect I had wanted to add since the project began, and that’s the fullscreen pixelation screenwipe the SNES was famous for using. Which, to me, is just a magical thing!
Next I added a fish-eye lens to make the game window look like it was running on a curved TV screen from 1992! Along with some motion blur, colour saturation, and some chromatic aberration, the look was pretty convincing.
Here Comes A New Crossover!
The newest crossover to join SIK is Teslagrad, an amazing puzzle-platformer from Rain Games. The character Teslakid, and his recognisable steam-punk aesthetic, makes for a great kart character.
Then comes the Tesla Tower racetrack, featuring a track high up in the sky amongst lightning strike filled clouds, with it’s blue elevation shafts lifting you off the ground, and red shafts pushing you down through holes in the track.
It’s a great track, and like I’ve felt with all of the previous Indie tracks I’ve made, it will be hard for me to beat it!
As you can see in the video above, I’ve decided to include some subtle 3D Walls* on the tracks. I’ve kept them quite small in height, smaller still for crossover walls, and I quite like them. But I’ve also added an entry in the settings menu to remove them, for purist players who prefer to have a more authentic mode7 style experience.
I was always resistant to calls to add them as the idea didn’t sound very mode7 to me, but then I remembered mode8 had some basic 3d wall capabilities and with the introduction of the SuperFX chip on SNES, we may have seen something similar if a SuperMarioKart or StreetRacer sequel had came later in the SNES’s lifetime, or if a WhackyWheels sequel had happened, or if Sega had gotten around to making SonicDrift for the MegaDrive/Genesis (why didn’t they do that??).
I can play comfortably with them on or off, but I know a lot of people will be happy to know this option is in there, and the track is much more readable to new players now. (*feature not available on the OUYA version)
PDF MapBook Preview
I’ve managed to squeeze in some time to start work on the layout of the MapBook pages!
that’s where that third Shroom is!
The MapBook will show where secret shortcuts, dangerous obstacles, and Golden Shrooms are on each racetrack, so you can brush up and be better prepared with insider track knowledge before going into a cup.
You’ll be able to read these maps in the game to get a helping hand, and they’ll also be available as part of the .PDF file, KickStarter backers from tiers $20 and up, will receive.
Good news for everyone wanting more ways to play, this week’s update, coming in a few days, will add Mirror Mode to GP! The MM versions of the cups also have their own achievement stats too! So if you’ve already got a gold cup, you can try to achieve it again in MM. After playing the tracks for so long (I’ve worked on the game a while now) it’s really funny to play them in mirror mode now, some of them just feel like completely new tracks!
Other changes are
a slight nerfing of cpu kart speeds in the 100cc and 150cc
roadside arrow signs to show which way to turn
a half finished new track in the second Indie Cup!
There are still some issues with MM, some track elements get messed up in the mirroring process, most visibly the new roadside arrow signs which point the wrong way, and skylines don’t flip yet, but all things that will be ironed as we go. It’s not perfect but I think it’s in a state now where it’s workable.
The Steam BETA process has been a huge success, going out to over 200 people (!) – and only a handful had the email eaten by aggressive spam filters overstepping their jurisdiction! 😀
Fasten your seatbelts OUYA backers, the OUYA BETA will be happening very VERY soon! As such, I need to find out which BETA backers were after an OUYA key. Shoot me an email as soon as you can to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get it to you in the next week or two.
I’ve come up with a nice replacement to the Golden Rings that were being used as the in game currency (to be used for unlocking karts). They look great on track and really stand out well.
But what are we going to call them? Galaxy Gems? Rainbow Rupees? Spectrum (48k?) Shards? Jelly Jewels? Stellar Stones? Stick your suggestion on a postcard (leave a comment!)
A sign of things to come
Watching people playing your game is the best way of finding potholes that, as a developer, weren’t able to notice while playing yourself. One thing which stood out recently was people on occasion not being entirely sure of which way to go when they lost sight of the CPU karts. I’ve got arrows painted on the roads here and there, but they’re not always instantly seen. Obviously the best solution to this is a road-side sign!
With a billboard object in a mode7 game, no matter which angle you look at it from, it faces you, and a potential problem with an arrow sign would be an arrow that always points East of your current viewing direction (you’d end up driving in circles!)
So, to solve that you need to have 360 degree animation frames of the object, giving the illusion of a 3d object, then if you look at it from the side you wont take a wrong turn.
Here Comes A New Challenger!!
I’m seeing double.. two characters in one kart!?!
These are the titular characters of the game Clive’N’Wrench, an awesome future Collect-a-thon in the style of ’90s N64 classics you know and love like the Banjo series and Mario64 and also PlayStation games like Jak & Daxter. It’s currently funding right now. You can check it out in the awesome project video below, which features the Voice Over talent of ShadyVox.
There are a couple of links with One Legged Seagull here. ShadyVox, the voice of both Clive & Wrench, is also supplying some of the voice work for some of the other Super Indie Karts characters from the original World Karts character list!Another link is that Papa Seagull also helped to design the game’s awesome new logo! =)
If you’re a fan of these types of games you’ll no doubt be over the moon to, finally (after very little in the last 2 decades!), be seeing a few indie ones on the horizon. New indie Collect-a-thons like Lobodestroyo and A Hat In Time (and now Clive’N’Wrench) have really gotten me excited about the genre again.
If you want to check it out before you throw your support behind it, go to its project page and there is a link to a free demo stage to test out a really early version of the game! It’s still quite rough in places, as it’s still over a year away from release, so you’ll have to cut them some slack.
As you know, KickStarters need the best start they can possibly muster, so join me in helping throw as much early support Clive’N’Wrench’s way as we can, and help another indie dream come true!
Great news! I’ve almost gotten another Indie Cup track finished up, this one is for Fist Of Awesome, and it’s shaping up to be a truly awesome addition!
The track sides are populated with the crazed human-hating bears of Bearhattan, cheering you on to victory (presumably humans taste better when they win a race?) I also created a new obstacle specially for the Bearhattan track too – you’ll now have to avoid fire pits! You can either skilfully steer around them or courageously hop over them in daredevil style, like a boss!
More kinks cleaned up
Here’s a short list of some features I’ve been cleaning:
Exploding Pineapples now have a pulsing vibration animation when they’re ready to go boom!
Made some improvements in how the CPU karts read the track surface data
CPU karts can now fall off of tracks with drops (previously they didn’t recognise gaps and just floated over them), now you can time a Melon or Loconut hit so that you knock a CPU kart off the track to slow them down even more!
Character voices are now played in 3d space so you only hear CPU voices if you’re near to them. Previously when they were 2d sounds you heard every weapon hit the CPU karts gave and took even if you were on the other side of the track and it was a little noisy and confusing.
Improved accuracy in the race positions algorithm (cleaned after the video above was recorded)
Created new menu screenshots for the track previews as the tracks have changed so much since the previews were first created
BETA Coming Soon!
I said in the previous update I wanted to get the BETA ready by the end of Jan, and I’ve now got the BETA on Steam ready to roll and I’ve put in a request to Valve for your Steam keys! YEAH!
If you’ve backed the game at a BETA tier you can expect a key coming to you soon. I’ve got 200 keys to send out, so hold tight while I get them to you all. (They’ll start going out next weekend, and you shouldn’t be waiting any longer than a week from then)
What you’ll get – Right now there are 3 cups to race in Grand Prix mode, each with 4 tracks. The first cup in both World Cups and Indie Cups sections are almost completed, and just need a few tweaks here and there, but the tracks in the second cup of the World Cups section still need a lot of work but I decided to leave it unlocked so you could still try them out. You’ll also be able to choose from all of the characters without having to unlock them (mainly because the unlock shop isn’t created yet). =D
What you won’t get – Battle Mode is broken right now, a lot of changes that were made in single player have affected multiplayer negatively, and it’s not currently available. Time Trials aren’t ready yet either.
The BETA is only ready for Steam right now (on Mac and Windows), but the good news is, if you’re waiting for it on OUYA, you can test it on Steam now, and still get it on OUYA later. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to play it on OUYA.
Although I had stated in the estimated release date when setting up the KickStarter page that the game would be finished and released in March 2015, I’ve come to realise that I need to put in extra time and effort into the Indie Cup tracks. The Indie Cup tracks are a feature which was added after the KickStarter began, which I hadn’t accounted for in my guestimate, and they’re a really great addition to the game, I couldn’t imagine it without them now!
So, I’m looking at adding a tiny 3 extra months of development time, to get you a much better game, and a June 2015 release date is now pencilled in, stick it in your calendar or write it on your fridge door! Hopefully the release date won’t slip any further though, as I don’t want you to be waiting too long on the game, plus I have a few other new project ideas on post-it notes that I’d really like to prototype, and then go on to start developing one of them this year too.
Happy Holidays to you all! It’s been a great year for One Legged Seagull, and I hope to have a great 2015 too!
The Good News
Work on Super Indie Karts is still speeding along. A lot of it in the form of tweaks of things you might not be able to see in a video but which make the game feel a lot better when playing than it did two months ago. Things you might notice though are:
Boost Pads are no longer just flat objects on the ground (this makes them much easier to see in the distance)
Hud icons near the Ring Counter to show when Golden Mushrooms are found
A cleaner Drift Boost Meter
CPU karts now make voice sounds too
Groups of birds to chase
HUD joypad button indicators to show which buttons you can press for things
CPU karts can now fire the heatseeking Loconuts
Respawn at the start of a crossover junction jump if you stuff it up (prevents people going the wrong way and getting lost)
many millions of other minor tweaks, all adding to a more positive experience
The Not-So Good News (depending on perspective)
Unfortunately the Beta release has had to be postponed a little to clean up some things which I thought would be cleaned by now, and to add a full “Indie Cup“. It’s not too far off though and I fully expect to have it ready by the end of January.
Hopefully you got so much goodness from Santa last week to play with that this won’t produce too much hate mail!
Here’s a peek at a newly completed track, the first of the Indie Cup tracks. This is the Canabalt themed race Roof Top Hop.
As you can see it’s filled with precarious jumps, just like Canabalt!
The second Indie Cup track also revealed this week is for the Whispering Willows crossover. Check out this spooky garden:
I still have a few things to finish up on these crossovers, like animating Elena’s spirit form, and adding some trees around the track, but they’re already looking cool enough to show them off to you now.
Its always refreshing to have some new tracks to race around on while testing new features and gameplay tweaks, and I’ve really enjoyed making (and testing) these new tracks.