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In an effort to make grinding feel less grindy, we've given players the option to traverse the surface of planets with small, remote-controlled rovers when hunting for resource deposits.

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Harvesting resources from the surface of various planets can get monotonous and has a lot of potential to feel like a grind. We have opted to circumvent this a bit by incorporating new vehicles into Project Vague, starting with rovers.

We started with a $8 asset package from the Unity Asset store, which gave us a great starting point insofar as basic physics and a nice wheel-collider configuration. The package was then modified to work with our spherical gravity setup since the package's physics were based on gravity that only applied force in a single direction.

Once our prototype rover was successfully driving around on a spherical surface, we put together a quick low-poly mesh to give things a more NASA/Mars Rover feel. Once that was tested and working, our goal was to scale down the size of the rover so that it could more easily fit inside other vehicles; when we were done we had a little space-wagon that felt very much like a RC car when you took the controls, which was exactly what we were aiming for.

Honestly, I was a bit surprised at how much more enjoyable the experience became when I opted to send out my rover on harvesting expeditions versus traveling on foot, and it also has the added benefit of your character remaining stationary during the process, keeping the driver located at their ship and/or base and allowing you to swap between the two quickly.

There's still a lot more work to do on rovers, from adding more detail to the mesh itself to improving the physics to prevent flips and what-not, but we are incredibly happy with the results thus far. Beyond that, we have since begun the process of expanding our rover setup to work with larger sport-utility vehicles with 6 tires and a lot more carrying capacity, and we hope to share those updates with everyone in early May.

<Driving Rovers? There's An App For That

Tablet and accompanying animation added

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