Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Rosa Parks Of Racing Games

There's some more Sega All-Stars Racing stuff to talk about but we've talked about it for weeks now so let's mix things up a bit!

Anyway, at the gaming school I go to (I'll stop using its exact name...I'm tired of Google searches leading those directly to my site), the new class (cohort) is coming through.  And they are going the same stuff I did a year ago...working on games, hanging out, yada yada.  So last year, we pitched games for large teams to work on--our capstone games.  Like Battle Fortress Tortoise, the game I worked on.  Also Plushy Knight and Penned which I constantly ridiculed on this blog and (un)fortunately got my site a little publicity.

Again, pitches work in an American Idol style.  You pitch, it gets voted on, you move up the ranks from Top 30 to Top 10 to Top 5 to Top 3.  I pitched a racing game in less than 5 minutes.  Despite giving it 1000% effort and getting tons of compliments for it, it didn't even break through the first found.  I was greatly disappointed at the time but the main reason why it failed is because A. racing games are a hard genre to sell (no kidding) and B. artists aren't fond of designing cars.  Okay, fine, that's what Super Sprint is for.  I make my own damn racing game without you guys.

Let's fast-forward to TODAY.  So I watched this presentation given by this other guy whom I've never met before.  And he pitches a driving game called Warp Derby.  It's basically Twisted Metal meets Borderlands meets Portal. It's a great pitch that went last out of 10 (the "pimp spot").  And it handily made it into the Top 5 so that means a team of 15 people are going to work on a driving game.

lol wut?  Has the school finally loosened up to making a serious racing...err, driving game?  I WAS A YEAR TOO EARLY!!!  I'm happy (not totally stoked...I mean, it's still a wreck-em-up with shades of brown) but my reaction is this:

Then I realized I'm Rosa Parks on the bus.  I made three racing games last year: 30 Seconds or Less, A.R.I., and Super Sprint, which is three more than the previous record set by anyone else.  In other words, out of seven previous cohorts, no one made a serious racing game until I came along.  You have no idea how proud I am of myself.  Maybe I am overstating my "influence" but it's fun to pretend I did something important so go along with it.

As for the other 4 games that got picked, I can't make fun of them (sorry!!!) they are:

1. Play as a Corgi with a little girl who goes on Indiana Jones adventures.
2. M.C. Escher land in which you rotate 3D objects and walk along them on a 2D plane (like Fez).
3. Colorful 2D platformer in which this little alien-rat thing jumps on blocks to the beat of music.
4. Some Shadows of the Colossus game but with robots and a grappling hook (the name of the game is Grapple...ok I'll poke fun at that).

Ok, that's about it but I got one word to say to the Warp Derby team.  And this is if you want to make it through Vertical Slice in 3 months (2 games get cut).  Don't make the driving boring.  I mean, you can make a car in Unity or UDK with wheels and all that.  That's a nice feature.  But since driving is the MAIN part of the game, if you just run with the default car handling code, it'll fail.  Take care to instill a sense of speed and make cruis'n around fun.  Then add lasers, portals, all that good s***.  Just like the A.R.I. game in which I iterated over the moon rover's handling again and again and again until people liked it.  The other four games MUST fail for Warp Derby to succeed!!!  Ok, that's terrible but what else am I gonna say?  Everybody is a winner?

Speaking of which, someday I might just crack and start my own 3D racing game.  Super Sprint was cool.  But I'm thinking we need a damn Daytona USA 2/Scud Race remake or something in Unity/UDK (here's some Unity examples) so I can prove the game still kicks ass today.  I just need artists to make the assets and...*crickets*...dammit, this is going nowhere fast.  Back to Super Sprint and wallowing in my own tears!

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