News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers  (Read 4630 times)

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« on: October 05, 2020, 06:47:49 am »
And the official release is here! We hope you enjoy our work! If you like it, please consider leaving a review for other players!  :)

Link: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5514/

Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers has come a long way. All the way back in 2003 we started this ambitious project. Starting as a direct follow-up
to The Impala Battles, this mod was dubbed The Impala Courses. Later we changed that to Epic Battle, and finally sticked with Epic Racers.

We intended this mod to be some sort of tribute to the Stifu Board forum. Therefore you'll encounter members from back then. And no, Jesus
himself wasn't a member of our board, but he was a nice opposite to the dark Loki. ;-)

Work on Epic Racers started in a time when only small parts of the SMK ROM were documented. There where no other mods, and only one,
very limited, editor. Step by step we documented the complete ROM. Using Lunar Compress, we were able to extract and change the graphics.

Stifu started working on the graphics, while I painstakingly worked on changing the track designs. Since we initially couldn't figure
out how to change the A.I. of the computer, we tried to work around that by reusing the original track layout in different designs. The
results were far from what we'd like. With the help of SMKDan, Stifu started working on a new Track Designer to fix all the issues with
track design once and for all. Epic Edit saw the light of day and was shared with the world. Meanwhile work on Epic Racers slowed down, due
to life changes. In 2016 it seemed like the project was dead.

Fast forward to 2020. Epic Racers had always been in the back of my mind, and one day I decided to make a new Mario Kart track, just for
the fun. My inspiration grew, so I started working on new track designs and decided to start from scratch, ditching all the ballast of the
old track designs. Thanks to the simplicity of Epic Edit,  I was able to make fast progress. I grew confident that we could still finish this
project. Stifu was also motivated to work on the last graphical changes. In a few months, we revamped tracks and graphics, while ironing out
a lot of bugs and A.I. problems.

So, there you have it. 17 years later, we are proud to announce that we are nearing a state to finally present Epic Racers to the world. We hope you'll enjoy all the work and love that went into this mod when it gets released.

**********
*Features*
**********
- 20 brand new race tracks, with unique gameplay elements.
- 4 brand new battle arena's.
- 8 new drivers are ready to start their engines!
- New points system. Every position receives points!
- New items and probability sets
- New course themes!
- New objects!
- New items!
- New titlescreen
- New character selection screen!
- Always continue to the next race in GP mode, regardless of your position.
- And a whole lot more!

**********************
*Development Progress*
**********************
Track Design - 100%
A.I. Design - 100%
Graphics: 100%
Fixes for bugs & issues: 100%

We are currently ironing out the last few issues before releasing our mod. Here are some fresh screenshots:

Title Screen


New track backgrounds


New points system in action


New track theme


Character selection screen


Innovative track design with separated start en finish line (not found in the original Mario Kart)


My website is also back in the air at http://www.okimpala.net. Even more screenshots can be found there.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 08:37:35 am by Ok Impala! »

Googie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 986
  • I'd like to solve the puzzle... Jiggers!
    • View Profile
    • My work in progress ROM Hacking site
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 07:56:17 am »
Awww man, this brings back memories of the old Acmlm Board. Nice to see this hack is gonna be released soon, thanks for giving us the heads up.  :thumbsup:

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 08:37:34 am »
Yeah, it's been a long time. I was a lot on ACMLM back in the day too. It's been a trip down memory lane for me too when I picked up this project again!  :)

Ice Man

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 11:52:00 am »
I was one of those ACMLMer's, too. Time flies by too fast.
I can't wait to play this gem. Really well done from what I can see so far!

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 09:43:04 am »
Thank you for the positive reactions. And good to have a small ACMLM reunion.  ;)

I will post some more updates on our progress in the upcoming few weeks. We can't wait to share our work with you all!  :)

Dirtbag

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2020, 03:32:22 am »
This is amazing to see, and looks gorgeous. Without the notes Stifu made and shared well making this hack over the years I'd not have got half the features in my own hack Super Baldy Kart, it had a lot of 'firsts' but alot of those because of the epic racers notes - so thabk you for that.
 
It's really good to see all that hardwork in research, and stunning track editor, getting the final pay off it deserves.

I look forward to playing it when it's finally done.

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2020, 04:44:18 am »
Thank you for the kind words Dirtbag!  :) I remember the first time I found out that some of the graphics we couldn't decompress were actually double compressed. I was just toying around with Lunar Compress and finally decided on trying to decompress two times. There was the title screen in all it's glory! It was so magical to be able to change those graphics for the first time.

It's amazing how Stifu made such a versatile editor out of the ROM map we created in that first year. It has spawned so many great projects, like Super Baldy Kart. I was really impressed by all the stuff you pulled of in Super Baldy Kart! 

sics

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 339
  • Contact me!
    • View Profile
    • Deviantart: Terwilf
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2020, 06:30:51 am »
Until now I have never played a Mario Kart, but your hack looks so good that I would like to try it :thumbsup:

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2020, 07:52:00 am »
Thank you sics!

@Dirtbag: I took some inspiration from how you used Lakitu in one of your tracks. There is no road, and still you can reach the finish with help from Lakitu! It was incorporated in the same way in this track:



PS: Anyone already noticed the inclusion of FuSoYa in Epic Racers?  :)


Dirtbag

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2020, 07:11:20 am »
Loving the Russian/ tetris background there.  Any plans for a version with new music at somepoint?  The tools are there on discord.  I used gameboy Tetris B music in SBK looks like it would be better suited in your snow level ;D

MKDSmaster91

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2020, 12:18:49 pm »
The Tetris background looks amazing and I agree with Dirtbag, the Tetris BGM would go really well with those tracks.

Is Hard Mode & Special Cup going to be available from the start in this hack?

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2020, 04:52:59 am »
The Tetris background looks amazing and I agree with Dirtbag, the Tetris BGM would go really well with those tracks.

Is Hard Mode & Special Cup going to be available from the start in this hack?

No, but I'll include a complete savefile you can load if you'd like to have everything available from the start.

Loving the Russian/ tetris background there.  Any plans for a version with new music at somepoint?  The tools are there on discord.  I used gameboy Tetris B music in SBK looks like it would be better suited in your snow level ;D

Yeah, I had a look at that, but got completely stuck. I guess that's too advanced for me.  :(

MKDSmaster91

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2020, 08:16:13 am »
No, but I'll include a complete savefile you can load if you'd like to have everything available from the start.

I have a patch that makes 150cc/Hard Mode and Special Cup available from the start on discord (if you're interested) so people wouldn't have to beat all cups on 100cc/Normal mode to unlock Hard mode. I've tried it on some SMK hacks like Pro Edition and Super Baldy Kart and they've worked without a problem.

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2020, 03:13:04 am »
Yeah, I knew that one existed but decided against it because I wanted to give players an incentive to play by having something unlocked. But on second thought, most players will want to try hard mode and special cup right away. So I think I'll implement this patch after all. Thanks for the heads up!  :)

MKDSmaster91

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2020, 03:14:07 pm »
I'm glad I can help! :thumbsup:

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2020, 08:09:06 am »
One of the unique features of Epic Racers is the unique track design of several tracks.



On this track the start of the drivers is separated. Half of the field is starting on the left finish line, while the other is starting on the right. Thus you have to keep an eye on both sides while driving to know how nearby your competitors from the other side are. Getting the A.I. and position numbering right on this track was a lot of work, but now it works flawlessly.  :)

Another difficult aspect on these kind of tracks is that both sides should have the exact same ground to cover, to make sure to no side has an advantage by starting either left or right. I rigorously tested this by driving in time trial on top speed and adjusting the track accordingly to the lap times. In the end I got to lap times that are virtually the same whether you start on the left or right side.  :)

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2020, 11:12:09 am »
With all the focus on the new GP track designs, we might forget that Epic Racers is also about Epic Battles! In my design for the battle tracks I went with layouts that resembled the original game. Every battle ground requires rethinking your strategy, as they all have some unique features. In one track you might be able to use the water to your advantage. While on the snow track you need to keep in mind that the you can only jump one way over the walls, you don't want a surprise attack to hit you when your opponent jumps on you all of sudden. Just as with The Impala Battles, I hope old-school Mario Kart battlers will find something enjoyably new in these new battle arena's!  :)








Dirtbag

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2020, 05:15:37 pm »
The battle maps are looking fun.  Right balance of open space but with cover well being different enough to make them intriguing.

I've just got a working prototype of a demo creator tool I've writen if you're interested in custom demos for this hack swing by the discord, I know you currently have them disabled but creating demos is no problem now.

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2020, 09:53:18 am »
Cool! I'll check on the Discord. Though, I think I will keep the demo's off for Epic Racers. I find it cleaner without the demo's. But thanks for the reminder!  :)

Ok Impala!

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Ok Impala!
Re: Super Mario Kart - Epic Racers
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2020, 02:09:21 am »
And the official release is here! We hope you enjoy our work! If you like it, please consider leaving a review for other players!  :)

Link: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5514/