Night Racer is a cross-platform multiplayer kart racing game. The game features multiplayer, career championship mode, Arcade, and Time Trial Mode. The game was recently launched on Steam (PC, Mac, and Linux) along with the iOS and Android versions. The game features 9 tracks, 4 game modes, and 8 cars at launch, and more cars will be added post-launch.
Luckily, we at Gamellio had a chance to host a Night Racer – Multiplayer Kart game developer interview, where we got to ask many questions regarding the game’s future plan and the developer’s idea behind it, among other things. So, let’s not waste any more time and check out the interview.
Gamellio: Hello! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hari: Hi, my name is Hari Prasadh, and I am the founder and lead creative of Smash Game Studios.
Gamellio: What is Smash Game Studios? Is Night Racer – Multiplayer Kart your first game?
Hari: Smash Game Studios is an independent game studio in Mumbai. We’ve been developing games over the last 6 years. Our development journey started with about 2-3 different hypercasual games and helping other development teams make games. However, once we reached our 2nd year, we wanted to make our own IP. That’s how our first major success, “The Last Train” was born. We managed to get the game funded via Indiegogo and later published the game on Steam and iOS. The game went on to be nominated in IGDC and was well-received on PocketGamer and other websites.
After the development of The Last Train, we wanted to do something very different from it. Less Narrative and focus more on the gameplay.
Night Racer – Multiplayer Kart Behind the Scenes
Gamellio: To kick things off, how did the idea for Night Racer – Multiplayer Kart first come about?
Hari: We started things off by building a basic framework for a simple kart racing game first. The game was initially meant to be a single-player experience. However, during the course of development, we were able to learn a ton about how our engine worked and decided to integrate multiplayer to it. As development went on, we started noticing something pretty crazy. The shortage of cross-platform kart racing games across Mobile, PC, and VR inspired us to make Night Racer the Ultimate Cross Platform Kart Racing Game.
Gamellio: What is your favorite car and track in the game?
Hari: My favourite car is The Muscle, and my favourite track is Desert Glades. Simple yet tactical and challenging.
Gamellio: We couldn’t help but notice that you have tried to keep Night Racer – Multiplayer Kart as casual as possible. It somewhat gives you a feeling of playing, um… let’s say, Contra on Nintendo Entertainment System back in the old. Did you do it initially? Are you targeting casual gamers of every age with this title?
Hari: It is very intentional we kept it simple; we’ve seen a lot of casual games on mobile where they would bombard the players with offers, lootboxes, explosions, tutorial, multiple types of in-app currencies, etc. We felt the increasing the level of complexity is especially unwarranted for a simple kart racing game. From the start we always made sure the player could perform the main actions (Start Race, Upgrade car, Buy Car, etc.) in 3-4 taps. This helped the game become very accessible for audience of many different age groups and gender.
Future Updates to the Game
Gamellio: Have you planned any big in-game updates? Such as more cars, racetracks or more features? Can you share some sneak-peak with us?
Hari: Our first major update is the Halloween themed update which will be launching really soon. We’ve submitted both the version on Android and iOS. Once it’s approved, it should be good to go. During the Halloween event, we have a Scavenger Hunt LTM where the objective is to find pumpkin across 2 spooky and crazy levels within a set time limit.
Once you complete the event, you’ll get access to the special Halloween Toppers and Boost Animation. Apart from this, our VR version is close to completion; post that, we’ll be working on completing the Android and Apple TV Version. By the end of November, we should have a minor update with a new car, and then for Christmas, we’ll be having a major themed event with unlockable items, game modes, etc.
Gamellio: Do you plan to add social features to the game, such as allowing players to add each other as friends, so they can quickly invite each other to the lobby and play together?
Hari: Adding a proper social friend system is very high on the agenda. We’ll be working on that once the base game is complete across all our planned SKU. We’ll have the friend system most likely by the time we reach end of November or the Christmas Update
Gamellio: Do you plan to expand the game on other platforms? PC, Console, or Switch?
Hari: The game is already out on PC, Mac, and Linux Via Steam. Right now, Night Racer on consoles is not something we have in mind. We have a Quest VR version launching soon. We are really excited for everyone to check it out once it comes out. An Apple TV version as well. The main issue with the development is we manage close to 4 completely different SKU’s (PC, Mobile, VR and Apple/Google TV) of Night Racer, so it’s difficult for a small team like ours to manage more than the ones we have.
Gamellio: You went ahead with a free-to-play game with in-game ads. Why not a premium game? Or any other monetization methods?
Hari: Like I’ve mentioned above, we always wanted to make our game to be super accessible with a very low barrier of entry. Moreover, we wanted to build a community unhindered by exorbitant price of the game, IAP’s and more. This way, players can become competitive in Multiplayer in probably an hour or so.
Developer’s View on Gaming in India
Gamellio: Gaming in India has been booming in recent years, especially mobile gaming. What are your views about the growth of the Indian gaming industry? Has it benefited you?
Hari: Gaming in India is in its best place it has been in a long time. The State of Mobile and Console gaming space has been super healthy. In the mobile space, developers like Super Gaming have been putting out some excellent world-class games over the last few years. Whereas in the console space, the Nodding Heads (Raji Team) has put Indian game development on the map globally. The best thing to come of out all this is the excellent developer community. You can get in touch with any of them; they are really quick to support and help you on your development journey. Apart from that, the more studios and companies, the more opportunities for aspiring developers to work on the next generation of games from India.
Advice to Budding Game Developers
Gamellio: You have successfully published many games on the App Store and Google Play. What does it take to be a successful game developer? Do you have a suggestion for budding game developers?
Hari: One of the most important things that we need budding developers to keep in mind is that, always start off by creating a fun game before you think of ways to monetize it. We notice in many cases, the process is done the other way around, and the project ends ups suffering because of it.
If you are an independent developer, it’s really important to build a great community of users on platforms like Reddit and Discord. Try hearing out everyone’s feedback on difficulty and usability. The more you fix their grievances, the more everyone will feel like they are a part of your community.
Gamellio: Lastly, what are your future plans? Where do you see Smash Game Studios in the next 2 to 3 years?
Hari: As for our future plans go, we have a new project in early stages of development; however, we’ll be working on it full-time once the Night Racer Journey comes to an end. We want to do our best to make sure Night Racer is well supported as a great Live Service Game, where we can engage our community with new exciting game modes for the foreseeable future.
As far as the long term goes, we want to be on the cutting edge of technology. Platforms like VR and AR really excites us. We had a lot of fun building Night Racer for VR. So we believe we will be seriously considering those platforms for all our games going forward.