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A tech demo from the 'Next Car Game'

Screens showing off the physics of the new ROMU engine from Bugbear Entertainment.
Screens showing off the physics of the new ROMU engine from Bugbear Entertainment.
Cory Wells

Pretty vague headline isn't it? Finnish developer Bugbear Entertainment, the company behind the Flatout series, is working on a new racing game that doesn't even have a name yet. The game can be found on Steam under the title Next Car Game. This new game will be a demolition derby game featuring races and "death bowls". Bugbear was nice enough to send over a copy of its tech demo for the Next Car Game, which shows off the detail behind the new ROMU engine.

Screenshot from Bugbear Entertainment's unnamed demolition derby game

In a demo where the setting looks like heaven for destroyed cars, the Technology Sneak Peek 2.0 has about a dozen different obstacles that help showcase the physics of the ROMU engine. There is a section that feels like it was pulled out of The Pit from Mortal Kombat. It does not resemble the look, but has equipment that eventually tears up the car piece by piece. It shows just how miniscule the car, itself, can be destroyed.

Other portions feature jumps, loops, and ways to build speed to help give players the idea of how these heavy, old muscle cars will feel. Each car resembles American cars from the 60s and 70s, much like real demolition races incorporate. The cars are weighty, and any damage done to the car affects the handling and speed. Collisions with other cars feel natural and feature tons of parts flying such as bumpers, tires, and doors. Cars can also go in reverse and focus the damage elsewhere. The little details that were envisioned by Psygnosis' old Destruction Derby franchise can be seen in this physics engine, and from the likes of it, it clearly has the potential for great things.

The demo allows players to drive their cars through barrels, houses, buildings, a rolling sphere, and a jet engine. There is also a cannon that can shoot the car across the land. Boxes can be picked up and thrown at other cars during the demo. Besides the obstacles, there are other cars out there too, so players can go toe-to-toe with up to 23 A.I. cars in the tech demo. There is even a giant spider that will crush cars going by. Cars will flip, roll over, and smash hard with what feels should be the appropriate response.

The tech demo gives an excellent idea of what to expect from this unnamed title in the future. There has not really been a top notch demolition derby-style of game since those days of the Destruction Derby series (which holds up incredibly to this day). Codemasters released Dirt Showdown last year, as it was a solid title. Bugbear looks to perfect this soft-collision, physics based wreckage with its ROMU engine.

The Next Car Game is currently in development with no release date announced. However, the game can be pre-purchased on Steam. There is currently a special promotion running until January 29th. For $24.99, players can have access to the same playable Technology Sneak Peek 2.0, along with two cars, two race tracks and one derby stadium. There is also a Digital Deluxe Edition available for $34.99 until the 29th, as well, and it includes a one time only Backer Race Car that will only available once, a set of cool wallpapers, and the soundtrack for the game. Players can also offer feedback directly through Steam for the game.

Please take a look at the screenshots taken in-game from the Technology Sneak Peak Demo 2.0 and stay tuned for more information in the future. Here is a list of details involving the pre-order:

The first Early Access release contains two playable cars and three tracks, showcasing both white-knuckle track racing and explosive demolition derby action with 24 cars that will give you taste of things to come. During the coming months we’re going to give the game a lot of polish as well as implement many new exciting features, and all Early Access supporters have a unique opportunity to get involved in the development of the title!

We’ve also giving a playable Technology Sneak Peek 2.0 to all our Early Access supporters. The sneak peek features a playground that we use internally to test various features various like car damage and environment destruction. Version 2.0 includes new destructive machinery, more dynamic stuff to blow up, spectacular stunts and an awesome physics cannon that we use to play with our physics engine. With the physics cannon you too will now have a chance to cause mayhem to heart’s content by launching missiles, throwing stuff around and destroying the environment as well as the cars!

A playable Technology Sneak Peek 2.0. Have fun on the physics playground!
Two cars, American and European style, with unique handling traits.
Two race tracks and one derby stadium, both tarmac and gravel surfaces.
Race and derby game modes with up to (!) 24 cars, all with dynamic damage.
Soft-body car damage physics system that doesn't need a super computer.
Dynamic content that reacts realistically – fences and billboards break down, tires fly around.
Different types of engines and tires to test the effect of upgrades.
Player garage.
Next Car Game is currently in early Pre-Alpha stage, and the Early Access version is going to serve as a basis on which we will continue building the game based on your feedback on what works and what doesn't. Throughout the Early Access phase we're going to gradually add more content and new features to the game, with some of the most important key features planned being:

Improved car damage and handling.
More cars, each with different stylings and performance.
More race tracks and derby stadiums with varying surfaces.
More dynamic content on the tracks.
Highly configurable multiplayer with a variety of modes.
Extensive player garage and car upgrading system.
In-game classifieds to buy and sell cars and parts.
Streamlined and polished user interface.
Improved graphics quality and performance.

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