We recently sat down with Big Park Studios and had them answer some fan questions about Joy Ride Turbo.
Below are the answers they gave us and we would like to thank Mike McCartney, Senior Producer for Joy Ride Turbo for his time.
1.What is the day to day life at your studio like?
Life is fun here at BigPark – We’re a close team who keep things light hearted and casual. When projects get stressful or very busy having this vibe really helps.
2.What’s your job title and what is the best/worst part about your job?
My title is Senior Producer. The best part of my job is the amazing team of people that I get to work with every day.
3.Any weird or wacky people that you work with?
4.Joy Ride started out as a FTP XBLA game, then became a retail Kinect game, what made you want to bring it back to XBLA?
Our team has always been passionate about our vision for Joy Ride and its potential on Xbox LIVE Arcade. Earlier this year, we had a bit of free time between projects and after some investigating we realized that we could breathe new life into some of the previously unreleased tracks and stunt parks originating from our original vision. We felt like the content was fun and something that the community would enjoy.
5.Could you describe Joy Ride Turbo for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet?
Joy Ride Turbo is a controller based arcade racer released on XBOX Live Arcade. It’s all the fun, fast paced action of kart racing including weapons and power ups. Plus, Joy Ride Turbo is unique in the genre because of the inclusion of Stunt Parks. Stunt Parks are free form environments that allow players to explore to collect trophies, car parts and hidden areas. You can play with up to four players on the couch at home, or up to 8 players over Xbox LIVE.
6.How large was the team working on Joy Ride Turbo and how long has it been in development?
The team working on Joy Ride Turbo was about 25-30 people total. We’ve been working on Joy Ride Turbo specifically since January 2012. However, that’s a bit misleading as much of the content had an extensive amount of work done on it during various points over the last 2-3 years.
7.When you first set out to make Joy Ride Turbo did you envision it to turn out the way it did?
We started Joy Ride Turbo with a very clear idea as to how we wanted it to turn out as an XBLA title. We wanted to make sure that the car physics model felt great and that each car drove differently from one another. We also set out to ensure that we were delivering a large amount of content for an XBLA title, through the various tracks, unlockables, and stunt parks. Most importantly we wanted to ensure the game was fun, especially in a multiplayer scenario. Now that the game is done I think we achieved all of these goals. The team is thrilled with how the final game turned out.
8.Looking back on Joy Ride Turbo now that it is being released, what are the things that you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of the team. I’m still amazed that we were able to pull a game of this quality level together in such a short timeline. The team was so passionate about this title from the first day of development, I’m extremely proud of the work we have done.
9.Was there anything you were hoping to get into Joy Ride Turbo that did not make it? Any chance you will try and get it in as DLC?
We put as much content in Joy Ride Turbo as we possibly could. There’s always the possibility of DLC. If the game is received well it’s something we may look at.
10.Can you give us some tips or strategies for Joy Ride Turbo?
Sure here’s two tips:
To get a boost on the start line you need press the accelerator down right when the green light appears.
In the Stunt Parks use your position wisely. When you are in the higher elevated portions of the parks keep an eye out for trophies and boxes that you have yet to grab and plan out your route.
11.Now that Joy Ride Turbo is close to being released, what’s next for your studio?
We’re very busy at the moment working on a couple of different unannounced projects.
12. Some people believe that this game could have been update to Kinect Joy Ride that added in new things and controller support, I would assume that was thought about and not as possible as it seems?
There is a lot of new content in Joy Ride Turbo. The Stunt Parks and new tracks represent all new environments, as well as the work done to tune each car physics model – enabling each car to drive differently from one another. While Kinect Joy Ride was targeted to a broader audience, delivering Joy Ride Turbo to XBLA delivers a fun kart racer that everyone – core and casual – can pick up at a great price point and have a fantastic time playing alone or with friends.
13. We have seen the avatar awards in the game, Were these your first choices or did you go through a few different ideas?
It’s funny that you ask that, we actually did have some other more abstract ideas originally. The goal was to create something that people would want to unlock as well as want to wear and show off to their friends in the dashboard / game. Originally we wanted to allow people to unlock a full cactus shaped suit. Unfortunately this idea didn’t really work within the set size limitations of the avatars. So we scaled back our expectations a bit and I think what we ended up with is a good compromise. The Cactus hat is certainly original and unique, while offering a taste of the original idea. I’m also a bit partial to the checkered flag patterned pants.
14. Did you all come from game developer/designer backgrounds at Big Park?
Yes. All of the team has been working in game development for a number of years here in Vancouver.
15. Will there be any Vehicle customization options? Like Paint, parts, and so on?
Each of our 45 vehicles can be painted in 1 of many unique colors in exchange for some of your hard earned coins that you collect throughout the game.
16. Can you tell us what the future might hold for Joy Ride Turbo?
It really depends on how well the game is received. If it’s received well and there’s a demand we might consider providing more content.
17. We know we have avatar awards but are there any plans to bring more items for the game to the avatar marketplace?
Not at this time.
18. We have seen that the game has 12 achievements for 200 gamerscore, any chance it will be updated later to the new format of 400 gamerscore and 30 achievements?
Not at this time.
19. Will there be any kind of bonuses for those people that have played Kinect Joy Ride?
There’s not any in-game rewards for people that may have played Kinect Joy Ride, however I think the advantage those people do have is that they will be familiar with the layout of the returning tracks giving them a leg up on any competition.
20. 2011 was a big year for gaming what games do you play when not working on your own?
There’s definitely been a lot of great games this past year. I play all sorts of games, and try to play as many games as I can outside of work. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is really the standout for me. I’d go so far as to call the game the most underappreciated amongst some of the other big games from last year. I also really enjoyed Batman Arkham City, Mass Effect 3 and Assassin’s Creed Revelations.