Carface: FlatOut Developers Announce Next Car Game

By Adam Smith on February 25th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Next Car Game may well be a working title, but that hasn’t stopped Bugbear from setting up camp at nextcargame.com. The video, below, is “all in-game footage” and it looks like a rock ‘em sock ‘em destruction derby. Hurrah! The developers FlatOut games aren’t entirely about crashing cars but it’s an activity that is very much encouraged. The vehicles in Bugbear’s racer aren’t the delicate flowers of the Burnout series, which need to reset after all but the gentlest of collisions, the FlatOut rustbuckets fight, scraping, grinding and running each other off the road. Hopefully we’ll know more about the studio’s next car game, Next Car Game, soon.

Let us not speak of FlatOut 3, which is the worst final part of a trilogy you’ll ever experience, and I’m including World War III in the running, even though my future-friends tell me it is the last one and not because everybody just sort of hangs out afterwards being pals. I’m sorry.

Via Evil Avatar.

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42 Comments »

  1. jellydonut says:

    Happy fun times!

    I liked the original Flatouts. Never did play the third. Looks like I didn’t miss anything..

    • El_Emmental says:

      EDIT: BugBear (official youtube channel) “Didn’t sell it – we never owned the name. Publisher went bankrupt and the rights have been sold a number of times.”

      (!) The third Flatout was 100% licensed by *anyone holding the rights on FlatOut* to another development studio (Team6), with a publisher BugBear never worked with (Strategy First). BugBear shouldn’t be held responsible for FlatOut 3.

      “Flatout” 3 was developed by Team6 (a studio that only made budget/bargain-bin racing games since it was founded, in 2009 if I recall correctly, from the gaming division of another company specialized in flash games), while Bugbear was busy working on “Ridge Racer Unbounded” for Namco.

      Now you’ll ask: why ? What happened to BugBear ?

      Bugbear is an independent finnish developer, and sometime you need a little bit of extra money, like, when your main publisher (who published all previous FlatOut games) closed without giving you all the money from the FlatOut sales. Empire Interactive finally closed in 2009, leaving BugBear in troubled waters.

      Hopefully, they got a deal with Namco: they were going to make the new RidgeRacer (the previous one, RR7, dates back to 2006 – yes, *that* RR, the E3 2006 one), with a little bit of artistic freedom regarding the game design. That’s how Ridge Racer Unbounded was made: a mix between Ridge Racer and FlatOut.

      While it was a “good” racing game, the unexpected mix surprised a lot of people and disappointed some RR fans: for some it felt like a “casual-michael-bay-explosions” RR, or like an average Burnout knock-off (for people not aware of the FlatOut series), and a few saw it as a nerfed FlatOut game. Thus, the 70-75 metacritic scores (and the 6.7 user scores).

      *EDIT* BugBear never owned the rights on FlatOut, and they’re currently being sold/bought left and right by random companies. Like with Operation Flashpoint, gamers will have to learn to follow the developers rather than the series’ name.

  2. Chizu says:

    Very much interested in this.
    I really liked the FlatOut games (never touched 3), and enjoyed Bugbear’s take on Ridge Racer: Madeupword
    Hopefully there will be some actual racing and not just destruction derbies, as much fun as they were in FlatOut I always preferred the bashy races.

  3. peterako1989 says:

    needless to say that this looks a hundred times better than dirt showdown, the damage especially(which actually exists here).

  4. Matt says:

    Bug Bear didn’t make FlatOut 3, which was abysmal.

    Looking forward to seeing what this new one turns out to be, since FlatOut 1 and 2 (and Ultimate Carnage) were brilliant fun.

  5. nakke says:

    I like the original FlatOuts quite a lot, but… this… looks exactly the same, and not even better graphically.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Looks worse to me, visually, with all that washed-out lens-flare rubbish that’s become the style.

      I do love the first two FlatOuts. The whole “crashing horribly usually wrecks stuff, which gives you Nitro, which then helps you to regain your place” mechanic is brilliant, and in 2 I’m preeetty sure they do AI rubberbanding by giving them nitro instead of just outright cheating, which means if you’re doing well the AI drivers may shoot past you at times only to then lose control and crash spectacularly because they can’t handle the speed.

      Also excellent LAN party fodder.

      • Spakkenkhrist says:

        Having played the first two I can only conclude you are both blind or just didn’t have eyes to begin with.

      • El_Emmental says:

        The fact that the first one was already an excellent title (out in 2004, remember) in terms of graphics kinda prevent it from having “much better” graphics later, there’s a technical roof (both in term of engine capacity and the current level of hardware of the potential playerbase).

        Also, I prefer the game to be fun, to have tons of stuff to drive through (and blow in pieces), and 60 fps even at maximum speed, rather than getting a neat lightning, less scenery to destroy and 25 fps when I’m going at 200+ km/h. And, it’s only a trailer, not the final game.

        And finally, FlatOut is fun and pratical (especially for LANs) because it can run on almost all computers: you don’t need a monster rig to run it. Anyone can crank up the polygon count, texture size and lightning effects, but it doesn’t automatically make the game fun and engaging.

    • El_Emmental says:

      well, what would you expect from a racing game ?

      It will probably have new cars, new races, new environments, new mini-games, new game modes, and a different handling – what else can you put in a racing game ? stats ? consumable items ?

  6. skyturnedred says:

    Flatout 2 is the only racing game I play these days. Next Car Game and the upcoming Carmageddon will no doubt satisfy my racing+mayhem needs for quite some time.

  7. Alexander says:

    Great news. Also, FLATFACE.

  8. alphasmart says:

    Looks pretty yawn to me. Also, those particle effects, which I can only assume are meant to be sparks, look pretty idiotic to me.

    • Nasser says:

      Yeah, they do look a bit out of place, but I do like the smoke and the many pieces of debris flying around.

  9. Honigsenf says:

    Flatout 2 is still very popular, every evening over 30 players joins races and derbys via gameradar, the official multiplayer support via gamespy is gone. bugbear has the best crashcode …never reached.

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      That should be GameRanger, not Radar.

    • myelbow says:

      One might argue, in this case me, that “over 30 players” doesn’t quite equate to “very popular”. I guess it’s all relative though.

  10. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I don’t usually like racing games (get a bit tyred of them), but I wheely want to give them my money just for using Next Car Game as its public working title.

    • jrodman says:

      I have to say I’m a bit burned out as well; but perhaps they may uprev this to the point that I engage.

      • LionsPhil says:

        You guys are really clutching at straws.

        • Pirate says:

          Wheely punny.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I hate to brake it to you, but that one’s been done already. Gotta be fast; RPSers torque in puns so often that it becomes second nature.

          • El_Emmental says:

            Permit me to add that -and I don’t want to add fuel to the fire- we need to get a real grip on the subject, we’re drifting away from the real issue here: wheel this sequel be the true return of our beloved franchise, or will it fall flat, out of gear with the ever-accelerating engine that the video game industry has become ?

            The answer is down the road, sure, but a commercial missuccess could force some devs to pound the pavement. Let’s just hope the people piloting this project fully understand how to make good game mechanics and seamless suspension of disbelief. Too much tailgating the project’s evolution could tire use though, let’s just put the brakes on that discussion before we get too exhausted. All these speculations are barely straws in the wind, shielding ourselves against these is mandatory.

            (ps: it’s been a looong day, way too long)

          • 68s4ffe says:

            Love this game! Glad to finally see it get some more RPS lovin’
            http://www.greenmangaming.com/?gmgr=rinasawe

  11. cunningmunki says:

    CARFA… oh.

  12. Rian Snuff says:

    Well as many are aware, the last game was an embarrassment. It still boggles to me they even released a racing game that played that terrible.

    With that being said, they better release a demo with this game, as I won’t be rolling the dice as I did last time. Ultimate Carnage however is an amazing game, all their previous titles really.
    Hopefully this is a step above from what they did right before.

    But please Devs, you’ll seriously need a demo.

    • skyturnedred says:

      Do keep in mind that Bugbear did not make Flatout 3.

      • Rian Snuff says:

        I knew that actually, but to count on all their potential costumers to know this would be a silly thing to do.
        The majority of people will simply remember how much of a rip-off the last title was when they hear “New game from the makers of Flatout!” and have a sour taste in their mouth. Well, I think so anyways.

        Either way games should have demos on day one or before even.

        • skyturnedred says:

          Good. Just feel like it can’t be said enough :)

          And I do agree, demos are way too rare these days.

    • El_Emmental says:

      *EDIT*

      *A random company holding the publising rights for the FlatOut franchise* licensed FlatOut 3 to Team 6 (a crappy studio making bargain-bin racing games in less than 6 months), while BugBear did contract work for Namco on “Ridge Racer: Unbounded”, because Empire Interactive (their publisher) closed (in 2009) without giving them the money they owed to them for FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage sales.

      They never had any control over the IP, let’s just hope they’ll be able to make a proper FlatOut game (with a different name) soon.

  13. Metalhead9806 says:

    Flatout 1 and 2 are still two of my favorite racers of all time. Intense driving, great music and atmosphere.

  14. jlaakso says:

    Hey – Joonas Laakso from Bugbear writing in just to clarify a thing:

    Bugbear never owned the FlatOut series despite creating it. The rights went to Strategy First after Empire’s bankruptcy, who then contracted another developer to create FlatOut 3. We have absolutely nothing to do with the game. We also would’ve never contracted out its development!

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Where can I pre-order? Please take my money.

    • lord_heman says:

      Hello Joonas, long time reader, first time writer here.

      I’m a gameprogrammer myself, and I would just like you to know that I think that Flatout2 is THE greatest game ever.
      It’s still my go-to game, when I don’t have another gamr to play, and still a big hit at LANs. You can be very proud of it, and I’m instantly going to buy every other game from Bugbear :)

  15. PopeRatzo says:

    I’m gonna buy the hell out of this game.

    It doesn’t have to be FlatOut. I just want a great action racing game (not a SIM!) so bad that I’ll buy ten bad ones hoping it adds up to half a good one.

  16. Gothnak says:

    I loved Flat Out 1 & 2, but always found the demolition derbies and minigames very luck based whereas the races were really cool. Destruction Derby on the PS1 was also great, proper races where you try and spin other cars out, didn’t one of the Colin McRaes do that recently?

    I also had a bit of a brainfart and thought BugBear had made one of my fave PC racing games of the 90′s, Powerslide, but it was the now defunct Ratbag. Used to play that every lunchtime for months at work, closest i ever go to feeling like an F1 driver, beating my previous time by 0.1 seconds and racing against friends with tiny differences in lap times.

  17. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    Don’t know about Flatout but Destruction Derby is one of the only car games I’ve ever really enjoyed. This looks like it could have that kind of fun!

  18. Sc0r says:

    This would be the best game to test the BeamNG car physics.

    Also, “Carface” made me laugh hysterically

  19. Xardas Kane says:

    Wrecks will burn, my maniacal laughter echoing through them as I break yet another car to a useless pile of scrap in a display of glorious physics effects.

    I approve. Oh, how much I do. Finally the Bugbear I know and love are back.

  20. Hydrogene says:

    The game by Bugbear I really wanted to love was Rally Trophy. I hoped it could be the Grand Prix Legends of rally games, but sadly it wasn’t. Graphics were great for the time, but the driving model was less than convincing. A real shame. It could have been great.

    Underpowered and traction-less rally cars from the sixties: I’d buy that again if it were to be the Next Car Game.

  21. Uberman says:

    Yes, but can you launch a floppy man at a set of oversized bowling pins ? That’s what the gaming public REALLY wants to know.

    In the game, I mean.