So once you have committed to a launch date, and have your "banker" builds sat in the wings waiting, what is it that us game developers end up doing?
Well as you know with all Rush Rally games, just because it has a release date or is already released to the market, doesn't mean that we stop working on it. This week we've decided to add another level of bling to the game, in fact some of this has been on my TODO list for over 4 years!!
For years the water has always been a bit below standard, I've always known how I would improve it, but having a million and one other tasks on the list meant it always got pushed to the bottom. It is also not just a case of editing art. As you all know by now, the Rush Rally series is all procedurally generated at load time and the tracks are not stored on disk. With this in mind, creating pools of water that intersect with the terrain and behave and look nice with the tracks is a bit of a mission.
Before the water edges were always a bit ugly, and I actually used less water because of it, in fact it was more noticeable on Origins because of the camera angle. It used to be a single polygon plane set to the level that I wanted the water. Now however it is not.
The easiest trick in the book is to actually use the triangles that the terrain creates as the water mesh, of course this doesn't work out of the box because they are all different levels, so what you need to do is a bit of shader magic in order to render the water "flat" using the verts of the terrain and blend it into the terrain. You can also animate the water with this approach too. The results are not to bad at all, and given this approach, I could easily create nice small static pools of water for the tracks of Kenya in Rush Rally Origins.
Here are the before/after and mesh view of the same scene so you can see the difference:
Before: The edges are harsh and I removed these pools from the game as they didn't pass my graphical level tests!
After: See how it blends nicely with the terrain and sits seamlessly in the world.
Hybrid: showing both meshes of the terrain and water on top of each other!
What is great is that any new tech created or updated, will feed into the other products at some point too, so expect this to appear in Rush Rally 3 when I get round to it
Here is how it looks along a shoreline in UK tracks too.
So this will be expected in v1.5 of Rush Rally Origins, this will be the launch version on iOS and Android. Nintendo Switch will be a "Day 1" (which is likely to be about day 10!) patch! Nintendo Switch launches with v1.4 as it stands.
For those on v1.4 of the switch version this is what has changed between the two versions:
Balancing improved so the target times and difficulty will be much better for the Gold/Silver/Bronze
Has extra user information, prompts to guide the user to their preferred camera choice
Has track and bug fixes where sometimes you can see glitches in the distance (on a minority of tracks)
Tweaks for race mode to show more particles and add to immersion
Fixes to slight slow downs when racing in New-Zealand.
Fixes race mode being too easy on dynamic difficulty
Fixes all the water so it looks as above, instead of harsh edges!
And much more stuff
We hope you enjoy exploring the Origins of Rush Rally as much as we have enjoyed making it!