With just under five days left to go, The ’90s Arcade Racer Kickstarter has progressed in a major way. Not only has it met its modest £10,000 goal, but it was just announced that Nicalis would be bringing the game to the Wii U. We caught up with the mastermind behind the project, Antonis Pelekanos, to talk all things ’90s Arcade Racer, including the inspiration for the title, what happened to the colorful racers of yesteryear, the challenges of stuffing multiple classes into a single racing game and what the developer would like to tackle next.
[Hardcore Gamer] From Sonic to Virtua Scud USA, you’ve got an obvious love for Sega. If you had all the programming time in the world, are there any other franchises that have fallen by the wayside you’d like to tackle?
[Antonis Pelekanos] That’s easy, I would love to do a Streets of Rage game!
[HG] You’ve got three different cars with very different handling styles in 90s Arcade Racer. What challenges does this bring to the track design?
[AP] The first two car classes have a rather similar drifting handling style, it’s the Formula that’s considerably different but in any case they all have something in common, they must all go in to corners at very high speeds and the tracks have been designed with this in mind. So they are quite wide and with not a lot of sharp corners, it’s more about long straights and long sweeping turns.
[HG] Sega’s racers tend towards bright, upbeat environments, and they always feel like they’re jam-packed with toys even when racing past a couple trees. How tricky have you found dressing up the race course, both in terms of balancing the eye-candy and coming up with fun props?
[AP] It’s not tricky at all, it’s the most fun part of development. The trickiest part is finalizing the track design, terrain and making sure it’s fun to drive around. After that it’s fun having the freedom to add things that I consider to be “cool“. It’s a change from working in games where that kind of freedom is limited and everything needs to pass through various approval stages.
[HG] Hyper-cheesy pop song sung by an impossibly cheerful vocalist? Please?
[AP] There have been some people that are interested in doing the music but nothing is set in stone yet.
[HG] The scope of the project seems to have expanded since the Kickstarter was created. What’s been happening behind the scenes? And was it a result of the press the Kickstarter got when it launched, or something that had been in the works beforehand?
[AP] I will have more on that in a few days but yes, this was a direct result of the attention the project got from Kickstarter.
[HG] On a sunny day, when I look out my window or even actually go outside, the world’s level of color saturation looks much more like 90s Arcade Racer than the dull browns and greys that so many games seem to love so much. Any thoughts on where the color went?
[AP] I’m not sure about that one. I can only assume that publishers see that gritty/realistic games tend to sell more and are easier to market, at least in the west. There have been a few big budget games with bright aesthetics like Uncharted, but I would love to see more.
For more on The ’90s Arcade Racer, head over to the Kickstarter.