Go here to download Racing Comrade! for your website.
Racing Comrade! is a strange game, I'll be the first to admit.
One of my major goals with ice cream breakfast has always been to explore ways of making games that are both compelling and enormously cheap. I've been amassing, over the
course of the project, as large a net of public domain resources and assets that I can find. I keep trying to find new ways to use free things in unexpected or interesting
ways. Needless to say, photo source is one of the most prevalent resources out there, so I've been exploring lots of different art styles that can use photo source
without too much work on my part.
That was basically the genesis of Racing Comrade! It started as a weird Terry-Gilliam-esque photo foot racing game, and then I started evolving its mechanics.
Racing Comrade! has, to me, some pretty interesting mechanics. Although it looks like a racing game, and is, it avoids direct player motion control. Instead,
I tried to make gameplay that feels, essentially, like playing a Bard in Everquest felt to me during fights in that game, or how World of Warcraft's battle mechanics work
more generally. So the gameplay revolves around intertwined resources, and actions on timers,
and knowing when to use which action. It's an indirect racing game, I guess.
It also plays with a topic I find radically fascinating, which is simulating the breaking of rules. One funny thing about computer games is that they tend
not to have a lot of the crazy baggage associated with humans adjudicating rule systems. The computer usually functions as some sort of idealization of God, with perfect
knowledge and perfect judgment, rather than as a lousy umpire or government, where individual actors having a good internal model of how rules are applied is often more important for success than just
knowing what the rules are. This is deeply interesting to me. Racing Comrade has a lot of mechanics that revolve around that idea.
It also has some rather broad, rather obvious, rather muddled political satire, but I'm not really going to go any more into right now. I will say, though, that
another topic I find really interesting is making rule systems that connect out to, and comment on, systems of rules out in real life, particularly social ones. In many
ways, I think this is the raw genius of Ultima IV, and why it stands head and shoulders above all the recent games that have small good/evil simplistic morality systems.
The actual rules in Ultima IV pointed towards interesting questions about ethics out in the world more broadly.
This is, of course, a video of me playing it (back when I called it Socialist Running Man).