TL;DR - I like driving my homies around, and I want to do so in Towers without having to re-enact Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Golf carts. In the plaza.
That’s right! Time to talk about vehicles again. There was a discussion on it in the TU Discord some weeks ago, so I’ve been charging my spirit bomb since then and I’m unleashing it here to hopefully get some support. This is going to be long-winded, and I’m presenting it as an argument that covers every angle I can remember from the discord discussion because there was resistance to the idea from Mac himself, so I’m going rambo on this one. I want to prove the merit of the concept without a shadow of a doubt.
What brought this about was that I recently acquired the milestone RC Golf Cart, and it’s pretty cool. For those that haven’t seen, it plants a miniature version of your player model in the driver seat, and if you desire, one single friend can hop in as a tiny passenger. As nice as that is, I feel that there’s tons of wasted potential by not just having regular sized golf carts drive around the lobby. Vehicles are an idea that have come through this forum several times, but the game was always in a state where such things seemed too far off. Now, the ‘vehicle base’ has been getting tuned for some time, and there’s already an unlockable speedboat.
It would offer tons of utility to players beyond simply being fun and fast, and I genuinely believe the pros overwhelmingly outweigh any cons.
Giving players a means to move together would make navigating the plaza more social.
Movement in the lobby has a lot of freedom, verticality, and unfortunate choppiness that makes going from A to B an act that, by its own nature, puts extremely wide physical gaps between players. If there were a golf cart that can seat a handful of people, suddenly, the act of act moving around the lobby can be given to just one person as all the passengers are passively participating in it together. Consider how much piling into a car to go somewhere is a such a big part of hanging out IRL. I want that feeling in Towers as we all pile into a cart for a restock-trip to the bait shop then change fishing locations on the other side of the map, or we all roll up to the club once that gets added.
Currently, trying to lead/follow people ‘on foot’ is a humongous pain in the ass.
I can’t be the only one that feels this way. The temptation for people to blast off with their jet packs to get somewhere faster is far too great. It quickly shoots you out of sight, out of microphone range, and often, your location on the scoreboard will be labeled with the vague and unhelpful “Great Outdoors”. Not to mention so many areas of the plaza make you difficult to see at night. Give folks a mobile platform where one can just wrangle them together and this is no longer a problem. I’ve seen groups of random players just fizzle out because they’ll get separated for this reason and can’t be bothered to reach each other again. I expect the lobby group system to mitigate this somewhat , but not until player glow/outline is fully integrated.
People will be less inclined to use obnoxious player models of cars if you give them a real vehicle to drive.
People will always want the genuine thing over an imitation. Give players a cart with which to zip around, and they’ll stop roleplaying as an enormous car without animations that just have the same boring functions as walking. Not only that, but there are already many restrictions in place with where you can and can’t use certain items (including RCs!), but currently no control over where you can use a disruptively large player model. I’m well aware that size restrictions on custom player models are going to be developed, but once that’s implemented, that’s also going to effectively eliminate the timeless act of racing around the plaza while micspamming eurobeat.
It would be good for groups who just want to stick to themselves.
Speaking from experience, many people are often playing in the plaza as a group with no intention of interacting with outsiders. A golf cart to seat these self-segregating players together as they move would be a perfect meld with upcoming features that are going to further facilitate these kinds of folks, such as the group system and private theaters.
It’d give players a faster means of travel .
This is probably most peoples’ first thought. As of right now, the only real ways to enhance your movement are flying over things with the jetpack or playing TONS of Virus to unlock Adrenaline. Sure, non-backer speed shoes are coming soon ™, and while I’m sure they’ll be plenty useful, they won’t provide the same social utility that riding together would, and will also share some of the same issues I’ve expressed with jetpacks.
It thematically fits with the plaza.
The accumulated elements in this game are extremely chaotic and eclectic, from the endless selection of foreign player models, to laser guns and jet packs in seemingly friendly areas. The plaza is like an island vacation resort town, and I can’t think of anything more fitting than leisurely cruising around on golf carts.
It’d improve the liveliness of the lobby.
This is something I feel is crucial for a self-described community game. While fishing has done a great deal towards making the lobbies feel more populated, this mostly applies to just clusters around designated fishing areas. I feel like the visual space occupied by some folks cruising around would do some good towards making larger open areas of the plaza feel less barren. It would also keep players on the ground where they’re visible, instead of acting like there’s Superman 64 rings to fly through everywhere.
Lobby 3’s layout is perfect for it.
The change from Lobby 2 to Lobby 3 removed tons of verticality from the plaza, making the topography virtually flat in all the main areas. Also, have you noticed? The map is composed of wide-pathed, radial sections all over. This place would be so pleasant to drive on that it’s a shame you can’t. I constantly see people switch to cars models and pretend to race in circles all over the map. Just look at it, there’s de facto tracks everywhere:
Lastly, this really goes without saying, but it would open a whole can of fun on the lobby’s ass. Passengers of the existing RC golf cart are already able to use their unlockable guns. Now you can commit drive-bys on a whole new level. You can pointlessly race around in circles in a more meaningful fashion. You could even give plaza tours to clueless new players and drive their asses directly to Rob’s Imports before they can even think to ask where you buy jetpacks.
Before addressing a criticism, I’d like to highlight something for people who haven’t had much experience using the RCs that can carry a passenger. Currently, they function as a mere toy for the driver, but can actually transport and drop off the passenger. When the driver stops using it, they instantly go back to the starting location where they were standing with the remote controller, but the passenger will be where the car last was.
Someone suggested that they could just retool RC cars to fulfill vehicular functions for the user as well. While I’d consider this an improvement, I would still find it ultimately unsatisfactory for a number of reasons:
1. Hunching over and trying to find the prompt to enter tiny RC toys is a pain in the ass. Every time (and I mean that) I tell someone to hop in, they have to stop and slowly approach by crouching as to not easily run past me, and circle around a couple times before managing to get in, and that sucks.
2. I want my gang and I to flex on people with our custom player models as we drive around, and RCs make us barely visible. This is something I’m especially invested in as a workshop contributor!! Seeing custom player models do goofy stuff keeps me going.
3. Shrinking folks down reduces a sometimes already pitiful presence of players in the plaza.
4. RCs are even less visible to each other because of their size in combination with the camera being pulled closer to the ground, making any interaction between two RCs (outside of condos designed for it) difficult.
5. Hypothetically, applying all this effort to just avoid having a regular cart feels silly and diminishes the “toyness” of the RC devices.
Assuming that ‘annoying’ in this context means ‘visually obstructive’, to that, I say, it doesn’t have to be! I will admit the RC golf cart is rather large when scaled up, as demonstrated by the Milk Man character that occasionally spawns, but I will also say that this particular model is proportionally large and blocky. With effective designing to be sleeker and more compact, smaller 4 seater carts already exist IRL that barely take up more volume and area than the passengers within it. Look at the Super Cricket, or hell, most other modern golf carts.
I’d like to propose such an inspired design with a doodle I made:
Voilà! Something simple & small that says “Tower Unite” AND would have modeled headlights. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a catsack, but you get the idea.
And if you STILL think these benefits wouldn’t dramatically outweigh the possibility that it’d be annoying because “everyone has one”, just make it difficult to obtain, for example; making it a million units or two. It could be the crown jewel in a store that sells other vehicular bullshit like skateboards and segways (which have been suggested several times by other people). Hell, there’s an unused spot perfect for rolling out with a new whip right here.
So yeah, please, consider making some real golf carts.