Snow Plow Project is getting to a point where, with all the mechanics and aesthetics working, I’m more and more confident in having more people trying it. It really gained much potential over the last months. Several small details have been polished, tweaked and corrected, and what a difference it makes! We are having a better experience after each update. Lately, I’ve had a few collaborators try de latest dev build, which includes the new weather and our new truck. That allowed me to get a first input on the graphics, mechanics and general feel of the game, and fix a few more bugs here and there.
At this point I’m gathering a small team to run more tests, try to narrow down the minimum requirements, and get as much feedback as I can.
Does that mean a release soon? No.
Does that mean a limited, public access to the dev build soon? Yes.
At some point, the dev builds will be available outside of the dev team, to the public, in limited numbers.
Having the community try the project for free during it’s development as soon as it’s playable was my goal since the start of the project, and it will happen. Soon.
And that should happen in Steam, just like the sale of the future game. Interested players will be able to enroll for playtest.
I had a development meeting with my project partner recently, and we talked about gameplay. We basically shaped the gameplay of the game’s main campaign. Beside driving the trucks, I wanted a gameplay based on freedom and management. No storyline, no predefined goals or waypoints. This is even more important as the development of the open world has now started.
I won’t give all the details right now, but the main campaign’s gameplay will be in the style of a “career” mode, where you decide what contracts you take and what resources you gather to fulfill them. You will be running a company that gets contracts from the city, the state DOT, or private customers. Different categories of contracts will be available, each with varying levels of difficulty and rewards.
Multiplayer will also be considered, even if it poses many technical challenges. It is still to be determined if it would be available in the main campaign or in alternate game modes…
… speaking of which. If what you want is, indeed, just drive trucks and relax, we are planning on two alternate game modes: Endless and Challenge. Those will be shorter games with no option to save.
Finally got to it, and realized a lot…
Ok. I know a lot of you are fans of that game. And I have to admit, I had never tried it. But I got to it recently. You know, that popular simulation game where you drive agriculture tractors and manage your farming business. I really got into it, and I have to admit it’s an awesome game. It made me realize of a few features that really has to be in Snow Plow in order to keep it interesting and challenging…
Customizable trucks, from color to attachments.
Buyable and buildable terrains, so you can customize your business’ assets, garages, parkings, etc.
Hires. Yep, hire people, and let them do part of the job.
Snow physics. It’s currently a work in progress and facing technical limitations. I’m working on it, and it was already planned. But I realized how challenging and fun it can be to plow huge amounts of heavy snow, and find somewhere to push it.
And, multiplayer. Again, it’s a technical challenge, but will strongly be considered.
Here a blitz of some of the new features in Snow Plow since the last dev blog…
- Changed the principle of the speed limiter. Now, when activated using LShift, the vehicle’s max speed will be reduced to a proper work speed.
- Added and tweaked many sounds.
- On first boot, you will be prompted to choose the graphic settings that best fits your PC’s specs.
- The road textures have been overhauled and now look sliiiiiiick!
- Started the development of the “open world”, the real map on which all the game modes (except sandbox) will occur.
- The dumper truck is now complete and fully integrated in the game.
- There’s a new rolling snow animation in the plows. The faster you go, the bigger the roll!
- Many other minor additions and bug fixes.
Just so you know…
Snow Plow’s Steam Store page is under development right now. Even if the game will be announced as “Coming soon” only and won’t be released soon, that page will be used to register for the playtest program.
One last thing, if you ever see that studio associated with the project…
It’s me! Nothing changed, I just registered a proper business name with the appropriate authorities to be ready when the time comes!
That’s all for now, stay tuned for more!
Eric, project lead