Back in March at EGX REZZED this year, I met Travis Ryan from Dumpling Design showcasing his mobile game Dashy Crashy in the lower levels of the grand venue, Tobacco Dock.
After having a small chat and watching some other attendees try out the super colorful, cheerful and often brutal endless racer, I decided to have a go myself. At this point I knew I had found my diamond in the rough.
Fast forward through some close correspondence with the man himself up to EGX 2015, the bright yellow car pile-up poster was visible from the moment I walked into the top corner of the Rezzed Zone.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the game, Dashy Crashy is an endless runner / racer on iOS, featuring an incredible low poly art style drenched in rich, vibrant colors, surrounded by “Sega Skies” all set to a very arcadey soundtrack complete with super enthusiastic commentaries.
There are over 50 cars which can all be unlocked by playing and overtaking your friends. The game will be free with adverts distanced as far apart as possible. Purchasing a car for 79p will remove ads entirely.
Although it was extremely busy, Travis always had time to talk with me and share the experiences players were having. On top of running through adjustments that were being made during the show, Travis expanded on some of the early development and how his background in games design and love of arcades inspired him to create this (what I believe to be) essential mobile title.
“I am a huge fan of arcades! My first job I had after working on a farm when I was growing up involved cabinet maintenance at a Namco games center. While I was on shift the place would be full of people playing the games and I would just watch them. “
“I love the fighting game genre too, a lot of time was spent watching and giving tips on pulling epic combos off! Racing games were also of a high interest because of the competitive nature it can bring out in people. My time at the arcade also taught me a lot about accessibility and depth to games which heavily informed me for my future career in games design.”
So, what is Dashy Crashy?
“It’s an endless arcade highway, what we wanted to do is take the endless genre and give it a shot in the arm and cram as much chaos and physics onto the road as possible. The gameplay is really simple, you swipe left and right to change lanes and swipe up to boost. Your main goal is to get as far as possible and you can judge this with the score in the horizon.
There are a couple of tricks you can pull off to help you score big, by chaining boosts together you can perform a super boost. The boost mechanic not only multiplies your score but it’s there to allow different play styles. A lot of players will continually boost as much as they can before crashing. Other players have taken a slower approach and boost tactfully in low traffic sections of the highway.
At the same time this boosts the difficulty of the game so you need to work out how far you can push it before you are sent flying into the air. If it’s all getting a bit too much you can simply swipe down to brake, allowing you to move out of some tricky spots.
The highway is randomly generated every time you play, so you will always have a new challenge on your hands to navigate and avoid other car crashes all while trying to get a high at the same time. You will never have the same drive twice and with Game Center all of your friends will be on the highway too!”
I was hooked at REZZED! Is there a large cast of cars that you can drive?
“One of the other aspects to Dashy Crashy is the social nature of the game, your Game Centre friends will show up on your highway and vice versa driving their respective cars. We will have over 50 cars at launch and they will all have their own unique properties. The starter cars are quite light and will have better handling however, they are a lot easier to crash.
We go all the way up to big rigs which are slower but can take a few extra hits on the road, and then we have super cars which can give you an extra bonus score. We haven’t created a “win” car and love the idea of people being able to play and enjoy the game with the cars they love eliminating that sense of “pay to win”.
Amazing! How do I get my hands on some extra sweet rides?
“Every single car is unlockable by playing the game. As you progress and get higher scores, new cars will appear on the highway. To aquire the new car you just need to overtake them, sounds easy enough but trust me there can be a lot of car-nage! You can even unlock cars driven by your friends by overtaking them too, it’s nice and simple and all of the cars are balanced, everyone has an equal shot at dominance!”
“There will be an option to purchase any of the cars for 79p each which will then remove advertising from the game, we tried really hard to keep adverts out of the way for players as much as possible while keeping the game free so that everyone can experience it. We feel it’s a great deal all around!”
I love everything about the game, but where did those crazy, colorful graphics come from?
“Previously, I made Sega games, and there is defiantly a lot of sega flavor in Dashy Crashy, a lot of that influence has rubbed off on me a lot including the “Sega Skies” . I love bright and attractive things which can pull you in. We were always thinking that with the visuals and methods that we could make them vibrant and fun”.
I really can’t wait for the game to release, when will Dashy Crashy be available?
“We aim to launch in November and for the new Apple TV too!”
“EGX is going to be our last play test, each day we have experimented with altering traffic density, physics etc and watching how people get along with them. The show is a valuable opportunity to not only fine tune the game, but you get direct feedback too which assists in choosing the next thing to trial/tweak.”