A hardcore MMO could be in the future of local devs Meltdown Interactive

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So after seeing this awesome arcade racer called Monster Truck Racing – Extreme Offroad by local developers Meltdown Interactive Media I got really curious. Who are they? What are their plans? WILL THEY PUT ZOMBIES IN THEIR GAMES? Although, I didn’t really ask that and really starting to think that I should of. I got in touch with their main man Greg Quinn and did a little interview.

In the questions that I posed some really interesting things came up, including the mention that the studio might develop a full blown MMO.

When and how was your studio created?

I was originally a software developer, for 12 years I developed websites and software full time. I always wanted to get into game development but there weren’t many opportunities in S.A.

Just over two years ago I discovered Unity and realised with this tool I could get full time into game development, so I started making games for a living and decided to create Meltdown Interactive Media as a games company.

Why have you chosen to develop for the racing genre?

Ironman Super Offroad was a big influence in the design of MTR – Extreme Offroad. As a kid growing up it was one of my favourite arcade games, and I always wanted to re-create a game similar to it, but with my own twist. The racing genre is crowded with generic from-behind racing games, and I felt doing a game like MTR with that arcade feel would pump some new life into the racing genre.

Your game Monster Truck Racing will feature leaderboards and tournament style features. Will people be able to host tournaments with your game? For example, make this game a part of eSports in South Africa?

There will be an online racing league, all managed by a centralised database. People will certainly be able to host race sessions, but as of yet custom tournaments are not in the pipeline, although they could very well be implemented in the future.

Right now we’re trying to keep the league ‘official’ but custom tournaments can definitely become a part of it. It would be great to have MTR as an eSport in South Africa with a solid competitive community.

How long have you been working on your current project?

MTR has been in development for over a year now. About six months full time, and about eight months part time to be exact. The initial budget was for about six months of full time development, and the game was supposed to be completed in April 🙂 One thing I have learned is that getting a game right getting it polished takes a heck of a lot of time, testing and tweaking… I would never have thought it would have taken this long though.

What are your goals for Monster Truck Racing?

The design vision was to provide a breath of fresh air into an otherwise stagnant racing game genre. Adding the arcade feel, and features such as manual pit stops and an online racing league we hope will give people a fresh perspective on racing games and what can be done with them.

Our biggest goal of course is for people to have fun, to get competitive, and sit there trying to figure out what’s the best racing/upgrade strategy to use against their opponents. Multiplayer games such as Battlefield, Call of Duty and DotA have always been the big names in multiplayer, but you’ve never really seen a racing game be the next big thing. We really hope that MTR could achieve this in some way and it becomes something people will play over and over again.

What are the future plans of your studio after releasing this game? Will you be developing more games and will it be in the same arcade racing style and/or genre?

We have our next three games planned on the development roadmap. We have an expansion for MTR, something that will build on the existing game’s racing engine, but at the same time change it completely, while adding a lot more features and polish that we couldn’t get into the original game.

After that is a sports game, then if all goes well we will be developing a hardcore, full loot MMO that we have some great ideas for. Unfortunately at this time I can’t provide any more details than that 🙂

Tell us more about the developing industry of South Africa. Is there a future in this field of work for youngsters looking to break into the industry?

There isn’t much in terms of game development inSouth Africa. A few indie companies are dotted here and there, usually with small budgets. But there aren’t any really large companies in S.A that are the ‘go to’ company if you want to get into the game industry.

I’m hoping this will change in the future. As more and more indie games companies get established in SA, there becomes more and more chance for a few of them to hit it big, and get the local industry on the map.

For youngsters hoping to break into the game industry, I’d say your best bet is to download a copy of Unity3D, and start teaching yourself. It’s really easy to learn, but really difficult to master. Get involved in the community and start making one or two simple games. If you’re lucky enough to have a games company hiring in your area, go for it, get some experience, although don’t expect a market related salary just yet.

Any final words?

Please give our game the thumbs up on Greenlight! We’d love to get onto Steam and make some good sales figures. We’d love to setup proper offices and get a team of 10-20 game developers and artists working in a fun environment full time. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please download a demo of our game from this link and let us know what you think!

Last Updated: September 5, 2012

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