Driving another lap with Real Racing 3

FireMonkeys' popular racing series goes down the free-to-play route.

After releasing a sequel to the widely popular Flight Control with Flight Control Rocket last year, there were questions about whether FireMonkeys would revisit its other high profile property, Real Racing. The developer is now doing that with Real Racing 3, featuring cutting edge graphics and tilt based controls that made the firs two instalments such a hit. The game makes a departure from the earlier games by being free-to-play.

We caught up with FireMonkeys development director, Kynan Woodman, to discuss the game’s new direction.

Why make Real Racing 3 a freemium title?

FireMonkeys development director, Kynan Woodman (KW): We created Real Racing with a goal of making it available to the widest audience possible. By making the game free, there is no barrier to entry and anyone with a compatible smartphone can download and play the game.

Why switch to free-to-play now?

KW: Free games have been becoming more and more popular, and we had considered converting Real Racing 2 into a free game. However making a free game isn’t as easy as changing the price, there was a lot to consider and we decided that we would leave Real Racing 2 as a paid game and release Real Racing 3 for free.

How many of the 900 race events are immediately available?

KW: Real Racing 3 has a pretty standard game progression where you start off with some lower end cars and race to earn R$ to upgrade your car or buy a new one. So at the beginning of the game you have only a few events you can compete in. As you buy more cars, you gain access to new events. If you want to race in super car events straight away, you can buy some R$ to speed up the process.

How is it developing for both iOS and Android?

KW: We have a cross platform engine that supports both iOS and Android more easily. Having said that there are hundreds of devices with varying performance, so we have spent a lot of time focusing on getting the best experience on the devices we support.

Is hard is supporting two mobile platforms instead of one?

KW: Both studios had a long history in mobile back to the J2ME and BREW days, and had cross platform engines for many years. We have always been prepared for new platforms to rise in popularity, so when iOS and Android became available we were ready to support them.

What is the oldest iOS platform the game will work on?

KW: We support iPhones and iPods that have a Retina display, as well as the iPad 2 and newer iPads.

How do you decide which iOS device to support?

KW: We try our best to support as many devices as possible. However, as devices become less popular, it stops making sense to have artists and engineers working on supporting old devices when they could be working on new features.

What are your thoughts about the fragmented Android landscape?

KW: We have a cross platform engine that reduces the impact of fragmentation, but it definitely reduces the complexity of creating a cross platform game when devices have similar hardware.

How has the merger into FireMonkeys benefited Real Racing 3?

KW: FireMonkeys brought together two great studios that both have made amazing mobile racing games, so that experience has definitely helped development of Real Racing 3.

What is your favourite car in the game?

KW: In testing I liked driving the Pagani Huayra, but I am saving up for it now I am playing on the real build.

Want to read other video game interviews with key figures from Sony, Microsoft and more? Then check out Good Gear Guide's complete interview archive.

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Patrick Budmar

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