Why am I making this game?
Hi my name is James Arndt. I'm a professional game developer based out of Ormond Beach, Florida. You can take a peek at some of my work, and a list of games I've worked on that shipped to market: http://www.jamesarndt3d.com/about/
I've come from a background of working on a couple of Need for Speed titles and along the way I developed a real affinity for car racing games. This current project of mine, Super Kart Racing, is a labor of love and one that I want to share with the world via their mobile devices and tablets. I am working with a small team of (3) under the name fatbox Software. This is our small development studio based in Central Florida.
I noticed that there was a serious lack of kart racing games to be found in the mobile markets, that focused on a more realistic simulation of racing go karts. Seeing this opening in the market, combined with a love for vehicle racing games, led me to start development on Super Kart Racing quite some time ago.
Screenshot of the game as of Feb. 2013:
What will gameplay be like?
There are currently (6) main track layouts, with a bonus track that is only unlocked once all prior tracks are completed. Each of the (6) track layouts will be run in reverse configurations as well, creating a total of (13) tracks for this game. The game will use an unlock system, in which initially all tracks but the first will be locked. As you progress, competing against (2) other AI opponents, and win races, you will unlock tracks progressively. Each new track will present new challenges in navigating the course. These will be present in the difficulty of a track's layout or the competitive paths the AI opponents will choose to race along.
I'm also implementing local multi-player via Bluetooth and/or Wifi using the Prime31 Bluetooth/WiFi Mulitplayer plugin for Unity. This will allow players who are near to each other to engage in races against one another. There will be a simple multi-player lobby in the game's menu, you will find any competitors in this lobby to race.
Follow links to Youtube real time footage:
What does some of the early work look like?
I will be creating (5) variations of Player Karts to choose from, each with their own distinct markings and paint. The AI opponents will consist of (3) variations of design and paint color. There will be (15) choices of unique decals/ numbering/lettering for each kart selection.
This is a peek at the current Player Kart driver (without markings or design):
I've also started development on a fully driveable demo track to demo the game to the public. I am demoing the game via web streaming using Unity Game Engine's Web Player tech (simple, light browser plugin). I am also using updates to the online web streaming build to gain valuable feedback from users in forums and on official pages. I gain knowledge of bugs that become apparent, features players would like to see implemented, feedback on the vehicle handling and feedback on game design elements. I think this is a valuable step in the development to ensure a high level of quality is reach for the end product.
There is an ongoing QA list of features to work on or improve based on community feedback. I've publicized this list directly on the Super Kart Racing web page so that others can see what is being worked on and make new suggestions for improvement. Please visit the page and view the list:
Visit the Super Kart Racing Official Website
Here is screengrab of the current demo level that is playable via the web:
Give the Early Build Demo a Try:
If you do have the Unity Web Player plugin installed you can follow this link to an immediately playable demo that plays via web streaming. This demo contains all of the functional controls for iOS and Android in the HUD, but utilizes the keyboard controls for PC/Mac testing. This is a great opportunity for anyone and everyone to provide feedback via comments, towards improving Super Kart Racing's development.
What We Need & What You Get
Special Note for perks:
In game advertising, and in-game characters will be placed on a first come, first serve basis. The early contributors (in order) will get first choice of placement in the game environments. There is ample space in every environment for high visibility.
This game will be distributed to iOS devices via Apple's App store, to Android devices via Google Play and to certain backers as a stand alone PC version via direct download.
Specific Minimum Device Support:
Android OS 2.0 or later
Device powered by an ARMv7 (Cortex family) CPU
iOS 4.3 or later
ARMv7 (Cortex family) CPU
iPhone 3GS and newer
The funds generated via this campaign will allow me to complete this game with an expected release in July 2013. This will allow me to realize this game to it's full potential, as it's always been pushed aside for paying work. This is a Unity Game Engine based project. Funds will be used to acquire an upgrade license to Unity 4.0, to take advantage of new optimizations and bug fixes within the Unity editor environment itself. Important licensing fees will need to be paid as well. I will need to renew my iOS Developer License this February as well as purchase the Android Developer License. Funds will also be used to acquire needed prop or environment models for future artwork needs. I will need assistance in general prop modeling, some of the reverse track configs will require movement of barricades, signage, etc.
I will also use funds for Sumner McCarty's time (assisting programmer/former Firebrand co-worker) to look over my scripts, clean up my code, offer more efficient code structure, etc. He’ll be more in a consultant capacity and will be paid an hourly consulting fee. I will also use funds to purchase required audio assets from online sources. We will also need to purchase at least one Android handset device for testing. All initial testing for Android will be done via emulation. Lastly funds are needed to acquire the Prime31 plugins for implementing wifi/bluetooth multiplayer into the game. After development needs are met, this funding will allow me to sustain myself during development on Super Kart Racing.
As with any game development it's important to know the strengths and risks up front. Currently the game is about 25% feature complete.I feel the biggest hurdle to completion might be solving difficult bugs. My strengths as an environment, prop and vehicle artist will allow me to produce the game's needed artwork relatively smoothly. QA and solving hard to find bugs seem to be the largest time killer. I intend to help mitigate this by using frequent TestFlight builds to approved testers, usage of the Unity forums and Unity Answers forums, utilizing an already existing network of professional developer friends, and by my own knowledge of QA and debugging racing games. A good example: While working on Need for Speed Undercover I averaged the closing out of 35-50 bugs each day, for a period of several weeks.
All programming will be completed in-house, so there will be no issues with outsourced scripting. I am a capable programmer, that can handle most challenges, issues or logic that is required. If I do hit a hurdle, I immediately reach out to programming professionals I am connected to through prior working relationships. I do not anticipate complications with builds or testing to the devices as iOS testing has gone smoothly so far. I have credentials and certificates installed on both an iPad2 and iPhone 3GS, as well as access to an iPhone 4S for testing. Android testing will be done first via emulation in the development environment and then on actual purchased Android hardware. I have successfully submitted and was approved to Apple's app store before (Tablet Match game), so I am familiar with their processing/approval time and technical rules for submission.
The current lack of funding poses the biggest risk to the completion of this project, but hopefully we can solve that as a team! The great part of Indiegogo is the fact that it uses flexible funding, meaning development can still be funded even if we don't entirely hit the goal amount.
This campaign will allow me to bring a great kart racing experience to the mass audiences of mobile platforms. It will allow friends to compete against each other and hopefully bring back some of those go karting memories from childhood. The game will also be very reachable to a wide spectrum of consumers, with a price point of $2.00 for a download from Apple's App Store and the Android Marketplace.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can't contribute financially, but would like to help promote this game, you can easily use the share tools right here on IndieGoGo to share this project on the various social networks. Help me spread the word on Twitter, Facebook and any other avenue you might think is helpful. Independent developers such as myself need all of the help they can get to get the word out!