Interview: #DRIVE Rally Features Intelligent Co-Drivers Who Will React To How You Drive

Featured Image
#DRIVE Rally - via Pixel Perfect Dude

It is hard to find a good arcade-style racing game, with decent gameplay. This is where #DRIVE Rally shines by offering an adrenaline-rushed rally game in a retro-arcade world. One of the major standout features of the #DRIVE Rally is its 90s-themed setting and variety of terrains to offer a nostalgic challenge to players. 

On top of that, players will be able to play some of the legendary cars to pursue an ideal playthrough of their choice. While most rally games lack customization, #DRIVE Rally is the center of attention because of the variety in customization options available. Among the myriad of other features, we took the discussion to Dariusz Pietrala, CEO of Pixel Perfect Dude, over an email interview. 

#DRIVE Rally - via Pixel Perfect Dude
#DRIVE Rally – via Pixel Perfect Dude

Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role on #DRIVE Rally.

Darek: I’m Darek, I’m the Founder and Creative Director at Pixel Perfect Dude. Currently doing a lot of stuff, including design, development, some art, marketing, or the publishing strategy. There are only 4 of us in the core team, so you have to do a bit of everything, really.

What inspired you to create #DRIVE Rally and focus on the 90s rally era?

Darek: The main inspiration was the Group B and A rally racing in the 90s and even 80s. We ultimately went for the 90s to add some new cars to the franchise, as the first game, #DRIVE, included cars made only until ’89. 

Also, the 90s had a strong set of arcade rally racing games which are not that common nowadays, so that was a natural inspiration as we played all of them when we were kids. Those games were special because they were tons of fun and they were easy to pick up, so you could play with friends even if they weren’t hardcore racing fans, and still have a blast.

#DRIVE Rally - via Pixel Perfect Dude
#DRIVE Rally – via Pixel Perfect Dude

Expanding on my previous question, can you describe the process of capturing the spirit of 90s rally racing and how you integrated it into the game?

Darek: When designing the world and the game feel, we always look at 3 things— apart from cars, of course. That is: games, movies, and music. That’s why we’re going with an arcade-ish driving style but making sure we’re adding a bit of challenge for our players. We also did our best to find some fun movies that we reference while you play. The music should speak for itself, to be honest.

What makes #DRIVE Rally stand out from other racing games today?

Darek: The main thing is co-drivers! They’re emotional, and they won’t hold back when letting you know their thoughts about your driving, so you should be careful not to hit stuff but also drive fast enough. They’re gonna get mad at you or get really excited, and in that way, each drive is unique. 

Apart from that, the arcade driving and the art style. Low-poly beautiful landscapes are very rare, as you get mostly hyperrealistic racing games. And the low-poly art style is not only great performance-wise, but it will also help us iterate faster during the early access. We wouldn’t be able to do that if we aimed for realism.

And the cars, of course! #DRIVE is known for the way we do cars, and we took that to another level with #DRIVE Rally. You’ll get some classics, like The Doggo, Das Holzwagen, or The Sideways. Plus, some additions from the 90s, like Das Sandsturm, Celestia, and The Jumper.

#DRIVE Rally - via Pixel Perfect Dude
#DRIVE Rally – via Pixel Perfect Dude

How did you balance making the game accessible for beginners while still providing depth and challenge for experienced players?

Darek: That’s a tough question. I hope we did. We tried to make the driving as simple and fun as possible but add that depth to the stages. So there should be a lot of fun but also a space for some crazy fast driving and beating your time by half a second on the 347th try.

Can you delve into the development of the co-driver system and how it enhances the player's racing experience?

Darek: In #DRIVE Rally, you won’t get those usual pace notes on the screen. Instead, these will be fed to you through radio chatter, and It’s up to you and your co-driver to find the best possible racing line.

Your co-driver’s mood depends on the way you drive so you should be careful how you tackle each turn. One wrong turn can cost you a few seconds and a place on the podium.

Adrenaline filled gameplay
#DRIVE Rally – via Pixel Perfect Dude

What range of customization options can players expect when building and personalizing their cars, and how do these customization features impact gameplay and player identity within the game?

Darek: We’re going for visual customization only at the moment. You’ll be able to rebuild the body and paint it in a way that reflects your style. Additionally, you can add that cherry on top with some fancy decorations.

What insights have you gained from the demo version of #DRIVE Rally, and how have players responded to it?

Darek: Well, the demo showed us the importance of balancing the level design with the co-driver/pace notes system. It can get really tricky, but I guess that’s one of the downsides of doing something no game has done before. 

Other than that we got some info on the performance of the game and bugs that need to be taken care of, and that’s priceless because we’re a small studio, so we can’t afford a lot of QA testing.

#DRIVE Rally - via Pixel Perfect Dude
#DRIVE Rally – via Pixel Perfect Dude

How many developers are actively working on #DRIVE Rally, and how long has it been under development?

Darek: The core team is 4, as I mentioned, but we outsource some of the more intricate assets like environment concept art and 3D modeling, music, and audio design, and sometimes video editing.

At the moment it’s 5 of us, plus a few actors working on the voiceovers. The game has been in development for over 2 years now and there were some periods when it was up to 10 people total.

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Darek: We would like to invite those interested in arcade rally racing to join our community on Discord, wishlist the game on Steam and help #DRIVE Rally fill the gap in the arcade racing genre. #DRIVE is built by the drivers community, and we really need your feedback to make this game at least twice as good as the first one. See you on the road!

#Drive Rally is an upcoming arcade racing game, under development by Pixel Perfect Dude. The game is planned to be released on PC in 2024. You can follow developers on Discord for the latest insights and updates. 

Was this helpful? 🕹️

Good job! Please give your positive feedback 😏

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 💡