Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sumo Digital Q & A's, Not Bad...

Hey guys, I hate to play the role of "news reporter" (as opposed to news analysis/pundit) but here's the new Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed trailer.

Wow, there's an After Burner track. You can see it in the video--it's just like the first stage of the game (nice and blue). That, OutRun, Virtua Fighter, Shenmue--it's nice to see AM2 games get some appreciation again. This can only mean Daytona USA 1/2, Scud Race, and Sega Rally, yeahhhhh!!! There's also Samba de Amigo, Space Channel 5, and Skies of Arcadia tracks too.

Already mentioned it, but here's the Sumo Digital AMA thread and I got the chance to ask DarthSol a few questions (page 133).  The thread is huge--it's been around since May so I couldn't dig up everything (maybe later). I can't say the answers for me are that great but what can you say. If he's reading this then thanks for putting up with my dumb questions!

1. What exactly was the rationale/influence behind this game? Or who came up with these Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing games and why? I know there's Mario Kart but let's put that aside. Was there this huge desire from the fans (like me) wishing for Sega to make a new racing game again (I know this is Sumo but close enough)? Or was there a desire to see more games celebrate Sega's roots so you guys decided "What the hell, let's do both?" I suppose this is a good answer but any more details I forgot would be great.

We'd done two games, we went 'Let's do a third' and went from there. We decided more could be done with a racer with land, air and sea in a single track, which meant Transforming vehicles. Initial design was probably written on the back of a beer mat - and we've been figuring it out ever since!

2. Some of my friends who are more into the "hardcore racing" side of Sega like OutRun & Daytona are concerned about the game's framerate. Should we be worried about the FPS dropping below 30 in the final build?

We're aiming for a locked 30fps, unless you're on PC of course. I'd love it to be 60, but the water alone means that's unlikely.

2.5 EVEN MORE, I guess I should reiterate the previous question. The guys are concerned that the game will cater more towards the Sega fanbase rather than the racing fanbase, hence this isn't as "good" of a racing game as it could be. Could you reaffirm to me and the other guys that this is still a serious racer, just once more to get them to ease up on the game?

We're aiming to make a pretty awesome SEGA Arcade racer based on all manner of classic SEGA franchises. It's been done by the same team as ASR, and I have the Lead Designer of Blur and PGR3 and 4 working full time on the project. This time we're going for a slightly older look so not to distress the hardcore. Not sure what more I can do to convince anyone really!

3. How much effort has been put into balancing the character tiers? In the first game, my favorite character was Jacky Bryant but he was dead last in tiers. I always played as him online though but barely kept up with the Sonic/Shadow abusers :S

It's no secret that we've brought in volunteers to do a better job of the balancing. We're committed to getting it right. We want to avoid tiers and there are things in the game that make that even less likely to happen.

4. How about backwards drifting? Has that been nerfed or not? My preference is towards removing it (seeing as it was unintentional, I think) but what do I know.

Not in. Wasn't supposed to be in the original either and we very nearly killed it with an update.

5. Any new content pertaining to Daytona USA, OutRun (besides the bonus track), Crazy Taxi, Sega Rally, Virtua Racing, or Scud Race?

Read the first post in this thread. If it's not revealed, we can't and won't discuss these kind of things!

6. Has Yu Suzuki, Toshihiro Nagoshi, or the AM2 team sounded off on this game? Do you think they will seeing as they were also responsible for OutRun 2 and other Sega racers in the past?

We work closely with SOJ. Some of the people mentioned may have played it, I'm not at liberty to say :P

7. What will Danica's character look like in the game (realistic, cartoony) and what will she be driving? I don't ask this because I'm attracted to her, I just wonder how she will fit into the scope of the game.

Again, you'll need to wait and see. We should have footage out shortly for this though!

EDIT: More questions & answers!!!  Here's what I got:

1. I know there's drifting in cars, but what is the equivalent boats and planes? The ability to do stunts for boosts I suppose? Or can you "drift" in planes/boats too?

Each surface has its own way of handling ...like in the air a tumble left or right can get you right back on the ideal racing line... But yeah, they all have 'drifting' of a sort, but it's not identical in each form. 

2. What are your tasks & responsibilities pertaining to the game (anybody who answers)? Probably already been answered but since I'm into game development, I'm wondering how I can relate to your tasks at the moment? I'm a programmer BTW.

S0L is "Guardian of the Library of All Knowledge", and I think he is known by mortals as "Executive Producer" (correct me if I'm wrong buddy) He is also, the "Argumentor Persuivant" ...the upholder of the forums. If anyone has fought for the wishes of the forums, it is S0L!

I am commonly called "the Twit with Part of a Crayon Stuck up his Nose" and also known amongst the beasts of burden as Lead Artist/Creative Director. My powers are weak and age shrivelled, like an old current which fell from a cake many, many years ago, disappearing down the back of the sofa... A old and desiccated thing. 

SumoSpartan is known only as "Tim". A shy mysterious creature, he flits mainly from dark corner to dark corner, fixing design issues where he is needed. If Commisioner Gordon shines the "Tim" lantern onto the night sky, you'll probably end up with Batman turning up wondering what the hell that shape is. And then "Tim" will arrive with his powers of 'creating unsolvable puzzles' to bamboozle all! He survives mainly on a diet of gingerbread men.

3. How would you say the atmosphere at Sumo Digital is right now? I suppose everyone is excited but are they exhausted rushing to get the game done? Would you say everyone is serious or are they laughing & having fun? Dumb question but I'm just interested in you guys and hope all is well.

Everyone is working hard at the moment. Well it seems we always are... But on the whole enjoying it. Lots of late nights and weekends... No home life, stress, depression, waiting for that comet with our names on to end it all, but, yeah. On the whole, good clean fun.

No more multiple questions now guys.... It's hard work! Lol.

Take what you want out of this, but I guess it will reassure you all a bit.  Yeah, me posing in my Daytona 2 avatar & signature...the Daytona Universe is still omnipresent.  NOTE, if you want to post questions too, only ask three at a time (he's adamant about that now).  Also if I ask more questions, I'll let you know.


  1. That trailer had me laughing. Reading that they turned the aircraft carrier from After Burner into a stage, I had to see it to believe it. Now that's something you'd see in a Sega game.

    I trust the guys at Sumo, they haven't really let me down. ASR wasn't the Daytona killer but I still enjoyed it. Maybe if they get the chance to make a new Sega racer while building on the foundations of the classics. Being passed the torch or something.

  2. Yeah, the Afterburner stage caught me off guard--Sumo is crazy (in a good way) to make a stage out of that. Gotta trust Sumo since Sega isn't going to make racing games themselves. Sonic Riders was flawed, Nagoshi-San only cares about Yakuza, Yu Suzuki is AWOL, and AM2 has released two mediocre racers--Sega Race TV and R-Tuned. Not good so it's all down to Sumo.