Preface: Originally introduced in Version 0.20 the racing simulation has become one of the most popular features of Cars Incorporated, despite the fact that it was intended as just a small feature to visualize the performance of your cars against the competition. The first version was just the map view with colored circles representing the cars, with their actual placement based on their individual performance and their handling values for curves. Version 0.25 took things a little further by allowing you to zoom in and view the actual cars you have designed, however the original positioning based on performance turned into a problem since it was never meant to be more than a numbers game. It has been patched with all kinds of small tricks to keep the cars from just driving through each other in the center of the road, but the whole thing remained a bit of a problem.
With all the love the racing simulation is receiving from the game's few (p)reviews and it's players it was bound to grow. So version 0.34 brings in the first set of some major changes that will carry the simulation through versions 0.4x (and the remainder of the 0.3x versions).
The future of the racing simulation depends on the game's player base continuing to grow as it has been since it was introduced to Steam Greenlight and received it's first video review (which also favoured the simulation). If enough growth happens v0.50 will see the addition of an actual race driving simulation. So please be sure to continue to support Cars Incorporated on all of it's outlets and continue to recommend it to your friends.
Please be advised that for those sharing their cars on Facebook there is a small easter egg in the game. If you have shared a car in the current game session and press the right key during a race... but now let's get to the actual changes in v0.34:
What you probably will notice when you zoom in is that the cars behave VERY differently now. This is due to the fact that the AI now actually drives on the road instead of just being moved along it depending on their performance and handling data. Or, to put it another way, instead of moving along a straight line that only looks like it has curves, the cars are now driven "with the arrow keys" by the AI, which follows the actual road.
This eliminates many of the problems the old system had: The cars no longer just alternate between being left, middle or right - instead they can use the entire road. They also no longer appear to go faster on the inside of a curve, which had the same distance on the inside and the outside before. Now it actually takes the car longer on the outside of the curve to get through it, as the distance really is longer. (This looked a little awkward before)
Basically all the things you'd expect when a car drives are working far better now, without tricks for them to appear driving (which also reduces the source code length for the race simulation). And the new system has a lot of potential for improvements and expansions - even up to an actual driving simulation for v0.50, if the support for the game keeps growing.
This one was actually a player request: It is now possible to scale the game window to better fill larger screens. The resolution doesn't change so this will cause the image quality to go down but if you are sitting at a distance from the screen this might be helpful. If you enable the option you can rescale the window by grabbing it's border. The additional setting to keep the aspect ratio will prevent the image from being skewed.
- As I mentioned above there is a visual change to the races that works independently from the internal changes: Wheels are now turning and steering
- The camera can now be moved in closer than before
- Slightly reduced the random factor in engine and chassis resizes
- Added an easter egg to the races. You will need to have shared a car on facebook in the current game session and press a specific key during the race to enable it.
- Fixed a bug that caused the factory preparation to freeze when there where extremely high numbers of applicants
- Fixed a bug that caused the amount of applications to show up as 0 when there too many
- Fixed a bug that let worse image cause better sales on early cars with negative internal scores
- Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash if a music file was missing
- Fixed a bug that caused cars to not show up again when zooming in during later parts of races
- Fixed a bug that caused the AI to always build HUGE engines when playing with imperial/US measurements
- Fixed a bug that caused engines between the introduction years of the previous engine generations to have no upper horsepower limit
- Very short trunks on gen 3 cars will no longer result in the car having a cut off end
As usual this version is already available for download on the game's homepage. Please be aware that savegames from versions older than v0.30 cannot be loaded any longer.