Hey guys. So Road Redemption's PC version hasn't been updated since July. While this isn't a very long time to go between updates for an average game, we try to update more frequently.
So why no updates for over a month?
Basically, there was a problem in the Unity 5.0 engine that's causing (infrequent) crashes. We didn't want to release another update until the issue was fixed, because whenever we release an update, it inevitably leads to an uptick in new players and an uptick in existing players. We didn't want to expose more people to the crash.
This Unity 5.0 crash is a well-documented problem, as you can see here. It only affects games that use Unity's wheel colliders, and the more wheels a vehicle has, it seems, the less likely it is to happen. To my knowledge, we're the only Unity PC game that features motorcycles, meaning this crash is not likely to happen at all in games that aren't Road Redemption, and even we only very rarely see it. After dozens of hours of testing, we've only been able to get it to happen once in our office, but multiplied over tens of thousands of players, that's a lot of crashes.
I want to emphasize the fact that we're not trying to denigrate the Unity team here. Compared to literally every other game engine I've ever used (4-5), Unity's engine upgrades have been the smoothest and bug-free. Unity 5.0 was a huge physics overhaul, and the wheel colliders underwent the biggest transformation of all the physics objects. The Unity team has been very responsive since we brought this issue to their attention, and we've worked together to fix it.
It looks as if the crash has been fixed in the latest unity patch, so we're planning to roll out another update very soon.
Planned features for the next Road Redemption update:
- Better animations for driving while holding a gun
- Animations for drawing and holstering weapons
- New enemies
- Overhauled AI to make enemies more aggressive
- Overhauled difficulty balancing
- A new system to encourage players to attempt to beat every single mission, rather than just crawl to the finish line.
- A new "quick race" mode, where you can choose from individual race missions outside of the main campaign
- Vastly improved crash physics
- ...and much more!
What about online multiplayer?
We're working on it! In fact, we've beefed up our dedicated multiplayer staff last month, so progress is happening at twice the speed it has been.
What about console versions?
We're working on these too. The biggest issues with consoles right now are performance optimizations. Consoles are cheaper than PC's for good reason, and what runs well on a mid-range gaming PC, can run very poorly on a console, especially things that are CPU-heavy, like physics. Road Redemption has a lot of physics.
What about the Linux version?
A linux/SteamOS version is coming very soon. Maybe in the next update.
What are your thoughts on Virtual Reality?
Kindof a tangent, but ok. I think motion sickness issues will make this a very limited technology. You simply can't make a FPS in VR without making a large part of your audience want to throw up. Look up the vestibular system and its connection to the occiptal lobe of your brain if you want to understand why.
Sure you can make 3rd person games with limited camera movement. You can make games where you sit still and control a turret. You can make any type of game that doesn't require you to move much, really. But based on the lack of success of 3d TVs and the 3DS, I'd say that the average consumer isn't willing to strap on a headset just to make his gaming experience more immersive, if it means he's unable to play the genres he actually likes.
But maybe first person melee combat games could be the thing that makes VR a success. With VR's stereoscopic effect and wide field of view, this genre could finally take off. These types of games also don't necessarily require quick linear or angular acceleration, so motion sickness will be minimized. If VR has a chance of becoming mainstream, I think it's first person melee combat games that are gonna make it happen.
What are your thoughts on gaming today?
Not really Road Redemption related, but ok.
I'd like more games to offer you the ability to skip the on-rails scripted story mode entirely. I want to be able to play through Far Cry 4, get all the upgrades, and just play the base invasion missions. I want to be able to play through all of the Witcher 3's monster hunts without having to have 3 billion inane conversations first.
With very very rare exception, videogame linear story segments suck. Videogame writing sucks. Videogame cutscene direction and blocking sucks, and quite often videogame acting sucks too. Does it suck compared to a highschool play? No. It's competent. But it sucks relative to most TV and movies, which is the standard it ought to be held to.
In this age of unlimited entertainment options at our fingertips, watching a videogame cutscene means that I'm not watching Rick and Morty or Whiplash or Birdman or reading The Martian on your kindle, or enjoying one of the thousands of great movies, tv shows, and books that this world has to offer. So when a game like The Witcher 3 makes me watch a boring cutscene just to get to the thing it does well (its gameplay), it's detracting from my entertainment and wasting my time.
What's the solution to this problem? I'd say cut down on noninteractive cutscenes, because no one is ever going to make them a real priority: not game developers, not publishers, and not even game reviewers. Unless your game is entirely story driven (like a TellTale game), reviewers will always forgive lackluster cutscenes if the gameplay is good.
So there's my rant on that.
Road Redemption update coming soon.