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Developer Interview: Why The 90's Arcade Racer Is The Ultimate Love Letter To Sega's Daytona USA

Posted by Damien McFerran

Antonis Pelekanos talks exclusively about the hottest racer on the Wii U eShop

The news that The 90's Arcade Racer is coming to the Wii U eShop courtesy of Nicalis has pretty much made our week — this colourful love letter to Sega's arcade racers is shaping up to be one of our most eagerly-awaited download releases of 2013.

We spoke to the game's creator Antonis Pelekanos — also known as Pelikan13 — about its inception, inspiration and development.

Nintendo Life: What inspired you to start work on The 90's Arcade Racer?

Antonis Pelekanos: It's simply a game that I would like to see made, a game that I would love to play and a project that could be completed even if it stayed a one-man project.

NL: How long has it taken you to get the game to its current state?

AP: It's been about four months full time. I had also done some work prior to that in my free time, so I would say around five months in total.

NL: What are your favourite arcade racing titles?

AP: Sega Rally, Scud Race, Daytona USA and Indy 500.

NL: You clearly have a lot of love for Sega's output. Do you miss the Sega of the past, a company which would create a constant stream of amazing racers? Do you think Sega can ever get back to that stage?

AP: I certainly hope so, I grew up being a big Sega fan and nothing would make me happier. Although their output is not what it used to be I think they have produced some great games this generation. I really enjoyed Sega Rally Revo, I thought it did a lot of things right but unfortunately it was terribly underrated. It was so sad to see Sega Racing Studio close down. I was so excited when the studio was announced and it got me thinking of future possibilities like a proper Daytona sequel, but it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe it was the market that has changed.

NL: The arcade scene has dwindled somewhat over the past decade. Do you think arcades will ever become popular again?

AP: I think arcades can survive and offer great experiences but I don’t think we will see the old glory days again. No one is pushing technology in the arcades like they used to and it’s understandable; the home is the main market now.

NL: What are your thoughts on the Wii U? Do you think it's a good platform for developers?

AP: I can only speak for the Wii U as an owner and a gamer and I have to say it’s a console that has changed my gaming habits. I really like the off-TV play and it’s something I want to include in the final version of the game. Overall I think it’s a fantastic console and it will do great when more exclusives start coming out. Nintendo exclusives first as always, but let’s hope third parties follow as well.

NL: When can we expect to see the Wii U version of The 90's Arcade Racer? Is it being developed alongside the other editions?

AP: The plan is to release the game in late 2013, alongside the other versions.

NL: How do you plan to make use of the Wii U GamePad controller's screen?

AP: It’s very early to confirm anything as several features are being considered. A few ideas include using it as a steering wheel, a rear view mirror and of course off-TV play.

NL: Will the game feature any local or online multiplayer options on Wii U?

AP: I can’t confirm either right now, but believe me it’s something I would really like to see happen on Wii U.

NL: The 90's Arcade Racer has clearly been a labour of love for you. When it's finished, what will your next project be?

AP: I have many ideas, but for now I can only concentrate on making this game the best it can be.

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User Comments (36)

Ryo_Hazuki-san

#8

Ryo_Hazuki-san said:

OMG i want this game sooooo bad i use to play Outrun for HOURS! with my friend online on the xbox 360 and this game looks sooooo gorgeous and old school i want it DAY 1 hopefully we get a solid release date soon!

Tasuki

#9

Tasuki said:

Great Interview. I cant wait for this game to come out on the Wii U.

Oregano

#10

Oregano said:

I hope Nicalis doesn't screw up the European release, I'll get this day 1.

PinkSpider

#12

PinkSpider said:

I think what would be cool is if you play it on the gamepad have an option to see the rear view on the TV lol

MattL

#13

MattL said:

Agreed, this would be a day one purchase without doubt if it lives up to its potential. Racing games have become a bit flat for me, and - when in need of a fix - I find myself playing N64 classics or each generation of Mario Kart.

LittleIrves

#14

LittleIrves said:

How does a one-person team create such lush visuals in only 4 months? Am I missing something? Or are dev tools these days so good at making this possible?

Farmboy74

#15

Farmboy74 said:

If this is anything like Daytona then I'm in!!, spent quite on the arcade machine back in the day

MadJay1664

#19

MadJay1664 said:

Looking forward to this! Definitely needs online and local multiplayer though! That's where the money is. And DLC will keep people interested. I'm only getting it, if it at least has local multiplayer.

Tedikuma

#20

Tedikuma said:

This is looking pretty awesome... The only thing that would make it perfect for me is hiring Project Dolphin to do the soundtrack. It would be a perfect fit.

Cosats

#22

Cosats said:

Συγχαρητήρια Αντώνη, εύχομαι να γίνει το παιχνίδι εκπληκτικό. (Congrats Antonis, I wish for the game to be amazing.)

jayblue

#30

jayblue said:

it will be online like most u games only the online bit is you can write notes and not play anyone online.

kurtasbestos

#32

kurtasbestos said:

Man... I love the 90's, and I love Sega's old arcade racers. I need to hurry up and get a Wii U so I can love this game, too.

SmallFryUnify

#34

SmallFryUnify said:

It's looking even better now as well considering the extra support and it's definitely gonna hit it's 1st stretch goal, well it certainly looks that way. It be great if it could hit the second stretch goal as well though, allowing all the extra features they plan and possibly new cars/tracks etc.

£10k Checkpoint!
£15k Needs an easy right!
£20k Long easy right, maybe!

FINNISH!!!!

SmallFryUnify

#35

SmallFryUnify said:

Shaun Paul Johnston 4 minutes ago
I was looking forward to the final product anyway and with the latest update it's even better, so I'm pretty chuffed.
An interesting little thing here, I was watching a speech by Jesse Schell at Dice 2013 and he's talking about how everyone is looking searching for some kind of utopia, whether it's in video games, the choices they make or whatever.

Anyhoo, the underlying point was that a lot of companies these days use bullpoopiedoodledingdongs marketing to try convince you that they can give you that utopia only to let you down when you get the final product, when you realise it's nothing like the utopia they promised or you hoped for.

Now in relation to The 90's Arcade Racer, I saw the project when it first started and it instantly sold me with it's visuals, taking me back to the good old days at the arcades playing games like Virtua Racing and Daytona USA. What's interesting though is these games are like fantasy worlds full of colour and making you feel like a baddonkey race car driver. It's completely over the top, exactly what I want from a racer, in fact it's my utopia for a driving game.

I find too many modern games, including racers, go for the realistic feel and as much as that can be fun, well it's just another version of reality in a lot of ways, the only difference is I get to control the cars. I play games to escape the mundane realities of real life so when games go for that hyper-realistic look, it's kind of defeating the point in my opinion.

Watch the speech http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=us6OPbYtKBM, Jesse explains it way better than I ever could but my overall point is that this games ticks the boxes on so many levels and I'm so happy Pelikan13 & Nicolis are making it and that it's been funded successfully. Would be great to see the £20k and I'd urge everyone to spread the word, but either way it's gonna be awesome.

Ryo_Hazuki-san

#36

Ryo_Hazuki-san said:

this better have online multiplayer on the wii u i will spend countless hours in between monster hunter 3 Ultimate playing this online with my buddies!!!

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