Interview with Shin’en about FAST Racing Neo’s Upcoming DLC Pack

Interview with Shin'en about FAST Racing Neo's Upcoming DLC Pack

In our second interview from Gamescom, Daan talks to Martin Sauter from Shin’en. They are planning to release downloadable content for FAST Racing Neo in September 2016. What is in the pack and why are they releasing DLC at all? You read it all in this conversation! Daan Koopman : I’m here with Martin Sauter, who is the art director at Shin’en. How are you doing today? Martin Sauter : Totally fine. Today is an easy day for me, lots of business stuff, not so many people, not so crowded, so we have space or time. DK: It’s only Wednesday still. It’s been a year since you spoke at Gamescom, and we discussed everything related to FAST Racing NEO. For the people listening to or reading this, could you give them an introduction to the game again? MS: FAST Racing NEO is a game which came out last Christmas, it’s a futuristic racing game in line with maybe F-Zero, Wipeout if you know that, but it has its own character. It has phase switching mechanics which is very important to the game, it’s the core element, the core mechanic actually. You have to switch between two colors, you have to match boost pads, jump pads or obstacles throughout the race. This is something that separates it from classic racing games. In the end, it’s a fast paced racing game that’s about speed, from what we’ve heard sometimes it’s too fast, but the reception today was amazing and we’re so happy that we hit the right spot for the Nintendo fans really wanting a futuristic racing games. There are not very many. DK: You talked a little bit about the reception, how has the reception been overall? MS: I’d say couldn’t be much better. There are media outlets who criticize this or that, that’s something which every game has. On Metacritic we’re way over 80%, apart from some media there was very good reception. We read everything and some stuff we picked up some stuff even from the community, they write comments, we put out an update with a minimap because it was requested. We listen to everything, but we think we’ve made a great game. DK: Now the game’s getting a large chunk of downloadable content in September. Could you explain what is in the package? MS: The package is first of all 8 new tracks, the most important thing. It’s the whole game, got lots of little improvement, there’s improvement graphically wise, online there was some issues we heard, we couldn’t find them before release, we fixed all that stuff. It’s a pretty large package with 8 new tracks, 24 tracks total, car profiles, new songs… I think you get a really full package for the price. DK: Why did you decide to release DLC? Was it the natural thing to do as a company? MS: I said from the start we would love to support FAST Racing NEO in the future. We were discussing it in the office, and it was totally clear that when the game came out and the reception was good that we’d keep working on that. We started fixing issues, adding minimaps, adding stuff we found, it was pretty clear we wanted to go with DLC, make something because the demand was so heated. We were asked if there were new tracks coming, Nintendo approached us and asked “Is there interest in a physical release”. DK: Can you give me a rundown of your favourite moments in the new tracks that are available in the DLC pack? MS: You might watch the video, I don’t know if it’s online… DK: It’s likely online. MS: I have a rough time sometimes because I haven’t played them so much, just a little bit, I get those moments of surprise with these that I don’t get with the older tracks because I’ve played them over and over again. I hope people who come in will have the same feeling of “Whoa, that’s new, that’s fresh”. There’s one track where you just have a tube and you’re riding on that tube and you can spin around as you like. Even I don’t even know the best way to go there, and I can test every way to go. There’s unlimited ways to drive the track and it’s surprising to me. There’s one ascending track where you have skyscrapers and you try to junp and fly, there’s a road coming by you and you think “Oh, I can’t hit that road!”. Somehow you make it and it gives you a great feeling when you master it. DK: The ice track in particular was really crazy, I need to play it more sometime. So, like you said, there’s also ten new… vehicles, I think? MS: No, the vehicles stay the same. We have vehicle profiles, you can unlock them and see the stats, it’s just a graphical thing you can unlock. The tracks are there, the music player has eight new tracks, because every new track has a new song with a driving techno beat. That’s what we have. DK: The game plus downloadable content is coming as a retail package to Europe published by Nintendo of Europe. How did this collaboration come about? MS: I’m not from the business side directly, but as far as I know, Nintendo approached us and we have a great relationship with them. We always talk, and this was something that came from Nintendo, they asked us if this is something we could believe in. We said that’s perfect – we’re old school gamers and we know the digital market is a new market, but we come from the old school and we think having a game on your shelf is something special. When I went to the…

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