Tired of waiting for someone else to do it, Bill Borman has set out to create a vehicle combat game that allows for truly impactful customization. He's aptly entitled his game Scraps and is now looking for funding via Kickstarter, with a minimum goal set at $23,000 NZD (check Google for the conversion rate to USD).
Essentially, Scraps is all about having the creative freedom to make your vehicle absolutely whatever you want it to be. No matter how well or terribly it ends up functioning, Scraps lets you build your vehicle from the ground up. It literally has no engine before you slap one (or a dozen) on there! Proving just how crazily off-kilter these builds can get, the campaign contains a link to a page featuring some rather eccentric fanmade designs—a tank, a battleship, and even a Trojan horse—built out of the freely available Scraps vehicle editor demo.
Scraps is to be a "primarily multiplayer game," with a solo player's only option being AI opponents, and initially Deathmatches and Team Deathmatches, which Borman mentions are reminiscent of Twisted Metal, will be the modes available. You'll be given a limited supply of funds with which to build your deadly machine and then face-off against your opponents in, presumably, tense combat or hilarious failure shows. A sandbox mode in which you can test vehicle builds without any sort of monetary constraints will also be available, and Borman says he'd like to add race modes somewhere down the line, provided Scraps does well enough post-release.
I tried out the demo builder for a bit myself, and I can attest to Borman's claims that the layout of your vehicle will drastically effect how it handles. The editor works on a pretty simple drag-and-place system, and I haphazardly threw engines, weapons, and power sources at the empty base of my first vehicle, turning it into a monster of an automobile with machine guns and cannons firing in every direction (viewable to your right). When I took it for a drive out in the hilly test zone, this thing couldn't even swerve from side to side for more than a few seconds before toppling over, even on fairly level ground. Though it was pretty amusing to watch its machine guns firing off in all directions as the physics engine wreaked havoc on my incredibly impractical design.
To make sure that clumsiness was actually due to my atrocious design choices and not simply an inherent issue, I made another vehicle with pretty much the exact opposite set up. This one I built to be aerodynamic, with a few engines alongside sparse weaponry and power sources. This thing could gain a lot of momentum on a straight-away and didn't come close to tumbling when I swerved harshly. As far as I can tell, Scraps' promise to let your creativity be the decider of how your vehicle handles is certainly not an empty one.