Our latest developer Q&A is with Mike Coeck, CEO of Cybernetic Walrus, the creative masterminds behind the beautiful, sleek new take on the anti-gravity racing genre. Launching soon on June 6, 2018, the award-winning game features breakneck races in a futuristic setting – you’ll be blown away by the polish and how it pushes the boundaries in Unity development. Check out the Steam page, and qualifying creators can grab a key over on Woovit ahead of the launch! And without further ado…
What’s the origin story of your company? How did you get started in game development?
Cybernetic Walrus was formed during the second semester of the second year of DAE (Digital Arts and Entertainment), a bachelor education in game development and game art. In the second semester of the third year we actually formed the company and started working full time on the game as part of our internship. I myself am the oldest of the team. I decided to give up a career of 15 years as an IT consultant and business developer to go back to school as I always wanted to do something with gaming.
I mean… WOW, Antigraviator looks beautiful! What was the inspiration for this game? F-Zero was one of my favorites growing up, if that had anything to do with this… 🙂
Thank you for those kind words, this is the work of Dovydas Budrys and Szabolcs Csizmadia. The game was inspired indeed by classics like WipeOut and F-zero. It didn’t really start out that way. When we started looking up ideas for how our sci-fi racer would look, we read a lot of people were wondering when the next F-Zero or WipeOut would come along, so we tried our hand at making a racer that is somewhere in between.
I noticed you offer both 4-player local split-screen and online multiplayer racing. What would you say was the most difficult aspect of implementing each of these systems?
The first iteration of the game only had split screen so I guess that must have been the easiest. But then moving to four players we needed to make a lot of changes. These changes would turn out to be beneficial towards the online multiplayer as well. The online multiplayer took a lot more iterations to get right. We tried a couple of different ways of doing things and I feel we have it right at the moment. This doesn’t mean an occasional hiccup could appear, but the racing itself feels very solid to me.
Can you tell us more about these “environmental traps”, and perhaps several examples of how that’s implemented and used against your opponents in-game?
Traps are indeed environmental based. This means that they are on fixed locations along the track. Activating a trap costs power and so does boosting. Now if you activate a trap you are also shielded from other traps. So the choice to make is do I boost here or do I trigger a trap and be shielded for a bit? An example of a trap is the rocket trap. Rocket traps fire missiles at the player in front of you. If they hit they slow your opponent down and deal damage to his ship. So you might want to know where on the map these are located.
What would you say makes this game a great choice for content creators to play for their audience?
In racing games it is always cool to see a player set a record and have someone try to beat it. But the online multiplayer also allows content creators to actually play against their audience.
Antigraviator looks to have done quite well on the awards circuit, especially for recognition as a Unity engine title. What’s catching everyone’s eye, beyond just how great it looks?
The visuals is one thing of course but people also tell us it plays very fluid. We have done a lot of shows and of the thousands of people that played the game I remember only three people telling me they didn’t like the controls and how the ship handles.
Are there any plans for stream integration with Twitch, Mixer or YouTube APIs? It’d be fun to have viewers vote on adding “environmental traps” into races on the fly!
We have thought about those for sure. The problem is that we are only a small team of 5 people and we need to be careful of the what we want in the scope of the game. If it does well, then sure we could look into adding more stream integration.
Do you have a piece of advice or knowledge bomb you’d like to drop for content creators looking to work with game developers/publishers like yourself?
I don’t have much advice on that part, I can only tell to not be afraid to get in touch with us. Even if you are just starting out, feel free to chat with us and we will figure out how we can help each other.
Any particular content creators/streamers out there that you love to watch regularly?
Funny thing, I was talking to some of my friends and seeing that I am a bit older I am not into watching streams and videos that much and neither are friends of my age. So, I watch them occasionally, but if pewdiepie would stand next to me in an elevator, I wouldn’t even recognize him. Now this is not true for the rest of our studio, I know the other guys watch streams a lot more regularly.
Any last thoughts or a story you’d like to share?
Even though the game is not being sold at the time I am answering these questions, I can only say that it has been such an amazing ride so far. So many people and companies have supported us with advice, technology and knowledge. I would like to thank all of them! I also hope people who find our game and play it, will like it a lot, that way we can keep supporting the game and adding great stuff to it.
Thanks to our friends at Iceberg for facilitating this interview, and congrats to all involved on the launch!