|Composer(s)||Gabe Fink, Mark Knight|
BeamNG.drive is an open-world vehicle simulation video game developed and published by Bremen-based video game developer BeamNG GmbH. The game features soft-body physics, which simulates realistic damage to vehicles. The game was released into Steam Early Access for Microsoft Windows on 29 May 2015.
On 28 May 2012, BeamNG released a YouTube video titled "Revolutionary soft-body physics in CryEngine3". Originally, BeamNG.drive was to be based on CryEngine 3, but its use in a driving game uncovered numerous bugs, leading development to be rolled over to Torque.
BeamNG's website, beamng.com, was opened on 8 May 2012 to deliver news of their development of the simulator.
On 15 June 2018, BeamNG announced a partnership with Camshaft Software, with the addition of an exporter feature to Automation, Camshaft's car company tycoon game. This allows players to export vehicles made within Automation as fully driveable vehicles in BeamNG.drive.
BeamNG.drive features six modes:
- Scenarios, which are missions that vary in complexity, difficulty, and goals;
- Campaigns, which are collections of small scenarios pertaining to specific themes;
- Freeroam, where the player can drive (or crash) several different vehicles in an environment of choice;
- Time Trials, where the player selects the vehicle, the map, the course, and aims for the best time;
- Bus Routes, which puts the player behind the wheel of a bus, shuttling passengers along a specific route;
- Light Runner, which is essentially a time trial, but in a setting reminiscent of Tron; and
- Track Builder, where players can piece together and drive on modular tracks. The track-building program is not restricted to this mode and can be launched in Freeroam in any environment.
BeamNG.drive uses a real-time soft-body physics structure to simulate its vehicles. Algorithms have been written for the physics equations to be carried out. It relies heavily on coding in Lua, and uses packets of local data using the Lua network system while the game is running. The game's engine constantly calculates physics equations and problems in real-time during gameplay.
Vehicles in the game consist of a soft-body node-beam structure similar to those in Rigs of Rods. The physics engine simulates a network of interconnected nodes and beams, which combine to form an invisible skeleton of a vehicle with realistic weights and masses. In terms of soft-body physics, vehicles realistically flex and deform as stresses to the skeleton, such as impacts from collisions, are applied.
Jack Stewart of BBC mentioned that BeamNG.drive "has received interest from the film industry to model vehicle stunts, so that they can be prototyped and tested exhaustively – but cheaply – before a stunt driver smashes up a car on set." Polygon's Nick Robinson lauded the game's simulated physics and user-created content support, leading him to create a 38-episode video series for Polygon, "Car Boys", in which he and Griffin McElroy spotlighted new BeamNG.drive content each week.
- "BeamNG.drive – BeamNG". Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- https://www.ign.com/articles/2012/10/01/the-most-impressive-physics-engine-youve-never-seen, 'In October 2011 the Rigs of Rods team decided the potential for the sort of soft-body physics on show in their game was too great to ignore.', retrieved January 12, 2020
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- Feldman, Brian. "Car Boys, the Hilarious and Terrifying Car-Crash Series, Is the Best Show".
- Orlove, Raphael. "There Is Only One YouTube Channel Worth Watching And It's Car Boys".