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Road Trip Driving Game Hac Now Called Jalopy

We’ve written about Hac [official site] a number of times before, celebrating the detail and development of a driving game about taking a road trip across a procedural eastern europe. Now two things have changed: Hac has changed its name to Jalopy in advance of a planned 2016 release, and we have better support for embedding GIFs now.

Jalopy is about taking a road trip with your uncle in the 1980s through a procedurally generated landscape inspired in part by the former Yugoslavia. Along the way you’ll need to maintain your car by wiping mud from your windscreen, changing flat tires, topping up your gas tank, and shopping for new parts.

Every one of those interactions takes place in-world from a first-person perspective, without an external user interface. As an example, you shop for car parts in a catalogue that’s a 3D object your character holds in their hands, and you select food and water in gas stations by picking it up off the shop shelves and pay for it by handing physical money over at the till.

The game is being made by a single person and its devlog is fastidious and tracking progress, with weekly reports keeping track of what was worked on and for how long. For example, the third week in December saw 2 hours, 27 minutes and 24 seconds put into “Speech bubble prototyping” and 21 minutes 59 seconds put into “Testing new & improved German environments.”

The latest update outlines the plan for 2016. “Hac has now been in Development for around 14-15 months. That’s a fair amount of time, not unheard of for a game this scale with a solo developer, but a fair chunk of time. A chunk of time that I’m going to try and get put to an end.

“2016 is the year of release for Hac, for early access at least. I’ll also be starting a Greenlight campaign in about a month or so, to try and drum up more interest in the game. Shortly after Greenlight, I’ll be looking to get the game onto Early Access and into peoples hands ready to play.”

The same post also explains the change in name. “I’ve never been good at naming things, and I know how terrible a title Hac is. It’s always been a working title of sorts, but now I’ll start moving over to using the release title which had been settled on as Jalopy.”

Which sounds good to me, since it means “an old car in a dilapidated condition” and is a fun word to say out loud. And doesn’t that above GIF look wonderful?

Jalopy’s presentation-style reminds me of Far Cry 2 – its diegetic map and commitment to first-person, mainly – and I already enjoyed that game primarily as an offroad jeep simulator. If this and American Truck Simulator arrive in 2016, I’m going to spend a lot of this year behind the wheel.

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Graham Smith

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