Auto Fire v0.5.13: Big Week!


It's been a pretty exciting week for Auto Fire.  A whole bunch of stuff going down!  For starters, we now have a pre-alpha trailer with full-fledged professional voiceover.  It feels great to hear more of the flavor of the world put to words.

Equally big news is that production is stepping up on the project, with full-time development starting this week.  There are strong goals for really focusing on the accessibility of the controls, delivering more of the core fantasy of driving a muscle car bristling with weapons, as well as fleshing out the longer-term content experience.  This includes (finally) building your fame, earning and spending resources, and purchasing new vehicles (yay!).  It will be exciting to finally be able to flesh out some real content.

As an inaugural step for going all-in on Auto Fire, we’ve been deeply examining the turn model… something that hasn't been touched in like two years. The way it used to work is that each team would execute their moves when the timeline reached it, so that if you were moving at 60 mph (3 moves per turn), and the enemy was moving at 40 mph (2 moves per turn), the simulation would resolve with:

  • You move (progressing to 0.333 seconds)
  • They move (progressing to 0.5 seconds)
  • You move (progressing to 0.666 seconds)
  • They move (progressing to 1.0 seconds)
  • You move (progressing to 1.0 seconds)

Guh. This might sound sensible if you are a realism fan, but when many entities are moving at different speeds, the turns all interleaved and the player never knew who was going to move when. It was confusing and could get frustrating as an enemy vehicle suddenly drove right into your path or out of your line of fire.

The new model is pretty simple: Each turn you execute your moves, then the rest of the world executes their moves. So in the above example, you’d get your 3 moves, then they would get their two. It’s basically X-com style, but you know what?

It ended up playing exactly the same.

Yeah, you can’t really tell there’s any difference at all, it flows great. And while we worried that you’d be irritated by that long pause for your opponents to do their thing during your fancy driving , it actually feels a lot better than when your opponents interrupted you at odd, unpredictable times during your turn.  This turn-based "heartbeat" is more pronounced now, with an action ticker in the lower left.  Weapons and equipment recharge on turn boundaries, so more mechanics are structured around the turn rather than just using a hojillion cooldown bars.  It turns out that this makes the game more sensible to play and yet doesn't lose one bit of its existing depth.

Finally, some new Unity features have given rise to improved UI shaders which allow us to give the player a projection of where their car will go, reflecting the speed and angle of travel.  This new approach to resolving the simulation will continue to improve over the coming weeks.

It's going to be a fun summer!

Files

Auto Fire - Windows 64-bit 930 MB
Version 12 32 days ago
Auto Fire - Windows 32-bit 927 MB
Version 12 32 days ago

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Comments

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It would be even funnier if you could push out a Linux version !

I know I know!  I hope I can provide it in the future

Maybe add an usopported Linux Beta to have some early feedbacks ? Sometimes it works very well, several other "indies" did that already, before adding an official Linux build.