Refract Studio interview with Kyle Holdwick About Distance

[intro]

I would like to thank Kyle Holdwick the Creative Director and Programmer behind the racing survival game Distance, for taking time to answer these questions for this interview.[/intro]

1. How did it all start?

It really all started with the three of us, Jordan, Jason, and myself, working on Nitronic Rush together with others while attending DigiPen Institute of Technology. We had a lot of fun working together and we developed a great friendship during the process. Nitronic Rush ended up becoming a bigger success than we would have ever imagined after we released it. After graduating, getting some encouragement from others, and thinking it over, the three of us decided that we wanted to stay indie. We turned down AAA job offers and formed Refract Studios.

2. What was the inspiration for and the idea behind Distance?

After graduating and forming Refract, we discussed a number of different game ideas we could have worked on but we always seemed to come back to wanting to make another racing game. We really enjoyed working on Nitronic Rush while going to school and we felt there were still a number of things that we weren’t able to do with that game due to engine limitations that we’re excited to add to Distance. Overall we’re really inspired by the fun feel of older arcade racing games as well as the immersion of more modern atmosphere heavy experiences. The combination of intense racing action with the exploration of a mysterious world is something we feel is really unique so we’re excited to work on it.

3. What was the idea behind naming the game Distance?

That’s a pretty interesting question. When thinking about the name for the game, we wanted something that tied back into the game while also having a nice feel to it. We also wanted a singular word for the name of the game. After pouring a lot of effort into what the name could be, Distance finally came to us and we were really happy with it.

4. Could you please tell us what unique game play Distance will offer?

Distance is still early in development so we’re experimenting with a lot of ideas right now. What is already in place is that you’ll be piloting a unique vehicle that gives you the ability to boost, jump, fly, and rotate any way you’d like. In some ways Distance brings in a bit of what you’d expect from a fast paced action platformer into the racing genre. The tracks will require you to do some pretty intense maneuvers to avoid obstacles and survive to the finish. You’ll be able to explore the levels with the ability to at any moment jump off the track, fly around, and discover what’s hidden in the environments. Along with the classic race mode, Distance will also have a number of other multiplayer and singleplayer modes including Normal/Reverse Tag, Capture the Flag, Stunt Mode, Speed & Skill, and more that we’ll be testing out.

5. Tell us of your fun moments while creating the game

The whole process is pretty fun and working together has been great so far. Some of the most fun moments while building the game is when the three us jam on making new content. When I’m working on a new level, Jordan’s working on new music, and Jason’s modeling a new piece of art for the game. We’ve also been lucky enough to meet up with a number of Seattle local developers to get their advice on things which has been a lot of fun.

6. How will the game differ from Nitronic Rush?

We’re actually starting fresh with Distance and rethinking almost every aspect of the game. Nitronic Rush was a student project and in many ways only a prototype for what Distance will become. All of the major things that the our community loved from Nitronic Rush will be making an appearance again like the car mechanics, obstacles, and the general feel of the game. A big one that we’re trying improve upon is the world and atmosphere. The city in Distance will have a mysterious past and will be much more detailed. We’re also focusing on multiplayer this time since it was sadly missing previously. With that said, there will be many more modes this time around in hopes that it will add to the replay value of the experience. We’re also working on making the modding and customization support much deeper in Distance. Along with that, we’re releasing an official level editor so anyone can easily build and share levels with others. Last but not least, we’re proud to say that the game will be supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

7. What platforms are you planning to release Distance on, now and in the future.

Distance is currently being built for Windows, Mac, and Linux. As for digital distribution platforms, we’re pretty open to them all but we still don’t have any set in stone just yet. We do have the game up on Steam Greenlight and you can upvote that here. As for the future, we’ll be looking into possibly porting Distance to other platforms but it’s still a bit too early to say on that. The last thing we want to do is put out a bad port, so currently we’re not ready to promise anything there.

8. Any other ways to donate money to your project than just using kickstarter?

The easiest way to help is by backing the Kickstarter since if we don’t make our goal on there we won’t get any of that funding. Unfortunately there isn’t another easy way to back the project yet since setting that up is actually pretty challenging. If you want to back the project but you don’t have a credit card, you can still go to a local store and buy a prepaid card and back it with that. We also want to encourage you to spread the word about it, the more people that know about it the better chance we’ll have with hitting our goal.

9. What are your stretch goals for the game ( if you have any)?

We’re not quite ready to announce our stretch goals just yet. If we get closer to 100% we might share them but we need to get to that point first.

10.What is your favourite video game?

This is always a tricky question so I’ll give you a couple of answers. Probably my all time favorite game is Final Fantasy VII since I absolutely adored it’s story, setting, and characters. I really enjoyed Half-Life 2 for it’s incredible atmosphere and mood and it’s probably my favorite FPS ever. More recently, the world of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim kept me busy and fascinated for quite a long time.

Thank you again for the interview, it was a real pleasure!

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Game on

The game Mistress

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