Motorsport games ready for 2022 after 2021 fundamentals
2021 has been a busy year for the Motorsport Games. The Florida-based video game developer and publisher has released “NASCAR: Ignition” and “NASCAR Heat: Ultimate Edition +” while announcing a new IndyCar video game. There were some highlights, as well as some hiccups, but the company’s decision-makers have expressed enthusiasm for building on a new foundation for future racing games.
Motorsport Games CEO Dmitry Kozko spoke with Heavy before the end of 2021 to discuss the biggest stories of the year. He explained how 2021 was a “founding year” that will help the company make improvements to “NASCAR: Ignition” while examining how to continue creating products for the Nintendo Switch. Although the main goal is to ensure that future NASCAR games are not released on systems with technical issues.
“We have to do a lot better, don’t we? I think we missed our own bar of expectations that we set for ourselves, and mainly with some of the bugs that people in a preview window were experiencing, ”Kozko told Heavy. ” This is unacceptable. So that was the theme, I would say. Everyone needs to improve a lot on this point.
“And then I got really forensic to see what exactly caused it. How does it get through our cracks, the Sony cracks, and the cracks of our external Q&A partners. And to make sure that never happens, again, we had to be really forensic about it. What we have done. We’re glad to have seen that much of the community stepped up their comments. And, of course, the first ones were around bugs.
Kozko added that there had been a lot of talk that “NASCAR: Ignition” had fewer features than the “NASCAR Heat” series it replaced. He said this is a product of the team creating a new product and focusing on the foundation. Kozko said that now Motorsport Games can “evolve” the product and start adding more features. He didn’t explain what all of those changes would be, but added that being able to drive from the garage to the track is something under consideration.
Community paint schemes were a highlight
The addition of the enlarged paint booth was an important point for Motorsport Games in preparation for the release of “NASCAR: Ignition”. The company said there will be even more options for players to create their dream projects before taking them to the track.
Kozko and the Motorsport Games team paid special attention to customer-created patterns shared on Twitter. There are several accounts that grab their attention because of the precision and level of detail, but Kozko specifically mentioned a creator named Nick Weaver.
“An incredible job. Incredible, ”Kozko said of the ploys. “I saw quite a few. I saw the Hot Wheels he made. So many owls. Each one is like a pleasure to open. In fact, I look forward to his notifications on Twitter every time.
Weaver is just one of many examples of designers using the paint booth who delve into the history of NASCAR. Some have recreated drawings by Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Petty. Others have focused on adding new companies to NASCAR that would never have sponsored a driver before. The result is a wide array of intricate designs that took hours of work.
IndyCar remains a priority for motorsport games
While there is still work in progress regarding “NASCAR: Ignition”, the Motorsport Games team has another project in the works. The company announced a partnership with the NTT IndyCar series on July 15, which involved a future video game slated for release in 2023.
The team continues to work on the title in an effort to provide a glimpse into the future. This remains a very thorough process given that Motorsport Games has to analyze all the tracks and street courses that will feature some of the biggest names in the series. Some tracks, such as Texas Motor Speedway, World Wide Technology Raceway, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are already in the system, but others require work.
The IndyCar Series season offers several temporary tracks on the streets of major cities. Nashville featured a street race, as did St. Petersburg. The Motorsport Games team can’t just go to these cities for a free week to scan. They have to work with IndyCar and set aside time to work.
“It makes the laser scan timeline much, much more precise,” Kozko said. “The good thing is we don’t have to start from scratch. There is certainly a starting point. But when the track is built, it takes us maybe 30 minutes or so and get that millimeter precision.
“… So we want to make sure that every track is properly laser scanned. And when it’s in a city, I mean, it just makes us prepare for more. Then when it comes to performing the actual capture, we just have to do it a lot faster.
The IndyCar title is currently at the start of the process. Part of the team is working on determining what the right feature set is while another part has started the actual development process. There are still several months before an asset sees the light of day, but potential customers can rest assured that they will be able to compete on all routes in the IndyCar program.
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