Race the Sun soars onto PS3, PS4, PS Vita this summer

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Race the Sun soars onto PS3, PS4, PS Vita this summer

Breathless indie speed sim promises to push your reflexes to their limits

There’s just something about going fast. The desire for speed seems to be ingrained in our very nature. Race the Sun is our attempt to distil that desire into its basic form – to strip away all pretence and let players experience pure, brutal speed. Building a game with this goal in mind took a lot of trial, error, and some new ideas.
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The Goals

When we first played the prototype that would become Race the Sun, we felt like we had something special. Every time one of us would crash, we’d say “Just one more run. I know I can do better.” It felt like we were playing a classic arcade game designed to suck you in.
After quite a bit of discussion and thought, we decided on some specific goals for Race the Sun. It had to be fast, fun, and challenging. We knew that some of the fastest games out there were encumbered by complex rules and controls – and we really wanted our game to be fun right from the start. The mantra “easy to learn, hard to master” was adopted in lieu of design documents, and we got to work.

Easy to learn

The first major problem to tackle was control. When it comes down to it, controls of any racer (no matter how complex) usually revolve around making your vehicle turn left and right. We decided that we wanted the turning mechanism to be super simple, and that turned out to be easier said than done.
When simulating the physics of a real object moving in 3D space, there are tons of things to consider. Acceleration, inertia and drag need to be calculated, and the control algorithms need to act in harmony with those forces. Every little change to one of the variables makes the controls feel totally different.
So you test, you play, you try a different number, you test again, you try a different algorithm, and so on and so forth. The process was time consuming, but ultimately worth it. We didn’t stop tweaking until we felt we had struck the best possible balance: not too tight, not too loose.
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Hard to master

After a few months of work, we had a vehicle that felt great to control at crazy speeds, and a really basic world to race through. Aaron (our programmer) had created a procedural system to make the world go on forever, and we had decided on solar power as the source of energy and speed. The heart of the game was there, but once you got good at it there wasn’t much challenge.
We knew what needed to happen. We needed to hand-design more varied and interesting obstacles in the world, but – being a small team – we didn’t know how we were going to pull it off in any reasonable amount of time.
This is when Aaron came up with an idea for generating the world out of a combination of hand-designed and procedural elements. The end result was that we were able to make complex combinations of obstacles in short order. This also meant that we could make the world rearrange itself each day – so you could never quite predict what would be coming.
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On the horizon

Making this game has been crazy, interesting, stressful, and fun, but we feel like we’ve accomplished what we set out to do. The simple, arcade-inspired heart is still there, but there are layers of complexity that let skilled players advance and get higher scores. The core experience has remained centred on that feeling of pure, deadly speed.
Our top priority in bringing the game to PlayStation is to keep that experience consistent and pure. To that end, we’ve decided to support Cross Save and make the game a Cross Buy purchase. Everything is falling into place for Race the Sun, and we’re pumped to launch on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita this Summer.
We can’t wait to share our creation with you, the PlayStation community, and hear what you think about our game of unsafe speeds. Feel free to comment or ask us anything below!

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20 Comments

  • Looks pretty cool, reminds me of Starfox.
    I’d love to see some AAA flight combat games like Rogue Squadron..

  • Indie portstation 4.
    Good thing we are finally getting a “NEW” game next week.(Infamous Second Son)
    Come on, can’t we atleast get sequels instead of all of these ports? I enjoy indie games but i’m not a fan of every week the game annoncments we are getting for PS4 are port/some with a bit new content. Don’t care if a game is retail or Indie but what I want is new experiance,never before seen games. But all we seem to get on the indie front is ports ports and ports.

  • Played this on PC, very nice game. Instead of whining. PS4 users that don’t game on PC should be glad they are getting great indies that other consoles are missing out on.

  • Porcupeth00# Sure would not have a problem with all of these port IF we also saw NEW game announcments and NEW game releases every week and not only port announcments and port releases.

  • @kivi95
    Last time I checked, this is a new game. It’s not a port of any kind.

  • Yea… where’s Drive Club?

  • @ kivi95….then don’t buy it? You’ve never been an early adopter of a console before have you? It’s always the same it hasn’t even been half a year give it some time.

  • Did I buy a PS4 or a Nintendo 64? I want games worth of the PS4 hardware please.

  • Looks simply beautiful. I agree with Stonesthrow, it has got a Starfox feel to it.

  • I really like it and I will surely buy it for Vita. To me, Race The Sun evokes memories of playing Space Harrier and watching Mysterious Cities of Gold (remember that bit where Golden Condor flies?). Also, I’ve read “Losing Steam” and bought my Mac version back there, so… :)

  • Oh, and 3D Deathchase on ZX Spectrum!
    And to those that are so eager to shout “portstation”, please, spare us your comments. I take my Vita to many places where I don’t take my computer. I am glad to pay for these games on Vita. If you don’t like that, don’t buy them, it’s that simple.

  • This game plus the arrival of the Playstation VR headset. Has anyone seen The Lawnmower Man?

  • People all have right for their opinion.
    If some1 wants to say something negative (but preferably constructive) go ahead.
    I myself am wanting more games to. Being a gamer since 6 and now 30 i know how it all works and know if you dive into a new console day 1 u won’t have unlimited games. So im am patient. I do wanne add that im not really a fan of indie games. Most of the times graphic wise its not worth much. Im not talking about gameplay because just as everything evolves i cant really turn back to the old graphics. same with towerfall, minecraft… just not for me(not only for graphics)
    So i can understand where likeminded people are getting a little frustrated when all they see (mostly) are indiegames, announcement of indie games. Where they are wanting to see some big names.
    Also if they have played it on a pc before, they have just as much right to state that fact, and that for “them” this is not a new game anymore. So yes i can understand them.

  • Only thing i say about indie games is this, give me a demo or i will not buy (try) it. it never looks appealing to “me”. Only whne its tagged with rpg, TD i might ;).
    This is the good thing about the blog, every1 can say their opinions.
    And i wish this game a good launch!
    V.

  • I remembered: it was not Space Harrier, it was Stealth on Atari! Ah, much better.
    PS. @vavires: writing “some1” and “every1” invalidates whatever you are saying.

  • How i write has nothing to do with what i say.

  • barsblue
    so, 4the gamers?… hmm.

  • Its the massive news that indie games are getting which is preventing me from buying a PS4.
    It will be a PS4 I buy as I truly believe that its a console built for gamers. But so far its seems more like an expensive app station that could possibly also have some AAA titles at some point.

  • This is cool! I have a PSN code and surprisingly it worked! Giveaway is going on here http://psn.cardcodes.net

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