Anouncements and News

What’s big news in the Auotmation world?

The team is now back on deck in NZ after a great trip thanks to our old school, The Academy of Interactive Entertainment. If you’re in the US or Australia and want to get into the games industry, have a look at www.aie.edu.au or www.theaie.us

We got to meet up with Killrob, Der Bayer and Pyrlix and have some excellent design meetings, as well as checking out Rob’s work (Particle Accelerator!) and a quick drive around the Nurburgring :)

Team

Left to right, front row: Robert (Killrob), Caswal (Zeussy), Andrew (Daffyflyer).
Back Row: Roland (Pyrlix), Martin (Der Bayer)

So! Now we’re all back to work, what are we working on?

Well, the next step on the car designer is to tie together all the remaining car stats and get some Car Design Scenarios implemented. Rob has a bit of a chat about that in the video below.

As well as that we’re working on a few other smaller things like a couple of extra car bodies, mid engine configurations and some general bug fixing and polish.

Development Strategy

We often get questions like “Why haven’t you done V6s yet?” which I agree from the outside looks kind of strange that we’d have gone so long without releasing any new engine types or anything. I thought I’d give a quick explanation of why we do things in the order which we do.

The main reason is that It’s better for the overall quality of the finished game to tackle the hard problems first “How do the stats work”, “How does suspension tuning work”, “How do factories work” etc. And then once we’ve got a solid framework of the game in place, it’s an easy task to come back and add more content (engines, cosmetic choices, chassis types etc.)

Design choices in those aspects may also mean reworking previous engine work too, so it’s better to get the “Design” stuff out of the way before adding too much more “Content”

The other reason is that we will most likely be moving to the Unity game engine. The engine we’re currently working on was the best possible solution at the time we first started Automation, but that was many years ago now, and Unity has improved immensely to the point where we’d be stupid to stay with our current outdated in-house engine which is very hard to maintain and slow to develop with.

At this point the few months of converting to a new game engine will be earned back very quickly in how much easier and more powerful Unity is. It’ll allow us a much quicker and easier work flow, a much nicer UI, better performance, and better graphics all around.

However, doing lots more engine types before moving to Unity would just make even more things we need to go and rework for Unity later, creating senseless extra work.

I know this may be somewhat frustrating, particularly if engine design is the only aspect of Automation you’re interested in, but I think it’s best for the quality of the final product.

Steam Release

The Steam release IS still coming later this year.
Our next major project/update will be lots more polish and bug fixing for Steam as well as Steamworks integration/Achievements etc. Also we’ll be doing a more complete set of video tutorials and manual documentation to make sure we have a nice high quality & easy to learn game for our first foray into Steam sales :)

Over the past few weeks we’ve been properly getting into the flow of getting work done in our New Zealand location :)

We’ve been focusing on finishing the last few car stats, as well as a big rework of both the look and functionality of the UI to help the process of designing a car from start to finish make more sense.

Check out the UI prototypes and videos from Killrob below.

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Europe Trip

Thanks to the generosity The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (where most of the dev team studied) and Wargaming.net, we’ll be heading off to an AIE Alumni meetup in Lucca, Italy. We’re also taking the opportunity to extend out the trip for a few weeks to catch with with family, as well as have some design meetings with Killrob, Der Bayer and Pyrlix.

We will be out of the office starting tomorrow, and will return on the 25th of June. Robert and the beta team will continue to work on the testing and design of car scenarios, but aside from that, there won’t be a great deal of progress for a few weeks. Support emails will be answered by Robert where possible, but some account & technical issues may take longer than usual to be responded to.

We’ll be doing a few fun car related things while we’re over there too, so we’ll be sure to post some pics on facebook of anything you guys might be interested in.

After a few delays, caused partially by the fact that we’ve moved ourselves and our company from Melbourne, Australia to lovely Wellington, New Zealand. Update B1362 is now out as a public release.

New Features

A lot more car stat calculations, the foundations for how the cars will be evaluated in the Tycoon aspect. New stats include:
Tameness
Sportiness
Comfort
Prestige
Safety
More options and controls added. We are more or less at the final design of all designers.
A new test track mode. Where the car is driven virtually around a track from a birds eye perspective.
Custom Tracks can be made, check the forums for player made tracks and competitions.
New bodies added.

Bavarian Rally Challenges

To take advantage of the new test track features, our car physics expert Der Bayer is running a set of rally challenges. Build cars to various class specs and try for the best stage times down a challenging set of stages. Details can be found in the video and forum thread below

http://automationgame.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=3970

What’s Next?

Next project is further work on the car designer and will focus on some of the stats that are still missing, such as Cargo Space, Off Road Ability, Passenger Space etc. It’ll also add some car design scenarios, visual feedback on ride height and some more car bodies.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a picture of the new home of Camshaft Software

WellySmall

We’ve been hard at work on the Car Designer, and thanks to the excellent and never ending physics work of vehicle dynamics expert Martin “Der Bayer” Herrmann, we’ve got some very in depth stat calcualtion for cars as well as a cool test track simulator, as a bit of a bonus feature.

Below is a big pile of dev update videos by Killrob, outlining all the stuff we’ve been working on

In this video Rob shows off the soundtrack and talks about how it was made.

It’s now available for purchase off iTunes and Bandcamp if you’d like to support our awesome composer, and will be released for Forced Induction pre-orders to download at the same time the next game update (Around mid January)

Buy on iTunes
Buy on Bandcamp

Note that future special edition preorders are now the “Supercharged Edition” and don’t include the Soundtrack, as we’re letting the composer do his own sales :)

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