Preface: The wait is over. With the release of version 0.30 Cars Incorporated makes it's biggest step forward since the very first alpha release almost 2 years ago. It's also the most awaited update so far with players asking for it more often than ever before.
And while time constraints and unfinished components have left some planned features for the next couple of updates, v0.30 does bring a lot of new features and improvements, including a major overhaul of the game's heart: The body editor. With it the ground work is laid for the coming weeks and months to add a lot of new features and improvements, so be sure to check back with this site regularly.
Now for the important part: What's new?
Although it was originally intended to give the editor just some small tweaks to add in components for this release, the small sums of money collected in the Indiegogo campaign and resulting slightly bigger sales during that time did buy me enough spare time to work on some better ways to create the "curved polygons" the game uses to create the cars out of. This also caused me to rewrite the entire editor from scratch and although that did add some development time, the result is also quite interesting: Gen 1 and 2 cars look better than ever, with less "cut off edges" and as a bonus the new setup of the editor does reduce the time I need to create or adjust new and old body generations making future expansions less time consuming to develop.
Right now this means an improved layout of the editor with a larger area to edit your cars in. You can now select components - which you will have to research before they show up in the editor - and I added a new color selector offering many more colors than the old one.
All of that put together allowed me to go a little more towards the really early cars with no windshields, no roof, no doors, no engine hood, turning all of these into components for body gen 1 and as a result the game time was extended backwards to 1895.
Of course what the game's fans (and I'm told there are people who consider themselves to be fans, quite a compliment) were really waiting for was the game time expansion in the other direction. Along with the new editor I also added body generation 3 and to accommodate it's rough place in history the game can now be played up to 1950.
Another important addition is the new components system, mentioned further up already. It allows the development of seperate parts that can be put on a car's body and in later versions of v0.3x also onto engines and chassis. The first couple of those coming with v0.30 offer design choices (like different wheel design) but can also already influence the speed of your car and will add luxury and safety points. Of course they are also important in winning one of the annual tech awards.
Many more of these will be added in the future but they all do require some work so please be patient if components you want are not included right away.
The last but certainly not the least important new feature is the end of the game's silence. Version 0.30 is the first to feature original music by german composer Martin Herrmann. The first two tracks included, called Slow Boogie and Dixie Cars are his interpretations of the musical era the game takes place in and will be expanded by more pieces that are intended to ultimately be a musical representation of the 20th century in it's entirety. Special thank's for setting a mood for the game, Martin.
- The game time has been expanded from 1895 to 1950.
- The year the game starts in can now be selected (1895-1930). The trial version is still locked to 1900-1905.
- The AI opponents don't rely on pre-defined cars and prices anymore but will create their own now
- A new screen for components has been added to the research department
- The empty pages in the research department have been filled with some basic information for new players to understand the game
- The empty page of the car development page has additional buttons to get to body, engine and chassis development
- The dropdown lists to select the parts for a new car from, now have science buttons beside them that will take you to the approriate research department
- The car development and body development pages now display the bonus points gained by components
- The "Most advanced car" awards now take components under consideration.
- The consumption of a car has become more important to the "Most advanced car" award
- The amount of research required to develop parts has been changed to avoid exponential research requirements in later game years
- Some values for parts like weight or carrying capacity will now be shown during development and will become more accurate as the development continues until the research completes
- The body editor has received a floor and a poster of the Vitrucian Man by Leonardo DaVinci to represent a 1.75m big human for size reference
- A new splash screen has been put into place, as has a new logo and a new game icon
- The registration key will not be shown on the menu screen by default anymore. This is intended to make it possible to create videos or screenshots without revealing your registration key to the world
- Some car parts will now be internally united into single parts during races to reduce the amount of objects
- The link to the Indiegogo-campaign has been removed
- The menu bar will no longer display the version number
- Opponent data is not being loaded for the time being
- Vans and SUVs can currently NOT be constructed
- The tutorial has been temporarily disabled
- Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash if a race started after the VRAM was flushed and reinizialized
- Races don't crash the game anymore if they start with less than 10 cars
- Awards after races don't show variable names anymore if there is no 2nd or 3rd winner
- The game does not crash anymore when the player clicks on an empty slot during a race
- The minimum camera height for the editor has been upped from 0.5 to 0.6 to prevent it from cropping the floor
Additional fixes from Hotfix 1
- Fixed an error that caused AI Player behavior to be corrupted on loading a saved game. The result of this was that cars the AI was working on in the saved gamestate turned out broken and could cause multiple smaller errors as a result. It also caused all AI cars designed after loading a game to look almost identical.
- Fixed a problem on the factory screen that could cause false warning lights, telling you that a part was missing when another pat was produced in 2 seperate lines
- Fixed a problem that could rarely cause false messages claiming that a production had been set up when in fact there was none
- Workers and engineers won't go on strike anymore when there are none of them employed at your company
- Fixed a problem that could cause debug data to show up in the savegames directory
Script / Modding
- Switiching the drawing color for writing to the screen will now only be performed if the same ink was not already set to improve performance
- Inputfields can now display shadows with inputshadow
- If a dragpoint does not have a dragaxis defined for the editor it will no longer be displayed but can be used as a helper point for calculations
- The new debuglog function will open and close the debug file whenever needed to make it possible to access it while the game is running
The new version is already available for download on the game's homepage. Older versions will offer an update automatically if your firewall is configured to let it access the internet.
Note: Because of massive changes to the editor the game will no longer load savegames from versions older than 0.30.