This Dev Story focuses on code, the very lifeblood and bones of every game and software in general.
Fabio Gaudenzi, Senior Game Developer on duty on SBK Official Mobile Game, is a man of few words and great experience: “I worked in almost every field of game development but in the last few years I drifted towards the technical artist / asset pipeline programmer role”. And he was kind enough to give us some time and chat about developing the new instalment in our gaming franchise or, more precisely, bringing the project from concept to screen.
THE DEV TECH BEHIND THE GAME
If you are now wondering what a Senior Game Developer does exactly, let Fabio himself enlighten you: “As the lead developer in the early stages of SBK OMG’s production, I had to know on a basic level each aspect of the game code base and make decisions about how to develop new features. I also acted as a link between the artists and the programmers working on the game by reviewing new content and handling most of the in-engine side of the assets pipeline”.
Our studio decided to migrate from a proprietary development framework to a third-party engine for this new release, which was aimed at reducing programming and maintenance costs but came with its own set of challenges: “I work mainly with Unity Editor and Visual Studio on Windows. The game is built on top of Unity Engine but it relies on a complex layer of code and tools developed by us. I personally enjoy writing tools that help speed up the process of importing 3D assets and textures: in my experience, the sooner we can see a track or a bike in the game—even if it’s still early work in progress—the better”.
As a matter of fact, when asked to sum up the SBK Official Mobile Game in one word, Fabio picked “Big”, as in our most ambitious mobile racing project to date. The toughest challenges he is facing in the development department relate to time and technology constraints: “Time management is definitely the biggest challenge: there are always features and improvements that need to be cut to meet a deadline. Between the actual game and Unity there is a complex layer of tech that we developed in the past three years and that is still actively worked on today: each feature we add on top of that needs to take in consideration all the moving parts underneath”.
Since another critical issue in this project is offering a gameplay experience that is true to the real-world experience of riding a bike, Fabio explained: “I love racing games but I’m not an expert in WorldSBK or bikes in general, so I made sure that the most delicate aspects of the core riding experience are implemented, tweaked and tested by people that ride”.
We asked him to talk about the biggest technical improvement(s) achieved in the new SBK Official Mobile Game: “I really like the new graphics but, from a programmer point of view, I think the biggest improvement will be the game’s potential to be expanded with new features and content”.
He does not have a single favorite new feature planned for integration in the new SBK, though: “I think that the smallest details in the user experience can dramatically improve the overall feel of the game: more haptic feedback, accurate bike sounds, smoother rider animations, particle effects and better camera angles are on top of my wishlist”. And they are definitely what the whole team is looking forward to implementing as soon as possible!
There are many more aspects of game development left to explore, ranging from art to audio, so keep reading our Dev Stories to know more about the making of the new SBK Official Mobile Game!