Right from the start of the development of Wrecked we were adamant that we weren’t going to throw loads of tracks into the games to play a numbers game. Instead we decided we were going to do a small number and make sure every one of them was really good. Hopefully we’ve achieved this.
Some tracks came more easily than others.
The first track we worked on was Brockridge Mine. This was inspired by Tierra Piedra in Mashed. That was a really playable track and included lots of features that we knew that our engine had to support. We knew that if we got a track inspired by that to be great fun and look good then the rest of the game would follow fairly smoothly.
It took us ages to do though… We went through lots of graphic styles, with the look changing significantly many times.
We also endlessly tweaked the shape. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing: physics and track shape. In the early days, is the game not fun because the physics isn’t good, or because the track shape is bad? They end up feeding off and improving each other, both being polished at the same time. It can be a slow process, but there’s no substitute for this part of development – endlessly playing and tweaking the game.
We also knew very early on that we wanted a track inspired by Polar Wharf from Mashed, so in some respects the Icebridge track came easily, although in other respects this was the hardest track to do. Polar Wharf was so insanely addictive that anything less than that in Wrecked would have been a fail, so we endlessly tweaked that track and how the physics behaved on it too.
With Jungle Temple we wanted a really simple track to start the game with – one that players could easily learn and start enjoying the game on very quickly.
That said, we didn’t want it to be boring or a novice player’s throw-away track.
It includes the steepest slope in the game (a real rollercoaster) and although the shape is simple, there’s danger all the way around the outside of the track.
It’s a good track for epic weapon battles.
This is our longest track. It’s got a section where there are lots of alternative routes – a little like the chase scene in the last Indiana Jones movie. There’s also a great secret shortcut.
This level is quite short but a real favourite in the office. It’s really perilous, with thin roads and vertical cliffs all round the edges. When played with loads of weapons it’s a real multi-player gem.
This is our second longest track and probably the most complex shape. There are a couple of really nice areas on it: a wide, icy switch-back series of turns and a tight cork-screw that exits through a tunnel.
We think we’ve got a good balance of tracks and although there are only six, they’ve all been endlessly polished and played on. We get people telling us they still spend hours a week on Mashed – 7 years after it came out. We really think and hope we’ve got the same longevity and depth of game-play in Wrecked.
Maybe there will be some more tracks coming later…