A new update is here - this time primarily focused on your suggestions from the forum, mainly the Random ideas thread! Thank you everyone for the awesome suggestions - keep them coming! The update includes some not yet visible work too, but more on that in a later update.
Switchcars now features a relatively advanced simulation of drafting! It's an aerodynamics thing: if you tail a vehicle that is clearing air in front of you, you will reach a higher top speed due to reduced resistance. However, when you steer to the side to overtake a vehicle, hitting the air wave will slow you down again.
This feature is very analog and varies from situation to situation, as it is calculated using both player's and traffic vehicle's speed, mass and height, as well as their mutual distance at every moment, so understanding it is mainly based on a feeling. Bicycles can take great advantage of drafting, but you'll see it most useful on racetracks due to high traffic speeds. Living beings are not affected by it.
Drafting system deliberately doesn't include any accented special effects (apart from the strength of whoosh sound when you steer into the air wall), but the effect will be clearer once the speedometer is implemented in the next build.
New car sounds:
Two new engine sounds were added to the game:
- Sports Car - fast, aggressive
- SUV - powerful, expensive
In addition to that, vehicles equipped with ABS (2004+) got characteristic new tire-screeching sounds.
EBS (Emergency Braking System):
All road and rail vehicles introduced in 2018 and later come equipped with EBS. EBS will automatically apply brakes after having detected an imminent crash. It will not prevent high speed crashes, but at least their force will be reduced. When activated, EBS is accompanied by a beep sound and a speed limit icon. There are rare situations when this safety system can be irritating, deliberately giving older vehicles an advantage.
Crashing a fuel-powered vehicle will now pose another potential threat - fuel leaking. The leak will, of course, quickly deplete fuel reserves, but can also set the car on fire if the exhaust backfires!
Each segment now comes with a wind parameter of varying intensity and direction. Like Drafting, the wind force is calculated with vehicle's mass and height taken into account.
The wind has no effect in most situations, however if you are flying in the sky lanes or operating a sail-propelled vehicle (such as a Sailboat, or a Hot Air Balloon), it will affect your speed (and speed of traffic).
The wind can be so strong, especially in storms, that it will keep an unpowered plane flying indefinitely. However, the wind is unpredictable - in the very next segment it might be blowing in the opposite direction.
Currently there is no wind indicator, but it will come with the speedometer in flying vehicles, in the next update.
Win-based vehicle unlock:
Many of you had trouble finding the last few remaining vehicles to unlock. There is now an additional way to unlock them - beating The Run or Hardcore!
Winning those game modes will always unlock one vehicle as long as there are any remaining, listing it the last on the end screen, indicated by a special medal icon.
- Added "City Dusk" background and lighting (shown above)
- Improved heavy rain (now with thunder!)
- Added EMP mine (damages all batteries, spawns 2029+)
- No more background noise spam while browsing database
Of course, there are many more small improvements and bug fixes, so be sure to check out the full changelog for more details:
As always, all changes are listed below, but also can be read from within Switchcars and its changelog viewer!
Added Draft Effect
- Subtly increases top speed when tailing a vehicle
- Calculated using player's and other vehicle's speeds, mass, heights and mutual distance
- Changing lane while tailing will induce a slowdown as vehicle strikes air again
- Doesn't apply to living beings
Added EBS (Emergency Braking System)
- Available on road and rail vehicles introduced from 2018
- Slows down vehicle when a crash with another object is imminent
- Shows a speed limit icon above vehicle and beeps when activated
- Can be disabled with Manual Control powerup
- Animals too will try to stop before crashing
Added fuel leaking
- Induced by crashing a fuel powered vehicle
- Causes fuel loss
- Exhaust backfire can set the leaking vehicle on fire
Added wind force
- Affects player speed in sky lanes
- Calculated using vehicle's mass and height
- Propels vehicles with sail propulsion (sailboats, aerostats...)
- Varying direction and intensity per segment
Win-based vehicle unlock:
- Beating The Run or Hardcore will unlock one remaining locked vehicle
- The vehicle is indicated at the end screen with a special sound and medal icon
Added EMP mine
- If activated by player, degrades batteries on all electric vehicles in inventory
- If activated by aliens, degrades battery of player's current electric vehicle
- Inflicts minor damage
- Appears on Minefield starting in 2029
Shield now lifts vehicle above ground while active
Drill and Ballast now work on flying vehicles
Internal combustion engines no longer work in vacuum
Rockets and Thruster powerup now have Disposable fuel
Rail Wheels increases top speed by 20%
Armor decreases mine damage (though no vehicle is immune to it anymore)
Doubled magnet vehicles' hit points for better upgrading usability
Junkyards can now spawn any vehicle
Slightly increased spawn rate of Gas and Repair station when needed
Slightly increased powerup spawn rate in Free Roam
Removed Grappling Hook from sail-powered vehicles
There can no longer be only Ice Forest or only Lava lanes
Slightly increased Manual Control spawn rate in later stages
Moved Graveyard from default to level 2 unlock lanes
- Added Sports Car engine sound
- Added SUV engine sound
- Added "City Dusk" background and lighting
- Added new tire screech sounds for vehicles with ABS (introduced 2004+)
- Reduced volume of diesel engine sound
- Redesigned some powerup icons
- Updated all lane images with current vehicle designs
- Updated tutorial vehicles with current vehicle designs
Improved heavy rain weather
- New sound (distinct from light rain)
- Features thunder
Plasma vehicles no longer glow when parked, damaged or out of fuel
Tailpipe backfire is now possible only on vehicles with rear exhaust
Quitting game with alt+f4 is followed by a fadeout effect (damir)
Renamed Ski Track to Piste
- Gameover in Free Roam now changes year selection button to "Retry"
- No more background noise spam while browsing sub-menus (e.g. Database)
- Added animated arrow above Underground Passage when pursued by aliens
- Vehicle suggestion option is grayed out until having passed tutorial
- Main Menu button now informs that stage progress will be lost
- Fixed crash caused by picking up a contextual powerup far from start in Free Roam
- Fixed alt+f4 leaving process active since 1.014 (damir)
- Fixed white letterbox on some monitors
- Attempted fix at FPS drop on certain machines
- Fixed water battery degradation not stopping when it reaches end
- Fixed magnet vehicles unable to lift off the ground when upgraded into aircraft
- Fixed cable vehicles not working properly when having some specific powerups installed
- Fixed wheel-equipped plasma vehicles still hovering after they run out of energy
- Fixed electric boats with drill installed taking water damage
- Fixed future hybrid LCV missing petrol engine sound
- Fixed electric City Car having red brake lights
- Fixed Shield staying stuck at ending sequence
- Fixed battery degradation GUI being one pixel offset when completely degraded
- Game can be closed from OS now (e.g. via close window button) (Damir)
- Various small tweaks and improvements
That's it for this update, and as always if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to post on the forum!