Post news RSS Meow Motors: from a scratchy idea to the cutest kart-racer

A story about how a scratchy idea converted to a UE4 game full of cuteness and fun.

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A small team of four people. Two years of hard work.

A short introduce into the game ๐Ÿ˜บ

In ‘da game you will play as one of a dozen unique cats memorable for their characters and personality. Overcome difficulties of the tracks drifting through mines and bombs, stop your competitors blasting them with bubble gum and other astonishing weapons.

Some of the features to be outlined:
– 20 different tracks
– 10 kitties with unique abilities
– 10 power-ups with unusual effects
– Astonishing weapons ranging from nut-thrower and bubble gun to shark bazooka
– Local gameplay allowing you to compete with up to three friends at a time

How it all began ๐Ÿ˜ธ

It all began in winter 2015 when our chef came in with the words: ‘Enough of modelling and texturing your polygons! It’s about time to make something grand!’

Right from the start we faced a few problems, first of all every member of our team knew about “Unreal Engine 4” perfectly well, but the only thing we knew at the time was the fact that it existed. Another one was the idea that we needed to create a racing game ’cause our chef is a keen adorer of cars.

You would say that there is nothing fancy in a racing game, but when a bunch of cute cats are driving fancy cars… that’s the horse of a different colour.

Search for style ๐Ÿ˜ผ

So the search for our own style had begun. We started to form new concepts for cars, cats, and levels. Lots of ideas and files ended up in the recycle bin, some were trashed in a rush of work, but luckily by means of “shift + del”.

The first results of our research for cats design were very ambiguous. Some concepts I considered and discarded after few tries as they were so ugly.

The concepts and designs of the cars also did not immediately become as lit as they are now. Although, looking back after two years it seems that there were some designs that could have been worth something if we stuck with them.

At the same time, we were working on the concepts of levels. The concepts grew into Maya placeholders, but then they did not stand up to criticism and ended up in the same recycle bin. So many different worlds were destroyed.

Later on, we stopped prototyping levels in Maya and began to do everything directly in the engine, which greatly simplified our work. Detailed documentation was prepared for each level. The documents described all the objects of that level, their sizes, the color gamut of textures, and also all interactive and destructible objects were registered. But when it came to implementation, everyone acted as if the documents has never existed. We avoided even mentioning the name of the document. We felt that it would interfere with creativity of the team. In fact, working on the levels was like drifting in the open sea of โ€‹โ€‹free advisers, guided by the changing mood of the UE4 operator.

Redo everything ๐Ÿ˜ฟ

During the first year of development, we made a decent demo that satisfied us all.

I do not remember who exactly thought of the idea but like one famous Italian plumber with the mustache and the red cap said: ‘What if the car would be controlled by the driver just a bit better than a broken shopping cart in the store?’

Then our year-long journey had officially begun. The most significant change in our game happened then. It had lost its default UE car and had got a completely reconstructed car, this time on C++. Meanwhile the team had also evolved. The dude that knew only the programming basics was submerged in materials up to his ears and resurfaced as a skillful specialist.

The Totals ๐Ÿ˜ป

Here is a short story about how the car flew into the sky how we tried to prove that Newton was wrong how the cats got stuck everywhere in levels and how most of us were losing our vision by the time we were done designing our “cool” levels.

Every day we turned controllers, pushed buttons and eventually the car began not to just merely move but to rush and roar. Apparently the same controllers were causing the beauty on the levels. It’s a pity that it took about a year to make controllers spin full speed. But, now it looked better than our original demo.

Did you like our story? Help it continue ๐Ÿ˜ฝ

We hope that our story was interesting enough for you guys. If you are still reading here, go check some resources of ours. Your support will help us a lot. If you spread the word about our game even to one additional person at least one in-game kitty will smile ;)

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