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The Making Of Matica Karts - Bringing the Kart to life.

Matica Kart ready to roll.

The next milestone was to get the Kart moving. The camera would follow the Kart from above, keeping the Kart central at all times. The movement dynamics of the Kart and the width of the track needed attention first.

The track had to be wide enough for the Karts to slide around corners. If it were too narrow even a very good player would be leaving the track annoyingly often. It couldn't be too wide though, because it had to be challenging to drive around. We wanted overtaking to be entertaining, if the track were too narrow you couldn't overtake. Too wide and overtaking would be too easy.

Kart moves for the first time.

We wanted the Karts to accelerate up to full speed quickly and to slide around corners with a good amount of oversteer. In real Formula 1 racing braking points are very important. We were aiming for a fun computer game, so didn't want it to be all about braking points. More about the route you take, and when you turn into a corner.

The first version had too much oversteer, and was far too sensitive. It was very difficult to drive around the track. At this point in development there was no penalty for driving off the track or for hitting an obsticle as I hadn't developed the code for that yet. If it had been in place though, I would imagine the handling of the Kart would have been very frustrating.

Evolution 2 Of Kart Motion

The second video shows the next itteration of the game. Here the movement has been refined, the track has evovled a little, and there are other Karts on the track. We were much happier with the Kart control and dynamics with this version. The other Karts are not moving yet and there is no collision detection or reaction. We were still experimenting with the Kart size, hence the different sized Karts in the video.

You may also notice the wheels are turning left and right, the driver is moving and leaning into the corners.

All that remained was to slow the car when it went off the track, and to refine the size and movement a little more. Then we could move onto the Artificial Intelligence of the other Karts which I'll cover in Part 3.