The developers of GRIP discuss how they’ve drawn from Rollcage’s influence and what makes their game unique!
GRIP is a game inspired by the original Rollcage games and some of the developers of the latter are also working on it. This is a game with intense action and physics-defying speeds and movement! The game is still in Early Access as the developers try and balance out all of the different aspects of the game including the different types of vehicles.
To learn more about the game, Gamingbolt reached out to Caged Element Inc. with some questions and Game Director Chris Mallinson provided the following answers.
"It’s fair to say that without Rollcage GRIP wouldn’t be the game it is or even wouldn’t exist. Rollcage brought us together as a team."
GRIP is clearly a callback to the Rollcage games. What are the ways in which this game is similar and different from the source of its inspiration?
It’s fair to say that without Rollcage GRIP wouldn’t be the game it is or even wouldn’t exist. Rollcage brought us together as a team. Rob Baker, was a developer working on the original games in the late 90s/early 00s and his continued passion for Rollcage and my energy for the game as a fan brought us together.
In terms of the gameplay itself we wanted to keep things balanced, but at the same time really take things up a notch. Of course, you’ll see the same style of vehicles in the game (the iconic upside-down runners which were in themselves inspired by RC cars of the 90s), but the game is faster, more aggressive and we hope even more enjoyable than the original. We’ve spent a lot of time making sure that there’s as many exhilarating moments as possible.
The game has been in Early Access for a while. Has community feedback been an integral part in getting the game to its current state?
The GRIP community has been vital to development of the game. They supported us in the infancy of the project, all the way back when early access was really just proof of concept laying out our vision for the game. For feedback we chose to start a Discord channel which still now is buzzing with a great community, these guys aren’t afraid to tell us what they think which has helped us in particular to balance and perfect the game’s many vehicles but with so much more aside.
Were there any particular challenges you faced during the game’s development?
The biggest challenge with a game like GRIP has to be the physics of the car. Creating any racer that hits the sound barrier would be an immense challenge but combine this with the dramatic changes in downforce (which make the cars GRIP to the ceiling) and direct contact with the floor itself (which has the potential to send you careering off course at any second) and you potentially have some pretty chaotic physics that took a long time to perfect, making the game feel both playable and realistic. My dev partner Rob has done a fantastic job here.
How soon can we expect to see a full release of the game?
We’re working very closely now with our publisher Wired Productions and we’re really excited to finally be heading towards an Autumn launch.
Can you elaborate on the different game modes available?
The game really has 3 core areas of gameplay: Races form the bulk but these in themselves come in a variety of different forms, from simple wheel to wheel racing, through to time trials, elimination races and more. These are accompanied by arenas for a good old-fashioned death match and then there’s Carkour mode which is a set of increasingly challenging trick runs which we hope will have you do everything short of throwing your controller across the room.
"The game has a variety of 9 power-ups in total, some offensive, some defensive – some inspired by the original Rollcage games and some pure creations of our own imagination"
What can you tell us about the story campaign in the game?
I can’t talk about this too much just yet as we’re going to be sharing more information around Gamescom, what I can tell you is it’s a tiered, tournament-based campaign which has been designed to really help you get a grip on the basics, taking you right through to being one with the car.
What can you tell us about the different weapons available in the game?
The game has a variety of 9 power-ups in total, some offensive, some defensive – some inspired by the original Rollcage games and some pure creations of our own imagination. We played around with these a lot through the game’s development – we never wanted a weapon so powerful you couldn’t get back in the race and we wanted weapons most of all that were fun. We hope we got the balance right.
How will destructible environments in the game work?
Destructible environments take a few different forms within the game. We weren’t too shy to include a classic exploding barrel or two, but beyond this there are opportunities to remove obstacles and open new pathways (allowing you to gain an advantage) in addition to some great destructible elements, sure to cause plenty of destruction in some of our unannounced maps.
With the different types of cars available, how have you tried to achieved a balance?
This is a classic example of where the community have stepped in. Within the game we have three classes and a total of 15 vehicles – three each from a total of five manufacturers, with each of the manufacturers providing one vehicle per class. The community helped with feedback on performance so we could balance each car class. We want all classes to be competitive.
Will you be able to confirm the resolutions and frame rates of PS4 PRO, Xbox One X versions?
I can’t confirm these just yet (the game was developed on PC as the lead format and the work to bring the game over to console is still ongoing) – what I can say is that we absolutely recognize how important frame rate is in a game like GRIP. We’ll be prioritizing this with a target of 60fps and you will also see improved resolution across the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro over the base consoles.
"I think our strategy for GRIP makes our feelings clear on this – no in game gambling with microtransactions and no pay to win."
Does the game have any sort of microtransactions or loot boxes?
Yes, there will be cosmetic DLC, but these will be honest transactions, no loot boxes, no pay to win. What we’re also promising our players is that all racetracks and arenas will be released as free updates – we want people to play together not be left without a game because they didn’t buy a season pass.
What is your take on the recent trend of Games as a service model and the possible controversial monetization practices arising from it?
I think our strategy for GRIP makes our feelings clear on this – no in game gambling with microtransactions and no pay to win.
The current generation of consoles will probably end in the next couple of years. What is your biggest expectation from the next PlayStation and Xbox?
Our biggest expectation for the next generation of consoles is really more of the same. Never say never but I don’t think we would ever make a faster game but it would be great to see GRIP (or a sequel) running on consoles at over 60fps as it can on high end PCs today.
From a developer perspective, do you think the next-gen console era will be the 4K/60fps era?
I think the next generation of consoles will be this and more, VR and AR are definitely becoming more of a focus and we do think this will continue to be a focus area moving forward.
Is there anything more you’d like to tell our readers?
GRIP: Combat Racing is out this Autumn on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC – if you can’t wait that long you can still grab the game at Early Access pricing on Steam… and do come and join our Discord server to learn more about the game at http://discord.gg/grip.