incan bridge

5

A race though the rainforest.

Since this game has some interesting systems to it, I’ll let the other person helping run this blog explain:

All of the tracks in Moto Racer 2 consist of a spline defining the path of the track and the procedurally generated scenery that decorates it. In the track editor you can switch the theme completely, or just regenerate the random seed. It seems to feature multiple rulesets for constructing the scenery, but I haven’t figured out what the difference is between them.

The Amazon theme is the most visually elaborate, and is also the one with the most plants. The generator seems to work in segments, constructing the track just-in-time ahead of your bike. A given segment might be plain jungle, or be a winding wooden bridge, Incan tunnel, sunlit ruin, or lakeside road.

[Here’s the same curve of track with different settings.]

Most of the trees are photosourced billboards or part of the skybox. But there are some smaller flat plants that are oriented to the track rather than billboarded to the camera. A few others, like the jungle fern that overhangs the track, are apparently photosourced textures mapped to simple geometry.

We were asked to look at a racing game on the premise that the foliage would be less detailed, since the player will be moving too fast to pay attention to it.

From looking at this game as an example, I think it’s quite inconclusive. The premise is sound - why would the developers spend as much time on foliage that’s only ever going to be seen at a distance and for short time periods as they would in games where you could run up next to it? - but the difference in foliage quality and technique between games make it hard to substantiate that claim. I’d suggest that this foliage is actually on par with other mid-PSX-era games. What is different is that the bushes work out to something like 15-20 feet tall when you drive up next to them.

Moto Racer 2 (1998)