lundi 7 juillet 2008

what's new in Line Driver ?

Hi, I am one of the people working on Line Driver behind the scene....the coder
I wanted to expose some of the improvements achieved on the last version, but for those not too fond of technical aspects, you may jump straight to the second part of the post which is a challenge I sent, based on a meccano-like track.

While coding these improvements, I have focused my efforts on optimizations and gameplay, trying to squeeze every single byte, frame per second, or CPU cycle and to offer the best gaming experience even on older computers. The first round of optimization had led to a very significant framerate increase, but unfortunately the bitmap rasterization method we used increased memory occupation as well, especially on very large tracks.
That's why we are back with a lighter version, with slightly returned cars, more forgiving lawn, and wider tracks for a more pleasant drive. Keep on checking pictogame and the line driver official blog because there's more improvements to come, but now it's time to let the timer speak : are you a real pilot or just another Sunday driver ?

lundi 23 juin 2008

A selection of cool circuits

Today I'd like to share with you a selection of cool racetracks I've created for Line Driver. They are sorted from the easiest one to the most difficult; the last one is pretty hard I think :) And by the way, you can challenge me on all of them! Don't hesitate to leave your challenges URL in the comments.

Have fun!

1. Mario Kart: Mushroom Cup
Let's start with an easy one...

2. Track for beginners
This one is also pretty simple but the challenge is harder.

3. Two loops
A medium difficulty track with two loops, watch out for the double bend. C'mon you can beat me!

4. Hard track
Things are getting more and more complicated!

5. Ultra-complicated track
For experts only ;) Good luck!

lundi 2 juin 2008

A new track editor for Line Driver

Today I'd like to present the new functionalities of the latest Line Driver track editor. Our concern was at the same time to improve the creative experience and keep the ease of use of the tool.

As you can see, seven icons were added on the left side of the drawing tool. Let's see what we can do with them:

  • Pencil tool
    Click to add a point, click and drag to move a point, double click on a point to remove it.

  • Hand tool:
    The Hand tool is very useful to create large tracks. Select it or just hold the space bar and drag the set to move it.

  • Zoom in/out:
    It allows to be very precise when you want to tune your track. We also add the start lane and the car on the first stretch of the track.

  • Enlarge/narrow track:
    Change the width of the road to create easy or more difficult racetracks.

  • Trash tool:
    To delete a track and start a new one from scratch.

It's now possible to create very long and complicated racetracks, and why not, tracks inspired by real circuits. Here's an example of an "ultra-complicated" track I've created.

If you want to challenge me on this track just follow the link :)

mardi 27 mai 2008

Challenge your friends!

Among the new functionalities we have recently implemented on Line Driver, the challenge might be the most important one in terms of gameplay and virality. It's now possible to challenge your friends with your best lap time by sending them an email directly from the game. So they can race against your best ghost car, beat you and challenge you in return.

For this purpose we now have to save every challenger ghost car on our servers and we made it possible to embed a game with a challenge on a blog. According to me the experience is really fun fun but we can do even better. We're going to improve it within a few days by adding the name of the challenger over the ghost car and messages from the anchorman to prompt you to beat your challenger.

I hope the challenge will help to boost the virality of our Line Driver!

For those who want to challenge me, you can try to beat my best lap time on this race inspired by a Mario Kart SNES track.

Have fun!

jeudi 15 mai 2008

Line Driver, why?

First of all I'm a HUGE fan of the arcade classic hit Super Sprint. My friends and I used to spend nights driving these tiny vehicles, fighting for the precious wrenches! I never found any flash car game as addictive as Super Sprint and we wanted to make one with Line driver.

The second source of inspiration is of course Line Rider. According to me, one of the key for the success of Line Rider lies in its ease of use. Draw a line and press play, that's all you have to do to enjoy yourself. We wanted the Line Driver drawing tool to be as simple as that : draw your track and race!

Briefly speaking, with Line Driver we would like to offer an experience at the same time simple, creative and fun. I Hope we'll make it :)


vendredi 2 mai 2008

Hello world!

Line Driver's blog is out! Before giving any info about the game and our work, you can try this very simple "8 o'clock" circuit or design your own track.

My best lap time: 09'909 09'676, have fun!