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Race the Sun Coming to PS3, PS4, PS Vita This Summer

Forest San Filippo's Avatar + Posted by Forest San Filippo on Mar 14, 2014 // Co-founder, Flippfly

There’s just something about going fast. The desire for speed seems to be ingrained in our very nature. Race the Sun is our attempt to distill that desire into its basic form — to strip away all pretense and let players experience pure, brutal speed. Building a game with this goal in mind took a lot of trial, error, and some new ideas.

The Goals

When we first played the prototype that would become Race the Sun, we felt like we had something special. Every time one of us would crash, we’d say “Just one more run. I know I can do better.” It felt like we were playing a classic arcade game designed to suck you in.

After quite a bit of discussion and thought, we decided on some specific goals for Race the Sun. It had to be fast, fun, and challenging. We knew that some of the fastest games out there were encumbered by complex rules and controls — and we really wanted our game to be fun right from the start. The mantra “easy to learn, hard to master” was adopted in lieu of design documents, and we got to work.

Easy to Learn

The first major problem to tackle was control. When it comes down to it, controls of any racer (no matter how complex) usually revolve around making your vehicle turn left and right. We decided that we wanted the turning mechanism to be super simple, and that turned out to be easier said than done.

Race the SunRace the Sun

When simulating the physics of a real object moving in 3D space, there are tons of things to consider. Acceleration, inertia, and drag need to be calculated, and the control algorithms need to act in harmony with those forces. Every little change to one of the variables makes the controls feel totally different.

So you test, you play, you try a different number, you test again, you try a different algorithm, and so on and so forth. The process was time consuming, but ultimately worth it. We didn’t stop tweaking until we felt we had struck the best possible balance: not too tight, not too loose.

Hard to Master

After a few months of work, we had a vehicle that felt great to control at crazy speeds, and a really basic world to race through. Aaron (our programmer) had created a procedural system to make the world go on forever, and we had decided on solar power as the source of energy and speed. The heart of the game was there, but once you got good at it there wasn’t much challenge.

Race the Sun

We knew what needed to happen. We needed to hand-design more varied and interesting obstacles in the world, but — being a small team — we didn’t know how we were going to pull it off in any reasonable amount of time.

This is when Aaron came up with an idea for generating the world out of a combination of hand-designed and procedural elements. The end result was that we were able to make complex combinations of obstacles in short order. This also meant that we could make the world rearrange itself each day — so you could never quite predict what would be coming.

On the Horizon

Making this game has been crazy, interesting, stressful, and fun, but we feel like we’ve accomplished what we set out to do. The simple, arcade-inspired heart is still there, but there are layers of complexity that let skilled players advance and get higher scores. The core experience has remained centered on that feeling of pure, deadly speed.

Our top priority in bringing the game to Playstation is to keep that experience consistent and pure. To that end, we’ve decided to support cross save and make the game a cross buy purchase. Everything is falling into place for Race the Sun, and we’re pumped to launch on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita this Summer.

We can’t wait to share our creation with you, the Playstation community, and hear what you think about our game of unsafe speeds. Feel free to comment or ask us anything below!

//Add Your Own

40 Comments   6 Replies

1

+ WilbertX on March 14th, 2014 at 8:05 am said:

I can’t wait to play this!!!!!!


2

+ NickZ2112 on March 14th, 2014 at 8:06 am said:

This looks great! Kinda reminds me of a mix between the original StarFox and Tiny Wings. Seems like a perfect pick up and play experience for the VITA.


3

+ GranpireV on March 14th, 2014 at 8:06 am said:

60FPS or bust?


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    + Aaron San Filippo on March 14th, 2014 at 10:24 am said:

    Yes! I’m dedicated to hitting 60fps on all 3 platforms, with visuals that are as close to identical on all 3 as well.
    We’re making fantastic progress towards that goal on Vita already.


4

+ VG_JUNKY on March 14th, 2014 at 8:07 am said:

Saw this on pc awhile back…maybe since its coming to vita i might get it…maybe


5

+ HaKkErO on March 14th, 2014 at 8:17 am said:

Day one! Seen this on PC, but I like most of my games on Console.


6

+ Conall-Star on March 14th, 2014 at 8:19 am said:

YES!! i remember seeing video for this a while back and hoping to god it would come to the playstation ecosystem. Cross-buy / Cross-save? HELL yes! day one purchase from me!!


7

+ saab01 on March 14th, 2014 at 8:19 am said:

Looks interesting hopefully a demo is planned.


8

+ Conall-Star on March 14th, 2014 at 8:29 am said:

Reminds me of a mix of Star Fox and WipEout. hard to go wrong. What kind of different game modes can we expect?


9

+ Alex_dlc on March 14th, 2014 at 8:30 am said:

I have been playing this game since the Beta was released, and it is still as fun as the first day! Cant wait to play it on PS3/PS4


10

+ Sharingan_itachi on March 14th, 2014 at 8:31 am said:

Cross save among all or PS4~Vita or PS3~Vita?


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    + Aaron San Filippo on March 14th, 2014 at 10:25 am said:

    We’re shooting for cross-save functionality among all 3 platforms.


11

+ scxzor on March 14th, 2014 at 8:36 am said:

Will the console versions feature the level editor of the PC original?


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    + Aaron San Filippo on March 14th, 2014 at 10:32 am said:

    We’re still working out whether this makes sense for the console versions. There are a lot of challenges involved in hosting this type of content, and in making a level editor easy to use with a game controller. But it’s a possibility.


12

+ GranpireV on March 14th, 2014 at 8:37 am said:

@ #8 – aeornflippout

Excellent! Good luck on that coding!


13

+ Ricen-Beans on March 14th, 2014 at 8:39 am said:

Awesome about trying to hit 60fps on vita!

Will there be a platinum trophy?

Is there any progression in the game?

If this game is score based please have leaderboards we can compare w friends.

Thanks! Looks good btw


    Forest San Filippo's Avatar

     

    + Aaron San Filippo on March 14th, 2014 at 10:27 am said:

    Platiumum Trophy: We’re not sure on this one!

    Progress: Yes! There are 25 levels of upgrades to earn, each unlocking a new feature, game mode, or other reward. The game also includes an additional “apocalypse” mode – and may include one or two more surprises in the PS version.

    And yes, there will be leaderboards.


14

+ gus_xl on March 14th, 2014 at 8:46 am said:

After watching the trailer for the forth time, I want to ask a question. If I sent you a nice fruit cake, could I play the game early?


15

+ CodeSe7en on March 14th, 2014 at 8:53 am said:

Yes to the ‘can’t wait’. Yes to the Vita play. Yes to the ’60fps or bust’. I want to add that this would KILL on VR.


16

+ IIL0YDII on March 14th, 2014 at 9:02 am said:

When?


17

+ IIL0YDII on March 14th, 2014 at 9:03 am said:

Oh summer I see, i’ve missed that.


18

+ GrafUlrich88 on March 14th, 2014 at 9:06 am said:

Great job guys!!!

This is beautiful of a game! Please post more footage and maybe some gameplay footage by you guys with commentary.

I was wondering if you can customize the color of your ship to say black, blue, teal/emerald, red, etc…?


    Forest San Filippo's Avatar

     

    + Aaron San Filippo on March 14th, 2014 at 10:28 am said:

    At the moment, customization involves adding “attachments” to your ship, which are unlocked via gameplay and allow you to have control over how you play. Further customization options are always a possibility :)


19

+ Dethfuse on March 14th, 2014 at 9:08 am said:

Sold me at cross buy. Game also looks like a blast. I hope that dying and restarted doesn’t take too long so I can just plunge right back into my own death.


20

+ hahpurr on March 14th, 2014 at 9:11 am said:

Come on. I didn’t get a next-gen console to play games like Tower Fall, Mercenary Kings and this blocky piece of garbage that look like they were meant for a regular or super Nintendo from 20 years ago. Meanwhile Sony is still releasing games like EverQuest Next Landmark only on P.C.


21

+ Ricen-Beans on March 14th, 2014 at 9:14 am said:

Thanks for the reply. Just saw the trailer. Day one!


22

+ BlueBl1zzard on March 14th, 2014 at 9:59 am said:

This game (reminds me of Starfox and) looks like loads of fun. Here’s to hoping that the controls feel really satisfying.


23

+ auron1014 on March 14th, 2014 at 10:55 am said:

Awesome! I played this on a friend’s pc a few months ago and really loved it! It’s super addictive.


24

+ MakoSoul on March 14th, 2014 at 11:11 am said:

Now THIS looks awesome. Reminds me of a unique lovechild of Journey, Wipeout and Starfox. Cannot wait to play this.


25

+ LURKING_WOLF on March 14th, 2014 at 11:31 am said:

more crap on ps4


26

+ Folklore_Legendz on March 14th, 2014 at 11:39 am said:

if you make the vita version have the level editor as the pc, I change my name to yours. :)


27

+ ECisMe on March 14th, 2014 at 11:40 am said:

Will be getting on PS3. Thank you for supporting the PS3 platform! A lot of us are still working with ol’ faithful, and plan to continue doing so for some time.

Also, thanks for supporting DRM-free gaming by releasing your PC version on GOG.


28

+ PrimeroIncognito on March 14th, 2014 at 12:44 pm said:

Looks challenging… and fun. I like that.

Looking forward to it.


29

+ guitarded77 on March 14th, 2014 at 1:13 pm said:

Reminds me of Star Fox…

Please have independent trophies for each platform. I hate when they share trophies for all systems. I like to have replay incentive for each platform.


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    + Forest San Filippo on March 14th, 2014 at 1:27 pm said:

    Thanks for the input about trophies! We will definitely keep that under consideration.


30

+ PainOfSarrow on March 14th, 2014 at 1:36 pm said:

this looks very like my type of game. will most likely purchase this day one if the price is right.


31

+ Slydevil13 on March 14th, 2014 at 2:27 pm said:

My dreams of becoming The Lawnmower Man ARE FINALLY MADE REAL!!!


32

+ Mantiskilla on March 14th, 2014 at 4:44 pm said:

Kinda ironic this game is on sale on Steam right now for like $5. Its a pretty fun game no doubt. Honestly i think the Steam Workshop PC content stuff is what really makes the game have so much replay value. How will this be justified on consoles since I can’t see that coming over? Will there end up being DLCs for extra maps from say the “Best made” PC maps or something?


33

+ tusunami on March 14th, 2014 at 4:49 pm said:

So this is a racing survival game which sounds kinda cool. This will be interesting for sure.


34

+ Dangisuckatgamin on March 14th, 2014 at 9:26 pm said:

I’ll buy it on sale… that’s about it.
It looks fun but not $10-$15 fun.. especially when there’s free games JUST like it online…. any computer could run them too.


35

+ ropaul on March 14th, 2014 at 11:57 pm said:

OK sony this is ridiculous, or who ever this is cause i have noticed that as the gaming community GAMES ARE ONLY BECOMING ONLINE AND I AM VERY UPSET ABOUT THIS, i want my split screen games back with a full screen NOW!!!!!!! i understand that online is important but i feel though that i am getting cheated my moneys worth when i am asked to give 60 bucks but cause the price HAS gone up by ten bucks I FEEL CHEATED.I also hate the fact that only indie game developers are the only ones doing this and thats fine but when i see big triple A games being made with out that split screen i get really angry and it drives me away from the gaming world even more, pls save are games or else you guy ARE GOING TO START LOSING PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN PLAYING GAMES, HECK I MAY EVEN GO BACK TO NINTENDO. STOP MAKING GAMES LIKE KNACK SPLIT SCREEN AND START MAKING GAMES LIKE KILLZONE CUZ I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO INVITE MY FRIENDS OVER TO MY PLACE AND BE ABLE TO DO WONDERS NOW MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS OR ELSE I AM GONE thank u for ur cooperation. MAKE SURE THAT EVERY COMPANY SEE THIS!!!!!!!


36

+ Elvick_ on March 15th, 2014 at 11:34 am said:

This looks really fun.


37

+ bmrskate on March 15th, 2014 at 3:43 pm said:

Very cool game concept with nods to the past, especially to early 3D, flat-shaded polygon games. I’ll probably pick up Race the Sun when it comes out. I only wish there was a little more color, but that’s just nitpicking.


38

+ SpooNManX on March 15th, 2014 at 4:43 pm said:

“Do a barrel roll!”

Looks great! I’ve been craving a nice flying game like this for a long time. This seems to showcase what I enjoyed most about the original StarFox on the SNES. Weaving in and out of obstacles and the sense of speed.

Looking forward to this when it comes out.


39

+ MJtheMC on March 16th, 2014 at 2:33 pm said:

I played this on PC and I loved it. I do hope that if it comes to PS4 it will have a little more flavor to it. Online multiplayer?


40

+ MrChicagoWind on March 17th, 2014 at 9:48 pm said:

Can’t wait! Played this game last summer at Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago and asked the developers if this would make it to PSN. So glad the developers and Sony made it happen.


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