Slipstream: Reimagining Classic Arcade Racing by a Solo Brazilian Developer


Summary

  • Conceived and created by a solo developer.
  • Unique mechanics for an arcade racing game.
  • Integrated soundtrack inspired by the gameplay.

Learning to make games and realizing that it was possible to make a living from it

My name is Sandro de Paula, from Brazil, and I’ve wanted to be a game developer since I was a child. I had my first real exposure to game development tools when I was 14 years old, but back then it didn’t seem like a viable career path for me. There weren’t many opportunities in my country, so I decided to pursue other interests, such as music and journalism. Around 2012, when the first wave of commercially successful indie games occurred internationally, I was convinced that it was now possible to do it as a solo developer and started working on it more seriously, learning and experimenting. My first “real” project was a pixel art mobile runner game called meow sushi nightreleased for Android in 2014, and then I started working on wake shortly after

meow sushi time yet

The origins of the wake

This may be unexpected, but the idea behind wake It started out as a simple technical curiosity. I had recently finished meow sushi night and I felt like I understood how the 2D graphics worked reasonably well, but I kept asking myself, “How did those classic racing games create a 3D perspective on pure 2D hardware?” I did some research and was immediately fascinated by the pseudo-3D technique, decided to try making my own implementation and the project grew from there. I had played some classic racing games before, like Outrun, F-zero and top teambut it didn’t really become a passion until I started working on wake. Many racing games focus on creating a realistic physical simulation of how cars work, but the racing genre also lends itself very well to a more stylized and expressive approach, and that’s the direction I tried to go. I wanted to give people the fantasy of a colorful road trip around the world, like Outrun did then.

developer on the computer
Sandro playing with one of the early Slipstream prototypes, in May 2015

The Evolution of Mechanics. What makes Slipstream a different arcade racing game?

I think drift and wake have always been essential to the game. The first demo I posted back in 2015 had neither, and the gameplay felt too basic and basic back then. Despite being the name of the game, the wake mechanic wasn’t there from the start, but it was a natural fit. The ideas for both drift and wake were inspired by OutRun 2006/Coast 2 Coastwhich was an attempt by Sega to modernize the gameplay of the original. Outrun. I don’t really like the manual transmission mechanic in old racing games, manually shifting gears in an unrealistic racer isn’t much fun so I never considered using that as a mechanic but the game still needed something for the player to do in addition to accelerating and turning. . Rewind was the most recent addition to the core mechanic, and I think it was a good one, it gives the player a strategic opportunity to retry a difficult turn or undo a block. All the mechanics added very naturally, I didn’t plan too much, I just tried things and iterated until I found it fun or satisfying.

shot at sunset

The Slipstream soundtrack and its inspirations.

the soundtrack in wake It is a very characteristic part of the game. It was created by my friend and collaborator from the US, Stefan Moser, aka Effoharkay, who also did the soundtrack for my meow sushi night. The soundtrack was created in parallel with the game, so it had a lot of direct influence on how the game turned out. At times, I felt like I was creating a game for the soundtrack, rather than the other way around. The game definitely wouldn’t be the same without those songs. From my perspective, it’s a mix of influences, from 80’s synthpop, vaporwave and 2010’s synthwave to jazz fusion and eurobeat. The soundtrack is a diegetic part of the game, it’s the music you play in the car while driving, so it’s not made to fit into a particular track or place, but to set the atmosphere and tone of the game as a whole. . .

sound technology

the music for wake it was compounded throughout development, which was great because the requirements, inspirations and references kept changing,” says Stefan. “In the beginning we were really into synthwave/synthpop that was popular between 2009 and 2015. Then of course Outrun and other classic driving games/sims entered the mix. Eventually we got to vaporware, eurobeat, jazz fusion, etc. The idea of ​​having a radio playing the music from the car made it quite easy to imagine the game as an album rather than a soundtrack.” As for media references and inspiration, Stefan says, “I remember the hard hitters like Drive and Outrun, but at the time I remember trying to look very closely at the art, composing the game and trying to feel invigorated from that. As for other artists, I was listening a lot to Com Truise, Electric Youth, Jean Luc Ponty, Cassiopeia and many more at the time.”

With an excellent soundtrack and gameplay mechanics that distill classic arcade racing games into the modern arena, I look forward to wake combines nostalgia and challenging gameplay for loads of fun, and it’s out now on Xbox!

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wake

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$9.99

Slipstream is a racing game inspired by the images, music, games, and cars of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is built with an authentic retro feel and unique graphics. The soundtrack, drawing on synthpop and jazz fusion influences, sets the tone for a race through a variety of exotic locations around the world, including cities, deserts, forests, mountains, and beaches. Drift and slipstream mechanics add depth to the driving game, resulting in a challenging and exciting experience.