Developer: VooFoo Studios (www.voofoostudios.com)
Formats: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 12th 2016
Check out our interview with Sean Walsh, Marketing and PR Manager at VooFoo Studios:
Q. For anyone who hasn’t heard of it, what exactly is Mantis Burn Racing?
It’s a top down arcade style racing game with a lot of depth. It might remind people of the classic top down games but we’ve got certain things that help make it stand out.
Q. Mantis Burn Racing is already available on Steam Early Access for gamers to try ahead of its upcoming release. Has this early feedback had an impact on the game’s development and what sort of changes have you made because of it?
We wanted to do Early Access for those reasons really, to listen to feedback and make the right changes that people wanted. Having said that, our game in Early Access was quite well developed – it’s not been in Early Access for very long and it’s not a game that was going to be in early access for years. There weren’t masses of things we expected people to say since it was fairly well developed. One of the biggest things we got from Early Access feedback that we’ve changed was the camera angles. Whilst gamers liked the top down view some found it made them nauseous and they like slightly different views, so we’ve implemented different variations of the camera view. We also introduced things like the weekly challenges as well as smaller updates, but I’d say the camera views are the biggest changes we made based on listening to feedback.
Q. How many tracks are you planning for the full release and what sort of environments will they be based upon?
In the full release there’ll be eight tracks that are reversible, bringing a total of sixteen tracks. There are two environments with a sand town based environment and a city based environment that’s more inspired by places like downtown Tokyo city. There will be a third environment which will be completely different – I can’t quite say what it’ll be but it won’t be sandy and it won’t be in a city. We’re working on some different things, so it could have some snow in it, it could have some ice in it – who knows? We’ll have about twenty tracks soon after launch and we’ll give away the third environment for free so there’ll be quite a lot of content.
Q. Mantis Burn Racing is one of the earliest games revealed to be utilising the Playstation 4 Pro’s improved capabilities. What sort of improvements will the game see when played on Sony’s improved console?
The great thing about Mantis Burn Racing is that it’s one of the very few games that are going to be supporting full native 4K resolution. Most people are saying they’re upscaling to 4K, but it’s native with Mantis Burn Racing and we’re really proud of that. Ultimately it will look as good as it can look; it’ll be crystal clear, the environments will look even better, the cars will look even better and it will play at 60fps and at 1080p on local four player co-op too.
Q. What sort of single player mode will players of the game be able to work through?
There’s a full career mode which again is something we think sets the game apart, because there’s about fifteen to twenty hours of career to work through. There’s not just racing either, with nine different events including the likes of ‘Overtake’, ‘Accumulator’ and ‘Lockout’ that all offer different ways to play. You earn RPG-like XP as you develop through the career too, which will allow you to upgrade your car and change its appearance. The career is very important in the game.
Q. You’ve previously worked on games such as Big Sky Infinity, Pure Pool and Hustle Kings, so a racer is a real change of style for you guys. How has the development process been on such a radical change of genre and is this something you’ve always wanted to do as a studio?
Absolutely, it is a change, but our founder developed a game called Max Rally on the Amiga in 1998 and he actually loves racing games, so it makes a lot more sense than some people might realise. Plus we didn’t want to get pigeonholed to a particular genre, because we can do a lot more and we want to do a lot more. It all kind of made sense; it’s kind of like a follow up to Max Rally even though it’s been a lot of years since it released. We’ve always wanted to make this game and it’s only now we’ve got the right team in place to make a game like this and make it the best it can be.
Q. From simply looking at Mantis Burn Racing I got massive Micro Machines vibes. What other racers would you say have inspired the game?
Lots really, I guess Max Rally since it’s the studio founder’s game so that was the ultimate inspiration, except making it a lot more modern and innovative. Micro Machines clearly inspired it too, but we played a lot like Mashed, Motorstorm and Rock ‘N Roll Racing. We’ve got a wide appreciation of racing games, but we also wanted to make something a little different and much more modern.
Q. Besides being incredibly fun to play, what would you say makes Mantis Burn Racing stand out amongst all the other racers available on the market today?
Certainly the visuals. We hope it’s one of the best, if not the best, looking top down racers on console and PC. I think the depth and level of career mode and progression too – I’ve previously mentioned the RPG style upgrade system so there’s a lot of depth to the progression. There’s four player local split-screen, which although is considered an old feature isn’t really used much any more so we’ve made that modern in a way.
Q. When is Mantis Burn Racing going to officially launch and what platforms will we see it on?
It’s on Early Access right now for PC, but it’s coming to Playstation 4 and Xbox One as a digital download on October 12th. It’ll be here in time for the Playstation 4 Pro.
Q. Can you tell us something about the game that no-one outside of the development team knows?
Mantis is the name of our in-house game engine which is our own that we developed ourselves. ‘Mantis Burn’ was basically the project name for the game and we went through loads of different titles and different pub sessions to come up with a better name, but we kept coming back to ‘Mantis Burn’. We stuck ‘Racing’ on the end so people knew what is was and we just went with it.