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Steamroll: a stemapunk puzzle game

Dear community,

We’d like to present the project we have been working on for the last year with a team of 3 people. It is called Steamroll and it is a 3D puzzle game with some platforming and minigolf elements. We are still in development but we are trying to polish it to release it early next year (Win/Lin/Mac, XBox One). We hope this trailer explains the concept:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWOVXGog-RY

And here are some screens:

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/405682610613774803/5BCF088B3CB6D5FB8185E6046D26CE5BFFC24CCE/

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/384287971859564259/352DD9D31490B7E20C40B350CDBADF959B16D16D/

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/393297711646225213/161C402E95B5CB73B041627585EAF190B6CE3C17/

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/395552681865344578/B5A86D2CD8A7B26DD23CEF0CF7FD91E1CC3A1F01/

We are pretty satisfied with Unreal so far, and as a small team it has helped us a lot productivity-wise. There are some specific points we had to put some extra effort that are pretty unique to our project:

  • Predictable physics. The player can shoot balls around the scene from specific points and it needs to see a prediction of what theball will do. Since the ball behaves physically it was hard to get the prediction and then the ball to follow it exactly. We ended up doing a simplified simulation ourselves for the ball physics, but still use unreal geometry queries.

  • 3D user interface overlay. We wanted to give the feeling of being inside a machine and controlling it in a steampunk way. We wanted to have a HUD but since we are not an FPS, we didn’t want any lighting to affect it. We ended up rendering it in a separate render target and then draw the widget using a special chroma material like old school cinema FX :).

The game is running well in mid and high end computers, but we are having some problems optimising it for lower end. We are also considering a tablet port, but for that we need to figure out how to optimise the rendering. Any advice in these two problems would be really welcome!

The game is already in Early Access in Steam, but if you want to try it and promise to give us full feedback as an unreal developer just let us know and we will try to send you a review code :). We are working hard to add some more levels and optimise it, improve the storytelling…

Kind regards,

The Steamroll Team

Love the Steam Punk look! The HUD fits in really well with the theme too - reminds me a bit of the original Bioshock. Totally understand why you came up with a custom physics solution for the ball - I’ve run into similar issues with physics predictability but in a different context.

On performance - have you already read the perf guidelines and profiling pages? Beyond turning scalability settings way down for low-end hardware I think you’ll have to profile your game meticulously on a target low-end rig to identify specific bottlenecks. Interested to hear what others have to say on this too.

I see you’re on Early Access already, best of luck with sales!