FAST Racing NEO is certainly set to be one of the year's biggest Wii U eShop releases. Shin'en Multimedia has established itself as a leading 'Nindie' developer capable of producing wonderful visuals and strong gameplay, while sci-fi racing is a genre that's been long-neglected on Nintendo hardware. Though Shin'en's game is very different from F-Zero, for example, the absence of high-quality competition for this style of racer could see the eShop release gain a lot of fans.
With its approaching release we're running a series of behind the scenes 'glimpses' at the game, and in the first entry the studio's Manfred Linzner spoke about design approaches and his favourite vehicle and track. In this part Bernhard Wodok, the Lead Tools Developer on the project, provides some technical insight before showing off his favoured vehicles and track; there's even a surprise DS cameo.
I was responsible for development tools and the 3D engine.
With the improvements I made for FAST Racing NEO we were able to have 10x times more graphic objects than, for instance, in Nano Assault Neo.
So we were able to sustain our target framerate of 60fps even in 2-player splitscreen mode.
I also highly optimized our scripting VM and continuously improved the overall tools performance to shorten the iteration times.
When you first unlock "XIsle GmbH" it's a great ship. It's very fast, but not as heavy as FulCon or Bliss.
Ships like that corner very well without having to use advanced leaning techniques. Also, it's very easy to collect boost energy orbs due to the width of the ship.
The 'Kamagori City' track is a short but very intense course. You have to concentrate very hard to anticipate the movements of the giant robot spider that's stomping around the track while still trying to get ahead of the competition.
Especially in the higher speed leagues it really gives you a great adrenaline rush.
It was Martin, our lead artist, who came up with the idea of robots running around on the track. We wanted the track to feel more 'sci-fi' and dangerous. So we added tons of spaceships, challenging jump passages and other stuff, but there was still something missing.
Then Martin remembered one of the bosses from our Nanostray games. He fantasized how cool it would be to have this robot spider running around. So we got that nearly 10 year old Nintendo DS asset into the game. And despite being super low poly and with just a single 128x128 pixel 16 colour texture we knew that it was just perfect! When we finalized the game Martin reworked the whole model but for some months we just used that original DS model. It was a nice reminder how much you can do with just a few polygons and pixels.
Join us next week for another early look at some FAST Racing NEO details.