Vehicle Tutorial Part 1
First off you need a good design. Find some reference photos or drawings that feature elements of what you'd like to include in your vehicle. Then you can create a quick series of sketches and thumbnail drawings to get a decent idea of what overall shape and size your vehicle will be. You don't have to be an amazing artist, just draw a variety of small sketches which explore the design direction you want to go in.
It is important to design your vehicle so that it will function well. A vehicle may look really cool, but if it doesn't work well in-game then it's as good as not having a vehicle at all! Here we'll discuss the things you should take into account when designing a wheeled vehicle. These vehicles are the most difficult to get to function well.
ETQW has a rather exaggerated vertical scale. Whilst this makes for some spectacular scenery and epic feeling, it also means that bumps and potholes in the roads can be enormous - let alone the bumps to tackle when you go offroad! There are often steep slopes that players may wish to traverse, or sharp corners they want to skid through at extremely high G. For these reasons your vehicle should have:
- As much ground clearance as possible (distance between the ground surface and the bottom of the vehicle). This helps prevent the vehicle "bottoming out" on the terrain and losing speed.
- Large suspension travel (distance the suspension can move from top to bottom). This will allow the suspension tuning to be softer, providing a less jarring and bouncy ride, as it has more distance to absorb the bumps in the surface.
- A wide track (distance between the two wheels of an axle). This will provide stability and help prevent the vehicle from tipping over.
- Short front overhang, or upward-slanted front end (for example, see the Trojan). This helps prevent the front end of the vehicle "digging in" to a sudden slope, sapping all of your speed.