Posted by Data in Cortex Command - June 17th, 2010

Mechanics outlineSo after six months of development, it’s about time we pull the covers off the next big project Data Realms is working on! Before I say anything else, let me assure you all that Cortex Command is still alive and well. It’s what I personally focus my development time on until it is considered “done”.

For a couple of years now, I have been dreaming about making something out of these incredibly inspiring sketches that Arne made for his Metafight redesign page. The new project wouldn’t be set in the Metafight world (for licensing reasons, etc), but many of the game mechanics outlined in that sketch just looked too fun to not make a game out of!

A vehicular exploration/combat game where you can jump in and out of your ride, then run it into the ground until you find another one to replace it.. now that’s what the Cave Vehicle Engine is going to support! When on foot, you will have a little jetpack with which you can skim down slopes and do cool jumping and grappling tricks to get away from danger.

While Cortex Command and its Retro Terrain Engine was all about the dynamically destructible pixel terrain, the Cave Vehicle Engine is going to be about the dynamically deformable/destructible movable objects (as opposed to the mostly static terrain). The graphics and physics are now all polygon-based and fully hardware accelerated.

The person who has been working full-time on getting the CVE and its custom physics system going, is the very talented Miroslav Adamus, a Slovakian hero who is a much better (and faster!) programmer than myself. Among other things, he has so far managed to implement a powerful particle system, soft-body dynamics with volume (area) preservation, procedural fracturing of objects, and run-time generation of physical objects based on transparency data in their source images/textures. We are applying the lessons learnt while making CC, so this new technology should reach new heights of power and modability!

Early sketchesCover mechanicsTerrain engine

Oh, by the way, in addition to much other rambling, the maestro musician DannyB and I talk about the project about 25 minutes into this podcast by the 1UP Oddcast crew: PODCAST DOWNLOAD

In the spirit of transparent indie development, here is a very early test build of the engine in action! Have fun smashing objects around and driving the test vehicle. 100% of the art in here is placeholder test stuff, so don’t judge how it looks, only what it can do. In fact, everything (including the physics) is in early test stages. There’s definitely weirdness in many situations, but we think it’s already quite fun to noodle around with! See the included readme for the controls, and ENJOY!

Crush and awe
Download CVE Test Build 24!

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102 Responses to “Announcing the Cave Vehicle Engine”

  1. Data Realms – Dev Log » Blog Archive » Behold FLIPBOT and Build a Tank in CVE Test Build 24! - # November 29th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    […] new test build of the Cave Vehicle Engine appears! So much great stuff: external editor windows for separate monitors, huge improvements to […]

  2. Data Realms – Dev Log » Blog Archive » Cave Vehicle Engine PARTICLES - # February 25th, 2013 at 10:24 am

    […] I’m here to present yet another meaty update to our next project, the Cave Vehicle Engine; this time Miro takes us though our engine’s powerful particle systems and their new […]