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I had to escape - the city was sticky and cruel.

Jalopy, is now available DRM-free on GOG.com with a 50% launch discount until September 27, 4PM UTC.
Drive your wheezing, chugging Laika 601 Deluxe through the procedurally generated roads of 90s Germany or CSFR and see how far you can get, either as an unassuming scavenger or a successful smuggler that no border patrol can hope to catch.
Upon the game's full release, the developers promise to also include the roads of Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, among other additions.

Note: This game is currently in development. See the FAQ to learn more about games in development, and check out the forums to find more information and to stay in touch with the community.

Watch the trailer.
Post edited September 20, 2017 by maladr0Id
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viperfdl: A game about "Trabis"?
From what I've seen in gameplay videos, there are also NPC cars like the Yugo 45. Wonder if they'll make more cars from ex-communist countries.
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Vythonaut: With a car like that, the game will soon turn into a walking sim. ;)
Ha, good point! :D
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CharlesGrey: Thanks! Here, folks, for the sake of convenience:

"Basically, I’m at the point where I’m wrapping the project up. Due to various publisher wishes I’m forced to have to work on things like changing references to “Early Access” to “development” in the game so GoG doesn’t throw a hissy fit. I’m unsure how well it will do on GoG but it should at least make it easier for pirates to gather the game and repackage it online after each update (A process I tried to combat with smaller updates every few days but didn’t stop them, commendable really)."

Meh, I don't know... Pirates gonna pirate. While I understand how game development, dealing with publishers/distributors etc. is bound to be stressful, his overall attitude still doesn't exactly increase my interest in the game.
Then why is he selling his game in here ?
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yogsloth: Can't wait for "mow the lawn simulator" or "clean the toilets- the game"
These 2 games should be right up your alley:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/390220/Toilet_Tycoon/
http://store.steampowered.com/app/658600/Lawnmower_Game/

:D
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CharlesGrey: While I understand how game development, dealing with publishers/distributors etc. is bound to be stressful, his overall attitude still doesn't exactly increase my interest in the game.
For now I'll chalk it up to frustrations of dealing with the marketplace and the business-side of things, and how it seems like a long project seemingly drags on forever - with no guaranteed results. I agree with your later post, suggesting to just pay attention to the product and the customers. Re: piracy, funny thing is that this store exists because customers here specifically do NOT seek to pirate the DRM-free games.

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As for the business side he struggles with, I've said it before and will repeat it again: technical expertise does not translate into business expertise, and going the independent route requires one to wear many hats. Not all of those hats fit well. But really, there's only one way to find that out, and that's by trying it. Hopefully he'll overcome those hurdles, and take any lessons learned into the next title.

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Curious to see what you actually DO in the game. If it's just driving, well, I have six cars here with which to get in and go sightseeing - with photo-realistic scenery!
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amok: I think there is a lot of misconceptions about what procedurally generated content actually is, and it can actually be more difficult and harder to do than handmade levels, which is actually very straight forward.

Creating good procedural content is just as much a skill and craft as creating good handcrafted contend (though this is of-course a misnomer, as good procedural content requires a lot of hand-crafting also).

Yes, procedural content can be done quick and lazily, resulting in boring and uninspired content, but the same can be said about hand-crafted content also.
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drealmer7: but you're talking in general

I go back to my specific beef with this title

it's not like they're creating some fantasy world, they're attempting to replicate a very specific thing: 1990s german roads - real roads that actually exist, why not recreate them for the player to drive around? probably because it's easier to just do some procedurally generated stuff than recreate the actual maps
There could be many reasons. The lazy approach would be to just get the data from for example Google Earth, smack the game on it and shout "finished!", which would be handcrafted...

The problem with using real-life data is first and foremost two folded (though there are other consideration also)

1) It just turns out to be extremely boring. there have been several games made trying to base the geometry on real-life counter parts, but for the life of me I can not think of any successful ones. What works mostly is the 're-imagined' ones or ;inspired by' real maps, as in the case of GTA. Real-life data just as is, tends to end up as just another Desert Bus.

2) The tremendous amount of data needed to replicate real-life places is astronomical, and to do so you will need to cut corners. Even then, we are back to 1), as how long are you capable of driving by the same three texture or same house without being bored out of your mind? To cut down on the data, you need to do some trickery, and when you first do so, why not try to get rid of point 1?


Side note to earlier post about use of procedural conent and in relation to amount of data - are you aware of Elite II: Frontier? fantastic game on the Amiga. What is so astonishing about that game, is that Braben not only managed to accurately re-create the whole galaxy with stars, planets and asteroids, slap a very good sandbox game on it with lots of options and different ships, but that all this fitted on one single floppy disk. How was it possible? Simple, the galaxy was (off course) procedurally generated, so that instead of creating each and every single planet, it was done so by the software. The genius was in controlling this so that the generation was the same each time, and as close to real-life as possible.
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CharlesGrey: (A process I tried to combat with smaller updates every few days but didn’t stop them, commendable really)."
Small updates don't matter. Our hosting runs a script that checks 1200 pages every 6 hours or so for updates on installed software (ie scripts, plugins, themes, patches, svn etc.) we use with our clients. We got the script from one of the pirate groups. :)

We usually get update notifications from the script before the developers send out their own emailed notifications.

No offense to the developer.
I've no interest in the game, but something about this announcement captured my interest. anyway.
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drealmer7: it's not like they're creating some fantasy world, they're attempting to replicate a very specific thing: 1990s german roads - real roads that actually exist, why not recreate them for the player to drive around? probably because it's easier to just do some procedurally generated stuff than recreate the actual maps
Easier than digitally replicating an entire country? Yes, I'm sure it would be! (Not to mention the monumental amount of data that would suddenly be mandated for a fixed map of that size.)

Even a small portion of the country is going to be a huge endeavour. And as soon as you have one aspect that's based on reality, people are going to be wanting the rest of the scenery to follow suit (otherwise what's the point?), which makes the can of worms even bigger.

So heck yes, it's probably easier to do a procedural map.

That absolutely does not equate to "lazy", however. Not attempting something entirely impractical (even assuming it aligned with the design of the game, which isn't obvious to me in this case), doesn't make you lazy; it makes you sane.
Post edited September 22, 2017 by Shadowcat
I am interested, as it shows great promise ... presuming there are more improvements on the way.

At the moment though, going by screenshots & video it seems quite bare & boring ... so here's hoping more gets fleshed in eventually, and it's not some too minimalist artistic venture.
So I bought this game and tested it out today. After an hour or so it crashed on me, not only that but the whole system crashed, gave me a BSOD about hardware failure. It feels very empty, almost no cars and they seem to want to run you over. Also don't like that you can't just drive around, you have to set a destination and must follow that road. I have asked for a refund and will look at it again when it's finished.
To those who say that there's no audience for this game, or no fun in it, I have this on Steam Early Access and it's currently showing 59 hours clocked, even though I haven't played it in many months =)

I think it is a lot of fun. The developer, who worked on big-budget racing games for Codemasters, wanted to create a very different racing game for once, so he went to make one that is less of a racing or driving game, and more of a fight against a car that is constantly on the verge of breaking down.

The game is most fun when it's tough. When you don't know if your almost-dead carburettor will last until the next town. Run out of fuel? Grab that fuel canister and walk to the next gas station. Hope that you had the space and premonition to bring a canister, or there are currently some on sale at the store. Everything is always on short supply. When there, hope that you didn't forget to also bring your wallet. And maybe, in the next town you'll finally be able to buy your jalopy that slightly bigger tank.

It's not a mechanics game like My Summer Car though, either. It's all very simple, you put car parts in their appropriate slots (and there are only about half a dozen part types), they have some stats and a condition indicator.

In short, it's not one of those meme games, or a one-joke thing. It's designed to actually be fun, non-ironically.

Also, the constant fits about the word "procedural" in descriptions… people should realise how little that term means beyond "not always the same". It doesn't mean that no design work went into it. Almost no games released today don't have at least some degree of procedural generation, even if it's just item placement. And Jalopy doesn't go much further than that.

Specifically, the game is a succession of countries that you have to drive through. (The idea is that you don't make it through in one go. If your car breaks down completely or you run out of money, you go back home and start again. Reaching your destination at all is the ultimate goal). For each of those countries, there is a number of unique, manually designed track segments. All the procedural generation does, is create a new sequence of these track segments every time you enter a country. You get to choose between three routes that can differ in length and the points of interest you can find along the way. According to the distance, the game chooses some number of track segments and concatenates them. Then, it distributes boxes, crates, broken-down cars etc. along the route. That's it.

And from what I remember from following the development a bit, I don't think the developer's sourness about piracy is random. Of course it's frustrating to not get paid for what you worked on, but from what I recall, he understood that it's kind of pointless to get angry at people who never would've bought the game in the first place. His main point was that he was being flooded with support requests about outdated versions, which was just spam and took away from his development time, because licensed copies would have already been patched automatically by Steam. It's not a problem unique to pirated copies, of course, so maybe his less-than-enthusiastic response to the GOG release is because automatic updates aren't the default here.

Finally, among all the Early Access games I've bought, this was one of the most well run. Regular updates, acknowledging and implementing player feedback quickly, generally a very open communication, and even frequent reports on what he spends his time on. The way it should be done, really.
Post edited September 23, 2017 by Anamon