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Geekscape Interviews: FAST Racing Neo Developer Shin’en Multimedia!

Wednesday 13th January 2016 by J.C. Marquez

The Wii U eShop offers some of the best video games on the market today. Games like Runbow, Mutant Mudds, Pushmo, Gunman Clive HD Collection, and Shovel Knight expand an already impressive lineup of quality titles offered on Nintendo’s home and handheld consoles. Last December, Shin’en added to the list with FAST Racing Neo–a futuristic racing game which has received critical acclaim from numerous media outlets.

JC got a chance to ask Shin’en a few questions about their latest game, their influences, and what fans can expect in the future.

Geekscape: First off, congratulations on the overwhelming positive reaction for
FAST Racing Neo. From concept art, development, to seeing the game hit
#1 on the Nintendo Wii U eShop—how satisfying is it to see a game
received so well?

Shin’en: We are very happy how the game turned out and about the players reactions. Many of our previous titles also topped the WiiWare or eShop charts but no game sold so FAST 🙂 So from the business side, we are very satisfied. From the development side we are also very pleased.

We never worked so long and hard on a single game, but in the end everything came really nicely together!

Geekscape: What were some key areas the team wanted to focus on in FAST Racing Neo
that perhaps weren’t implemented or explored fully in FAST Racing League?

Shin’en: Our main focus was to make the game very accessible from the beginning while still being a good challenge. We think we really nailed that part. Another big topic was the feeling of speed. We almost needed a year to find the perfect balance to make the players believe that they never played any racing game that fast, while still being fully in control. That was a big challenge.

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Geekscape: FAST Racing Neo looks and plays like a beautiful marriage between F-Zero GX and Ikaruga–while still being able to maintain its own identity. 

What were some of your favorite racing games growing up, and how much of
an influence, if any, did those games have on the FAST series?

Shin’en: Our favorite racing game is still Wave Race 64. It has a perfect blend of great gameplay, great tech and marvelous audio. Of course, we played all racing games from the past when we started with FAST Racing Neo, but we learned quickly we would need to do things very differently.

Wave_Race_64_(NA)

So in terms of physics and vehicle handling, I don’t think we have much in common with previous sci-fi racers. Also graphically, besides some obvious nods, we think FAST does really stand on its own.

Geekscape: We here at Geekscape are extremely competitive when it comes to racing games. Have you held any kind of ‘friendly’ tournaments at work, and if so, who is the best Fast Racing NEO player among you?

We played almost every day a tournament. Peter, who did the game testing, is usually on top of the pack followed by Martin. Bernhard is also quite good, although he still refuses to use the ‘leaning’ controls 🙂

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Geekscape: What can we look forward to from Shin’en in 2016?

Our first release is planned for January 2016. It’s an update for FAST Racing Neo which will add new features and a much improved and stable online experience. We also really look out for Nintendo NX.

 

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J.C. Marquez

J.C. has been in love with video games since he walked into a living room full of his older cousins huddled around a T.V. playing Metroid on a brand new Nintendo Entertainment System. With Zelda tattoos covering the better part of his left arm, J.C. spends his time his wife and baby daughter, playing on his 3DS and Wii U systems, as well as teaching English and running a Smash Bros. Club. He is an avid fan of comics, Japanese wrestling, horror movies, and art. Considers Pee Wee's Big Adventure to be the greatest film ever made.