Kosmic Kart Racing is a revival of Beam Me Up as a UFO-based kart racing game set in an Earth in the distant future after it has been conquered by aliens. The Director expressed an interest in working on a racing game in the company’s spare time between contracts and, since we had all these assets from beam Me up that we weren’t using, we opted to try to recycle them into something that we could fit into our current scope.
I was given the task of making the UFOs move and animate strictly through physics. The goal was to create a more natural feeling of flying a UFO that made sense to a player, but to allow for chaos to ensue when external input was given to the systems that controlled the player’s movement. This meant that systems had to account for multiple environmental variables to create emergent gameplay that allowed for some chaos but wasn’t frustrating to the user.
To accomplish this, I equipped each ship with a PID controller that allowed for “auto-correct” in the systems that controlled the balance of the UFO, keeping it upright, as well as the systems that tried to keep the UFO afloat. The result was a movement system that was fun for players to use and allowed for moments of utter chaos in heated races.
I was also given charge of creating race tracks, a form of level design that I had no experience with at the time. Ultimately, the levels were sufficient for demoing the game to small groups as well as OGDE (now GDEX). Unfortunately, we found that we were unable to continue development on this game as work with contracts were too demanding of our time. As a result, the project was put on hold indefinitely.