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GearBlocks is a sandbox construction game where you build all things mechanical: cars, trucks, cranes, lifts, planes, quadcopters or anything else you can think of. Want your car to have working steering? Build all the steering linkages and hook up the rack and pinion gears. Want it to have a functional drive-train with a differential? Put it all together with gears, axles and a motor.

Once you've made your construction, share what you've built with your friends, try out what others have made, and maybe learn a new building trick or two along the way.

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Hey everyone, I thought I'd introduce my game and myself a little bit. This is a bit of a passion project for me. I've loved games since a young age, but I was also just as into Lego Technic, cars and generally anything mechanical, an interest that has carried through to this day. The idea behind this game is to take the joy of building mechanical things and interacting with them, and combine it with simple skill based challenges, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to easily share your creations with others.

Pillars of this game project:-

  1. Creative building.
  2. Interactive working machines & mechanisms.
  3. Community & sharing.

Key Features

The game is still in early pre-alpha development, so many of these features are still in progress or not available yet.

  • Hundreds of parts to build with (blocks, wheels, axles, gears, motors and much more).
  • Intuitive and flexible first person building system.
  • Physics based mechanical elements that behave very much like their real world counterparts.
  • Damage system that lets you smash your constructions to smithereens.
  • Creative game mode: ultimate flexibility to build and test your creations, and then share them with others.
  • More game modes planned, will be announced soon.

Pre-alpha Playable Demo

Build 0.5.6773 for Windows
GearBlocks Demo 0.5.6773 Win32

Get More Info

Right now it's a team of one making this game, just me (there's no "I" in team, but there is a "me"?) I guess you could say I'm an industry veteran (in other words, I'm old ;)). After having worked as a programmer in "AAA" games for around 15 years, I decided to try an experiment, could I develop and release my own game? Jury's still out on that, but things are going pretty well so far. You can find me here: Twitter.com

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GearBlocks Demo 0.5.6773 Win32

GearBlocks Demo 0.5.6773 Win32

Demo

GearBlocks pre-alpha demo - build 0.5.6773. In this build: Construction UI improvements, new collision audio system, servo motor tweaks, and more. See...

GearBlocks Demo 0.5.6628 Win32

GearBlocks Demo 0.5.6628 Win32

Demo

GearBlocks pre-alpha demo - build 0.5.6628. NOTE: DO NOT INSTALL OVER AN EXISTING INSTALLATION, PLEASE UNINSTALL THE OLD DEMO FIRST! In this build: improved...

GearBlocks Demo 0.4.6450 Win32

GearBlocks Demo 0.4.6450 Win32

Demo 3 comments

GearBlocks pre-alpha demo - build 0.4.6450. NOTE: SAVED FILE LOCATION CHANGED (SEE RELEASE NOTES FOR DETAILS), IF YOU WANT TO LOAD YOUR OLD SAVES, YOU'LL...

GearBlocks Demo 0.4.6095 Win32

GearBlocks Demo 0.4.6095 Win32

Demo 24 comments

GearBlocks pre-alpha demo - build 0.4.6095. NOTE: SAVED GAME FORMAT CHANGED, OLD SAVED GAMES WON"T WORK, BUT SAVED CONSTRUCTIONS FROM THE PREVIOUS BUILD...

GearBlocks Demo 0.4.6034 Win32

GearBlocks Demo 0.4.6034 Win32

Demo 9 comments

GearBlocks pre-alpha demo - build 0.4.6034. GearBlocks is now upgraded to Unity 5, which brings a significant physics performance improvement. In addition...

GearBlocks Demo 0.3.5971 Win32

GearBlocks Demo 0.3.5971 Win32

Demo 12 comments

GearBlocks pre-alpha demo - build 0.3.5971. This update brings the new more efficient and less buggy part alignment search system. There's also a new...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 180)
Nathu01
Nathu01

Hey sam! I would like a ''draw distance'' setting, because I was getting so much lag (in a very low-end machine) due to rendering.

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dangersam Creator
dangersam

If you turn down the "model detail" setting, that will reduce the draw distance of dynamic objects in the world. I didn't expose a draw distance setting for the entire scene (e.g. terrain), but I've experimented with this in the past and it doesn't really make much impact on frame rate.

The rendering performance tends to be mostly fill rate bound, so turning off all of the rendering effects (e.g. "reflections"), lowering the "texture filtering" & "shadow detail" settings, and lowering the screen resolution makes the biggest frame rate improvement.

Changing these settings still might not be sufficient to get a playable frame rate on very low end machines however. The game uses HDR, PBR, and deferred lighting, which all have an inherent rendering performance cost that can't easily be avoided without breaking the look of the game. Perhaps if there's sufficient demand for it, I could add a simplified rendering mode that does away with these features. It would completely change the look of all the materials and lighting in the game, and would require reworking a lot of the assets.

Sorry I couldn't give a more satisfying answer, but I hope this was somewhat helpful at least!

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hortonpl
hortonpl

Hello! I have a suggestion: you should thinking about implement some u-joints and kingpins, it would make game much esier to build some real constructions :)
btw. sorry for bad english :P

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dangersam Creator
dangersam

Thanks for your suggestion! The full version of the game already has CV joints, ball & socket joints, suspension uprights, suspension control arms, and many other parts. I really wanna reveal all this stuff, but I still have a lot more work to do on the game first.

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eyylmao
eyylmao

There's a little something that I uncovered long ago, but never got around to reporting until now. All the gears have the same mass (Except the rack gear). This makes the 8t gears probably the densest object in the game.
I made a scale to show this concept (the wheel has 50):
Puu.sh

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dangersam Creator
dangersam

Aha, well spotted! Yes, unfortunately the gears must all have the same mass, otherwise the physics constraints between them don't work very well (causing the gears to "slip" under high torque loads).

I'd love to find a way to make the gears work while giving them more appropriate masses. Setting them all to the same mass is basically a hack, which I'm not too happy with if I'm honest. Maybe I'll figure something out, but until then I'm kinda stuck with things the way they are!

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Guest
Guest

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RAA!
RAA!

Ah this looks great! I don't know if you've played it before, but this reminds me a lot of Rigid Chips.

One thing I'd like to see is an edit mode similar to the Rigid Chips Designer, where you move the whole vehicle / assembly around and build it that way. I find the first-person method of building (like Homebrew) cumbersome and irritating.

I look forward to future developments.

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dangersam Creator
dangersam

Thanks! I haven't tried Rigid Chips before, but I'll check it out.

I won't be moving away from the current first-person building system, as it's integral to the game at this point. But maybe there are still some ideas I can take from the Rigid Chips Designer, I'll take a look.

Thanks again.

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Dr_Nick
Dr_Nick

Another suggestion: configurable friction coefficient on the tires to simulate under and over-inflation.

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dangersam Creator
dangersam

Yeah that would be cool!

Right now the tires in GearBlocks use a simple inelastic friction model. However most driving games out there model proper elastic tire friction (e.g. using Pacejka curves), and I would likely need to move over to something like this to allow for under / over inflation. It is on my to do list but is quite far down in priority relative to all the other stuff I need to get done.

I guess I could instead just expose a configurable friction coefficient for the current inelastic model, but I'd have to be quite restrictive on the range of allowable values, as the general vehicle driving behaviour is pretty sensitive to the tire friction (all too easy to make vehicles annoyingly flip over all the time for example).

Anyway, I'll make note of your suggestion, thanks!

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GearBlocks
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
SmashHammer Games
Engine
Unity
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Players
Single Player
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Indie
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Latest tweets from @dangersamn

Networking and optimisations - Sorry for the lack of updates for the past couple of months, I was away... Tmblr.co

Oct 22 2018

Arrived at long last. Awesome to see your name on the cover, @kenpex, congrats! #realtimerendering T.co

Sep 19 2018

Optimisations and explosions - As I’ve alluded to in previous updates, the damage system is still a way... Tmblr.co

Aug 28 2018

#GearBlocks dev diary: Glitchy physics fixes Youtu.be #gamedev #indiedev #madewithunity #screenshotsaturday

Jul 21 2018

Glitch fixes, demo update soon - Last week I fixed a problem that was pointed out by one of you, thanks as... Tmblr.co

Jul 16 2018

Collision exposition - As I mentioned in the last dev update, I’ve been working on re-implementing the... Tmblr.co

Jul 2 2018

Basic implementation of damage system in #GearBlocks Gph.is #screenshotsaturday #madewithunity #gamedev #indiedev

May 19 2018

First pass of linker tool in #GearBlocks ​https://gph.is/2IunFrp #madewithunity #gamedev #indiedev

May 18 2018

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