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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Reboot!

    - Danny Cowan

  • D.A. Michielini, Newcastle University Alumni, Crazy Taxi Realize

    DmC was able to reboot the Devil May Cry franchise because it kept the original fun of the series, which revolved around an entertaining combat system. If I had to reboot a franchise I would look for something that playable, that enticing and that additive.

    An amazing game which saw some sequels during the PS2 era was Crazy Taxi. The game rhythm was, ehm, crazy, and what stood out from the crowd was his immediate feeling with players. The players just needed to power up the console and everything was there for their fun. The thing that held back the game from establishing during that age was its lack of replayability value.

    That being said, many of the elements will be kept: no character progression, no complicated driving simulation, no realistic clients behaviours or sophisticated point system. Obviously, graphics would be enhanced, but what makes Crazy Taxy Realize stand out? The subtle possibility to interact with other players.

    Playable online, CTR will be played in the same city/level by a number of players. They will interact with each other because they'll be forced to. That is achieved by a new trajectory creation algorithm called "Realize Procedure" (RP from now on).

    Let's imagine two players starting their game in two different spots on the map. After the first couple of put downs, the next passenger is chosen by RP to be the same. RP will calculate the distance from each taxi and the difference of time remaining on the clock for each, so that nobody has an advantage. A race will then start, because both players are aware (they " realize") that somebody is against them. RP will be designed to make both trajectory collide and present players with challenges related to their common route. Jumps, hurdles, traffic can bolster their score as well as present them the opportunity to take out the other player and secure the next ride. RP will ensure that someone who loses the race does not lose much time. This feature will allow the players to face several times during the same session.

    Including the old "crazy taxi" games won't be supported. That kind of fun is nowadays obsolete, even if it remains good fun. As a downloadable package on PSN or XBLA, Crazy Taxi Realize would fit perfectly for newcomers as well as for the series fan, who will not find a different title, just a different, enlarged, approach. Tha artistic direction would slightly change. That is because the one-on-one dynamic would bring meaner protagonists and a good idea would be to let players customize characters appearance. A championship formula, with categories and rankings (much like Fifa seasons) would be implemented, letting players take advantage off of their ability to take all the rides they can more than their ability to be a classical, good, old Crazy Taxi player.


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