Team Sonic Racing Interview: creating engaging team gameplay

Learn how the team behind the newest Sonic racer crafted a unique team experience.

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Our own Greg Burke caught up with Ben Wilson, a designer from Sumo Digital to talk about his latest project, Team Sonic Racing. In the interview, Wilson goes in depth to talk about the teams approach when it comes to the cooperative aspect in this kart racer. The team found themselves asking “what does it mean to be apart of a team in a racing game?” This question led them to choices that made the dynamic between two players feel tangible and engaging during a given race. Wilson emphasized the importance of having ways to help your teammate out when they aren’t doing well, but also being able to take advantage when a teammate is in good standing.

He also states that a major goal of his was to make sure that players felt like the team dynamic was important and necessary. The moment to moment gameplay in Team Sonic Racing is designed so that co-op feels useful, rather than a pointless gimmick.

Power-ups and abilities are a staple in the kart racing genre. Team Sonic Racing looks to carry that tradition, but with its own spin. “Wisps” are this racer's version of the power up, and can be found in containers throughout a track. An interesting point Wilson made in the video above is that players have more of an opportunity to dodge and avoid enemy attacks in relation to other games in the genre. “Being on the receiving end of that feels a lot more fair, because you had a fighting chance.” This is a positive sign for fans looking for a kart racer that’ll lean a little bit more into player skill over purely random chaos.

In the interview, you’ll find several nuggets of information in regards to co-op, power ups, character designs, and more. Team Sonic Racing crashes onto PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch on May 21. For more great video coverage concerning all facets of gaming and technology, be sure to check out the Shacknews and GamerhubTV YouTube channels.

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. Donovan is currently studying broadcast journalism at Bowie State University with hopes to join the Shacknews team full time after graduation. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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