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Animal Raceway is my latest game done in conjunction with Rob Donkin. I had done Racehorse Tycoon and Gone to the Dogs before and I really fancied doing a new one, but this time do mini games for the training rather than it all being just sim/stats based. We came up with the idea that it was a racetrack with hurdles, this led to there being stats for stamina, reactions, agility and speed, and an overall health stat.It was then just a case of designing 5 mini games to increase those stats to boost your animal in the races.
From an art point of view, we wanted the animals to be a good variety yet we also needed them to be able to perform a lot of different tasks for the mini games. I built one template based round a man, so the animals all became sort of men in suits, which I thought was kind of funny. It was purely for animation purposes really as with 10 different animals and over 17 animations to do it really was going to be a massive job to animate them all individually. Pretty much all character art for this game I drew digitally with a Wacom tablet, it’s the same technique I used on Hambo, which I think comes out quite nicely, more importantly its really quick to knock out and saves time in doing sketches and scanning. The backgrounds I drew late at night while watching TV shows, so there’s a few influences involved, for those I did draw them all on paper before scanning and then basically tracing them with the Wacom.
So how has it gone down ? Pretty well so far, 3.82 on kongregate and the average player is staying involved for 35 mins, which is a huge amount, its third highest play time of any of my games, only Toxers and Golden Robot beat it for playtime and those are massive rpg games. I am really quite surprised as it really is just 5 mini games and a container game and the mini games really aren’t anything special on their own. I think its another case of people liking grinding out games just to get achievements. Its quite incredible what some people will actually play once they are hooked in after the first couple of minutes.