A small update in regards to the future/"RIK2".
TLDR: I don't know when it'll happen. But definitely 1+ years in the future.
I'll be spending the next year and maybe more on the project I'm currently working on. Hence I'm tabling RIK2 for now. It'll still happen, but it'll be a while.
700 before 2017? :p
It's been a while since the last "official" update. I posted some updates in a reply a little over a month ago, but as I've gotten further along than I thought I would I'm posting this update a bit sooner than planned, also because people keep asking :p
I decided to split this up into parts, and also be relatively detailed to cover misc. questions I've been asked.
1: How's your leg?
My leg is fine now. Thanks for asking.
2: When will "RIK 2" be out? Or when can I try it?
Short version: I don't know, but probably not in 2016.
I'm currently working on a relatively big software project, most if it is finished now. But there's still a lot of "polishing" and tweaking to be done seeing as I want it "perfect" (so to speak) before releasing, so roughly 1-3 months worth I'd guess.
While working on that project, I got an idea for another thing to make as well. I mentioned this in the aforementioned reply. I have since looked a bit more into this idea, and it is possible. And I want to finish it before I start RIK 2.
The bad news for you guys is that this second project is very complicated and hence I don't know how long it'll take. I'd guess at least 6 months, but I've never really done something like it before and there's too many "unkown factors" for me to give any better estimates.
So if we do some pessimistic math, then 3 months + 7 months = 10 months => I'll start on "RIK 2" April 2017. But like I said, this is a very rough estimate. It could be November 2016 and it could be November 2017 as well, I just don't know. I will however keep you updated when/if I DO know this more specifically.
Also, in case anyone is wondering, I'm very strictly working on only one thing at a time. Which is why I won't start on "RIK 2" and work on it along side any of the other projects. I've tried similar things in the past and it just doesn't work for me. I need to focus my attention on one project at a time.
3: Details?!? What will "RIK 2" be? How similar to RIK will it be?
Well, first off, it won't be called "RIK 2", I dunno what it'll be called, but not RIK 2. Mainly because I think it'll be too different gameplay-wise to be considered a "RIK 2".
Secondly, it'll probably be released on Steam from the start. Also not for free. But anyone who's been playing RIK for a while etc I wouldn't mind handing out free versions to (especially to those of you who have made maps, and those who keep on making them! <3 )
Then, to the point. RIK 2 will be VERY different from RIK. When I said in the previous update that it would be "similar to what rik is today" at the core, I mainly meant the "race" type aspect. The physics themselves won't really be all that similar.
As for further details about the physics, which is probably the top question I've been asked, I don't want to share any more info about that at this point. WHY not, is a mix of:
- Because I don't want to share much of it before I actually start working on it, because it's hard to know exactly what will "feel" good or not without trying it. Hence the only thing that could come of it now is theoretical discussions back and forth, which I think would currently be a waste of time, without trying to sound rude or overly dismissive or anything.
- Because I haven't fully planned out all of it yet. I have a bunch of ideas written down and sort of a vague prototype running in my head, but it's not easily explained and like I said above, hard to know without actually trying it.
- Because making an "example"/demonstration/showing/explaining what I currently have in mind in a "proper way, would probably take me days of work. Also see point #1 about theoretical discussions.
- Even if I had everything set in stone and planned down to the tiniest detail, it would give no benefit to post it all here and then wait half a year or more before actually even starting on the game, running the risk of other people using the ideas or parts of them, and so on. #paranoid.
One thing I can tell you is that "RIK 2" will be much easier for new players to "pick up". #rageAboutLoweringSkillCeiling
4: Unreal 4, you say?
Yes. When I looked at it in November-ish(?) 2015 the choice landed on Unreal. Because it has much more relevant features for this use case, better physics implementation (for this use), better and more tested FPS type multiplayer "support", source code available for the engine, and a bunch of other FPS-related relevant features that Unity didn't have at the time. But things change, before I start working on it I'll take another look at unity to check out these things. The current upside to Unity would be better performance (as in higher fps etc).
Regardless of Unreal or Unity, maps CAN be converted. But I have to clear up one part of this, this will almost surely NOT be done automatically. I tested a manual conversion approach for Unreal which worked fine. But just dumping a few hundred unmodified maps into a game with such different physics isn't really doing anyone any favors at all.
What I have in mind is that first off, I will make 1-3+ larger levels (closer to actual small "worlds" than a RIK map) which would be the initial maps for the game. And then take ~20 suitable maps from RIK to begin with, possibly style them a bit, and e.g. place them into some actual surroundings (i.e. terrain etc) and release those as "run maps" where as the 1-3 larger ones would be called something different.
And then see how those run maps works out before converting more of them. Note that you will be able to convert your own maps and so forth, it's fairly easy, so don't be worried. I just don't want people to think that "RIK 2" would "ship" with all the RIK levels converted or something along those lines, because that was never my intention.
A side note..
I moved the website onto another server some time ago, the sidebar and some other features (like the gameserver autoreboot) was suffering for a while as a result of that, but it should all be fixed now. The website was down for ~4 hours last night was due to some issues with the server host (first unplanned downtime I've ever experienced with them).
As some of you know, I fucked up my leg early December and then even more early January.. On account of that using my main PC for much more than 15-20 minutes at a time hasn't been all that comfortable. Hence my lack of activity in the mapping department, or RIK at all for that sake.
As for the future, and the relative lack of any major development the past months, it's because I've been thinking about/planning a "RIK 2" of sorts. And I've recently decided that I'm for sure going to head in that direction.
"RIK 2", for a lack of better names, in short terms means UE4 and a bit different approach to the gameplay. Also, more tricks/features/etc that I've been planning as well. But still at the core somewhat similar to what RIK is today. More details on that in the future :)
RIK as-is will of course stay online and so on, and I'll keep making maps from time to time, I suspect more as my leg gets better. As for the maps and "RIK 2", I've already made sure that converting the current maps to the new engine will not be a problem. So there's nothing wrong with making new levels for RIK, they'll live on in a future "RIK 2" release as well -- something I've known for a few months while still making new maps myself :)
As for a timeframe.. Currently I'm spending most my time coding on a different project, which I started focusing on after the leg incident. Not quite sure when I'll be finished with that seeing as it's quite massive, but it's moving along nicely. Dedicating myself to 2 such "undertakings" at once doesn't really work for me, hence I'll be finishing this other project before I fully embark on the "RIK 2" development :) So time-wise, maybe some pre-alpha testing around autumn this year, without making any promises.
Celebratory map as usual: https://projectrik.com/levels/dini-500
And happy new year etc. ;)