The Missing Foundation - The Importance of Gameplay in BeamNG.drive

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by EruptionTyphlosion, May 18, 2020.

  1. Davazz

    Davazz
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    I think the game is to some extent not ready for career mode yet, because of its technical limitations. One of which is multiple vehicles at the same time, although this one is becoming less and less relevant due to game engine optimizations and hardware having become progressively better along the years. Nonetheless, I'm quite sure a minority of users here can smoothly run a circuit race with 10+ vehicles. Another thing is the ability to repair your vehicles which is a thing you'd expect, especially in a game like this. Since the subtle mention of this in a video trailer ages ago it still hasn't been implemented. I think the things above are quite important for a game like this and tbh I can't really imagine an enjoyable career mode without it.

    PS I also agree with aCharmlessMan about the AI improvement
     
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  2. EruptionTyphlosion

    EruptionTyphlosion
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    The thing is, when would we be "ready" for a career mode? BeamNG has been in early access for over half a decade, and in development for over eight years now. Are they ever going to reach the point where the game is optimized enough to support it within a reasonable time frame? We just don't know, and that is a bit frustrating given how long many of us have been playing this game and waiting for a full version.
     
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  3. LucasBE

    LucasBE
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    Beam devs are promising stuff that never happens
    2016 : Career mode this year!
    2019 : Career mode this year for sure!
    2020 : :confused:
     
  4. EruptionTyphlosion

    EruptionTyphlosion
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    Things have definitely changed. Back in the day BeamNG.drive had a much smaller scope and they likely didn't think the game would become this big. Given the experimental nature of BeamNG, things will change, and some things may take longer than predicted. My thoughts on this are mixed. They have done a very good job creating content, but we haven't really seen anything regarding gameplay in a long time and the fact that it feels like the release date keeps getting pushed back. Some additional developer communication on these topic is much needed.
     
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  5. gtaman788

    gtaman788
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    Meh. Things change, Things get broken, But all i know is. I never grow sick of this game, THIS GAME IS LIKE WINE TO ME, The older she gets the more i love her.

    Fixing cars however ( in free rome mode for me ) Will be cool, And swaping parts if possible, ( Like a Green covet hood ( with rear damage ) to a yellow one that needs a hood, However given the J-beam language this may be kinda hard.


    :)
     
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  6. corvette81

    corvette81
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    Would be great to start seeing the start of economy systems be introduced or something along those lines so we know there is still something coming.
     
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  7. EruptionTyphlosion

    EruptionTyphlosion
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    There is code in the game pertaining to mission rewards and parts/vehicle dealerships that was added in the last couple months, so something is definitely in the works.
     
  8. CaptainZoll

    CaptainZoll
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    Overall, I think the best structure for a career mode would be something like the structure of GTA V or most assasin's creed games, where there are different career paths or "disciplines" (racing, delivery, police, bus routes, stunts, etc.) each with a chronological order of missions available, gradually increasing in difficulty/proffesionalism, with each "chapter" of these, sort of like the existing campaigns, ending with a "major" or "boss" mission, perhaps with higher difficulty or complexity, more cutscenes/story than usual, and giving a large reward at the end, be this lots of cash, a new vehicle, unlock to another career discipline, or another map area, etc.

    -For example, in a legal racing career, you might start with banger racing, and once you finish a major mission, perhaps a race against a particularly hard opponent, you unlock the careers for both circuit racing, and street racing, as well as more somewhat generic derby and banger races. completing the first chapter of the circuit racing could the unlock the rally discipline, which itself may lead to (or contain) hillclimb races.
    -or in a police career, you might start by driving around a pigeon, being a meter-maid (perhaps ending with a low-speed chase against a piccolina), getting you promoted, thus unlocking the police career. and work your way up to better vehicles and more complex missions, to some sort of major sting mission
    -you could also have some unexpected side events get unlocked, for example, the existing "get busy" campaign starts off with a mission which seems like a normal bus route, which could be disguised as a normal bus driver career mission, but after completing this mission which is much more difficult than expected, the film guy hires you, which would unlock the stunt missions.
    as far as unifying all of these disciplines into one story, the only ones that couldn't really fit together are the police missions, and the illegal racing/delivery missions. However, I see a few ways you could implement them all into one career:
    -all the police missions are completed first, then you either leave the PD or get kicked out for doing one illegal mission, then go on to do the rest of the illegal missions ()
    -you enlist as a police officer, and begin with normal missions (aforementioned pigeon meter maid, etc.) but then get a series of missions to go undercover, perhaps as a fork in career path, (this is like the original fast and furious plot, so yes, it is cliche, but you get street races, smuggling, etc. missions) completing this line of missions then results in a major mission, where you bust some smuggling ring or something.
    (both of these structures have the issue of at least some forced mission order, though this could potentially be worked around by giving you a "clean record" when you move to another map?)​

    As far as tutorials go, the game could start with a basic driving test in a covet, but certain more specialised and advanced tutorials, like the ETK DEC course, or a heavy vehicle license, could be dotted around the maps, and may be required to start some missions, like entering a professional race/joining police, or driving heavy vehicles.

    And in regards to the whole problem regarding saving node/beamstates of individual parts, I don't think it's entirely necessary.
    In SLRR, the main other game with a significant damage model, a common theme in that game is to spend thousands of dollars building an expensive car, only for it to get completely destroyed in a crash, or at best have all the body panels fall off, and have a car which looks completely terrible after a few races.
    as far a balancing, games like WRC or DiRT remedy this by making the cars less prone to damage, or forcibly repairing the car at the end of an event.

    other than for some sort of hardcore mode, I think having the vehicle reset its damage after an event, or after returning to the player's garage would actually make the game more enjoyable, as it allows some room for error, and even lets you push the car harder than you realistically would, and badly crashing a car halfway through a mission means you have to restart anyway, which would likely be enough discouragement from exploiting this.

    edit: welp, this turned out to be a slab of text.
     
    #28 CaptainZoll, May 19, 2020
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  9. RecklessRodeo

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    As for the map travel (teleportation stuff), they could do it like Snowrunner. Like you start off with a
    small map with simple jobs here and there and when you finished or reached a certain point you go to a bigger map or a map that has more possibly more complex jobs and repeat until you reach the biggest map that has the most jobs. Or they could do it the opposite, you start on a big map and go to smaller maps for more specialized jobs like Port for deliveries and JRI for exploration stuff. Also, junkyards.
     
  10. davidinark

    davidinark
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    While I appreciate the analysis of BeamNG.drive, I feel I need to state what no one else seems to be blatantly stating: It's not really a game. It's not Wreckfest or Dirt Rally or Test Drive or Need for Speed or any other driving "game." I refer to the homepage, upon which the following is written: "A dynamic soft-body physics vehicle simulator capable of doing just about anything." It is a simulator. It appears some folks bought a workhorse truck expecting it to be a sports car.

    Frankly, for my money, I wish they would drop the whole "career" thing altogether. But, that's just me. And, I'll probably change my mind once I see it implemented and if it is worth actually having in the simulator. I think people forget that. Yes, there are gameplay elements introduced by the devs and certainly through the modding community here, but at its heart, at its core, and (dare I say) at the largest portion of any development roadmap, it is a simulation. This is not a game, and I don't think the devs (feel free to correct me devs, as needed) ever sought out to make a game. We, the players, YouTubers, and modders have tried to turn it into one, but that's not really what it is. We are forcing a simulation to take on aspects of gaming that we wish it had (and, by extension, want it to have).

    As for complaints about how long it has been in EA, a big part of that is a complete and utter revamp of the engine used to dev the simulation. While that may not seem like a big deal to the masses, it was a huge undertaking on the development side. It means that the roadmap has evolved. It means that they had to take a giant step backwards (in terms of updates, plans, etc) in order to move forward in a better environment for themselves as devs and for us as users. As for showing us a roadmap, why would they? Does Rockstar show the roadmap to GTA 6? Does Microsoft show the roadmap to the Windows? Not even SCS shows a roadmap for releasing their USA maps. They all release content when they release content. As many modders themselves have said on these pages about their own WIPs: it'll be ready when it's ready.

    Here is my question about any game in early access: if you're having fun using it, playing it, exploring it and exploiting it, then what difference does it make when it comes out of early access?

    I think there are some great ideas as to where certain aspects of this simulation can go, and maybe the devs will take some of that into consideration. But, always remember: This is "A dynamic soft-body physics vehicle simulator..."

    Just my two cents, but I'm an old man, so feel free to dismiss them. Thanks for reading, either way. :)
     
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  11. Vinh

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    My quick, cheap and simple two cents
    I don't think BeamNG is a game, it's more of a physics sandbox, an open world of possibilities you have to explore yourself. I don't think traditional gameplay elements need to be shoehorned into this sandbox to turn it into another racing game. It's a physics sandbox from the start and should remain that way
     
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  12. EruptionTyphlosion

    EruptionTyphlosion
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    I agree with this to a degree, especially given your potential plot ideas and such. However, putting everything into a single career mode adds the additional limitations of potentially limiting you to specific gameplay types and such based on plot progression and choices. One of the major advantages of splitting the career into multiple different careers is the fact that you would be able to switch between them at will, so if someone got tired of the derby career for example, at the click of a button they could switch over the stuntman career. Each mode would have an independent plot, so you won't have to worry about attempting to link them together.
    In regards to your first point on the topic of BeamNG being more of a physics sandbox, I totally agree. I'm not advocating for removing any of that whatsoever, and as I said multiple times in the main post, freeroam mode (which I believe should be renamed to "Sandbox mode") should be completely untouched, besides potentially adding some tutorials on various functionalities of the game and the physics sandbox for newer players. All the gameplay changes and improvements would be completely new independent modes for those who want them or are looking for another way to have fun in the game. Again, adding additional, separate gameplay features will only benefit the game, provided that they don't interfere with the core freeroam/sandbox mode. However, when you say that BeamNG never sought out to make a game, I disagree. BeamNG has always said that they planned to make a large "open world career mode" alongside other gameplay modes, look at the Steam Greenlight trailer for example, not to mention that they have game designers and such within their team, for which creating gameplay is their entire purpose. They clearly intend on making a game alongside the physics sandbox.

    I do agree on the roadmap front. Releasing a roadmap could wind up being far too restrictive, especially given the ever changing development of the game. Many public roadmaps have failed spectacularly. However, increased communication between the devs and the community, especially discussing what the end goal is supposed to be would significantly ease the concerns of many.

    In regards to early access, I am completely aware of how complex the engine is and how hard it is to develop for. Things have clearly changed, if you look back at older developer presentations, they initially wanted to ship the full version back in 2016. Obviously that didn't happen, and the 2016 vision for the game was very different compared to how the game is turning out today. The "full" release of BeamNG is typically interpreted to be the stable, feature complete final product. Many people also correlate the introduction of career mode with this release. In fact, we don't know what a "Version 1.0" will look like, as the developers have been relatively quiet on the subject, likely due to the ever changing nature of the software. The issue with perpetual early access is that the game would constantly remain in a highly work in progress state, which does not produce a stable experience for the user with core features and content constantly being subject to change. From my experience talking with various modders, this is a serious issue as it's hard to tell what the next update will break. Some suggestions I've heard from said modders includes improving the game's documentation and keeping it up to date, and potentially giving them a heads up ahead of time so that they can prepare. These are my own thoughts on the matter, feel free to disagree with me.
     
  13. ManfredE3

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    As ET touched on...
    The earliest reference I could find of a planned career mode is August 3, 2013: The first day of public release. So they clearly have been planning this for a very long time. They have stated they are actively working on it multiple times, and way back around the Over The Horizon days circa 2016 there were some career mode teasers. They stated there will be an SLRR style career mode repeatedly, which is a critical part in many player's decision to buy the game. Plus, giant "Career mode WIP" thing in the menu and all... My point is, career mode is something they've put resources into and promised to buyers, and it's an important part in attracting more consumers as well. If they suddenly told 99% of buyers that they would not be getting what they bought, there would be problems, to put it lightly. Investing all of these resources over the past decade into a simulation product with no game play, no licensed vehicles, and no multiplayer means you don't have a target audience at all. Nothing for casual gamers, nothing for simracers and you lost the goodwill of existing consumers. Add that to the fact that they are a business which has only one product for consumer purchase, which has been WIP with little to no roadmap for a decade... That last part alone is a rather brave business decision.

    There are some important differences between BeamNG and the other companies you mentioned. For one, we are all in a way paid alpha testers, unlike those games where the community just sits around until full release is imminent and then decides if they want to buy the product or not. For another, the team is smaller and closer to the community than other teams, and we've gotten roadmaps and the like in the past (Again, Over the Horizon devblog was the big one). So, it's kinda expected that communication will at least continue to some extent.
     
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  14. CaptainZoll

    CaptainZoll
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    what I should have specified is the way missions are selected. like how the drag races are currently accessed by a point on the map, certain buildings would have zones on them (police station, front gate of WC speedway, bus depot in industrial yard, etc.) from which repetitive missions could be started. there may also be missions where a temporary start point is made, which would disappear once the mission is completed.
    As I said, i'd imagine this would have a freeroam something like most current games (GTAV and AC as an example), where you can have story missions and side mission start points on the map, and if at any point i get tired of the story, I can leave the mission i'm in, and go to some other side mission and do it.
    so at any given point (late in the game, when stuff has been unlocked) on the minimap, you could have 3 missions from the police dispatcher, of varying difficulty, two from the legit race organiser guy, (for circuit, one for rally) one from the bus company, one from the courier, etc. and you can do these in any order that you please.

    the main benefit I see in this is the ability to cross-use the resources you get; how cool would it be to get a free, beaten up delivery van from the courier company, and use the money you got from being a bus driver to build the engine, and then take it drag racing?
     
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  15. kwai38

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    I very much agree with this, but for mission and story progression, I really do wonder how would the devs implement the progression system. Would it be one where you would have to do every kind of mission a certain amount of times, or would it be one like fh4 where each type of even and race is seperate from one another?
    I personally enjoy the forza system more.
     
  16. NOCARGO

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    You must have overlooked my post, this isn't the first time that I reminded this isn't actually a game but a full blown simulator. :)
     
  17. EruptionTyphlosion

    EruptionTyphlosion
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    I couldn't agree more. Gameplay is definitely something that they intend on working on at some point. They have hired people solely to work on that aspect. The issue is, it feels like gameplay has been pushed aside constantly in favor of other things. That's the whole reason I made this thread, gameplay seems to be a low priority and thus the game has been left in this state where there really isn't much of a target audience, as you said, besides the hardcore sim sandbox fans who are few and far between, and the many people who have been holding out for some sort of gameplay systems and gameplay improvements that keep being forgotten.
     
  18. CaptainZoll

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    to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if the career mode is waiting on the V3 UI overhaul.
     
  19. EruptionTyphlosion

    EruptionTyphlosion
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    In regards to the V3 UI overhaul, not much is known about it other than that post from 2018. Another issue is that, at least according to the company website, they still haven't been able to hire a UI front end developer. I don't know much about UI development, but that could be holding the entire project up. They are also working on career mode behind the scenes, as recently added files exist for dealership functionality and so on.
     
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  20. Raceboy77

    Raceboy77
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    I don't remember what v3 UI looks like, can someone post a lint to that thread ?
     
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