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Red Forest - Procedurally Generated Pod Racing
 
 
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Oct 21, 2013 @ 11:26am
Aug 28, 2015 @ 6:52am
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Blog update
Project Update!

Red Forest is going to be my first desktop game in four years. It's a much much bigger game than my previous desktop game, Mash 'em Marbles. I've probably learned more since starting it than I did in the decade of PC development before it. This was no Super Mario clone, or a Match 3, or a minigame prototype. It's also not an application. It's a full on desktop game.

It's not gone to plan so far. Life always gets in the way, and it has again recently- Four moves in two years, and I just found out I'm going to be a father. Along the way we've dismantled and rebuilt the project twice, and we're still not done.

Getting greenlit caused me to re analyse the game, and audience, and reconsider if it was worth completing. The answer is, of course, yes- it needs to be finished. But not the same "finished" that it would have been without Steam.

As a result of everything, I've got some help on the artwork- two new team members who will help out when they can, providing pod meshes and 2D art. I'll introduce these guys shortly.

Here's the state of play regarding the Steam version:

It's now ported to Unity 5, with my custom Unity 4 shaders being upgraded to Unity 5.
We have some new artists modeling new pods, so we can remove asset store bought pods and have unique designs, as you deserve. We're aiming for 20 pods by December but that's quite optimistic. I'll be happy with half that initially.

Track generation is now stable (previous versions have been notorious for spawning impossible tracks) but remains in heavy development.
UI system is being updated for a third time. Daikon Forge became unstable, and NGUI too slow to use. We're moving over to the new Unity UI system. This is quite a large job!

Multiplayer is being tested with the new Unity networking system. The game was unstable with the old networking system, though admittedly this is likely to be because it was our first implementation. We want this to be as best as possible.

We're considering dropping the number of pods from 128 on track to 64 (in Ludicrous mode) simply because above 64 or so, you don't really notice there are that many. This allows the game's AI to perform almost double the calculations, bringing back the character in the AI that I did not notice had started to disappear.

Broken Promises

I made a lot of promises about game content. As time went on, it became obvious that I can't do everything I promised. I've mentioned that in previous posts too. I do feel awful for that, but it's important we get to a release state. I'll do everything within my power to make this game something the players want. I may not be able to hit every point promised on the Greenlight page, but I'll be transparent about that, and I'll be listening to everybody as we go along. That brings me to the next point:

Early Access

I'm discussing an early-access release, using the funds to complete features that haven't made it in yet. I won't take a single penny of steam income until I'm happy with what was promised is delivered. All early access funds will be spent on artwork and features to bring the game forward.

Up until now, the game has been low budget. That means I've just saved and spent my own cash on what was required. For a self published game, that's fine, but it shows, and I do not consider it good enough for Steam. Early Access will allow me to fund some serious visual updates.

In short

In short, we're still working on it, it's a much bigger job than I thought, there's lots left to do, but we're doing it!

Well, Flip Me Sideways, We did it.
Description
Release date: Sept-Oct 2014
CODER-ART BASED PROTOTYPE AVAILABLE HERE: http://sturdygames.co.uk/RedForest/index.php

X-Speed is a futuristic hover racing game influenced by titles such as F-Zero and Wipeout, mixed with a bit of Trackmania's epic amount of vehicles on track- Fast action, weapons, and racing all combined with procedural tracks for a huge amount of fun! .

CURRENTLY USING MAINLY PLACEHOLDER ARTWORK

To start with you are given a basic ship. You can chose to race or to enter a tournament. When you race you gather Upgrade Points which you use to upgrade your ships handling,speed and acceleration. Winning a tournament earns you cash to buy new ships.

The game is already well balanced with the upgrades. You think your first ship is fast? A fully upgraded ship requires a completely different style of racing for you to succeed. Prepare to be thrown back into your seat at the sheer speed of it!

The aim is to have at least 20 ships upon release, with plenty of weapons. We will have 20 default "Favourite" tracks, with a procedural track generator being available.

The main story:

Racers have built roads in old, empty, run down cities known to them as Urban Forests.

Once every couple of years, a great racing tournament is held in the Red Forest.
People from all over flock to enter, voluntarily, coerced, or as slaves.
The prize is enough money for the entrant's community to escape poverty forever.
Or enough for the racer and their family, or their master, to live like royalty for the rest of their days.
The poor represent their families, their friends. The slaves represent their wealthy owners.
Then there's me. The reason this place is called the Red Forest.
I don't race representing anybody. I don't care too much for the money.
I just want to watch the world burn...


This is the projects current state of play:

Tournament Mode:
Although we intended to have several tournaments, this is not a requirement of the initial release. Instead, we will add more tournaments at a later date- the initial release will have a single 6-track tournament.

Single Race:
Done. There’s not a lot to describe here- it’s where things started.

None of the extra race types are implemented for v1.0 but that was never the plan- they were always going to be implemented later on as artwork was built.

Ship Yard:
This is implemented via the ship select screen. Ships can be purchased for currency, which must be earned by racing in tournaments.

Upgrades can be earned simply by winning races at the moment.

Options:
We want the game to run on a wide range of hardware. Instead of designing it on an Nvidia card, we’ve designed it on an Intel HD3000 to keep PC requirements down, with options to absolutely minimise rendering so the game should theoretically run on archaic hardware.

The physics type can be reduced for those on slow CPUs. At its lowest level, the CPU requirement for each ship is reduced by 400%. This allowed the game to run on a single core 600mhz phone.

You can also tweak the number of CPU players if required.

Currency:
As mentioned, Currency is implemented. You earn credits by winning tournaments. You can then buy new ships.

Upgrades:
Ships are upgraded via upgrade points instead of currency. Upgrade points are awarded per race rather than per tournament. You will continue to earn upgrade points in each race during a tournament. Upgrade points may be merged into currency at a later date but the idea of keeping them separate ensures you work hard for your ships and upgrades. If we just gave you 10K credits at the end of a tournament, you could spend it all on upgrade credits straight away and you would miss out on a lot of gameplay.

Ships:
There are four different ships implemented

So, what’s still planned?
The above are the requirements for a first, initial, v1.0 release of Xspeed. They are the most basic functions of the game, but don’t be fooled, they are far from the final feature set.

More tournaments:
There will be more tournaments to play, with a different set of tracks and different AI configurations in each to provide a good challenge.

More ships:
20 ships will be in the very first release. Although there are 4 visible different ships at the moment, there are more configurations of each. It will be more obvious when more meshes have been built as they will be completely different visual vehicles.

The rest is from my previous “What’s the plan?” post:

Race Types:
These are different versions of the standard race. You can enter a tournament of any of these modes. I will not list the Standard Race as this is obvious- What isn’t, is what’s left:

Skirmish Race Type:
Your ships have extended shields at 10x their original capacity- but once you’re out, you’re out. This is a last-man-standing race to 10 laps. If you finish, you score 20 XP, if you don’t, you get nothing!

Death Bowl Race Type:
Ditch the track and replace it with an arena!

Your ships have extended shields at 10x their original capacity- but once you’re out, you’re out.

Try to survive. Ram, shoot, blow up the other vehicles and be the last man standing. XP is distributed as per a standard race.

New Name:
Let’s face it, Xspeed is a terrible name.

With that in mind- if you guys can think of a name, we’ll choose one. We’ll pop your name high up in the credits for that one! We’ve had plenty of submissions but feel free to give us your ideas.


New Artwork

The current artwork is not final at all- None of the final artwork is complete yet, most of the visuals have been created by myself or found online (using Turbosquid for instance.) and will be changed before release.

There's a VERY EARLY build here: http://sturdygames.co.uk/xspeed
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132 Comments
Dinghy_Dog Jul 18, 2015 @ 6:09am 
voted, good luck
Mad Damo  [author] Jul 16, 2015 @ 2:57pm 
Yep, the build you can play online is nowhere near ready. Things have come a long way since this test build. Things are still progressing, but it's just one person, and it's in my spare time (of just an hour or two a week!) I have not forgotten you lot ;)
potterman28wxcv Jul 15, 2015 @ 2:46pm 
I like the idea of being able to race only with the mouse, and the simplicity of the game.

But even though your link is a very early build, it's very buggy :P I could not complete a single race because pods would crash into me, and i would get stuck with them. There's also a point where I fell of the track, but instead of being replaced, I could just continue (but my ranking didn't change).
Shafylus Sep 28, 2014 @ 4:54pm 
voted!
Mad Damo  [author] Aug 12, 2014 @ 3:08am 
We're still here! I really need to pop by and update everyone here more often. Updates coming soon, but check out the new screenie.
limelight1210 Aug 10, 2014 @ 7:08am 
Looks cool, I like the music too. One thing though- the game needs to be FASTER!! Speed it up!
Denis.(RUS) Jul 24, 2014 @ 12:26am 
класс
Aksen Jun 25, 2014 @ 5:06pm 
Wow, this looks awesome! I've been wanting a game like this for quite a long time. I look forward to paying money for it!
Mr.IMBA May 16, 2014 @ 7:41am 
I was reminded of my childhood, namely crash bandicoot *.*