Megagon Industries has redesigned the terrain system powering its Kickstarter-funded biking game Lonely Mountains: Downhill in an effort to create a smoother, more diverse end product.
Until now, the development team has been using a system allowing track sections of set sizes that cause slight frame rate hitches when the player moves between them. The limitations of the earlier approach were that tracks could not easily be extended or organically designed and that checkpoints could only be placed in particular areas. Although the development update lacks particulars, it does mention that the new terrain system is “super flexible in terms of level design, terrain extensions, checkpoint placement and also smaller build sizes. It also anticipates possible new game modes which were often discussed on Discord like more restricted routes or more relaxing modes without time pressure.”
The rewriting of such an integral piece of the project has meant that planned work on other areas has been pushed back, though the team continues to plan out the design of its mountains on paper. However, the update reveals that the promised inclusion of wildlife in the release build is already in the works, with birds being the primary concern at present.
To that end, the developers have implemented AI behaviours that enable birds to fly away when the player character draws near, as well as reacting realistically as a flock.
Megagon Industries has also recently opted to allow fans who may have missed the initial Kickstarter the chance to access the development build on itch.io. However, access comes as a reward for financial support, and fans must pledge USD$50 before being able to play the work-in-progress title.
OnlySP’s Chris Hepburn recently spent some time with Lonely Mountains: Downhill’s demo and compared it to the experience of biking in real life.