part of yips about raesonic (raesonic.world)
obstacles collection book2023-06-19
I've not written devlogs before except a couple short toots, but it could be fun in theory! I'd like to have more stuff on this webbed site away from corporatey fences, and while I don't expect much from it (especially that it takes me a long time to choose the words that I really need to convey something, which sorta detracts from the time spent on actual development) buuut..
This month I wanted to tackle a feature that's been on wishlist for a while – a page which lists all the obstacles in the game. And something I've noticed over the time in the designs that I do, is that I end up with very little charm in them, when everything appears modern, minimalist and without much variety across pages. So for the collections page I wanted to go with something that makes it stand out from other pages, and turn it into a fictional collection book.
So far it's looking something like this:
The entries become unlocked as you clear them 10 times total, with silhouettes unlocking upon the first clear. A "clear" in this context means driving through the obstacle without colliding with any of its segments, and honestly I expected the logic of "detecting when someone drives through an obstacle without colliding" to be rather difficult, but it's not like we care about crediting someone who perfectly drove through it, just to turn around and collide with it, haha. So all we do is keep track of each obstacle model ID on the road, exclude the models each player has collided with, and then credit them remaining ID's upon reaching the finish line.
Implementation-wise this isn't particularly difficult, but organizing code still took a while as I didn't want to pile it up into a long unmaintainable file. Integrating it was also a little complex, likely in part to player class needing to go through a chain of events before it's confirmed as an actual participant in the race.
Reviewing what I wrote earlier, I remembered that there are uncommon cases an obstacle might appear twice on the same track. In that case it will only get credited once (which is fine, desired even), but only if each of them is cleared (which is suboptimal.. but I suppose it's also fine). The latter is relatively solvable but likely not worth the extra storage and complexity.
Initially the book might be rather short, as when adding the names and descriptions for them, I realized that there are only 6 entries that are finished. Most of the obstacles I've designed for the game are simple non-sequential assets (as an example, take any single stamp from the image above) which are yet to be re-made into sequences. There were lucky generations when randomness would combine singular obstacles in an interesting way, but relying on randomness without teaching it what's fun doesn't really work, besides themed sequences feel more handcrafted and fun.
While technically nothing is restricting me from adding older obstacles to the collection book, the bar of quality is better off a little higher than I started with, and it'd be preferrable to minimize occurrences when a player works towards something that's about to get vaulted/hidden.
So what's the book for, is it merely to track progression and allow players to complete a collection? At initial release, yup that is the whole plan, besides revealing the name/quote which sometimes act as a hint at origin of the obstacle. But what I'd like to do in the future, is to add rewards for unlocking the entries, for example, cosmetic decals that can be applied to the side/hood of any vehicle. They could share a theme with the obstacle, so successfully driving through prop bones several times would grant access to a decal portraying stylized fictional bones, etc.