This is an interview with Super Smashing Great Games and a review of their first game Foreveracers
How did the name Super Smashing Great Games come about?
There’s a mix of influences. Initially, it was a bit of false bravado, and a play on the old school game name conventions like ‘super mega ultra. It wasn’t intentionally a play on the Jim Bowen catchphrase, though it was possibly a subliminal influence.
It wasn’t really intended to be a serious name, but by the time we came to set up the official company, we preferred it to any alternatives we could think of.
How many of you are there working on Foreveracers, and is it a
full time endeavour?
There are just two of us, Ben and Michael. We’re working on the game in our spare time, around the day jobs, family etc.
What is your experience in the games industry?
Neither of us have any experience of working in the games industry, though we do both develop non-gaming software in our day jobs.
How did you get into game programming?
Michael: My aunt used to have a Commodore 64 when I was growing up and she used to teach me how to program in BASIC. Since then I’ve found making games more fun than playing them.
Ben: For almost as long as I’ve been playing games, I was dreaming about making my own. I first dabbled in ‘basic’ way back on the Spectrum. However, I didn’t really have the patience to get beyond beginner level, and as game dev moved away from the ‘bedroom coder’ I lost interest. Now that has come back around again, and stuff like XNA and then Unity helped get me fired up for making my own games again.
How did the concept for Foreveracers start?
We wanted to make a multiplayer racing game, with no faff or waiting around before or after races, just endless driving. We also want to use wobbly physics to make just driving around fun on its own.
What were your influences for it?
To be honest there was no real specific game influence, not in the sense of wanting to ‘make a game like x’. While I’m sure people will be able to identify similarities with other games, we were really trying to make something different. Our super concise concept was “Multiplayer Postman Pat does Sega Rally”.
What have you struggled most with during its creation?
Probably just trying to keep the scope and spec manageable, trimming a lot of ideas and concepts just try to get the game ready for release without it taking the rest of our lives.
How difficult is getting a game onto Steam?
The game actually went through Greenlight while that was still in action, so it was a bit more awkward then than it is now when you just pay your money and you’re good to go. Fortunately a few indie websites and youtubers picked up the game when it was on greenlight (and the demo on itch.io) which really helped raise awareness during the greenlight.
Are you going down the early access route?
No. We felt it was best for us to try to create a small, well formed game, and release it for what is hopefully a fair price. We do still hope to develop the game further if there is enough interest, and all extra gameplay would be added for free, but we feel more comfortable asking people to buy the game for what it is, rather than a promise of what it might become.
What additional features are you hoping to add to the game?
As a driving game, extra tracks and vehicles are an obvious addition, and it’s something we’d want to do. We also promised a split screen mode in the greenlight campaign, which got pushed to one side during development, so we will be trying to bring that back asap. However, what we think is most unique about Foreveracers, and what we’d really like to expand, are the special challenge modes. We’ve got a number of ideas for those that we think will help mix things up and could be a lot of fun to play.
How will you measure the success of Foreveracers after release?
What are your expectations, if any?
We really don’t have any idea what will happen. We’re a new, unfunded, part time indie dev releasing our first game. Our expectations are basically zero. Our hope is just that anyone who does buy it, enjoys it and doesn’t feel let down by it. The benefit of working on this around our day job, is that we don’t ‘need’ to make a lot of money, so we really can judge the success around the feedback to the game, rather than just trying to hit some number. Though obviously it would be really nice to sell a million copies too! 😊
Foreveracers can be found on Steam here http://store.steampowered.com/app/548450/Foreveracers/ and is available on Windows, Mac OS X, & SteamOS/Linux. Price is £4.79 (launch discount takes it to £3.99)
I’ll be totally honest and say that I wasn’t sure what to make of Foreveracers when I first tried it. It is not a serious racer that focuses on getting the perfect driving line, and the handling of the cars does take getting used to, but it is clear that a lot of love and time has been put into the game.
The game offers something similar to Burnout Paradise in that all the tracks that you race on are right there in the one open world location, all you need to do is drive through the start line to begin that circuit. When you finish the lap you are instantly given a live world rank based on your time, and your ghost from that run starts the lap again so you can try beating it again.
If you think you could do better in a different vehicle (there are 6 in total to try) you can quickly change your car in the pause menu. Fancy trying a different track? Again you can quickly change your choice in the pause menu.
Even if you aren’t looking to better your own times it is a pleasure to just cruise around the map and experience the day and night cycle that is in the game (accompanied by car headlights so that you can see your way around). You can also be on the look out for some of the hidden and reversed tracks that make up a total count of more than a dozen different courses to try your hand at.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to experience the multiplayer action as no servers were available when I was playing the game, but from a few videos that I’ve seen on Youtube it looks to add a fair amount of rivalry to the races.
As it is the game is a lot of fun and is different enough from other driving games to justify owning.