A Brief History of Wheel to Wheel Racing – Design Diary #2

In the last design diary I gave you a quick overview of the origins of the game. How I came up with the idea and how the development journey got set into motion. However, I left out one detail from the early days of development. Once I had come up with how the first version of the game would work I had to wait a week for the prototype to be made up so we could test it out. During that time I decided to create the world around Wheel to Wheel Racing.

It initially started out from just wanting to create a persona for each of the playable drivers that will be in the game. I started creating different characters from around the world and making up some backstory for each driver. Along with their personal backstory they also had to have some kind of record in racing so I started saying that X driver is a past champion or Y driver could become the youngest ever champion. I felt that this didn’t really work, since I was just making up things and there could start to be inconsistencies as I started to make more and more drivers. I needed to keep track of all the records and statistics within the game world to keep it consistent. That is where the world began to grow and grow.

The only way I thought this could work is if I simulated every single season that could have previously happened in the world. I went back to the very first season. Six drivers from around the globe competed to be crowned the first ever world champion. A driver from each continent would be picked as their representative and there would be one race in each of their home countries. In the final race of the championship, Shinubo Ogawa of Japan would win the title by beating James Ackerman by only two points. I continued doing this for fifteen more seasons. Some seasons added more drivers and new tracks. Eventually there was enough history to create the different back stories and rivalries between the ten different drivers.

A lot of this history needs to be changed, for example the original concept was for ten drivers in a race. That was switched to six drivers to keep more balance and a smoother flow to the game. When I was creating the history I also wanted to make reference to the real world Formula 1 and have drivers from countries that are associated with it. This quickly became something we decided that we didn’t want to do as it was quite limiting and left us with not a very diverse set of drivers.

While some of the originally planned drivers will change, one driver who will definitely still have a place in Wheel to Wheel Racing is Maria Teresa Lombardi, named after Maria Teresa de Filippis, The first woman to drive in Formula 1, and Lella Lombardi, the first woman to score points in Formula 1 respectively. As for her history in Wheel to Wheel Racing, that is yet to be written but rest assured she has her eyes set on the trophy.

The current season of F1 looks like it will also come down to the last race, who do you have winning? Lewis or Max?

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