Nightlife Drifting

Drift through the streets of Neo Tokyo in all its neon glory in order to become the legendary Drifting King.

Game Overview

  • Singleplayer & Multiplayer, WEB3, Blockchain racing game
  • Collaboration with Pirate Chain, Polygon, Okex and EnjinStarter
  • Drifting as core mechanic

Work Overview

  • My jobs: Game Designer, Level Designer
  • Part of the project since pre-production.
  • Created level blockouts and tracks using EASYROADS 3D, complete feature design + documentation and managed playtests.
  • Designed and iterated on all features using data and internal feedback sessions.
  • Lead team’s focus towards creative NFT implementations

Project Details

Alpha Gameplay

The road to get there:

The above video is of our very first test version. At the start of our project we took an online kart demo and used that as a foundation for our controls. The entire team was new to racing games, so we spend a good time examining different types of racing games. In the end we settled on a MarioKart-style game, so we grabbed a free Kart Demo project online that we felt best represented our ideas, and started examining how everything worked. Documentation left a lot to be desired, so we had to figure most of it out on our own. The video is after I spend a few days tweaking the kart’s controls (drag, acceleration, gravity, drift controls, etc.). In the video you can also see my initial tests for corner width to facilitate smooth drifting, lane width and number of lanes per road and variations in building sizes.
After a few weeks of work we made a lot changes to our concept. We moved away from kart racing and moved towards actual cars. This meant a complete rewrite of our car’s numbers and behavior. We moved towards taking inspiration from NEED FOR SPEED and INITIAL D (this is why the car has super snappy and cartoon-y drifting motions). It felt surprisingly natural and extremely fun to do, so we knew we had something good. The overall level design rules for the roads and buildings were also coming very far at this point. I had figured out what the min and max road width was that we could get away with, which really helped in city planning. During this time I also started using EASYROADS3D for the first time, which turned out to be an amazing tool to create our city with.

After the rules of our city design had been somewhat decided, I knew what I could work with in terms road design.
I then wrote out the goals of our first track (view here), so that the entire team could be aligned on what we want the first track to be. In the months after that I iterated on more track layout designs and worked in close collaboration with our artists to create cool points-of-interests like the Snake Casino in the Entertainment District and the Holo-Tree of the Nature District. The goal was to make sure each district felt different and had its own personality that impacted gameplay in some way. The Entertainment District had a lot of underground tunnels going to and from the Snake Casino.

After months of hard work, we created the Alpha version of Nightlife Drifting (video) before putting the game on hold while we moved over to Lament of Kyoto and created that in a few months time. I learned a lot from this project, especially how to use EasyRoads3D and how easy that makes race track creation. Fine tuning a car’s controls while then also having to adjust the track design again gave me nightmares for the next 20 years, but I would have done it all over again. It was a lot of fun and I think I can speak for the entire development team when I say that I hope to return to this project again some time.

Made in: UNITY