We love racing games here at Greenlit Gaming, and Gas Guzzlers has been on our radar for some time thanks to its rockin’ style and intense gameplay. We wanted to learn more about the game, and our conversation with the game’s developer Gamepires turned out to be one of our most interesting ever.
GLG: Gas Guzzlers isn’t a ‘normal’ racing game. What inspired you to create such an interesting racer?
Gamepires: Well, to be honest, we at Gamepires are great fans of “Death Rally” by Remedy and that’s where the story started. We even consider among us that GG is sort of real “Death rally” successor (not that we are worthy of it, but merely hoping that one day we will be ), or at least how it should have been made when it was released for PC, instead of just being ported from the iPhone. WTF, c’mon, things should work the other way round: iPhone games are not meant to be ported on PCs!
Anyway, we believed it would be nice to make a next-generation combat racer with cool shiny cars that could be totally destroyed in the process of racing.
The next thing we wanted to do is to step away from the classic arcade style of racing (as the ones from Twisted Metal or Mario Kart Racing), and create the game where you need skills to stay alive. Our semi-arcade physics is quite unique in the world of racing games and does the job really well. We have successfully spiced up the arcade style of gameplay with a touch of rally racing and it works perfectly. If you take in consideration that Gas Guzzlers is our first racing game, this is quite a big achievement for us, but then again, some of us here didn’t get laid during the making of GG so I think there is still some room left for progress.
GLG: What is your favorite game mode personally?
Gamepires: That’s an easy one! I enjoy playing Gas Guzzlers in the multiplayer mode, especially the deathmatch and battle race. We have added the deathmatch and last-man-standing in the single player campaign, along with bots for the multiplayer mode, which will be available free for download in the next week or two. I definitely had the best time when we were testing the deathmatch with steering wheels (many thanks to Logitech for supporting us ) since it was sort of tedious and a lot of fun at the same time! After 30 minutes the room was filled with the sweet odor of testosterone (for those of you who have seen any of the Police Academy movies, that’s the smell you can find in the Blue Oyster Club ) and we had some serious muscle pain the next day.
GLG: Getting to the finish line first is still the most important element of the game. How have you balanced the game so that no single weapon completely dominates?
Gamepires: We have spent many hours fine-tuning the weapons. Most of them should be familiar to any gamer who has played some sort of deathmatch mode in games such as UT or Quake. You can enjoy blasting your opponents with shotguns, rocket launchers, miniguns and other weapons. Unlike fps games, in racing games everything is about handling and handling is about being able to control your car. Everybody can grab a gun and enter a sort of FPS arena, but in racing games you first have to learn how to move around – how to drive your car. And when you add weapons, well, things tend to become a little bit complicated. I’m saying this because all the weapons in Gas Guzzlers unleash projectiles with a certain amount of force. So if you use a shotgun at close range, for instance, you will inflict a lot of damage together with the huge amount of force, and probably move your opponent out of the way, but if your target is far away, then you’ll probably do more damage with harsh language than with shotgun pellets . And that’s not all because we have grenades, cluster bombs, nukes, guided missiles, blowup dolls, mad chickens, an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression and if that’s not enough, I really don’t know what is .
More experienced players will probably notice that powerful ammo takes more cargo space so you have fewer precious shots, so sometimes it is wiser to buy a heavier vehicle because it can sustain more force and stay on the track. However, there is a cure for each weapon. If you are afraid of getting blown away by someone’s railgun, then you just have to pick up the shield power-up and it will protect you from any kind of force. These are just some of the details of the gameplay, but it was very important for us that the combat part works fine so we took care of every possible detail.
GLG: What was the biggest challenge you faced in the development of Gas Guzzlers?
Gamepires: Since this was our first racing game, everything presented a challenge. We developed it on our engine with our own tools, and when we started, we didn’t have anything. First, we had to make a decent rendering engine and tools for the artists. It took us 6 months to put together some sort of UI, which we could use to make levels and test things. The rest of the game was done in approximately 10 months. The average number of developers on the project was 8 so we had to work overtime a lot to compensate for the lack of manpower. I’d say that the most difficult part of the project was to stay mentally sane. Just for the record, although we still don’t have the “undo” option in our tools, we have successfully proved that games can be done without reverting the stuff back It can be frustrating from time to time to lose your work but luckily for us, there are all sorts of medications available on the Internet, which can bring a smile to your face in just a few seconds (and simultaneously decrease the size of your testicles, though ).
What I’d like to mention is that this game was made with a lot of positive emotions as many other indie games out there; it cannot match the production of AAA titles, but is still very close. Yeah, sure, we lack a storyline, a bunch of cut sequences and endless boring menus with options falling around, but then again, you should ask yourself: do these things really matter? Do you have to pay big bucks for them? I don’t think so. Games are all about having a good time and enjoying the ride. “Gas Guzzlers” is the game which doesn’t take itself seriously, but it will surely bring a smile on your face (and hopefully not reduce the other parts of your body ) and that’s whole point.
GLG: How did you decide which cars to have in the game? And who came up with their clever names?
Gamepires: As you have probably noticed by now, we are pretty goofy developers and that has greatly affected the content of the game. Although “Gas Guzzlers” is a game that doesn’t take itself seriously ( wait, have I mentioned this before? I don’t recall ) we actually did some serious brainstorming when choosing which vehicles to include in the game. The brainstorming included the abuse of various substances, indecent behavior, obscene language, binge drinking, a couple of eastern European strippers, one rubber chicken and a couple of law enforcement representatives, who joined us later in the evening. We concluded that, since Gas Guzzlers is a racing game, it would be cool to include some of the classic racing cars from the whole world. Gas Guzzlers actually features some of the most successful cars from the modern racing history. Most of the cars in the game were at some point the best racing cars in their time, so even though our game will not challenge your intellect a lot, it might surprise you here or there And we are probably the only racing game which has three-wheeler as a racing vehicle We had to pay a tribute somehow to our favorite sitcom “Only Fools and Horse(Power)s”
Regarding their names, well, they have been changed to protect the innocent Actually we did have a brainstorming session to select the best names for the cars, but strange things happened and we had a sort of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ moment and we are still not ready to share what exactly happened with the public.
GLG: The music in the game is awesome!
Gamepires: We are really satisfied how things turned out with the music. I think that the soundtrack is solid and suits the game nicely. However, you should know that it wasn’t our first choice. Initially, we intended to hire Justin Bieber to do music for Gas Guzzlers, but he had a really tight schedule so he regretfully turned us down. Since we spent the budget intended for the music on the necessities for the brainstorming in which we had to decide what to do with the music; we were left with only one available option and that was to place the recording equipment next to a nearby mental institution to record music therapy sessions, which supposedly helps in the treatment of patients. We still hope that for the sequel we will be able to hire Justin or at least make recordings of his voice along with the background sounds from a mental institution. I believe that this sort of compilation would be an excellent choice of music for everyone who likes to drive and shoot from cars.
GLG: What does the future hold for Gas Guzzlers?
Gamepires: Well, we had some brainstorming on that subject a few days ago, and decided that we have to do some more brainstorming. I guess that the XBOX version would be the next logical move, but it all depends on several things, such as whether our main programmer survives the flight back home or if my wife will kill me because I didn’t get her a Christmas present since I had been working late. You know that nothing in the universe is certain except that there will be an apocalypse and that we will all die because of some ancient prophecies by those who didn’t have any wits to invent the toilet paper and therefore got frustrated and cursed us all to die. And that’s why people die, because of toilet paper. So next time when you search for the meaning of life you just might find it on your toilet paper.