Space Derby is a local multiplayer racing game in which you cannot actually steer your racer - it gets driven by an AI! You interact with your vehicle by controlling its acceleration and activating gadgets at the right moments to gain a lead over your opponents. You carefully need to manage the energy supply and make sure you don't get wrecked by the dangers of the track as Space Derby is as much about racing as it is about upgraded combat-racing-hybrids brawling each other at high speed.
From the main development document:
Crash Course’s core USP is the AI-driven steering of the racers. Having their hands freed from the task of actually controlling the specific direction of their vehicle - which arguably makes up the most part of an ordinary racing game - players gain the opportunity to interact with the race on a more strategic level. Crash Course is also based on one of my boardgame prototypes from which it draws the inspiration for the energy system.
Player activity / Core game loop
As the racers are choosing their direction on their own, players are limited to adjusting acceleration (braking in time before curves, accelerating on the straight) when it comes to movement. Besides that players need to manage the racers energy which is used for acceleration as well as the activation of gadgets for special effects.
Players race against each other in order to become the leader and gain enough points to win. Only the current leader is able to collect points by completing full laps. Other players can become the new leader by overtaking the current leader.
- the main way for the players to interact with their vehicle directly
- players regain energy when decreasing speed
- Sideways movement ?
- maybe players have a way to slightly move their racer to the left/right
- gadgets are mapped to the buttons and can be activated through button press
- activating a gadget uses up energy and puts the gadget on cooldown
- a gadget cannot be activated if the player does not have enough energy available
- The track consists of several target points
- The AI always targets the next target point on the track
- After reaching a target point the AI switches to the following point
- The AI only applies a rotation on the vehicle depending on its position and velocity relative to the current target point
> ref: Crash Course BG-Proto
- There is a fixed amount of Energy in circulation in the players system
- Players can’t gain/lose Energy, only relocate its use
- Energy can be allocated to specific abstract places:
- storage battery
- energy capacitator
- Energy cycles through the allocated spaces based on player input
- Energy in the storage battery is available to the player and can be used to activate gadgets.
- Energy used to activate gadgets is locked and slowly moves from the gadget to the energy capacitor. While a gadget is on cooldown like that it cannot be activated again.
- Energy in the energy capacitor can’t be accessed by the player until they trigger energy recirculation - then they start to regain the energy stored in the energy capacitor into the storage battery from where they can use it again.
- The current leader gains one point whenever they complete a full lap reaching the tile marked as the goal
- When the player reaches a set amount of points they immediately win
- The first goal spawns randomly after 5 seconds
- The first player to reach the goals becomes the first leader
- Other players can become the leader by overtaking the current leader
- Applies a sudden forward force onto the players vehicle
- Shoots a laser that throws enemies off the track
- Sends out a shockwave that slows nearby enemies
- Makes the player invulnerable for a short amount of time
- Left stick up → increase velocity
- Left stick down → decrease velocity
- Action Buttons → activate Gadgets
- Right stick down → activate energy recirculation
- Shoulder triggers → trigger sideboost