My next godot project is going to be inspired by Taito’s 1970s Speed Race series and Sega’s 1979 Monaco GP. These are notable as the first vertically scrolling games and the first racing games.
The salient characteristics in these games are that the player has full left to right motion, can accelerate and shift gears, earns points for passing other cars, and can’t touch the sides of the track or other vehicles without crashing.
This is complicated by the fact that, while straight, the track appears to grow and shrink. This is done by moving the borders of the screen left and right, and varying how much room to maneuver we have, creating the illusion of a track that shifts without having to draw any angles or transitions to that effect.
Once the car has crashed, the player is delayed and must downshift before moving again. The chief limiter here is the countdown clock – once time runs out, the game is over. There are many permutations in the Speed Race series and Monaco GP, but our goal here is a rapid iterations, so as always we focus on the core first.
- Do we emulate the controls? These games used gearshifts, racing wheels, and acceleration pedals in the arcades – analog rather than digital. While we won’t use these peripherals, it does give us the choice of using the mouse to steer rather than the joystick or keys.
- How do we dress things up? Keep it as an auto race? Maybe it’s spaceships. Or set in a tunnel. What kind of vehicles are we?
There’s nothing wrong with keeping the racecar theme, but no reason to not change it, either. I do think that the rigid track lends itself well to some kind of pipe or tunnel.