Is this picture not sexy enough for you? How about this animated gif? Or this one? These are Drift Stage, an arcade racer in the style of vintage Sega. The stunning art is courtesy of Charles Blanchard, who you might remember from the similarly-styled Sky Rogue. He specialises in visualising ’90s 2D art in 3D and is, in case you hadn’t noticed, absurdly brilliant. He’s teamed up with Chase Pettit to create Drift Stage and please, for the love of all that’s holy, just come see it in motion.
Yeah. Watch it again. Then go listen to the artist who made the background music, Myrone, and everything else they’ve ever done because (bit of a theme here) it’s pure gold.
Here’s what Pettit told Kotaku about his aims for the game:
“Those classic arcade racers were simple immediate fun from the second you started playing but also offered a lot of challenge for those interested in shaving off seconds. That’s not really the way most racing games are made now. These days, you typically either get something like Forza Horizon that has one foot in the sim racing world and a learning curve to match or you get something that swings hard in the other direction like Mario Kart 8 that maybe eschews a bit too much depth for the sake of being accessible. There are definitely some amazing games in both of those camps, but I want to give the middle ground some more attention with Drift Stage.”
And here’s what he told me about what people will get to actually play:
“We’re still in the planning phases of deciding what sort of modes to include, but we intend to have the standard fare of single race, time trial (with leaderboards), multiplayer (splitscreen/online), and a career mode of some form – I’m a big fan of Ridge Racer Type 4 so that might give you some indication of the direction I’d like to go with the career mode.”
He also let me have a play of the build used to make this trailer. There’s no competition or goal at this stage, just a collection of tight turns to go round and the art to ogle. The drifting isn’t final but feels great, easily learned but with plenty of tiny tweaks to shave milliseconds – just as Chase wants it. It’s also probably the best looking part of the game, and I’ve snapped a few screenshots to illustrate. Click for bigger versions: