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GeneRally 2: In Development & On Kickstarter

Discussion in 'Other Racing Games' started by JamesF1, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. cars_in_a_row2.png
    GeneRally 2 - a top-down arcade racing game for Windows, Mac and Linux, currently in development, has landed on Kickstarter for its funding campaign. Aiming to meet a £20,000 goal to develop a true successor to GeneRally (originally released in 2001), the project is bringing a new graphics engine, more detailed physics, online multiplayer and much more.
    When RaceDepartment offered me the opportunity to write an article here about GeneRally 2, for the opening of their new GeneRally 2 forum, I must admit I jumped at the chance. Sim-racing has been a part of my life for many, many years now - and although I've not been as involved in the community as I used to be, the passion has remained alive.

    Like many of you, for the longest time, only full-on racing simulations would 'do it' for me - and to the greatest extent, that's still true - but there was always one game that I kept coming back to, again and again, despite that fact: GeneRally. I fear this post will descend into a bit of a GR-related "life story", but I'm assured that it's at least mildly interesting ;)

    press_dawn.jpg

    I first came across GeneRally in 2002, shortly after its release, and for many years I participated in the community, creating tracks, running leagues, and the like. What fascinated me about the game was its focus on modability, and its uncanny ability to walk the fine line between a reasonably realistic physics implementation, and a fun arcade game. It was free from the modern scourge of power ups, weapons and rubber-band catch-up; but it was believably realistic and allowed for car makers to tweak every parameter and property of the physics engine.

    Even during times when other things got in the way - one thing kept me coming back to play GeneRally: the simplicity and the raw childhood-like enjoyment I got from racing it. Even though the original authors (Hannu & Jukka Rabina) had long since stopped updating the game, the community kept it going with tens of thousands of tracks, cars and other mods... every day a new smattering of tracks, every day a new vehicle to race with, and every day a new experience.

    In 2009, after 6 years of quiet on the GR release front, Hannu began to talk to me about his interest in getting GeneRally into development again - he and Jukka had no interest in doing it themselves, but were looking for a trusted party/parties to continue the work, if they so desired. In December 2010, I received an email from Hannu, with the source code for GeneRally and the project was alive again. I brought on-board a friend of mine, Markku, who I'd got to know through the Arma 2 community, to assist in development and in February 2011, we released GeneRally v1.10 - the first new version for over 7 years.

    After a couple more releases, in July 2012, Markku and I had reached the point in development where we couldn't reasonably add the features we wanted to add (or fix the bugs we wanted to fix) without massive rewrites of areas of the code-base. Compatibility with newer systems was becoming more and more difficult, and the labyrinthine logic in some areas of the code left us fearful of making any sweeping changes. Thus was the GeneRally 2 dream born.

    It quickly became clear that whilst Markku and I could make a suitable engine, and develop good features, we couldn't do the project alone. Both of us lacked any real expertise in the modelling department, and it was around this time that Kimmo joined us, to round our team out. Progress took off quickly, with 3D assets making it a lot easier to visualise our progress and give us something to start feeding back into the community. We took the time to make a switch to an established game engine from our own creation, and the pace of development picked up massively due to the tremendously helpful toolset that came along with it.

    Fast forward to today, and we're approaching the alpha phase of development. We're around 15% of the way to completion, and it's at this point we've decided to start a Kickstarter campaign.

    But, why do we need funding at all? Well, the answer is simple: our ideal scenario for GeneRally 2 is that it would be high-quality, delivered in a reasonable time-frame, and free... but, as with everything in life: we couldn't have it all. We polled the GR community as to whether they'd be open to us funding GeneRally 2's basic development costs via Kickstarter (or a similar process), and nearly 90% of those who responded were in support of the idea. After much deliberation, we decided we couldn't settle on turning GeneRally from a fully freeware title into a fully payware title - so we took the middle-ground: GeneRally 2 will be GeneRally 1 on steroids: new graphics, cross-platform support, improved track-making tools, etc... and backers will net themselves extra features, that we could only develop with their support: online multiplayer, new game modes, more cars on-track, advanced replay features, access to anything we fund via stretch goals and more.

    So this is where we're at today - our Kickstarter campaign rocketed past 10% funding in only 9 hours, and we're quietly hopeful that we can hit our target of £20,000 in the 30-day time period. But I'm quite obviously here to ask for your support: we'd love it if you would consider helping us make our dream project a reality. We're not expecting to turn massive profits, or afford a private island somewhere, we just want to bring our project through to fruition to the highest standard possible - at the heart, we're just GeneRally community members who didn't want to sit back and let the legend die ;)

    We have a variety of funding tiers with everything from 'just' the game when it's complete (£8 for early bird backers), all the way through to T-Shirts, designing one of the release tracks, and even to becoming an Executive Producer!


    press_trackside.jpg

    Whether or not you choose/are able to help us in funding GeneRally 2 - thank you for reading this far and for taking some time out of your day to hear about what I consider to be one of the greatest community success stories a racing game has ever seen: 12 years on from release, and still going strong :) Even if you aren't planning on funding, please do help us spread the word in to your friends, families and on the various social media networks (we're on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

    I'll be checking back here, with Markku & Kimmo, over the course of the Kickstarter and beyond to answer any questions folks might have - so please feel free to let us know what's on your mind.

    Also, take a look at our Kickstarter introduction video... which is in a bit higher res here (via YouTube) than on the Kickstarter page

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2014
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  2. This is the first I have ever heard of this game and it looks really cool...Will it have gamepad support? If so, I will try to send a few dollars your way in a week or so.
     
  3. i remember when i was 3 years old, and i played with the Generally 1......... it's really cool this
     
  4. Yup, GR1 already has that support - and we're certainly not cutting features ;)
     
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  5. Bram

    Bram
    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Truly a legendary racing game and can't wait for Part 2!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Reminds me a bit of Ivan Stewarts Offroad Challenge back in the day. :cool:
     
  7. Roy Magnes

    Roy Magnes
    Gentleman Driver Staff

    I loved the first game, really excited for this one!
     
  8. TeSL9

    TeSL9
    Pessimistic (rarely flying) Finn :) Premium Member

    This is cool!! I had fun times with the first one :)
     
  9. Omer Said

    Omer Said
    Weresloth Staff Premium Member

    Will we be able to shed blood of our pitcrew at this version too? :D
     
    • Haha Haha x 1
  10. One of all-time favourites. And when it comes to local multiplayer racing, GR1 is just unbeatable, the best there's ever been - without a shadow of a doubt. It is as simple as that.

    Here's hoping the Kickstarter campaign is a success.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. If you couldn't run into your pitcrew, what kind of sequel would it be? ;)
     
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  12. Omer Said

    Omer Said
    Weresloth Staff Premium Member

    Long time no news, any kind of progress?