Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Game Vehicle Design? ... Game Vehicle Design! - Part 1

I know that for my minor project I want to be looking at the design of a non-focus element, such as a vehicle.

by non focus I really mean that though there are all kinds of vehicles in all the media we consume, unless specifically stated, they are not normally the point or focus of the medium we are consuming.

for games, simulations obviously defy this, because they are all about simulating the experiance of a particular vehicle, you can normally tell by the front cover what the focus of the game will be, and in the case of Simulation games it is normally clearly marked on the box, what the contents will be based on.

Such as the above, from the case we can see that this is 1. a simulation game, 2. a combat game involving 1940's wartime aircraft 3. you get to shoot down the Nazi's

there are more popular titles for vehicular simlation such as the Gran Turismo series, Lock on, Ace combat, and a host of other released games all with the word "simulation" in the title.

Simulations of sailing in a wind sailing boat (which I find actually rather rediculous, but oh well)
when I look at these games I just cant help but think "who would?" and is there really a Virtual Skipper 1 2 3 before this one number 4? or did they just make that title to make it sound cool? (turns out there are 1 through 5 actually, crazy stuff)

And then I see how totally action packed they make it look in game and my insides are crying with despair, because editing can make anything look shithot...  but who am I to judge, I bet its a barrel of joy to play ^_^' ...right?

You can also sail on boats, that are not wind sailing boats, for fun of course! in games like...

Although I havent played these games (nor even knew they existed at all) I would think rather than being fun, they would be more for educational purposes, perhaps... haha.

Personally if I see boats in my games I prefer they looked something like this.
"This" being, sinking and covered in flames :3

This screenshot is from Silent Hunter 4, which is a Submarine warfare simulation game, I personally own numbers 2 to 4 and its addon. much more fun blowing stuff up than just drifting around the world.

Even so again, though it might look "wow factor" the main part of the game is really getting to these points, and as a simulation game, it is (or can be if you want it to be) real time, so basically, it takes a long time. Thankfully there is a time speed multiplier, so you can make the game go 2048x normal speed, so that it isnt so much of a drag to play, to not be hypocritical at all I will admit that the game rarely gets that dramatic.

Car/Racing Simulation games.

both of these games are suprisingly heavy with their content, delivering the ability to "devour your life if given the chance", Forza 4 is the Xbox 360 competition to the Playstations Gran Turismo 5 title.

Classic Game Room review of Gran Turismo 5, part 1 - 5 

It also shows the games near photorealistic graphics

There are of course, hundreds of car racing titles out there, Need for Speed, Toca Touring Cars, Midnight Roar, Blur, 1nsane (1nsane being a more of road title, of which also there are many of) however, cars do not interest me at all, and have been so designed, that making new designs would be difficult at best.

There are of course the more direct driving simulations like this one below.

You can drive practically anything you see in a normal city, and even get to model and add your own cars and stuff to the game, which does sound like fun from a designer point of view, that added element of imputting your own creations into the environment and sharing them with a community could be pretty exciting.

Trains Simulations.

If you thought sailing in a boat was the epitomy of bordem, id imagine these to be the top of the list (unless of course, you love trains, and i mean REALLY love trains). just watch this gripping ingame footage!

However, the game showcases rendered and modelled trains of all kinds and ages that fit into a context, so bordem aside its another window into something I want to aspire towards in this project.

Helicopter/Combat simulations

Not really simulations per-say, however fun none the less, Commanche 4 in particular can be quite complicated at first, however it is more arcade versed than pure simulation, there are of course difficulty sliders to make it harder and what not, however it is still fun to play and blow up all the enemies, keeping more of a action feel over a duller simulation feel.

Rotors also turn me on :> haha, proppellers and rotors are just awesome, ive always prefered helicoptors over planes. However airplane simulators are arguabley the most popular kind of simulation medium on the shelves, ranging from individual aircraft like air liners, to single seater combat planes, both jet and proppeler driven crafts as well as leisure aircraft.

Having played many aircraft simulations both war and nno combat oriented, i can say that in the non combat versed games it is much more difficult to know what you are doing, especially when they throw in control tower communications too, also taxiing to the runway for take off. the most exciting part of these games for me, is trying to land some giant boeing 747 or something, (or not in most cases and ending up as a large scorch mark on the runway)

Like this!

The one thing that all the games ive looked at is that they are all tethered to the real world setting, because it would be hard to create a simulation game of a vehicle that didnt exist. well not so much hard to create, but hard to sell.

Ive covered most of the vehicle types that exist in the real world in the above collection of game demonstrations, and next I will move on to more other worldly vehicles in games.


  1. Dii! Good to have you back. :D

    This is a good post about all the things your design shouldn't be, in all honestly! So good to get them out of your system early!

    I think you need to find an interesting method of creating your designs. Feng Zhu recently featured a post on his blog featuring designs that extracted forms from nature. In this case, it looks like fish/aquatic creatures to me.

    My point is - you'll have to look away from the world of videogames and simulations to formulate an original and interesting design.

  2. Master Beg, good to see you again too sah!

    fish hmm? I shall take a look, and indeed i have a rough idea of what im going to be doing, this is just looking around to see if anything can change my mind on it first :)