GearBlocks 0.7.8797

Hey everyone, time for a long overdue update!

Combustion Engines – Not Ready Just Yet

By this point, I was hoping to have combustion engines done. I tried a purely physics based approach, using separate cylinder, piston, con-rod, & crank rigidbodies, and applying a force to the piston based on the current angle of the crank. This worked reasonably well, but had problems with “phantom forces” whereby the engine got torque applied to it, sometimes flipping over the vehicle it’s in. Also, using physics for all the parts like this has RPM limitations, and doesn’t scale that well for sim performance.

So I’ve decided to change tack slightly, I still want to keep the appearance of the moving parts (i.e. pistons and con-rods), but my plan is now to procedurally animate these in code. There’s not really any need to use physics as these parts can’t collide with anything when inside an engine. To apply torque to the crankshaft, I’m working on something similar to the electric motors, but with a different torque curve.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get this done soon, but in the meantime I thought it would be good to get a small update out. Here’s what’s in it…

Parts

There are now some slider versions of the 1-Hole and 2-Hole connectors, some new “angle axle” connectors, and a larger centrifugal clutch.

Also, the rounded beams can now be resized one unit smaller than before.

Part Behaviours

I’ve improved how the invert option works for parts with a single key bind (e.g. brakes), adding a separate invert option for the joystick axis.

You can now type in values for any part behaviour slider, by right clicking it. Even values beyond the normal slider range can be entered (but no guarantees the physics won’t blow up with higher RPMs or torques!)

No Collide Tool

For those who want to bypass part collisions in their builds, I’ve added a new “PartCollision” script mod tool that can be used to disable part collisions. Parts with their collision disabled will still collide with the ground, but nothing else.

Here are the full release notes:-

  • New parts:-
    • “1-Hole Slider” and “2-Hole Slider” connectors.
    • Angle axle 90, 180, 3 x 90, & 4 x 90 connectors.
    • Centrifugal clutch x3.
  • Rounded and half rounded beams can now be resized one unit shorter.
  • Added “invert axis” option to part behaviour joystick axis settings.
  • In brake, clutch, and differential part behaviours, replaced “invert direction” option with “invert control”, which properly inverts their control behaviour.
  • By right clicking a slider in the part behaviour settings, it’s value can now be edited by typing in a number.
  • Shortcuts (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V) for copy and paste in part behaviour settings.
  • A construction can now be unfrozen (via the construction UI) while the player is seated in it.
  • Lowered minimum mouse sensitivity values.
  • Added methods to IConstructionOperations to set whether parts are collidable (and added IsCollidable property to IPart interface).
  • Added new PartCollision script mod.
  • Bug fixes.
  • Upgraded to Unity 2021.3.34.

GearBlocks 0.7.8754

Happy Holidays everyone,

I’ve just released another update, with a bunch of new parts!

Clutches

These attach two axles together, one with a fixed attachment, the other with a rotary bearing. The clutch can be engaged / disengaged with a key press, which will smoothly lock / unlock the rotary bearing.

Clutch Gears

These are a type of spur gear that attach to an axle with a rotary bearing only. Similar to regular clutches, they can be engaged / disengaged from the axle they’re attached to.

Brakes

Wheels already have built in brakes that you can optionally enable, but these separate brake parts allow you to brake an axle without needing to use a wheel. The brakes attach to an axle with a rotary bearing, and to the part you want to brake against (e.g. a beam) with a fixed attachment.

Angle Sensor

You can attach an axle to this sensor, and link a display to it. It’ll show the axle’s current relative angle, RPM, etc.

There are a few other tweaks and improvements too, here are the release notes:-

  • New parts:-
    • Angle sensor.
    • Clutches x3 and x4.
    • Clutch gears x1 to x3.
    • 32T and 48T Hi & Lo bevel gears.
    • Disk brakes x3 and x4.
  • Added brake calipers to wheel brakes.
  • Added setting to speed / altitude sensor to use imperial units.
  • Parts and materials are now listed in order in UI.
  • Bug fixes.

GearBlocks 0.7.8740

Hey everyone, it’s time for another game update!

But first I just wanted to say a big thanks to all of you for playing the game and sharing your creations. It’s great to see so many new players joining the community, it really helps motivate me to keep trying to make the game better!

OK, on to the update.

Soap Box Challenge

See how fast you can get down the hill under gravity alone, no motors allowed. This new scenario gives you an idea of the kind of “mini games” possible with Lua scripting, but it still barely scratches the surface really, hopefully we can push the boundaries of this more in the future. Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.

New Parts

Continuous servo motors, more crown, rack, & worm gear sizes, more “hole & plate” connectors, and round ended beams.

Part Behaviours

Separate servo forward & reverse angles, flip pulley belts, link displays to multiple parts, etc.

Here’s a quick look at some of these changes:

Release notes:-

  • New Soap Box Challenge scenario.
  • New parts:-
    • Small and medium continuous servo motors.
    • 24T and 40T Hi & Lo crown gears.
    • x3 rack gear.
    • x1 worm gear.
    • More “1-Hole Plate” and “2-Hole Plate” resizable connectors.
    • Rounded and half rounded resizable beams.
  • Part behaviour improvements:-
    • Servo motor part behaviour now has separately tweakable forward and reverse angles.
    • Servo and stepper motor part behaviours now have an “angular speed” data channel.
    • Pulley part behaviour now has an option to flip belt routing.
    • Displays can now be linked to multiple other parts.
  • Motor, battery, and rotor parts can now attach to each other, and to other parts in a more consistent way.
  • Changed plate on “plate axle” connector part to be circular.
  • Tweaked material strength of all wheels.
  • Added buttons to UI screens to open containing folder in Windows Explorer.
  • Added player “free flight movement mode” setting to allow for moving horizontally rather than along the view direction.
  • Added settings to the controls options screen for disabling each of the manipulators.
  • Improved crosshair.
  • Added Hungarian translations to currently localised strings, thanks to BlueGoldFlag.
  • Bug fixes.
  • Upgraded to Unity 2021.3.33.

GearBlocks 0.7.8726

Hey everyone, I’ve just released an update.

New in the game – “attachment bridging”, a slightly easier way to do “node skipping”, with the added benefit that the attachment indicator now shows where the bridged attachments are:

Release notes:-

  • Implemented “attachment bridging” feature and added option to BuilderToolExt script mod to enable it.
  • Added option to the selection GUI to disable selection of locked neighbouring parts.
  • Enabled rotary, linear, and linear rotary attachment types for pulleys.
  • Enabled rotary bearing attachments for angled connector parts.
  • Enabled rotary bearing attachment on steering arm part.
  • Added resizable “scaffold” axle part.
  • Removed TweakEnergyStore variable, tweaking of battery charge remaining now automatically prevented when energy consumption is enabled.
  • Added LimitedPartBehaviourTweaking variable, enabling it limits part behaviour tweaking to player input (e.g. key binds) only.
  • Added setting to video options that allows for the selection of exclusive or borderless full-screen, or windowed screen mode.
  • Added setting to game options to turn off “Start Here!” help message.
  • Added error message popup shown when attempting to unfreeze an intersecting construction.
  • Updating localised strings with Russian translations thanks to Ludanton!
  • Bug fixes.

GearBlocks First Look

GearBlocks First Look from EndoSkull!

It’s a great intro to the game, there’s a walkthrough of the tutorial, and a brief look through some of the other features and content.

GearBlocks in Early Access NOW!

Hey everyone, GearBlocks has now launched into Early Access!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1305080/GearBlocks/

There will be a 10% launch discount until November 15th, so be sure to take advantage of that. Also, you can help out a lot by leaving a review on Steam.

Here’s a quick preview of what to expect if you buy the game:

Thanks for your patience and support over the years, I hope you enjoy the game. I have plans for some exciting post launch updates, but as always let me know what you’d like to see!