Sometimes when we write a game, we possibly take our research a little too seriously 🙂
Back in 2008 when we first started writing SlotZ Racer, I delved back into my childhood hobby of slot car racing and spent a lot of time playing, setting up tracks and racing Adam before I even started on the main code.
Just after SlotZ Racer was released in early 2009 I already started thinking about using the track system to do a railway game. Our dad used to be a big model railway nut, so we’d grown up building and running OO model railway layouts that either took up a spare room or an extended shed. It’s something neither of us had done in a while though, so I put together a prototype of a game called “TrackZ : Pocket Railway” (continuing the Z naming theme from SlotZ 😉 ) while I bought myself a small N Gauge set to experiment and generally play with to us back into the right mindset for model railways.
By the time we had the original prototype of TrackZ ready, Adam and I had both built N Gauge layouts. Mine being the original “Ives Yard”, built on my desktop around my iMac as an Inglenook Sidings style shunting layout (although with longer sidings).
Around this time, our publishers Freeverse were being bought out another publisher and there was a general change in direction as to what type of games they were interested in publishing. It was also getting obvious to us that TrackZ was turning into a huge project that could take us a couple of years to write if we carried on making it into the same sort of feature set as SlotZ Racer with a track editor (as railways are a lot more complicated!). So reluctantly we put the project on the back burner while we moved onto other games.
We didn’t stop railway modelling though. By that point it had become a proper hobby again, so here’s some pics of what I’ve been working on since then as my R&D for Tiny TrackZ…
My layout is called Ivebridge. It incorporates the original Ives Yard layout at one end but is now a much bigger layout with a lot more scenery.
While Adam spent some time working on his smaller Dunmarsh layout, he recently expanded the range of his hobby and he’s now helping out at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, restoring a full size coach to its former glory..
Above all this though, we love writing games. So while researching the subject matter for them is fun and sometimes becomes a full on hobby in itself, the games are the fun bit!
Tiny TrackZ is due for release on iOS on August 13th with the OS X version to follow.