Hi, I’m Jason Avent, the Studio Head for Boss Alien and I was asked last year if I’d speak at GDC 2013. I eagerly agreed as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been a few times to GDC and it’s THE conference for video games and it’s held each year in San Francisco. It’s a giant conference with hundreds of brilliant talks.
I did a talk about CSR Racing and how it broke the mould in Freemium. It was one of the first free games to have really high production values while still retaining the simple mechanics that seem to characterise free to play games on mobile. I wanted to make the point that our high production values don’t just apply to fancy graphics. Sure CSR’s visuals were fantastic for the time and were up there with the best of all games on iOS but we put a massive amount of effort into all the screens outside of the race itself. The race results screen took about four months to get right and many of the other screens in the UI went through hundreds of iterations until we were happy.
You can view a video of the talk at the GDC Vault if you have access. If not you can view the most important videos here which show how we evolved the HUD and the Map screen from start to finish:
The loop of implement, user-test, review and re-implement is crucial to the success of CSR Racing. We definitely do have a few secret formulae but by far the most important thing is meticulous hard work. That and having an excellent, talented and thoroughly lovely development team here at Boss Alien.
We’re currently working hard to bring you more exciting events and features on CSR and to bring all the existing features from the iOS version over to Android – including the hotly anticipated multiplayer mode. You should see the results of this work over the next few months.
Recently our old coffee machine broke – and not a fan of doing things by half our new machine is a beautiful example of modern Swiss engineering.
As we all know caffeine is a central nervous system and metabolic stimulant. In theory it produces increased wakefulness, increased focus, faster and clearer flow of thought, and better general body coordination.
I wonder how much code would have been written, and how many dissertations completed, if it wasn’t for the wonders of this mysterious alkaloid.
Although with this said, be warned, ingestion of large amounts of caffeine leads to tolerance and to a condition known as caffeinism. So it is a good idea to take a week off coffee every now and then – otherwise coffee just stops working it’s magic.
Secret Santa gifted several of the team with toy guns, as if we needed any encouragement to research the art of play.
The studio arms race has swiftly escalated, and now you can barely make a cup of coffee without taking your foam-rocket-firing-friend for protection. There is now a variety of toy armaments strewn across the studio, some favouring portability over shear firepower, others going all out for rapid fire craziness.*
We’ve had a busy few months here aboard the Boss Alien mothership – and today we proudly release the most recent version of CSR Racing – with the new multiplayer mode. Tier 5 players can race against opponents from across the world to gain respect, with some exclusive prize cars for our top players.