Before I give a quick recap on our progress this year, I want to mention that Kyle and I will be at GDC next week! If you'll be there and want to see our latest developments or ask questions about anything let us know! Hit us up at any of these:
It's been a couple years since we've done GDC, so we're excited to finally catch up with old friends and put a focus on learning from the greats. Please do feel free to say hello if you'll be around!
The Experimental Branch
In classic Refract fashion we might have bit off a little more than we can chew, so this next major build release has been a long time in the making. Literally hundreds of changes have been made to the core game, and with these improvements comes plenty of bugs.
To help with dev to player transparency (and the testing process in general) we recently announced the availability of an "experimental" branch for Steam users! While we're in the final stages of testing our update, players that feel like living on the edge can update to access to the most "bleeding edge" work in progress features. Here's some of the highlights in the latest experimental build:
- Added level playlist functionality in the level select menu for creating quick playlists
- Added automatic Steam Workshop level downloading if you attempt to play on a server with a level that you don't own
- Input system revamp (i.e. if you reported an input bug this build probably fixed it)
- Added Logitech G27 support with force feedback
- The level select menu now supports advanced sorting and rating
- Revamped the server browser window to be more accessible and allow for hiding private, full, and incompatible servers
- Fixed most scenarios where the car could tunnel through objects
- Downloading Steam Workshop levels in the main menu now only downloads newly subscribed levels
- If you unsubscribed to one or more levels the game now prompts you to delete them
- Add the ability to move to next or previous level in a set at the end of a match
- Upgraded the visuals of the main menu to feature your car and highlight community content
- Added Friends leaderboards category in the Results Screen
- You're now prompted to rate a Workshop level after finishing a match
- Fixed tons of issues with the chat window in-game
- Some minor performance improvements
- Plus dozens of other tweaks and bug fixes
If you'd like to access this build simply follow the instructions at the link below. Just make sure to read the WARNING section about reverting to build 3315 before updating! Also make sure to report any bugs you find on our bug reporting site, labeling them with the build number you see in the upper right corner.
The Big Update
The focus for this update (as you can probably see above) is on discoverability (is that a word?) and usability. While we're unfortunately not including any levels of our own in this update, there are now over 460 community created levels we want to make sure you don't miss! We wanted to do our best to highlight the content we found enjoyable, and allow the community to more directly affect visibility through rating in-game. After GDC we hope to finally get this monstrous update out the door, and at long last I'll be able to do a proper development breakdown of all of the major changes. Stay tuned, and if you're making it out to GDC we hope to see you next week!
- Jordan (with everyone at Refract)