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While a bunch of the AAA publishers out there making racing games are focusing on “connected” and “social” experiences that does nothing more than dump you in a lobby with a bunch of whiny 12-year-olds to ruin your gaming experience, indie devs are working on real racing games with real evolutionary features, like BeamNG's upcoming title running on the Torque3D Engine.
BeamNG reminds me of the vehicular version of the Brigade Engine. While one of the design studios is focusing on achieving ray-traced quality gameplay environments, the other is trying to achieve realized vehicular physics using soft-body deformation and weight distribution to accurately depict real-world weight and collision effects. It's a wonderful time to be a gamer and an even better time to be a game designer.
The latest video from BeamNG – which you can view above, showcasing a full-sized sedan in a Gymkhana exercise – comes courtesy of DSO Gaming.
BeamNG doesn't have an official name of the game or an estimated release date, but we do know that all that testing in the Torque3D Engine wasn't for naught. The team has wrought those tests to fruition in the form of a real game and it will be built on the Torque3D Engine. You can check out some more physics tests of the car handling and crashes in the video below to give you an idea of what the game could be capable of.
Now I know they're still a ways off from release but there is one minor (or major?) gripe I have with their physics: the cars still float a little too much.
When the two trucks collide at the 9:20 mark, the moving truck briefly pops in the air, where-as the weight of the truck should have seen them collide, get partially wrecked and bounce away laterally, not pop in the air. Still, it's a minor thing that just about every other racing game suffers from out there, but really hope that they'll work it out before the final release.
If you want to learn more about the BeamNG soft-body physics toolkit, as well as how they manage to deal with vehicle rigidity, weight handling and the distribution of force through collisions, be sure to check out their blog and forum over on their official website. Additionally, if you just want to see realistic handling cars bump, grind and collide with each other using their soft-body physics, check out BeamNG's official YouTube channel.