We're joined by top-tier racing developers Vector Unit once again to discuss their multi-platform racer Riptide GP: Renegade Vector's CEO Matt Small!
Check out our review for Riptide GP: Renegade here!
Matt Small: We love the dynamic, always-changing racing surface of water-racers. With roads it’s always the same, but with water anything can change it, the other racers, or hazards like explosions or water-machinery. Plus it looks great with reflections and tons of particles flying everywhere. It just feels very unique compared to a road-racer.
MS: There’s always been a kind of unspoken back story to the Riptide series in our minds, about the world being flooded but not completely destroyed. It’s like an optimistic post-apocalypse where the world is flooded but people just adapt and, hey, since the world is flooded why not race rocket-powered jetskis on it? But with Renegade we wanted to introduce this idea of racing in places you’re not supposed to, so the idea of getting kicked out of the league came from that. We also wanted to introduce new characters, and the story sort of blossomed from this idea of racing against a series of bosses. Of course it turned out to be way more involved than we originally thought it would, but it was really fun to work on it.
MS: Tricks work well for the “motocross” style gameplay, and the fact that you have a character sitting there right on top of the hydrojet just cries out for fun animations.
MS: The Switch and traditional mobile devices are really similar in some ways. The biggest difference is that the Switch can, well…”switch” between control modes so fluidly. So you have have it docked, and pull it out and play it handheld, and detach the Joy-Con controllers and play them together or individually sideways. And you have to just handle all that and make the game fun for every variation. It’s challenging, but it is also really fun to work with.
MS: For us, we always try to tell a story with every race track. It might be something really simple, like you start in a shiny city downtown mall, and then drop through tunnels into an old abandoned flooded city, and then out into the open ocean — there’s a flow there, which sort of tells the story of cities being flooded and destroyed and rebuilt, and it all happens in the background while you’re racing, and it might not even register but it helps create excitement and context for the action. Of course on top of that you have to try and maintain a variety of interesting turns and straightaways — but assuming you’ve got all of that figured out, you still need to tell a story.
MS: I think racing is a good fit for mobile because the experience is short and exciting. You don’t need to spend an hour leveling up your character or working on your skill tree. You just jump in, race, and you’re done. At the same time, the controls work well with mobile touch screen and tilt-accelerometer controls. [Also], racing games are challenging in the free to play world of mobile gaming — most of the super-successful mobile games are not racers. That’s why for now at least we’ve kept the Riptide games premium.