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Racing Games Are About Balance

As I mentioned in my first post, i am really into racing games.  Which is why I’m focusing my efforts on a genre, or type of game I’m interested in

Right now I’m Really into Grid2. Here’s my setup.
Wheel
The game is a fun racing game. The cars handle beautifully, the crashes are spectacular. The car selection is meh… My biggest issue with the game is customization. You see i have always longed for the days that I had the knowledge and skill required to have a truly rad ride, or the money to get it there. Sadly I have none of these. I have a car and that’s a start. I also don’t have the balls to push it on the street or take it to a track. So I immerse myself in games. I enjoy working on and tuning cars to my liking in these games. I prefer racing simulators, but I don’t like track racing. That puts me in an awkward position, since most of the realistic games are rally or track games. Forza horizon (A Codemasters game) is more arcade play than legit forza, but it has free roam. Car customization, street racing, all of that, but I can’t use logitech steering wheels with xbox. Seriously what the hell. Anyway I digress, this about board games. So I want:
  • A racing game that gives players an ability to customize their cars.
  • A dynamic and changing game. Like in street racing, whats the fun of racing on the same street?
  • Licensed cars. Oh yeah, like this is going to happen!!!  Well screw you buddy, this guy has already contact Ford, and GM licensing. It won’t be there soon but it would be legit.
I thought about this for a few weeks, then decided to throw stuff together to make a somewhat playable proof of concept. I created car cards, which will start with base stats players will then start with money. This money is portrayed by….actual money.
Game cards
Phase 1: The Build The players go in rounds pulling from the junk pile, which has car stat bonuses, luck cards, etc. The player can also choose to purchase premium parts, at a higher price than searching through the junk yard but it’s a guaranteed score. Then the player places a hexagonal track tile. (thanks nurdz.com)
card and track
Questions on this phase:
  • How do we make this fun?
  • Can we add an auction or stealing element?
  • Should cars be at 0 pts and players can fully customize?
  • How do we keep all players from building the same car?
  Once everyone runs out of money, or something cooler i haven’t decided on yet happens, the players will then race on the track that they’ve built. Phase 2:The Race. This part was hard for me. I didn’t want to invent the wheel, and I already had track tiles so how do I make the game good using other principles but not already done.
  • We need a concept of shifting gears
  • We need a reason to burn down attributes
  • We need a crashing mechanism
  • We need a balance so someone can’t shift up to 5th gear and tear up the track and finish in one piece
  • Do we need race rubber banding (common in games like need for speed) or if someone screws up will they not be able to recover
I would also like a concept of drivers, or experience, keeping the players coming back and if they get 2nd or 3rd, they still get something for the next play of the game. Some things to think on. Now to play what little I have, answer some questions. In my next post we will talk about my steps walking through the race phase. Leave a comment if you have suggestions for these.

3 Comments on “Racing Games Are About Balance

  1. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  2. I’ve had a board game idea for a while and I was browsing board games through reddit to see if anyone has done something similar. I found your site through a link and was excited to see this post. You have a very similar game concept to something I want to put together! Hexagon road pieces with divided roads is something I have made using card stock myself for mine. Instead of street racing though, mine is more based on the Transporter movie. Have you had much time to play with your setup? How have the hexagon roads been working, and moving within them? Can drivers switch lanes within a tile? I got the idea based on Formel 1, an old German grand prix game I have a copy of. Hope to see more posts about your game and its development!

    Steve

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