Supergonk Founder Ben Ward is passionate about racing games, but he sees a genre that needs to evolve. He points to the evolution of first-person shooters and says they’ve gone from raw fragfests like “Doom” and branched out to elegant team-based projects such as “Overwatch.

On the other hand, racing titles have been going in circles. That doesn’t mean the genre hasn’t made strides, but the pace of change has slowed since “Gran Turismo” and “Mario Kart.” That’s where Ward comes in with “Trailblazers.

The indie developer has a background with racing games, having worked on the “Project Gotham Racing” franchise. Those games introduced the Kudos system and other elements to breathe life into the category. With “Trailblazers,” he intends to do the same thing by introducing a new “Splatoon“-like mechanic to the genre.

“Trailblazers” is an arcade racer in the vein of “Mario Kart” but it pushes teamwork over individual performance. That’s done with a paint mechanic. As players drive around the track, they cover the course with their colors. If they or a teammate follow the colors, their speed is boosted. The longer they stay on the paint, the faster their car goes.

However, if players veer off the colored path or a rival team paints over it, they lose the boost. This creates a dynamic in which players have to coordinate and talk to each as they wheel around corners. They have to pick a line and try to preserve it while telling their teammates where they are going along a course’s branching paths.

Interestingly enough, an opponent’s paint won’t slow down a rival. Players can shoot a stream of paint forward to slow a competitor or even spin them out, but other than that ability, there are no weapons or other customizations. Ward said he purposely made the game simple and accessible.

His small team tested out concepts such as customizable vehicles, short cuts and paint widths, but he wanted a title laser-focused on a core mechanic. All players have are 10 base tracks with variations that raise the total to 40. They can choose from eight different character who each have their own stats based on trails, boosting and handling. The stats make each character unique and players will have to create teams where each drivers’ abilities complement each other.

A strong driver who can lay down a long color path before running out of …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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Preview: ‘Trailblazers’ adds a touch of ‘Overwatch’ to racing genre

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