GRAVITAZ blew the doors off its Kickstarter, and we’ve already hit 14% – fantastic! To celebrate, we’re unveiling some new information. Weapon details, track design theories… maybe even some new swag for supporters.
We had a few prototype vinyl bumper stickers made up, and they look pretty great. What better way to celebrate a racing game than by slapping it onto the back end of your car? Images of the fresh vinyl are available here: http://imgur.com/a/bkPBa
We’ve also answered some questions from our fans, a sample of which is available below. Most of these have come from the SomethingAwful.com forums, where we’re fielding any and all questions: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3477930
Question: “What would your response be to naysayers who’d say this is just another Wipeout ripoff?” – from ‘Urdnot Fire’
Answer: There are two areas in which we’re really focusing our differentiation: weapons, and track design.
Weapons in racing games have always been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of effectiveness. A missile fires out, hits a car — yay — and then your opponent stops dead in his tracks, you can’t swerve in time, and all you’ve done is knock yourself back. Not fun. So, skilled players just treat the weapons as recharges and instantly absorb them; mid- to high-level play might as well not have weapons at all.
We believe that weapons in a racing game ought to affect racing. Rather than a missile that stops opponents dead in front of you, how about a weapon that shoves them out of the way? One that slings you ahead of people? A power-up that lets you bull through a crowd, knocking everyone back without hurting your standing? Weapons should be strategic, with a real sense of risk and reward. We’re steering well clear of anything like Mario Kart’s infamous Blue Shell, or heavy “rubberbanding” physics, but… there’s a lot that could be done to make weapons more relevant to the genre.
Track design is another element that’s gotten a bit weird. If you look back at Wipeout XL, or Hi-Octane, or any of the earlier racers, you’ll see wider tracks. There’s plenty of space, plenty of lines to take, and as a result, they were fun for just about anyone. Great players nailed the perfect route, novice players swung a bit wide, and you could dart around opponents and get a true sense of jockeying for position. Fast forward to current day: track widths have been cut nearly in half (by making the cars twice as big visually, amongst other tricks), and the experience has been carved down to just high-end players optimizing lines in tight alleys.
We’re going to widen the tracks back out, and work on giving players a sense of choice and risk in the paths they choose. We’re also looking at adding shortcuts back to the genre: tactically advantageous side paths that you may or may not want to run depending on your skill level. “Well, I could try and stick that thin path up there, but man, if I fall…” or “Ok, those crunchers just went up, I can make it!”