Kimmo & Progress to Alpha
As a follow-up to our Kickstarter Analysis blog post, where we told you that we’d not heard from Kimmo for several weeks, we’ve finally heard from him!
First and foremost, Kimmo is alive and well. Whilst we’re obviously not at liberty to air Kimmo’s personal life to the world, what we can say is that he’s had some personal issues which completely prevented his usual level of involvement in the project. Even though the issues are improving day-by-day, in Kimmo’s own words, “it’s no excuse, but it’s done and can’t be changed.” Quite naturally, Kimmo feels that he should prioritise his personal life over GeneRally 2 and, as such, he’s decided to take a back seat and end his active involvement in the project.
From the day he joined the team, Kimmo has been a valuable and influential contributor to the project – filling gaps that Markku and I were simply unable to fill with his fantastic enthusiasm and dedication. We’ll miss him greatly on the GeneRally 2 team, and in our spirited and lengthy discussions about features and implementations, but we wish him all the best for the future, in whatever he chooses to do
Insofar as the project is concerned, we have a licensing agreement in place with Kimmo, to allow us to continue to utilise the work he’s contributed to GeneRally 2 so far – this will continue indefinitely and, as such, the project itself can continue without the need to revisit old work. Furthermore, Kimmo is happy for his work to continue in use and still remains a strong supporter of the project!
Even though the past 10 days have represented some well-earned time off for both of us (with Markku spending his holiday cycling up steep hills in Northern Italy), since the last public release the game has come on leaps and bounds:
- The underlying terrain system has been reworked and rewritten to improve performance.
- The first alpha version of the car editor is complete and fully functioning.
- Cars and tracks are now directly loaded from their respective (new) formats at run-time.
- Performance improvements have been made to the car physics (the suspension system has been reworked entirely), reducing stuttering significantly. This should eliminate the ‘steering lag’ some people noted.
- Several more features have been integrated into the track format, ready for future improvements (these future improvements may-or-may-not include multiple water levels/areas, Bezier-curve object placement, etc.).
- Visual improvements to the day/night cycle lighting, in preparation for weather simulation (including cloud shadows, varying levels of lighting during the day, etc.)
- A new feature to allow for greater fidelity in height maps (which allows track creators to specify the height of the highest and lowest points of the terrain).
Still on our to-do list, possibly for Alpha 1, possibly for beyond that, are: localisation support (LTR languages only for the time being), driver statistic tracking (the normal serious things like races, wins, etc. and some more interesting things, e.g. ‘number of complete front-flips’, ‘total length of skidmarks’ and ‘total time spend sideways’) and, of course, the first alpha version of the new track editor!
We’ll have more news in the coming weeks about when the Alpha will begin, and how access to it will work – but for now, work continues in earnest!
– James & Markku