Hello everyone, here’s the latest development in the world of Snow Plow Project! Again, lots of work under the hood, and much more coming. It’s all about preparing the core of the game for the future campaign mode, while we prepare a first playtest. Keep reading for more…

This first project has been time-consuming for the last weeks. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that emulating snow is a big big challenge. Mostly because it would be impossible for a home computer to simulate the reaction of billions of snow particles real time. Even though I had already found a nice aesthetic way to recreate the snow behaviour, it was, indeed, graphical only. I still needed it to be physics-driven, to at least have those nice effects to react in a physically accurate manner. I had been thinking about the best way for emulating this for a while, and got to work mid-summer. After a few weeks, I got something working pretty good, but performance-heavy. I submitted it to my software engineer friend who reviewed the concept and made some very wise recommendations to optimize it. And voilà! The physical part of the snow runs without any noticable performance degradation.

While you might not notice much difference at the first glance, remember that the snow behavior is now driven by hundreads of invisible physical masses lying on the road and dictating the snow layer on how to move, where to rise, and where to disappear. Of course, door remains open for updates and improvements in the future.

Input system and controller support

I’ll be updating the input system very soon. The goal is to shape the infrastructure of the game for future controller support. Unity’s old input system made controller support pretty cumbersome. So with this update we’ll be able to plan for future support, and allow for key assignement customization.

Vehicle physics update

The core vehicle physics will soon be updated as well, for better driving simulation, sounds, general behavior, effects and eventually controller support. Hence the new input system!

New textures and materials

I’m evaluating a possible migration to Adobe Substance Painter for textures and material creation, for more streamlined, realistic and detailed results. This would not only accelerate the process of texturing 3D models, but also give the possibility to easily add imperfections such as edge wear, dirt and rust.

Playtest release

In parallel to this, I’m working on a playtest version with a limited number of players. This would be a very basic demo and would happend on the sandbox map, in sandbox mode, with the two existing trucks. Future versions would be opened to more players.

I’m working on this “release” with a few collaborators, and we’re now waiting on:

  • The completion of the Steam Store page
  • Artwork creation for the game cover
  • The replacement of the actual game sounds. We used copyrighted sounds for development but can’t distribute them: we must replace the files before any public release

We still plan on having recording sessions with real trucks and machinery, but we might use other assets in the meantime.

You might notice I sometimes speak in “I” and sometimes in “we”… Well even if this if a one-man-game, I do have talented friends and collaborators working with me from time to time on different aspects of the game (shoutout to Ian, Martin and Dejan!).

So anyway, you have the picture! Still leaning towards a playtest demo and a campaign mode, but there is a bit of foundations that need to be laid prior to that.

Other stuff

Very quickly…

The whole game management system has been overhauled, which means everything that deals with loading the appropriate scenes or modes at the appropriate time, as well as loading screens. We now have menu music that overlaps seamlessly during loading times.

The render colors have been tweaked to better reflect the feel that I want to give the game.

On popular request, I will be creating a Discord channel for the project.

Stay tuned for more!

Eric, project lead