Welcome to our first developer blog for Urban Venture! We’re very excited to talk about some of the things we have been working on and what is to come in the future for Urban Venture.
Please keep in mind however, that everything that we talk about in this dev blog is subject to change! Game development is an on-going process of iteration and experimentation. Everything is a work in progress, and may be changed completely by the launch of Early Access.
With that in mind, hopefully we will answer some of the questions or concerns you might have about the development process, so without further ado, let’s get into it.
We’re going to have many features in Urban Venture like realistic driving physics, a 1:1 recreation of a 20 km2 scaled city of Barcelona, and much more. We’ll be exploring a variety of features in these posts, but want to highlight a few that we’ve been working on recently:
Story Arcs and NPC dialog minigames are going to play a big role in Urban Venture, which will influence the amount of experience and money gained from a job. You’ll be engaging your rider in conversation and making dialog choices as you get from Point A to Point B. This means depending on your responses and the customer’s requests, your rider’s sentiment and attitude can shift positively or negatively during the ride.
Here is one example of a WIP dialog exchange with a client:
But, this is not a “one and done” thing! Let’s say you finish a conversation with a client, and you meet the same client again moving forward. You can continue the conversation and see what the outcome of their story arc is. Right now, this feature needs some more polish, but the content above gives you a good idea in the direction we’re going in.
Awareness of your surroundings is something that plays a big part in Urban Venture. We want to make the player aware of what is going on the streets of Barcelona just as you would need to be aware in real life. This brought us a challenging question; How will we help the player become more aware of his/her surroundings without blocking the line of sight by the vehicle’s design?
For example, when you pull up to an intersection and you have to lean forward to see when the light will switch. We understand that this isn’t really an issue in the US, but in the EU, with our tiny cars and tiny streets, this definitely is!
We remedied this by implementing a quick-look/camera-lean feature that you can see in this example:
This took some work, but we believe it will help with immersion of playing the game and help the player be more aware of their surroundings. In third-person this won’t be needed as you can just move the camera around according to your needs, but since we are making a simulation game, players that are looking for a “as close to realistic experience as possible,” will find this a welcome mechanic when driving the car in first-person.
Vehicle Damage and Maintenance
While you won’t be checking cars off the roads for takedowns, we do want vehicle damage to be something to consider and avoid while driving in Urban Venture.
Vehicle damage will have an influence on how your passengers react to you or how your vehicle performs on the roads. For a proper immersive experience, we’re experimenting with a destruction model generated by Houdini’s procedural system to allow the vehicle to react to the environment as naturally as possible (feel free to see our video on how we use Houdini to procedurally generate the worlds we create). Right now, we’re just testing specific points of damage on the player’s vehicle.
The player will be able to customize and maintain their vehicle using the garage that will be available in the game sometime around Early Access launch or beyond. As we get closer to the launch, we will share some more information on that.
Since we’re on the topic of car service and NPC interaction, we needed a way for the player to easily maneuver around the HUD and interact with the vehicle as fluidly as possible.
We’ve mocked up a quick version of a radial menu that we’re planning on adding into the game. This is just our first version and we’re still not sure if we will actually use this method for the game. Overall though, we think it gives the player choices on how to interact with the vehicle ranging from opening or closing passenger windows or turning the wipers on/off upon the client’s request when playing with a regular gamepad.
That’s it for our first blog post! As you can see, we’re actively working on a lot of features for the game, and we hope you like what you see so far. Stay up to date with the latest news from Urban Venture by following Simteract on social media, as well as joining the official Discord where you can talk with the developers directly!
We really appreciate all the love for the game we’ve been getting from the community so far, you guys are the best and we hope you’ll stick around and see what we have baking in the oven for the future 😉.
Hasta la próxima,
Urban Venture Producer