Buggyz : A fast moving retro slot racing game set in the future!

Well, i’ve been working on this for the last few months and thought i’d stick it out there to get a bit of feedback from you lovely Codea guys (and er…girls if there are any!)

Basically, its a simple slot-racing premise, but with a distinctly retro sci-fi feel. Think ‘The Jetsons’ meets ‘Scalextric’ and you get the idea.

I wont bore everyone with the in’s and out’s - but if anyones vaguely interested I’m trying to document the whole process as I go along in a fun way on my development blog - from initial concept, game-design, game-art/graphics and ultimately, the App Store, marketing, rejection, nervous breakdown… bla bla bla…

I think a ‘blog’ kind of serves a few useful purposes - firstly, i’m quite disorganised so it keeps me on track and also, I think whilst there are lots of coding examples/tuts on here, it would be nice for newbies to see how a game project can be created start to finish - warts and all!

Hey, it might even inspire someone starting out to do something similar… Its been great fun so far!

I’m currently at Version 2 of my prototype, although the blog and examples are bit back-level of where i’m actually at. All placeholder stuff and simple game-mechanics so far…but its getting there…

Movie :


Screenshot :


Blog :


Feel free to follow the game development blog on Tumblr…

Thank you. (blush)

p.s. Let me know if you have any questions!

@andymac3d - Nice game, I like the cartoon effects, and especially the camera tracking.

I gave you a shout out here

@Ignatz - thank you kind sir!

p.s. I’m going to put some links up at some point re: Codea/Lua etc… and will certainly link back to your fine site. :wink:

@andymac3d oh wow man that is really awesome!!

Looks so cool and super impressive!

I have one request? Would you consider renaming to Buggys or Buggies? It really irks me to see games ending in z when it’s not right, yeah I know that probably appeals to the kiddies but I’m an adult, I love the look of your game. Just saying, if I spotted it in the App Store called Buggyz, I’d skip it on principle, it it was Buggys/Buggies I would not.

Of course the decision is only yours, just thought I’d mention it. I’m going to follow that blog, thanks for doing it!

I’d like to vote ‘yes’ for a qualifying lap before the race. :slight_smile:

@andymac3d is this what you used the bezier / cubic hermite spline for? I’m pretty sure it was you who showed me the hermite spline integration you made, I’m assuming it’s the track designer for this?

@Luatee - yup, spot on and well remembered! I had to write a fair bit of code up front to handle Beziers before I could do anything vaguely interesting regarding the game. The blog explains this in a bit more detail.

I’ve written a basic track editor that I’ll integrate into the game at some point - although for speed, I currently plot them in Maya and export the control points (via Python) as a set of vec2’s that my Bezier class can read and then I replot them in the game.

@Tyson - interesting point! I think Buggyz may end up being a working title - it hadn’t occurred to me the name could be an issue as i simply wanted something short and snappy I guess, but I’ll certainly look into it. Does anyone else have any thoughts on the name?

@andymac3D - I think the word Slot works better than Buggy, but maybe it’s over used. It’s just this game reminds me of slot car racing (I still remember Scalextrix).

@andymac3d Thought so :wink: Nailed it haha, this looks amazing now bet it took a fair bit, track editor in 2D shouldn’t be hard at all, do you plan to add a 3D view to it? Also I’m not sure how hard it would be to create bridges then you could make real complex maps without the overlaps everywhere, obviously you want one or two to slow things down! Also I’m curious about your bezier class, what functionality does it entail? Can you do the basic 4 point/3 point without the continuous spline plotting?

@amdymac3d nice! I like the smoothness of the whole thing. The “from high above” view may limit the player immersion though, hence the adrenaline. Have you considered making a zoom closer to the car so the player feels more implied?

@andymac3d @Jmv38 - in my flying project, I offer three views, one from the cockpit, one just behind, and one like you have, above and behind.

I agree that an in car view would be quite exciting…

@andymac3d very nice - some interesting links on yor blog too.

Very nice! Love the look of it. For the name, I think Buggyz is better simply for branding purposes.

I also love the look of it. I do think some people will be put off by Buggyz, but if your screenshots look as good as the video, that will distract people from the name!

As for game play, the AI looks like it is working well already. I guess there need to be several methods for a player to do better/fall back, i.e. speed up on the straights/go too fast round a bend?

Looks interesting…reminds me of the race track I had when I was younger. Like Luatee said bridges would make it even better.

@Luatee - My Bezier lib is quite robust now and handles unlimited control points (rather than just 4!), parameter and arc-length positioning along a curve, closest point on a curve from another point in space and the ability to draw them in multiple styles etc… I will eventually put it up on CC once I’ve ironed out some of the bugs and tidied it up a bit as there are still a few remaining ‘issues’!

@Ignatz & @Jmv38 - I’ve tested a number of camera views so far and this one seems to work the best, although admittedly I think we can be a tad closer.
I think the player really needs to get a handle of the potential ‘jeopardy’ ahead and a higher PoV seems to help this. Also, its been interesting testing it on a smaller iPhone screen, which does give a much different game playing ‘experience’ than the iPad - the higher PoV really does help in this case.

@West - thank you! I’m going to add lots of links to useful game-dev and game-design articles on the blog as I go along - so stay tooned!

@time_trial & @JakAttak - I do have a list of other potential names other than Buggyz - so i may ‘test’ them out at some point. From reading other iOS app dev blogs, its interesting how much the combination of ‘name and icon’ on the App Store really does affect sales - the game may be utter shit, but as long as the Icon looks cool it seems to have a massive effect. Never judge a book by its cover eh? :-/

@time_trial - Thanks! The basic AI does seem to work quite well and even their ‘dumb’ steering can present quite a challenge to negotiate. I think its often easy to over engineer an AI system and there are a few games that seem to use ‘dumb’ as an inherent game-play element (e.g. Pixel Junks Racers - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PixelJunk_Racers).
I’ve got some ideas how to make them more intelligent, at the very least to mount some sort of challenge on later tracks.

Once again, thank you to everyone on here whose commented so far. It really helps!


@andymac3d - if you want to add a background, like a retro cityscape or something, I have code for creating a “skydome” that gives you a 360 degree wraparound image.

Example here: http://twolivesleft.com/Codea/Talk/discussion/comment/34982

@andymac3d How’d you transfer the the 3D model from that modeling program to (I assume) Codea?

@Goatboy76 - he wrote a script outside of Codea to do it

I’ve written Codea code that can load, read and draw a 3D model (in OBJ format)


@andymac3d you’ve encouraged me to redo my Bézier class, I hope to see yours on CC soon so I can compare! Your class sounds quite versatile, I want achieve something like this for splinerider and get it looking good and performing faster!

@Ignatz - thanks for this, much appreciated! Although, I’ve already written some code to handle a background/skydome - I will take a look at yours and compare approaches etc… :wink:

p.s. I’ve designed a whole bunch of ‘themed’ backdrops (inc. retro cityscape!) which I’ll put in the next version!

@Luatee - sounds great! Let me know if you need any pointers. The main thrust of mine is speed and trying to compute as much as possible in advance of the main ‘Draw’ loop. Fortunately my curves don’t change shape during the game which makes things somewhat easier and faster to compute.

I’ll CC it at somepoint once I’ve cleaned it up and worked through my current ‘to do’ list. :wink: