I apologize in advance for the verbosity of my posts, I just try to give enough detail to get everything across.
I see with recent updates that we can now disassemble engines into basic components. Can’t take the engine itself down to pistons and bolts, but we can take all the important stuff attached to it. With this, I think we’re starting to get the basic foundation for what I’m gonna talk about here.
I’m not going to suggest stupid-complicated things that have little benefit for their complexity and really just end up being minmax fodder. I’m just going to put out some fundamental things that will flesh out engine mechanics and vehicle types and possibly actually save effort in the long run.
- Power adders
There are two basic types of engine power adders: Turbochargers and superchargers.
Turbochargers are run by exhaust gasses, and superchargers are belt-driven.
Turbochargers require engine load to spool up and start working, so their benefits are generally at the high-end of the powerband. They would only activate under significant acceleration and would take a while to activate. These would be most appropriate for heavy vehicles, since this game doesn’t really have a practical purpose for, well, drag racing. This is actually what they are most commonly used for: Things like heavy trucks and tanks. A super heavy dump truck has around 14 turbos, actually, but let’s not go there. It’d probably work well to limit it to two. A single turbo for lighter vehicles, and twins for heavier ones. Under practical use, a standard car would have no tangible benefit to having two of them.
The larger the turbo is, the harder it is to spool up. So maybe there could be more than one size, potentially instead of having more than one on the same engine.
Superchargers are belt-driven, so they’re always active, but driving the supercharger puts a certain parasitic drain on the engine. The ridiculous supercharger on the Dodge Hellcat engine, for an extreme example, requires 80 horsepower to run. This would make them very unsuitable for heavy vehicles, but quite useful for smaller ones. They’re also much easier to install, so the skill required might be a tick or two lower.
As alluded to, the larger the supercharger is, the more power it takes to run it, so you could do a similar thing here. There are three types of supercharger, but there’s really no point in differentiating them here. They all do the same thing.
In both of these cases, their addition increases both the fuel they consume and they noise they make. Turbos make whistling and sputtering noises, while a supercharger makes a distinctive gear whine. Neither of these noises are affected by a muffler, as they come from outside the engine.
They burn more fuel because they are forcing more air into the engine, effectively increasing the displacement. More air = more fuel. Unless you want the engine to explode, of course.
- Variable engine sizes
This could be either in addition to or instead of #1.
Basically just have more than one displacement for a given engine configuration. Even with engines of the same physical size (and model), there can be variations in the displacement by increasing the size of the cylinders and the throw of the crankshaft. It would be unreasonable to expect swapping the parts themselves, but it would be fun to find a new and more powerful engine and try it out, or even a smaller and more appropriate engine for what you want to do.
These both lead to:
- More vehicle types
These would give you room to have more vehicle variety. You could add things like muscle cars, dump trucks, supercars, hot hatches, all kinds of stuff. It would make looking through the streets a lot more fun and interesting instead of being able to tell absolutely everything about a car at a glance. Sure, give visual indicators, but surprise me once in a while. It would take a lot of monotony and tedium out of traveling. The vehicles don’t even need to always be usable, it would just be great to find new stuff on a car and think “Oh, that’s cool” once in a while.
Which would justify:
A place where you can go and see if you can strike gold. Get some cool parts off of broken things, provided you can fix them. It could be about the size of a hospital and have wreckages of various types along with normal broken cars. They would have parts already missing, but you just might find something awesome if you know what to look for. It would also give a singular place to go to look for parts, instead of scouring the streets looking for vehicles scattered around.
You could even make it better by adding broken robots, or stuff that happened way in the past such as really old hidden weapons in questionable condition. Populate it with a few enemies, so you have to kill them quickly or risk losing useful parts.
Thanks to anyone for reading this, if you did. I appreciate it. And thanks to the devs and contributors, you guys are super cool.
I also have a lot of simple mutation ideas to flesh out that part of the game, but I’ll save those for another time.