I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to the developer of art of rally, the same person who released Absolute Drift. This is a very demanding racing indie, but where the visuals and soundtrack encourage us to continue our difficult task of mastering the wheel. If Absolute Drift was all about low-speed drift, art of rally raises the bar for high-speed drifts. If you’re curious, there’s a demo available right now.
I hope you enjoy the interview.
– Looking at Absolute Drift and art of rally, it’s easy to see that you are a fan of racing games. What are some of your favorites?
For sure, I grew up playing Need For Speed and Colin McRae Rally series, so going sideways is always fun to me. The first Grid and the Dirt series are more recent favorites.
– Compared to Absolute Drift, what are the biggest differences for art of rally?
It’s a very large difference. The handling has been refined as I learned many lessons with Absolute Drift. The general pace of the game is different too. Absolute Drift was about going sideways slowly, but art of rally is about going sideways quickly.
With regards to the art style, it was originally meant to be a minimalistic take on nature with the classic low poly trees and blocky environments, but it evolved into a more stylized version of nature. And there’s many things in nature to hit so you need be careful to stay on the road.
– In order to make driving as real as possible, you drove some rally cars and had some classes at DirtFish rally school. Do you want to share some special experience in those adventures?
After Absolute Drift was first released, I went down to New Zealand and took a day rallying some ex-WRC Mitsubishi Evos. It was very intense as I didn’t have too much real-life driving experience, except for doing skids in the snow. They basically put you on a stage and we went faster and faster and things got pretty loose and went into the bushes a bit. It was hard to get a feel of how the car rotated and broke traction as the stage was lined with trees and rocks.
DirtFish was a much smoother learning curve as you’re on open gravel areas with cones, but they took us from square one and by the third day we were able to set competitive times with the instructors on the short practice loop and came away feeling more confident.
– Apparently, you traveled around North America in a caravan in order to gather information about different scenarios to apply in art of rally. The question is, in a caravan? Why not in a Toyota AE86? 😀
That would have been great to have an 86! The original impetus was a little road trip to California in 2016 to ride mountain bikes and by the end I knew I had to eventually get a van. Housing is also very expensive in my hometown of Vancouver and I couldn’t afford one so I built the van up with a desk to work in.
– art of rally looks quite demanding. If we crash, is there a way to go back a few seconds to try again or do we have to start all over?
If you’re in career, it’s better to roll with the punches and keep going as you are rewarded for not restarting too much, but there is no rewind in this game and you’ll have to start over.
– But what if we have a very serious accident, can we be disqualified or is there no such problem?
It’s possible to get terminal damage where you must restart the stage or retire from the rally.
– Seems like it will be possible to fix the car between stages. Can you explain better how will this work?
In a multi-stage rally. You can make repairs to the cars every two stages to various systems like radiator, turbo, engine, etc. It’s similar to classic rally games where you can only fix a portion of the car, depending how much damage there is.
– What is the average duration of each stage?
It depends on your driving skill but in general, anywhere from 2 to 6 minutes. Slower cars will have slower times.
– What kind of weekly challenges can we expect?
There is a weekly challenge with one rally in one country per week, with repairs and you can’t restart stages. If you’re done, you’re done!
– When it comes to quarters, when can we expect the game to be released?
– Just before we finish, will the game have a time trial mode? If so, will it be possible to play against your demanding ghost? 😀
Yes, it has time-attack mode, but no ghosts.