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View Full Version : MX Simulator - a motocross racing game



jlv
10-18-2007, 08:39 PM
I'd like to get some feedback for the game I'm working on. It's called "MX Simulator" and it is a motorcycle game where the bike doesn't automatically stay upright - you have to steer to keep it balanced and lean into turns.

Here is a link to the installer (35 megs): mxsimulator-pre1-install.exe (http://mxsimulator.com/mxsimulator-pre1-install.exe)

And here are a few screenshots: 1 (http://mxsimulator.com/screenshots/firstturn.jpg) 2 (http://mxsimulator.com/screenshots/jump.jpg) 3 (http://mxsimulator.com/screenshots/lastturn.jpg)

I also have a video and some more screenshots at mxsimulator.com (http://mxsimulator.com).

Thanks,
- Josh

Tobias
10-18-2007, 10:17 PM
I quite like it, apart from the fact that it is very hard to get into. When I finally managed to take a curve it was great fun. Nice feel to it.

There are too many keys to keep track of though. And sometimes more than half of them must be used at the same time.

I loved the engine sound.

jlv
10-19-2007, 01:33 PM
Thanks Tobias. I am worried about the steep learning curve and complicated controls, but it's hard to simplify it without ruining the fun. You can enable automatic shifting and just not use the clutch or rear brake. That gets the keys down to throttle, front brake and steering. But it isn't quite the same playing it that way. I'm still not sure what the default should be.

As for the sound, it is a variation of Karplus-Strong string synthesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karplus-Strong_string_synthesis). I use a half sine wave as the inital impulse and for the delay I started out with the speed of sound / pipe length and then tuned it until it resonated when the rpms reached the "on the pipe" speed.

Nikster
10-19-2007, 01:57 PM
Hi, gave it a try, unfortuantly I'm too dumb for this game, having to control two brakes a clutch etc was too much, that and I couldn't get out of the traps the first two attempts :) it certainly would be more fun if it was more arcadey with online play that's for sure. a bit like microsofts one, or even could be motorbike trackmania or something ;) feels nice all round, sound, graphics, just the gameplay :(

jlv
10-19-2007, 06:47 PM
Actually, I was intentionally targeting hardcore MX specifically to avoid competing with Microsoft's (now Rainbow Studios) MX game. I didn't think I had a chance against them so I was hoping to find my niche by having insanely realistic physics (kind of like a motocross version of X-Plane). Do you think it's worth doing arcade physics or will those people just buy the other game?

dma
10-19-2007, 11:43 PM
Do you think it's worth doing arcade physics or will those people just buy the other game?

There's a good chance that some people don't know about the "other game," even if it's from Microsoft. But anyway, can you give an option, so people can choose between realistic or arcade physics? That would cover all your bases.

Shoe
10-20-2007, 05:49 AM
Looks like a really neat game! Ill check it out later today.:)

Bombinator
10-23-2007, 05:23 PM
I suck at this game. It was too difficult to control for me. If I can't figure out how a game works (or how to not fall over in this case) in the first couple of minutes I move on. Maybe a tutorial would help?

jlv
10-23-2007, 10:18 PM
I suck at this game. It was too difficult to control for me. If I can't figure out how a game works (or how to not fall over in this case) in the first couple of minutes I move on. Maybe a tutorial would help?

That's what I'm most afraid of, that the game is so hard the player gives up before he even learns to play it. It might help if you turn up the "Stability" setting. It's in the "Bike Setup" screen. It should make the bike more stable at the expense of turning speed.

I will definitely be making a tutorial. Basically, turning left will lean the bike right and vice versa. You just want to steer enough to hit the right lean angle, let it stay there until you're through the turn and then steer the other way to straighten up. It should take just a little bit more than a tap to take most turns, if you hold the key down you will lean too far and slide out. Don't worry about the clutch or shifting until you can balance and turn comfortably.

princec
10-24-2007, 03:11 AM
The other thing is ... real bikes don't fall over. It is almost impossible to fall off of one without "external assistance". Try it.

Cas :)

jlv
10-25-2007, 09:07 PM
I've got a new steering system. It's not quite arcade style but it's as close as I can come without cheating the physics. I'd appreciate it you guys could give it a spin, especially if you had trouble before.

Here is a link to the new installer: mxsiminstall.exe (http://mxsimulator.com/20071026/mxsiminstall.exe)
And if you don't want to download the whole installer again, here is a link to just the updated exe: mx.exe (http://mxsimulator.com/20071026/mx.exe)

The old behavior is still available by turning on "Direct Steering" under "Bike Setup".

Bombinator
10-25-2007, 09:22 PM
Tried it again, still too unforgiving to me. Also, is there a way to switch to a third person camera? I didn't see it and I much prefer third person views in racing games.

jlv
10-26-2007, 01:00 PM
Tried it again, still too unforgiving to me. Also, is there a way to switch to a third person camera? I didn't see it and I much prefer third person views in racing games.

I'll put in third person mode. (It already exists but it is only enabled for spectating right now.)

Could you be more specific about how it is unforgiving? Does turning up Bike Setup/Stability help or make it worse?

Bombinator
10-26-2007, 04:07 PM
There was just no feel or indication that I was getting close to the edge. I'd be driving along or turning and then *BAM* I'm looking at dirt. Third person view may help me out with that as I never play racing games in first person. That said, I could just suck at the game :)

jlv
10-28-2007, 09:56 PM
I've enabled third person mode (hit Tab to cycle through the different views), and also added a lean indicator that shows how far the bike is leaning and turns red if you are close to sliding out.

Installer is here: mxsiminstall.exe (http://mxsimulator.com/20071029/mxsiminstall.exe)
Just the exe is here: mx.exe (http://mxsimulator.com/20071029/mx.exe)

Bombinator
10-29-2007, 03:44 AM
Sounds excellent. I will give it a try after work today.

Sybixsus
10-30-2007, 05:19 AM
I couldn't get anywhere. Tab wasn't changing the camera view ( yes, I downloaded after you posted about that but it wasn't changing anything no matter how many times I pressed it ) and the controls were impossible for me. I had stability cranked way up, and I reversed the left and right keys ( because I can't see the gameplay logic of pressing left to turn right ) and I still couldn't get anywhere.

Couple of specific notes which may or may not be helpful.

1) I couldn't get off the start line with everyone else. Don't know why, but my bike seemed to get tangled up in the startline thingy which drops to let us go. I tried a few games and every time I would get off the line about 10 seconds after everyone else.

2) When I fell over, it was almost impossible to get started again. I would straighten myself up and gently play with the throttle but as soon as I got any power, the bike would start leaning and swinging around all on its own, sending me off in entirely the wrong direction. This only happened when I was starting up again, once I managed to get moving ( if indeed I did ) it wasn't leaning me around automatically any more.

I'm not your target market, clearly, so it's debatable whether you should take any notice of my complete inability to stop faffing about and get somewhere. I guess you really need some hardcore MX people as testers to get an idea of whether it works for them. And then I'd still have to wonder if that's a big enough audience to be worth focusing on at the expense of a simpler mode for simple people like myself. I can't see the harm in splitting it down the middle and having an arcade mode and a simulation mode, but as I say, I'm not your target audience, so take my opinion for what it seems worth.

jlv
10-30-2007, 03:05 PM
I couldn't get anywhere. Tab wasn't changing the camera view ( yes, I downloaded after you posted about that but it wasn't changing anything no matter how many times I pressed it ) and the controls were impossible for me. I had stability cranked way up, and I reversed the left and right keys ( because I can't see the gameplay logic of pressing left to turn right ) and I still couldn't get anywhere.


Are you sure you have the latest update? I foolishly neglected to update the link in the initial post (now fixed). The latest one is http://mxsimulator.com/20071029/mxsiminstall.exe.

I had thought about defaulting to reversing the steering keys. What they default to is left turns the handlebars left, and right turns them right. You probably noticed it looks correct when you're stopped and turn the bars back and forth. But since it's a bike, turning the bars right steers the bike's center of pressure to the right and makes the bike lean left. While this is realistic, it isn't exactly user friendly. I hope the new steering mode resolves this.



Couple of specific notes which may or may not be helpful.

1) I couldn't get off the start line with everyone else. Don't know why, but my bike seemed to get tangled up in the startline thingy which drops to let us go. I tried a few games and every time I would get off the line about 10 seconds after everyone else.

2) When I fell over, it was almost impossible to get started again. I would straighten myself up and gently play with the throttle but as soon as I got any power, the bike would start leaning and swinging around all on its own, sending me off in entirely the wrong direction. This only happened when I was starting up again, once I managed to get moving ( if indeed I did ) it wasn't leaning me around automatically any more.


I think I might raise the RPM level for the auto clutch. That would make clutchless starts go a lot faster. Although probably not enough to get the holeshot (i.e. get to the first turn first) without using the clutch.



I'm not your target market, clearly, so it's debatable whether you should take any notice of my complete inability to stop faffing about and get somewhere. I guess you really need some hardcore MX people as testers to get an idea of whether it works for them. And then I'd still have to wonder if that's a big enough audience to be worth focusing on at the expense of a simpler mode for simple people like myself. I can't see the harm in splitting it down the middle and having an arcade mode and a simulation mode, but as I say, I'm not your target audience, so take my opinion for what it seems worth.

If an arcade mode sells games, I will do an arcade mode. I am not proud. (cue naked women parachuting onto Magrathea.) But if I can I would like the arcade mode to run within the same physical rules as the simulation mode.

And thank you, your comments are very helpful to me.

Bombinator
10-30-2007, 09:03 PM
Okay, got a chance to check it out. It's better for me in 3rd person, I can actually move now :D I'm not sure how a feel about the lean indicator, maybe it's useful in first person but it certainly seemed redundant in 3rd person view. Still the game seems way to unforgiving to me, I couldn't land anything to save my life. Keep up the work though :cool: