Having been added to Team Rift’s project, the first week of Senior Production was largely dedicated to getting myself and all the other new members up to speed with the project. Sagittarii Run, the project of Team Rift, is an arcade racing game through space, set on the edge of a black hole. Racers must contend with high speeds, rampant and various effects of gravity, and rifts to a high speed alternate dimension. Having been assigned the role of systems designer, the first task of the project saw myself working with the lead systems designer to more effectively flesh out the rules and experience of rifts. It was decided previously that rifts would not be a means of passing the competition, but for catching players up. Additionally, rifts should be an incredibly fast and awesome experience, and while they should appear in every race, they should not be so frequent as to be as to become common.
With these rules in place, we created the first formula we will be presenting. The formula begins by checking the distances between all the players. If any of these distances are greater than an acceptable distance, relative to the current track, the game knows it might need to create a rift, giving greater chance to players closer to last place. Finally, the game checks to make sure that any player who might get a rift is so close to the finish line that they might overlap it while in the rift. In the case of none of the distances being over the acceptable range, there is a very small chance that any player may have a rift spawned in front of them.
Once a player enters a rift, they are transported to an intense drag strip style environment, where they must successfully dodge obstacles in order to proceed as far as possible. The drag strip itself is divided into four sections, each of which is progressively more difficult than the last. Additionally, the close to first place the player is upon entering a rift, the more difficult the drag strip will be. The four sections of the rift correspond to its exit points on the real track–a player that makes it through only the first section will only be transported a short distance down the track, while a player that makes it through all four sections will be transported right onto the afterburners of the player ahead of them.
The actual exit points themselves are somewhat dynamic. Tied to the waypoint checkpoint system already present in the game, the four exit points are the four waypoints the player in front of the player currently in the rift most recently passed, while the player was in the rift. For example: player A in 4th place enters a rift. The exit points are set to the waypoints player B–the player in 3rd place–most recently passed while player A is in the rift. Should player B crash at any time while player A is in the rift, the rifts exits points are set to the waypoints ahead of player B, depending on how far player A has already progressed in the rift–this is the only case where a player using a rift would pass the player ahead of them. In the case of the player in first place entering a rift, the exit points are set to the next four waypoints the player would pass.