Interview with SimBin, Award-winning Developer of RACE Games

Bram Hengeveld

RaceDepartment Founder
Staff
Premium
Dec 26, 2006
45,833
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Found this interview by Vincent Tucker (Logitech) on facebook. Strange that is was released so late it was dated 5/11 already:

I recently caught up with the renowned Swedish developer SimBin about RACE On, the latest title in the company?s RACE series. Launched in October, RACE On is the only official game of two of the world?s biggest touring car spectacles; the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC). The game has highly detailed driving and utilizes the features on the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel to full effect. Here are some excerpts from an interview with Jay Ekkel, a member of the development team:

Q: When did you begin working on RACE On?
A: Production on art assets started in the middle of 2008. Assets were first created for our Xbox 360 game Race Pro and later transferred to our PC department, where they were prepared for the PC.

Q: How many people were working on RACE On?
A: At the high point of the production, there were about 30 people on the team.

Q: What was the high/low point in the development of this title?
A: One of my highlights was driving the US muscle cars for the first time. When you drive those cars to the limit you can have awesome fun. As a formula cars fanatic, I predict that the IFM will be a favorite for the online leagues. Those cars are just made for some proper racing.

Q: What is the advantage of playing RACE On with the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel? How do you use the RPM indicator LEDs?
A: The G27 lets you experience every feedback from the game so that weight transfer, grip and subtle hints from the track surface are felt with realism. With proper feedback, like on the G27, you’re able to react quickly to what the car is doing and get totally immersed in the game. The RPM LEDs are a nice addition to the G27 – we use these in RACE On as an indicator of the optimal timing to shift up. During speed build-up, the LEDs are used as any RPM light, and on optimal gear shift timing the LEDs will start blinking, indicating time to shift up.

Q: What type of force feedback effects are used with the Logitech force feedback wheel? And how do these enhance game play?
A. We use FF on many effects including tire contact patches with the track surfaces and collisions with objects or other cars on the track. And as previously mentioned, grip levels, braking and weight transfer are very important to any racing game.

Q: Describe your favorite feature of the game or a feature that gives it more depth than other similar games?
A: Easy to drive, hard to master. Anyone can drive a car, but it becomes interesting when you start pushing the car to its limits. We have used this philosophy during the development of our games, and it comes out very strong. You can pick up and play our games, but to be the fastest you will need to push the car to ts limits. This make it very exciting to play.

Q: You've had a long history in gaming and developing for various platforms. What was it like making this game?
A: It was very interesting, especially doing the US muscle race and production cars. It was the first time we entered the current US market with these cars. The end result is very convincing and addicting. The heavy cars with a good amount of HP provide a very good driving experience.

Q: The RACE On game carries an obvious heritage from earlier SimBin successes. Are there any gameplay or game design similarities?
A: Yes of course, since RACE On is an expansion to the Race series, it has to fit into the premise of the Race series. So design-wise you can see many similarities
between RACE On and our previous games.

Q: When and where can customers buy RACE On?
A: RACE ON is available on Steam or you can download it through simraceway.com. It is also available in most retail stores that carry PC games and accessories.

Q: Is your crew at working on something new?
A: Yes, of course!

Q: What games does your development team enjoy playing now?
A: We enjoy a lot of games in our down time. Soccer and football games are popular in the office whenever we can squeeze in a match or two.

Q: When you and your dev team find yourselves running on empty, what is your fuel of choice?
A: Pizza and a huge amount of sweet candy mixed with red bull have dragged us through the crunch periods. Besides that the team spirit and motivation to keep our high standards has helped us through many long and hard crunch periods. But every time it was worth it!

Q: Now that the game has shipped, what are you going to do? Are you going to take a vacation?
A: Did someone say vacation? Whats that? We are jumping on a new project!

Thanks for the interview, Jay - the game looks BEAUTIFUL!
 

Ryan Callan

500RPM
Sep 30, 2008
513
502
What a boring interview lol - not one single searching question or interesting answer! Thanks anyway Bram.
 
Sep 22, 2009
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Actually, I found the answer on the G27 interesting. Aren't there some people who are having trouble getting the G27 to work with RACE xx? Like the LED's get in the way, or don't work at all?

I'm planning on getting a G27 to replace my 100,000+ mile MOMO in February, and I hope to know by then if it is worth spending $300US.