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Next Car Game gets a sandpit in latest update

18 Apr 2014  by   Peter Parrish
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next car game sandpit

That’s going to take ages to get out of the gearbox.

Bugbear’s Next Car Game is still cruising along in Early Access, with a recent update adding a few more tracks and features to the project. The headliner is a sandpit. No so much the plastic diggers and suspicious cat turds sandpit of British youth, but more of a racetrack made out of sand.

It’s described as course with “sweeping corners, hefty hillocks and treacherous sand banks,” in-keeping with some of Bugbear’s classic tracks of yesteryear. The developers also note that it’s a work in progress, so improvements and changes will come. As, indeed, they probably will to much of the rest of Next Car Game. That’s kind of the intent of Early Access, really.

So, what else is in this update? There’s a replay mode that’ll let you view your most recent triumph/disgrace from all angles and includes options for “depth-of-field, slow motion and fast forward, target locking, selectable field-of-view.” That’s a work in progress too, so expect the user interface to change over time.

A couple of new destruction derby stadiums are in there too, along with support for more than one simultaneous controller. This means you should be able to drive with a wheel and pedal combo, if you have them.

Here’s the full list of significant Next Car Game changes, plus a handy tip about any troubles you might be having with using a controller:

Tracks:
* New sandpit race track featuring both normal and reverse layouts, work-in-progress.
* New mudpit derby stadium, work-in-progress.
* New small derby stadium, work-in-progress.

Environment Art:
* Smoothed out track-sides and improved gravel race track readability.
* New work-in-progress spectator models – some previous ones remain.
* New concrete barriers, used in various derby stadiums.

Weathers:
* Two new weathers: stormy evening and misty evening.
* Weather can be now specified in the event setup.

Vehicles and Handling:
* New driver model, as of now simply static.
* Improved suspension and tire physics.
* More responsive handling with a game pad.
* Improved player vs. AI collision physics.

Damage:
* Improved deformation physics so that visual car damage is more accurate.
* Improved gameplay damage to prevent cars from getting too torn up and still going.
* Fixed a case where cars would get damaged and eventually destroyed from rubbing against a static barrier.

Replay:
* New replay mode with slow motion and fast forward time controls (-16.0x … 4.0x), a number of different cameras, target locking & switching, depth-of-field and field-of-view settings.

User Interface:
* Race timer now correctly displays hundredths as well instead of random numbers.
* Game is no longer unpaused when exiting Steam overlay if the game was paused.

Input:
* Implemented multicontroller support (e.g. wheel and pedals in separate USB ports).
* Sensitivity & deadzone adjustments now take effect without a restart.
* Added saturation, sensitivity and dead zone settings for XInput controllers.
* Game now defaults to DirectInput for wheels, hopefully making some wheels behave better.
* The game now detects more than one XInput controllers that are connected simultaneously.
* Force feedback is disabled for Microsoft Sidewinder FF wheel in an attempt to work around buggy driver causing lag.

Audio:
* Increased AI engine volume.
* General improvements.

IMPORTANT: If you’re experiencing controller issues such as being unable to correctly assign controls, please remove the user data generated by the previous build by navigating to [STEAM INSTALLATION FOLDER]/userdata/[USER ID]/228380/local and removing the folder labeled ‘next car game pre-alpha’.

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