The project by Pixel Wrappers, a very small independent French-Austrian team of five authors, winks, as we have written several times, to the great classics of the past. But the team’s aim is clearly to go well beyond the nostalgia effect by offering something of its own that will fascinate. To offer a game with character, with its own soul in the hope that fans will embrace the Classic Sport Driving’s philosophy.
Certainly, the design and the special overall shots that offer really interesting panoramas are, in Our opinion, a nice touch.
But what’s behind Classic Sport Driving? And above all, who is working on the project? So let’s get to know – and this is one of the best tasks of our online magazine – the authors of this promising racing, who we got to know better through this interview. For friends who don’t speak English, here is the Italian version of Our interview.
First question: Introduce the Pixel Wrappers team to the public, who are You and what experience do you have in the world of gamedev?
Sylvain. Hi Edoardo, Pixel Wrappers is a team of 5, and, while our experience varies, Classic Sport Driving should be globally considered our first attempt with gamedev!
And until now, it’s a great pleasure! I’m really happy that we could build the team, and it’s very nice to have this variety of skills, both science and art, working together.🙂
I’m from France, and I’m working on both code and gameplay.
Jill. I am Jill from Austria and I’ve never worked on a game before, therefore it’s even more exciting for me to work together in this team. Creating the visual look of the game is a great challenge for me and I’ve already learned a lot. Normally I mostly do illustration and motion graphics, so working on CSD is a nice diversion! You can find some of my other work here.
Koscape. I am an electro music composer and a radio host, and I created the clip Shall We Start in 2019, which Sylvain noticed. This is a new experience for me, as I was a total stranger to the gamedev world, being a pretty poor player… But the challenge felt interesting, and pushed me to join the team!
Philipp. I’m Philipp from Austria and had the pleasure to create the car for CSD. The game has already developed a lot and it’s exciting to be part of that!
Laurent. I am Laurent from France, I live in the Bask Country (South West) since 5 years but I come from the North of France (Lille). I am Sound Engineer and Sound Designer. I’ve already worked for videos games on digital tablets. I recorded Voices Actors and I added sound design when needed. I also mixed animatics. I worked a lot as Broadcast sound engineer for mixing Tv and radio advertising, documentary etc… I record, mix and master music too.
It’s very exciting to work on Classic Sport Driving. I mainly deal with braking sounds, off road sounds, user interface, crashes and accidents with the environment and other cars etc…
The project, while not having had much luck on Kickstarter, is very interesting. How did the idea of developing a racing inspired by the classics of the 90s come about?
Sylvain. We don’t speak about kickstarter. Let’s just pretend it never happened!😅
I had this idea since a while now. I’m a former (very amateur) racer (on bikes, actually, but the racing spirit is the same), I’m also a physicist, and I have very fond memories of my time with the Amiga when I was young.
All three together lead directly to Classic Sport Driving!😉
One day, while feeling adventurous around 2 years ago, I gave a first prototype a try, and became confident that I could manage the technical aspects.
I took contact with Jill, and despite that I only had a miserably looking prototype, she trusted the project and joined.
And that was it: with quality graphics, this immediately started to look like a game, we could grow the team, and even get some funding! We were up and running!😀
We tried the Steam demo of Classic Sport Driving, what and how many will be the differences with the final version of the game?
Sylvain. Thanks for having tried the game! This first alpha demo was about testing the feeling with the car. We got consistent positive feedback, so that part will remain almost unchanged in the final version.
The graphics will also of course keep their 90s look, and the long drawing distance will remain too. Now the gameplay will change a lot!
We will have a solo campaign similar to what we had in Lotus Turbo Challenge 2. Cross checkpoints before the time runs out, and unlock new races and new sceneries! We will also allow you to challenge your friends: Classic Sport Driving is a racing lines game, so let’s see who is the best racer! This will work with ghosts, displayed as their racing lines on track. And we will have a track generator, so that you never run out of new tracks to discover! The track generator will still be polished a bit, but it is actually already running quite well, and produces interesting curves!
It works with a simple code based generation: I can’t wait to challenge you on track #IlVideogioco!😉
Jill. We will also add some new scenery, for example a winter landscape. As well we are playing with different light settings to use the same background elements for different times of the day. This way we can create lots of different moods for our tracks. There is still a lot of work to do in this area.
What stage has been reached in development?
Sylvain. We have a (subjectively) strong basis with the handling of the car, the speed feeling, and the variety of curves.
That’s of course most important for a racing game!😉
There is still a lot of work to come, of course, to give a nice polished feeling to the game.
We think we could be ready by the end year (here on Twitter). That’s of course only an estimation, we’ll keep you updated.🙂
Will the demo be updated or should we wait for the final release?
Sylvain. Well, you have been officially challenged a few lines above!🙂
I’m committed into making [PixelWrappers] vs [IlVideogioco] happen in the next month, there is no escape!😉
This will be a private challenge, but we will also allow public challenges (on release), like challenge all your followers!
We may also have a public demo of Classic Sport Driving during the Steam Next Fest in October… Stay tuned!🏆
There is no doubt that this game winks at the classics of the 90s such as Lotus, Jaguar XJ220, how will you attract the youngest to your title?
Sylvain. I think that the beauty of those minimalist landscapes is universal. The racing spirit does not depend that much on visual effects, explosions, or even ray tracing!😉
In my opinion, reading the road ahead, drawing beautiful racing lines, exiting a curve as fast as possible and gain a few meters in the straight line that follows, is much more important!
Jill. We are using a modern style for the backgrounds, which brings the retro gaming vibe to the present. With the color palettes and shapes we try to give a modern but still atmospheric impression to the game.
What will be the strong point of the gameplay in Your opinion?
Sylvain. I hope it will be both the true racing spirit we try to infuse into the game, and the pleasure to drive in beautiful hand drawn environments.
If the players can feel the love for racing lines *and* the love for long roads in vast wild spaces, then it would be target accomplished!🙂
Will Classic Sport Driving be more like Jaguar, Lotus, Outrun or will it have its own originality?
Sylvain. That’s a tricky point with retrogaming.
Some players tend to immediately recognize a game they loved back in the day. Some even recognized games I was not aware of!:wink: And they can end up a little disappointed that Classic Sport Driving is not exactly the game they had in mind…
So while it’s of course great to see that our game can give emotions of reviving titles from the 80s or the 90s (that’s obviously one of our targets!), we must also try to make clear that Classic Sport Driving has its own gameplay.
Classic Sport Driving is about racing lines, and the car behaves in a way to maximize that pleasure. In some way, it can be seen as a Trackmania in a retro 2D environment.
In the easiest mode, the game feels more arcade, and you can enjoy the scenery while racing through.
However, when you hit the hardest difficulties, the curves get harder, and you’ll even have hairpins. It’s about carefully thinking your racing lines, sensing the right braking point, avoiding missing the apex, that’s racing! And that’s the essence of Classic Sport Driving.
Will there be more cars to choose from or will they all be the same?
Sylvain. There may be different cars for the AI opponents (who are by the way not intelligent at all, and whose mission is to force you into improvising different racing lines).
But all players will get the same car, only colors will vary. That’s important for the best time challenges!
Classic Sport Driving is as a consequence a one-make cup. Edoardo, can you please reach out Italian car makers and see if one would like to create Ferrari Turbo Challenge, or Lamborghini Miura Challenge?🤪
Philipp. Texturing was a very important step in the creation process of the car. The whole look and feel should match the style of the environment. Since the landscape is hand painted, I decided go for a “drawn” look. All textures have a base level of monochromatic noise to give it an analog touch. Also the specular highlights of the windshield are painted in and the shadows are baked into the texture. This helps to further the painted look.
Can we expect different settings in Classic Sport Driving?
Sylvain. For the same reason as above, everyone will get the same settings. We will only have the classic manual/auto gearbox choice…
You’ll beat your friends using your driving skills only...😉
Will the races be held in circuits or will they be raced from one point to another? Will there be championships?
Sylvain. Here we take the Lotus Turbo Challenge (2&3) recipe, and we go for 20-30km long road races, where the road is dedicated to the race. So no traffic (only opponents), and road signs specially placed for the race.
This makes for a true race track, but as long and beautiful as a mountain road. The dream of every racer…😉
Let’s say Tourist Trophy, or Pikes Peak!🤩
We will start with the ability to host a simple “one race” challenge for your friends, but of course, it would be great to be able to host a full rally, with different specials, and day to day rankings!🙂
From the very first moments, we noticed a remarkable art style and, above all, the long-range shots that propose very interesting views. Looks like two of your signature traits. Talk about it.
Jill. Thank you very much, we are happy to hear you like the art style! We intentionally wanted to use an art style which is different to most of the racing games. It’s quite graphic and reduced, but still gives a good feeling of the vast wilderness, where the cars are driving.
Sylvain. I can answer about the drawing distance here. We indeed made the choice of having a very long drawing distance. This comes to a price however. A retro engine, displaying the ground as colored stripes like in the 90s, can look a bit empty when drawing far away.
Consider Horizon Chase for example: they have a relatively short drawing distance, and I think that helps with the feeling of the environment.
In Classic Sport Driving, we made the opposite choice, as we consider that some of the beauty lives in the curves themselves, and seeing them coming up from far away. For example, when you can see a crazy hill climbing section coming up in the distance, it gives a great feeling.😋
We certainly cannot forget the sound: what role will music play?
Koscape: Concerning the music, except the track Shall We Start that made me part of the team, every single track is an original creation for the game. While respecting the philosophy and the atmosphere of Classic Sport Driving, wild spaces, road trip, competition, and a retro feeling, that we can find in how the kicks and basses sound, or in the choices made for melodic lines.
The target is to feed the player with some sort of energy, to push him in the road trip, in his performance quest or simply help the driving pleasure.
The intros are a bit more mysterious, and create some suspense on what awaits the player in the upcoming race.
Laurent: I like Koscape’s music. I think it fits well in the game and for me the music is important in a video game. For the sound design, it’s the same. we try to bring sensations into the game but with sounds. You have to be consistent with the graphics, the gameplay and of course the music. Sylvain really likes low frequencies.😂
Thank you for your time and good work
Many thanks in return, in the name of all the team, for having supported Classic Sport Driving since the beginning!
That’s a pleasure to answer such an interview, as it really gives the feeling to be part of the gamedev scene! Remember that for most of us, this is our first attempt, and the usage says we should say gamedev wannabe!😉