Blog Post #6: Another Perspective
Hi! I’m Joe, giving you guys an update on what it’s like to work on the RV Punch project. From the beginning of the project, it was Christine and I that had brainstormed vision and the skeleton of our first map, Canyon Mall. The idea of the track to have these two very contradicting environments comes from many places. One of which stems from our core pillar of adding dynamic and memorable environments. For a player’s first time playing the track, we wanted to add shock value and interactivity within our tracks so that our players will not only be engaged with each section of the track, but also stick with the player. Memorizing certain shortcuts, knowing when and where there are choke points to hit other players, finding and mastering the optimal route, and much more.
The other idea stems from our interpretation of the world. We had this idea of the setting of RV Punch took place in this world where everything is very corporatized and westernized, hence why there is a mall located in what really should be a national park. Supermall, are undoubtedly a very Western concept, it is a staple to commercialism and the American Dream motif. This fits well within the context of RV Punch due to the popularity of Recreational Vehicles being popular to the Western market. It is also worth noting that the canyon aspect of Canyon Mall has taken inspiration to the Grand Canyon, which is a very popular tourist attraction and is an iconic staple to the “Western Frontier” motif.
Lastly, and I think I know what everyone is thinking…, Canyon Mall has taken inspiration from the classic track Coconut Mall from Mario Kart Wii. You know it that we totally had Coconut Mall music playing on repeat as we consolidated our madness to this one track, I mean who would miss out on this opportunity. Some of the elevation changes were inspired by the track but other than that there really wasn't that much that we ran with. Mostly because we had our own ideas to run with and also not being uncreative in that regard too.
While mapping out the track, we also need to create some creative use of our arms as it is a part of our movement mechanic (and what is a track if not to supply the ability to use these mechanics). That is why we have shortcuts that can only be accessed if the players use the wall punching mechanics. In fact, these shortcuts are so game changing that it could make the difference from last to first in an instant. With such a huge reward, unfortunately comes an equally huge set back if done incorrectly and these shortcuts are definitely not a walk in the park. It requires mastery of the intended mechanics and precise movements to make these jumps, which at some point for the players are expected to achieve after trial and error.
In this track, we’ve also been testing how to dynamically change the environment even more with use of hazards and destructible walls. Currently we are testing the waters to use these features even more in future tracks. In Canyon Mall, we are adding your standard RV Punch brand Boulders to obscure the players ability to traverse a certain section of the map to add more interactivity as well as RV Punch brand Walls that when hit enough times will shatter opening up a new shortcut for the players to use. Thus adding unpredictability to our track and dynamic experience that the player can and cannot control, furthermore providing a new experience while playing the game.
Thanks for reading and I hope this was an insightful look into the design!