January 14, 2017

Happy new year and some news

Hi everyone!

A few months ago we released the lastest version of SuperTuxKart and while we haven't been active on the blog, we are working hard behind the scenes.

Networked multiplayer is our top priority and we split the team into two groups. Joerg Henrichs is currently working on the networking code while Marianne Gagnon, Jean-Manuel Clémençon and Benau are in charge of the other tasks related to the upcoming release.

Better performance

We have significantly improved the VRAM and RAM usage of the game engine. Previously, the game loaded all shared textures in the VRAM, even if they weren't displayed. Back in the day, when only a few tracks used shared textures, this wasn't really an issue, but now almost all tracks use them so a more clever system had to be designed. Now, the engine will load them only when needed, which reduces wasted VRAM. This means the game should be able to run more easily on low-end hardware.

There is also a new option that allows you to aggressively cut down non-essential high-poly details, like grass, which reduces both the VRAM usage and the general polycount.

Benau created a system to randomize colors for similar objects to create more interesting tracks with color variations. Previously, artists had to create different versions for each object which was not only time consuming but also bad for performance.

Only one texture and one model of car was used
Animations now use hardware skinning, which allows the same object to have different animations. This also means they will be computed by the GPU instead of the CPU, which should be faster.

Elderme, a new developer who joined the team last year, started to refactor the engine, which should make things easier for newcomers to understand the inner working of the game.

If you have experience in OpenGL/Vulkan and PBR (Physically Based Rendering) and want to be part of SuperTuxKart Team, please contact us.

Two new maps for SuperTuxKart

Those two tracks were, for a few years, in development hell, but finally we are ready to show you some screenshots.

Cornfield Crossing

First, Cornfield Crossing (codenamed Harvest during the development). The main inspiration behind the track was this amazing concept art done by Ozone.



The map is set in the fictional country of United Counties of Amerigo, during harvest season. Like all new tracks made since Cocoa Temple, the track is dedicated to one of our beloved characters:
Xue, The harvest mouse will be driving a giant combine, and her friends will be around the map encouraging the player.


You will be able to explore a region inspired by the great plains of the United States and Canada, with grain elevators, ranches, barns and much more.


Ravenbridge Mansion

The other track is called Ravenbridge Mansion. This Halloween-themed map will replace the old Blackhill Mansion.


The map is set in a spooky and dark swamp, home to the BSD beastie deamon, with his friend Gaveoche.


The future of SuperTuxKart


The upcoming release will feature two new new tracks "Ravenbridge Mansion" and "Cornfield Crossing". These new tracks are the latest two tracks of the current generation, a generation started two years ago with the release of Cocoa Temple, the first map that took advantage of Antarctica, our rendering engine.

The next generation will bring exciting things like Network Multiplayer, improved tracks and all cut scenes will be redone. Here is a sneak peak into the future

  • New modelling techniques will be introduced into the track modelling process : they now will be done by sculpting them. It allows artists a more creative and organic process.
  • The fabulous world of SuperTuxKart will be more detailed, but no worries for older platforms, since it's now possible to disable details.
  • Depending of changes in the engine, we might merge PBR rendering.
  • Smoother transition between textures and improved materials.

One of the next gen arena made with sculpting


We are also preparing two surprises with epic proportions. We will be revealing more information in the upcoming months ;).

The SuperTuxKart Team

7 comments:

  1. Wow! Nice Work Guys!
    Please remove bananas malus and make more "physical based" bonus :)

    Release date approximated? :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi and thanks for your interest in the game

      We can't know for sure and we don't want to start to speculate. The current planning is to have an alpha release ready in a few months that would be between March and June 2017 depending on our time and resources. No matter what happen we will announce on our blog as always

      Sam

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    2. Thanks Sam!
      The next version 0.9.3. will be online multiplayer or it is planned for 0.9.4+?

      Daniele

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    3. Daniele, quite a lot of work remains before networked multiplayer is ready. We will announce it when it is ready, but at this time we cannot say when it will be ready (certainly don't expect it for 0.9.3 though, considering how much work is left it won't be ready by then)

      Delete
    4. Will we at least see LAN mutiplayer in 0.9.3, considering that the rewind branch was merged? Or maybe at least as an enableable experimental option?

      Delete
  2. Thank you very much to all the team for you game. Waiting for future release with great excitation. Each new release, I've seen lot of progress, you guys are doing awesome work!!!!

    ReplyDelete