Market Description: “Futuristic motorcycles race to the death in a 3D arena.” Nuff said. Light Racer also supports multiplayer over WiFi. I’ve played this game quite a bit. It’s addictive. There are several modes of play and the controls couldn’t be easier. I’ve seen many 3D games on the market, none are as intense as Light Racer 3D.
BN: Tell us about Battery Powered Games.
RG: BPG was formed to create truly competitive mobile games, specifically for Android. I believe that there is a lot of room for games that are not just polished but are designed specifically to be fun.
BN: What inspired you to to create a 3D game for Android?
RG: There are many sources of inspiration. I worked on games several years ago but never developed a 3D game from scratch. I wanted to learn OpenGL and had always wanted to do more of a first-person perspective version of Light Racer. Once I saw what the G1-class phones were capable of doing with 3D, the choice seemed obvious.
BN: This wasn’t your first Android game, though. Tell us about Light Racer.
RG: I still find it funny that the original Light Racer got as popular as it did. I’m not sure how I ended up designing or developing that game. The first version I did was completed in about 2 weeks of spare time. I wanted to develop a sort of super-snake game but I’m more of a sci-fi guy myself so it naturally fell in to that genre. The game has had over 600,000 downloads now and I think the reason for that is simply timing. I developed it on an emulator, just a few weeks before the G1 launched. It was one of the first action/arcade games on the market and it worked fairly well.
BN: What were the challenges in moving from 2D to 3D? How did you overcome those?
RG: The original Light Racer needed a total rewrite to go 3D, which is what I ended up doing in April and May of 2009. I developed most of the game in 2D world but designed it so that I could replace all of the old 2D drawing code with 3D rendering code. We had to create all of the models and textures, just like any other 3D game, so that was fairly straightforward. The biggest issues are always with performance and different hardware support. I designed for a G1/MyTouch/Hero and spent a significant amount of time getting it to run well on those devices. I’m a little nervous about all of Android’s 3D games on new phones though. With every model, even with the same chipset as a previous model, there is always room for problems, which leads to bad feedback on the market.
BN: What’s next for Light Racer 3D and Battery Powered Games?
RG: If Light Racer 3D does well, we’re talking about doing another title in the series that takes place on planets and more interesting mazes and levels, but that’s off in the distance and may not happen. The game we’re currently working on is a bit like an arena FPS game with portals. I spent the last few weeks working on getting animated 3D characters to run well on the G1 and have hit all of the goals so far, thanks to a little native code. I’m hoping to have this next game done by the new year.
BN: Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to talk to Phandroid. I can’t wait to see what comes out next.
RG: Thank you and thanks to everyone who’s supported us this far!
Relaibilty: 5 stars (even works great on the G1)
Usability: 5 stars (trackball, d-pad or tap screen)
Customization: 5 stars (custom game settings; multiplayer)
Feature/simplicity balance: 5 stars (full 3D environment, but easy to play)