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Holy Warp talks “re-imagining” isometric racer for other platforms and “dividing line between inspiration-homage-nostalgia and plagiarism”

Jose Cardoso August 27, 2013 - 7:25 pm

Holy Warp today announced Speed Kills: Gas’d Up, an enhanced version of Speed Kills for PC and potentially other platforms. As the team takes to Kickstarter to amass needed funds for an $85,000 financial projection, BeefJack was able to learn more about their goals with the revised design, as well as the traditional mindset directing the game’s vision.

Speed Kills Gas'd Up PC console top-down isometric death race Holy Warp Black Wing Foundation interview re-imagining dividing line header

It’s often the case that platform destination will dictate the vision of a non-multiplatform project, but this is not a view that Holy Warp buys into.

When asked this afternoon about their announcement of Speed Kills: Gas’d Up, Alexander Shcherbakov of Holy Warp immediately identified the original game as having a larger essence than what its mobile roots suggest. “We always wanted to release Speed Kills as a PC/console title. Essentially, it is a PC/console title,” he remarked, adding, “The whole concept of the traditional isometric death racing is very old-school, very hardcore gamer-oriented.”

Shcherbakov tells me that Speed Kills: Gas’d Up is considered by the team as “a re-imagining of sorts,” for they are looking to “enhance the game, re-balance gameplay, [and] fix some mistakes” in response to the mobile release. Obviously there’s more work – “serious work,” as it was put – involved than a straight port, hence the need to turn to crowd-funding to help finance such a project and potentially explore other distribution channels, with them listing PS Vita and Wii U versions as stretch goals.

Addressing my curiousity about the large markers and the realistic potential of these goals being met, Shcherbakov mentioned that not amassing the needed funding will make it “considerably less likely” for a Wii U version to get developed. But he also didn’t rule it out completely, saying, “Everything’s possible.”

Expressions were also made on the matter of innovation to establish that while Speed Kills does feature its own twists, it still is traditional by design. ”You can’t really speak of innovations when you’re making a clone of Rock N’ Roll Racing,” he said bluntly. He later followed with the acknowledgement, “There is a dividing line between inspiration-homage-nostalgia and plagiarism. We’re not exactly Rock N’ Roll Racing + Unreal Engine; we’re different.”

The team doesn’t have any concerns about competition, either. ”Obviously, we’ve seen most of the recent (and relatively recent) top-down racing games, like the new Death Rally, or Reckless Racing on the mobiles. I honestly think that we’re doing fine.”

Shcherbakov again points back to the game’s drive as the sharpest reflection of its core ideas and why Gas’d Up will be a good fit for platform environments outside the mobile space. “Our approach here is very traditional; we’re deliberately recreating something we really like, something we totally loved when we were kids.”

To ramble about innovation when discussing a game that isn’t designed with such in mind, is, to quote Shcherbakov once more, “quite stupid.”

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